Current Affairs Miscellaneous

 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is observed to spread awareness among people about the cooperation required to combat desertification and the effects of drought. The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels. The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020: Food. Feed.Fibre. – the links between consumption and land. This year, it is running a campaign under the slogan “Food. Feed. Fibre.” which seeks to teach individuals on the way to reduce their personal impact. This year’s global observance event, hosted by Korea Forest Service, will happen online with a full-day program featuring a spread of exciting events and international talent.
  • World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: History
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty. The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.

Anmol Narang has made history by becoming the 1st observant Sikh to graduate from the distinguished United States (US) Military Academy at West Point. She was among about 1,100 cadets who graduated at the premier institution’s campus in New York with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. She is hopeful that her efforts to represent her religion and community will encourage Americans to find out more about Sikhism. She was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia. In 1987, Congress passed a law that prohibited Sikhs and a number of other religious communities from maintaining their articles of religion while within the military, despite a history of diverse service and simple accommodations.

“Feedback Call Centres on Public Grievances” has been launched by the Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh. During the launch, the minister also interacted with 4 citizens whose grievances were successfully redressed on the COVID-19 National Monitor for Public Grievances. Various “Feed Back Call Centers” have been operationalized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The “Feed Back Call Centers” were operationalized at various places across India, namely Guwhati, Jamshedpur, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Guntur, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow, and Guntakal with 1406 call centre operators. These centres would be operated in 14 languages namely Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Bengali, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Assamese and Rajasthani.

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a “Multi Location Claim Settlement” facility. The “Multi Location Claim Settlement” facility will cover claims such as provident fund, pension, partial withdrawal and claims and transfer claims. The “Multi Location Claim Settlement” facility will enable EPFO offices to settle online claims from any of its regional offices, across the country. The recently launched facility will reduce any delay in claim settlement cycle. By introducing this facility, EPFO has moved away from the existing system of geographical jurisdiction for claim processing, hence reducing the delays by uniformly distributing the claim settlement related workload nationwide.

“e-Office” application has been launched in over 500 CGST and Customs offices across India by the Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), M. Ajit Kumar. With the launch of application, CBIC has become one of the largest Government departments to automate its internal office procedures. The “e-Office” is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance of India. “e-Office” has been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and is supported by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The launch of “e-Office” application will remove the manual handling of files and paper movement with automated internal office procedures, hence introducing fundamental changes. This is another step of the organisation in leveraging technology for providing a ‘Faceless, Contactless and Paperless’ indirect Tax administration.

India has joined the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay) as a founding member. GPAI was launched by a group of leading economies namely UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Italy, Japan, USA, Mexico, New Zealand and India. This partnership among the leading economies aims to guide the responsible development as well as use of AI, grounded in human rights, diversity, innovation, inclusion, and economic growth. GPAI is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative is a first initiative of its type to evolve better understanding of the challenges along with opportunities around AI by using the experience and diversity of participating nations. This would be achieved by uniting leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia to promote responsible evolution of AI. As a founding member of the initiative, India will actively take part in the global development of Artificial Intelligence, leveraging upon its experience around use of digital technologies for inclusive growth. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will host a Secretariat in Paris, in order to provide support to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI). It will also have two Centers of Expertise: one each in Paris and Montreal.

A device named “GermiBAN” has been launched by the Union Minister of State for Home affairs G. Kishan Reddy. The device has been developed by Atal Incubation Centre & Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP) Women Entrepreneurs (WE) HUB. The recently launched device has the capability of killing 99.9% of surface and air microbes. Hence the device will be very useful for quarantine centres, isolation wards, hospitals and all general places for killing viruses like coronavirus. ALEAP WE-HUB has been set up to encourage women startups, expanding incubation facilities to make available co-working spaces, equipment/machinery, business/market and network connections, common facility rooms, infrastructure, banking, investors, venture capitalists as well as angel network support. It was set up with the support of Central Government’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI AAYOG.

Airtel Payments Bank has launched ‘Suraksha Salary Account’ for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). India’s MSME sector has over 60 million units and accounts for 29 per cent of India’s GDP.
About ‘Suraksha Salary Account’:
  • Through this innovative account construct, MSMEs and other organisations will be able to make cashless payments and also provide a financial security blanket to their employees.
  • The account offers benefits such as Hospicash Insurance and personal accident insurance cover, keeping in mind the low penetration of insurance in India. The account has no minimum balance condition.
  • Account-holders will be able to make cash withdrawals at Airtel Payments Bank’s 500,000 banking points across India.
  • There are no charges on cash withdrawals of up to Rs 50,000 and deposits of up to Rs 20,000 in one month. Customers will also be able to make cash deposits and transfer money at these points.

Chef Angad Singh Rana has won QualityNZ Culinary Cup 2020. The award was announced by Cricket legend and Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming. Chef Angad Singh Rana grabbed the QualityNZ Culinary Cup 2020 alongside INR 50,000 worth of QualityNZ lamb and seafood and a Weber BBQ valued at over INR 46,000. This award is the New Zealand’s first ‘Virtual’ Chef competition – the ‘Quality NZ Culinary Cup’ held in India. The competition had quite 120 entries of which were shortlisted as finals. The panel of judges included the heads of the Culinary Association, Chef Davinder Kumar, Chef Salil Fadnis, Chef Jugesh Arora and Stephen Fleming.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX). IGX is the first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform. The trading platform will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts. IGX is fully automated with a web-based interface and it provides seamless trading experience to the customers. The new electronic trading platform for natural gas is an indicator of the centre’s progressive policy. This will help the nation move towards free-market pricing of natural gas. IGX has been incorporated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), which is India’s energy market platform.

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