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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

03 Jun 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India to be Re-Elected as Non-Permanent Member of UNSC

  • India is set to be re-elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during the elections in June 2020. India is assured to win from the Asia Pacific seat, as it will be the sole contender. 
  • India's candidature for the Asia Pacific seat in the non-permanent category was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia Pacific grouping including Pakistan and China in 2019.
  • India's name for non-permanent UNSC seat was proposed by the Asia Pacific countries for a two-year period, from 2021-2022.

Trump Seeks to Add India, Russia to G7 Invitation List

  • US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit till September 2020 and expressed his desire to expand the "outdated" bloc to G10 or G11, including India and three other nations to the grouping of the world's top economies.
  • The president, in an interaction with reporters travelling with him aboard the Air Force One from Florida to Washington DC  said that he is "postponing it (the summit) until September" and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India. 
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ENVIRONMENT

Cyclone Nisarga

  • Authorities in India's financial capital Mumbai are bracing for a severe storm which could hit its coast.
  • Cyclone Nisarga is set to make landfall on India's west coast, near the city in Maharashtra state. Neighbouring Gujarat state is also likely to be impacted.
  • The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) has deployed to both states.
  • The storm comes barely two weeks after Cyclone Amphan hit India's east coast.
  • More than 85 people were killed by Amphan in both eastern India and Bangladesh.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

SBI Creates Separate Business Vertical for Financial Inclusion

  • State Bank of India has created a separate business vertical to focus on financial inclusion and micro-markets (FI&MM) in semi-urban and rural areas.
  • Under FI&MM, the bank will offer loans predominantly for agriculture and allied activities, and micro/small enterprises and vastly improve customer experience for the citizens in the hinterland.
  • About 8,000 branches in rural and semi urban areas have been identified for providing specialised services to the micro segment including micro credit for small businesses and farmers under new vertical.
  • At the national level, the FI&MM vertical will be headed by Deputy Managing Director, Sanjeev Nautiyal.

Horticulture Production in 2019-20 Estimated

  • In 2020, onions are not likely to bring tears as the government expects 17% rise in the onion output from last year.
  • As per the second advance estimate, the production onion is likely to be 26.74 million tonnes in 2019-20 as against 22.82 million tonnes in 2018-19.
  • The second advance estimates also places total horticulture production in 2019-20 to be at 320.48 million tonnes - 3.13% higher than last year.
  • The official said that the production of fruits is likely to be 99.07 million tonnes as compared to 97.97 million tonnes in 2018-19.
  • The production of vegetables is also likely to be higher in 2019-20.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

A 170-ft Wide Asteroid Among 5 Flying by Earth Today: NASA Tracker

  • The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) of NASA has revealed that five Asteroids are going to pass by the Earth on June 3, 2020 at different intervals.
  • Among these five asteroids, 2020 KE4 asteroid will pass by Earth today within a distance of 0.01966 astronomical units as per the NASA.
  • The scientists have revealed that this asteroid, otherwise could be a Potentially Hazardous Object, poses no threat to planet Earth. The Asteroid 2020 KE4 is expected to burn out in the atmosphere.
  • The asteroids, also known as space rocks, that will pass by Earth are 2020 KF, 2020 KE4, 2020 KK7, 2020 KD4, and 2020 KJ1.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

SWADES Initiative

  •  The Indian Government will conduct a skill mapping exercise under SWADES initiative to map the skills of the Indian workers returning from overseas. SWADES stands for Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support.
  • The SWADES initiative, which began under the Vande Bharat Mission, aims to create a database of qualified Indian citizens based on their experience and skillsets. The database can then be refered to fulfil the demand of Indian and foreign companies.
  • The maximum number of Indian returnees have been from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. They were primarily employed in sectors including oil and gas, automotive, aviation, tourism, hospitality, IT and ITeS and construction. 

Cabinet Approves Renaming of Kolkata Port Trust as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust

  • The Union Cabinet approved the renaming of Kolkata Port Trust as Syama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust.
  • The Prime Minister had announced the renaming of Kolkata Port Trust after Syama Prasad Mukherjee at a function to mark the 150th-anniversary celebrations of the port trust.
  • Syama Prasad Mukherjee was an Indian politician, barrister and academician, who served as the Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Gaitri Kumar Appointed India's next High Commissioner to the UK

  • Seasoned diplomat Gaitri I Kumar has been appointed as India''s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
  • Kumar, a 1986-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, succeeds Ruchi Ghanashyam.
  • At present, Kumar is serving as Indian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union.
  • In her career spanning over 30 years, Kumar served in multiple Indian missions including in Paris, Kathmandu, Lisbon and Geneva.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

PM Delivers Inaugural Address at the Annual Session of CII

  • The Prime Minister delivered the inaugural address at the 125th Annual Session of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) through video conference.
  • The theme of 2020's annual conference is "Building India for a New World : Lives, livelihood, growth".

World Bicycle Day

  • In April 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3 as International World Bicycle Day.
  • The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes "the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the Bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport."
  • World Bicycle Day is now being associated with promoting a healthy lifestyle for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Centre Launches Three New Schemes to Promote Electronics Manufacturing in India

  • To make India a global leader in electronic manufacturing, the government has announced three schemes worth of Rs 50,000 crore.
  • The new schemes - Production Linked Incentive Scheme, Component Manufacturing Scheme, and Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme - were implemented for the development of electronics manufacturing sector in India.
  • The triology of schemes that entail an outlay of about Rs 50,000 crore (approximately $7 billion), will help offset the disability for domestic electronics manufacturing, which will strengthen the electronics manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
  • The three schemes together will enable large scale electronics manufacturing, the domestic supply chain of components and state-of-the-art infrastructure and common facilities for large anchor units and their supply chain partners.
  • These schemes are expected to contribute significantly to achieving a $1 trillion digital economy and a $5 trillion GDP by 2025.
  • The three new schemes are expected to attract substantial investments, increase the production of mobile phones and their components to around Rs 10,00,000 crore by 2025 and generate around 5 lakh direct and 15 lakh indirect jobs.

Govt Initiates Consultation Process for New Science, Technology and Innovation Policy

  • The government has initiated a consultation process for formulation of a new national Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020).
  • The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (Office of PSA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have jointly initiated a decentralised, bottom-up and inclusive process for the formulation of the new policy.
  • The fifth S&T policy of the country is being formulated at a crucial juncture when India and the world are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centre Amends Essential Commodities Act

  • The government has taken three historic decisions in the field of agriculture during the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Under the proposed amendments, essentials like grains, oil, pulses, potatoes, onions have been excluded from the Essential Commodities Act.
  • Farmers are free from the clutches of Agriculture Producer Market Committee.
  • Farmers can now export or store these commodities as they wish.
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