Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 September 2020

2020-09-22

1. PM Modi laid foundation stone for nine highway projects in Bihar.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for nine highway projects in Bihar.
  • The projects included the following:
    • 39 km Six lane Patna Ring road
    • 4 lane Ara-Mohania section of NH 30
    • Bakhtiarpur – Rajauli section of NH 31
    • 4 lane Narenpur-Purnea section of NH 131A
  • He also inaugurated three mega bridges:
    • Four-lane bridge parallel to Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Patna
    • Four-lane bridge over Kosi River
    • Four-lane bridge parallel to Vikramshila Setu in Bhagalpur
  • A special package for infrastructure development of Bihar was declared by the Prime Minister in 2015.
  • PM also inaugurated the Optical Fibre internet services to provide digital connectivity to all villages in Bihar.

2. An MoU signed between FACT and ITI Kalamassery.

  • Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) and Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Kalamassery have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Under the MoU, training facilities will be shared along with academic interaction between ITI students and FACT employees, knowledge exchange, joint projects, participation in research, etc.
  • FACT is a PSU under the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers. It is headquartered in Kochi, Kerala. It is the first fertilizer manufacturing company in independent India.

(Source: PIB)

3. Election Commission of India organized International Webinar on challenges in conducting elections during COVID-19.

  • An international webinar on theme ‘‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19: Sharing Country Experiences’’ was hosted by India.
  • The webinar was organized by India on the completion of its one year of Chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
  • India took the chairmanship in 2019 for a two-year term, i.e., 2019-2021, during the fourth general assembly of A-WEB held in Bengaluru. India A-WEB Centre was also set up in New Delhi.
  • This webinar is the first webinar hosted by the India A-WEB centre.
  • Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB):
    • It is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) globally.
    • It was established in 2013.
    • Secretariat: Incheon, South Korea
    • Secretary-General: Jonghyun Choe
    • Current members: 115 EMBs
    • Current Chairman: Sunil Arora (CEC of India)

(Source: PIB)

 

4. 12 Opposition parties give notice for no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.

  • A notice for no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh was given by MPs from 12 opposition parties.
  • Harivansh Narayan Singh was recently re-elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He has been accused of violating parliamentary procedures to pass the farm bills quickly.
  • The Chairman of Rajya Sabha rejected the motion notice and suspended 8 MPs from different parties.
  • The no-confidence resolution passed for the removal of the Deputy Chairman is different from the no-confidence motion passed in the Lok Sabha against the Council of Ministers.
  • The Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha is elected from its members. He presides over the House in the absence of the Chairman.
  • As per Article 90 of the Constitution, the Deputy Chairman can be removed by a resolution passed by the majority of members of the Rajya Sabha. For moving such a resolution, 14 days’ advance notice shall be given.

5. First man to climb Mount Everest 10 times, Ang Rita Sherpa, passed away.

  • The first man to climb Mount Everest ten times, Ang Rita Sherpa, passed away at the age of 72 due to prolonged illness.
  • He was also known as ‘snow leopard’ due to his climbing skills.
  • He made all the ascents without bottled oxygen between 1983 and 1996.
  • Mt. Everest lies on the crest of the Great Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet autonomous region. It is the highest mountain in the world.

(Source: The Hindu)

6. Simona Halep wins Women’s singles title in Italian Open.

  • Simona Halep of Romania has clinched the women’s singles title in the Italian Open tennis after Karolina Pliskova retired halfway due to injuries.
  • World No.1 Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title by defeating Deigo Schwartzman of Argentina.
  • He won the fifth Italian Open to make Masters history. Now he has record 36 Masters 1000 titles.

(Source: News on AIR)

7. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2nd Amendment) Bill 2020 passed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2nd Amendment) Bill 2020 has been passed in Lok Sabha on 21 September and in Rajya Sabha on 19 September.
  • The bill replaces Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, which was issued on June 5, 2020.
  • It temporarily suspends initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process.
  • While replying to discussion over the bill, the Finance Minister talked about three important sections of IBC 2016 given below.
    • Section 7:  Under Section 7, a financial creditor is allowed to file for initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) against a corporate debtor.
    • Section 9: Under section 9, operational creditors can apply for insolvency.
    • Section 10: Under section 10, a corporate applicant can initiate insolvency proceedings.
  • Rajya Sabha also observed silence to respect a former Member Nazneen Farooqui, who recently died.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016:
    • It provides for the resolution of insolvency cases within 180 days.
    • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed on 1 August 2019.
    • It fixed a time-limit of 330 days for completion of the resolution process. 

8. A direct cargo ferry service started between India and Maldives.

  • A direct cargo ferry service was started between India and Maldives on 21 September.
  • The service is likely to increase trade between the two countries and reduce transportation time and cost.
  • In June 2019, PM Modi had first announced the ferry service during his visit to Maldives.
  • Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has e-flagged off the ferry service jointly with his Maldivian counterpart.
  • Shipping Corporation of India ship will operate the ferry service. It will have a capacity of 380 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
  • The ferry service will connect India’s Tuticorin and Cochin ports with Maldives’ Kulhudhuffushi and Male ports.   
  • India is the fourth largest trade partner of Maldives after China, UAE and Singapore.
  • Maldives is a country that is completely dependent on imports.
  • Maldives:
    • It is a small island nation in South Asia, located in the Arabian Sea.
    • It is located about 700 km from the mainland of the Asian continent to the southwest of Sri Lanka and India.
    • Its capital is Male and the currency is Maldivian rufiya.

9. Women officers selected as Observers in helicopter stream of Indian Navy.

  • For the first time in the Indian Naval history, two women officers have been selected to join as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians) in the helicopter stream.
  • They will be the first set of airborne combatants who will operate from warships.
  • These officers are Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Riti Singh.
  • Earlier, women’s entry was not allowed to the fixed-wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
  • The ceremony was presided over by Rear Admiral Antony George, Chief Staff Officer, who presented the awards and coveted wings to the graduating officers.
  • Indian Navy:
    • The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces. 
    • Admiral Karambir Singh is 24th Indian Navy Chief.
    • The Chief of the Naval Staff is the commander, the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy.

(Source: Hindustantimes)

10. Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources and Technology (O-SMART) Scheme of Ministry of Earth Sciences.

  • The ‘O-SMART’ Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The scheme is being implemented from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • ‘O-SMART’ Scheme Objective:
    • Its aim is to generate and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical environment in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
    • It will monitor levels of sea water pollutants for health assessment of coastal waters of India.
    • It will develop ocean observation systems for the acquisition of real-time data from the seas around India.
    • Its mission is to develop technologies generating freshwater and energy from the ocean, underwater vehicles and technologies and to carry out exploration of Polymetallic Nodules (MPN).
  • The Union Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan also informed about ITEWC is a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
  • Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC):
    • It was established at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) at Hyderabad in 2007.
    • It is providing tsunami services to 25 Indian Ocean Countries as part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UNESCO framework.
  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS):
    • It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
    • It was established in 1999.
    • It provides ocean information and advisories to various stakeholders in the Indian Ocean region.
    • It has established a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Strong Motion Accelerometers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands for fast and reliable estimation of the earthquake.

11. Lok Sabha passes National Forensic Science University Bill and Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020.

  • National Forensic Science University Bill 2020 and Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020 have been passed by Lok Sabha.
  • National Forensic Science University Bill 2020:
    • It will establish National Forensic Science University with the status of institute of national importance by upgrading the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar.
    • The University will promote studies and research in the field of forensic science, behavioural science, law, criminology and other allied areas.
  • Rashtriya Raksha University Bill:
    • It will establish the Rashtriya Raksha University in Gujarat as an Institute of National importance.
    • It will provide high standards of learning and a dedicated environment for advanced research and education and training in the domain of policing.
  • The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill were also passed by Lok Sabha.

 

 

 

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