Daily Current Affairs - 08th Aug 2020

3 male paddlers selected for TOPS from Gujarat

  • 3 out of 4 male paddlers selected for the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) are from Gujarat. According to Gujarat State Table Tennis Association, three players Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah are among four male TT players selected in the Sports Ministry’s scheme. Soumyajit Ghosh is the fourth paddler.
  • Surat-based Harmeet and Manav have displayed their talent and class at various competitions in recent past. Harmeet was part of the bronze medal winning team at Asian Games in Jakarta and bagged team and individual gold at Commonwealth TT championships. On the other hand, Manav conquered the summit position in U-21 world rankings.

78th anniversary of Quit India Movement observed

  • On August 8, 2020, India commemorated the 78th anniversary of Quit India movement. On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched Quit India Movement at the session of All India Congress Committee in Mumbai.
  • The Quit India Movement was launched after Cripps mission failed. Gandhiji made a Do or Die call through the movement. India too was facing havoc due to World War. The movement was crushed as it didn’t get support from outside. The British refused to grant immediate independence saying it could happen only after the war ended.

Bangladesh to construct memorial for Indian soldiers martyred in 1971 liberation war

  • Bangladesh will construct a memorial for the Indian soldiers martyred during the country’s liberation war in 1971. The memorial will be constructed coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh.
  • Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Muzammel Haq recalled the support of the government and people of India during the Bangladesh liberation war against Pakistan in 1971.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Joshi takes oath as Chairman of UPSC

  • Dr. Pradeep Kumar Joshi took oath as Chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Prof. Joshi joined the Commission as a member in the year 2015.
  • He served as Director of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration. During his career, Dr. Joshi taught more than 28 years at post-graduation level and held many important positions in various policy making, academic and administrative bodies.

Govt launches Letter of Recommendation module for street vendors to avail PM SVANidhi Scheme benefits

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra launched Letter of Recommendation module for PM SVANidhi Scheme.
  • The module is designed to give access to street vendors who do not have Identity Card and Certificate of Vending and are not in the surveyed list for availing benefits under the scheme.
  • The module provides for an end to end, digitally enabled process wherein an eligible vendor can request for a Letter of Recommendation from the Urban Local Body and on receipt of the same he can apply for loan under PM SVANidhi.

Gujarat announces Industrial Policy 2020, targets relocation of firms from China

  • The Gujarat State Government launched the “Industrial Policy 2020”. The policy aims to provide Rs 40,000 subsidies to the industries in the state in the next five years.
  • The policy will help to lease lands to industrialists and also provide incentives to industrial parks. Under the policy, the Gujarat State Government will appoint dedicated “relationship managers” to host Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2021.
  • The policy will help industries willing to relocate from China through “Relocation Incentives”. The Gujarat State Government has held joint meetings with countries such as Japan, Germany, USA and UK in this regard.

Kejriwal Govt Notifies Electric Vehicle Policy, Incentive Upto Rs 1.5 Lakh on EVs in Delhi

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, announced that Delhi Government has notified the Electric Vehicle Policy for the national capital to promote the use of electric vehicles. The Electric Vehicle Policy is valid till three years post which the government will review the outcome of the policy. He also said that all the benefits offered in the Delhi's EV policy will be applicable over and above the central government's FAME 2.0
  • Under the Delhi EV policy, government will give financial incentives upto Rs 1.5 lakh on the purchase of electric vehicles and the slabs have been decided based on the vehicle type.

Mauritius declares emergency over oil spill from grounded ship

  • The island of Mauritius declared environmental emergency due to oil spill caused by Japanese owned ship that was stranded off the coast days ago. The MV Wakashio of Japanese companies Nagashiki Shipping Ltd and Okiyo Maritime Corporation was on its way from Brazil to Singapore carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel. The ship ran aground on July 25, 2020.
  • The cracks that appeared on the ship hull caused the oil spill and has put around 1 to 3 million residents in the island nation to danger. The Mauritius Government has appealed to the French Government for help.

More than 10 lakh houses have been approved under PM Awas Yojana (Urban)

  • More than ten lakh houses have been approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said, these houses have been approved in the 51st Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee held in New Delhi.
  • With this, the total number of sanctioned houses under the scheme are now one crore six lakh as against the validated demand of one crore 12 lakh.
  • The Ministry said, about 67 Lakh houses are grounded for construction and more than 35 Lakh have been completed and occupied. The total investment under the Mission is six lakh 31 thousand Crore rupees.

National Handloom Day: 7th August

  • Nation observes “National Handloom Day” on 7th August every year. This day is celebrated to honour the handloom weavers in the country and also highlight the handloom industry. The Day highlights the contribution of handloom to the socio-economic development of the country and increases the income of the weavers.
  • August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on this day in 1905 in the Calcutta Town hall to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government.

OCI card holders from USA, UK, Germany, France can visit India: Home Ministry

  • Union Home Ministry has permitted Overseas Citizen of India, OCI cardholders to enter India who belong to countries with which air bubble arrangements have been finalised by the Civil Aviation Ministry.
  • Other foreigners from these countries have also been allowed to avail Indian visa facility for business, medical and employment purposes.
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation has worked out air bubble scheme with USA, UK, Germany and France and the countries that may be included under such scheme in future.

RBI forms five member committee under KV Kamath, panel to recommend parameters for loan restructuring

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a five member committee under the chairmanship of former ICICI Bank CEO KV Kamath to make recommendations on the financial parameters to be considered in the restructuring of loans impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Other members of the committee are former State Bank of India executive Diwakar Gupta, current Canara Bank chairman TN Manoharan, consultant Ashvin Parekh and Indian Banks' Association (IBA) CEO Sunil Mehta who will also be a secretary to the committee.
  • The immediate task of the committee is to recommend a list of financial parameters to be factored into the assumptions that go into each resolution plan, and the sector specific benchmark ranges for such parameters.
  • The parameters will include aspects related to leverage, liquidity, debt serviceability etc. The expert committee shall submit a list of financial parameters and the sector-specific desirable ranges for such parameters to the Reserve Bank, which, in turn, will notify the same, along with modifications, within 30 days.

Serum Institute enters into partnership to accelerate manufacture, delivery of Covid19 vaccines for India

  • Serum Institute of India has entered into a new landmark partnership with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the production of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and other low and middle income countries.
  • In the new arrangement, Serum Institute of India will get the funding from the Gates foundation through international vaccine alliance GAVI. The funding will provide support to vaccine maker for potential vaccines candidate from AstraZeneca and Novavax.
  • The Company has set an affordable ceiling price of 3 dollar per dose. Earlier, Serum Institute of India had bagged a contract with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply one billion doses of Oxford University's potential COVID-19 vaccine.

To prevent train delays, Indian Railways introduces OHE Inspection app for real-time monitoring

  • Indian Railways has launched an Overhead Equipment (OHE) Inspection app which will help in minimizing the train delays and long waits due to technical snags. The app has been rolled out on an all over India basis.
  • On 1 July 2020 for the first time in the history of Indian Railways, 100% punctuality of trains was achieved as 201 trains arrived at their destination at the right time. The previous best was 99.54% on 23rd May 2020.

UN adds 6 mln USD emergency aid funds for Beirut blast victims

  • The United Nations released 6 million USD in response to the explosion at Beirut port. With this, the total UN funding towards relief operation of the explosion has come to 15 million USD.
  • The 6 million USD was released from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. Previously, 9 million USD was released from UN Lebanon Humanitarian Fund to address primary health needs and also to provide food assistance.
  • A catastrophic blast occurred at the Lebanon capital, Beirut. It was driven by tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate.