Daily Current Affairs - 02nd Aug 2020

A third of the world’s children poisoned by lead

  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a recent report which is first of its kind published impact of lead on children’s health across the world. As per the recent report one in every three children is being poisoned by lead.
  • Among the total affected nearly half of them are from South Asia. India accounts for nearly 275,561,163 of these cases.
  • Children, when exposed to lead, gets highly affected. Severe problems like mental health and behavioural problems, including an increase in crime and violence, can be seen in them.

Air Marshal V R Chaudhari takes over as chief of IAF’s Western Air Command

  • Air Marshal V. R. Chaudhari took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command of Indian Air Force.
  • The Air Marshal took over command from Air Marshal B Suresh.
  • Air Marshal V. R. Chaudhari was commissioned into fighter stream of the IAF in 1982 as a Fighter Pilot.
  • During his career, he has flown wide variety of fighter and trainer aircrafts. He has a flying experience of MiG-21, MiG-23 MF, MiG 29 and Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.

Amar Singh, Rajya Sabha member and former SP leader, passes away

  • Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh passed away.
  • Amar Singh was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and was later expelled from the party by chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on February 2, 2010. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in year 2016 with support from Samajwadi Party and was reinstated as one of the general secretaries of the party in October 2016.

Apple Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company

  • After reporting its blockbuster Quarterly result stock of Apple Inc increased 10% to a record high making Apple world’s most valuable publicly listed company. The company has shown a great recovery from its low-point in March during the pandemic.
  • Saudi Arabia’s State-owned Saudi Aramco which had been the most valuable publicly listed company since the time it went public last year had a market capitalization of $1.760 trillion.

Flipkart’s Samarth programme supports 6 lakh artisans in India to sell their products online

  • Walmart-owned Flipkart announced that 6 lakh artisans across the country will be added this year to their Samarth programme which was launched last year in 2019.
  • Samarth is an initiative started by Flipkart in 2019 wherein, the e-commerce company had collaborated with five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help local artisans use the online e-commerce platform to sell their products.
  • The programme helps around six lakh artisans (weavers, craftsmen etc.) earn their bread and butter by selling their hand made art & craftwork across the country to a customer base of nearly 200 million.

India celebrates 1st August as Muslim Women’s Rights Day

  • On the occasion of the first anniversary of law-making Triple Talaq a criminal offence which got Presidential nod last year after getting approval from the Parliament, the day is declared as the Muslim Women’s Rights Day across the country.
  • Triple Talaq also known as “talaq-e-biddat” was a special provision bestowed upon Muslim man by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. The law legalised and allowed the practice of Triple Talaq which gave Muslim husband some special privileges over his wife.

India imposes curbs on import of colour television sets

  • The Indian Government has moved the import of Color TV sets from free to restricted. India imports the majority of TV sets from China. This move by the government is aimed to promote PM Modi’s vision of “Vocal for Local” which will boost domestic manufacturing and balance the trade deficit the country is currently facing against China.
  • India imported colour television sets worth about $781 million in 2019-20, with majority shipments coming in from Vietnam ($428 million) and China ($292 million).

India to review Chinese language programmes across universities

  • The Ministry of Education which was formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resource Development is all set to put several higher education institutes that offer Chinese language training on the radar.
  • Even those institutes that had links with the official Chinese language learning and training department “Hanban” in the past are on close scrutiny. Hanban is a Chinese organization which runs hundreds of Confucious Institutes abroad.
  • Currently, India has two functional CIs which operate within Mumbai University and the Vellore Institute of Technology. The Ministry of Education has sent letters to at least five institutions that offer Chinese language training, asking them to send all details of its collaboration with the CIs since 2017.

Kotak Mahindra Bank starts ‘Kona Kona Umeed’ Campaign

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced the launch of a two-month-long campaign called ‘Kona Kona Umeed’ with huge offers and discounts to lift up hope and optimism among its customers in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • The bank will provide a range of offers and deals on its products including loans, savings accounts, current accounts, corporate salary accounts as well as Kotak debit cards, credit cards and digital payments.

Meeting of governing council of Indian Premier League underway in Mumbai

  • The meeting of the governing council of the Indian Premier League is underway in Mumbai. The meeting is being held to give a final shape to the schedule and discuss other arrangements for the eagerly-awaited event to be held in the UAE this year.
  • The meeting is reportedly attended by top BCCI brass, including President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah among others.
  • Meanwhile, Indian cricketers including ODI captain Mithali Raj have welcomed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly's announcement that the Women's IPL will take place during the men's league in the UAE.

Men’s & Women’s National Hockey Camp scheduled in SAI Bengaluru gets state nod

  • Members of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams bound for Tokyo Olympics will join the National Camp at SAI’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru from August 4, 2020, in preparation for Olympics to be held in 2021.
  • The decision was taken by SAI after a formal permission was received from the state government to begin training at the Bengaluru campus. The athletes, coaches and support staff, who were on a home break, will join the camp on August 4 and undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine inside the campus.

NASA & ULA launched Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has launched “Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission” with United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to the Red Planet “Mars”.
  • The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission was launched from Space Launch Complex 41, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program which is a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.

One Nation One Card scheme kickstarted in four more states

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs said that the Department of Food & Public Distribution has enabled the integration of four additional states Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand to the One Nation One Ration Card scheme from Saturday. With this move, the Central government scheme has now been enabled in 24 States/UTs.
  • With this, about 65 crores (80 per cent) of total NFSA population is now potentially enabled for receiving food grains anywhere in these States/UTs through national portability of ration cards.

UAE starts first nuclear reactor at controversial Barakah plant

  • Oil-rich Gulf state UAE finally started its first-ever nuclear reactor “Barakah” at Abu Dhabi on the Gulf coast. Barakah was expected to start its operation in 2017. However, due to various safety issue, it kept on getting delayed.
  • Barakah is developed in a joint venture with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Barakah means “blessing” in Arabic. In association with KEPCO, the nuclear reactor power plant has begun the process of nuclear fission in one of its four reactors.

US imposes sanctions on Chinese company over human rights abuse in Xinjiang

  • US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said that sanctions have been imposed on Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps of China and two of its officials for their connection to serious human rights abuse on the Uyghur community in Xinjiang. After the sanctions imposed by the US Department of Treasury, Mr Pompeo urged countries worldwide to condemn the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their continuous human rights abuse against its own citizens.
  • The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned one Chinese government entity and two current or former government officials in connection with serious rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.