Current Affairs Science & Technology

 The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has extended the tenure of Sandip Pradhan as Director General of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) by two years. The extended tenure will come into effect from 6 June 2020. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for extension.

 Leo Puri has been announced to become the new Chairman of JP Morgan South Asia and South East Asia. He will replace Kalpana Morparia who will be serving as the chairman until the 1st Quarter of 2021. Leo Puri has earlier served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UTI Mutual Fund. In another major top-level change, Murali Maiya will become the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JP Morgan South and South East Asia.

 Aiman Ezzat has become the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of French technology major Capgemini Group. He has replaced the presently serving Paul Hermelin who will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board. The appointment of Aiman Ezzat was made at the close of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Aiman Ezzat was earlier serving as the Chief Operating Officer of the Capgemini Group and has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the company in the past. He was also named as the “Best European CFO” for the technology and software category of Institutional Investor magazine’s annual ‘All European Executive Team’ ranking.

 Thierry Delaporte has been appointed by the IT major Wipro as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD). He will replace Abidali Neemuchwala as the new CEO and MD of Wipro. Abidali Neemuchwala will relinquish his position as CEO and MD on 1st June 2020. Thierry Delaporte will take over the position on 6th July 2020. Thierry Delaporte has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini Group and a member of its Group Executive Board. In his career of 25 years with Capgemini, he served at various leadership roles such as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Financial Services Strategic Business Unit, and head of all global service lines.

  South African HIV researcher, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, who found that a topical gel could stop many women catching the virus has been awarded Christophe Merieux Prize.  Christophe Merieux Prize is one of France’s top science prizes. She won the half a million-euro ($551,000) Prize for her work for the Durban-based Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), which she heads.

 The 22nd Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was chaired by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. The FSDC meeting featured the participation of senior officers of the Government of India as well Financial Sector Regulators. the participants of the meeting reviewed the measures taken by the Government of India and the regulators in the recent months to maintain the financial stability in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting, present global and domestic macro-economic situation was reviewed including the financial stability and vulnerabilities issues. They also reviewed major issues that are likely to be faced by banks as well as other financial institutions. Along with the above, FSDC also take note of market volatility, domestic resource mobilisation and capital flows issues.

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $177 million loan to upgrade road infrastructure in the state of Maharashtra. The loan has been signed with prime objective of upgrading the 450 km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Maharashtra. The road improvement project consists of improving 2 major district roads and 11 state highways having the combined length of 450 km. The project will improve the connectivity to national highways, seaports, airports, industrial areas, rail hubs, interstate roads, district headquarters, enterprise clusters and agricultural areas. The project will also involve the strengthening of road safety measures with the development of a road safety audit framework that will led to the protection of vulnerable groups including the elderly, women, and children. 5-years performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors will be encouraged to sustain asset quality and service levels, hence updating road maintenance system. It will also train the Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff to enhance their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in various aspects such as road design, road maintenance planning and road safety.

The 36th National Games, planned for October-November in Goa, was deferred indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Games organising board has chosen to defer National Games due to COVID-19 pandemic. Committee to convey a social event in September end and decide on fixing dates for National Games. (Goa) Government to require guidance from Union Sports Ministry, need four months notification ahead of time to compose games. The last edition of the Games was held in 2015 in Kerala.

  The facility for instant allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been formally launched by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman. This facility has been rolled out on near to real time basis. The PAN applicants who has a valid Aadhaar number and have a mobile number registered with Aadhaar will be able to avail the recently launched facility. After the launch of this new facility, the allotment process is paperless and an electronic PAN (e-PAN) will be issued to the applicants free of cost. Launching this facility will create further ease of compliance to the taxpayers.

 An Artificial Intelligence (AI) based chatbot “PAi” has been launched by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). This chatbot has been rolled out to create awareness around NPCI’s products such as FASTag, RuPay, UPI, AePS on a real time basis, hence improving the digital financial inclusion in India. The chatbot “PAi” has been developed by Bengaluru based startup CoRover Private Limited. The AI virtual assistant “PAi” would have access to accurate information on products of NPCI and would be available round the clock to solve the queries of the customers in English and Hindi, via text or voice on the websites of NPCI, RuPay, and UPI Chalega. It would also be available to global RuPay Cardholders as well. PAi will give verified automated responses to the customer’s queries on all NPCI’s products.


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