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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2020

National

Labour Codes passed by Parliament to reform labour laws

• In a historic move, the Parliament has passed three labour codes on September 23, 2020 to reform the Labour Laws. These labour codes are Industrial Relations Code, 2020; Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code) and Social Security Code, 2020.

•  These labour codes aim to introduce transparency in the changing business environment.

Railways target to complete 100% electrification of broad gauge routes by 2023

• Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023 said by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

• Around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63,631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. A total of 23,765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country.

EAM Dr S Jaishankar attends Special Ministerial Meeting of FMs of CICA

• The Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar participated in the Special Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the CICA on 24 September 2020.

• CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. CICA stands for the ‘Conference on Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia’.

• The Secretariat of CICA is based at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.It has 27 member states including India; 8 observer states and 5 observer organizations.

International

Alexander Lukashenko sworn in as President of Belarus for 6th term

• President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for a sixth term on 23 September 2020.

• The 66 year-old authoritarian leader won 80% of the vote in the presidential election to gain another 5 year term.

• Lukashenko is serving as the President of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.

Acquisitions and Mergers

CCI approves merger of Medlife with PharmEasy

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed combination of Medlife and API Holdings.

• The deal pertains to the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Medlife by API Holdings. Medlife shareholders are to get up to 19.59 per cent equity share capital of API Holdings.

• Medlife, a Patna-based company, was valued at $375 million as of January 31, 2020.

Obituary

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passes away at 65

• Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi has passed away after he contracted Chinese virus disease. He was 65-years-old.

• Suresh Angadi was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka’s Belagavi constituency. He was elected in 2004, 2014 and 2019.

Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones passes away

• 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 the commentary.  He scored almost 9500 international runs.

Appointments and Resignations

17-Year-Old Khushi Chindaliya Appointed As UNEP’s Indian Green Ambassador

• A 17-year-old girl from Surat, Khushi Chindaliya has been appointed as the Regional Ambassador for India for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tunza Eco-Generation, a recurring event with monthly goals.

• Khushi, who has been named India’s ‘Green Ambassador’ for her contribution to the conservation of the environment.

• Khushi will work with TEG on various awareness programs till February 2021. Crucially, Khushi is one of the 100 youths in India whose essays will be featured in a UNESCO book.

Govt extends term of Uday Kotak as Chairman of Debt-ridden IL&FS by One Year

• The government extended the term of Uday Kotak as non-executive chairman of debt-ridden IL&FS group by one year with effect from the 3rd day of October 2020.

• Kotak was appointed by the Government as the head of the lender”s board in 2018 to help the troubled company come out of difficulties, after the state took over the board.

Ranking

Shivangi Singh becomes first woman pilot to fly Rafale aircraft

• Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh makes history by becoming the first woman fighter pilot to fly the recently inducted Rafale aircraft. The Rafale was officially inducted on September 10, 2020 in the Indian Air Force.

• Singh is currently receiving the training to fly the Rafale, which is based in Ambala.

Days

World Pharmacist Day

• The World Pharmacist Day is observed on September 25 annually to create awareness about the role of a pharmacist in improving health.

• 2020 theme: “Transforming global health“.

• The day was designated in 2009 by the FIP Council (International Pharmaceutical Federation or Federation International Pharmaceutique) at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey.

World Maritime Day 2020

• World Maritime Day 2020 is observed globally on 24th September in the form of an online event. The exact date of celebrating World Maritime Day is left to the individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

• The theme of World Maritime Day 2020 is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2020

National

Narendra Modi becomes second Indian PM to win Ig Nobel Prize

• Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has been awarded the Ig Nobel Prize 2020 for Medical Education.

• He has been awarded the prestigious award for “using the C-19 pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can”.

• PM Modi is the second Indian Prime Minister to be honored with the Ig Nobel Prize. Prior to this, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was awarded in 1998.

• PM Modi shares the award with 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.

Govt launched Platform “YuWaah” to make young people career ready.

• Government has launched YuWaah – a multi-stakeholder platform to make young people career ready. Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have signed a “Statement of Intent” on 20.07.2020 to establish YuWaah, Generation Unlimited (GenU), a global multi-stakeholder platform in India.

• Basic objective of YuWaah project

 Support young people by providing entrepreneurship classes (online and offline)

 Upskilling of young people on 21st century works and skills

 Create linkages with aspirational economic opportunities

 Providing career guidance support to young people

J&K launched National Generic Document Registration System

• Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha 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 national generic document registration system was developed under Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme.

Banking and Economy

India’s nominal GDP to grow 19 per cent in 2022: Finance Ministry

• Finance ministry has estimated that India’s nominal GDP will grow by 19 per cent in nominal terms in financial year 2021-22.

• In the first quarter of this financial year, the nominal GDP contracted by 22.6 per cent to Rs 38.08 lakh crore, compared to Rs 49.18 lakh crore in the same period last year.

• The finance ministry said it is not able to submit Medium Term Expenditure Framework with rolling targets of indicative expenditure for FY22 and FY23 as mandated under the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act because it is not possible to obtain reliable projections of GDP growth at this time due to the continuing impact of C-19 pandemic on the Indian economy.

Google Pay partners with Visa for card-based payments with tokenization

• Google Pay has partnered with VISA for the rollout of tokenization that will enable users to safely transact with their debit or credit cards.

• Through tokenization, Google Pay users can make payment by using the debit or credit card without physically sharing their credit or debit card details through a secure digital token attached to their phone.

Summits and Mou’s

HCL & Google Cloud expands partnership for HCL’s Actian portfolio

• HCL Technologies and Google Cloud has announced the expansion of their strategic partnership to bring HCL’s Actian portfolio, starting with Actian Avalanche, to Google Cloud.

• HCL’s Actian Avalanche hybrid cloud data warehouse has been deployed by Fortune 500 customers to deliver powerful insights to manage business complexities for a variety of use cases, including fraud detection, real-time offers and market basket analysis.

• Actian Avalanche is a high-performance hybrid cloud data warehouse designed to power an enterprise’s most demanding operational analytics workloads.

India-UK held Water Partnership Forum on water conservation issue

• India-UK held the Water Partnership Forum on September 22, 2020 virtually to discuss issues related to the water conservation and infrastructure development.

• The inaugural address was given by Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to United Kingdom.

• During the forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ganga and the British water.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL tech acquires Australian IT firm DWS for $115.8 million

• HCL Technologies has announced the acquisition of Australian IT firm DWS Ltd for $115.8 million in a bid to further expand its digital offerings especially in Australia and New Zealand.

• The DWS Group closed FY 2020 with revenues of $ 122.9 million and has over 700 employees with operations in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra.

Obituary

Former Canadian PM John Turner passes away

• Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner has passed away at his residence in Toronto. He was 91.

• Turner, who spent decades in federal politics as a cabinet minister and Liberal Party leader during some of the most turbulent moments, led Canada for 79 days in 1984, the second-shortest time in office of any Prime Minister.

• During his political career, Turner held several prominent cabinet posts, then he resigned as Liberal leader in 1990 and retired from politics in 1993.

Noted Marathi actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar passes away

• Noted Marathi actress and Bollywood’s veteran character artist Ashalata Wabgaonkar passed away due to C-19 infection at a hospital in Satara in Maharashtra. She was 79.

• The actress had also worked in several Marathi films and Bollywood movies. She has over 100 movies, plays, and series to her credit.

• She also authored a book, ‘Gard Sabhowati’.

Days

International Day of Sign Languages

• The International Day of Sign Languages is observed globally on 23 September every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages.

• The theme for the 2020 International Day of Sign Languages is “Sign Languages are for everyone!”

• Also, the last full week of September is observed as International Week of the Deaf.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2020

National

Women officers to join Indian Navy's helicopter stream for first time ever

• For the first time ever, two women officers will be joining the helicopter stream of the Indian Navy as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians).

• These women officers will be first batch of women airborne combatants to operate from warships. The entry of women officers was earlier restricted to fixed-wing aircraft of Indian Navy.

Govt launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts

• Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

• The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.

• The activities under the NAPDDR include awareness generation programmes in schools, colleges, Universities, workshop and provisioning of treatment facilities and capacity building of service providers.

International

India extends soft loan of $250 million to Maldives in largest bilateral financial aid

• India has extended financial assistance of USD 250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the C-19 pandemic.

• The budgetary support of USD 250 million has been extended without conditions.

• This financial assistance is being routed through the State Bank of India (SBI), Male so that it does not reflect in the external borrowings of the Maldives.

Summits and Mou’s

MoU signed between AYUSH Ministry and WCD Ministry for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan

• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

• The MoU will see some time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions being adopted for controlling malnutrition in the country.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL Technologies to acquire Australian IT solutions company DWS

• Noida-based IT company HCL Technologies (HCL) announced that it would acquire DWS Limited, an Australian IT, business and management consulting group.

• The acquisition of DWS will enhance HCL’s contribution to digital initiatives in Australia and New Zealand while strengthening HCL’s client portfolio across key industries.

Science and Technology

FELUDA: First Gene based C-19 test approved in India

• The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently approved the gene-based C-19 test called Feluda.The test was indigenously developed and uses cutting edge CRISPR (Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology to detect the C-19 virus.

• The test was developed by scientists based in Council of scientific and Industrial Research Institute of genomics and integrative Biology CSIR-IDIB along with the TATA Group.

• FELUDA is the acronym of FNCAS9 editor linked uniform detection. It is a paper strip test

Obituary

Assam Musician Bibhuranjan Choudhury passes away

• Music composer, singer, lyricist and actor Bibhuranjan Choudhury passed away at the age of 71 years due to cancer. He was from Assam.

• Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condoled the demise of Bibhuranjan Choudhury.

Winston Groom, Author of ‘Forrest Gump,’ passes away

• Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop-cultural phenomenon, has died at age 77. He wrote 16 books, fiction and nonfiction.

• Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, the university said. His service included a tour in Vietnam – one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”

Sports

Simona Halep & Novak Djokovic wins 2020 Italian Open title

• World number one Novak Djokovic beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman, 7-6, 5-3, to win 2020 Men’s Single Italian Open title and his fifth overall Rome title.

• In Women’s single, top seed Simona Halep defeated champion Karolina Pliskova, 6-0, 2-1, to win her first Italian Open title.

• Winners List

1. Men’s Single- Novak Djokovic

2. Women’s Single- Simona Halep

3. Men’s Double- Marcel Granollers /Horacio Zeballos

4. Women’s Double- Hsieh Su-wei / Barbora Strýcová

Appointments and Resignations

 Anil Dhasmana becomes new chief of NTRO 

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief, Anil Dhasmana, as the new Chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for a period of two years with effect from 18 September 2020.

• NTRO is a technical intelligence Agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

• He will replace former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Satish Chandra Jha. Dhasmana, a 1981-batch officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, has been the chief of RAW from 31 January 2017 to 29 June 2019.

Ranking

World Largest Telescope to have IT controls built in India

• The square kilometre array also called the SKA, an international initiative building the world’s largest radio telescope is to have control systems designed and built by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT company based in India.

• Several other multiple leading Indian scientific Institutions are also contributing to the project under the leadership of TCS.

• The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) operating under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the leading manager of the project.

Books and Authors

Chef Vikas Khanna’s Next Book To Give Insights Into His ‘Feed India’ Initiative

• Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna announced his next book titled “Kitchens of Gratitude”.In this book he will write about his Feed India initiative, one of the world’s largest food drives serving meals to the underprivileged amid the ongoing pandemic, said by publishing house Penguin Random House India.

• The book, “Kitchens of Gratitude”, will be released in 2021 under the ‘Ebury Press’ imprint.

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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2020

National

PM to inaugurate VAIBHAV Summit on 2nd October 2020

• Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit on 2nd October’2020 through videoconferencing.

• The VAIBHAV Summit is a joint initiative of all S&T and Academic Organisations of India (working in Research, Academic and Scientific fields) to enable deliberations on thought processes, practices and R&D culture with a problem-solving approach for well-defined objectives.

• The month-long Summit will provide a platform to leverage the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for solving emerging challenges and create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.

10th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors

• 10th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Security was held virtually. The 10th meeting of the NSAs was hosted by the current chair of BRICS i.e. Russia.

• The National Security Advisors of the BRICS nations met to deliberate upon the issues related to strengthening political security and cooperation among the five countries.

• National Security Advisor Ajit Doval represented India in a virtual meet of top security officials from Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping.

Tamil Nadu becomes first state to unveil ethical AI, blockchain, cybersecurity policies in country

• Tamil Nadu has become the first state in India to launch policies on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Cybersecurity policies.

• Chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami unveiled the Tamil Nadu Cyber Security Policy, 2020, Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy, 2020, and Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence Policy, 2020 at Connect 2020.

• The project will be implemented by establishing and leveraging the State Family Data Base (SFDB) and Block-Chain Backbone infrastructure.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Solutions projects India’s GDP growth at -8.6% in 2020-21

• Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for Indian economic growth and now estimates that India’s GDP will contract by 8.6% in 2020-21 (FY21).Earlier this was estimated at -4.5%.

• It has also forecasted a 5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in 2021 and 2022.

Obituary

Renowned US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at 87

• Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has passed away due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87.

• She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and served until her death in 2020.She was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande passes away

• Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande died at her residence in Mumbai due to old age. She was 91. Deshpande, was the daughter of Shripad Amrit Dange, one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.

• Deshpande had taken part in the Sanyukta Maharashtra Movement (the movement for the creation of the State of Maharashtra) and the Goa liberation struggle as a Member of the All India Students’ Federation. In 1974, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bombay South Central constituency.

Ranking

HDFC Bank leads ‘BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands’ ranking

• HDFC Bank has topped the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2020 Rankings. HDFC Bank has topped this ranking for the 7th consecutive year. It has a total brand value of more than $20.2 billion

• LIC is ranked second while Tata Consulting Services has been ranked at no.3.

Days

International Day of Peace

• The International Day of Peace (or World Peace Day) is observed annually on 21 September to spread awareness and preach peace and harmony all across the globe.

• The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.”

• The Day established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is also known as World Peace Day.

World Alzheimer's Day

• World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21 September every year to spread awareness about Alzheimer and Dementia disease.

• The theme for World Alzheimer Day 2020 is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’.

• In Alzheimer’s disease loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain occurs. Progressively brain disorder which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills etc. In older adults it is the most common cause of dementia.

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Important Current Affairs 20th September 2020

National

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announces 1350 crore relief package for traders

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced an economic package of Rs 1350 crore for Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to boost the business and the other ailing sectors that have suffered huge losses for several years in the newly formed Union Territory.

• This is additional to the benefits of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and other measures taken by the government to comfort the business community.

• The state government has been decided to give 5% interest subvention to every borrower from the business community, without any conditions for six months in the current financial year.

Government gives one-year extension to Company Law Committee

• 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 de-clog and improve 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.

Banking and Economy

Canara Bank introduces i-Lead 2.0 to boost customer services

• Canara Bank has launched a lead management system(LMS) named as i-Lead 2.0(Inspiring Leads System version 2.0).

• The initiative aims that each and every customer gets their banking needs covered, irrespective of where they are based, urban or rural.

• Customers can use internet banking, mobile banking, call center, SMS and missed call services to enquire and get services rendered to them. They can also use the CANDI mobile app of Canara Bank.

Awards

Udit Singhal named in UN’s 2020 list of Young Leaders

• Indian teenager Udit Singhal has been named in the 2020 Class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has been named in the 2020 list of young leaders who promote sustainable development goals.

• Udit Singhal is the founder of Glass2Sand, an initiative that is based on a zero-waste ecosystem to tackle the challenge of glass waste in Delhi.

Margaret Atwood wins 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

• Margaret Atwood (Canada) has won the 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s lifetime achievement award.

• The award celebrated the power of literature in fostering peace, social justice and global understanding. It is a United States literary award

• Margaret Atwood is famous for her novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Sports

ITF Renames Fed Cup as Billie Jean King Cup

• The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has renamed the Fed Cup, an annual team competition in women tennis, as the “Billie Jean King Cup.”

• Billie Jean King was a pioneer in women’s tennis who helped the United States win the inaugural event.

• The Billie Jean King Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

Days

International Coastal Cleanup Day

• The International Coastal Cleanup Day is being celebrated on 3rd Saturday of September of every Year. This year September 19 was celebrated as the International Coastal Cleanup Day to encourages people to clean beaches, remove the garbage plaguing it

• The theme of this year is “Achieving a trash free Coastline”.

Books and Authors

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir, ‘A Promised Land,’ to hit stands in November 2020

• Former US President Barack Obama has announced his first presidential memoir titled  “A Promised Land.”

• A Promised Land is the first of two volumes of the book. This volume tells about his early political life, his presidential campaign in 2008, and ending with the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

• The 768-page book will be published in November 2020 by Penguin Random House and is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2020 in 25 languages.

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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2020

National

Tata Groups win new Parliament Building Contract under Central Vista Project

• Tata Group has won the contract for the construction of the new Parliament Building with a bid of Rs. 861.90 crores. Tata has beaten Larsen & Toubro whose bid was at Rs. 865 crores.

• The Central Public Works Department had opened the financial bid for the new Parliament Building on September 16, 2020. In total, 7 companies had placed the pre-qualification technical bids for the construction of the new Parliament Building.

Lok Sabha passes bill to bring Cooperative Banks under Reserve Bank of India

• The Lok Sabha has passed an amendment bill to the Banking Regulation Act on September 16, 2020, to bring Cooperative Banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India.

• The amendment bill has replaced an ordinance that was issued on June 26, 2020. The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified that the powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies have not been encroached upon but the banking activities of the Cooperatives will not be regulated by RBI.

International

Brazil, India, and South Africa jointly call for comprehensive reforms in UNSC

• India South Africa and Brazil have jointly called for the comprehensive reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the virtual meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers on September 16, 2020.

• The meeting was chaired by the Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and was attended by his South African Counterpart Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and Brazilian Counterpart Fabio Marzano.

• The three ministers adopted a joint statement on the reform of the UNSC and emphasized the expansion of its membership by including the representation from developing and emerging countries.

Banking and Economy

UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to contract by 8.6% in FY21; For FY22=+10%

• UBS Securities has projected India’s GDP  for 2020-21 (FY21) to contact by 8.6%. (Earlier it was -5.8%).For FY22, UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to grow by 10%.

• UBS Securities is a Chinese investment bank and brokerage firm headquartered in Beijing, China.

Govt to infuse ₹20,000 cr into PSBs via recap bonds

• State-run banks are poised to get ₹20,000 crore through recapitalization bonds this financial year, at a time the C-19 crisis threatens to bump up bad loans across the banking system.

• Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the first batch of supplementary demand for grants in the Parliament, reflecting additional expenses sought by various ministries beyond the budget allocations.

• The government has sought the Parliament’s nod for additional cash expenditure of Rs 1.67 lakh crore, less than 1 percent of GDP, in the first supplementary demand for grants for FY21 tabled in the Parliament.

Titan ties up with SBI to launch contactless payment watches

• Titan Company has partnered with the State Bank of India (SBI) to launch India’s first contactless payment watches named “Titan Pay”.

• Using these watches, the account holders of SBI can tap their Titan Pay watch on the contactless payment POS machines for making payments. It is powered by YONO SBI.

• Under this mechanism, payments of up to Rs. 2,000 can be made without entering a PIN, as per the RBI guidelines.

Awards

Chef Vikas Khanna Named for 2020 Asia Game Changer Award

• New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been chosen to be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the C-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive ‘FeedIndia’.

• The Asia Game Changer Awards was launched by the Asia Society, a US-based non-profit organization, in 2014, to identify and honor 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.

Obituary

Legendary scholar of Indian classical dance & arts, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, passes away at 92

• Veteran scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture and art history, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan has passed away. She was 92-year-old.

• Dr. Vatsyayan was the former Member of Parliament and had served as Education Secretary. She was the founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

• Some of the prestigious honors received by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan inlcudes, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship,  the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, and the Padma Vibhushan.

Mali’s former president Moussa Traore passes away

• Former President of Republic of Mali, who was in power from 1968 to 1991, General Moussa Traore passed away. He was born in 1936 in Kayes, Mali.

• He was a former military leader, forcibly took over the reign from Modibo Keita (known as the ‘father of independence’).

Ranking

India ranks 116 in World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index

• India has been ranked at 116 positions among 174 countries in the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual Human Capital Index. The Index benchmarks the key components of the human capital across all over the countries.

•  The 2020 Human Capital Index has included education and health data for 174 countries- up to March 2020.

•  As per the analysis by the World Bank, pre-pandemic most of the countries had made steady progress in building the human capital of children and the biggest strides were made in low-income countries.

India’s four major cities drop in ranking in Global Smart City Index

• India’s four major cities- New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad witnessed a drop in their rankings in the Global Smart City Index. The index was topped by Singapore.

• The Smart City Index 2020 was released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD). The index is based on key findings on how technology is playing a role in the C-19 era.

• While New Delhi was ranked 86th on the 2020 Smart City Index, down from 68 in 2019, Hyderabad was placed 85th position (down from 67 in 2019), Bengaluru at 95th (79 in 2019) and Mumbai was at 93rd rank (down from 78 in 2019).

Days

World Water Monitoring Day

• The World Water Monitoring Day is observed every year on September 18 since 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world. Theme for 2020 WWMD 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 Patient Safety Day

• The World Patient Safety Day is observed on September 17 to create global awareness for patient safety and urge people to show their commitment to make healthcare safer.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) observed the first WPSD in 2019.It was adopted at the 72nd World Health Assembly on 25 May 2019. The theme for 2020 WPSD is ‘Safe health workers, Safe patients.

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Important Current Affairs 17th September 2020

National

Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

• Lok Sabha on September 15, 2020, passed Essential Commodities Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The bill allows the central government to regulate the supply of some of the food items only under the extraordinary circumstances which include natural calamity of grave nature, war, famine, and extraordinary price rise.

• The latest bill passed in Lok Sabha seeks to increase the competition in the agricultural sector and to increase farmers' income. It also aims to liberlise the regulatory system while also protecting the interests of the consumers.

Cabinet approves establishment of new AIIMS at Bihar’s Darbhanga

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Darbhanga, Bihar.

• The total cost will be Rs.1264 crore and is likely to be completed within four years from the date of the approval of Government of India. The medical college will have 100 MBBS seats.

International

Israel, Bahrain, UAE sign historic US-brokered peace deals

• Israel, Bahrain, and UAE signed Abraham Accords on September 15, 2020, in a signing ceremony which was presided over by the President of United States Donald Trump at the White House.

• The Abraham Accords have been signed to establish the foundation of peace agreements between Israel and the two Arab nations- Bahrain and UAE.

TikTok choses Oracle as its technology partner for its US operations

• ByteDance has chosen Oracle as a US partner for its popular TikTok video service, a decision that comes as a deadline for a ban of the popular app draws near.

• Microsoft was also in a bid to acquire TikTok in the United States but the Chinese owner of the video-sharing platform “TikTok” chose Oracle over Microsoft to be its technology partner for its American operations.

Banking and Economy

OECD projects India’s GDP at -10.2% in FY21 & 10.7% in FY22, Global GDP at -4.5% in 2020

• OECD projects India’s GDP at -10.2% in FY21 & 10.7% in FY22, Global GDP at -4.5% in 2020

• The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects the Indian economy to contract by 10.2% in FY21 (2020-21) as compared to its previous estimate of 16.7% in June.

• For FY22 (2021-22), the Paris-based OECD projects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 10.7%.

• OECD expects the global GDP at -4.5% in 2020, which is an upward revision from its previous estimate of -6%.For the year 2021, the global economy is estimated to increase by 5%.

RBI asks banks to fully automate NPA recognition process

• The Reserve Bank of India has mandated banks to fully automate NPA classification and provisioning calculation process.

• All borrower accounts will be covered under the new regime. Lenders will have time till June 30, 2021 to complete this process.

• The new guidelines will include all borrower accounts, including temporary overdrafts, irrespective of size or sector. Banks’ investments will also be covered under the new system.

Science and Technology

Scientists detect potential signs of extra terrestrial life on Venus

• Scientists revealed on September 14, 2020 that they have detected potential signs on life on the inhospitable Venus.

• The scientists have detected a gas called phosphine in the acidic clouds of Venus that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s neighbour.

Sports

BWF Postpones Thomas And Uber Cup Finals To 2021

• The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has announced that the Thomas Cup and the Uber Cup, which were scheduled to be held from 3 to 11 October 2020 in Denmark, has been postponed for 2021.

• This decision has been taken following the withdrawal of many participating countries from the tournament due to the C-19 pandemic.

• The alternative dates to reschedule the World Men’s and Women’s Team Championships is yet to be decided by BWF.

Appointments and Resignations

Facebook India appoints Arun Srinivas as Director of Global Business Group

• Facebook India appoints Arun Srinivas as Director of Global Business Group. Facebook announced the appointment of Arun Srinivas as the Director of Global Business Group.

• Srinivas will spearhead the strategy and delivery of the India Marketing Solutions which aims to tap large advertisers and agencies.

• Srinivas has worked with Ola where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Global Chief Marketing Officer.

Ranking

India Happiness Report 2020: Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Top List; Maharashtra & Delhi at Bottom

• The first all India Happiness Report covering all states and Union Territories measuring happiness across the country, which is based on a nationwide survey covering 16,950 people between March and July 2020 by Professor Rajesh K Pillania.

• In the happiness rankings of states and union territories, Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the top three. Among the big states, Punjab, Gujarat, and Telangana are among the top three states whereas, among smaller states, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh are the top three states in happiness rankings. Among union territories, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep are the top three union territories in happiness rankings

• Maharashtra, Delhi, and Haryana have shown the worst possible impact of C-19 on happiness, whereas Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir are neutral and Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep have shown the best possible impact of C-19 on happiness.

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Important Current Affairs 16th September 2020

National

Parliament passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020, after Rajya Sabha approval

• The Parliament on September 15, 2020, passed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 after it was approved by Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on March 17, 2020.

• The bill aims to amend the Aircraft Act of 1934 and convert the 3 regulatory bodies under the Civil Aviation Ministry into the statutory bodies.

• The 3 regulatory bodies include the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

International

India becomes member of United Nation’s Commission on Status of Women (UNCSW)

• UNCSW is a body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is responsible for promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

• India will be a member of the UNCSW for four years — from 2021 to 2025. Three countries, India, China and Afghanistan had contested the elections in which India and Afghanistan have been elected to UNCSW while China has failed to do so.

• TS Tirumurti, permanent representative of India to the United Nations shared the information.

Liberia declares rape a national emergency after spike in cases

• Liberian President George Weah has declared rape a national emergency and ordered new measures to tackle the problem after a recent spike of cases in the West African state.

• The move comes after thousands of Liberians protested against rising incidents of rape in the capital Monrovia last month in a bid to draw attention to the country’s alarming rate of sexual assault.

• The government will also establish a so-called “national security task force” on sexual and gender-based violence.

Banking and Economy

Asian Development Bank projects Indian economy to shrink by 9% in FY21, grow by 8% in FY22

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that the GDP of India is expected to contract by 9 percent in the fiscal 2020-21 (FY21). This estimate is worse that ADB’s previous estimate of -4%.

• However, for the FY22 (2021-22), ADB expects India’s GDP at 8 percent.

• ADB also expects the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for developing Asia at – 0.7 percent in 2020, the first negative economic growth since 1962.

Infosys to acquire Europe-based Guide Vision for €30 million

• IT major Infosys has signed a definitive agreement to acquire European consultancy firm Guide Vision for up to Euro 30 million (approximately $35 million).

• Guide Vision is one of the largest Service Now Elite Partners in Europe, specialised in offering strategic advisory, consulting, implementations, training and support.

• With this acquisition, Infosys will enhance its Cobalt portfolio of cloud services and further strengthen its Service Now capabilities for its clients in Europe.

• Infosys launched Cobalt in August 2020, which is a set of services, solutions, and platforms to help its clients, mostly large enterprises, build new cloud-first capabilities.

S&P Projects Indian Economy to Contract 9 Percent

• S&P Global Ratings slashed its growth forecast for India to (-) 9 per cent in the current fiscal, from (-) 5 per cent estimated earlier, saying that rising C-19 cases would keep private spending and investment lower for longer.

• S&P Global Ratings now expects the country’s economy to contract by 9 percent in the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2021.

Science and Technology

Vi launches integrated 4G network GIGAnet

• VI (erstwhile Vodafone Idea) has launched GIGAnet network that is an integrated 4G network.

• With the launch of GIGAnet, VI aims to overcome the loss of customers and attract new customers from rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

• GIGAnet offers faster downloads & uploads, low latency, and real-time connectivity. It is built on many principles of 5G architecture that help in delivering a superior network experience.

Appointments and Resignations

Harivansh re-elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

• NDA candidate Harivansh has been re-elected as the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

• The upper house cleared his name with a voice vote. BJP President JP Nadda had moved the proposal to elect Harivansh as the deputy chairman and his motion was adopted. Later, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announced his name.

Amazon signs Amitabh Bachchan for its Alexa voice assistant

• Amazon.com Inc has signed up Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan for its Alexa voice assistant.

• Alexa users will be able to access Amitabh Bachchan’s voice on Alexa by purchasing the Amitabh Bachchan voice experience.

• He is the first Indian celebrity to lend his voice to Alexa.

Days

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: 16 September

• The International Day for the preservation for Ozone layer (World Ozone Day) is observed annually on September 16 to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it.

• The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 2000, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.

• Theme for 2020 World Ozone Day: ‘Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’.

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

• The World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) is observed on September 15 every year. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer.

• WLAD is a global initiative, initiated in 2004 by the Lymphoma Coalition (LC), a non-profit network organisation of 83 lymphoma patient groups from 52 countries around the world.

Books and Authors

Gauri Khan authors book titled ‘My Life in Design’

• Interior designer Gauri Khan has authored her first book titled “My Life In Design”, which will be published by Penguin Random House India in 2021.

• It is a coffee-table book, in which Gauri has written about her journey as a designer.

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Important Current Affairs 15th September 2020

National

Govt moves ahead with Orientation and Training Programme of iRAD App

• Road Transport and Highways Ministry is in the process of implementing Integrated Road Accident Database Project (iRAD) which will be applicable across the country.

• In the first instance, it has been decided to implement the proposal in six states. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

• The basic iRAD app has been developed and will be customized as per the requirements of concerned states.

UP Government to set up a special security force that can arrest or search without a warrant

• The Uttar Pradesh State Government had announced on September 13, 2020, that a special security force will be constituted to protect airports, courts, administrative buildings, banks, metros, and other government offices.

• The Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) will be allowed to conduct searches and arrests without any warrants if it is sure about the crime.

• The information regarding the special security force was shared by UP’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi during a press briefing.

International

Yoshihide Suga wins Japan’s ruling party’s leadership vote, set to become PM

• Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga won the leadership vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan on September 14, 2020. Mr. Suga will soon secure the position of the new Prime Minister of the country as on September 16, 2020, the Japanese parliament will confirm Suga as the head of the government.

•  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.

Summits and Mou’s

HCL Technologies joins NVIDIA partner network, will pursue opportunities in AI space

• HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, announced it has joined NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN), the US-based technology company’s partner program, with plans to pursue expanded opportunities in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space.

• HCL also announced the launch of NEXT.ai, HCL’s AI Lab, focused on upskilling engineers and architects utilizing AI solutions across hardware and software technology stacks.

• This will enhance their capabilities to build AI-led solutions for multiple HCL clients across industry verticals.

Awards

Euromoney honours HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri with Lifetime Achievement Award

• Aditya Puri, MD of HDFC Bank has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.

• He has been awarded for his skills in building a world-class bank in India at a time where there were no similar institutions in existence.

Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka beats Victoria Azarenka to win US Open Tennis Tournament

• In Tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 1-6, ,6-3, 6-3,  to clinch the Women’s Singles title in the 2020 US Open Tennis tournament

• This is the third Grand Slam title for the fourth seed Osaka. The victory has moved up Osaka to number 3 in the world rankings.

• The 22-year old Osaka previously won the title at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.She is now the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles.

Dominic Thiem wins US Open Men’s Tennis Tournament 2020

• Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev to win the men’s singles title at the 2020 US Open tournament.

• It was Thiem’s first Grand Slam title, and he becomes the first player in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in a US Open final.

Appointments and Resignations

Sameer Kumar Khare appointed Executive Director at ADB

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Sameer Kumar Khare as new Executive Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB), 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 Ministry of Finance.

Rajesh Khullar appointed Executive Director at World Bank

• A 1988 batch IAS officer, Rajesh Khullar has been appointed as Executive Director at World Bank in Washington DC. The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) 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.

Ranking

TCS Becomes Second Indian Firm to Cross Rs 9 Lakh Crore-market Valuation Mark

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the second Indian firm to attain a market valuation of over Rs 9 lakh crore after Reliance Industries Limited.

• The company’s market valuation went past Rs 9 lakh crore in early trade helped by a rally in its share price.

• The stock of the software services firm gained 2.91 per cent to Rs 2,442.80- its record high on the BSE.

Days

International Day of Democracy

• International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September every year. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

• The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. The day was observed for the first time in 2008.

National Engineer’s Day

• In India, the Engineer’s Day is celebrated on September 15 every year, since 1968, to recognise the contribution of engineers’ in the development of the nation.

• The day marks the birth anniversary of the engineering pioneer of India, Sir Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya, (popularly known as Sir MV).Sir MV was regarded as the “Father of Modern Mysore”.

• He was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the building of India in 1955.

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Important Current Affairs 14th September 2020

National

Odisha Launches ‘GARIMA’ Scheme For Sanitation Workers

• The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik launched a new scheme named ‘GARIMA’ which aims to ensure the economic safety and social dignity of core sanitation workers in the state. Initially, the state government has allocated a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for the scheme.

• GARIMA Scheme will be implemented by state Housing and Urban Development department in all the 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Odisha.

• Around 20,000 core sanitation workers and their families with about one lakh population will benefit from the scheme.

AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy launches ‘YSR Aasara’ scheme; 87 lakh women to benefit

• 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.

• 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.

Banking and Economy

Razorpay launches collateral free line of credit for SMEs

• In a bid to rescue MSMEs and improve their cash flows, Razorpay has launched a collateral free line of credit called Cash Advance.

• MSMEs can borrow working capital with a credit limit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh, within 10 seconds through the Razorpay dashboard, depending upon the credit history of the business.

• With this, Razorpay aims to support businesses with upto Rs 100 crores of credit by end of 2020.

Obituary

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who recently quit RJD, passed away 

• Former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away while undergoing treatment in New Delhi. Singh, who had recently resigned from RJD, had fallen critically ill.

• He was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India and represented the Vaishali constituency of Bihar.Often called the architect of the MGNREGA scheme, which was floated when he was the Union minister for rural development in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Tuscan Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Formula One Tuscan Grand Prix 2020 held on September 13, 2020. This was his 6th win of the season and 90th F1 win of his career.

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Alexander Albon (Red Bull – Thailand) at third place.

• The Tuscan Grand Prix (first edition) was the ninth race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship.

Appointments and Resignations

Jane Fraser named the first female CEO of Citigroup

• Multinational investment bank, Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its next chief executive, tapping a woman to lead a giant Wall Street bank for the first time.

• Fraser began her career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s mergers and acquisitions department in London, before starting to work for Asesores Bursátiles in Madrid. She has been working for Citigroup for 16 years and been serving in her current capacity since 2019.

Subhash Kamath elected as Chairman of ASCI

• Subhash Kamath has been elected as the chairman of the board of governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

• He is the chief executive at advertising agency BBH & Publicis Worldwide, India.He will replace Rohit Gupta, president, Sony Pictures Networks.

Ranking

India is second-fastest-growing freelance market in the world

• India is the second-fastest-growing freelance market in the world with a massive increase in the number of freelancers this year, according to a report on ‘freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities’ by Pioneer.

• Furthermore, India witnessed a 46 per cent increase in new freelancers from Q1 to Q2, 2020 as per the report. Apart from India, other popular markets for gig workers include the US, Pakistan, and Ukraine.

Days

National Hindi Day

• Hindi Divas or Hindi Day is an annual day celebrated on 14 September in India to celebrate the popularity of Hindi as an official language of the country.

• Hindi Divas is celebrated on 14 September because on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India.

• The language was adopted under the Article 343 of the Indian Constitution.

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