Current Affairs 2020, February 2nd– February 9th

February 12, 2020      0
Current Affairs 2020, February 2nd– February 9th National News 1.       Madhya Pradesh grabs first position for implementation of PMMVY ·         Madhya Pradesh’s Minister for Women and Child Development,   Imarti Devi and Principal Secretary Anupam Rajan received the award from Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana in the state of Madhya Pradesh. ·         Indore has been ranked at first place among the districts for better performance of the scheme.   2.       Task force constituted by Government of India to restrict Novel Coronavirus ·         A task force has been constituted by the Government of India to restrict the Novel Coronavirus outspread in India. ·         Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri are the members of the task force.   3.       GOI appoints M Ajit Kumar as chairman of CBIC ·         The government of India has appointed M Ajit Kumar as chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. ·         The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment.   4.       Ajay Bisaria becomes India’s next Ambassador to Canada ·         Ajay Bisaria has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada. ·         He is presently serving as High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. He will replace Vikas Swarup.   5.       11th Def Expo 2020 to be held in Lucknow ·         The 11th edition of the biennial mega defence exhibition, DefExpo 2020, will begin on 5 February at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. ·         The main theme of DefExpo India-2020 will be “India: the emerging defence manufacturing hub”.   6.       Coastal Security Exercise ‘MatlaAbhiyaan’ conducted by Indian Navy ·         The Indian Navy conducts a coastal security exercise named ‘Malta Abhiyan’ in Kolkata, West Bengal. ·         The exercise, named after Malta River, aims to interact with coastal communities to spread awareness on coastal security and understand the navigational complexities in the Sunderban deltaic waters.   7.       India’s biggest rural technical festival ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ kicks off ·         India’s biggest rural technical festival titled ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Basar, Nirmal District, Telangana. ·         The theme for the year 2020 was “Spot and encourage rural tech innovators”.   8.       GOI unveils new vaccine to control classical swine fever ·         The government of India unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF). ·         CSF is a highly contagious fatal pig disease. The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one.   9.       5 IIITs to get the status of Institution of National Importance ·         The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra  Modi has approved to bestow the status of Institution of National Importance to the five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). ·         The status will be provided with the inception of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. ·          The bill will provide the status of Institutions of National Importance to the remaining five IIITs along with the existing 15 IIITs in PPP mode. ·         The 5 IIITs in PPP mode includes IIITs in Bhopal, Raichur, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Surat.   10.   SC notify all states to established Gram Nyayalayas ·         The Supreme Court has directed the states to establish Gram Nyayalayas within four weeks’. ·         Gram Nyayalayas are mobile village courts established under Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008.   11.   ‘Pink City’ becomes certified UNESCO World Heritage City ·         Jaipur “The Pink City” has been certified by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as the World Heritage site. ·         The certification was done by the UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay during an event held in Jaipur, Rajasthan. ·         As part of certification, the World Heritage City certificate was handover by UNESCO Director General to Minister of Urban Development Shanti Dhariwal.   ECONOMY 1.       Paytm launches Android POS device for SMEs & merchant partners ·         Paytm has launched an Android POS device for small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners. ·         The android based device will enable the merchants to accept payments in various ways like debit and credit cards, Paytm Wallet, UPI-based apps and cash.   2.       Indian Oil &Phinergy to jointly make metal-air batteries in India ·         Indian Oil has picked up a minority equity stake in Israel’s battery developer Phinergy to jointly set up a facility in India to manufacture metal-air batteries for electric vehicles. ·         This collaboration helps in the field of Al-Air battery system including research & development, customization, manufacturing, assembly, sale and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology.   3.       Eastern Railways partners with Amazon India to set up kiosk ·         Eastern Railways has partnered with Amazon India to set up a pick-up kiosk at the Sealdah railway station in Kolkata, West Bengal. ·         This follows after the successful pilot of pickup kiosks in four railway stations across Mumbai in 2019. A kiosk is a small open-fronted hut or cubicle from where newspapers, refreshments, tickets, etc. will be sold.   4.       Prime Minister of India sets target at DefExpo of 5 billion dollar USD in upcoming 5 years ·         Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has stated that NDA government set a defense export target of 5 billion dollars in the upcoming five years. ·         The export of defense equipment from India was about 2,000 crore rupees. In the past 2 years, it has gone up to 17,000 crore rupees.   5.       HAL & Israel Aerospace Industries to jointly make armed UCAVs ·         Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. ·         This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India.   6.       DICGC increases the insurance coverage for depositors to 5 lakh ·         Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) increases the insurance coverage for depositors in all insured banks from Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakh with effect from February 4, 2020, with the approval of Government of India. ·         The rate of premium payable by the insured banks will be raised from 10 paise per Rs 100 of assessable deposits to 12 paise per Rs100 of assessable deposits per annum.   7.       Union Cabinet Approves Amendments to Banking Regulation Act to regulate co-operative banks ·         The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act to empower India’s Central Bank (Reserve Bank of India) to have better control over urban co-operative banks and multi-state cooperative banks. ·         These amendments will apply to the urban co-operative banks and multi-state cooperative banks. Presently, cooperative banks are governed by dual control of cooperative societies as well as the Reserve Bank of India. ·         While the role of cooperative society includes incorporation, registration, management, recovery, audit, supersession of board of directors and liquidation, the central bank’s role is responsible for regulatory functions.   8.       RBI’s 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20 released: RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 5.15% ·         The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee has released its 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20. The Reserve Bank of India’s MPC has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged to 5.15%. ·         The MPC has also decided to maintain the accommodative stance of monetary policy to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target.   The key decisions taken in the 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:   ·         The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) left unchanged to 5.15%. ·         The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands same i.e. 4.90%. ·         The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate also remains same i.e. 5.40%. ·         RBI has increased the real GDP growth for fiscal year 2020-21 from 5% to 6%.   9.       Fitch forecasts India’s GDP growth at 5.6% for Financial Year 2021 ·         Fitch Ratings has estimated India’s GDP growth of 5.6% in the next FY21 in its India Economic Outlook. ·         This forecast is lower than the projection made by the government’s Economic Survey. For the current fiscal 2019-20 (FY 20), GDP is projected at 4.6%. ·         Fitch has also estimated that in the fiscal year 2022, government debt will remain 70% of total GDP.   10.   Jeff Weiner to step down as the Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn Corporation ·         LinkedIn Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner is stepping down in the role. Jeff Weiner will become executive chairman after 11 years as CEO of the Microsoft-owned business. ·         Ryan Roslansky, senior vice president of product, will become CEO as of June 1. ·         Roslansky has been at LinkedIn for more than 10 years. ·         He will report to Microsoft CEO SatyaNadella and join Microsoft’s senior leadership team.   11.   IOC signs 1st term contract for Russian crude oil ·         Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Russian Rosneft signed 1st term contract for importing 2 Million Metric Tonnes of Urals grade crude oil to India for the year 2020. ·         India is the 3rd largest Energy Consumer in the world; India imports globally 83% of oil to meet its oil need. ·         India has to enlarge its sources for oil imports away from the Middle East oil-producing countries.   12.   Minimum net worth for pension fund managers has been raised to Rs 50 cr by PFRDA ·         The minimum net worth criterion for pension fund managers has been raised from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). ·         This will bring pension funds on par with mutual funds which have to meet a minimum net worth requirement of Rs 50 crores as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rules.   13.   WhatsApp receives NPCI’s approval  to expand its UPI project to 10 million users ·         The instant messaging platform “WhatsApp” has received the National Payments Corporation of India’s approval to expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services to 10 million users through “WhatsApp Pay”.     International News 1.       Maldives rejoins Commonwealth as 54th member ·         Maldives has returned to Commonwealth after its exit in 2016 and hence, has become the 54th member of the global body. ·         The inclusion of Maldives into Commonwealth becomes effective from one minute past midnight on 1 February just after the exit of United Kingdom from the European union.   2.       Pakistan declares national emergency over locust swarms ·         Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has declared a national emergency in the country to battle locust swarms. ·         The insects destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province, country’s main region for agricultural production.   3.       Iraqi president appoints Mohammad Tawfiq Allawi as prime minister ·         Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi was appointed as Iraq’s new Prime Minister by President Barhim Salih. ·         He will replace Adil Abdul-Mahdi who resigned in November 2019 due to anti-government protests.   4.       72nd Independence Day celebrated by Sri Lanka ·         Sri Lanka celebrated its 72nd Independence Day on 4th February 2020. On this day, Sri Lanka became an independent nation after getting independence from Britain. ·         Military parades and air shows were the most attractive points of the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations held in Colombo.   5.       Donald Trump acquitted of all impeachment charges by US Senate ·         The United States President Donald Trump has been acquitted of all impeachment charges. ·         The US Senate has acquitted President Trump on two articles of impeachment that are the abuse of power and obstruction to Congress. ·         The Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress.   6.       Romania’s pro-EU government falls after 3 months ·         Romania’s pro-European government collapsed in a parliamentary no-confidence vote after only 3 months in office. ·         A total of 261 of 465 MPs voted in favour of a motion against the minority government led by Ludovic  Orban.   7.       To fight novel coronavirus World Health Organisation calls for USD 675 million ·         Geneva-based WHO has called for 675 million US dollars in donations for a plan to fight the novel coronavirus. This announcement was made by the Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom in Geneva. ·         They are launching a strategic preparedness and response plan and requesting 675 million dollars to fund the plan for the next three months. ·         60 million US dollars of the funds would be for WHO operations while the remainder would go to countries requiring assistance to guard against the deadly virus.   8.       Britain’s Prince unveils children’s protection fund for India ·         Britain’s Prince Charles has unveiled a new children’s protection fund for India as part of British Asian Trust. ·         The charity founded by him in 2007 to fight poverty in South Asia. American singer Katy Perry as the ambassador of the new fund.   9.       NASA’s Astronaut Christina Koch comes back to Earth after record stay in space ·         Christina Koch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s astronaut has returned to earth. ·         She stayed on the International Space Station for 328 days and has surpassed Peggy Whitson’s record for an American woman on a single spaceflight at 289 days.   10.   Pinelopi Koujianou has resigned from the World Bank as the chief economist ·         Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg has announced her resignation as the Chief Economist of the World Bank. ·         Aart Kraay will be the interim WB chief economist until the appointment of a new permanent chief economist. Sports 1.       Novak Djokovic Wins the men’s singles title of Australian Open 2020 ·         Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic has won the men’s singles title of Australian Open 2020. ·         He defeated Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem in five sets to successfully defend his Australian Open men’s singles title in Melbourne, Australia. This was his 8th title win in the Australia Open.   2.       Deepa Malik becomes president of Paralympic Committee of India ·         Para-athlete and India’s lone woman Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik has been elected as president of Paralympic Committee of India. ·         She was elected unopposed as president in the PCI polls held in Bengaluru.   3.       Australia Open 2020: Complete List of Winners ·         Australian Open is the first of the four annual Grand Slam events among the world’s major tennis championships. ·         The grand slam Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. Here is the complete list of winners: S.No. Category Winner Runner Up 1 Men’s Singles Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Dominic Thiem (Austria) 2 Women’s Singles Sofia Kenin (USA) Garbine Muguruza (Spain) 3 Mixed Doubles Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) & Nikola Mektic (Croatia) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) & Jamie Murray (United Kingdom) 4 Men’s Doubles Rajeev Ram (United States of America) & Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom) Max Purcell (Australia) & Luke Saville (Australia) 5 Women’s Doubles Timea Babos (Hungary) & Kristina Mladenovic (France) Su-Wei Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) &Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic)     4.       NADA suspends two Indian athlete ·         The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has suspended weightlifter Ramshad AR for a period of 2 years after being found guilty of violating the anti-doping rule. ·         He was examined by the Doping Control Officer of NADA during the 71st Men’s National Weightlifting Championship. ·         In addition to this, NADA has also banned Indian wrestler Ravinder Kumar for 4 years for failing a dope test.   5.       Mo O’Brien becomes the 1st deaf person to row Atlantic Ocean ·         Mo O’Brien (60 years) has become the first deaf person on record to row an ocean by finishing a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic with her daughter Bird Watts, and their friend Claire Allinson.   6.       Weightlifter Sambo Lapung wins gold with national record of 188kg ·         Weightlifter Sambo Lapung has won the gold medal in the men’s 89kg event of the National Weightlifting Championships held in Kolkata. ·         He has made a new national record of 188kg in clean and jerk event in men’s 89kg. The previous national record of clean and jerk was of 187kg. Sambo Lapung is from Arunachal Pradesh. ·         In the women’s event, Rakhi Halder has won the gold medal in the 64kg event.   7.       Sourav Ganguly to be Indian team’s Goodwill Ambassador for Tokyo Olympics ·         The Indian Olympic Association has invited BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to become the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics. ·         The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held from July 24 to August 9.   Awards 1.       Vinod Shukla wins 1st Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award ·         Noted Hindi poet-novelist and Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla has won the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book “Blue Is Like Blue“.   2.       Waheeda Rehman to be honoured with Kishore Kumar Samman ·         The Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman will be honoured the Madhya Pradesh government’s National Kishore Kumar Samman.   3.       Shaktikanta Das named best central banker in Asia Pacific ·         The Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das has been named the ‘Central Banker of the Year 2020’ for the Asia-Pacific region by financial intelligence magazine The Banker.   4.       President of India presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy 2019 ·         The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy for the year 2019 to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu under the Indian nomination (individual) category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category in New Delhi.   5.       India ranked 2nd in producer of Crude Steel ·         As per World Steel Association data, India became the second-largest steel producer of crude steel after China  2019, by replacing Japan. ·         India’s crude steel production in 2019 was at 111.2 MT, an increase of 1.7 per cent from 109.3 MT in 2018. China remains number one with 996.3 million tonnes in 2019. ·         The United States and Russia rank fourth and fifth respectively.   Important Days ·         2nd February - World Wetlands Day ·         4 February - World Cancer Day ·         2 February to 8 February - International Development Week ·         6 February: International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation Current Affairs 2020, February 2nd– February 9th

Current Affairs

2020, February 2nd– February 9th

National News

1.       Madhya Pradesh grabs first position for implementation of PMMVY

·         Madhya Pradesh’s Minister for Women and Child Development,   Imarti Devi and Principal Secretary Anupam Rajan received the award from Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

·         Indore has been ranked at first place among the districts for better performance of the scheme.

 

2.       Task force constituted by Government of India to restrict Novel Coronavirus

·         A task force has been constituted by the Government of India to restrict the Novel Coronavirus outspread in India.

·         Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri are the members of the task force.

 

3.       GOI appoints M Ajit Kumar as chairman of CBIC

·         The government of India has appointed M Ajit Kumar as chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

·         The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment.

 

4.       Ajay Bisaria becomes India’s next Ambassador to Canada

·         Ajay Bisaria has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada.

·         He is presently serving as High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. He will replace Vikas Swarup.

 

5.       11th Def Expo 2020 to be held in Lucknow

·         The 11th edition of the biennial mega defence exhibition, DefExpo 2020, will begin on 5 February at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

·         The main theme of DefExpo India-2020 will be “India: the emerging defence manufacturing hub”.

 

6.       Coastal Security Exercise ‘MatlaAbhiyaan’ conducted by Indian Navy

·         The Indian Navy conducts a coastal security exercise named ‘Malta Abhiyan’ in Kolkata, West Bengal.

·         The exercise, named after Malta River, aims to interact with coastal communities to spread awareness on coastal security and understand the navigational complexities in the Sunderban deltaic waters.

 

7.       India’s biggest rural technical festival ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ kicks off

·         India’s biggest rural technical festival titled ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Basar, Nirmal District, Telangana.

·         The theme for the year 2020 was “Spot and encourage rural tech innovators”.

 

8.       GOI unveils new vaccine to control classical swine fever

·         The government of India unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF).

·         CSF is a highly contagious fatal pig disease. The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one.

 

9.       5 IIITs to get the status of Institution of National Importance

·         The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra  Modi has approved to bestow the status of Institution of National Importance to the five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).

·         The status will be provided with the inception of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

·          The bill will provide the status of Institutions of National Importance to the remaining five IIITs along with the existing 15 IIITs in PPP mode.

·         The 5 IIITs in PPP mode includes IIITs in Bhopal, Raichur, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Surat.

 

10.   SC notify all states to established Gram Nyayalayas

·         The Supreme Court has directed the states to establish Gram Nyayalayas within four weeks’.

·         Gram Nyayalayas are mobile village courts established under Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008.

 

11.   ‘Pink City’ becomes certified UNESCO World Heritage City

·         Jaipur “The Pink City” has been certified by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as the World Heritage site.

·         The certification was done by the UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay during an event held in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

·         As part of certification, the World Heritage City certificate was handover by UNESCO Director General to Minister of Urban Development Shanti Dhariwal.

 

ECONOMY

1.       Paytm launches Android POS device for SMEs & merchant partners

·         Paytm has launched an Android POS device for small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners.

·         The android based device will enable the merchants to accept payments in various ways like debit and credit cards, Paytm Wallet, UPI-based apps and cash.

 

2.       Indian Oil &Phinergy to jointly make metal-air batteries in India

·         Indian Oil has picked up a minority equity stake in Israel’s battery developer Phinergy to jointly set up a facility in India to manufacture metal-air batteries for electric vehicles.

·         This collaboration helps in the field of Al-Air battery system including research & development, customization, manufacturing, assembly, sale and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology.

 

3.       Eastern Railways partners with Amazon India to set up kiosk

·         Eastern Railways has partnered with Amazon India to set up a pick-up kiosk at the Sealdah railway station in Kolkata, West Bengal.

·         This follows after the successful pilot of pickup kiosks in four railway stations across Mumbai in 2019. A kiosk is a small open-fronted hut or cubicle from where newspapers, refreshments, tickets, etc. will be sold.

 

4.       Prime Minister of India sets target at DefExpo of 5 billion dollar USD in upcoming 5 years

·         Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has stated that NDA government set a defense export target of 5 billion dollars in the upcoming five years.

·         The export of defense equipment from India was about 2,000 crore rupees. In the past 2 years, it has gone up to 17,000 crore rupees.

 

5.       HAL & Israel Aerospace Industries to jointly make armed UCAVs

·         Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

·         This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India.

 

6.       DICGC increases the insurance coverage for depositors to 5 lakh

·         Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) increases the insurance coverage for depositors in all insured banks from Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakh with effect from February 4, 2020, with the approval of Government of India.

·         The rate of premium payable by the insured banks will be raised from 10 paise per Rs 100 of assessable deposits to 12 paise per Rs100 of assessable deposits per annum.

 

7.       Union Cabinet Approves Amendments to Banking Regulation Act to regulate co-operative banks

·         The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act to empower India’s Central Bank (Reserve Bank of India) to have better control over urban co-operative banks and multi-state cooperative banks.

·         These amendments will apply to the urban co-operative banks and multi-state cooperative banks. Presently, cooperative banks are governed by dual control of cooperative societies as well as the Reserve Bank of India.

·         While the role of cooperative society includes incorporation, registration, management, recovery, audit, supersession of board of directors and liquidation, the central bank’s role is responsible for regulatory functions.

 

8.       RBI’s 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20 released: RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 5.15%

·         The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee has released its 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20. The Reserve Bank of India’s MPC has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged to 5.15%.

·         The MPC has also decided to maintain the accommodative stance of monetary policy to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target.

 

The key decisions taken in the 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

 

·         The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) left unchanged to 5.15%.

·         The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands same i.e. 4.90%.

·         The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate also remains same i.e. 5.40%.

·         RBI has increased the real GDP growth for fiscal year 2020-21 from 5% to 6%.

 

9.       Fitch forecasts India’s GDP growth at 5.6% for Financial Year 2021

·         Fitch Ratings has estimated India’s GDP growth of 5.6% in the next FY21 in its India Economic Outlook.

·         This forecast is lower than the projection made by the government’s Economic Survey. For the current fiscal 2019-20 (FY 20), GDP is projected at 4.6%.

·         Fitch has also estimated that in the fiscal year 2022, government debt will remain 70% of total GDP.

 

10.   Jeff Weiner to step down as the Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn Corporation

·         LinkedIn Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner is stepping down in the role. Jeff Weiner will become executive chairman after 11 years as CEO of the Microsoft-owned business.

·         Ryan Roslansky, senior vice president of product, will become CEO as of June 1.

·         Roslansky has been at LinkedIn for more than 10 years.

·         He will report to Microsoft CEO SatyaNadella and join Microsoft’s senior leadership team.

 

11.   IOC signs 1st term contract for Russian crude oil

·         Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Russian Rosneft signed 1st term contract for importing 2 Million Metric Tonnes of Urals grade crude oil to India for the year 2020.

·         India is the 3rd largest Energy Consumer in the world; India imports globally 83% of oil to meet its oil need.

·         India has to enlarge its sources for oil imports away from the Middle East oil-producing countries.

 

12.   Minimum net worth for pension fund managers has been raised to Rs 50 cr by PFRDA

·         The minimum net worth criterion for pension fund managers has been raised from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

·         This will bring pension funds on par with mutual funds which have to meet a minimum net worth requirement of Rs 50 crores as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rules.

 

13.   WhatsApp receives NPCI’s approval  to expand its UPI project to 10 million users

·         The instant messaging platform “WhatsApp” has received the National Payments Corporation of India’s approval to expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services to 10 million users through “WhatsApp Pay”.

 

 

International News

1.       Maldives rejoins Commonwealth as 54th member

·         Maldives has returned to Commonwealth after its exit in 2016 and hence, has become the 54th member of the global body.

·         The inclusion of Maldives into Commonwealth becomes effective from one minute past midnight on 1 February just after the exit of United Kingdom from the European union.

 

2.       Pakistan declares national emergency over locust swarms

·         Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has declared a national emergency in the country to battle locust swarms.

·         The insects destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province, country’s main region for agricultural production.

 

3.       Iraqi president appoints Mohammad Tawfiq Allawi as prime minister

·         Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi was appointed as Iraq’s new Prime Minister by President Barhim Salih.

·         He will replace Adil Abdul-Mahdi who resigned in November 2019 due to anti-government protests.

 

4.       72nd Independence Day celebrated by Sri Lanka

·         Sri Lanka celebrated its 72nd Independence Day on 4th February 2020. On this day, Sri Lanka became an independent nation after getting independence from Britain.

·         Military parades and air shows were the most attractive points of the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations held in Colombo.

 

5.       Donald Trump acquitted of all impeachment charges by US Senate

·         The United States President Donald Trump has been acquitted of all impeachment charges.

·         The US Senate has acquitted President Trump on two articles of impeachment that are the abuse of power and obstruction to Congress.

·         The Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress.

 

6.       Romania’s pro-EU government falls after 3 months

·         Romania’s pro-European government collapsed in a parliamentary no-confidence vote after only 3 months in office.

·         A total of 261 of 465 MPs voted in favour of a motion against the minority government led by Ludovic  Orban.

 

7.       To fight novel coronavirus World Health Organisation calls for USD 675 million

·         Geneva-based WHO has called for 675 million US dollars in donations for a plan to fight the novel coronavirus. This announcement was made by the Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom in Geneva.

·         They are launching a strategic preparedness and response plan and requesting 675 million dollars to fund the plan for the next three months.

·         60 million US dollars of the funds would be for WHO operations while the remainder would go to countries requiring assistance to guard against the deadly virus.

 

8.       Britain’s Prince unveils children’s protection fund for India

·         Britain’s Prince Charles has unveiled a new children’s protection fund for India as part of British Asian Trust.

·         The charity founded by him in 2007 to fight poverty in South Asia. American singer Katy Perry as the ambassador of the new fund.

 

9.       NASA’s Astronaut Christina Koch comes back to Earth after record stay in space

·         Christina Koch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s astronaut has returned to earth.

·         She stayed on the International Space Station for 328 days and has surpassed Peggy Whitson’s record for an American woman on a single spaceflight at 289 days.

 

10.   Pinelopi Koujianou has resigned from the World Bank as the chief economist

·         Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg has announced her resignation as the Chief Economist of the World Bank.

·         Aart Kraay will be the interim WB chief economist until the appointment of a new permanent chief economist.

Sports

1.       Novak Djokovic Wins the men’s singles title of Australian Open 2020

·         Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic has won the men’s singles title of Australian Open 2020.

·         He defeated Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem in five sets to successfully defend his Australian Open men’s singles title in Melbourne, Australia. This was his 8th title win in the Australia Open.

 

2.       Deepa Malik becomes president of Paralympic Committee of India

·         Para-athlete and India’s lone woman Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik has been elected as president of Paralympic Committee of India.

·         She was elected unopposed as president in the PCI polls held in Bengaluru.

 

3.       Australia Open 2020: Complete List of Winners

·         Australian Open is the first of the four annual Grand Slam events among the world’s major tennis championships.

·         The grand slam Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Here is the complete list of winners:

S.No.

Category

Winner

Runner Up

1

Men’s Singles

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Dominic Thiem (Austria)

2

Women’s Singles

Sofia Kenin (USA)

Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

3

Mixed Doubles

Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) & Nikola Mektic (Croatia)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) & Jamie Murray (United Kingdom)

4

Men’s Doubles

Rajeev Ram (United States of America) & Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom)

Max Purcell (Australia) & Luke Saville (Australia)

5

Women’s Doubles

Timea Babos (Hungary) & Kristina Mladenovic (France)

Su-Wei Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) &Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic)

 

 

4.       NADA suspends two Indian athlete

·         The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has suspended weightlifter Ramshad AR for a period of 2 years after being found guilty of violating the anti-doping rule.

·         He was examined by the Doping Control Officer of NADA during the 71st Men’s National Weightlifting Championship.

·         In addition to this, NADA has also banned Indian wrestler Ravinder Kumar for 4 years for failing a dope test.

 

5.       Mo O’Brien becomes the 1st deaf person to row Atlantic Ocean

·         Mo O’Brien (60 years) has become the first deaf person on record to row an ocean by finishing a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic with her daughter Bird Watts, and their friend Claire Allinson.

 

6.       Weightlifter Sambo Lapung wins gold with national record of 188kg

·         Weightlifter Sambo Lapung has won the gold medal in the men’s 89kg event of the National Weightlifting Championships held in Kolkata.

·         He has made a new national record of 188kg in clean and jerk event in men’s 89kg. The previous national record of clean and jerk was of 187kg. Sambo Lapung is from Arunachal Pradesh.

·         In the women’s event, Rakhi Halder has won the gold medal in the 64kg event.

 

7.       Sourav Ganguly to be Indian team’s Goodwill Ambassador for Tokyo Olympics

·         The Indian Olympic Association has invited BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to become the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics.

·         The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held from July 24 to August 9.

 

Awards

1.       Vinod Shukla wins 1st Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award

·         Noted Hindi poet-novelist and Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla has won the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book “Blue Is Like Blue“.

 

2.       Waheeda Rehman to be honoured with Kishore Kumar Samman

·         The Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman will be honoured the Madhya Pradesh government’s National Kishore Kumar Samman.

 

3.       Shaktikanta Das named best central banker in Asia Pacific

·         The Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das has been named the ‘Central Banker of the Year 2020’ for the Asia-Pacific region by financial intelligence magazine The Banker.

 

4.       President of India presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy 2019

·         The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy for the year 2019 to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu under the Indian nomination (individual) category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category in New Delhi.

 

5.       India ranked 2nd in producer of Crude Steel

·         As per World Steel Association data, India became the second-largest steel producer of crude steel after China  2019, by replacing Japan.

·         India’s crude steel production in 2019 was at 111.2 MT, an increase of 1.7 per cent from 109.3 MT in 2018. China remains number one with 996.3 million tonnes in 2019.

·         The United States and Russia rank fourth and fifth respectively.

 

Important Days

·         2nd February - World Wetlands Day

·         4 February - World Cancer Day

·         2 February to 8 February - International Development Week

·         6 February: International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

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