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Important Current Affairs 26th April 2020

National

UP becomes 1st state with in-house facility of virtual courts

• Uttar Pradesh has become the 1st state with a software-based in-house facility of virtual courts, where requisite infrastructure in Allahabad High Court and all its courts for hearing cases through video conferencing.

• Based on an Apex Court directive to develop video conferencing system for hearing cases while maintaining the social distance, Allahabad High Court has launched a new software, through which multiple court proceedings at High Court and district courts across the state can be conducted virtually within the court premises without the need of internet service.

International

NASA Develops high-pressure ventilator 

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed an easy-to-build high-pressure ventilator named VITAL.

• VITAL stands for Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally.

• VITAL will help to treat patients with milder symptoms, so that the limited number of traditional ventilators available in the country can be used for treatment of patients with more severe symptoms.

Banking and Economy

Singapore’s Caladium increases its stake in Bandhan Bank to 4.49%

• Caladium Investment PTE Ltd, an affiliate of GIC, Singapore, has increased its stake in Kolkata-based private sector lender Bandhan Bank by 1.1% to 4.49% as on March 31, 2020.

• Caladium Investments held 7.22 crore shares in Bandhan Bank at the end of the fourth quarter of FY20.

• It had a stake of 3.39 percent in the bank at the end of the third quarter as on December 31, 2019.

Obituary

Former Australian all-rounder Graeme Watson passes away

• Former Australian cricketer Graeme Watson passed away. He was a middle-order batsman and a medium-pace bowler. He featured in five Tests from 1966-67 to 1972 and two ODIs in 1972.

• The all-rounder earned a national call up during the 1966-67 tour of South Africa.

Appointments and Resignations

Sanjay Kothari Sworn in as Central Vigilance Commissioner

• Sanjay Kothari has been appointed as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the anti-corruption watchdog of India, on 25 April 2020.

• Mr Kothari, a 1978 batch (retired) IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was the Secretary to the President of India, before being nominated to the new role.

• The post of the chief of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was lying vacant since June 2019 after completion of K V Chowdary’s tenure.

Days

World Intellectual Property Day

• The World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life and to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe

• The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000.

• The World Intellectual Property Day 2020 is ‘Innovate for a Green Future.’

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Important Current Affairs 25th April 2020

National

E-Gram Swaraj Portal/App & Swamitva Scheme Launched

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 24, 2020 to mark the National Panchayati Raj Day 2020 launched the E-Gram Swaraj Portal/App and Swamitva Scheme for the development of rural areas of the country.

• The E-Gram Swaraj Portal will contain the details of all development works carries out in villaged panchayats and the Swamitva Scheme will contain all the land records of villages. It will use drones in surveying and mapping of properties in villages and will help in reducing disputes over property.

CISF launches app ‘e-karyalay’ for movement of files

• Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has launched an e-office application named ‘e-karyalay’. This application helps to enables the movement of files and documents of CISF without physical touch.

MyBookMyFriend campaign launched on World Book Day

• The Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has launched a campaign on Twitter called #MyBookMyFriend, on the occasion of the World Book Day on 23 April.

• He has also urged everyone to read at least one book on the World Book Day and share the same on social media using the ‘#MyBookMyFriend’.

International

China donates USD 30 million more for WHO

• China on April 23, 2020 announced to donate USD 30 million more to the global health agency World Health Organization (WHO).

• Earlier, China had donated USD 20 million to the WHO, which seeks funding of over USD 1 billion.

Banking and Economy

RBI permits banks to issue Electronic Cards for Overdraft Accounts

• The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to issue electronic cards to natural persons having Overdraft Accounts. Such accounts must be of the nature of personal loan without any specific end-use restrictions.

• Earlier banks were allowed to issue debit cards to customers having Saving Bank/Current Accounts but not to cash credit/loan, account holders.

Sports

Iran’s Alireza Firouzja beats Magnus Carlsen in Banter Blitz Cup final

• 16-year-old Iranian refugee, Alireza Firouzja beats World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the final of the Banter Blitz Cup 2020 and to claim the $14,000 prize.

• Firouzja, an Iranian now living in Paris, is is the second-youngest player to reach a rating of 2700 from Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the body that governs international chess competition. He is ranked 21st in the world.

Days

Manipur commemorates “Khongjom Day”

• Manipur commemorated the “Khongjom Day” on April 23, 2020. The day is observed to pay tribute to the state’s warriors who fought in the 1891 Anglo-Manipur war.

• The Anglo-Manipur war was fought between the Kingdom of Manipur and the British Government.

World Malaria Day

• World Malaria Day (WMD) is commemorated every year on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria. It is a grassroots campaign with an objective to keep malaria high on political agenda, mobilize additional resources ane empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.

• Theme 2020: Zero Malaria Starts with Me.

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Important Current Affairs 24th April 2020

National

Defence Minister launched DRDO mobile testing lab

• Mobile virology research and diagnostics laboratory (MVRDL) can be positioned anywhere in the country and will be able to process over 1000 samples in a day that can speed the diagnosis.

• This mobile lab hae the capability of processing more than 1,000 samples in a day and hence, can enhance India’s capabilities.

National Shipping Board reconstituted by Government

• The National Shipping Board (NSB) has been reconstituted by the Central government and  Malini Shankar has been appointed as the head of the board. Malini is the former Director General of Shipping.

• The National Shipping Board is the premier advisory body for the Indian shipping. The board comprises sixteen members.

Banking and Economy

Remittances to India likely to decline by 23% in 2020: World Bank

• Remittances to India are likely to drop by 23 percent from $83 billion last year to $64 billion this year.

• Similarly, the global remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent this year, due to the economic crisis.

• Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent to $445 billion, from $554 billion in 2019.

Fitch Ratings sees global economy shrinking by 3.9% in 2020

• The Rating agency Fitch Ratings has slashed the global growth forecast and expects the world GDP to fall by 3.9 percent in 2020.

• The sharp downward revision is driven by a massive decline in Asian economies, led by China and India, both of which are estimated to post growth rate of less than 1 percent this year.

Obituary

Usha Ganguly, veteran theatre actor passes away

• Eminent theatre director, actor and activist, Usha Ganguly passed away. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for direction in 1998.

• She has also been honoured by the West Bengal Government as the best actress for the play Gudia Ghar.

• She was credited for introducing an alternative Hindi theatre in West Bengal, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Days

National Panchayati Raj Day

• Nation celebrates National Panchayati Raj Day on 24 April every year. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj organizes the National Panchayati Raj day or the National Local Self Government Day.

• The first National Panchayati Raj Day was declared by the then Prime Minister of India Shri Manmohan Singh, on 24 April 2010.

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace observed globally on 24 April. ‘International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace’ was first observed by the United Nations (UN) on April 24, 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd April 2020

National

Violence against healthcare workers will lead to 7 years of jail term

• An ordinance proposing new amendments to the Epidemic Disease Act, 1987 has been approved by the Union Cabinet on April 22, 2020. The amendment ensures the safety of healthcare workers and to end violence against them.

•  It includes the imprisonment of guilty from 6 months to 7 years. The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar shared the news while briefing the media after a cabinet meeting.

International

TCS to power Israel’s first fully digital bank

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will launch Israel’s first fully digital bank. TCS is India’s largest software services firm. The digital bank has not been named yet and will be launched in 2021.

• TCS has been selected by Israel’s Ministry of Finance to transform its banking sector. The digital banking operations platform will be powered by the TCS BaNCS Global Banking Platform.

Banking and Economy

RBI increases deployment time limit under TLTRO 2.0 to 45 days from 30 days

• RBI has extended the time available for banks for deployment of funds under the TLTRO 2.0 scheme from 30 working days to 45 working days from the date of the operation.

• Under TLTRO 2.0 the banks which have borrowed the funds are required to deploy this fund in specific sectors as advised by RBI. The time limit for this deployment of the fund is now 45 days from the date of borrowing.

Appointments and Resignations

Bajaj Auto’s Rakesh Sharma becomes new President of IMMA

• Rakesh Sharma, the Executive Director (ED) at Bajaj Auto, has been appointed as the new President of International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA) on 22 April 2020.

• Sharma succeeds Johannes Loman and will hold the office of IMMA President for two years

• He had been holding office as vice-president in IMMA, since May 2019.

Ranking

India ranks 142 in World Press Freedom Index 2020

• World Press Freedom Index has ranked India 142 out of 180. Reporters without borders released the report on April 21. The analysis by the nonprofit organisation acknowledged no reported murders of journalists in India in 2019 which shows the improvement in the security system in India.

•  Reporters without borders is a non-profit organisation that works to promote independent, free, and pluralistic journalism.

Days

World Book and Copyright Day

• World Book and Copyright Day is observed globally on 23 April every year. The purpose of this day to pay tribute to all those writers and authors who have respectable contributed to the social and cultural progress of humanity.

• World Book Capital for 2020: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The slogan for 2020- “KL Baca – caring through reading”.

UN English Language Day

• The UN English Language Day is observed annually on 23 April. It is one of the six official languages used by the United Nations throughout the Organization.

• Each language has been assigned a day of celebration by UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.

• For English, 23 April has been chosen to mark both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare.

UN Spanish Language Day

UN Spanish Language Day is observed annually on 23 April. For Spanish Language, the Day was chosen because the day is also observed as Hispanic Day in Spain, meaning the Spanish speaking world.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd April 2020

National

IIT-Mandi develops high-speed magnetic RAM

• Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, Himachal Pradesh has developed a high-speed magnetic Random Access Memory (RAM).

• This Magnetic Random Access Memory (RAM), is faster, energy-efficient and stores more data in a smaller volume as compared to existing data storage technologies.

Guj Govt's Water Conservation Scheme Begins

• Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has given the green signal for the third edition of his government’s ‘Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan’. It is a conservation plan to deepen water bodies in the state before the monsoon.

• The scheme will see the deepening of lakes, check dams and rivers by removing silt. This will be done till June 10, 2020 with people’s participation as well as under MNREGA.

International

US crude oil prices fall below $0 mark

• In a historic first, the US crude oil prices crashed below $0 mark on April 20, 2020. The price of best quality of crude oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) turned negative to - USD 40.32 a barrel.

• This is the worst ever slash in crude oil prices in the history of mankind. The last such fall in oil prices was reported right after the World War II.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Facebook buys 9.99% stake in Reliance Jio platform

• Facebook has announced the investment of Rs. 43,474 crores in Reliance Jio for 9.99 per cent stake on April 22. It is the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India’s tech sector.

• The announcement of signing a binding agreement for an investment of Rs. 43,474 crore was made by Jio Platform Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd. and Facebook.

• As per a statement by Reliance Industries Ltd., the investment by Facebook translates into a 9.99% of the equity stake in Jio on a fully diluted basis. The declared investment now values Jio Platforms at Rs. 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value.

Appointments and Resignations

N Kamakodi to be reappointed as the MD & CEO of City Union Bank

• N Kamakodi will be reappointed as the MD&CEO of City Union Bank. He has been reappointed for a period of three years with effect from May 1, 2020.

• City Union Bank has received approval for this reappointment from the Reserve Bank of India.

David Li becomes new CEO of Huawei India

• David Li has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Telecommunications India. He has replaced Jay Chen who has been promoted to handle Asia Pacific level business role.

Days

Earth Day

• On 22nd April 2020, World Earth Day will be celebrated across the globe via ‘digital means’.

• PM Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude towards Mother Earth for the abundant gifts given by her. 

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Important Current Affairs 21st April 2020

National

Section 115BAC of IT Act, 1961

• Section 115BAC was recently inserted into the Income-tax Act, 1961, which states that an individual or a person belonging to an undivided family earning income other than the business or profession may opt to be taxed and furnish his or her Income Tax Return under sub-section (I) of Section 139 of IT Act.

• The Section 115BAC provides a concessional rate, if the total income is computed without any specified exemption or deduction.

UP becomes first state to geo-tag community kitchens

• Uttar Pradesh became the first state on April 19, 2020 to geo-tag community kitchens. The state geo-tagged around 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters located across 75 districts. The kitchens produce 12 lakh food packets per day.

• The state has also tied up with Google to 'Geo-map' the locations of all these community kitchens on the Google Maps app for ease of the beneficiaries. The state government mobilised state resources to set up the kitchens through the medium of religious organisations and non-government organisations.

International

China begins testing of digital currency – DC/EP

• People’s Bank of China (Central Bank of China) has started testing its digital currency named Digital Currency Electronic Payment, DC/EP.

• It is built with Blockchain and Cryptographic technology. The currency is pegged 1:1 to the Chinese National Currency – the RenMinBi (RMB).

• China’s official digital currency is undergoing testing and has not been officially released.

Banking and Economy

ICICI Bank launches voice banking services on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

• Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India(ICICI) bank starts a new feature of voice banking services on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for their customers.

• The service will enable customers to #BankWithTheirVoice and get answers to banking queries, check account balance & transactions, credit card due date and more.

Fitch slashes India’s GDP growth forecast to 1.8%

• Fitch solution has reduced its GDP growth forecast for India for FY21 to 1.8% from 4.6% earlier.

Science and Technology

NASA to launch 1st crewed US mission to International Space Station

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will on May 27, 2020 launch its astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley for the first crewed mission to International Space Station (ISS) since the retirement of Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Obituary

BMW India CEO & President Rudratej Singh passes away

• BMW Group President and CEO Rudratej Singh has passed away. Rudratej was the first Indian to lead the BMW India operations. He was appointed as the head of India operations from August 1, 2019.

•  He had also held multiple leadership positions in the automotive as well as non-automotive industry.

Sports

Charles Leclerc wins Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

• Charles Leclerc of Ferrari has won the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix. The series will use the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters.

Appointments and Resignations

Kapil Dev Tripathi appointed Secretary to the President of India

• Kapil Dev Tripathi has been appointed as the Secretary to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. He will replace Sanjay Kothari, who was selected as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in February.

•  The appointment of Kapil Dev Tripathi has been approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Days

World Creativity and Innovation Day

• World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed globally on 21 April every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals, also known as the “global goals”.

• The main objective of the day is to encourage people to use new ideas, make new decisions, and do creative thinking. Creativity is what makes the world go ‘round.

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Important Current Affairs 20th April 2020

National

“National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India” launched

• The “National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India” has been launched by the Union Minister for Culture (I/C) Prahlad Singh Patel.

• The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India has been classified in the following 5 broad domains:

a. Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage

b. Performing arts

c. Social practices, rituals and festive events

d. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe

e. Traditional craftsmanship

Uttar Pradesh Becomes First Indian State to Geotag Community Kitchens & Shelters

• Uttar Pradesh has been reported to become the first state in the country to geotag all its community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts of the state, so as to provide adequate information to the general public regarding the location of shelter homes and community kitchens amid lockdown.

• There are 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts in the state which produce 12 lakh food packets a day.

• The state government has tied up with Google to ‘Geo-map’ the locations of all these establishments on the Google Maps app for ease of beneficiaries.

Banking and Economy

HDFC Bank launches Safety Grid campaign 

• The bank has created physical markers of HDFC Bank logo on the ground using the outer grid logo. This campaign helps people waiting in the queue at a shop or an establishment.

• The Safety Grid will be painted in front of the space leading to various retail outlets such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and ATMs. The safety grid distance of 1 metre is prescribed by the World Health Organization.

Obituary

Oscar-winning Animator and Film director Gene Deitch passes away at 95

• Oscar-winning animator, film director and producer, Gene Deitch passed away. His movie “Munro” won the Oscar award in the animated short film category in 1960.

•  He directed some episodes of “Tom and Jerry” and also some episodes of “Popeye the Sailor” series. He received the Winsor McCay Award for his lifelong contribution to animation in 2004.

Days

UN Chinese Language Day

• UN Chinese Language Day is observed on April 20 annually.The UN Department of Public Information established the day in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.

• The day has been chosen to pay tribute to Cangjie, who is a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago.

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Important Current Affairs 19th April 2020

National

Government revises FDI Policy, bar automatic investments from neighbouring countries

• The Central Government revised the FDI policy making it difficult for overseas investment from neighbouring countries into Indian firms. 

• The revised rules of FDI policy are applicable only to the countries that are in India’s neighbourhood and share a common land border with India. This includes China and other nations such as Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

• According to reports, the changes in India’s FDI policy are in line with similar measures undertaken by many European countries which aims to restrict foreign investments from China during the on-going crisis and market disruption due to it.

Rs.10 lakhs Compensation for all Postal employees

• The Postal employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks are performing various departmental duties as well as serving the social cause in the crisis times.

• Therefore, it has been decided to grant payment of compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs to all the Postal employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) succumbing to the disease while brought on duty. .

Government Amends Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units (CGFMU) scheme to Increase Default Coverage to 75%

• The Ministry of Finance has announced amendment in Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units (CGFMU) scheme, which covers micro loans up to Rs 10 lakh extended under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.

• Apart from this, the ministry has also reduced the burden of defaults that the lender had to bear under the scheme from the first 5% of the amount in default to 3%.

Books and Authors

‘Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P.V. Sindhu’ Authored by V. Krishnaswamy Released

• The book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P.V. Sindhu”, written by sports journalist V. Krishnaswamy, was released on 13 April 2020.

• The book narrates the journey of badminton player PV Sindhu, from her early life to becoming a world champion, and what lies ahead.

• The book has been published by HarperCollins Publishers India.

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Important Current Affairs 18th April 2020

National

India removes ban on export of Paracetamol formulations

• The Central Government recently removed the ban on the export of formulations that are made from Paracetamol. The information was shared in a notification released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

• The formulations including the fixed-dose combinations will now be made available with immediate effect for export purpose.

Banking and Economy

RBI cuts reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 3.75%, announces Rs 50,000 crore TLTRO 2.0

• On 17 April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das took several important decisions to ensure adequate liquidity in the system to ease the financial stress.

• RBI has decided to undertake targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO-2.0) for total amount of Rs 50,000 crore to begin with in tranches of appropriate sizes. RBI might increase this amount in future as per requirement.

• The funds availed by banks under TLTRO-2.0 should be invested in grade bonds, Commercial Papers, Non-Convertible Debentures of NBFCs with at least 50% going to mid-sized NBFCs and MFIs.

• RBI has announced the allocation of Rs 50,000 crore as special refinance facilities to All India financial institutions (AIFIs) such as NABARD, SIDBI, NHB to enable them to meet sectoral credit needs. These advances to the above organizations will be charged as per the RBI policy repo rate of 4.40%.

• Out of total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will receive the amount of Rs 25,000 crore for the refinancing of Regional Rural Banks, cooperative banks and microfinance institutions.

• Out of total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore,Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will receive Rs 15,000 crore or on-lending and refinancing to scheduled commercial banks, non-banks and microfinance institutions.

• The National Housing Bank will receive Rs 10,000 crore to support housing finance companies.

• RBI has also decided to reduce the reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 4% to 3.75% with immediate effect while the policy repo rate will remain unchanged at 4.4%, Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank rate will remain unchanged at 4.65%.

• The RBI has increased the ways and means advances (WMA) limit of states by 60% over and above the level as on March 31, 2020. The increased limit will be available till September 30, 2020.

• In respect of all accounts for which lending institutions decide to grant moratorium or deferment, and which were standard as on March 1, 2020, it has been decided that the 90-day NPA norm shall exclude the moratorium period. It indicates that there would an asset classification standstill for all such accounts from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

• RBI decides to extend the period for resolution plan by 90-days, citing the challenges faced during the resolution of stressed assets in the current volatile environment.

• RBI has refrained the scheduled commercial banks and cooperative banks from making any further dividend payouts from profits pertaining to the financial year ended March 31, 2020 until the further instructions.

• To ease the liquidity position at the level of individual institutions, the RBI has brought down the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) requirement for Scheduled Commercial Banks from 100% to 80% with immediate effect.

Science and Technology

NASA discovers habitable zone planet 300 light years away

• NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered an Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around a star that could support liquid water. The exoplanet, named as Kepler-1649c, was discovered by a team of of transatlantic scientists.

• The findings are based on the data provided by Kepler as well as Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Obituary

Freedom Fighter RV Bhuskute passes away at 94

• Freedom fighter R V Bhuskute, who had participated in the Quit India Movement, has passed away of prolonged illness. He was 94

• Hailing from Maharashtra’s Raigadh district, Bhuskute has also written several books on land laws.

Sports

Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled

• “Feifei” to be the mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games, China. The 4th Asian Para Games are going to be held from October 9-15, 2022, featuring 22 sports with Taekwondo and Para-Canoe to form their Games debuts. The mascot helps to bring the Games to life for everybody, from the athletes to the spectators.

• Theme 2020- Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.

Days

International Day For Monuments and Sites

• The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) is observed on 18 April each year to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.

• Theme 2020- Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.

• The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18 April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983.

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Important Current Affairs 17th April 2020

National

Government sets foodgrain production target at 298.3 mb tons for 2020-21 crop year

• The agriculture ministry has set a target to increase foodgrain production to record 298.3 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June). This is more by 6.35 million tonnes from the previous years’ estimate.

• To be bifurcated, the target is 149.92 million tonnes of foodgrain production in the Kharif (summer) season and 148.4 million tonnes in the rabi (winter) season.

• The foodgrain output in the 2019-20 crop year is estimated at 291.95 million tonnes.

Finance Minister attends 2nd G20 Finance Ministerial Meeting

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman represented India in the virtual session of the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting.

• The 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting was held under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.

International

South Korean President’s party wins absolute majority in Parliamentary Elections

• South Korean President, Moon Jae-in’s party won an absolute majority in the recent Parliamentary Elections.

• Moon Jae-in’s left-leaning Democratic party and its allies won 180 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, while the conservative opposition coalition won 103 seats. The Democratic party has 120 seats currently.

• The provisional results were released by the National Election Commission on April 16, 2020.

Banking and Economy

Goldman Sachs downgrades India from ‘overweight’ to ‘marketweight’

• Goldman Sachs has downgraded its stance on the Indian market from ‘overweight’ to ‘marketweight’ due to “delayed recovery and extended valuations.”

• Golman Sachs says that the domestic equities could underperform, unless India unleashes a big stimulus package.

Awards

Viswanathan Anand Joins WWF India As Ambassador For Environment Education

• Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand has joined WWF (World Wide Fund) India as its ambassador for environment education programme.

• WWF India is celebrating its 50 years of conservation in India and it is delighted to see Anand lend his support to conservation and protection of the environment. 

• In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, governments, development organisations, corporates and individuals around the world are doing their bit to prevent the spread of the disease.     

Obituary

Actor Ranjit Chowdhry passes away

• Actor-writer Ranjit Chowdhry passed away at the age of 65 years on April 15, 2020 in Mumbai. He was the son of veteran theatre artiste Pearl Padamsee and stepson of Theatre and ad world stalwart Alyque Padamsee.

• Chowdhry will be remembered for his roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Khubsoorat', Mira Nair's 'Mississippi Masala' starring Denzel Washington, Basu Chatterjee's 'Khatta Meetha' and 'Baton Baton Mein'.

National Football League’s Hall of Famer Willie Davis Passes Away at 85

• Former American football defensive player, Willie Davis, passed away. He was 85.

• Davis was inducted into the National Football League’s Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.He spent 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and played for the Cleveland Browns (1958-59) and the Green Bay Packers (1960-69).

• Davis become the first African-American captain in Green Bay Packers’ history in 1965.

Sports

BCCI suspends IPL 2020 indefinitely

• The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided that the IPL 2020 Season will be suspended till “further notice”. 

•  The IPL was set to start on March 29 and end on May 24, but it was first postponed till April 15.

Appointments and Resignations

BSNL CMD P K Purwar takes additional charge of MTNL

• P. K. Purwar, the chairman and managing director of BSNL has been given the additional charge as CMD of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited.

• He has been given the additional charge w.e.f April 13, 2020. In the last 6 years, this is the third time that Purwar has been given charge of MTNL CMD.

Days

World Hemophilia Day

• World Hemophilia Day is an international day held annually on April 17 to raise awareness for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and bring understanding and attention for proper care for these rare inherited bleeding disorders community.

• The theme of World Hemophilia Day 2020 is “Get+involved”.

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