Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Aug 2020

Abhijit Paul's 'Am I' wins first prize in Online Patriotic Short Film Contest

  • A Short film titled 'Am I?' directed by Abhijit Paul won the first prize and a cash award of one lakh rupees in the Online Patriotic Short Film Contest organized by the Ministry Of Information and Broadcasting along with National Film Develoment Corporation, NFDC.
  • 'Ab India Banega Bharat' directed by Debojo Sanjiv got the second prize and a cash award of 50 thousand rupees and '10 Rupees' directed by Yuvraj Gokul got the third prize and a cash award of 25 thousand rupees. Eight short films have got Special Mention Certificates.

AIM, NITI Aayog, Business Sweden collaborate to promote disruptive potential of Indian entrepreneurs

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and Business Sweden on behalf of India Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre are collaborating to promote the disruptive potential of Indian entrepreneurs.
  • This will boost the vibrant start-up ecosystem across the country. A virtual Statement of Intent was signed between AIM and India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre in New Delhi.

CCI approves Siemens’ acquisition of C&S Electric

  • The proposed acquisition of C&S Electric Limited by Siemens Limited has received the approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The proposed combination envisions acquisition of 100% of the share capital of C&S Electric Limited (C&S) by Siemens Limited (Siemens India).
  • Siemens India supplies smart mobility solutions for rail as well as road transport, including infrastructure solutions for Smart Cities.
  • C&S Electric Limited is engaged in the manufacturing of a range of electrical switchgear, power protection and electrical distribution products.

ESIC extends unemployment benefit scheme 'Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna' up to June 30, 2021

  • The Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) extended the unemployment benefit scheme Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana till June 2021.
  • The Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana is being implemented by Employee State Insurance Corporation. The scheme aims to support the people who have lost their jobs due to changing employment pattern due to an international crisis or a domestic crisis. The scheme provides 25% of average per day earning in the previous four contribution periods.
  • The scheme pays cash directly to bank account of insured persons in case of unemployment. Under the scheme, the workers can draw 47% of total contributions towards ESIC after being unemployed for at least three months.

First death from mosquito-borne West Nile virus in Spain’s Andalucia

  • An outbreak of West Nile Virus spread by mosquitos claimed the lives of two people in Spain and left 23 in hospital.
  • The West Nile Virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1937. It was carried by birds and was spread to humans by mosquitoes. The virus is indigenous to Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
  • The West Nile Virus is a RNA virus that causes West Nile Fever. The virus belongs to the Flaviviridae family. The Flaviviridae family also contains Zika virus, yellow fever virus and Dengue virus.

HSBC India launches 'Green Deposit Programme' to finance eco-friendly projects

  • A “Green Deposit Programme” has been launched by the HSBC India. The “green deposit programme” has been launched exclusively for corporate clients.
  • Under this programme, the bank will use the deposits to finance green initiatives and environment friendly projects. With this, the deposit scheme launched by the HSBC India will provide its corporate clients stable and pre-agreed returns along with the same protection as a normal bank deposit does.

India, S Korea deliberate on disarmament, non-proliferation issues

  • India-South Korea Consultations on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation were held virtually.
  • Indian delegation was led by Indra Mani Pandey, Additional Secretary, Disarmament and International Security Affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • External Affairs Ministry said, during the consultations, the two sides exchanged views on global developments and contemporary issues of mutual interest in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.

International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism – August 21

  • United Nations(UN)’s International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is annually observed on 21st August to commemorate and pay tribute to the victims and survivors of Terrorism across the globe.
  • The first International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism was observed on 21st August 2018.

Israel’s deal with UP to resolve Bundelkhand water crisis has a 3-pronged solution

  • The Uttar Pradesh and Israel governments signed a ‘plan of cooperation’ to resolve water crisis in Bundelkhand region.
  • The partnership between the two governments seeks to address water crisis in drought hit regions of Bundelkhand. It will support regional farmers with latest farming technologies such as drip irrigation, meant for water deficient regions like Bundelkhand.

MEA in partnership with Foreign Ministry of Thailand organize 6th Round Table of AINTT

  • The Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with the Foreign Ministry of Thailand has organized the 6th Round Table of ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT).
  • The theme of the two day Round Table which was conducted through video conferencing was 'ASEAN-India: Strengthening Partnership in the Post COVID Era'.
  • The ASEAN-India Round Table comprising think tanks, policy makers, scholars, media and business representatives was established at the 7th ASEAN-India Summit in Thailand in 2009 to provide policy inputs to Governments on future direction of cooperation.

Myanmar govt, armed groups sign framework accord for ceasefire implementation

  • The government of Myanmar and ten armed ethnic groups signed a framework agreement for the implementation of the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) at Nay Pyi Taw at the end of the 4th session of the Union Peace Conference - 21st Century Panglong.
  • The agreement also includes the framework for implementation of various processes beyond 2020, and basic principles to establish a democratic federal union.
  • The peace accord called Union Peace Accord III contains 15 provisions to implement the NCA. These include troop deployment, protocol to deal with skirmishes between government troops and the armed groups among others.

National Sports Awards 2020 announced

  • Cricketer Rohit Sharma, Para-Athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu, Table Tennis player Manika Batra, Wrestler Vinesh Phogat and Indian Women's Hockey team captain Rani Rampal will receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The Award is conferred on sportspersons for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports for over a period of four years.
  • This year 27 sportspersons have been selected for the Arjuna Award for consistent outstanding performance for four years.
  • They are Archer Atanu Das, Athlete Dutee Chand, Shuttlers Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag C Shetty, Basketball player Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Boxers Subedar Manish Kaushik and Lovlina Borgohain, Cricketer Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma, Equestrian player Sawant Ajay Anant, Footballer Sandesh Jhingan, Golfer Aditi Ashok, Hockey players Akashdeep Singh and Deepika, Kabaddi player Deepak, Kho Kho player Kale Sarika Sudhakar, Rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal, Shooter Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, Table Tennis player Madhurika Suhas Patkar, Tennis player Divij Sharan, Winter Sports player Shiva Keshavan, Wrestlers Divya Kakran and Rahul Aware, Para Swimmer Suyash Narayan Jadhav, Para Athlete Sandeep and Para Shooter Manish Narwal.
  • In Life-Time Category, Dronacharya Award will be given to Dharmendra Tiwary for Archery, Purushotham Rai for Athletics, Shiv Singh for Boxing, Romesh Pathania for Hockey, Krishan Kumar Hooda for Kabaddi, Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar for Para Powerlifting, Naresh Kumar for Tennis and Om Parkash Dahiya for Wrestling
  • In Regular Category, Dronacharya Award will be given to Jude Felix Sebastian for Hockey, Yogesh Malviya for Mallakhamb, Jaspal Rana for Shooting, Kuldeep Kumar Handoo for Wushu and Gaurav Khanna for Para Badminton.
  • Dronacharya Award goes to the coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events.
  • Dhyan Chand Award will be given to Kuldip Singh Bhullar and Jincy Philips for Athletics, Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe and Trupti Murgunde for Badminton, N. Usha and Lakha Singh for Boxing, Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu for Football, Ajit Singh for Hockey, Manpreet Singh for Kabaddi, J. Ranjith Kumar for Para Athletics, Satyaprakash Tiwari for Para Badminton, Manjeet Singh for Rowing, Nandan P Bal for Tennis, and Netarpal Hooda for Wrestling. Late Sachin Nag will be confered the award for swimming.
  • Dhyan Chand Award is given for life time contribution to sports development.
  • Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award will be given to Anita Devi, Col. Sarfraz Singh, Taka Tamut, Narender Singh and Keval Hiren Kakka in Land Adventure category. Satendra Singh will get the award in Water Adventure categoty and Gajanand Yadava will get it in the Air Adventure category. Late Magan Bissa will be confered the award in Life Time Achievement category.
  • Lakshya Institute and Army Sports Institute will be honoured with Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar for identification and nurturing of budding and young Talent. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, ONGC Limited will get the award for encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility. Air Force Sports Control Board will be honoured with the award for employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures. International Institute of Sports Management, IISM, will get the award for Sports for Development.
  • Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar is given to the corporate entities both in private and public sector and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
  • Panjab University, Chandigarh will get Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, MAKA Trophy for overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments.
  • A large number of applications were received for Sports Awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by former Judge of Supreme Court Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma and other members comprising of eminent sportspersons, persons having experience in sports journalism and sports administration, etc.
  • The awardees will receive their awards from the President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organized function through virtual mode from Rashtrapati Bhawan on 29th of this month which is National Sports Day. It coincides with the birthday of legendary hockey Olympian, Dhyan Chand.

NHAI develops mobile App ‘Harit Path' to facilitate creation of Green Highways across country

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a PSU under the Ministry of Road and Transport, has developed a mobile App, ‘Harit Path' to facilitate creation of Green Highways across the country.
  • The App will also be used to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of the PSU’s field units for every plant under the Highway plantation projects.
  • NHAI had also recently undertaken a nation-wide plantation drive, Harit Bharat Sankalp, under which it planted over 25 lakh plants in 25 days along the stretches of the National Highways across the country.

STPI to have India's largest incubation ecosystem with 21 centres in a year

  • The State-Owned Technology Parks in India (STPI) are to have the largest ecosystem to incubate new technologies. This is to be achieved by setting up 21 Centres of Excellence in these parks.
  • India has centres of excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things, electric vehicles, block chain, animation and gaming, etc. The Government of India has already launched 12 CoEs. Of this, three are dedicated to agriculture.
  • As of March 2020, there were 60 STPI Centres or sub centres in the country. They are operational in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
  • The STPI was set up as an autonomous body in 1991 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The main objective of STPI is to promote software exports in the country.

SWAMIH works at fast pace to provide relief to homeowners

  • A Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing Fund (SWAMIH) is working at a fast pace to provide relief to homeowners. Till date, 22 projects with investment of 3,472 crore rupees were accorded final approval and will lead to completion of 20,380 home units.
  • The Finance Ministry said, overall 101 projects have now been sanctioned with an investment of 10,300 crore rupees that would target to provide relief to 71,559 homeowners. So far, seven sites have been activated construction plans with material and manpower.

Turkey announces discovery of large natural gas reserve in Black Sea

  • The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of large natural gas reserves in the Black Sea coast. According to the announcement made by the President, 320 billion cubic metres of natural gas has been discovered.
  • Turkey is to start using the discovered natural gas by 2023. The discovery has come up in the middle of tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey are running high in disputed waters in eastern Mediterranean.
  • Turkey is highly dependent on Russia, Iran and Iraq for its energy resources. In 2019, the Turkish energy imports from these countries were 41 billion USD. Thus, the discovery of oil exploration will help to reduce its imports.