Current Affairs Current Affairs June 2020

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.

ICICI Bank has introduced an online overdraft(od) facility ‘Insta FlexiCash’ for its salary account customers. The end-to-end fully digital facility is often accessed with no documentation, using the Bank’s internet banking platform without visiting a bank branch. This facility is meant to guard ICICI Bank Salary Account customers against missing their Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) or cheque bounces thanks to insufficient funds by providing short-term instant credit. Customers can easily avail of this facility by initiating their application online.
  • About ‘Insta FlexiCash’:
Insta Flexicash is an end-to-end fully digital facility which may be availed using the bank’s Internet banking platform. The facility is often sanctioned immediately while customers can start using the approved OD limit within 48 hours.
Important Features of ‘Insta Flexicash’:
  • Instant approval for overdraft facility: Customers get a moment approval for the OD facility with no documentation, using the Bank’s internet banking platform.
  • Extensive credit limit of OD: The Bank offers customers a credit limit worth up to 3 times their net salary.
  • Only buy what you use: Interest should be paid only on the particular OD amount utilised.
  • FlexiCash comes with a hard and fast rate of interest that’s calculated on a daily reducing balance. The interest is charged only on the quantity you employ and therefore the period that you employ it. In case there’s no usage of the funds, there’ll be no interest payable.
  • The flexibility of repayment: Customers have the pliability to clear the outstanding limit at their convenience. They are only required to pay the interest that’s due monthly.
  • No foreclosure charges: the power offers customers the pliability to repay the OD amount that they avail, as and once they prefer to, with none foreclosure charges
  • The convenience of auto-renewal: Customers enjoy the convenience of the automated process enhancement and renewal of OD limit every 12 months.

International Day of Family Remittances is observed on 16th June every year. The day recognizes the contribution of over 200 million migrants to improve the lives of their 800 million family members back home and to create a future of hope for their children. This year International Day of Family Remittances is celebrated under the theme: “Building resilience in times of crisis”
The objective of the International Day of Family Remittances:
  • Through the observance of IDFR, the United Nations (UN) seeks to create greater awareness about impact remittances have on millions of households, as well as on communities, countries, and entire regions.
  • IDFR also calls upon governments, private sector entities, and civil society, to find ways that can maximize the impact of contributions made in the form of remittances by individuals and collective actions.

“Ghar Ghar Nigrani” mobile application has been launched by the Punjab government to check the community spread of COVID-19 in the state of Punjab. Under this initiative, state will undertake house to house surveillance in the state, covering the entire rural and urban population of Punjab above 30 years of age and will also cover persons below the age of 30 having co-morbidity or Influenza like Illness/Severe Acute Respiratory Illness until the elimination of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile application “Ghar Ghar Nigrani”, developed and designed in-house by the Health Department, will act as a tool for early detection as well as testing of the people for the novel coronavirus in order to prevent its community spread.

An Artificial Intelligence enabled robot “CAPTAIN ARJUN” has been launched by the Indian Railways’ Central Railway zone. The AI robot has been launched to intensify the screening of passengers and surveillance to keep a watch on anti-social elements. The above objectives will be achieved with the help of motion sensor, one PTZ camera and one Dome Camera installed on the robot. It also comprises sensor-based sanitizer as well as mask dispenser. The Cameras installed on the CAPTAIN ARJUN uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to track suspicious and antisocial activity. It also comprises of inbuilt siren, motion activated spotlight along with an in-built internal storage in order to record in case of a network failure. The robot undertake the thermal screening of passengers and captures the temperature in a digital display panel. It also sounds an abnormal automatic alarm indicating a higher temperature than reference range. Hence, Captain ARJUN will provide enough protective cover to the passengers while undergoing the screening and also ensure security in the railway premises.

A CSIR National Healthcare Supply Chain Portal named as “Aarogyapath” has been launched. “Aarogyapath” is an information platform developed by CSIR in partnership with Sarvodaya Infotech and institutional users and manufacturers / authorized suppliers of healthcare essentials. The portal has been launched with a vision of “providing a path which leads one on a journey towards Aarogya (healthy life)”. The platform is expected to fill the critical gaps in last-mile delivery of patient care within India via improved availability and affordability of healthcare supplies. The “Aarogyapath” portal will ensure single-point availability of key healthcare goods which would be helpful to customers in addressing various issues such as time-consuming processes to identify good quality products, lack of awareness about the latest product launches, dependence on limited suppliers, etc. The platform would serve manufacturers & suppliers to reach a wide network of customers efficiently by reducing the gaps in connectivity between them and potential demand centers. Hence it will facilitate a real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies.

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