Daily Current Affairs - 06th Sep 2020

Andhra Pradesh tops Ease of Doing Business rankings of States and UTs, followed by UP and Telangana

  • Andhra Pradesh topped the chart among all Indian States and Union Territories in the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2019 rankings. Uttar Pradesh and Telangana bagged second and third positions respectively.
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry released the ranking of States and Union Territories (UTs) in terms of ease of doing business.
  • The BRAP ranking aims at triggering competition among states to improve business climate in order to attract domestic and global investors.
  • The parameters include areas such as construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability and single window system.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conducts the exercise for all States and Union Territories under the Business Reform Action Plan.

Bangladesh to host FAO Asia Pacific Regional Conference in 2022

  • Bangladesh will host the 36th Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC) of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the first time since joining the organization in 1973. The conference is scheduled to be held in 2022.
  • The 35th conference was organized by Bhutan through video conferencing.
  • The FAO Regional Conference is a formal forum where agriculture ministers and other senior officials of the member countries meet to discuss challenges and solutions of the food and agriculture sector.

CSIR-CMERI develops affordable solar-powered battery based sprayers to tackle water crisis in agriculture

  • CSIR-CMERI has developed solar tree of capacity 1 Kwp, 3 kwp, 5 kwp, 6 kwp, 7.5 kwp and 11.5 kwp,(which is now the Largest Solar Tree in the world).
  • CSIR-CMERI developed two variants of battery operated spray systems one for “marginal famers” and other for “small farmers”. Back Pack Sprayer, having capacity of 5 litres, is made for “marginal farmers”, while the Compact Trolley Sprayer having capacity of 10 litres, is made for “small farmers”.
  • These sprayers are equipped with two separate tanks, flow control and pressure regulator to handle different water requirements of the crops, target/site specific irrigation, maintaining appropriate dilution of pesticide/fungicide to control the pest, creating water based micro-roughness of leaf surface, maintaining soil moisture levels in a narrow range, and weed control.

DGCA orders airlines to resume pre-flight alcohol tests for pilots and cabin crew members

  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA has ordered airlines to resume pre-flight alcohol tests for pilots and cabin crew members. The aviation regulator had on 29th of March this year suspended a breath analyser test for all aviation personnel due to the extraordinary circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The breath analyser tests will continue to remain suspended for aviation personnel other than pilots and cabin crew members.

Dwayne Bravo to become SBOTOP sportsbook brand cricket ambassador

  • West Indies cricket icon Dwayne Bravo has become the first cricket ambassador for “SBOTOP” sportsbook brand. Isle of Man betting group Celton Manx has appointed the West Indies cricketer as the cricket ambassador for its flagship sportsbook.
  • He has represented West Indies in 256 test matches and 120 one-day-internationals and is also considered as one of the best ever ‘all-rounders’ of the sport.

FinMin directs govt-owned banks to invoke personal guarantees of defaulters

  • Following a nudge from the finance ministry, Indian public sector lenders, led by the State Bank of India, are preparing the list of all defaulters who had given their personal guarantees while taking loans and defaulted leading to bankruptcy proceedings. As per the advice, the personal guarantees of all promoters, whose companies have gone to NCLT for debt resolution, must be invoked.
  • The Finance Ministry said the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Application to Adjudicating Authority for Insolvency Resolution Process for Personal Guarantors to Corporate Debtors) Rules, 2019, which have come into force with effect from December 1, 2019, empowers lenders to file insolvency application against personal guarantors to corporate debtors before the National Company Law Tribunal under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

First trial run on newly-opened inland waterways from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in India completed successfully

  • The trial run of the newly opened inland river route from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in Tripura was successfully completed.
  • The newly opened 93 kilometers long route on the river Gumti marks another major step in enhancing connectivity between India and Bangladesh.
  • Land Customs Station (LCS) at Srimantpur was also handed over to the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) to facilitate trade through this border point.

H&M India head Janne Einola resigns after spending 23 years with company

  • Janne Einola, country manager for H&M India, has resigned from the post citing personal reasons. Einola, who served in the Swedish fashion retail major, was in charge of its India operations since H&M’s entry into the market in mid-2015.

India celebrates Teachers Day on 05th September

  • India celebrates Teachers Day every year on 05th September to honour teachers for their significant contributions in shaping the life of students. The day is being celebrated in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of the First Vice President of India and the Second President of India and an educationist at heart, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
  • India is celebrating the Teachers Day on 05th of September since 1962. This is the year when Dr Radhakrishnan assumed charge as the President of India.

India to send additional medical teams in DR Congo and South Sudan in response to UN call

  • India has mobilized all efforts to assemble two teams of medical specialists to be deployed in the Hospitals at the UN Missions in DRCongo and South Sudan to mitigate and contain the COVID-19 outbreak at these two locations.
  • Both the medical facilities are managed by Indian peacekeepers. As the COVID outbreak has spread in these regions, the UN Secretary-General has decided to scale up the Level-2 and Level-3 hospital facilities in UNMISS (South Sudan) and MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of Congo) respectively.
  • India has a long history of participation in various UN peacekeeping Missions. Women of the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services headed to the UN Peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Congo (ONUC) in 1960 to assist with the set up of a 400-bed hospital. In terms of current deployment to UN peacekeeping operations, India is the largest contributor in UNMISS (2,420 troops of 16,306 total) and second-largest in MONUSCO (2,030 troops of 15,159).

International Day of Charity: 5th September

  • United Nations celebrates the International Day of Charity globally on 05th September every year. The day is being celebrated to sensitize and mobilize people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to help others via volunteer and philanthropic activities. The day also recognizes the role played by charity in reducing humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations.
  • United Nations designated 05th September as the International Day of Charity to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for "work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace."

MTR Foods owner Orkla to pay Rs 2,000 cr for control of Eastern Condiments

  • Norwegian conglomerate Orkla which owns MTR Foods has entered an agreement to buy a majority stake in Kerala’s largest spice player Eastern Condiments for Rs 2,000 crore with an aim to double up its spice presence in India.
  • Orkla, through its wholly owned subsidiary MTR Foods, has signed agreements to purchase a 41.8 per cent ownership stake in Eastern from members of the Meeran family and to acquire the entire ownership stake held by McCormick Ingredients, which will give the Norweigian firm a 67.8 per cent ownership stake after completion of the transactions. Eastern is currently owned by the Meeran family which holds 74 per cent stake and McCormick which holds 26 per cent share in the company.

New indigenous device can bring down cost of tracking open-heart surgeries

  • The team of researchers at the Sree ChitraTirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), has developed a simple, advanced, and cost-effective blood flow meter.
  • This palm-sized device measures the flow rate of blood using a novel magnetic method and a signal conditioning technique.
  • In addition to its application in bypass surgery, this device can be used for measuring flow of conductive fluids for various industrial applications.
  • India is currently fully dependent on imported blood flow meters for precise measurement of blood flow rates, a critical parameter to measure the outcome of open-heart surgeries.

Punjab government rolls out ‘I Rakhwali’ App

  • Punjab government has rolled out "1 Rakhwali" App to ensure greenery and to protect the environment in Punjab. The development of app is state governments' effort to supplement its drive to preserve and maintain the environment in Punjab and to make people stakeholders in the process.
  • The 'I Rakhwali' App will also inspire people to plant more trees and become 'Greenery Saviours'. The mobile application can also be used for reporting illegal felling of trees as well as any damage to forests, by bringing the matter to the notice of the concerned Forest Divisional Officer. Hence, the state will be able to safeguard its forest area by making people a stakeholder in this process.

Quota of pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi from outside UT enhanced to 500 pilgrims per day

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, the Yatra to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is proceeding smoothly and picking up pace with each passing day. Keeping this in view, the quota of pilgrims from outside the UT has been enhanced to 500 pilgrims per day, out of a ceiling of 2,000 yatris daily.
  • All other supplementary facilities like Battery Operated Vehicles, Passenger Ropeway and Helicopter services are also operating smoothly.

Rajnath Singh meets Defence Ministers of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Defence Minister of Tajikistan Colonel General Sherali Mirzo in Moscow.
  • Rajnath Singh also had a meeting with Kazakhstan counterpart Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev in Moscow.
  • Mr Singh said, he discussed ways to add further momentum to India-Kazakhstan defence cooperation with Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev. He also held interaction with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Defence Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich. Mr Singh said in a tweet that Defence Cooperation remains an important pillar of India- Uzbekistan bilateral relations.

Shri Raj Kumar Srivastava appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Croatia

  • Raj Kumar Srivastava has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Croatia. He is an IFS officer of 1997 batch and is presently serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Tokyo.

Sports Ministry extends contract of athletics foreign coaches with eye on 2024 Olympics

  • The Sports Ministry has extended the contract of 9 foreign coaches and support personnel, including High Performance Director of athletics with an eye on the 2024 Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games 2022.
  • This decision was taken by the Ministry with a focus on the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, and to ensure Olympic-bound athletes are able to train consistently and in continuity with one coach and improve their performance as per the international standards.

UNEP Launches New Book “The Little Book of Green Nudges”

  • A new publication "The Little Book of Green Nudges" has been launched by the United Nations Environment Programme. The newly launched publication seeks to encourage around 200 million students around the world to adopt environmentally friendly habits and greener lifestyles.
  • "The Little Book of Green Nudges" is UNEP's first on behavioural science and nudge theory. It concentrates on human actions and how to change them. The book comprises of 40 ready-made nudges- simple measures that make adoption of green choices much easier. These measures can be deployed by the universities to encourage students and staff to embrace more sustainable behaviours.