Govt clears defence acquisition
On 2nd July 2020, the union defence ministry approved procurement of 33 frontline fighter jets, several missile systems and other military hardware at a cost of Rs. 38,900 crore to intensify the combat capability of the armed forces.
The 21 MiG-29 fighter jets will be procured from Russia, while 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be bought from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
The proposal to upgrade the existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft was also approved. The ministry also approved procurement of 248 ASTRA Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the defence ministry on procurement.
Drug Discovery Hackathon
Drug Discovery Hackathon launched by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan and the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on 2nd July 2020.
It is first of its kind national initiative for supporting drug discovery process and work towards developing anti-COVID drugs.
The Hackathon attracts international talent. The hackathon will be open to participation from across the globe from professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like computer science, chemistry, pharmacy, medical sciences, basic sciences and biotechnology.
The hackathon consists of challenges that are posted as problem statements and, are based on specific drug discovery topics which are open to the participants to solve.
Fit India Movement
A Webinar 'Fit Hai to Hit hai India' was attended by Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on 3rd July 2020 as a part of Fit India Movement. While interacting with the students, they said that Fit India Movement is becoming a people's movement in the true sense. The movement aims to make the countrymen fit and make the country a great sporting nation.
The Sports Minister said that his government will soon launch Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for junior athletes in the country to produce Olympic champions by 2028.
2016 Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu and the Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri also participated in the webinar.
PM FME scheme
Pradhan Mantri Scheme for Formalization of MicroFood Processing Enterprises (PM FME) launched as a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme will be implemented over five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore.
The scheme provides financial, technical, and business support for up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.
The scheme would generate a total investment of Rs. 35,000 crore and generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure, and formalization Under the scheme, the existing individual micro food processing units desirous of upgrading their units can avail credit-linked capital subsidy at 35 percent of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs. 10 lakh per unit.
World’s largest COVID Care Centre
On 5th July 2020, the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre, the world largest COVID care centre was inaugurated by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
The centre is having 10,000-bed facility roughly the size of 20 football fields. It has two segments - a COVID Care Centre (CCC), where asymptomatic positive coronavirus cases will be treated and a Dedicated COVID Health Care (DCHC), which will treat symptomatic cases and have an oxygen support system.
Delhi government provided administrative support and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is the nodal agency operating the centre. Volunteers from the religious sect of Radha Soami Beas also help to run the centre.
First Plasma Bank
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the Plasma Bank to treat Covid-19 patients on 2nd July 2020. The facility has been set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi. This Plasma Bank will remove the hurdles faced by the patients to get Plasma therapy. The bank can store over 200 units of plasma, which can be accessed by any hospital - both government-run and private - treating Covid-19 patients.
The Convalescent plasma therapy uses a blood component called plasma, containing the virus-fighting antibodies, from a person who has recovered from the infection. When administered to a Covid-19 patient, it should help the patient’s immune system fight off the virus.
Permanent Representative to UN
Indra Mani Pandey was appointed as India's next Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. He is an Indian Foreign Service officer, currently serving as an additional secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He served in Indian missions in Damascus, Cairo, Islamabad, Kabul, Muscat and Geneva.
36th ASEAN Summit
The 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting was held on 1st July 2020 and chaired by Vietnam. The virtual meeting focused on COVID-19 epidemic response, post-pandemic recovery and further cooperation with partners. The theme of this summit is "Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN". The ASEAN leaders stressed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and over-flight above the South China Sea.
The summit also discussed the regional comprehensive post-pandemic recovery plans, implement initiatives, including establishing the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund, setting up a reserve for medical supplies to meet urgent needs during epidemics, building the ASEAN standard procedures of epidemic response in case of a health emergency.
Iceland's President Gudni Johannesson was re-elected with more than 90% of the votes. This is his second 4-year term.
The president is largely symbolic, but he or she does have the power to veto legislation or submit it to a referendum. He is an expert on political history, diplomacy and the constitution studies.
G20 Education Minister's Meeting
G20 Extraordinary Virtual Education Minister's Meeting was held on 27 June 2020, and India was represented by Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank.
The minister shared India's initiative on Digital Education in the time of corona. The session was held to know how member nations can collaborate to further the cause of education.
The minister also shared efforts of HRD Ministry to promote digital learning during a COVID-19 crisis including platforms like DIKSHA, SWAYAM, National Digital Library, e-PG pathshala, etc.
India is going to eVIDYA programme, a common platform for all e-resources for digital education under the concept of ‘One Nation One Digital Program.’ The government is planning a similar concept for education TV channels, 'One Class One Channel', where one TV channel will be dedicated per grade.
National Doctor's Day
National Doctor's Day celebrated on 1 July, to thank the doctors and physicians for their service to humanity. The theme of this year's Doctors Day is 'Lessen the mortality of COVID 19'. On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the mother gives birth to us and the doctor gives us rebirth many times.
The first National Doctor's day was celebrated in July 1991. In India, this day marks the birth anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was one of the most renowned physicians in India and former Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Prof.P.C. Mahalanobis Lifetime Achievement Award conferred on the former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan in recognition of his contribution to official statistics.
Dr.Rangarajan was given the award on the Statistics Day on June 29, at a function held in virtual mode. In the award accepting ceremony, he hoped that the National Statistical Commission will be given a statutory form. The statistics day celebrated on the birth anniversary of Prof. P C Mahalanobis, on 29th June, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.
In the 20th edition of the 'BET Awards', the Humanitarian Award was conferred on Popstar Beyonce. The American award show established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television Network, aims to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment over the past year. She is being honoured for her longstanding philanthropic work, including her recent COVID-19 relief efforts. Beyonce dedicated her honour to all those who have been marching in support of racial equality.
1. K.K. Venugopal reappointed as…
1) Attorney General of India 2) Chief Justice of Supreme Court
3) Chief Information Commissioner 4) Chief Election Commissioner 5) Chief Advisor to Prime Minister
2. Tushar Mehta reappointed as….
1) Governor of Madhya Pradesh 2) President of CII
3) Rajyasabha Member 4) Deputy Governor of RBI 5) Solicitor General of India
3. Lazarus Chakwera sworn in as Malawi President. What is the capital of Malawi?
1) Antananarivo 2) Lilongwe 3) Bamako 4) Nouakchott 5) Port Louis
4. National Chartered Accountants Day observed on..
1) 3 July 2) 29 June 3) 8 July 4) 1 July 5) 28 June
5. New Prime Minister of Ireland is…..
1) Jean Castex 2) Emmanuel Macron
3) Katrín Jakobsdottir 4) Micheal Martin 5) Erna Solberg
6. Who stepped down as the chairman of ICC?
1) Ravi Shastri 2) Harsha Bhogle
3) Shashank Manohar 4) David Warner 5) Manu Sawhney
KEY: 1-1; 2-5; 3-2; 4-4; 5-4; 6-3.
Writer: Amara Veeraswamy