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Monthly Current Affairs: September 2020 in English

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MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS

Monthly Current Affairs: September 2020 in English

 MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS SEPTEMBER 2020 in English

In this monthly current affairs section, we have covered entire important topics like Persons in News, Places in News, National Affairs, International Affairs, Sports Affairs, Schemes & Policies, Awards & Recognition, Appointments,  Books and Authors, Important Days and themes, Obituary, Ranking and Index, Conference and Summits, Agreements and MoUs, Defence, STATIC, etc of September 2020. These current affairs questions are most important for upcoming exams of SSC.

Persons in News

Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh has become India’s first woman fighter pilot to fly the Rafale aircraft 

  • She will soon join the Ambala-based No. 17 squadron, also known as “Golden Arrows.”
  • The officer, who is one of IAF’s 10 women fighter pilots, joined the air force in 2017. 
  • She was earlier fully operational on MiG 21 Bison.

1st Women Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

  • Usha Padhee, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1996 batch from Odisha Cadre became the first Women and the third IAS officer to be appointed as the Director General(DG) of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security
  • Bureau of Civil Aviation Security is a security regulator of the civil aviation industry in India under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. 
  • She succeeds Rakesh Asthana(IPS) who was appointed as the Director General of Border Security Force(BSF) on 17th August 2020.
  • She is currently serving as the joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

1st ever CEO of the restructured Indian Railway board

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the organisational restructuring of the Indian Railways, which includes the merger of eight Group A services. 
  • Vinod Kumar(VK) Yadav, the current chairman of the Railway Board is appointed as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO), which makes him the 1st ever to hold such a post in IR.  Along with the CEO post he also holds the chairman post.
  • The 8 Group A services will be consolidated into a central service called the Indian Railway Management Service. 
  • The Indian Railway Medical Service (IRMS) will be renamed the Indian Railway Health Service (IRHS).

Teenager Khushi Chindaliya from Surat, Gujarat, was recently appointed as the Regional Ambassador for India by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 

  • An avid nature lover and passionate environmentalist, she will work with the Tunza Eco-Generation on various environmental awareness programmes till February 2021
  • Chindaliya’s appointment as India’s green ambassador will allow her to raise awareness about the need to safeguard environmental treasures. 

In a first,two women officers have been selected to join as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the Indian Navy’s helicopter stream that would ultimately pave the way for women being posted in frontline warships.

  • Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would, in effect, be the first set of women airborne tacticians in India who would operate from the deck of warships.
  • Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
  • The two are a part of a group of 17 officers of the Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard, who were awarded ‘Wings’ on graduating as ‘Observers’ at a ceremony held at INS Garuda.

Time Magazine has released the TIME 100 Most Influential People List 2020.

  • Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi is the only politician on the list.
  • He has been named in this for the fourth time since coming in power in 2014.
  • The List has named people in five categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, Icons.
  • Professor Ravindra Gupta (Pioneer), is a Professor of Clinical Microbiology and has worked for the cure of HIV.
  • Ayushmann Khurrana (Artists).
  • Bilkis (Icons), the ‘Dadi from Shaheen Bagh’.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai is also on the list. 

Udit Singhal, an 18-year-old youngster from India has been named by the United Nations to the 2020 class of young leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Singhal has been named to the 2020 Class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  •  He is the founder of Glass2Sand, a zero-waste ecosystem that addresses the growing menace of glass waste in Delhi.

Former Prime Minister of India, H D Deve Gowda took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

  • This is the first time that the JD(S) leader has become a member of the Upper House since 1996.
  • Mr Deve Gowda was the 11th Prime Minister of India from 1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997.
  • He had also served as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been sworn-in as the President of the African Development Bank for a second term.

  • He has been re-elected to serve a second five-year term as President of the African Development Bank. 
  • He received the unanimous vote of all the Governors of the Bank on Thursday 27 August, the last day of the 2020 Annual Meetings.
  • A globally renowned development economist, World Food Prize Laureate and Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Adesina has distinguished himself in driving a bold agenda to reform the Bank and accelerate Africa’s development.
  • He was first elected as President of the Bank on May 28, 2015.

Kevin Pietersen a famous cricketer has collaborated with National Geographic for a document Web series “Save This Rhino: India” for creating awareness to protect One-horned Rhinos in India.

  • One-horned Rhinos is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • Kaziranga National Park in Assam is famous for one-horned Rhinos.
  • India Rhino Vision 2020 is launched by the Assam government in partnership with International Rhino Foundation, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
  • It aims to attain 3000 population of one-horned Rhino in Assam by 2020.
  • Every year 22 September is celebrated as World Rhino Day.

PLACES IN NEWS

1st Fully Digital Economy district of Tamil Nadu 

  • Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, has been selected by the Central Government as the state's first Fully Digital Economy district.
  • which houses a large number of small and medium enterprises, especially in the fire crackers and allied sectors, 
  •  All industrial units and commercial establishments in the district are at present implementing various forms of cashless transactions. 
  • These include widespread use of ATM debit cards, increased usage of internet banking, widespread use of QR codes etc.

The Union government has approved renaming the Hubballi railway station after Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has signified approval/no objection for proposal forwarded by Government of Karnataka to the proposed change of name. Government of Karnataka shall formally issue Gazette for the same and with effect from then name change will be done.
  • Karnataka’s Hubballi railway station will get the world’s longest railway platform with dimensions of 1,400 metres length and 10 metres width 
  • While the existing platform is 550-metres long, it will be extended to 1,400 metres in a year.

Indira Gandhi International airport is the first in the country to have a private jet terminal. 

  • It was launched by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, the general aviation terminal can cater to up to 150 private jet movements a day. 
  • The newly developed apron is spread over an 8 lakh square feet area with 57 parking bays. 
  • The general aviation terminal has been built to support movement and processing of passengers flying through chartered flights from IGI airport.
  • The project was planned in 2009.

India’s first Coast Guard academy will be established at Mangalore, Karnataka.

  • Around 158 acres Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board land has been taken over for setting up ICG Academy
  • The academy was initially supposed to be set up at Azhikkal in Kannur, Kerala, and in May 2011, the then defence minister A K Antony had even laid the foundation stone for the project. 
  • However, the ministry of environment and forest refused clearance to the project as it came with CRZ-1 (A) area where no construction is allowed. 
  • As no progress was made until last year, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her former capacity as defence minister, decided to move the project to Karnataka.

National Affairs

India has been elected as a member of the United Nations Commission on Status of Women, a body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

  • India will be a member of the United Nations Commission on Status of Women for four years, 2021 to ‘25.
  • India, Afghanistan and China had contested the elections to the Commission on Status of Women. Even as India and Afghanistan won the ballot among the 54 members, China could not cross the half-way mark.
  • The Economic and Social Council is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. 

The top administrators’ body, the Indian Civil & Administrative Services (Central) Association was renamed as IAS Association

  • The body with consensus cleared the proposal to drop the reference to the ‘colonial-era’ ICS (Indian Civil Services) -- for the association of IAS officers highlights Indian ethos.
  • The new name was unanimously cleared during the association's Annual General Body Meeting
  • The new name -- IAS Association -- also highlights the Indian ethos
  • The association’s AGM also picked the motto ‘Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam’ (Perfection in action is Yogah) for the top administrators.

India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment, DCOC/JA, as Observer. 

  • DCOC/JA is a grouping on maritime matters comprising 18 member states adjoining the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the East Coast of Africa and Island countries in the Indian Ocean Region. 
  • India has joined Japan, Norway, the UK and the US as Observers to the DCOC/JA.
  • The DCOC, established in January 2009, is aimed at repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean Region, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has launched the Atma Nirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges. 

  • The programme will spur applied research and innovation in Indian MSMEs and startups. 
  • The initiative will help identify and promote innovations necessary for boosting the MSME sector.
  • The programme will be driven by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), four ministries including Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Food Processing Industries; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with associated industries to facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems.

The Union Home Ministry has granted the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar. 

  • It will now enable the Golden Temple to receive foreign donations. 
  • The foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for providing financial and medical assistance to the needy. 
  • It can also be used to organise langar which is a free community kitchen.

Official language of Jammu and Kashmir

  • The Union Cabinet has approved J&K official languages Bill 2020. 
  • According to the J&K official languages Bill 2020, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi along with Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The J&K official languages Bill 2020 will be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. 
  • This bill will include Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages of the Union Territory

Pang Lhabsol- festival 

  • Pang Lhabsol, a festival of cultural heritage and historical importance is one of the most historically and culturally significant festivals celebrated annually by Sikkim people. 
  • This festival is celebrated only in this state. It commemorates the blessing of Mount Khangchendzonga as the guardian deity of Sikkim

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the historic Kosi Rail Mega Bridge in Bihar through video conference 

  • Inaugurated recently in Bihar.
  • Sanctioned by the Centre during 2003-04.
  • Connects Nirmali and Saraigarh districts of Bihar.
  • Provides a shorter route to the Northeast.
  • The bridge is of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.
  • Prime Minister also inaugurated other rail projects which include a new railway bridge on the Kiul River, two new railway lines, five electrification projects, one electric locomotive shed at Barauni and a third line project between Barh-Bakhtiyarpur 

Indian Railways has launched the first privately operated RO-RO freight train

First ever RORO service of South Western Railway from Nelamangala (near Bangalore, Karnataka) to Bale (near Solapur,Maharashtra) has been started.

  • This shall be the only privately operated RORO train services on Indian Railways.
  • Roll On Roll Off (RORO) is a concept of carrying road vehicles loaded with various commodities, on open flat railway wagons.
  • In April, the railway board approved the proposal to launch the RO-RO service — which allows goods-laden trucks to be loaded onto railway wagons — on a trial basis. Each train can carry 30 to 45 trucks.

The government has unveiled the first look of India’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train which can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour and whose design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple.

  • Once in operation, it will run on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor and reduce travel time between the two cities to about an hour. 
  • The trains might also feature a business class.
  • The RRTS trains, with a stainless steel outer body, will be lightweight and fully air-conditioned.

South India’s first Kisan rail

  • Chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy flagged off South India’s first Kisan rail. 
  • The one-of-its-kind train will be particularly helpful for farmers from Rayalaseema region by transporting their produce from Anantapur to New Delhi. 
  • The virtual flag-off was also attended by Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
  • “About 312 metric tonnes of horticulture produce is being harvested in the state in 17.42 lakh hectares. Nearly 15.6 percent of fruit production in the country is done in AP,” the CM noted.
  • Though Andhra Pradesh is called the ‘fruit capital of south India’, it was difficult to tap outside markets owing to transportation and other issues.

India's first 'Kisan Rail' will run between Maharashtra and Bihar 

Former minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal tendered her resignation from the Cabinet  in protest of legislation seeking to liberalise agricultural markets.

  • President of India Ram Nath Kovind has accepted minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation from the Union Cabinet and directed that Narendra Singh Tomar be assigned the additional charge of the ministry.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa launched the “Arthika Spandana” programme of disbursing loans to the tune of 39,300 crore through various cooperative institutions.

  • Under this scheme, 15,300 crore would be disbursed to the agriculture sector while a sum of Rs.24,000 crore would be earmarked for the non-agricultural sector.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced to set up the country’s “biggest” film city in the state’s Gautam Buddh Nagar

  • The CM, announced to set up the biggest and most beautiful film city of the country in Gautam Buddh Nagar. 
  • On builder-buyer conflict in Noida and Greater Noida, the CM asked to ensure the protection of consumers’ rights by all means.
  • The Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System and the Inner Ring Road in Meerut will ease the traffic. 

The first ever Cargo Ferry Service between India and the Maldives was jointly launched.

  • It has opened a new chapter in connectivity initiatives in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Aishath Nahula, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of the Maldives in a virtual ceremony.
  • The ceremony was also attended by representatives from Tuticorin and Cochin ports, as well as officials from the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) and the Foreign Ministry of Maldives.
  • The Cargo Ferry Vessel MCP Linz operated by the Shipping Corporation of India will connect Tuticorin and Cochin ports in India with Kulhudhuffushi and Male ports in the Maldives.

In Madhya Pradesh, Garib Kalyan Week is being organized from 16th  to 23rd September to mark the Birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

  • On the fourth day of the week, ‘Vanadhikar Diwas' was celebrated in the State.
  • On the 'Vanadhikar Diwas’, more than 23,000 forest rights pattas were distributed in 47 districts of the State. 
  • The State-level programme was held at Tribal Museum, Bhopal.

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha has launched the National Generic Document Registration System for the union territory.

  • The system was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to address the diversity and variations that prevails across the states on account of formats, languages, processes and formulae.
  • The software enables “anywhere access” to information and data to both the Enforcement Agencies and to the common man. 
  • The system has so far been adopted in three states namely Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. 

National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has speeded up the detailed project report work on Shinkun La Tunnel.

  • The tunnel is 13.5 Km long.
  • The tunnel connects the Union Territory of Ladakh and tribal Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • On completion of this tunnel, the Manali – Kargil highway will remain open throughout the year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated six mega projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission.

  • These projects include construction of Sewage Treatment Plants in Haridwar and Rishikesh, Chandreshwar Nagar, Chorpani and Badrinath.
  • The first museum on Ganga, Ganga Avalokan, located at Chandi Ghat, Haridwar, has also been inaugurated that will showcase the culture, biodiversity and rejuvenation activities done in Ganga river.
  • He will also launch a book titled ‘Rowing down the Ganges’ that conceptualizes the story of the Ganga.
  • The book has been co-published by National Mission for Clean Ganga & Wildlife Institute of India.
  • PM Modi will also launch the logo of Jal Jeevan Mission and ‘Margdarshika’ for Gram Panchayats and ‘Paani Samitis’ under Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • Namami Gange Mission is a flagship program of the Government of India launched in 2014.
  • It is an umbrella program that aims to abate pollution, conserve and rejuvenate Ganga.
  • It is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) system for J&K Administrative Service officers

  • Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha launched the Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) system for J&K Administrative Service officers
  • The Performance Appraisal Reports of AIS officers are submitted on the SPARROW portal. On the same analogy, the Government of J&K has decided to switch over from manual to online generation and recording of Annual Performance Reports in respect of members of J&K Administrative Service on this system.
  • The Project is being implemented by J&K e-Governance Agency, Information Technology Department in collaboration with National Informatics Centre and the General Administration Department.
  • The Sparrow System will not only overcome the delay in the processing of the manual recording of APRs but will also facilitate the electronic filing through a user-friendly interface – anywhere,  anytime. 

 Smart Ration Card Scheme

  • Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched the Smart Ration Card Scheme to cover 1.41 crore beneficiaries across the state. 
  • Besides, he also announced a separate state-funded scheme to provide subsidized rations to the nine lakh beneficiaries not covered under the National Food Security Act. 
  • The total number of beneficiaries in the state will go up to 1.50 crore.
  • The Chief Minister stated, the scheme would help to curb corruption and give freedom to the beneficiaries to buy entitled ration quota from any depot in the state.

COVID-19 Vijay Rath 

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has flagged off COVID-19 Vijay Rath through video conferencing.
  • Covid19 Vijay Raths were flagged off from five districts of the state simultaneously.
  • These Raths will help create public awareness in the fight against the Coronavirus.
  • The Covid19 Vijay Raths have been flagged off from Ahmedabad, Surat, Junagadh, Kutch and Banaskantha districts simultaneously.
  • After covering the five districts, it will cover about 90 talukas in 33 districts of the state in the next 44 days
  • This awareness campaign has been organized by Ahmedabad Press Information Bureau, Regional Outreach Bureau-ROB and UNICEF.

1st ever Cannabis Medicine project

  • The first ever Cannabis Medicine project will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir in collaboration with Canada.
  • This will be the first foreign investment in the Union Territory.
  • The project will be set up at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Jammu and Kashmir will be the first in the country to develop medicines from the cannabis plant.
  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report, World Drug Report says that around 2.83% of Indians of age 10-75 years use Cannabis products. 
  • Also, the retail price of Cannabis in India is 0.10 USD per gram. This is the lowest of any country in the world.
  • Alcohol is the most abused substance in India

New logo for the National Bamboo Mission

  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated  22 bamboo clusters in nine states by virtual mode. These States are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka. A logo for the National Bamboo Mission was also released.
  • The Agriculture Minister stressed that the Government’s goal in the bamboo sector is being achieved with the concerted efforts of all stakeholders of the Bamboo Mission. 
  • The restructured National Bamboo Mission was adopted in 2018-19. 

Shikshak Parv on 10th and 11th September, 2020 

  • The Ministry of Education is organising a two-day conclave on School Education in the 21st Century under Shikshak Parv on 10th and 11th September, 2020 through online medium. 
  • National Awardee teachers and other creative teachers will be a part of this conclave. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address the conclave on 11th September, 2020. 
  • Earlier Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also delivered the inaugural address at the ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ on 7th August 2020 through video conference.
  • Shikshak Parv is being celebrated from 8th September- 25th September, 2020 to felicitate the Teachers and to take New Education Policy 2020 forward. 

The ‘Poshan Sarkar’ programme is being started to ensure participation and leadership of local bodies-Gram Panchayats and Urban Bodies in Madhya Pradesh

  • The main objective of the Poshan Sarkar programme is to eliminate malnutrition by helping the Gram Panchayat and the Urban Bodies in the nutrition campaign. 
  • Various activities will be organized under this. Under the programme, nutrition resolution will be passed in all Gram Panchayats/ Nagar Panchayats /Urban Bodies.

International Affairs

Japan’s new Prime Minister 

  • Japan's ruling party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has elected Yoshihide Suga as its leader to succeed Shinzo Abe.
  • Shinzo Abe had resigned due to health problems.
  • Yoshihide Suga will be the new Prime Minister of Japan. He is currently the chief Cabinet secretary of Abe's government.
  • PM is elected from among Diet members.Japanese parliament is known with the name of Diet.
  •  As per the final count, Mr. Suga had secured 377 votes of a total of 534 votes. 
  • Yoshihide Suga will be replacing the long-serving Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who had resigned in August 2020 due to health problems.

Mustapha Adib -named as the new Prime Minister

  • Lebanon designated its ambassador to Germany Mustapha Adib as the Country's new prime minister 
  • He has served as Lebanese ambassador in Berlin since 2013. 

Mali’s former defence minister, Bah Ndaw, has been named as president of the country’s new transition government.

  • Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) which overthrew Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was appointed vice president.
  • The transitional government is to be inaugurated on September 25.
  • According to a plan backed by the military leaders, the new president is meant to lead the country for several months before staging elections and returning Mali to civilian rule

Mali's transitional President appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane as the Interim Prime Minister. 

  • The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. 
  • ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.
  • The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.
  • Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure.

Political newcomer Mohamed Hussein Roble has become Somalia's Prime minister after getting unanimous approval from lawmakers. 

  • Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was in attendance when all 215 members of parliament cast their votes in favor of his appointee.  
  • Roble is promising to create an effective government that addresses some of the key issues facing the country, including having fair presidential and parliamentary elections. 
  • Roble's predecessor, Hassan Ali Khaire, was ousted by parliament in July in a no confidence vote tied directly to his failure to present a roadmap to holding democratic elections due before February 2021

Germany has joined the Indo-Pacific club.

  • The move is aimed at securing the trade routes from aggressive China. 
  • Germany has drafted a 40-page guidelines as it formally adopts a strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The move makes it the second European nation after France to formally adopt a strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The strategy is designed to allow Germany to make an active contribution to shaping the international order in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The move by Germany augurs well for the Quad which is constituted by the United States, Japan, Australia, and India

1st World War II Heritage City

  • US President Donald Trump announced Wilmington in southern US state North Carolina as the first World War II Heritage City at a ceremony held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
  • During the war, Wilmington was the site of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which built 243 ships in five years as part of the federal government's emergency shipbuilding program
  • The president signed legislation last year directing the secretary of the interior to each year designate at least one city as an American World War II Heritage City based on contributions made to secure victory in the war.

Saudi Arabia chaired the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting

Saudi Arabia chaired the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting which was held in the virtual mode. 

  • External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar represented India in the virtual meeting that was convened in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 
  • During the meeting, India proposed the setting up of voluntary ‘G20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’.
  • The participants deliberated on strengthening international cooperation across borders amid COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Historic Abraham Accord

  • United States President Donald Trump has hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the signing of the historic Abraham Accord, which is the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
  • The UAE was represented by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain by Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.
  • The Arab Accord -- essentially bilateral agreements with Israel 
  • There were only two peace deals between Israel and the Arab States in more than a quarter of a century.
  • Egypt was the first Arab State to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979.
  • Jordan signed a peace pact in 1994.

Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its  first  woman chief executive 

  • She  became the  first   woman to lead a giant Wall Street bank 
  • She will take over the top job in February, replacing Michael Corbat who will retire.
  • Fraser, who has served as president and CEO of global consumer banking since 2019, will join the board of directors immediately
  • Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation headquartered in New York City

The first India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held virtually. 

  • The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Secretary-General, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs François Delattre, and Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson.
  •  The focus of the dialogue was on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The outcome oriented meeting was held with the objective of building on the strong bilateral relations that the three countries share with each other.
  •  The three sides agreed to hold the dialogue on an annual basis.
  • During the dialogue, the three sides discussed economic and geostrategic challenges and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic responses to it. 

Bangladesh has started the  “Asol Chini” campaign to curb fake news

  • In order to keep a check on rumors and fake news information which spreads like fire in the jungle on social media platforms, the government of Bangladesh has launched a special campaign called, “Asol Chini” when translated in English it is called “Real Sugar”.
  • While addressing the campaign the minister also mentioned about a digital platform called Durbar. Durbar has been developed to register the names of two ambassadors from each union, districts and wards. 
  • These ambassadors will be responsible for creating awareness among the people and the danger involved with such miscreant activities.
  • The Minister also provided two laptops to Tuba and Mahir; the daughter of slain Taslima Begum Renu who was mercilessly beaten to death due to rumor last year.

Mexico has become the first country in the world to issue a sovereign bond linked to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. 

  • It has raised EUR 750 million ($890 million) by such bonds. 
  • The SDG bond will mature in September 2027 and offers a yield to maturity rate of 1.603% and a coupon rate of 1.350%. 
  • This new bond was issued under Mexico’s new “SDG Sovereign Bond Framework,” which was released in partnership with French investment bank Natixis.

UNEP has recently launched “The Little Book of Green Nudges”

  • UNEP has recently launched “The Little Book of Green Nudges”
  • It  is a quick guide to reducing your campus' environmental impact through behavioural change in the form of a concise and user-friendly publication.
  • It summarises the evidence around what nudges work best while seeking to encourage more sustainable practices among students and staff across several behavioural categories. 
  • It also provides simple guidance on how to implement and evaluate behavioural interventions in a variety of contexts.

Sports Affairs 

US Open Tennis

Men's Singles:: Dominic Thiem (Austria) defeated Alexander Zverev 

Women's Singles:: Japan's Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka 

Men’s Doubles::  Mate Pavic (Croatia) and Bruno Soares (Brazil)

Women’s Doubles:: Laura Siegemund (Germany) and Vera Zvonareva (Russia)

  • It was the first Grand Slam title of Dominic Thiem. He is also the first player to capture a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at 2004 French Open.
  • Naomi Osaka has become the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles (First two are:: 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open) and also moved up to number 3 in the world rankings.

1st Indian to win a singles match at the US Open in seven years

  • India's Sumit Nagal defeated US' Bradley Klahn to enter the second round of the US Open tennis championship.
  • He became the first Indian since Somdev Devvarman (2013 US Open) to win a match in the main draw of a Grand Slam.
  • He faced second seed Dominic Thiem. 

Italian Open 

Men's Singles:: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) defeated Diego Schwartzman 

Women's Singles  :: Romania’s Simona Halep defeated Karolína Plíšková

Men’s Doubles:: Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos

Women’s Doubles:: Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strýcová

  • Novak Djokovic has won his fifth  Italian Open title
  • Simona Halep lifted the title as Czech player Karolína Pliskova retired half way following injury in the finals.
  • The Italian Open 2020 was originally scheduled for 11-17 May 2020 but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was rescheduled to 14-21 September 2020.

FIDE Chess Olympiad: Joint winners-India and Russia

  • India and Russia were announced as joint winners of the FIDE Chess Olympiad. 
  • The two finalists were declared joint winners by the world chess governing body FIDE after at least two games in the second match were affected by internet connectivity issues.
  • The olympiad was conducted online for the first time. 
  • Originally, Russia were declared as the winners, but India filed an appeal and after investigation, both India and Russia were announced as joint winners.
  • This was the first time that India reached the finals of the FIDE Chess Olympiad. 

1st Divyang -awarded with the Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award. 

  • Para-swimmer Satyendra Singh Lohia of Madhya Pradesh is the first Divyang Indian sportsperson of the country, who has been awarded with the Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award. 
  • He is also the first Asian Divyang swimmer to cross the 42-kilometer Catalina Channel in the US in just 11 hours 34 minutes.
  • Apart from Mr Lohia, Malkhamb trainer Yogesh Malaviya of MP has been awarded the Dronacharya Award. 
  • Para-swimmer Satyendra Singh was also conferred with the Best Sportsperson National Award by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on World Divyanga Day. 

Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020

  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) has won the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020 in Belgium.
  • This was his 5th win of the season. 
  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) at third place.

Tuscan Grand Prix -2020::Lewis Hamilton has won the title of  Tuscan Grand Prix -2020 

  • With this victory, he is just one title win behind Michael Schumacher's record.
  • Red Bull driver Alexander Albon finished third, 
  • It was his first podium place of his career.

1st player from the United States to join the Indian Premier League 

Fast bowler Ali Khan has become the first player from the United States to join the Indian Premier League after being included in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad.

  • Khan comes into the IPL after winning the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with the Trinbago Knight Riders -- run by the same parent company as the Kolkata Knight Riders -- who won all 12 matches to seal the title.

Poonam Khatri crowned Wushu World Championship

  • Poonam Khatri, who won a silver medal at the Wushu World Championship, is now being upgraded to a gold medal. 
  • Her medal got upgraded after Iran’s Maryam Hashemi failed her dope test.
  • Maryam won the gold medal in the Women’s Sanda event at this Championship last year in October.
  • She defeated Poonam in the 75 kg category in the final which was held in China.
  • Poonam is now the third Indian to win a gold in Wushu World Championship after Pooja Kadiyan (2017) and Praveen 

Neetu David as the chairman of the women’s national selection panel. 

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named Neetu David as the chairman of the women’s national selection panel. 
  • She will be joined by four other former India internationals - Arati Vaidya, Renu Margrate, Venkatacher Kalpana and Mithu Mukherjee.
  • The applications were invited in January this year after all the members of the previous committee - headed by Hemalatha Kala - completed their terms.
  •  However, the pandemic delayed the entire selection process.

Formula One Italian Grand Prix 2020

  • Pierre Gasly has won the Formula One Italian Grand Prix 2020 held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy. 
  • This is his first Grand Prix win. 
  • Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren, Spain) came second followed by Lance Stroll (Racing Point, Canada) in third place. 
  • Lewis Hamilton ended in 7th place after he earned a 10-second stop and go penalty.

Formula One Russian Grand Prix 2020

  • Lewis Hamilton's quest for the all-time record of Formula 1 wins was put on hold when he was hit with penalties at the Russian Grand Prix.
  • Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas dominated after the world champion was given a 10-second penalty for doing two illegal practice starts.

Former India cricketer Suresh Raina will set up cricket schools in Jammu and Kashmir to train aspiring cricketers, particularly youngsters from remote areas of the union territory, 

  • On the request of the Lt Governor, he agreed to set up five schools in Kashmir division and an equal number in Jammu division to train aspiring cricketers.

Ashleigh Barty has won Australia’s Brookwater Golf Club women’s championship

  • Australian professional tennis player Ashleigh Barty has won Australia’s Brookwater Golf Club women’s championship
  • She is ranked No. 1 in the world in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
  • She has won eight singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including one Grand Slam singles title at 2019 French Open
  • She had withdrawn from participating in US Open and French Open due to COVID-19
  • She also played for Australian International Women’s Cricket Team.

First anniversary of Fit India Movement

  • Age Appropriate Fitness Protocols have been launched by PM Modi on the first anniversary of Fit India Movement.
  • Age Appropriate Fitness Protocols have been released by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Ministry of Health together for three age groups. They are 5 – 18, 18 – 65 and above 65.
  • The Fit India Dialogue event was organized and PM Modi talked with sportspersons, fitness experts and others during the dialogue
  • He talked with Virat Kohli, Ironman Triathlon winner Milind Soman, Paralympian gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia, nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar and Afshan Ashiq, a woman footballer from J&K.
  • Afshan is now the captain of Kashmir's women's football team. She coaches youngsters who aspire to become professional footballers. She represented FC Kolhapur City in the 2019 Indian Women's League football competition.
  • She was clicked pelting stones at the security forces in Srinagar, three years ago.

SCHEMES & POLICIES 

Major Dhyan Chand Vijaypath Yojana

  • Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya launched ‘Major Dhyan Chand Vijaypath Yojana’ scheme under which 19 International Players will get road connectivity to their homes.
  • The initial list includes 19 International Players from the state, and later on more players are expected to be added to the list.
  • The list includes Indian Cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Mohammad Kaif.
  • A road will be named after Late Cricketer and Former Cabinet Minister Chetan Chauhan.

‘Moksha Kalash Yojana-2020

  • The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot has approved the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation’s scheme called ‘Moksha Kalash Yojana-2020’.
  • This Moksha Kalash Yojana aims to allow free bus travel to two members of the family of the deceased to immerse ashes of their loved ones in the Ganga in Haridwar.
  • The state road transport corporation would be the nodal agency to run the scheme and the expenses would be borne by the Devasthan Department.
  • Passengers will be required to register for availing the facility by providing details including about the dead person.

Odisha government has launched a statewide welfare scheme “GARIMA” for sanitation workers to ensure their safety and dignity.

  • The ‘Garima’ scheme will institutionalise and regulate core sanitation services to provide social security and financial benefits to the sanitation workers and their families.
  • The scheme aims to promote livelihoods, security and social dignity of sanitation workers through targeted measures.

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar ( PMSBHG ) - Saubhagya Yojana 

  • Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar ( PMSBHG ) - Saubhagya Yojana has complete 3 years on Sept 25, which was launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2017, on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
  •  It was aimed at achieving electrification of all willing houses of rural as well as urban regions of the country. 
  • The project was initiated with an estimated cost of Rs 16,320 crore.
  • The scheme has provided free electricity connections to the eligible households.

Meghalaya government launched Piggery Mission with an outlay of Rs 200 Crore. 

  • The mission will reduce the annual import of pork worth Rs 150 Crore.
  • Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma has launched the biggest piggery project in India for Meghalaya in presence of Union Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhury at National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) Hqs in New Delhi
  • The Piggery Mission has been launched with a focus on augmenting farmer income and attaining self-sufficiency in food and nutrition security.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha has announced a scheme to provide universal health insurance to all residents of the Union Territory. 

  • The scheme will provide health insurance cover free of cost to all residents and shall include the serving and retired employees and their families as well.
  • The government has approved an important public health benefit proposal which is probably the first of its kind in the entire country. 
  • Jammu and Kashmir Health Scheme will provide universal health coverage to nearly 70 lakh residents of the Union Territory who are not covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  •  The LG invited suggestions from the public for naming the J&K Health Scheme.

West Bengal -After the Kanyashree scheme, another West Bengal government project has received a global prize.

  •  The World Summit on the Information Society has handed over the winner prize 2020 to the state government for the Sabuj Sathi project through a virtual ceremony.
  • Sabuj Sathi had contested with 800 projects from across the globe to become the “winner” under the e-government category.
  • The project is the brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 
  • Started in 2015, bicycles are given to students of state-run, state-sponsored, aided schools and madrasas studying between classes 9 and 12 in a bid to reduce the issue of dropping out of school, especially in rural Bengal and also to ensure they continue school education till at least class 12. 
  • According to the state government, it has so far distributed cycles among 85 lakh students at an estimated cost of over Rs 2,700 crore.

Assam recently relaunched “SVAYEM” scheme for youth

  • The Assam government re-launched a scheme to provide self-employment to around 2 lakh youths of the state. Known as Swami Vivekananda Assam Youth Empowerment (SVAYEM), it would provide 50 thousand rupees each as seed money to selected youths to start business ventures.
  • Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the government is  launching the redesigned SVAYEM with a budget of 1000 crore which will be spent in the next three months without any banking linkage.
  • He said that the 2 lakh beneficiaries would have to be part of self-help groups, joint liability groups.
  • Those seeking to avail benefits of the scheme will be able to register themselves at a new portal which will be launched on September 16.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • Minister Narendra Modi has launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana. 
  • Along with the scheme, the PM will also launch e-Gopala application.
  • The scheme focuses on sustainable development of fisheries in India. It is to be implemented between 2020-21 and 2024-25.
  • The funds allocated to fisheries under the scheme is Rs 20,050 crores. This is the highest ever allocated to that of the fisheries sector.
  • The scheme aims to enhance fish production to 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25.
  • It will generate 55 lakhs of direct and indirect employment in the fisheries sector.

Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Scheme

  • Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Scheme to provide meals at a subsidised rate to underprivileged people was re-introduced in Madhya Pradesh. 
  • Now the rate per thali has been increased to Rs 10 from Rs 5
  • The decision was taken in the fifth virtual cabinet meeting.
  • The scheme, which was launched in 2017 in 49 districts of the state in the name of BJP ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, had been discontinued by the previous Congress government in May 2019. 
  • Then chief minister Kamal Nath had announced to introduce Indira Thali scheme to provide food to poor people at a subsidised rate but the scheme couldn’t be implemented.
  • The initiative replicated the state-run Amma canteens, started by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, to provide food to the poor at low prices.

Maharashtra launched a new road accident insurance scheme named after Balasaheb Thackeray

Maharashtra state government launched a new road accident insurance scheme named after late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray, to provide timely treatment to victims that could help to reduce the fatality rate.

  • Under the Balasaheb Thackeray Accidental Insurance Scheme, an accident victim will be provided treatment in nearby hospitals in the first 72 hours of the incident.
  • Treatment up to Rs 30,000 will be provided free of charge from about 74 treatment procedures, including treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) and ward, fractures as well as meals in the hospital.
  • An accident victim of any state or the country can avail the benefits of the scheme if he or she meets with a road accident within Maharashtra

Ghar tak Fiber scheme in Bihar

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched nine highway projects and Ghar tak Fiber scheme in Bihar on September 21, 2020. 
  • Under the Ghar tak fibre Scheme, optical fibre services will be provided to households.
  • The project is to be implemented by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Ghar Tak Fibre Scheme. It will connect 45,945 villages in the state. 
  • The project thus enabled the Digital revolution to reach even to the remote areas of Bihar.
  • The scheme has been launched  to provide optical fibre enabled internet connections to every household in the country concentrating on village and rural areas. 
  • PM Modi had said in his 74th independence-day speech, that over 1.5 lakh village panchayats have received optical fiber connections after 2014 under the scheme.
  •  The scheme ensures digital connectivity under the Bharat Net programme.

Mukhyamantrir Grammya Paribahan Achoni 

Assam Government has launched Mukhyamantrir Grammya Paribahan Achoni to improve rural connectivity

  • Under the scheme Light Motor Vehicle Service would be launched in all the villages of the state to improve rural connectivity and generate employment in the villages.
  • In the first phase of the scheme, 10,000 villages would be covered with financial outlay of Rs 100 crore.
  • One vehicle would be provided to one beneficiary per village.
  • The state government shall financially assist the eligible entrepreneurs with 25 percent of the cost of the vehicle or Rs 1 lakh, whichever is less.

‘Paryatan Sanjeevani Scheme’

  • Assam government announced ‘Paryatan Sanjeevani Scheme’, under which loan, amounting from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh would be given to an interested entrepreneur.
  • A tourism conclave will be organised by the government of Assam in association with Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited.
  • The scheme has been conceived to lend empowerment to the entrepreneurs associated with tourism of the state so that the sector gets a fresh lease of life amid COVID 19 pandemic.

‘Mukhya Mantri Kisan Kalyan Yojana’

  • Madhya Pradesh government will launch the ‘Mukhya Mantri Kisan Kalyan Yojana’ by following the path of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi which is an initiative of the central government.
  • Existing beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi who are getting Rs. 6,000 per annum, will also be getting additional financial assistance of Rs. 4,000 under the announced scheme. Thus, in total, the farmers would be getting annual assistance to be Rs. 10,000.
  • Around 80 lakh farmers will be benefited from the announced Chief Minister Kisan Kalyan Yojana.
  • The state government also plans to integrate the farmer-friendly schemes.

‘Grih Pravesh’ programme under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) in Madhya Pradesh 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in ‘Grih Pravesh’ programme under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) in Madhya Pradesh 
  • Under the ‘Grih Pravesh’ programme, the Prime Minister virtually inaugurated 1.75 lakh houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) in Madhya Pradesh and spoke to the beneficiaries of the scheme from Dhar, Singrauli and Gwalior.
  • The erstwhile Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) was reorganized in the year 2016 as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G).
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) aims to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all the homeless villagers and people living in rough and dilapidated houses by the year 2022.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the ‘YSR Aasara’ programme aimed at “empowering women economically and socially”.

  • Under the YSR Aasara scheme, Andhra Pradesh government will reimburse outstanding bank loans of self-help groups as on April 11, 2019, in four instalments.
  • The scheme promises to deposit money in the bank accounts of eligible women, amounting to Rs 27,168 crore in total in four instalments.  
  • Rs 6,792.2 crore towards the first installment of the total dues of Rs 27,169 crores was released to the banks of 87,74,674 women belonging to 8.7 lakh SHGs.

1st Heritage Tourism Policy

  • Gujarat Government has announced the state's first Heritage Tourism Policy.
  • This was announced after the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar. 
  • The policy has provisions to permit use of pre-1950 historical buildings such as heritage palaces and forts, as heritage hotels, heritage museums, heritage banquet halls and heritage restaurants, provided that basic heritage structure is not disturbed. This decision paves a way for creating tourism attraction in unused historical buildings.
  • Under this policy, the State Government will provide an aid of five to ten crore rupees to new or existing heritage hotels for renovation and expansion. 

Agro-tourism policy

  • The Maharashtra Cabinet has cleared an agro-tourism policy aimed at reviving the tourism sector and providing support to the rural economy.
  • In a meeting held on the eve of the monsoon session of the State Legislature, the Cabinet cleared the policy which would be an added income to farmers and also an enjoyable experience to tourists.
  • The Cabinet passed the agro-tourism policy of Maharashtra.
  • This will invigorate the rural sector and agricultural practitioners with a steady source of an alternative income and an alternative employment through tourism

AWARDS & RECOGNITION 

Sir David Attenborough has been conferred with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019.

  • David Attenborough is an English broadcaster and a historian. 

  • He is popular for writing and presenting BBC Natural History units. He worked to make awareness to preserve and protect biodiversity of the planet.

  • The other recipients of the award are Centre for science and Environment in 2018, United Nations High Commission for Refugees in 2015, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) in 2014, Kofi Annan in 2003, UNICEF in 1989, Parliamentarians for Global Action in 1986.
  • The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize award is for peace, disarmament and development.

DadaSaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021

  • Dada Saheb Phalke Awards has revealed on its official Instagram page that Sushant will be awarded posthumously at the DadaSaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021. 
  • The California State Assembly was given a special honor for his contributions to the world and cinema. 
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may honor the actor in a special way at this year's National Awards.

The Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press award of the World Association of News Publishers, has been awarded to Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima for her work in promoting the rights of women affected by political violence in her country.

  • Bedoya Lima, a 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has reported on the armed conflict in Colombia as well as drug trafficking and gender issues over two decades.
  • Jineth Bedoya Lima has reported on the armed conflict in Colombia as well as drug trafficking and gender issues over two decades
  • The award, made virtually due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Renowned author Margaret Atwood won this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s lifetime achievement award.
  • The award celebrates literature’s power to foster peace, social justice and global understanding. She receives $10,000 as prize money.
  • The Canadian writer is distinguished for her most notable book, best selling 1985 dystopian novel – The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • Her other notable books are The Testaments, Cat’s Eye (1988), The Blind Assassin (2000), and The MaddAddam Trilogy (2003-2013).

Michelin-star Chef Vikas Khanna will be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive that he coordinated from thousands of miles away in his Manhattan home.

  • The Asia Game Changer Awards, launched by the Asia Society -- a US-based non-profit organisation -- in 2014, identify and honour true leaders who make a positive contribution to the future of Asia.
  • Khanna is the only Indian among the six honourees named by the leading organisation.

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize winners were awarded at the Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony

  • The ceremony was webcast, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the nine country leaders who have won the Nobel Prize for 'Medical Education'.
  • The Nobel Prize is given to these leaders for using the 'COVID-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can'.
  • Other than Prime Minister Modi, the list includes Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan.
  • It is a wordplay on ‘ignoble’, an antonym of noble. It has been given since 1991 and it aims to “honour achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.”

Odisha's architectural marvel Krushi Bhavan has won the "People's Choice Winner" at the AZ Awards 2020 in the Social Good Category.

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has dedicated this award to farmers and artisans of the state.
  • This award is possible for farmers and artisans of Odisha, the inspiration behind the design of this building.
  • The Krushi Bhawan was the only project from India at the globally recognised prestigious award.

The Booker has shortlisted an Indian-origin author Avni Doshi for her debut novel Burnt Sugar.

  • The book is published in India as Girl in White Cotton.
  • The Booker website describes Doshi’s novel as “a love story and a story about betrayal… sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit.”
  • This year's nominees are Diane Cook, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor. All are based outside the UK
  • The Booker Prize, the UK's most prestigious literary award, is open to any novel written in English by an author of any nationality
  • Last year saw Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share the £50,000 prize.

A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 for helping broker a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the second time he has put forward the U.S. president for the honour.

  • Thousands of people are eligible to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, including members of parliaments and governments, university professors and past laureates.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which decides on the award, declined to comment.
  • Former President Barack Obama, a nemesis of Trump, won the prize in 2009 just months into his first term in office.

Aditya Puri was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.

  • Aditya Puri, MD, HDFC Bank was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.
  • The publication has recognised the iconic leader for his skills in building a world-class Indian bank at a time where there were no similar institutions in existence.
  • The coveted honour from the global financial magazine in recognition of his illustrious career in banking comes just ahead of his retirement next month.

Historian-Author Rana Safvi has been honoured with the Yamin Hazarika Award.

  • Rana Safvi has published several books on the culture, history, and monuments of India.
  • She was chosen for her “contribution to the syncretic culture of India”.
  • It is given annually by a collective of women professionals since 2015.
  • Yamin Hazarika was the first woman from the Northeast to join the central police service.
  • Some of the winners of this award are Author Indrani Raimedhi, athlete Tayabun Nisha, actor Moloya Goswami, environmental activist Purnima Devi Barman and social activist Hasina Kharbhih.

Kerala Tourism’s internationally-acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ campaign won the prestigious PATA (Pacific- Asia Travel Association) Grand Award 2020 for Marketing. 

  • This gives a huge stimulus to the tourism industry in the state which has been severely affected due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The idea of a new campaign was put forth by Kerala Tourism.
  • The campaign showcases the culture and daily life of the people of Kerala. 
  • The campaign has helped in achieving Kerala’s record growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2019 which stands to be the highest growth rate in tourism arrivals in 24 years. 
  • The campaign also helped in reviving the tourism sector after the Flood in 2018 and outbreak of Nipah virus.

Kerala has won a United Nations award for its "outstanding contribution towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals.

  • The award was a recognition of the tireless service of Kerala in the health sector.
  • The state government has arranged facilities from the basic public health centres to hospitals at all levels to treat the lifestyle diseases
  • Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja 
  • The UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) award this year on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases was announced by World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom.
  • The award recognises achievements during 2019 on the multisectoral action in the prevention and control of NCDs, mental health and the wider NCD-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Diamond City Surat has bagged the Netexplo Smart Cities Award with UNESCO in the resilience category. 

  • Surat’s mayor will receive the award at the UNESCO House in Paris, France in March next year.
  • Globally, 10 cities were awarded under the UNESCO-Netexplo Smart Cities Accelerator Programme.
  • Surat is the only city from India to have bagged the award in the resilience category.
  • This is a proud moment for all of the people in the city who have shown tremendous resilience whenever there is calamity and emerging victorious.

APPOINTMENTS:

New trade chief of the European Union

  • The European Union's executive commission is proposing its experienced Latvian vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, to take over the post as trade chief of the bloc following the resignation of Ireland's Phil Hogan.
  • EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the announcement as she named European Parliament heavyweight Mairead McGuinness as the new financial services commissioner to fill Ireland's seat at the table.
  • Dombrovskis had already been holding the post temporarily since Hogan's resignation on August 26
  • Dombrovskis now fills a vital post in dealing with the United States, China and post-Brexit Britain, with all three demanding near-daily attention.

New President of All India Tennis 

  • The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has elected BJP Rajya Sabha member Anil Jain as its new president.
  • Anil Dhupar was chosen as its secretary-general during the national federation's Annual General Meeting.
  • India's Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal was elected as the treasurer for a four-year term till 2024.

The Asian Development Bank has appointed Takeo Konishi as its new Country Director for India. 

  • Konishi succeeds Kenichi Yokoyama who has taken over as Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department 
  • Konishi will lead ADB’s operations and policy dialogue with the government and other development partners in India.
  • He will oversee the implementation of ADB’s India Country Partnership Strategy, 2018-2022 that focuses on building industrial competitiveness to create more jobs, providing inclusive infrastructure networks and services, and addressing environmental and climate change concerns.

Paresh Rawal has been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama

  • Former Lok Sabha MP and Bollywood actor, Paresh Rawal has been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • In a career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994.
  • He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.
  • National School of Drama is a theatre training institute situated at New Delhi, India. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 
  • It was set up in 1959 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and became an independent school in 1975.

Former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Anil Dhasmana has been appointed as the chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), India’s technical body that is responsible for geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

Dhasmana succeeds former Intelligence Bureau officer Satish Jha, who demitted office recently.

City based retired Colonel Dr Girija Shankr Mungali has been appointed as one of the seven members of the Asian Football Confederation's task force for regulating football clubs in Asia and Australia.

  • Mungali, who is also currently serving as the Chairman of the Club Licensing Committee of the All India Football Federation is the only Indian to be appointed on this committee.
  • He has decided to use this platform to promote and create opportunities for young and upcoming footballers especially from the rural areas of the country.
  • His appointment to AFC was made on September 15 by Dato' Windsor John, the General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation and he will be on the panel till 2023.

Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela has been appointed as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

  • Vaghela, a 1986-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, is currently Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals.
  • He has been appointed as the TRAI chief for three years or till he attains the age of 65. 
  • He will succeed R S Sharma.
  • Sharma was in 2015 appointed as the TRAI chairman for three years. In August 2018, his term was extended till September 30, 2020.

Punjab & Sind Bank announced the appointment of S.Krishnan as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

The government has approved the proposal to appoint Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington.

  • He has been appointed for a period of three years.
  • Dash, a 1988-batch IRS-IT officer, served as private secretary to the then finance minister (late) Arun Jaitley from July 2014 to July 2017.
  • In July this year, he got a year extension as Principal Special Director, Enforcement Directorate.
  •  He was appointed to this newly-created post in March 2018 for two years and tasked with investigating money laundering among other related offences.

New Chairman and MD(CMD) of Hindustan Shipyard limited - Hemant Khatri

Rajesh Khullar has been appointed as Executive Director at the World Bank in Washington DC. 

  • The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajesh Khulla for a tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge or till the date of his superannuation (August 23, 2023).
  • Khullar is currently posted as principal secretary to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. 
  • He will join the World Bank in the first week of November.
  • As executive director, Khullar will represent India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in the World Bank.

Sameer Kumar Khare as the new Executive Director of Asian Development Bank.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Sameer Kumar Khare as new Executive Director of Asian Development Bank Manila.
  •  Khare is a 1989-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Assam cadre. He is currently serving as Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance.
  • President of Asian Development Bank: Masatsugu Asakawa.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS 

BOOK

Author

Extra Information

A bouquet of flowers

Dr Krishna Saksena

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the book 

The Commonwealth of Cricket

Ramachandra Guha

Co-published by HarperCollins India and William Collins

Full name of the book--”The Commonwealth of Cricket::A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind”

The Big Thoughts of Little Luv

Karan Johar

Published by : Juggernaut Books

Let Us Dream

Pope Francis 

Published by Simon & Schuster and will be released in English and Spanish Editions simultaneously

Judiciary, Judges and the Administration of Justice

Justice (retired) R Banumathi

Former Supreme Court and Madras High Court Judge

Launched by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde

Samvad Upanishad and Akshar Yatra

Gulab Kothari

PM Modi inaugurated the Patrika Gate in Jaipur.

Patrika Group Chairman-Gulab Kothari

My Life In Design

Gauri Khan

Coffee-table book - published by Penguin Random House India

Gauri Khan’s first book

Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction

Arundhati Roy

Penguin Books Limited

Nonfiction

A Burning

Megha Majumdar

nominated for the National Book Award

A Promised Land

President Barack Obama

A Memoir

First Black president of the USA 

His famous books- Dreams from My Father' and 'The Audacity of Hope

Voices of Dissent

Romila Thapar 

Co-Published by- Penguin Random House India and Seagull Books

Sach Kahun Toh

Neena Gupta 

Memoir

Penguin ‘Ebury Press’ imprint

Kitchens of Gratitude

Vikas Khanna

Penguin Random House, India

Pitching It Straight

Cricket Coach Gurcharan Singh 

Co-authored by sports journalist MS Unnikrishnan and published by Vitasta

IMPORTANT DAYS 

World Coconut Day 

    • Every year World Coconut Day is celebrated on September 2. 
    • The day is celebrated mostly in the Asia-Pacific region including India.
    •  In India, Coconut grows in Kerala, Karnataka, Sundarbans, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Theme 2020 : Invest in Coconut to save the world

The United Nations celebrates the International Day of Charity globally on 05th September every year.

1st-ever International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies 

  • Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar chaired a webinar on the first-ever International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on September 7, 2020.
  • The General Assembly of the United Nations on 19 December 2019 adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 07th September every year starting from 2020.

 International Day to Protect Education from Attack -9th September.

  • International Day to Protect Education from Attack is observed globally on 9th September.
  •  The first International Day to Protect Education from Attack was celebrated for the first time in 2020.
  • The Day draws attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) observes World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on 10 September every year.

    •  The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.  
  • The theme for the 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.

The Uttarakhand government  officially declared September 9 as ‘Himalaya Diwas’ in 2014. 

    • This year’s Himalaya Divas was celebrated at the national level on September 9. 
    • A national-level webinar was organised to mark the Himalayan Day on September 9th.
    • It was first observed in Uttarakhand in 2010 as an initiative of a group of noted environmentalists to provide solutions for sustainable development and ecological stability for the Himalayas.
  • The theme for this year is “The Himalaya and Nature”.

The World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September every year to create awareness about the importance of first aid in preventing injuries and saving lives.

  •  The World First Aid Day 2020 is being observed on 12 September.

Hindi Divas 

Hindi day is an annual day which is observed every year on 14 September all over India since 1953, to celebrate the popularity of Hindi as an official language of India

  • Although the Hindi Day is mostly observed by the Government of India, many private organizations and voluntary groups also celebrate the day.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of Republic of India. 14 September 1949

International Day for South-South Cooperation is observed globally on 12th September every year. 

  • The day celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the south. 
  • It also highlights the UN’s efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries.

The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on 15 September each year.

  • It was established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.
  • The International Day is an opportunity to review the state of democracy around the world.

Theme of 2020 -“COVID-19: A Spotlight on Democracy”

International Equal Pay Day is celebrated for the first time this 18 September

  • On November 15 2019, the third Committee at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 18 September as International Equal Pay Day.
  • It builds on the United Nations commitment to human rights and against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls.
  • Across all regions, women are paid less than men, with the gender pay gap estimated at 23 per cent globally. 

The World Water Monitoring Day has been observed globally on 18th September since 2003.

    •  This day is celebrated to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world. 
  • This year's theme for World Water Monitoring Day 2020 is ‘Solve Water.’
  • The day was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as a global educational outreach program by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. 

World Bamboo Day is observed globally on 18 September every year.

    •  This day is celebrated to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products. 
  • The theme for the 11th edition of World Bamboo Day 2020 is ‘BAMBOO NOW.’
  • World Bamboo Day was officially declared by the World Bamboo Organization on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009

International Day of Peace (UN) is observed on 21 September around the world.

    • For the first time it was observed in September 1982 and in 2001, the General Assembly adopted a resolution which established 21 September as International Day of Peace of non-violence and cease-fire.
  • Theme 2020: “Shaping Peace Together”

World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year by the World Wildlife Fund and other organisations. 

    • It is celebrated to create awareness about the threats that Rhinoceros face  in Asia and Africa.
  • Theme for the Day this year is Five Rhino Species Forever
  • First World Rhino Day was announced by the World Wildlife Fund, South Africa in 2010.

International Day of Sign Languages is observed on September 23, 2020 by the United Nations. 

  • Theme for the year 2020 is Sign Languages are for Everyone 
  • International Day of Sign Languages is observed on September 23 because the World Federation of the Deaf was established on this day.

The National Service Scheme was formally launched on 24 September 1969, the birth centenary year of Gandhiji.

    • Therefore, 24 September is celebrated every year as National Service Scheme (NSS) Day.
    • NSS is a central sector scheme under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
  • The motto of NSS is “NOT ME BUT YOU”.
  • The logo of NSS is based on the Rath Wheel of Konark Sun Temple (The Black Pagoda), Odisha.

25th September was observed as Antyodaya Diwas across the country to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, a noted philosopher, historian and political activist 

  • Antyodaya means uplifting the weakest section of the society.  
  • It was the same day when the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) revamped its existing skill development program called Aajeevika Skills as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)

The World Maritime Day is observed on September 24 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 

  • The day is celebrated on the last Thursday of September every year. 
  • Theme for this year is Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet.
  • The World Maritime Day was celebrated for the first time in March 1978.
  •  It was first celebrated to mark the IMO Convention.
  • IMO is an agency of the United Nations which is responsible for regulating the shipping.
  •  It was established in 1948 and came into force in 1959.
  •  It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

World Pharmacist Day is observed globally on 25th September every year.

    • This day is celebrated to create awareness about the role of a pharmacist in improving health.
    • The day was an initiative of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) along with the council of this organization.
  • This year’s theme is “Transforming global health”.

World Environmental Health Day is being observed globally on 26th September. 

    • The day is celebrated to throw the light on important works being done on the environmental health around the world. 
  • Theme for the 2020 edition of the day is : Environmental health, a key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention. 
  • The World Environmental Health Day was launched by the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) council.
  • The observance of the day was inaugurated in 2011 in Indonesia. 
  •  In 2012 the event was observed in Africa and Europe.
  •  In 2013 the event was further supported by Canadian, British, American, Australian and Asian activists.

The World Tourism Day is observed worldwide on September 27.

    • The day aims to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
    • This date was chosen by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.
  • 2020 theme: “Tourism and Rural Development”.
  • 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first World Tourism Day.

World Deaf Day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of September- ( 27th Sept 2020 ) 

September 28 is World Rabies Day, a global health observance started in 2007 to raise awareness about rabies and bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide.

    • It also marks the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
    • Rabies is a viral disease transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Theme: “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate”

The International Day for Universal Access to Information was proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly to be held on 28 September.

    • Initially the day was designated by the UNESCO General Conference.
    • It was inaugurated in November 2015 and was first held on 28 September 2016.
  • Theme 2020: “Access to information: Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!

World Heart Day is celebrated every year on 29 September to highlight that by controlling risks factors like tobacco use, physical inactivity, etc. at least 80% of the premature deaths from CVDs can be avoided.

    • The day was created by the World Heart Federation, the only CVD organization in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO).
    • Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) including heart disease and stroke accounts for 17.9 million of deaths globally.
    • World leaders committed to reduce global mortality from Non-Communicable Diseases by 25% by 2025.
  • Theme 2020: “Use Heart to Beat CVD”. 

Obituary 

The former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away

  • the former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away at 84 after testing positive for COVID-19. 
  • The Government of India has announced seven-day state mourning.
  • He had served as the 13th President of India between 2012 and 2017. 
  • He served as the senior leader of the Indian National Congress.
  • He had served as the Union Finance Minister between 2009 and 2012.
  • In 2019, he was awarded with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Mr Mukherjee served as the Finance Minister for the first time in 1982-84. Also, he was nominated as the leader of Rajya Sabha in 1980. He was one of the most trusted ministers of Smt Indira Gandhi.
  • He was appointed as the head of the Planning Commission in 1991. He served as a foreign minister in 1995.

India’s first female cardiologist, Dr SI Padmavati, passed away

  • India’s first female cardiologist, Dr SI Padmavati, (Dr. Padmavati Sivaramakrishna Iyer) passed away due to Covid-19.  She was 103.
  • The legendary cardiologist led an active and healthy life till her last few days.
  • Until late 2015, she was working 12 hours a day, five days a week at National Heart Institute (NHI), which was founded by her in 1981.
  •  Such was known as the  ‘Godmother of Cardiology’. 

Union minister of state for railways and Karnataka BJP MP Suresh Angadi, passed away due to COVID-19.

  • He was 65.
  • Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional leader, who worked hard to make the party strong in Karnataka. 
  • He was a dedicated MP and effective minister, admired across the spectrum.

Cricketer Sadashiv Patil has passed away. He was 86 years old 

  • He played only 1 Test match for India and in his first-class career, he played 36 games between 1952 and 1964.
  • In cricket, he debuted for Maharashtra team in 1952-53 season and at the international level, he made a test debut against New Zealand at the Brabourne Stadium in the year 1955.
  • The shortest-serving Governor of the Reserve Bank of IndiaReserve Bank of India's (RBI) Governor Amitabha Ghosh, passed away at the age of 90.
  • Ghosh had the shortest stint of only  21 days,as RBI governor, from January 15, 1985 to February 4, 1985, which was a stop-gap arrangement while Ghosh was serving as a deputy governor and waiting to hand over charge to the 17th RBI Governor R N Malhotra.
  • After handing over the charge, Ghosh returned to his position as deputy governor.
  • Legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 74.
  • A versatile singer, languages were no barrier for him. He commanded a fan following across 16 languages, especially in all four southern languages besides Hindi, 
  • Padma Bhushan SPB left a mark not just in film songs, but also in classical music despite no formal training in that genre. 
  • He played character roles in more than 40 Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies
  • Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh passed away in New Delhi.
  • One of the founding members of BJP; Jaswant Singh served as Minister of Defence, External Affairs and Finance and also Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission.
  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha four times and to Rajya Sabha five times and served as Leader of Opposition in the Upper House.
  • He was NDA's nominee in the Vice Presidential election in 2012.
  • He first served as the finance minister in the short-lived Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996. He was appointed as external affairs minister in the next Vajpayee-led government (1998-2002).
  • He was also the defence minister following the resignation of George Fernandes after the latter's name appeared in a defence scam.

Father of India’s Radio Astronomy, Prof Govind Swarup passed away. 

  • Father of India’s Radio Astronomy, Prof Govind Swarup passed away. He was the founding director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
  • Govind Swarup was the key person behind the concept, design and installation of the Ooty Radio Telescope (India) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), which established India as one of the leading countries for radio astronomy research.
  •  He is well known for his many important research contributions in several areas of astronomy and astrophysics.

Eminent economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia, a recipient of India's third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan, passed away.

  • She was 74.
  • Last month, she had stepped down as chairman of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) due to her declining health.
  • Ahluwalia was married to former deputy chairperson of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Former Australian cricketer and renowned commentator, Dean Jones passed away.

  • He made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984. He played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into commentary. 
  • He scored almost 9500 international runs.

Dr Kapila Vatsyayan who was a Leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture and art history passed away on September 16, 2020 at the age of 92.

  • She was a former Member of Parliament and also served as Secretary to the Government in the Ministry of Education.
  • Dr Vatsyayan served as the founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
  • She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship which is the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1970.
  • She got the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship in 1955 
  • In 2000, she received the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award.
  • In 2011, she was bestowed upon with the Padma Vibhushan by the government of India.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, who was in office for only 11 weeks in the 1980s, passed away at age 91

  • Turner served as the country's 17th Prime Minister and, despite his short tenure at the helm of a Liberal Party government in 1984, he spent decades in Canadian federal politics.
  • Turner took over from Pierre Elliott Trudeau - current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's father - in late June 1984 
  • At that point, he had already held the posts of finance and justice minister.
  • But his 79-day tenure as prime minister was the second shortest in Canadian history. 
  • He resigned as Liberal leader in 1990 and was replaced by Jean Chretien, who led the party to victory in 1993.

Former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr. Sekhar Basu passed away due to COVID-19.

  • He was 68 years old. 
  • He has served as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy and as Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
  • He has also served as Project Director of the Nuclear Submarine Programme and as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board in BARC.
  • The government awarded him with Padma Shri in 2014. 

Mali's former president Moussa Traore, who ruled the West Africa nation for more than 22 years, passed away at age 83

  • Traore seized power in a military coup in 1968, eight years after Mali gained independence from France, and amid growing discontent with then-president Modibo Keita, the country's first president.
  • Traore and other officers set up the Military Committee for National Liberation, abolished the constitution and established a regime.
  • Traore ruled the country as its military leader until 1979 when he installed himself as civilian president of a one-party state.

Former Union minister and veteran socialist leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away.He was 74 

  • He played a pioneer role in implementation of the National Rural Employment 
  • Guarantee Scheme (NREGA) during the UPA government  
  • He was the former Union minister for rural development 
  • He had stepped down as the RJD’s national vice president more than two months ago

RANKING & INDEX

Rank of India in the Global Innovation Index 2020

  • The 2020 edition of the Global Innovation Index has been released 
  • India jumped four places to rank at 48th position since 2019.
  • Switzerland bagged the first spot in the GII ranking followed by Sweden, United States of America, United Kingdom and Netherlands.
  • The index, compiled by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) along with Cornell University and the INSEAD business school, presents the latest global innovation trends and annual innovation ranking of 131 economies.
  • The World Bank released the annual Human Capital Index.
  • India has ranked 116th position in the annual Human Capital Index.
  • The Index benchmarks the key components of human capital all over the world.
  • In 2018, India’s score was 0.44.  
  • It has now increased to 0.49 in 2020.
  • The human capital index includes education and health data from 174 countries. It covers 98 percent of the world population. It provides a pre-pandemic baseline on education and health.
  • The theme of this year's human capital index is human capital in the time of Covid-19.

Global Economic Freedom Index 2020

  • India has fallen 26 spots to the 105th position on the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020, according to a report released.
  • The country was at the 79th spot in last year's rankings.
  • The Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report by Canada's Fraser Institute has been released in India in conjunction with New Delhi-based think tank Centre For Civil Society.
  • India reported a marginal decrease in size of government, legal system and property rights, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.
  • A score closer to 10 indicates a higher level of economic freedom.
  • According to the report, based on 2018 data, Hong Kong and Singapore once again topped the index, continuing their streak as first and second ranked, respectively.
  • New Zealand, Switzerland, US, Australia, Mauritius, Georgia, Canada and Ireland round out the top-10.

Times Higher Education announced -World University Rankings, 2021

  • The Times Higher Education announced the results of World University Rankings, 2021.
  • In the 2021 ranking, India has recorded its highest ever number of universities to qualify Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2021.
  •  However, none of Indian Universities could make it to the top 300. Around 63 universities from India have qualified for the ranking.
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, maintained its lead as the country’s top institution in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021. 

Andhra Pradesh topped in the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2019 rankings

  • 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 Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conducts the exercise for all States and Union Territories under the Business Reform Action Plan.

India ranked 89th among 181 countries and it was fourth-most-at- risk in south Asia on the index, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Among continents, Oceania is at the highest risk, followed by Africa and the Americas.
  • All South Asian countries have slipped on their ability to adapt to the reality of climate emergency
  • The World Risk Index (WRI) 2020 revealed that India is ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality and it is prone to face. Qatar had the lowest risk (0.31) according to the global index.

The first all India Happiness Report covering all states and Union Territories measuring happiness across the country.

  • Overall, states from the Northeast Indian region have fared well in the survey, and Mizoram has topped in the happiness rankings among all; the states and union territories in the country. 
  • Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands are the top three in the list of states/union territories.
  • Maharashtra, Delhi, and Haryana have shown the worst possible impact of COVID-19 on happiness, whereas Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir are neutral. 
  • It contributes to people's happiness, the impact of COVID-19 on happiness, and insights from thought leaders.

As per the EASE Banking Reforms Index 2.0, Bank of Baroda has been placed at the first spot. 

  • State Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) got the 2nd and 3rd place respectively. 
  • The Indian Banking Association (IBA) makes EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) reform index. 
  • The aim of this index is to bring fruitful change in the PSBs by bringing in healthy competition among these PSBs and by encouraging them to learn from each other.
  • The Index measures the performance of the Public Sector Bank on more than 120 objective metrics 
  • Indian Banking Association CEO: Sunil Mehta.
  • Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs

CONFERENCE & SUMMIT

35th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific

  • The 35th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 35) was held in virtual format due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The Conference was held under the Chair of the Host Country, Bhutan. 
  • The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala represented India in the conference. 
  • The conference focused on regional priorities and issues such as COVID 19, the state of agriculture, natural resources management, food security and nutrition.
  • Bangladesh will host the 36th Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific of the in 2022

The fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Summit, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held virtually with the theme ‘Ayurveda For Immunity’. 

  • The summit was inaugurated by the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
  • The objective of the summit is to showcase Ayurveda and herbal medicine to the world as a solution named ‘Health as One’ and ‘Immunity through Ayurveda’.
  • The Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 will have 8-day International Conference, 30-day International Exhibition and Focused Business to Business Meetings.

Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik VAIBHAV-virtual Summit will be inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 2 October 2020 the birth anniversary of Gandhi ji. 

  • The virtual summit would be followed by a month long deliberation sessions virtually that will start from 3 October to 25 October 2020. 
  • It will be organized among the researchers through a webinar. The session would conclude on 2 November 2020.
  • Vaishvik Bharatiya Vaigyanik Summit is an initiative by S&T and Academic Organizations of India so as to enable the deliberations on thought process, practices and R&D culture along with a problem-solving approach.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host a global climate summit on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

  • The National Government will be invited with their ambitious and high-quality climate plans.
  • This summit is organized after an announcement that China would peak greenhouse emissions in 2030 and attempt to go carbon neutral by 2060.

India host- Quad meet

  • India will soon be hosting the Quad meet involving Australia, Japan and the United States and the 2+2 dialogue with the United States. 
  • The information regarding the diplomatic engagements was shared by the Ministry of External Affairs at the regular weekly briefing on September 3, 2020. 
  • The Quad or quadrilateral security dialogue is a grouping of four democracies - India, Australia, Japan and the United States. 
  • Two of the quad countries- Australia and Japan have assured huge investments in India's infrastructure technology and supply chain.
  • The United States has also hailed India as a big power in India-Pacific and shares an extremely close relationship with it.

Mekong Ganga Cooperation

  • The 12th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting held through video conference reviewed progress made since the  MGC Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok in August last year.
  • The MGC is an initiative for cooperation in the areas of tourism, culture, education, transport and communication among the 6 member countries, which include 5 ASEAN countries namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam  and India.
  • The sectors which came under review include tourism, culture, education science and technology, traditional medicine and health, agriculture and allied sectors, water resources management, transportation and communication and small and medium enterprises.

Indo-Pacific Business Forum

  • The third annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam capital between October 28, 2020 and October 29, 2020. 
  • The forum is to be sponsored by US-ASEAN Business Council, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, US Chamber of Commerce and Government of Vietnam.
  • The forum aims to provide a free and open Indo-Pacific region with countries that are independent, prosperous and strong. 
  • During the forum, the business leaders will discuss infrastructure, energy, market connectivity, digital economy, health.
  • The economic growth of the world has shifted towards Asia-Pacific, now called the Indo-Pacific that includes South Asia.
  •  The idea of Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor was conceptualised during US-India Strategic Dialogue, 2013.

AGREEMENTS & MoUs 

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has planned the "KRITAGYA" hackathon under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).

  • KRI-TA-GYA explains, KRI for Krishi (Agriculture), TA for Taknik (Technology) and GYA for Gyan (Knowledge).
  • This Ag-Tech Hackathon aims to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women-friendly equipment.
  • Students, faculties, and innovators or entrepreneurs from universities and technical institutions can take part in this Hackathon.

Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Intellectual Property cooperation with Denmark's Danish Patent and Trademark Office.

  • The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions of both countries.
  • Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark conducted a formal signing ceremony for the same.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has planned the "KRITAGYA" hackathon under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).

  • KRI-TA-GYA explains, KRI for Krishi (Agriculture), TA for Taknik (Technology) and GYA for Gyan (Knowledge).
  • This Ag-Tech Hackathon aims to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women-friendly equipment.
  • Students, faculties, and innovators or entrepreneurs from universities and technical institutions can take part in this Hackathon.

 Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Intellectual Property cooperation with Denmark's Danish Patent and Trademark Office.

  • The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions of both countries.
  • Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark conducted a formal signing ceremony for the same.

Uttar Pradesh:: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN World Food Programme for take-home ration

  • Uttar Pradesh’s state rural livelihood mission (SRLM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN World Food Programme for take-home ration.
  • Take-Home ration will now be manufactured and supplied through women self-help groups (SHGs) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Around 200 women SHG enterprises are expected to gain business with Rs 1,200 crore annual turnover through this collaboration. 
  • This will almost double the loans received by the SHGs in 20 years.
  • The plan is to initiate local production of take-home-ration at the block level with back-up of the extensive SHG network of the rural livelihood mission covering 18 districts, 204 blocks and 42,228 anganwadi centres.

DEFENCE AFFAIRS

Military Exercise “Kavkaz 2020” 

  • India has withdrawn its participation from the multilateral Military Exercise “Kavkaz 2020” to be held in Russia between 15th to 26th September 2020.
  • Russia and India are privileged strategic partners. At Russia’s invitation, India has been participating in many international events.
  •  However, due to COVID-19 and consequent difficulties in exercise, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020.
  • Kavkaz 2020 would be held in Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Central Asian countries would be participating.

India and Russia -bilateral naval exercise INDRA 2020

  • India and Russia will hold bilateral naval exercise INDRA 2020 in Andaman Sea 
  • The exercise is being conducted while the Indian Navy is on high operational alert due to the standoff with China in Ladakh.
  • Three Russian Naval ships are to take part in the exercise on September 4 and 5. 
  • The exercise comes just after India withdrew from the Kavkaz-2020 multinational exercise that is to be held in Russia.

Indian Navy and the Australia navy will be conducting a two-days mega naval exercise in the Indian Ocean commencing from September 23, 2020. 

  • This will include various anti-aircraft drills, complex naval maneuvers, and helicopter operations.
  • The exercise involves advanced surface and anti-air exercises.
  • It also includes seamanship exercises, weapon firings, cross-deck flying operations, and naval manoeuvers.
  •  HMAS Hobart will be deployed in the exercise by the Royal Australian Navy.  It is a lead-ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers.
  • From Indian side, Karmuk and Sahyadri ships will be a part of the exercise.

DRDO 

  • India has successfully launched flight tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
  • This is  a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies and a significant milestone towards a Sashakt Bharat and Atmanirbhar Bharat. 
  • DRDO with this mission, has demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology that will serve as the building block for Next Gen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with industry
  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for successfully testing the Hypersonic Technology  Demonstrator vehicle using indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system.

The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology deemed university operating under Defence Research and Development Organization has designed microwave sterilizer called “ATULYA”. 

For the first time, the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) has sent female doctors to forward operating locations in Ladakh.

  • From sending troops from Leh to taking care of them at the forward locations, the ITBP female doctors have given all kinds of charge.
  • ITBP has changed its standard operating procedure (SOP), which did not allow any female officer to be deployed at such locations.
  • The department, irrespective of gender, has sent female doctors and other staff a few weeks ago. The officials claimed that earlier, only male doctors were sent to the forward locations near to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Iran’s military has begun an annual three-day exercise Zolfaghar-99, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz

  • Units from the navy and air force and ground forces are participating in a nearly 2 million-square-kilometer (772,200-square-mile) area of the Gulf of Oman. 
  • Iranian submarines and drones were being deployed.
  • The Iranian navy handles all operations in the Gulf of Oman on the eastern side of the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of all oil traded passes.
  • In August, the Iranian navy boarded and briefly detained a Liberian-flagged oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz.
  • In July, Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting a replica aircraft carrier in the strait, an exercise aimed at threatening the U.S. amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a successful flight test of missile target vehicle -ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from the Interim Test Range, Balasore in Odisha.

  • During the trials, two demonstrator vehicles were successfully test flown.
  • The vehicle can be used as a target for evaluation of various missile systems," Abhyas is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment, DRDO
  • This is the second time that the target vehicle was flight-tested successfully. The first successful test was in May 2019. But during this test, Abhyas cleared all the parameters that were being evaluated.
  • Abhyas is capable of fully-autonomous flight and runs on a gas turbine engine. Its inertial navigation system is based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and it uses a flight control computer for guidance and control.

DRDO has conducted a successful night testfire of its indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a base in Odisha.

  • The state-of-the-art missile was test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur
  • The trial was successful in meeting all the parameters.
  • The trial of the missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the ITR.

The 13th edition of Aero India-21 is scheduled to be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka from 3 to 07 February 2021. 

  • Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh has launched the website for Aero India 2021. 
  • Aero India is Asia’s largest air show and aviation exhibition held biennially in Bengaluru since 1996. 
  • The website can be accessed at aeroindia.gov.in.

4th edition of India - Japan Maritime bilateral exercise JIMEX

JIMEX which is conducted biennially between the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force will be held in the North Arabian Sea from 26 to 28 September 2020.

  • The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in October 2018 off Visakhapatnam, India.
  • JIMEX 20 will showcase high degree of interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the spectrum of maritime operations.
  • JIMEX 20 will be spread over three days and is being conducted in a ‘non-contact at-sea-only format’, in view of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Indigenously built stealth destroyer Tarkash and Fleet Tanker Deepak will represent the Indian Navy.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

An international team of astronomers has announced the finding of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus, triggering excitement about the possibility of the presence of life forms on that planet.

  • Apart from being produced in industrial processes, phosphine, a colourless, smelly gas, is known to be made only by some species of bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen.
  • The presence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is something that was not expected and is “unexplained”. 
  • Any presence of phosphorus in that atmosphere was expected to be in oxidised forms.

World’s Largest Solar tree

  • The CSIR-CMERI operating under the Ministry of Science and Technology has developed the World’s  largest solar tree. 
  • CMERI-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute,Durgapur, West Bengal 
  • The tree has an annual capacity of generating 12,000 to 14,000 units of Clean and Green power.
  • The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that maximum exposure of each Solar PhotoVoltaic Panel is achieved.
  •  There are a total of 35 Solar PV panels in each tree. Each panel has a capacity of 330 watt-power.
  • The cost of a solar tree is Rs 7.5 lakhs. 
  • The interested MSMEs can align with Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha (PM KUSUM) to develop renewable energy-based grids.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Researchers have made ‘MOUSHIK,’ an indigenously-made Microprocessor, that can cater to the rapidly-growing IoT devices, an integral part of Smart Cities of a Digital India.

  • MOUSHIK is a processor cum ‘system on chip’ which has been conceptualized, designed and developed at the Pratap Subrahmanyam Centre for Digital Intelligence and Secure Hardware Architecture (PS-CDISHA) of the RISE Group, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras.
  • The Project is funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.

Northrop Grumman has named its next space station resupply ship ‘S.S. Kalpana Chawla’ after Dr Kalpana Chawla,

  • US global aerospace company; Northrop Grumman has named its next space station resupply ship ‘S.S. Kalpana Chawla’ after Dr Kalpana Chawla, an astronaut of Indian descent.
  • Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Kalpana Chawla.
  •  It is the company’s tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight. 
  • Chawla was selected in honor of her prominent place in history as the first woman of Indian descent to go to space,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement.
  • The Cygnus spacecraft will deliver approximately 3,629 kg (8,000lb.) of cargo to the space station.
  •  It will be launched into orbit from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Wallops Island, Virginia on September 29.

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the commercial launch of COVID-19 Test FELUDA.

  • FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay (FELUDA) has been developed by the Tata group and is powered by CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB).
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is a genome editing technology that is used to diagnose diseases.
  • Tata CRISPR test is the world’s first diagnostic test to use Cas9 protein for detecting the SARS CoV 2 virus. It uses indigenously developed CRISPR technology.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to supply 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik-V to an Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. 

  • The deal has been finalized after the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) reached agreements with the Indian manufacturer to produce 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to India.
  • The RDIF will cooperate with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik-V vaccine in India.
  •  Sputnik-V vaccine was the first registered vaccine against COVID-19 in the world. 

ECONOMY: 

India's GDP has been shrunk by 23.9% in the first Quarter of FY'21 as per the data released by the National Statistical Office

  • India’s economy posted its steepest contraction on record in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal year as the strict lockdowns imposed to ward off the spread of the deadly coronavirus infection stalled economic activity, shut out consumption and investment and led to job and income losses.
  • Asia’s third largest economy was already faltering when the pandemic struck. 
  • In April-June, it suffered a contraction for the first time since India began maintaining quarterly records in 1996.
  • Data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed GDP in the April-June quarter of 2020-21 slumped 23.9% compared with growth of 3.1% in the previous (January-March) quarter. 
  • Among major economies, India’s contraction was the sharpest. 
  • China, after posting a contraction in the January-March quarter has recovered with 3.2% growth in the April-June quarter. Globally, India is close to the UK's contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter.

Indian economy saw the steepest contraction in the June quarter among G20 countries.

  • IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath confirmed that the Indian economy saw the steepest contraction in the June quarter among G20 countries.
  • India's GDP declined 23.9 percent in the Q1FY21, as the economy reeled under the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a stringent lockdown. This was the worst contraction recorded by the Indian economy in decades.
  • Among the countries listed on the graph, China was the only one that recorded economic growth, after contracting in Q1.
  • Countries such as the UK, Japan and Australia have already slipped into recession, which is defined as two successive quarters of GDP contraction.

PORTALS & APPS 

The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a unified portal called ‘U-Rise’- Unified Re-imagined Innovation For Student Empowerment.

  • The portal will guide students in learning, career counselling, and getting employment in the state. 
  • The portal has been developed by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Technical University
  • The programme will connect students with practical and technical knowledge.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the first state to launch a unified portal along with the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) -2020.

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has launched in the public domain, the “Centralized Farm Machinery Performance Testing Portal”.

  • This portal will facilitate manufacturers in applying, communicating and monitoring the progress of testing of their machines in a seamless manner as it is easily accessible from any location and from any device connected to the Internet. 
  •  The Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes at Budni (MP), Hisar (Haryana), Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh) and BiswanathChariali (Assam) are playing an important role and contributing their share to the development and progressive acceptance of agricultural mechanization in India.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the vaccine portal for Covid-19 on September 28, 2020 in order to create awareness among masses.

  • The India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched a dedicated vaccine portal and national clinical registry of COVID-19 to address queries of the people on vaccine development and unveiled the historical timeline of ICMR since its inception in 1911.
  • The National Clinical Registry for COVID-19 will collect systematic data on clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory investigations, management protocols, clinical course of COVID-19 disease.
  • The data will serve as an invaluable tool for formulating appropriate patient management strategies, predicting disease severity, patient outcomes etc. 

Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) launched the Primary Agricultural Co-Operative Society (PACS), Pothgal web portal www.pacspothgal.com. The website is available in Telugu and English.

  • PACS Pothgal is the first PACS in India to come up with a web portal that has all the details of loans, loan processes, and services offered by the society.
  • Information related to the finished and upcoming projects such as petrol bunks, godowns, food processing industries, ATMs, office buildings, are mentioned on the website.

Punjab government has rolled out “I Rakhwali” App 

  • Punjab government has rolled out “I Rakhwali” App to ensure greenery and to protect the environment in Punjab.
  • The development of the app is the 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’.

COMMITTEE & HEADS 

  • The ministry of corporate affairs has extended the tenure of the Company Law Committee by one year to September 2021.
  •  The committee constituted in September 2019, is now chaired by corporate affairs secretary Rajesh Verma.
  • It was set up to suggest measures to improve the functioning of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and make recommendations on various issues pertaining to implementation of the Companies Act as well as the Limited Liability Partnership Act.
  • SEBI has set-up a technical committee on the social stock exchange, which will develop a framework for onboarding profit and non-profit organisations on such bourses and prescribe disclosure requirements relating to financials and governance.
  • The technical committee  would be chaired by Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, former chairman of NABARD.
  • The committee will also prescribe disclosure requirements relating to performance.
  • The decision of setting-up of the technical group has been taken following the recommendation of the working group on the social stock exchange

MISC: 

September 2020 as “Poshan Mah” or “Nutrition Month”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to celebrate September 2020 as “Poshan Mah” or “Nutrition Month”. 
  • The month will be celebrated across India to educate everyone on the importance of optimum nutrition.
  • The nutrition month was celebrated earlier in September 2018 and 2019.
  • Agriculture Fund of India with information about the crops of each district and their nutrition value are being prepared.

133rd Birth Anniversary of Govind Ballabh Pant observed on 10th September.

  • First chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He served as India’s home minister from 1955 to 1961. It was during his tenure that states were reorganised on linguistic lines.
  • He also saved a school from shutting down due to non-payment of taxes to the British government.
  • In 1957, Pant was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

The first newspaper for kids, “The Young Minds” 

  • Two Guwahati-based women entrepreneurs Neelam Sethia and Neha Bajaj have launched a newspaper specifically designed for kids
  • Newspaper  “The Young Minds”, will cater to kids of 4-14 years of age.
  • This weekly newspaper will include content that will help engage children in activities such as games, puzzles, riddles, fun facts and news, vocabulary, science and maths experiments.

SAROD is Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes

  • The Union Minister of Shipping Manusukh Mandaviya launched a dispute redressal mechanism called SAROD Ports. SAROD is Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes
  • SAROD Saroj Port was in place where the dispute between port and the concessionaire working with the port was arbitrated. However, decisions were not made in a timely manner and thereby affecting the ongoing projects. Thus, this is being replaced by SAROD ports.
  • It will designate an export team. Also, an expert team will address and resolve disputes that will be decimated on time. SAROD port has been established under Societies Registration Act, 1860.

A customized My Stamp on India’s First Anti Satellite Missile (A-SAT) was launched on the occasion of Engineers Day on September 15 in the presence of Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (NSA).

  •  The stamp was released by the Department of Posts.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on 27th March 2019.
  • DRDO developed A-SAT Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode. 
  • The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters.

Real Mango Software-

  • In a nation-wide probe the Railway Protection Force (RPF) obstructed the use of Real Mango software.
  • Real Mango software is an illegal notorious software developed for booking Tatkal tickets over the IRCTC website.
  •  This illegal and commonly banned software makes the complete process of Indian Rail ticket booking at a fly speed.
  • The agent logs into the IRCTC server through multiple Ids. 
  • The software bypasses captcha code which is a major time taking process while booking the tickets over the website. 
  • The software also gets sync with the bank OTP with the help of a mobile app and feeds it to the requisite form to book tickets automatically.

Recently the Tribal Museum of Odisha aired a short film focusing on the Labor Cooperatives of the Dongria Kondh tribe, their structures and functioning.

  • Dongria Kondh is a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVGTs) inhabiting the slopes of the Niyamgiri Hills in the Raigad and Kalahandi districts of Odisha.
  • This tribe practices at least 10 types of cooperative labor sharing within its community.

Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world. 

On the eve of International Coastal Clean-Up Day which is celebrated across 100 countries since 1986, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced at a virtual event that for the first time eight beaches of India are recommended for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue flag certification. 

  • The recommendations are done by an independent National Jury composed of eminent environmentalists & scientists.

The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission has appointed Sunil Sethi,Chairman of the Fashion Design Council of India, as its Advisor.

  • Sethi will advise the Commission on latest design interventions in the readymade garments segment as well as promotion of Khadi in India and abroad.
  • Sethi's appointment is for a period of one year.
  • He succeeds fashion designer Ritu Beri whose term expired recently.
  • Sethi comes with over four decades of experience in global merchandising, where he has contributed significantly to the growth of Indian handicrafts, design and the textile industry, through many innovative and successful initiatives.

The Union Minister, Dr. Jitendra Singh has unveiled the Logo and song for festival “Destination North East-2020” (The Emerging Delightful Destinations) through a video conference.

  •  The four-day event is to be formally inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah on September 27, 2020.
  • The festival helps to familiarize people of other parts of the country with the rich unexplored potential of the North East.
  •  The festival will give a boost to handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes of North East.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and MoS PMO Jitendra Singh laid the foundation of Arun Jaitley Memorial Sports Complex.  The late former finance minister Arun Jaitley died on 24th August 2019.

Center government has enhanced scholarship amount for the students of J&K under “Pragati and Saksham Scholarship Schemes

  • In a significant move, the Center government has enhanced scholarship amount for the students of J&K under “Pragati and Saksham Scholarship Schemes” from Rs. 5000 per annum to Rs.50,000 per annum from current academic year 2020-2021.
  • Under Pragati scheme, all girls of J&K belonging to families having annual income of Rs. 8 lakh who shall be admitted in the AlCTE approved institutions for the session 2020-21 will be eligible for scholarship.
  • Under Saksham scheme, all specially-abled students with 40 percent disability pursuing technical education at Degree or diploma level belonging to families with annual income less than Rs. 8.00 lakh would be eligible for the scholarship.
  • The Marathi language feature film ‘The Disciple’ written and directed by Mumbai-based filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane, has bagged the prestigious award for Best Screenplay at the 77th Venice Film Festival.

STATIC 

Who is Who

Attorney General of India

K K Venugopal

Solicitor General of India

Tushar Mehta

Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG)

G C Murmu 

Chief of Army Staff

Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane

Chief of Air Staff 

Air Chief Marshal R K Singh Bhadauria

Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Karambir Singh

Chief Election Commissioner 

Sunil Arora

National Human Rights Commission, Chairman

H.L. Dattu

(15th) Finance Commission, Chairman 

N. K. Singh

ISRO Chairman

K. Sivan

Chief Justice of India 

Sharad Arvind Bobde

Chief of  Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

Samant Goel

Chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB)

Arvind Kumar

TRAI ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chairman

P D Vaghela

Central Vigilance Commissioner(CVC)

Sanjay Kothar

Chief Information Commissioner  (CIC)

Bimal Julka 

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor

Shaktikanta Das

Chief of National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)

Anil Dhasmana

National Security Advisor of India (NSA)

Ajit Doval

Chairman of SSC

Braj Raj Sharma

Chairman of UPSC

Pradeep Kumar Joshi 

Chairman of CBSE

Manoj Ahuja

Chairman UGC

D P Singh

DG, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Balram Bhargava

Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla

Chairman, NASSCOM

U. B. Pravin Rao

Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

Dr. A P Maheshwari

Director General, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

Rajesh Ranjan

Director General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP)

S S Deswal

Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB) 

Kumar Rajesh Chandra

President, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce 

& Industry (FICCI)

Sangita Reddy

Chairman, National Highway Authority Of India (NHAI)

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu

Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs(CBIC)

M. Ajit Kumar

International Cricket Council (ICC) -Interim Chairman

Imran Khwaja (Hong Kong)

Chairman, National Medical Commission of India

Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma

Chairman, Banks Board Bureau

Bhanu Pratap Sharma

Chairman, DRDO

Dr G. Satheesh Reddy

Chairman, Railway Board

V K Yadav 

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman

Pramod C Mody

Chairman-Cycling Federation of India (CFI)

Onkar Singh

   

Director-General of UNESCO

Audrey Azoulay

Secretary General of NATO

Jens Stoltenberg

President of the European Council

Charles Michel

Head of World Health Organization

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Managing Director of IMF

Dr. Kristalina Georgieva

President of the World Bank

David Malpass

Secretary-General of the United Nations

António Guterres

Chairman of African union

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Director-General, International Labour Organisation

Guy Ryder

Country/ Capital/ Currency

Country 

Capital 

Currency 

Republic of Mali 

Bamako

Franc

Denmark 

Copenhagen

Danish Krone

Somalia 

Mogadishu

Somali Shilling

Australia

Canberra

Australian Dollar

Maldives

Male

Maldivian rufiyaa 

UAE

Abu Dhabi

UAE Dirham

Mexico

Mexico City

Mexican Peso

Canada

Ottawa

Canadian Dollar 

Bahrain

Manama

Bahraini Dinar

Thailand

Bangkok 

Thai Baht

Iran 

Tehran

Rial

Bangladesh 

Dhaka

Taka

France

Paris

Euro, CFP Franc

Russia

Moscow

Russian Ruble

Saudi Arabia 

Riyadh

Saudi Riyal 

Lebanon

Beirut

Lebanese pound

Singapore 

Singapore City

Singapore dollar

International Organizations and their HQs

Organizations 

HQs

World Health Organisation (WHO) 





Geneva, Switzerland 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

International Telecommunication Union 

International Labour Organization

World Trade Organisation 

 

United Nations 



          New York (USA) 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

 

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Vienna, Austria

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

 

World Bank, International Monetary Fund

Washington D.C.  USA 

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank  (AIIB) 

Beijing, China

New  Development Bank

Shanghai, China

Asian Development Bank

Manila (Philippines)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Lausanne, Switzerland

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

Brussels (Belgium)

South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC)

Kathmandu (Nepal) 

Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Jakarta, Indonesia 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nairobi (Kenya)

Chief Ministers and Governors 

State 

Chief Minister 

Governor 

Andhra Pradesh  

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Shri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan

Arunachal Pradesh 

Pema Khandu

B. D. Mishra

Assam

Sarbananda Sonowal

Jagdish Mukhi

Bihar

Nitish Kumar

Phagu Chauhan

Chhattisgarh

Bhupesh Baghel

Anusuiya Uikey

Goa

Pramod Sawant

Bhagat Singh Koshyari (additional)

Gujarat

Vijaybhai Rupani

Acharya Dev Vrat

Haryana

Manohar Lal Khattar 

Satyadeo Narain Arya

Himachal Pradesh

Jairam Thakur

Bandaru Dattatraya

Jharkhand

Hemant Soren

Droupadi Murmu

Karnataka

B. S. Yediyurappa

Vajubhai Vala

Kerala

Pinarayi Vijayan

Arif Mohammed Khan

Madhya Pradesh

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Anandiben Patel  (additional)

Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray

Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Manipur

N. Biren Singh

Najma Heptulla

Meghalaya

Conrad Sangma

Satya Pal Malik

Mizoram

Pu Zoramthanga

P.S. Sreedharan Pillai

Nagaland

Neiphiu Rio

R. N. Ravi

Odisha

Naveen Patnaik

Ganeshi Lal

Punjab

Capt. Amarinder Singh

V.P. Singh Badnore

Rajasthan

Ashok Gehlot

Kalraj Mishra

Sikkim

Prem Singh Tamang

Ganga Prasad

Tamil Nadu

Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Banwarilal Purohit

Telangana

K Chandrasekhar Rao

Tamilisai Soundararajan

Tripura

Biplab Kumar Deb

Ramesh Bais

Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Aditya Nath

Anandiben Patel

Uttarakhand

Trivendra Singh Rawat

Baby Rani Maurya

West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Jagdeep Dhankhar

 

Union Territory 

  • Andaman and Nicobar Island  Admiral D K Joshi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Delhi           Shri Anil Baijal  (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Jammu and Kashmir     Shri Manoj Sinha (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Puducherry       Dr. Kiran Bedi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Ladakh     Shri Radha Krishna Mathur (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Chandigarh         Shri.V.P. Singh Badnore (Administrator)
  • Lakshadweep         Shri Dineshwar Sharma, IPS, (Administrator)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman -Diu    Shri Praful Patel (Administrator)

Cabinet Ministers 

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways 

Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers 

Shri Ramvilas Paswan

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Ministry of Rural Development

Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ministry of Law and Justice

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Ministry of Textiles

Dr. Harsh Vardhan



Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Ministry of Science and Technology

Ministry of Earth Sciences

Shri Prakash Javadekar

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Ministry of Steel

Shri Pralhad Joshi

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Ministry of Coal

Ministry of Mines

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministry of Jal Shakti

Shri Giriraj Singh

Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

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