Current Affairs 31 July 2020

Current Affairs 31 July 2020

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1. Haryana govt appoints Babita Phogat, Kavita Devi as deputy directors in Sports and Youth Affairs Department
  • Commonwealth Games medallist Babita Phogat and Kabaddi player Kavita Devi have been appointed as deputy directors in the Sports and Youth Affairs Department of Haryana. The announcement was through two separate orders issued on July 29 by the principal secretary of the Haryana Government's Sports and Youth Affairs Department.
  • BabitaPhogat and Kavita Devi will have to join their department within a month. They had applied for these posts under the state government. 
  • The two sportpersons have been appointed as deputy director (Sports) under the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) rules, 2018.
Foot Notes:
About Haryana:
Capital: Chandigarh
Chief minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya
 
2. ISRO to allow private sector to set up own launchpad at Sriharikota
  • Indian Space of Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to allow the private sector to set up their own launchpad at the Sriharikota Launch Centre (SHAR). The step will kickstart the process of unlocking the space sector for the private sector.
  • As per ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, the space agency has already started the process of involving the private sector in space activities. Currently, ISRO has 2 launchpads and 2 rocket assembly buildings at Sriharikota.
  • ISRO has also been gearing up to share its expertise with the private sector for free in areas such as technical support where monetary support is not involved like providing technical support.
Foot Notes:
About ISRO(Indian Space Research Organisation):
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Founder: Vikram Sarabhai
Founded: 15 August 1969
Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan
 
3. Vande Bharat Mission Phase 5 to start from August 1
  • Air India on Sunday (July 26) said that phase 5 of Vande Bharat Mission will begin from 1 August to bring back more stranded Indians.
  • As the Vande Bharat Mission enters its fifth phase, it will connect India with the USA, Canada, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Singapore, UK, Frankfurt, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, New Zealand, Philippines, and more. 
  • "These flights are operated by the Air India group, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir. They cover 29 countries. They will be reaching 34 airports in India," he added.
Foot Notes:
About Ministry of civil aviation:
Officeholder: Hardeep Singh Puri (MOS independent charge)
Headquarters: Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi
Founded: 21 October 2016
 
4. Atal Innovation Mission launches 'AIM-iCREST', in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation
  • In a major initiative to encourage and enable holistic progress in the incubator ecosystem across the country, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Start-ups. This is a first of its kind initiative for advancing innovation at scale in India. 
  • AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation - organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. These partnerships will provide global expertise and showcase proven best practices to the AIM's incubator network. 
  • AIM iCREST, as the name suggests, has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and Established incubators across the country.  Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance. This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms.
Foot Notes:
About NITI Aayog:
CEO: Amitabh Kant
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chairperson: Narendra Modi
 
5.Times Square to display Lord Ram's images on August 5 to celebrate Ram Temple’s groundbreaking ceremony
  • Images of Lord Ram and 3D portraits of the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be beamed across the giant billboards in the iconic
  • Times Square in New York on August 5 to celebrate the temple's groundbreaking ceremony, with organisers describing the commemoration as a one-of-a-kind and a historic event.
  • Beginning from 8 AM on August 5 till 10 PM, images of the words ‘Jai Shri Ram' in Hindi and English, Lord Ram's portraits and videos, 3D portraits of the temple's design and architecture as well as pictures of the laying of the foundation stone by Modi will be displayed across several billboards on Times Square.

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mauritius jointly inaugurate the new Supreme Court Building
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr.Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the new Supreme Court building in Mauritius through video conference on 30 July. New Supreme Court building is first India assisted infrastructure project in Mauritius to be inaugurated after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court will remain as a symbol of cooperation and shared values of India and Mauritius. It is in line with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
  • The landmark project was completed with grant assistance of $28.12 million from the Government of India.The project highlighted the importance of the human-centric approach of India’s development cooperation and cemented the close ties between India and Mauritius. 
  • The new Supreme Court building with modern design and state-of-the-art facilities will be a fitting seat for the Mauritius judiciary.The project has been completed on schedule and at a cost below initial estimates.
Foot Notes:
About Mauritius:
Prime minister: Pravind Jugnauth
Capital: Port Louis
Currency: Mauritian rupee
 
7. Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha dies at 92
  • Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha passed away on 30 July. He was 92 years old. The Folk musician died due to the old age ailments and suffered a cardiac arrest. He is a multi-faceted personality and made outstanding efforts to popularise the great Lepcha culture.
  • Lepcha was born in 1928 in Kalimpong, West Bengal. He began his career as a soldier. He travelled to various parts of Sikkim. He compiled a wide range of Indian folk and traditional Lepcha songs and played folk music on All India Radio (AIR) in 1960. Lepcha was highly revered in Sikkim. He played a vital role in reviving Lepcha culture and outstanding efforts to popularise the great Lepcha culture. It is an indigenous culture in Sikkim. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of folk music.
Foot Notes:
About Sikkim:
Capital: Gangtok
Chief Minister: Prem Singh Tamang
Governor: Ganga Prasad
 
8. Cabinet approves MoU between India & Zimbabwe on cooperation in traditional medicine and homeopathy
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Zimbabwe on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, which was signed on November 3rd, 2018.
  • The objective of the MoU is to promote traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy between two nations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
  • On March 4, 2020, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) ShriNarendraModi has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of the Republic of Cote d’lvoire on Cooperation in the field of Health.
Foot Notes:
About Zimbabwe:
Capital: Harare
Currencies: United States (US) Dollar, RTGS dollar
President: Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa
 
9. SABIC chemical plant to become world’s first of its kind to operate on 100% renewable power
  • The Polycarbonate facility of SABIC in Spain, is set to become the World’s first large scale industry to completely run on renewable power on signing a major agreement with Iberdrola, an electricity utility company to secure power from solar power projects.
  • The Facility is expected to become fully operational by 2024 and support SABIC to achieve its clean energy target by 2025.
  • This new plant will contribute 80,000 tonne annual reduction in the indirect emission of carbon dioxide supporting the climate change initiatives like EU 2030.
Foot Notes:
About SABIC:
CEO: Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan
Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
 
About Spain:
Capital: Madrid
Prime Minister: Pedro Sánchez
Currency: Euro

10. Indian Grandmaster Harikrishna wins Chess 960 event at Biel Festival
  • Indian Grandmaster P. Harikrishna finished overall second spot in the Grandmaster Triathlon Tournament at 53rd Biel International Chess Festival which took place in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Poland’s Radoslaw Watjaszek finished first in the Biel Chess Festival.
  • Biel International Chess Festival 2020 is the first major event to be played over board, adhering to all the health protocols laid down due to COVID-19.  
  • The Grandmaster Triathlon Tournament consists of three rounds of chess competition – Classical, Rapid & Blitz and it is part of Biel Chess Festival.
Foot Notes:
About Biel Festival:
The Biel International Chess Festival is an annual chess tournament that takes place in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. It consists of two events, the Grandmaster Tournament, held with the round-robin system, and the Master Open Tournament, held with the Swiss system. The Grandmaster Tournament has taken place since 1977.
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