Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 September 2020

2020-09-09

1. Inauguration of first World Solar Technology Summit.

  • The first World Solar Technology summit organized by ISA and FICCI has been inaugurated.
  • The summit aims to showcase the start of the art and next-gen solar technologies to the member countries. It also aims to bring different stakeholders to discuss the recent highlights of solar technologies.
  • While addressing the inaugural session, Indian PM informed that-
    • India has increased its installed renewable capacity by 2.5 times and solar installed capacity by > 13 times.
    • India ranks 4th in terms of renewable power.
    • India will achieve the target of 220 GW of non-fossil fuel-based power generations by 2022.
    • India has implemented schemes like KUSUM to replace diesel-based pumps with solar irrigation pumps.
    • India has also set up a Project Preparation Facility to develop bankable Solar Energy projects in the member countries of ISA with the help of EXIM Bank of India.
  • Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that five PSUs would join ISA’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as corporate partners. These PSUs are:
    • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
    • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
    • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
    • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
    • GAIL (India) Limited
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA):
    • It was launched on 30 November 2015 at CoP21 in Paris. India and France jointly launched the ISA.
    • It is an international intergovernmental organization.
    • ISA Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
    • Director-General: Mr. Upendra Tripathy

(Source: PIB)

2. Professor Govind Swarup passed away in Pune.

  • Professor Govind Swarup has passed away at the age of 91 in Pune.
  • He was born in 1929 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • He was referred to as the “Father of Indian Radio Astronomy”.
  • He was the founder and director of the TIFR-National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Pune.
  • He was an exceptional scientist who had contributed to fundamental developments in radio astronomy.
  • He also created two of the world’s largest radio telescopes in India- Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) and Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).
  • He received many awards like Padma Shri, the Herschel Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the URSI Dellinger Medal, and the Grote Reber Medal of Australia.

(Source: News on AIR)

 

3. 22 Bamboo clusters and logo of National Bamboo mission launched.

  • Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has launched 22 bamboo clusters in 9 states and released logo of National Bamboo mission.
  • 22 bamboo clusters has been launched in Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
  • The logo contest was won by Shri Sai Ram Goudi Edigi of Telengana from entries recieived on MyGov Platform.
  • The logo is a circle with its half part made up of an industrial wheel and half part made up of farmers. The circle has a bumboo culm in its centre. It is coloured green and yellow. The colors symbolize bamboo often termed as green gold.

Logo of National Bamboo mission (Source: PIB)

  • Other measures taken to support bamboo industry:
    • In 2017, government has amended Indian Forest Act 1927 and removed bamboo from the category of trees. So, bamboo can now be cultivated and bamboo grown outside forests doed not need felling and transit permissions.
    • National Bamboo Mission of 2006-07 was restructured. The restructured National Bamboo Mission was launched in 2018-2019.
    • In June 2020, government has increased customs duty on bamboo imports from 10% to 25% to ensure progress of domestic bamboo industry.
    • Farmer producer organisations (FPOs) have been formed by by Assam for raising bamboo plantations. 10,000 FPOs will be formed in next 5 years under recently approved scheme of  Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DACFW).
    • Bamboo Common Facility Centers (CFC) are also being established.

4. Department of Fertilizers and HURL finalize agreement for interest free loan.

  • The Department of Fertilizers and Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL) have finalized an agreement for interest free loan of 1257.82 crore to revive fertilizer projects at Sindri, Gorakhpur and Barauni.
  • The repayment of interest free loan would be done in 8 years starting from 2022-23.
  • With the help of loan, three plants of HURL at Gorakhpur (UP), Barauni (Bihar) and Sindri (Jharkhand) will start the production of neem coated urea by 2021.
  • In July 2016, CCEA has approved revival of Gorakhpur & Sindri units of Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and Barauni unit of Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HFCL).
  • HURL is a joint venture company between National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Coal India Limited (CIL), Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HFCL). It was formed in 2016.

5. $500 million loan signed by ADB and Government of India for Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor.

  • $500 million loan has been signed by Asian Development Bank and Government of India to build Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor.
  • The loan is first tranche (portion) of a $1 billion facility approved by ADB in August 2020.
  • Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor is first of the three rail corridors planned as part of NCR Regional Plan 2021 to connect Delhi with other nearby cities.
  • 82–km long corridor will connect Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to Modipuram in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Government has notified NCR Regional Plan 2021 in 2005 for the years from 2001 to 2021.
  • In November 2019, government has already started the process of preparing NCR Regional Plan 2041 by September 2021.
  • ADBs Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will provide $3 million grant to support various activities for women and differently abled such as their training and provision of cisual, hearing and mobility aids.
  • $2.89 million will be provided by ADB-administered Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund established in 2013 under Urban Financing Partnership Facility of ADB.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB):
    • It is a regional development bank established in 1966.
    • Members: 68 countries (49 members are from Asia pacific region)
    • It is headquartered in Mandaluyong, Philippines.
    • Masatsugu Asakawa is the current president of ADB. It has six Vice-Presidents.
    • Ashok Lavasa has recently become Vice-President of ADB by succeeding Diwakar Gupta.  
    • Achieving a Asia and Pacific region that is a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable and continuing efforts to eradicate extreme poverty is the motto of ADB.

6. Meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO to be attended by External Affairs Minister.

  • Meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO will be attended by External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar in Moscow.
  • As full member of SCO, India has so far attended two meetings of Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO. They were organized in Beijing in April 2018 and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan’s capital) in May 2019.
  • This is the third meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO being attended by India as full member of SCO.
  • During the meeting, preparations for coming SCO summit will be reviewed.
  • Dr Jaishankar will also take part in bilateral meeting with Russia and other countries.
  • Year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of India -Russia Strategic Partnership.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
    • Its creation was announced in 2001 by leaders of six nations.
    • Currently, it has eight members as India and Pakistan joined it in June, 2017.
    • Other six members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • It is headquartered in Beijing, China.

(Source: News on AIR)

7. CCEA approves monetization of assets of POWERGRID’s subsidiaries.

  • Monetization of assets of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has been approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
  • As per the approval granted, the assets will be monetized through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT).
  • The money earned from monetization of Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) assets is likely to be used for investment in transmission network expansion and other capital schemes of company.
  • Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) are mutual fund like instruments to facilitate investment in infrastructure sector. They are regulated by SEBI. 
  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID):
    • It is a Maharatna company.
    • It is owned by Government of India.
    • It is headquartered in Gurgaon.
    • Kandikuppa Sreekant is its Chairman & MD.

(Source: News on AIR)

8. Two new Centres for Skilling and Technical Support to be established by CIPET.

  • Two new Centres for Skilling and Technical Support will be established at Bhagalpur (Bihar) and  Varanasi (UP) by CIPET.
  • CIPET is having 43 operational centres and establishing 9 more centres.
  • CIPET also has 32 Centres for Skilling and Technical Support (CSTS).
  • CIPET has completed 50 years of its service. 
  • In May 2020, Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology was renamed as Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET).
  • CIPET comes under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Its head office is in Chennai.

(Source: News on AIR)

9. Neelakanta Bhanuprakash is changing ways of Mathematics teaching in schools.

  • Winner of first ever Gold Medal for India in the Mental Calculation World Championship, Neelakanta Bhanuprakash has said that ways of Mathematics teaching in schools should be changed.
  • In August 2020, Neelakanta Bhanuprakash had won first ever Gold Medal for India in the Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sport Olympiad in London.
  • He has become fastest human calculator of world. He has taken initiative, called Vison Math to spread love of maths among children.
  • He is from Hyderabad and aims to establish World’s 1st Brain Training Lab in Telangana.
  • He has also founded an educational start up named as Exploring Infinities.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo scores 100th international goal for Portugal.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 100th international goal for his country, Portugal.
  • He scored 100th gold in Nations League clash away to Sweden.
  • Iran's Ali Daei is the only male players who scored 100 goals or more in international soccer.
  • Ali Daei had scored 109 international goals. So, Ronaldo needs 9 more goals to reach Ali Daei’s record.
  • Ronaldo has scored his first senior goal for Portugal in a 2-1 loss to Greece at Euro 2004.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portugese footballer. He has scored most goals in the history of FIFA Club World Cup. He is also the player who score most international goals in a calendar year. He has won five Ballon d'Or awards.

(Source: News on AIR)

11. International Day to Protect Education from Attack: 9 September.

  • For the first time International Day to Protect Education from Attack is being celebrated on 9 September.
  • Theme: “Protect Education, Save a Generation”
  • In May 2020, United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution and proclaimed 9 September the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
  • According to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), there have been more than 11,000 attacks on education in 36 countries in last five years.
  • UNESCO:
    • It is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations that aims at promoting world peace through international cooperation in education, science and culture.
    • Established: 1945
    • Members: 193 countries
    • Its headquarters is located in Paris, France.
    • Director-General: Audrey Azoulay

12. Charu Sinha, first woman IG to lead CRPF in Kashmir.

  • Charu Sinha has become the first woman Inspector General (IG) to head Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) formation in Kashmir.
  • She is a 1996 batch IPS officer of Telangana cadre.
  • She has earlier headed the CRPF formation in Bihar (deployment of force in anti-naxal operations).
  • Before Charu Sinha, Sonali Mishra had served as the IG of BSF in Kashmir a few years ago.
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF):
    • It is one of the largest central armed police forces in India.
    • It functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • Headquarters: New Delhi
    • Establishement: 27 July 1939
    • Motto: Service and Loyalty

(Source: Indian Express)

 

 

 

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