01-8-2020 Current Affairs

  1. Pranab Mukherjee, Former President passes away The former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away at 84 after testing positive for COVID-19 on 31st August 2020. The Government of India has announced seven-day state mourning. The Bharat Ratna Awardee Pranab Mukherjee was being treated at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. He had undergone an emergency surgery to remove a brain clot after testing positive for COVID-19 on 10th August 2020. After the surgery, he was placed on ventilator support. He developed lung infection and the doctors found his renal parameters damaged. His condition declined further on 31st August.
  2. More than 960 stations solarised by Indian Railways The Indian Railways has solarised more than 960 railway stations. This is being done to achieve the objective of becoming 100% self sustainable for all its power needs. Currently, the Indian Railways have orders to place 198 MW of solar roof top in 550 stations. Some of the major stations solarised so far are Varanasi, Delhi (both old and new), Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Guwahati, Howrah and Jaipur. The Indian Railways has set a target of becoming net zero carbon emitter by 2030. Indian Railways has a mega plan to install solar plants of 20 GW in its vacant land by 2030. There are more than 51000 hectares of vacant land available with the Indian Railways.
  3. By 2030, India sets target of achieving 100 MT coal gasification The Union Minister of Coal and Mines Shri Prahlad Joshi announced on 31st August 2020 at webinar that India aims for 100 million tonnes of coal gasification by 2030. This is to be achieved through investments worth Rupees 4 lakh crores. The Government of India has provided concession of 20% on revenue share of coal that is used for gasification. The Government of India is promoting Coal Gasification in order to reduce energy imports of the country. Coal Gasification is the process by which coal is converted into synthesis gas. The gas is also called Syngas. Syngas is used in applications such as making fertilizers.
  4. To boost Make in India, Ministry of Defence signs Rupees 2580 crores of contracts The Ministry of Defence signed contracts worth rupees 2580 crores to boost Make in India on 31st August 2020. The contracts were signed for supply of six Pinaka Regiments to the Indian Army. The contracts were signed with Tata Power Company. Bharat Earth Movers Limited and Larsen & Toubro. The Pinaka Regiments comprised of 114 launchers with Automated Gun Aiming and Positioning System. The six Pinaka Regiments are to be operationalized along the Northern and Eastern borders of the country. It will enhance the operation preparedness of Indian Army. The induction of the six Pinaka Regiments is to be completed by 2024.
  5. Landslide Susceptibility Mapping of Himalayas The scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Institute if Himalayan Geology operating under the Department of Science and Technology carried out a study covering 84 square kilometers in the Lesser Himalayas. According to the study, 15% of the region is highly susceptible to landslides. Mussoorie in Uttarakhand witnessed several landslides recently. The increase in the disaster hazard has led the scientists to map the landslide susceptibility in the region. The study has found that the very high and high landslide susceptibility zone lies in areas that are covered by highly fractured Krol limestone. Around 29% of the region falls under moderate landslide susceptible zone and 56% of the region fall under very low landslide susceptible zone.
  6. World’s Largest Solar Tree developed by India The CSIR-CMERI operating under the Ministry of Science and Technology has developed world largest solar tree. The tree has an annual capacity of generating 12000 to 14000 units of Clean and Green Power. The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that maximum exposure of each Solar Photo Voltaic Panel is achieved. There are a total of 35 Solar PV panels in each tree. Each panel has a capacity of 330 watt-power. The arms holding the solar PV panels are adjustable and are placed in an inclined position to the arms holding them. This feature is not available with the roof mounted solar panels.
  7. Major 25 health services disrupted globally, report by WHO The WHO (World Health Organization) recently reported that at least half of 25 kinds of health services experienced disruptions due to COVID-19. The findings were based on the survey conducted by the International Organization in its six regions. According to the report of the WHO, the immunization-outreach were the most hit. Following this, the second most impacted was the non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment. It was followed by family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders and cancer diagnosis and treatment. According to the report by WHO, the countries are concentrating their efforts full time towards COVID-19.
  8. At Kailash-Mansarovar, China builds missile site Amidst border tensions between India and China, China has reportedly build a missile launch site in Kailash-Mansarovar. The Kailash-Mansarovar is revered by four religions and is linked to high spiritual scriptures in India. The Hindus in India call the Mountain as the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. The Tibetan Buddhists call the mountain the abode of Demchong and his consort, Dorje Phagmo. According to the Jains, the mountain is the dwelling place of their first 24 spiritual masters. The Bons call the mountain as the dwelling place of the sky goddess.
  9. 10 years time granted by Supreme Court to Telecoms to pay their AGR dues The Supreme Court pronounced its judgement on the AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues issues on 1st September 2020. The judgement was announced by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra through Video Conferencing. The court said that the Telecom companies shall pay their AGR dues with in a time frame of 10 years to the central government. Alongside pronouncing the judgement, the court asked the National Company Law Tribunal to decide on spectrum trading as a part of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code.
  10. GDP of India contracts by 23.9% in Q1 of FY21 As per the data released by National Statistics Office (NSO), India’s GDP has contracted by 23.9% in the first quarter (April-June 2020) for FY21 (Financial Year 2021). This is the first instance of an economic contraction for India in at least four decades. It is also the first GDP decline since India began publishing quarterly numbers in 1996. Gross Value Added (GVA) for India declined by 22.8% All the sectors except agriculture witnessed contractions during the April-June quarter of 2020-2021. The highest drop was witnessed by the construction industry of 50.3%.

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