Current Affairs Today 22nd April 2020

Current Affairs

 

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World Creativity and Innovation Day

  • World Creativity and Innovation Day is a global UN day celebrated on April 21 to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals, also known as the “global goals”.
  • On the World Creativity and Innovation Day 2020, the United Nations has urged the world to accept that innovation is necessary for harnessing a country’s economic potential.

 

World earth day

  • Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental
    protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.
  • The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge but also the vast opportunities of
    action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.

 

Iran’s Guards launch its first military satellite

  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force stated it had launched the country’s first military satellite which had gone
    into orbit.
  • The powerful force stated a “Messenger” satellite carrier was used to launch the Noor (light) satellite, without
    going into further detail on the technology used.
  • The launch took place at a time of high tension with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear and missile programmes and months after Iranian top military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3.
  • Iran’s first military satellite, Noor, was launched from central Iran in two stages. The launch was successful and
    the satellite reached orbit, state TV stated.
  • Noor was now orbiting 425km (264 miles) above the Earth’s surface, the Guards stated on their website.

About Iran:

  • President: Hassan Rouhani
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Currency: Iranian rial

 

ADB sells $4.5 billion five-year global benchmark bond

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) returned to the US dollar bond market with the pricing of a 4.5 billion dollars five-year global benchmark bond issue proceeds of which will be part of ADB’s ordinary capital resources.
  • The five-year bond with a coupon rate of 0.625 per cent per annum payable semi-annually and a maturity date of April 29, 2025, was priced at 99.818 per cent to yield 34.35 basis points over the 0.5 per cent US Treasury notes due March 2025.
  • The transaction was lead-managed by Bank of America, Citi, TD Securities and HSBC Bank Plc. A syndicate group was also formed consisting of Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, SEB, and Nordea Bank
  • With around 130 investors taking part, the issue achieved wide primary market distribution with 35 per cent of the bonds placed in Asia, 34 per cent in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 31 per cent in the Americas.
  • By investor type, 56 per cent of the bonds went to central banks and official institutions, 26 per cent to banks and 18 per cent to fund managers and other types of investors.
  • ADB plans to raise around 28 billion dollars from the capital markets in 2020

About Asian Development Bank (ADB):

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Founded: 19 December 1966

 

Facebook buys 9.9% stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore in largest tech FDI

  • Facebook has bought a 9.9% stake in Reliance Jio for $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore), the telecom unit of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) in a deal that gives the social media giant a firm foothold in a fast-growing massive market and helps the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate to significantly cut debt.
  • The deal values Jio at Rs 4.62 lakh crore ($65.95 billion).
  • RIL stated this is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.
  • The investment values Jio Platforms amongst the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalization, within just three and a half years of launch of commercial services, it stated in a statement.

About Facebook:

  • CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
  • Headquarters: California, United States

About Reliance Jio:

  • Headquarters:Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Mukesh Ambani (Chairman)

 

MP Anganwadi workers, Assistants to get benefit of CM COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana

  • In Madhya Pradesh, around one lakh Anganwadi workers and Assistants of the state will get the benefit of Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana.
  • Under this initiative, they will also get a special health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs. It is noteworthy that special insurance scheme has been launched by the Central Government for health workers who are fighting against COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Meanwhile, the state government has given one year exemption to the private schools for renewal of accreditation due to COVID-19 infection. Now the recognition of such schools will be valid till 31 March 2021. For all such schools, the prescribed fee for renewal has also been postponed till the next session.

About Madhya Pradesh

  • Capital– Bhopal
  • Chief minister– Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Governor– Lalji Tandon

 

SIMFED launches mobile ration van in Gangtok

  • Sikkim State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Ltd (SIMFED) launched a mobile ration van in Gangtok, for doorstep delivery of essential commodities and food. Sikkim agriculture minister Lok Nath Sharma launched the van.
  • Mr Sharma informed that SIMFED’s van will deliver essential commodities like rice, mustard oil, pulse, flour, sugar, salt and soaps at reasonable rates. All preventive measures like social distancing at selling points will be strictly adhered to, he assured.
  • Managing Director of SIMFED Pawan Awasthy stated that the cooperative will work according to the route plan and customers will be informed in advance about the movement of the mobile ration van. He also informed that provisions for cashless transactions are being made for the facility.

About Sikkim:

  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Chief minister: Prem Singh Tamang
  • Governor : Ganga Prasad

 

Rajasthan launches Aayu & Sehat Sathi app

  • Rajasthan government has launched integrated solution ‘Aayu & Sehat Sathi app’.
  • It has been developed with exclusively partnered with healthcare startup MedCordsto provide 24×7 online consultation and medicine delivery to the people of Rajasthan as the State battles to control cases of Coronavirus.
  • The app is currently helping 10,000+ patients free of cost per day with consultations and is providing home delivery of medicines through its Sehat Sathi network.

Read Full News >>

 

TCS partners with Telangana State Council of Higher Education

  • A strategic business unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has partnered with the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) to prepare college students for future job readiness.
  • Under the partnership, a set of curated courseware will be made available free of cost to four lakh students across 1,500 institutions of higher education in the state effective this academic year.
  • The courses cover a plethora of topics that will improve the employability quotient of students and equip them to compete in the job market after they graduate.
  • The learning will be self-paced and the courses are accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device, through the TSCHE website. Individual institutions can mandate for credits as appropriate
  • TSCHE Chairman T Papi Reddy stated the council is pleased to partner with TCS iON to strengthen the students and equip them with all the necessary skills that will help them to compete well in the job market.

About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS):

  • CEO: Rajesh Gopinathan
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

 

CeNS develops TriboE masks to protect healthy individuals from COVID-19

  • A team of researchers at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore have come up face masks, termed as TriboE Mask.
  • It can hold electric charges to restrict the entry of infections without any external power and relies on electrostatics.
  • TriboE mask comprises of three-layer: nylon cloth sandwiched between polypropylene layersmade from used non-woven grocery bags. In place of nylon, silk fabric from an old saree or shawl may also be cut and used.

Read Full News >>

 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launches ‘COVID India Seva’ to address citizens’ queries

  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launched ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform for citizen engagement on coronavirus.
  • This initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery in real-time and answering citizen queries swiftly, at scale, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The channel @CovidIndiaSeva is being hosted on Twitter Seva, will benefit citizens to find immediate solution to their health problems. They can get updates on the measures being taken by the government to prevent the spread of corona infection and information about health services.
  • The platform is a multi-lingual platform, where Hindi is used as the second most language after English. It will also benefit the government reach out to a large number of users and answer their queries that in turn further help reduce any Covid-19 related misinformation on Twitter.
  • This will enable us to establish a direct channel with Indian citizens, connecting with them in real-time to provide authoritative health and public information.
  • This does not require the public to share personal contact details or health record details.

About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

  • Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Earth Science- Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
  • Constituency- Chandni Chowk, New Delhi.

 

MoRTH launches dashboard on its website to provide ‘dhabas and repair shops’ details

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has created a dashboard link on its website for providing list and details of Dhabas and Truck repair shops available across the country by various organisations like NHAI, States, Oil Marketing companies.
  • The list can be accessed at https://morth.nic.in/dhabas-truck-repair-shops-opened-during-covid-19.
  • This is intended to facilitate the truck / cargo drivers and cleaners in their movement while traveling between different places of the country for delivering required goods
  • A regular contact is being maintained with various stake holders particularly states/UTs, oil marketing companies (OMCs), etc, in providing information which is then updated on the dashboard link on MoRTH website.
  • National Highway Authority of India’s centralized call number 1033 has also been activated to answer calls and provide information about the dhabaas and repair shops along National Highways.

About MoRTh

  • Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India and Shipping Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium EnterprisesNitin Gadkari.
  • Constituency- Nagpur, Maharashtra.

 

Pune’s mobile App ‘Saiyam’ tracks home quarantined citizens

  • A mobile application named Saiyam has been developed by the Pune Municipal Corporation under Smart Cities Mission to effectively track the home-quarantined citizens and ensure that they are staying in the home.
  • Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry stated that, City administration has taken administrative measures complemented by technology solutions to monitor home quarantined citizens. The city administration has appointed dedicated teams for five zones to conduct a follow-up with people under home quarantine on a daily basis.
  • The teams will check on people who have recently returned from international trips and those discharged after treatment for COVID-19.
  • The teams will also check if those under home quarantine have downloaded the Saiyam Mobile Application.
  • The Mobile Application has GPS tracking so that whenever quarantined citizens leave their homes, City Administration gets informed and the local ward or the local police station gets informed. The Ministry stated, all the Home Quarantined citizens are given the mandate to download the app and install it.
  • These identified citizens are advised to keep the GPS feature on the device always switched-on and the mobile device should be switched-on throughout the 24 hours, during the quarantine period.

 

Huawei India appoints David Li as CEO

  • Huawei Telecommunications India stated it has appointed David Li as its Chief Executive Officer.
  • He replaces Jay Chen who has been promoted to handle Asia Pacific level business role.
  • Li joined Huawei in 2002 and has experience of working in the India market, including in roles like vice president sales and vice president HR during different phases of his career.
  • He was serving as CEO of Huawei Cambodia before returning to India to take on his new role.

About Huawei Telecommunications:

  • Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
  • CEO: Ren Zhengfei
  • Liang Hua: chairman

 

Bajaj Auto ED Rakesh Sharma appointed as IMMA President

  • The Geneva-based International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA), which represents the manufacturing industry of powered two-wheelers at the global level, has elected Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto as its President for a two-year mandate.
  • Sharma was elected from its member organisation, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the company stated in a statement.
  • Sharma had previously been the Vice-President in IMMA, after being elected in May 2019.
  • The IMMA Spring Congress originally planned to be held from April 20 to April 24, 2020 in New Delhi, was changed into a series of meetings by conference call and correspondence. The election of the new President took place through a general assembly by correspondence on April 21, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, stated the statement.
  • Sharma joined Bajaj Auto in October 2007 as President (International Business). He is a member of the Board of Commissioners of PT Bajaj Auto Indonesia, a subsidiary of Bajaj Auto Ltd, as well as the Chairman of the Exports Council of SIAM.

About Bajaj Auto:

  • CEO: Rajiv Bajaj
  • Head quarters :Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Rahul Bajaj (Chairman)

 

UST Global wins Microsoft’s AI application award for social impact

  • Digital transformation solutions company UST Global has won 2020 the ‘Most Innovative AI (Artificial Intelligence) Application Award for Societal Impact’ from Microsoft. The AI Awards 2.0 is an initiative open to all Microsoft customers and partners who foster AI-led innovations to deliver meaningful impact.
  • In 2019, UST Global had won an award for ‘Empowering Employees with AI’ from Microsoft for delivering an AI-powered personal assistant to each employee.
  • The award marks industry appreciation of the company’s AI capabilities to build innovative products.
  • It partnered with EmancipAction to create a human-centric platform to collate information and provide meaningful insights from a clinical research study conducted among highly traumatised children residing in Childcare Institutions in India.
  • UST Global offers AI, ML and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions in retail, financial services, healthcare, among others. Retail Business Services partnered with UST Global to develop frictionless store technology and AI/ML and purposebuilt smartphone applications that enable customers to shop from a small-format store in a matter of seconds.
  • It created LookyLoopz, an immersive learning platform that allows teachers to teach the next generation of students by engaging them with them through VR learning modules.

About Microsoft:

  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • Headquarters: Washington, United States
  • Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen

 

BRO constructed Daporijo bridge over Subansiri river amid lockdown

  • Daporijo bridge over Subansiri river, Arunachal Pradeshhas been constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) amid the nationwide lockdown.
  • The bridge was constructed in less than a month while adhering to the safety norms required to keep away covid-19 infections.
  • Bridge on Daporijo River is a strategic link towards the LAC between India and China. Old Bridge developed cracks which could lead to a major catastrophe.
  • New bridge has allowed heavier vehicles to pass.

Read Full News >>

 

Former Fiji Prime Minister Qarasepasses away

  • Former Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase passed away.
  • The founder of the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua Party, who served as Fiji’s sixth prime minister from 2000 to 2006.
  • Qarase was a champion of indigenous Fijiansand won two elections without gaining any significant support from the Indo-Fijian population.
  • Prior to becoming PM, he was a civil servant.
  • In 2006, he was removed from power in military coup by Frank Bainimarama and later imprisoned.

About Fiji

  • Capital– Suva
  • President– Jioji Konousi Konrote
  • Prime Minister– Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

 

BMW Group India President & CEO Rudratej Singh passes away at 46

  • BMW Group India announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer Rudratej Singh has passed away. While the reason behind Singh’s demise is “yet to be ascertained”, several media reports have claimed that he suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
  • BMW Group India has appointed Chief Financial Officer Arlindo Teixeira as the interim President.
  • Singh had joined BMW Group India on 1 August 2019. Prior to that, he was serving as the Global President at Royal Enfield. The 46-year-old had also worked with Unilever in India and international markets for more than 16 years.

 

WhatsApp partners WHO to create ‘Together at Home’ sticker pack

  • WhatsApppartnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a new sticker pack titled ”Together At Home” designed to reflect the moments and emotions people are going through in the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The sticker pack is available within WhatsApp, including with text localized for 10 languages – Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Read Full News >>

 

Mastercard Debit Cards now available with Paytm Payments Bank

  • Paytm Payments Bank has partnered with Mastercard for the issuance of virtual and physical debit cards for secure online transactions.
  • Customers will also be able to request a physical card to perform contactless in-store transactions.
  • Along with this, customer will also be able to withdraw cash at more than 1 m million ATM terminals.
  • With this latest addition to the suite of services, the Bank can bring more than 500 million Indians into the mainstream economy.

Read Full News >>

 

Paytm Payments Bank launches DBT scheme

  • Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL)now implemented the option to avail benefits of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), which is Government of India scheme to transfer the subsidies of various social welfare schemes like LPG gas subsidy, MNREGA payments, Old Age Pension, Scholarships directly into the beneficiary’s bank account.
  • Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL)has crossed Rs1,000 crore in deposits and has total of 57 million savings account holders at present during covid-19.

Read Full News >>