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1. Import duty cut on crude and refined palm oil
- The government has cut import duty on crude and refined palm oil.
- The duty on refined palm oil has been reduced from 50% to 45% and on crude palm oil from 40% to 37.5%.
- The move has been taken under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and India- Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA).
- ASEAN- India FTA:
- ASEAN Free Trade Agreement is an agreement signed in 2003 between 10 ASEAN countries and India.
- The agreement includes the reduction in tariff barriers by ASEAN and India.
2. ISRO will establish 2nd launch port in Tamil Nadu for small satellite launch vehicles
- The 2nd launch port will be established by ISRO in Thootukodi in Tamil Nadu to launch small satellite launch vehicles.
- The 1st launch port is in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
- The ISRO chairman K. Sivan also informed that the Indian navigation system NAVIC would soon be operationalized.
- He also informed that the government had approved the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
- For India’s first manned mission, 4 persons have been selected who will go to Russia for training.
3. Successful missions of ISRO in 2019
- ISRO has launched around 13 successful missions including 6 launch vehicle missions and satellites.
- A total of 50 foreign satellites were launched on a commercial basis.
- PSLV C-44 has launched Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 from Sriharikota.
4. As a mega infrastructure push government released a 5-year plan of INR 102 lakh crore
- Giving a push to infrastructure development government has unveiled a 5-year plan of INR 102 lakh crore.
- There is an INR 25 lakh crore energy project, INR 20 lakh crore road projects and INR 14 lakh crore railway projects being planned.
- The information was given by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while releasing a report of Taskforce on National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for 2019-25.
5. Vinod Kumar reappointed as Chairman of Railway Board
- Vinod Kumar Yadav has been reappointed as chairman of Railway board for 1 year.
- The appointment was approved by the Appointment Committee on Cabinet.
- Appointment Committee on Cabinet:
- It is the committee that finalizes the appointment to some senior positions like chairman and member of Railway Board, Chiefs of three military services, RBI governor, etc.
- The committee is chaired by Prime Minister and have Union Home Minister onboard.
- They finalize the appointments being processed through the Establishment Officers' Division according to the Transaction of Business Rules 1961.
6. Palau bans ‘reef- toxic’ sunscreen
- Palau has become the first country to ban the sale or import of ‘reef- toxic’ sunscreen. Scientific studies have found that chemicals present in sunscreen are harmful to corals.
- After Palau established its first shark sanctuary in 2009, its marine sanctuary has also been opened along with the ban.
- The marine sanctuary has closed 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone to fishing, mining and shark finning.
- Palau is an island country in the West Pacific Ocean. The capitals of Palau are Ngerulmud, Melekeok.
- A lagoon in Palau's Rock Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
7. Umaro Sissoco Embalo won presidential election in Guinea- Bissau
- Umaro Sissoco Embalo, the opposition leader of Guinea Bissau, won the presidential elections gaining 53.55% of votes.
- He defeated Domingos Simoes Pereira, the head of the country's ruling party PAIGC.
- Guinea- Bissau is a tropical country in West Africa with its capital being Bissau.
8. MS Dhoni was chosen as captain of ESPN Cricinfo’s ODI and T20 teams of the past decade
- MS Dhoni has been selected as captain of ESPN CricInfo’s ODI and T20 teams of the past decade
- Virat Kohli was named as the leader in the test matches.
- From the women's side, former skipper Mithali Raj and fast bowler Jhulan Goswami have been named for the title.
- The criteria taken up by 23-member panel is a minimum of 50 tests or 6 active years in traditional matches and 75 ODI and 100 T20 for limited over’s teams.
9. Gujarat government established Akhil Bharatiya Gujarati Samaj Sankalan Samiti, with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani as chief patron
- Akhil Bharatiya Gujarati Samaj Sankalan Samiti has been formed by the Gujarat government with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani as chief patron and minister of Non- Resident Gujaratis (NRG) as the President.
- The Samiti aims to include Gujaratis living outside the state in the development process of the state.
- As informed by Minister of State of NRG Pradeepsinh Jadeja, the Samiti will meet twice in a year and will discuss the promotion of Gujarat’s heritage, art and culture.
- The members of Samiti can participate in various programs of the state. They can also contribute to relief programs in case of natural calamities.
- Various programs organized by Gujarat government are Rann Utsav, International Kite Festival, Saputara Monsoon Festival, Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
- It is the westernmost state of India sharing territorial and maritime boundaries with Pakistan.
- It was formed on May 1, 1950.
- The capital of Gujarat is Gandhinagar.
10. Pragati Maidan metro station renamed as Supreme Court Metro Station
- The naming committee of the Delhi government has decided to name Pragati Maidan metro station as Supreme Court Station.
- Makarba chowk and its flyover will be named after Kargil war martyr Captain Vikram Batra and Mehrauli- Badarpur road as Acharya Shri Mahapragya Marg.
11. India likely to become the world's 4th largest economy in 2026
- According to the UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)’s report titled 'World Economic League Table 2020,' India will surpass Germany to become the world's 4th largest economy by 2026.
- According to the report, India will become a $ 5 trillion economy by 2026 later than India's target of 2024.
- India in 2019, became 5th largest economy after overtaking France and U.K.
- The report indicates that in the next 15 years there will be a competition between Japan, Germany, and India to attain 3rd position.
- World Economic League Table- It is an annual table having economic data calculated by CEBR and jointly published by CEBR and global Construction Perspectives.
12. Election Commission launches PPRTMS
- Election Commission has launched an online system- Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS).
- It will allow political parties to track their applications (to contest elections). The status of the application can be obtained through SMS or email.
- The provisions of Section 29A under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 governs the registration of political parties.
- Election Commission:
- Election Commission is a constitutional body under Article 324 of the constitution.
- It is an administrative, legislative and quasi-judicial body that looks on the affairs of Parliamentary elections, state assembly elections, president and vice- president elections.
13. Annual report of UNICEF released
- According to the annual report by UNICEF, the number of countries experiencing conflicts has increased including the attacks on children. Since 2010 attack on children has increased threefold.
- The previous decade has been named as ‘Deadly Decade’.
- According to the report in 2018 around 24000 grave violations were recorded against children. The number has gone up to 1,70000 in 2019.
- The crimes include abductions, killing, sexual violence, maiming, child recruitment, denial of humanitarian access and attacks on schools and hospitals.
- United Nations Children’s Fund is a UN agency established in 1946 to provide humanitarian and developmental aid to children around the world.
- The headquarter of UNICEF is in New York, U.S.A.
14. Railway Protection Force renamed as Indian Railway Protection Police Force Service
- Railway Protection Force has been renamed as Railway Protection Police Force Service and has been kept categorized under Group A of central service.
- Indian Railways has increased the train fares by 1p per Km from January 1, 2020, for non- suburban and non- AC trains. For other trains, the hike is 2p per Km. The hike has been published by Indian Railway Conference Association
- Railway Protection Force:
- Railway Police was formed in 1854 and was given the legal status under Police Act 1861.
- It was established as RPF under Railway Protection Force Act 1957. The force has the task to ensure the protection of railway property and to protect against related crimes.
- It has the power to search, arrest, investigate and prosecute.
15. Data of Swachh Surevkshan League 2020 released
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has released the data of the Swachh Survekshan League 2020.
- In the category of cities with a population of over 10 lakh, Indore has topped followed by Bhopal and Surat.
- In the category of cities having a population between 1 lakh to 10 lakh, Jamshedpur has topped followed by New Delhi and Khargone.
- Indore is on the top for the last three years.
- The survey focused on ODF+, water+ and ODF++. Various indicators were wastewater treatment, faecal sludge management, etc.
Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs)
1. The government of India has cut the import duty on refined and crude palm oil from earlier 50% and 40% respectively to-
A. 45% and 37.5%
B. 45% and 35%
C. 42.5% and 37.5%
D. 40% and 30%
2. Which of the following is not one of the missions launched by ISRO in the year 2019?
3. The government has unveiled Rs 102 lakh crore five-year plan for which of the following sectors?
D. Skill Development
4. Who among the following has been appointed as the Chairman of the Railway Board?
A. Vinod Kumar Yadav
B. Ajay Tyagi
C. Atul Sobti
D. Shashank Manohar
5. Which of the following Pacific Island nation has banned ‘reef toxic’ sunscreen?
B. Solomon Islands
6. Who among the following has won recent presidential elections held in Guinea-Bissau?
A. Umaro Sissoco Embalo
B. Domingos Simoes Pereira
C. Jose Pedro Sambu
D. None of the above
7. Which Indian cricketer has been picked as the captain of ESPN Cricinfo’s ODI and Twenty20 teams of the decade?
A. Virat Kohli
B. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
C. Rohit Sharma
D. Kuldeep Yadav
8. The government of Gujarat state has created Akhil Bharatiya Gujarati Samaj Sankalan Samiti, what is the purpose of this initiative?
A. To work for the welfare of vulnerable people in the state
B. To include Gujarati living outside the state in the development process of the state
C. To bring back Gujarati’s living outside the state and country to Gujarat
D. To provide skill development to the youths living in the state
9. Which of the following Delhi Metro Station has been renamed as Supreme Court Metro Station?
A. Pragati Maidan
D. Laxmi Nagar
10. Election Commission of India has launched a system named PPRTMS. The purpose of this system is-
A. To link Aadhar and voter ids
B. To maintain a list of voters
C. To allow political parties to track their application
D. To provide the list of candidates contesting in an election
11. According to the UN Convention on Rights of Child, a child is defined as a person below ____ years of age.
12. According to the report released by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), India will become ____ largest economy in the world in 2026.
13. The Railway Ministry has renamed Railway Protection Force as-
A. Indian Paramilitary Railway Force
B. Central Railway Protection Force
C. Indian Railway Protection Force Service
D. Indian Government Railway Force
14. Which of the following cities has topped in the Swachh Sarvekshan League 2020 in the population between 1 lakh to 10 lakhs category?
C. New Delhi