Daily Current Affairs and GK | 2 and 3 August 2020


1. World Sanskrit Day: 3 August.

  • Every year World Sanskrit Day, also known as ‘Vishvasamskritadinam’, is celebrated on Shraavanapoornima. This year it is being celebrated on 3 August.
  • The day is celebrated to promote the revival of Sanskrit.
  • A first ever special program in Sanskrit titled “Bahujan Bhasa- Sanskrit Bhasha” was aired on All India Radio.
  • Sanskrit:
    • It is one of the most ancient languages and is mother of many other languages.
    • Many ancient text books like Vedas, Great Epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata), Upanishads, etc. were written in Sanskrit.
    • The only Sanskrit newspaper in the world is called ‘Sudharma’.
    • It is one of the 22 recognized languages mentioned in Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution. 

(Source: Ministry of Education)

2. Birth Anniversary of Pingali Venkayya: 2 August.

  • Freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya was born on 2 August 1876 in at Bhatlapenumarru, Madras Presidency.
  • He was the designer of the Indian National Flag.
  • A postage stamp was issued to commemorate him in 2009 and 2011.
  • Indian National Flag:
    • The National Flag of India has three horizontal rectangle filled with Saffron, white and green colour. A 24-spoke wheel is in navy blue color at the centre of the middle white rectangle.
    • The flag was adopted on 22 July 1947 by the Constituent Assembly.
    • The usage of flag is governed by the Flag Code of India, 2002.

(Source: News on AIR)

3. Government approved Khadi Agarbatti Atma Nirbhar Mission.

  • The Ministry of MSME has approved Khadi Atma Nirbhar Mission.
  • The program was proposed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
  • The mission aims at generating employment for unemployed and migrant workers in Agarbatti industry.
  • The program will be started as a pilot project.
  • Under the mission, Automatic agarbatti making machines and powder mixing machines will be given to the artisans through the Agarbatti manufacturers who will sign the agreement as business partners.
  • Only locally made machines will be procured by KVIC so that local production could be encouraged.
  • KVIC will give 25% subsidy on the cost of machines while rest of the 75% of the cost will be paid by the artisans in easy installments.

4. Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) moved towards its second phase.

  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) has moved towards the second phase i.e. ODF Plus, to ensure open defecation behaviors are maintained and solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible.
  • The second phase will continue from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission:
    • The mission was launched in 2014.
    • Under the mission, more than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed so far.
    • On 2 October 2019, the rural areas in all States have declared themselves Open Defection (ODF) Free.
    • Also, 4,324 Urban Local Bodies have been declared ODF free.

(Source: DD News)

5. ICCR organized International webinar on 'Lokmanya Tilak - Swaraj to Self-reliant India'.

  • Recently, a two-day international webinar on ‘Lokmanya Tilak- Swaraj to Self-reliant India’ was inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah.  
  • The webinar was organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
  • The webinar was held on the 100th death anniversary of freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak:
    • He was one of the extremist leader in the group ‘Lal Bal Pal’.
    • The British officials called him the Father of Indian Unrest
    • He was one of the main proponents of expanding the Swadesh and Boycott movement to every part of the country.
    • He gave the famous slogan-“Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”.
    • Celebration of Festivals like Shivaji Jayanti and Ganesh Utsav were started by him to connect the people with freedom movement.

(Source: News on AIR)

6. DCGI allows Serum Institute of India to conduct phase 2 and 3 human trials of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University. 

  • Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) has received permission from DCGI to conduct phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University.
  • The vaccine will be branded as Covishield in India.
  • The decision has been taken after considering the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee on COVID-19.
  • SII has partnered with AstraZeneca, which now has the license to manufacture Oxford’s vaccine.
  • The phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of this vaccine are going on in UK, phase 3 in Brazil and Phase 1 and 2 trials in South Africa.
  • Drug Controller General of India (DCGI):
    • It is a department under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.
    • It approves licenses of specified categories of drugs including blood and blood products, vaccines, sera, etc.
    • It is also responsible for setting the standards for manufacturing, import, sales and distribution of drugs in India.
    • Current DCGI: V G Somani

(Source: News on AIR)

7. WEE cohort presented awards to 11 Women Entrepreneurs.

  • 11 Women Entrepreneurs were awarded by the Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (WEE) cohort.
  • WEE cohort initiative is first of its kind that helps women of all ages to choose entrepreneurship as a viable career option.
  • The initiative aims to strengthen women’s ecosystem at IIT Delhi.
  • The initiative is supported and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Some of the awardees are Priyanka Prabhakar, Meghna Gandhi and Snehal Verma.

(Source: PIB)

8. Jaideep Bhatnagar takes over charge as DG of NSD of AIR.

  • Jaideep Bhatnagar has been appointed as the new Director General, News Services Division of All India Radio.
  • He replaced Ms. Ira Joshi who is now the Principal Director General, AIR News.
  • He is a 1986 batch Indian Information Service Officer.
  • Earlier, he had served in various positions in Prasar Bharati.

(Source: News on AIR)

9. Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan 2020-21 launched by Dr. Harshvardhan.

  • “Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan” 2020-21 has been launched by Health and Family Welfare Minister.
  • It is a national programme to popularize science among school children from class VI to XI.
  • This initiative is a platform to identify the bright minds with scientific aptitude.
  • Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan (VMM) is an initiative of Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar and NCERT.
  • VIBHA is a national movement for the promotion of Science and Technology among school students and masses.
  • Vigyan Prasar is a national institute under the Department of Science and Technology. It was established in 1989.

(Source: vvm.org)

10. Air Marhsal V R Chaudhari – new chief of IAF’s Western Air Command.

  • Air Marsha V R Chaudhari has taken over the charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air Command of Indian Air Force.
  • He replaced Air Marshal B Suresh.
  • In 1982, he was commissioned into the IAF as a fighter pilot.
  • He has experience of flying many fighter aircrafts like MiG-21, MiG-23 MF, MiG-29 and Su-30 MKI.
  • The headquarters of Western Air Command is located in New Delhi.

(Source: DD News)

11. First ever Vyapar Mala Express runs from Delhi to Tripura.

  • The Northern Railway has run first ever Vyapar Mala Express from New Delhi to Jirania in Tripura.
  • The train was loaded with wheat from Goniana station (Punjab) and Rice and Pulses from Delhi Kishan Ganj station.
  • This is first of its kind initiative of Northern Railways.
  • This initiative will help small traders by providing them cost-effective, faster and environmental safe mode of transport to move their cargo through railways.
  • Northern Railways:
    • It is one of the 18 railway zones in India.
    • It is the largest zone in terms of route kilometers. 
    • It was created in 1952 by merging Jodhpur Railway, Bikaner Railway, Eastern Punjab Railway and three divisions of the East Indian Railway.
    • Headquarters: New Delhi
    • It has five divisions- Ambala, Delhi, Ferozpur, Lucknow and Moradabad.
    • The current General Manager of Northern Railways is Rajiv Chaudhry.

(Source: Northern Railways)




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