Current Affairs Anuj Jindal Tue, 17 Nov 2020 12:54:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Current Affairs 32 32 October Monthly Current Affairs Mon, 09 Nov 2020 10:02:28 +0000 Download September 2020 Spotlight Now. Click on the Heading above.

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October Spotlight 2020

🗓️  October 2020


1. ISRO is scheduled to launch its Venus mission in 2025 and France’s CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) will participate in it.

  • The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument – which is attached to the French national scientific research centre (CNRS) – has been selected by ISRO for this mission. VIRAL will be equipped on the Shukrayaan.
  • This is the first time, a French payload will be flown on an Indian exploration mission.

2. Rajasthan govt has decided to give 30% of the new Public Distribution System (PDS) shops to women for their empowerment.

  • The government has approved an additional budget of Rs 11 crore for the Sahyog Evam Uphar Yojana of the state.
  • In this scheme, financial assistance is provided to the needy and eligible families for a daughter’s marriage.

3. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched the Ambedkar Social Innovation Incubation Mission (ASIIM) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship amongst SC students in higher education campuses.

  • 1,000 initiatives of SC youth would be identified by 2024 and will be provided up to 30 lakh in a three year period as equity.
  • Successful ventures would further get funding of up to 5 Crore from the Venture Capital Fund for SCs.
  • ASIIM has been launched under the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCFSC).
  • VCFSC was launched in 2014-15 to develop entrepreneurship amongst the SC/ Divyang youth and to enable them to become ‘job-givers’.

4. Indian Institute of Technology Madras(IITM) has collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to find ways to use industrial and agricultural by-products.

5. Andhra Pradesh govt has launched the Jagananna Vidya Kanuka scheme to arouse the interest of students in education.

  • The scheme aims to distribute educational kits (comprising of school uniform, shoes, socks, textbooks, etc.) worth Rs 650 crore to the students in grades 1 to 10.

6. India and Bangladesh conducted the 2nd edition of the bilateral naval exercise “Bongosagar” in Northern Bay of Bengal.

  • After Bongosagar, the 3rd edition of India Bangladesh Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) will be held.

7. Dassault Systemes (Software company), in collaboration with the Shiv Nadar University, has established Shiv Nadar University-Dassault Systemes Centre of Excellence (SDC) at the university’s campus.


  • Purpose: for promoting research, innovation, design, and entrepreneurship among students of Shiv Nadar University.

8. Ayush Grid project and National Digital Health Mission have announced to integrate for providing better health services to the people.


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September Monthly Current Affairs Tue, 06 Oct 2020 05:19:53 +0000 Download September 2020 Spotlight Now. Click on the Heading above.

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September Spotlight 2020

🗓️  September 2020


1. In order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Poland’s solidarity movement, Qutub Minar was illuminated in Poland’s national flag colors (white and red).

  • Solidarity movement (began in 1980) – it was a non-violent revolt against the authoritative communist parties of Poland. In 1989, the first partially free elections were held in Poland (which led to the solidarity of Poland).
  • Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the first non-communist leader of Poland in 1989.

2. Department of Economic Affairs has issued a notification to give the status of an infrastructure project to the Affordable Rental Housing Complex (ARHC) by including ARHCs in the harmonized list of infrastructure sub-sectors.

  • ARHC was launched in July as a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) to provide rental apartments to urban migrants.

3. Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan has reviewed the implementation of the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme (effective from July 1, 2020).

  • After the inclusion of Ladakh and Lakshadweep, there are a total of 26 States/UTs connected with each other under the One Nation One Ration Card scheme.
  • The scheme allows beneficiaries in these 26 States/UTs to access their subsidized food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice w.e.f. 1st September 2020.
  • The remaining States/UTs are targeted to be integrated within the scheme by March 2021.

4. Minister of New and Renewable Energy R K Singh has launched the pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in electricity.

  • Purpose: – to incentivize renewable energy-producing states and promote the production of renewable energy.
  • The facility will allow selling off the power by the producers of renewable energy in the open market without getting into long term Power Purchase Agreements. 
  • G-TAM will offer four types of contracts, viz. intra-day, day-ahead contingency, daily, and weekly.

5. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced to extend a development assistance loan of ₹3,500 crores (JPY 50 billion) to India for the Covid-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support.

  • This loan will help in the implementation of “Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana” (PM-ASBY), governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package for the health sector.
  • The Health Ministry aims to strengthen the public healthcare system, expand and strengthen surveillance capacities, research, and national digital health mission through PM- ASBY.

Extra Facts:

  • In addition to this, Japan also gave a grant of JPY 1 billion (nearly 70 crores) to India for providing medical equipment to strengthen the public health and medical system in India.
  • In India, JICA has ongoing health projects in Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

6. Ministry of Defence has signed contracts to supply six Pinaka regiments (a system of rocket launchers) to the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 2,580 crore by 2024.

  • Manufacturers – Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, Tata Power Company Ltd, and Larsen & Toubro – have to use at least 70% indigenous “content” in the Pinaka regiments.
  • First used in the Kargil war, Pinaka is a DRDO designed and developed a system of multi-barrel rocket launchers.

7. CSIR’s Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) claims to have developed the world’s largest ‘solar tree’ in Durgapur in West Bengal.


  • It has an annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of electricity.
  • These solar trees can be customized for usage in agricultural activities such as high capacity pumps, e-Tractors, and e-Power Tillers.

8. Odisha govt has launched the ‘AMA SAHAR’ and ‘SWACHHA SAHAR ODISHA’ web apps to provide citizen-centric services, as a part of the 5T initiative of the state.


  • These apps aim to bring better fiscal management in Urban Local Bodies.

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August Spotlight 2020

🗓️  August 2020


1. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has launched the first of its kind AIM iCREST program in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation.

  • Purpose: To enhance the incubator capabilities in India for developing a robust startup ecosystem and to provide global expertise to AIM’s incubator network.
  • For the first time in the government, the Incubator capacity development program is being extended to all Atal incubators.

2. Maharashtra has approved the Maharashtra Agribusiness Network (MagNet) project to boost fruit and vegetable production in the state.

  • The project is worth Rs 1,000 crore, of which 70% is funded by the Asian Development Bank.
  • The project aims to help small and marginal farmers across all districts in the state for the next six years.

3. Madhya Pradesh has launched “EkMaskAnekZindagi” campaign for raising awareness about wearing masks from August 1-15.


4. India and the UK have partnered to boost their collaboration in the field of science and research to tackle anti-microbial resistance.

  • Five new projects worth 8 million pounds will be funded in a 50:50 ratio by India and UK.
  • UK has already partnered with India’s Serum Institute to manufacture the vaccine for COVID-19.
  • UK is India’s second-biggest research partner with joint research expected to be worth 400 million pounds by next year.

5. The Ministry of Education has launched the India Report on Digital Education, 2020 which has been prepared by the digital education division of the Ministry.

  • The report details the digital measures taken by the Ministry, States, and UT to ensure students’ access to education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

6. Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, has launched the ‘CREDAIAwaas App’ and NAREDCO’s online portal ‘’ to ensure the transparent transactions of the residential housing units (approved by RERA).

  • Also, the minister launched the guide book of the ‘Affordable Rental Housing Complexes’ (ARHCs) programme.

7. The Ministry of MSME has approved a program to distribute a total of 200 Agarbatti manufacturing machines and 40 mixing machines to the artisans under the KVIC’s “Gramodyog Vikas Yojana” to support the indigenous manufacturing of agarbatti.

  • Initially four pilot projects will be started as part of the programme, including one in the North East.
  • KVIC will tie up with khadi institutions and agarbatti manufacturers in the country to provide them training.
  • Recently, Agarbatti has been shifted into “Restricted trade” category in the import policy from Free trade category.
  • Import duty on ‘round bamboo sticks’ (raw for manufacturing of Agarbatti) has been increased to 25% from 10%.

8. Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has launched a booklet on Best Practices in Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP).

  • As per the booklet, the program is performing well in achieving its targets.
  • The program (earlier known as the National Land Record Modernization Programme) was launched in 2008 to digitize the land records and develop a centralized land record management system.

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July Spotlight 2020

🗓️ July 2020



  1. According to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute’s data, India’s marine fish production has registered a marginal increase of 1% in 2019 AS compared to the previous year.
  • The country recorded 56 million tonnes in total landings (production) during 2019.
  • Tamil Nadu took the first position in landings with 75 lakh tonnes. It was followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh tonnes) and Kerala (5.44 lakh tonnes).
  • India is ranked 3rd after China (at 1st) and Indonesia (at 2nd) in world marine fish production.
  1. Goa govt has allocated 14,380 square metres of land to Konkan Maritime Cluster (a group of 49 MSME units) for setting up India’s first Maritime Cluster.
  • CMD of the project, Suraj Dialani, asserts that this cluster will build world class facilities for ship designers, ship and boat builders, ship repairers etc.
  • The project is supported by Union Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of MSME and the state govt of Goa.
  1. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has launched ‘Skill Connect Forum’ – a portal to connect job seekers with employers on a common platform where the information regarding available jobs will be provided.
  • An unemployed person will be skill-trained to get a job on this platform.
  1. Assam government has announced an ordinance to allow conversion of land by MSME to set up industries on the basis of a self-declaration — without the requirement of any “permission, clearance or licence” for three
  • The ordinance is yet to receive the Governor’s approval.
  1. Madhya Pradesh has launched a ‘Hamara Ghar-Hamara Vidyalaya’ means My Home-My school scheme, in which children will be taught at home in a school-like environment.
  2. Ministry of MSMEs has launched “Udyam Registration” – a new portal for MSME registration and classification (as per the new definition) w.e.f., July 1.
  • Govt has clarified that except this portal and the government’s Single Window Facilitation System, no other private online or offline system, service, agency or person is authorised or entitled to do MSME registration.
  1. Asia’s First Continuous Galvanized Rebar Production Facility has been established near Gobindgarh in Punjab by International Zinc Association (IZA) and Madhav KRG Group, along with Hindustan Zinc Limited.
  • It has an annual capacity of over 30,000 tonne. The plant will manufacture ZnCoat TempCore TMT bars under the brand name, ‘Jyoti’.
  • Jyoti will be the first brand in Asia to use Continuous Galvanized Rebar (CGR) technology that increases the life span of rebars thereby reduces the overall maintenance cost.
  • Rebar is used in buildings to strengthen their structure.
  1. Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has extended the Operation Greens Scheme (launched in 2018) from tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops to all Perishable Fruits & Vegetables (TOP to Total) by adding 18 more crops.
  • Aim – to protect the growers of fruits and vegetables from making distress sale due to lockdown and reduce the post -harvest losses.
  • Duration of Scheme: – 6 months w.e.f., 11th June, 2020.

50% subsidy will be provided to farmers on transportation and storage facilities cost for a maximum of 3 months.

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June Spotlight 2020

🗓️ June 2020


1. Uttar Pradesh has signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with FICCI, Indian Industries Association (IIA), and National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) for providing 11 lakh jobs to migrant laborers who have returned to the state. 2. In a virtual high-level round-table on ‘Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture’, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar opined that India can have access to carbon credits worth $50-60 billion if it promotes natural farming and agroecology.
  • India has an opportunity to access green bonds market worth $1 trillion by promoting natural farming and agroecology.
  • India aims to reach 20 lakh hectares in any form of organic farming, including natural farming, of which 12 lakh hectares are under the Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme (BPKP).
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an international video blogging competition named ‘My Life, My Yoga’ contest (also called ‘Jeevan Yoga’).
  • The contest is a joint effort by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
  • Purpose: to raise awareness about Yoga and to inspire people to become active participants in the sixth International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 21.
  • The competition will have three categories covering youth (aged under 18), adults (above 18 years), and yoga professionals, separately for male and female contestants. It will be run in two phases.
4. Odisha, Mizoram, and Sikkim have joined the One Nation One Card Scheme.
  • The scheme, launched in March 2019, aims to enable the ration cardholders to obtain their subsidized food grains from any PDS shop of their choice anywhere in the country.
  • All states will be added to One Nation, One Ration Card scheme by 31st March 2021.
5. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched PM Svanidhi (Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi scheme) to provide working capital loans of up to ₹10,000 to more than 50 lakh street vendors, who had their businesses operational on or before 24 March. 6. Union Cabinet has approved three changes– a new definition of MSME, a Rs 20,000-crore fund to provide equity support to stressed MSMEs, and equity infusion of Rs 50,000 crore into MSMEs through a fund of funds.
  • As per the new definition, a company with up to Rs 50 crore investments and up to Rs 250 crore turnover is classified as a medium enterprise. It is higher than the one announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • As per the new definition, units with Rs 1 crore investments and turnover of up to Rs 5 crore will be classified as micro-units while businesses with an investment of up to Rs 10 crore and turnover of up to Rs 50 crore will be classified as small.
7. Indian Energy Exchange has launched the Real-Time Electricity Market (RTM) on its platform w.e.f., 01 June 2020.
  • IEX is approved and regulated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
8. The government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) of 14 different Kharif crops by 50-83% for the 2020-21 crop year, to increase farmers’ profit by 50% or more on their yield.

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May Spotlight 2020

🗓️ May 2020


1. India installed 7.3 GW of solar capacity in 2019 and was the world’s third-largest solar market in 2019, according to the India Solar Market Leaderboard 2020 published by Mercom India Research.

  • India claims to have cumulative solar installations of about 35.7 GW at the end of December 2019.
  • 23.7 GW capacity projects were under-development projects by the end of 2019, with 31.5 GW capacity tenders pending under auctions.
  • Large-scale solar installations in 2019 accounted for 85% with 6.2 GW capacity.
  • Solar power accounted for 41% of new power capacity additions in 2019 behind coal which accounted for 44%.
  • At the end of 2019, the top 10 rooftop solar installers represented 34% of the total rooftop solar market share. In 2019, the rooftop solar market growth came down by 33% compared to 2018.

2. Jammu and Kashmir administration has signed an MoU with the Tata Technologies ltd to set up the two Centres for Invention, Innovation, Incubation, and Training (CIIITs) in the Union Territory for the first time.

  • The centres would help in improving the academic and training curriculum in the already established technical institutes in J&K by helping innovators in developing new products and promoting technology start-ups.

3. USA has announced to provide an additional $3 million to India to fight against Covid-19 through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under PAHAL.

  • Partnerships for Affordable Healthcare Access and Longevity (PAHAL) project of USAID and Indian company IPE Global aims to promote health financing models and provide support to social enterprises.
  • Till now, USAID has provided $5.9 million to help India in responding to the pandemic.

4. Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb has launched an ‘Agro-Entrepreneur Facilitation Desk’ to help the entrepreneurs of the state to get subsidies and incentives from Central government.

  • The desk facility will create awareness among agro-entrepreneurs about the various subsidies programs of central and state govt and help them avail the same.
  • The desk would be set up at the Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation of the state and would incur an annual expenditure of Rs 24 lakh.

5. National Council for Science & Technology Communication (under Department of Science & Technology) has launched ‘Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH)’ program to increase health and risk communication with a focus on COVID-19.

  • The program aims to reduce the risks at all levels with the help of public communication.

6. Chak-Hao (Manipur black rice), Gorakhpur Terracotta, Kashmir Saffron, and Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai (peanut candy made in southern parts of Tamil Nadu) have received GI tag.

  • Also, Thanjavur Netti Works and Arumbavur wood carvings of Tamil Nadu have been given GI tag.
  • Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting (traditional and ritualistic mural art) and Telangana’s Telia Rumal was also given the GI tag.

7. Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to conduct biennial elections for the Maharashtra Legislative Council due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • The decision of deferring the elections has been taken under Article 324 of the constitution.
  • Article 324 – It details about the functioning of ECI. Article 324 empowers ECI to conduct elections of Parliament, President, Vice President, and State Legislative Assemblies in the country.

8. Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), a CSIR lab, has developed an app called Kisan Sabha to resolve the problems related to the agricultural supply chain.

  • Purpose: – to provide the most economical and timely logistics support to the farmers and directly connecting them with institutional buyers.
  • The app will provide best market rates for crops by comparing the prices in the nearest mandis, booking of freight vehicles at the cheapest cost to giving maximum benefit to the farmers.

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April Spotlight 2020

🗓️ April 2020


1. Andhra Pradesh government has issued modified guidelines for distributing 25 lakh house sites to the poor in urban and rural areas under Navaratnalu – Pedalandariki Illu (houses for all the poor) scheme of the state.

  • Under the scheme, house sites will be allotted at Re 1 (total Rs 20 will be collected from beneficiaries – Rs 10 for stamp paper and lamination each) to the poor with white ration cards.
  • Beneficiaries will use these sites to construct houses that they cannot sell until they occupy the house for 5 years.
  • Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the 9 Navaratna schemes (Navaratnalu) in the state.

2. Govt has extended the benefit of a 2% interest subvention scheme and a 3% prompt repayment incentive to all farmers for all crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh.

  • The benefit will be granted to the beneficiaries whose loans have become due or are going to become due on March 1 and May 31, 2020.

3. Jharkhand has launched PRAGYAAM mobile app to issue e-passes to everyone who delivers essential services during the national lockdown.

4. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has decided to extend the existing foreign trade policy (2015-20) for one year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The validity of various import-linked export schemes, for example, Duty-Free Import Authorization (DFIA) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) has also been extended by one year.

5. Central Government has announced new domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir.

  • New Definition – A person residing in the Union Territory of J&K for at least 15 years or studied in J&K for 7 years and appeared in Class 10 or 12 examinations will now be a permanent resident of the UT.
  • This new rule was issued under Section 3A of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Adaptation of State Laws Order 2020 under the Jammu and Kashmir civil services decentralization and recruitment Act, 2010.
  • Also, children of central government officials who have served in the UT of J&K for 10 years at least are also eligible to be permanent citizens.
  • Apart from this, the govt has decided to repeal the perks and privileges given to former Chief Ministers of J&K under section 3-C of the State Legislature Members’ Pension Act, 1984. Domicile law contains the rules related to the permanency of citizens in a territory or country.

6. IISc-Bengaluru has developed indigenous ventilators under “Project Prana” to save lives.

7. Govt has formed a Science and Technology Empowered Committee for COVID-19 response, under the chairmanship of Vinod Paul (NITI Aayog member) and K Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Adviser to the government).

8. Department of Revenue has deferred the implementation of uniform stamp duty on capital market instruments (such as transfer of shares, debentures, futures, options, currency, and other) by 3 months to 1 July 2020.

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March Spotlight 2020

🗓️ March 2020


1. According to the first ever ranking of 28 states and 8 UTs released by central govt on the basis of direct benefit transfer (DBT) payout, Haryana has topped in terms of DBT payout with Rs 4,782 crores payment in 2019-20.

  • West Bengal is the worst performing state at the 36th position. The state does not implement several central schemes in which subsidies are involved.
  • Govt has claimed to save nearly Rs 28,700 crore in the first nine months of 2019-20 through DBT.
  • Through the Central DBT schemes, central govt has disbursed over Rs 2.25 lakh crores through 439 schemes run by 56 ministries and departments in 2019-20.
    Note: – In the picture, Uttar Pradesh has the highest amount of DBT payouts and number of transactions. However, Haryana has been given the 1st rank, which I found in every news article. Therefore, the rankings are little ambiguous. Focus on the ranks of states instead of the number of transactions and amount.

2. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in India to have 100% LPG coverage under the PM Ujjawala Scheme (PMUY).

  • ‘Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana’ was launched in 2018 to provide LPG connections to the remaining households which are left in the PMUY. Note: PMUY scheme has been covered in detail in ESI >> Govt scheme.

3. According to a progress report ‘Transforming Nutrition in India: Poshan Abhiyan’, released by the NITI Aayog, 1 in 3 Aadhaar-based payments made under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) was credited to a wrong bank account.

  • Out of the 31.29 lakh Aadhaar-based payments, 28% are going to different bank
    accounts than what had been provided by the beneficiaries.
  • Only 66% of the direct benefit transfers were based on Aadhaar.
  • NITI Aayog has proposed “rationalise” the mandatory waiting period of 180 days
    before the second instalment is released as well as the compulsory birth certificate for the release of the third instalment.
  • In this report, states were ranked on the basis of their readiness to implement the
    Poshan Abhiyaan across four themes: governance and institutional mechanism; strategy and planning; service delivery and capacities; and programme activities and intervention coverage.
  • Jammu & Kashmir is considered as a state.

Category Top ranker Bottom Ranker

Larger states (with more than 70% score)

1. Andhra Pradesh 2. Chhattisgarh
3. Madhya Pradesh

17. Karnataka
18. Assam
19. Kerala
(average score below 55%)

Smaller states (score 75%) Note: – all small States had a score above 55%

1. Mizoram 2. Sikkim

6. Tripura,
7. Manipur
8. Goa
(average score below 60%)

UTs (scored above 75%)

1. Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2. Chandigarh
3. Daman and Diu

6. Delhi
7. Lakshadweep
(average score below 50%)

4. J&K govt along with AICTE signed MoU with 4 IITs (Guwahati, Ropar, Pune, and Bhubaneshwar) and 3 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs of Orrisa, Pune and Kolkata).

  • Purpose of MoU: To provide a two-month internship to 500 final year students of
    J&K during the 2020-21 academic session.
  • It is the first-of-a-kind internship initiative where the travelling expenses of students
    will be funded by the Ministry of HRD through AICTE while the hostel and tuition expenses will be borne by the host institutions.

5. International Conference on Banana (ICB) 2020 was held in Trichy, Tamil Nadu.

  • Award: – Dr N Kumar (Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University) was
    awarded with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ given by ICAR-National Research
    Centre for Banana.
  • Organizer: – ICAR-National Research Center for Banana, Bioversity International (Rome)- International Center for Tropical Agriculture.
  • Theme: – Innovations in Sustainable Production and Value Chain Management in Banana.

6. Ministry for Human Resource Development has launched the “Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for Administrator”.

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) and British Council under the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) have jointly launched this initiative.
  • Objective: – to train the senior and middle level academic administrators to bring about systemic changes in Universities in India.

7. National Cyber Research, Innovation and Capacity Centre has been inaugurated at Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI) in Hyderabad, Telangana to combat cyber threats.

  • This centre has been set up by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) under Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
  • It is one of the 7 major units to be established under I4C. Note: – I4C is discussed in July Spotlight (National News).

8. First-ever National conference on Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience was organized by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in Delhi.

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February Spotlight 2020

🗓️ February 2020


1. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken over the process of issuing and managing International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of 15 digit from Mobile Standard Alliance of India (MSAI).

  • DoT will change the IMEI and rename it as “Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction”

(ICDR) to ban the import of fake IMEI numbers.

  • It has been prepared by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT).
  • ICDR has been launched on the Central Equipment Identity Register’s (CEIR) web portal.

2. According to the 9th annual Traffic Index report released by TomTom (Dutch navigation and mapping company), India has 4 out of top 10 most congested cities in the world.

  • It covers 416 cities across 57 countries on 6 continents.
  • Parameter free-flow travel times of all vehicles on the entire road network all time.
  • Bengaluru is at the top position.

3. Google has given $1 million grant to Internews (non-profit organization) for promoting news literacy in India. (this is covered in Jan spotlight).

4. Andhra Pradesh has launched the ‘YSR Pension Kanuka’– a doorstep pension delivery – scheme to deliver pension at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries aged 60 years.

  • Disabled people will get Rs 3,000 per month and people affected with Dialysis will receive Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per month.

5. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that Ministry of Civil Aviation will launch the Krishi Udan scheme to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products.

6. Indian Navy has conducted the exercise ‘Matla Abhiyaan’ (named after Matla River in West Bengal) in West Bengal to spread awareness about coastal security.

7. In 2019, Uttar Pradesh had launched the one product one district scheme to promote MSME products to make UP a $1 trillion economy by 2024.

  • Under the scheme, every district of a state has been developed into a specialized signature industry.

8. India and Maldives have signed five MoU for establishing the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu (Maldives) at a cost of $2.49 million.

  • Also, sixth MoU to set up a bottled water plant in Hoarafushi (Maldives) was also signed.

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    January Spotlight 2020

    🗓️ January 2020


    1. Global Carbon Project has made some observations on India that India’s emissions in 2019 was expected to be only 1.8% higher than in 2018.

    • Growth in India’s electricity generation has weakened from 6% per year to under 1% due to weak economy.
    • Hydropower generation was high due to wet monsoon while coal generation declined.
    • As per the observations, economic slowdown is the reason for a lower emission growth in India as well as in the rest of the world, and also in China, the world’s largest emitter. About Global Carbon Project (GCP):
    • Established in: 2001
    • Established by: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the World Climate Programme, the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change and Diversitas
    • Purpose: to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    • This partnership constituted the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) which subsequently evolved into Future Earth (handler of GCP).
    • GCP is a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme.
    • The project focuses on to reducing 3 major greenhouse gases- CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide.

    2. A workshop-cum-exhibition on ‘Bamboo – A wonder grass: Opportunity for Sustainable Development in Jobs’ will be organized in Jammu by the North Eastern Council (Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre of Assam) and J&K UT administration.

    • Purpose: to replicate the successful model being adopted in the North East to market its products.

    3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved to reduce central govt’s shareholding in selected Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) where the govt shareholding is below 51%.

    • However, the management control will differ on a case to case basis.

    4. Andhra Pradesh CM Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has proposed to create 3 capital cities in Andhra Pradesh for effective decentralization of governance in the state.

    • Reddy proposed to create Visakhapatnam as the executive, Amaravati as the legislative and Kurnool as the judicial capitals of the state. Committees related to the news:
    • Extra Facts: The 3 capital model has been taken from South Africa which has administrative capital in Pretoria, national legislature in Cape Town and judicial capital in Bloemfontein.

    5. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also approved the amendments in the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model proposed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

    • National Highway projects which are operational and have toll revenue generation history of 1 year after the Commercial Operations Date (COD) shall be monetized through the TOT Model.
    • TOT model provides for a fixed 30-year concession period.
    • The fund, generated from monetization of highways, will be used by the govt for developing new highways.

    6. Results of the Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (Quarter 1 and Quarter 2) has been released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

    • 5 th edition of the Swachh Survekshan 2020 (the annual urban cleanliness survey conducted by MoHUA) was also launched.
    • SS League 2020 is being conducted in 3 quarters, i.e. April- June, July – September and October- December 2019 and has 2000 marks for each quarter.
    • Ranks have been assigned in two categories, namely, cities with population of 1 lakh and above (with two sub-categories, i.e. 1-10 lakh and 10 lakhs and above) and cities with population of less than 1 lakh (under the < 1 lakh population category, the rankings are given zone and population wise).
    • SS League holds 25% weightage in the Swachh Survekshan 2020.
    • Parameters: waste water management and faecal sludge management have been given special attention among 12 indicators. Results of the SS League 2020: Category Top Cities Cities with population above 10 lakh Top Ranker (Q1) – Indore (Madhya Pradesh) Top Ranker (Q2) – Indore (Madhya Pradesh) Cities with population between 1-10 lakh Top Ranker (Q1) – Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) Top Ranker (Q2) – Jamshedpur (Jharkhand)

    7. President of India, Ram Nath Kovind (on October 31st, 2019) had revoked the President’s Rules – imposed under Article 356 – on the consolidated state of J&K as the article is not applicable on UTs.

    • Section 73 of J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 grants the powers to the President of India to take over the administration of J&K UT in case of failure of the UT administration.
    • In exercise of the powers granted under Section 73, President has taken control of J&K UT.
    • Under Section 74, President has authorized expenditure to be carried out of the Consolidated fund of UT of J&K.

    8. Kerala has become the first state in India to pass a resolution for scrapping the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

    • Kerala’s CM: Pinarayee Vijayan
    • While Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to start work under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.

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