July 2, 2020

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

SINA WEIBO
PM Modi’s official page on Chinese social media website Weibo went blank with the removal of his photograph and all 115 posts made over the past five years.

About:

  • Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging (weibo) website. Weibo the Chinese word for ‘microblog’.

  • It was Launched by Sina Corporation in 2009 and is one of the biggest social media platforms in China.

  • Through it, users can upload pictures and videos publicly for instant sharing, with other users being able to comment with text, pictures and videos, or use a multimedia instant messaging service.

  • Due to its popularity, the media sometimes refers to the platform simply as "Weibo," despite the numerous other Chinese microblogging/weibo services including Tencent Weibo, Sohu Weibo, and NetEase Weibo.

Important Info :

Weibo diplomacy?

  • Modi initiated the process of exiting Weibo following the Union government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps, including Weibo, citing threats to data security and India’s sovereignty.
  • This marks a sudden end to Mr. Modi’s “Weibo diplomacy” that was launched with fanfare in 2015 as a means to directly communicate with the people of China before his first visit there as Prime Minister. 
Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

STRIPED HAIRSTREAK; ELUSIVE PRINCE
Lepidopterists have discovered two species of butterflies – the Striped Hairstreak and Elusive Prince – in Arunachal Pradesh.

About:

  • The Striped Hairstreak (Yamamotozephyrus kwangtugenesis) was located in Vijaynagar bordering Myanmar. It was first recorded by Japanese entomologists in Hainan province of China.

  • The Elusive Prince (Rohana tonkiniana) was found in Miao on the periphery of the Namdapha National Park. It has a Vietnamese connection and was thought to be the more familiar Black Prince found in the Eastern Himalayas.

  • India now has 1,327 species of butterflies, up from 1,318 in 2015.

  • The recording of the two butterflies follows the “rediscovery” of the Assam Keelback, a non-venomous snake from the Gelling area of Arunachal Pradesh after 129 years. 

Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

ASSAM KEELBACK
Assam keelback has recently been rediscovered after 129 years in Arunachal Pradesh.

About:

  • Scientific Name: Herpetoreas pealii.

  • Common Name: Assam keelback; Peal's keelback.

  • Family: It is a species of snake in the subfamily Natricinae of the family Colubridae.

  • Distribution: The species is endemic to Northeast India. It has been recorded from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Physical description: The species is small — about 60 cm long, brownish, with a patterned belly.

  • Background: It was discovered 129 years ago in 1891 by Samuel Edward Peal, a British tea planter based in Upper Assam.

Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

SPECIAL LIQUIDITY SCHEME FOR NBFCs AND HFCs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has operationalised the Rs 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme for NBFCs and HFCs. The cabinet had given its nod to the scheme on May 21, and now the RBI has notified it.

About:

  • The scheme is aimed at improving the liquidity position of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs). 

  • RBI will provide funds for the Scheme by subscribing to government guaranteed special securities issued by the Trust. The total amount of such securities issued outstanding shall not exceed Rs. 30,000 crores at any point of time.

  • Government of India will provide an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee to the special securities issued by the Trust.

  • The Scheme is being launched on July 1, 2020 through a Special Purpose Vehicle in the form of SLS Trust set up by SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP). 

Important Info :

As per RBI, following are the eligibility conditions for NBFCs/HFCs to avail of this scheme:

  • All investment grade RBI-registered NBFCs, excluding Core Investment Companies (CICs), and NHB-registered HFCs are eligible.
  • Capital adequacy should not be below the regulatory minimum as on March 31, 2019.
  • Net non-performing assets should not be more than 6 percent as on March 31, 2019.
  • They should have made profits in at least one of the last two financial years.
  • They should not have been reported under SMA-1 or SMA-2 category by any bank for their borrowings during last one year prior to August 1, 2018. 
Source : LiveMint
Economy

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

RAMAGUNDAM FERTILIZERS AND CHEMICALS LIMITED (RFCL)
Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers held a meeting to review the progress of construction of Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals limited (RFCL).

About:

  • Location: RFCL is upcoming gas based urea unit of 12.7 Lakh MT per annum capacity at Ramagundam, Telangana.

  • Governance: It is a Joint Venture Company (JVC) promoted by National Fertilizers Limited (NFL), Engineers India Limited (EIL) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL).

  • Timeline: RFCL was incorporated in 2015 and the foundation stone of the project was laid by PM Modi in 2016.

  • Significance: After commissioning, Ramagundam project along with other revival projects at Gorakhpur, Barauni, Sindri and Talcher will reduce the need for urea import by 63.5 LMT per annum. 

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS' DAY
Prime Minister Modi greeted Chartered Accountants on Chartered Accountants' Day.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):

  • July 1 is celebrated as National Chartered Accountant Day in India. The day is observed in order to celebrate the formation of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on July 1st, 1949.

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the national professional accounting body of India.

  • It was established on 1 July 1949 as a statutory body under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India.

  • ICAI is the only licensing cum regulating body of the financial audit and accountancy profession in India. It recommends the accounting standards to be followed by companies in India to National Financial Reporting Authority

  • Only a member of ICAI can be appointed as statutory auditor of a company under the Companies Act, 2013.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

NATIONAL DOCTOR'S DAY 2020
Prime Minister Modi has saluted doctors on the occasion of Doctors’ Day.

BC Roy:

  • Bidhan Chandra Roy (1882 – 1962) was an eminent Indian physician, educationist, freedom fighter and politician.

  • He studied medicine at the University of Calcutta and did his postgraduate study from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

  • In 1911, he accomplished the rare feat of becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons simultaneously.

  • He served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 until his death in 1962. He is often considered the Maker of Modern West Bengal due to his key role in the founding of several institutions and five eminent cities, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar and Habra.

  • He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1961. 

Important Info :

His view on Swaraj?

  • He was still pursuing medicine in Calcutta when the partition of Bengal was announced. Resisting the urge to join the movement, he controlled his emotions and concentrated on his studies, realising that he could serve his nation better by qualifying in his profession first.
  • He believed that swaraj would remain a dream unless the people were healthy and strong in mind and body.
Source : Times of India
Health

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

WORLD’S FIRST EVER ONLINE B.SC. DEGREE IN PROGRAMMING AND DATA SCIENCE
Union HRD Minister launched World’s first ever online B.Sc. degree in Programming and Data Science.

About:

  • The programme has been prepared and offered by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), which is ranked No.1 in India Rankings 2020 by NIRF.

  • The program will have videos from the faculty, weekly assignments and in-person invigilated exams just like any other regular course.

  • This programme is open to anyone who has passed Class 12th, with English and Maths at the Class 10th level, and enrolled in any on-campus UG course. The current batch of students who are completing their Class 12th in 2020 are eligible to apply.

  • Graduates and working professionals can also take up this programme.

  • Data Science is one of the fastest growing sectors that is predicted to create 11.5 million jobs by 2026.

Source : PIB
Education

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

ADVANCED VIROLOGY LAB FOR COVID-19 TESTING
The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, has established an Advanced Virology Lab for testing COVID-19.

About:

  • The facility has been developed based on the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

  • The Advanced Virology Lab is a Bio Safety Level- 3 facility.

  • It has a “Negative Pressure”, which means it has a suction facility that can suck any aerosol and pass it through filters. It can filter virus or bacteria to make it a safe COVID-19 testing facility. It reduces the possibilities of infections at the culture facilities.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
July 2, 2020

INDIA-BANGLADESH JVC FOR LPG BUSINESS
India and Bangladesh signed an agreement for the formation of a 50:50 Joint Venture Company (JVC) for LPG business in Bangladesh.

About:

  • The agreement was signed between the IOC Middle East FZE, Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and RR Holdings Ltd., Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, the holding company of Beximco LPG of Bangladesh.

  • The Joint Venture Company will help reduce the cost of import of LPG and make it more affordable for the consumers in Bangladesh.

  • The company plans to diversify into LPG export to the north eastern states of India from Bangladesh which will prove to be a win-win situation for both the countries.

Source : All India Radio
International

July 1, 2020

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

PRADHAN MANTRI GARIB KALYAN ANNA YOJANA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Deepawali & Chhath Puja, i.e. till the end of November.

About:

  • During this five-month period from July till the end of November, more than 80 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per month. Along with providing 5kg free rice/wheat to each member of a family, 1 kg free whole chana will also be provided to each family per month.

  • The government will spend more than Rs 90,000 crore towards the extension of the scheme. If the amount spent towards it in the previous three months is added together, a total of almost Rs 1.5 lakh crore would be spent towards the scheme.

Important Info :
  • The Modi government had announced an additional allocation in the world’s largest food security scheme – PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana – earlier this year, which aimed to ensure sufficient foods with the poor and needy amid the coronavirus crisis.
  • The food grains were to be distributed to all the beneficiaries under the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority household (PHH) ration cardholders. 
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

TOP TO TOTAL
Union Minister for Food Processing announced the Extension of Operation Greens from TOP (Tomato-Onion-Potato) crops to all Perishable Fruits & Vegetables (TOP to Total).

About:

  • Operation Greens Scheme, being implemented by MoFPI has been extended from tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops to other notified horticulture crops for providing subsidy for their transportation and storage from surplus production area to major consumption centres.

  • The objective of intervention is to protect the growers of fruits and vegetables from making distress sale due to lockdown and reduce the post -harvest losses.

  • Duration of Scheme: For the period of six months from the date of notification i.e., 11/06/2020.

  • Eligible entities: Food Processors, FPO/FPC, Co-operative Societies, Individual farmers, Licensed Commission Agent, Exporters, State Marketing/Co-operative Federation, Retailers etc. engaged in processing/ marketing of fruits and vegetables.

  • Pattern of Assistance: Ministry will provide subsidy @ 50 % of the cost of the following two components, subject to the cost norms –
    • Transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre; and/or

    • Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of 3 months).



Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

PM FORMALIZATION OF MICRO FOOD PROCESSING ENTERPRISES (PM FME) SCHEME
Union Minister for Food Processing launched the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme as a part of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”.

About:

  • Objective: To provide financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.

  • Impact: The Scheme would generate total investment of Rs 35,000 crore and generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalization.

  • Duration: This Centrally Sponsored Scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.

  • Fund Sharing: The expenditure under the scheme would to be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs.

Important Info :

Implementation strategy:

  • The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODODP) approach to reap benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.
  • The Scheme also place focus on waste to wealth products, minor forest products and Aspirational Districts.
  • Existing Individual micro food processing units desirous of upgradation of their unit can avail credit-linked capital subsidy @35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit. Seed capital @ Rs. 40,000/- per SHG member would be provided for working capital and purchase of small tools.
Source : pib
Economy

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

INDIA’S INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT POSITION (IIP)
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released data relating to India’s International Investment Position (IIP) as at end-March 2020.

Key findings: Annual Variations during April 2019 – March, 2020

  • International financial assets of Indian residents increased by 73.9 billion dollar due to the rise in reserve assets and overseas direct investment by 64.9 billion dollar and 13.0 billion dollar, respectively, though other investments declined marginally during the year.

  • Despite a fall of 13.7 billion dollar in portfolio investment during the year, international financial liabilities increased by 16.3 billion dollar as direct investment and other investments rose by 19.0 billion dollar and 11.0 billion dollar, respectively.

  • Overall, net claims of non-residents on India declined by 57.6 billion dollar during the year. 

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

MARSHA P. JOHNSON
On June 30, 2020, Google celebrated LGBTQ+ activist Marsha P. Johnson with a Google Doodle, bidding farewell to the Pride month.

About:

  • Marsha P. Johnson (1945 – 1992) was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen.

  • Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969 — widely regarded as a critical turning point for the international LGBTQ+ rights movement.

  • The following year, she founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera. STAR was the first organization in the U.S. to be led by a trans woman of colour and was the first to open North America’s first shelter for LGBTQ+ youth.

  • On June 30 2019, Marsha was posthumously honoured as a grand marshal of the New York City Pride March. 

Important Info :

Pride month?

  • 'Pride month' refers to the commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, US, and is now celebrated worldwide in the month of June every year by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities and LGBTQ allies.
  • The last day of month, June 30, witnesses large scale social gatherings including pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attracting millions of participants around the world. 
Source : Times of India
Social Issues

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

HUL DIVAS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighters on the occasion of Hul Divas.

About:

  • Bhognadih is a village in Sahebganj district of Jharkhand. Bhognadih was the main centre of the Santhal rebellion of 1855.

  • On 30 June 1855, a large number of Santals assembled in a field in Bhognadih, they declared themselves as free and took oath under the leadership of Sido Murmu and Kanhu Murmu to fight unto the last against the British rulers as well as their agents.

  • It started on June 30, 1855 and lasted until January 3, 1856 when the movement was brutally ended by troops loyal to the British.

  • In the memory of Santhal Hul (rebellion), Hul Divas (Rebellion Day) is celebrated each year on the same date 30 June, especially among Santhal tribes.

Source : All India Radio
History

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

GYNANDROMORPH
Researchers have spotted a very rare biological phenomenon – ‘gynandromorphism’ – in dragonflies of the Puzhakkal area of the Kole wetlands in Thrissur, Kerala.

About:

  • What is it? A gynandromorph is an organism that contains both male and female characteristics.

  • Examples: Notable gynandromorphic organisms are butterflies, moths and other insects, wherein both types of body part can be distinguished physically due to sexual dimorphism.

  • Pattern of distribution of male and female tissues in a single organism: A gynandromorph can have bilateral asymmetry—one side female and one side male. Alternatively, the distribution of male and female tissue can be more haphazard.

  • Causes: It is caused by an event in mitosis during early development. While the organism contains only a few cells, one of the dividing cells does not split its sex chromosomes typically. This leads to one of the two cells having sex chromosomes that cause male development and the other cell having chromosomes that cause female development.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

DELHI GYMKHANA CLUB
The Principal Bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has ruled that the Delhi Gymkhana Club was acting in a manner prejudicial to “public interest” and therefore a five-member central government-appointed panel should look into the affairs of the club.

About:

  • What is it? The Delhi Gymkhana Club is one of the oldest and most prestigious private membership club in India.

  • Background: It was founded in 1913. Its first president was Spencer Harcourt Butler, first governor of the then United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

  • Location: The club is located in Lutyens' Delhi on Safdarjung Road.

  • Governance: The club is registered as a company under Section 8 of Companies Act. The club is run by a 16-member governing body, which consists of various retired government and army officers as well as other private citizens.

Important Info :

Recent development:

  • In April this year, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) moved the NCLT claiming that the club was being run in a manner which was “prejudicial to public interest”.
  • The MCA alleged that the club had over the course of time become a den of nepotism and gave preferential treatment in membership only to existing members and their children.
  • The NCLT also said that though the club had right to function as it chose to under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, the same could not supersede rights of common public under Article 14, which promises equality to all.
Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

ADULTERY
The Supreme Court has refused to review its 2018 judgment which decriminalised adultery.

About:

  • It upheld a September 2018 judgment by Constitution Bench which had struck adultery out of the penal statute book.

  • The original judgment found that Section 497 (adultery) of the Indian Penal Code cannot “command” married couples to remain loyal to each other for the fear of penal punishment.

  • Two individuals may part if one cheats, but to attach criminality to infidelity is going too far.

  • The court had reasoned that there was no data whatsoever to support claims that abolition of adultery as a crime would result in “chaos in sexual morality” or an increase of divorce.

Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
July 1, 2020

INDIAN OIL’S R&D CENTRE
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister laid the foundation stone of Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) Technology Development & Deployment Centre as its second R&D Campus at Faridabad.

About:

  • The new campus would focus on demonstration and deployment of various technologies developed by Indian Oil R&D, and will work in tandem with the existing campus at Sector-13, Faridabad.

  • It is going to focus on non-conventional energy domains besides the conventional ones and will aim at indigenisation of several frontline and sunrise technologies. 

Source : All India Radio
Economy
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