20th July 2018 GK Update & Current Affairs:
1. Two Plus Two Dialogue Between India and US To Be Held In New Delhi
• US State Department has announced that the inaugural ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ between India and the United States will be held in New Delhi in September 2018. Recently, the US had postponed the dialogue due to ‘unavoidable reasons’.
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will travel to India for the dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
2. India, Ghana Ink 2 MoUs
• India and Ghana signed two agreements in an effort to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
• Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar announced that two MOUs on Cultural Exchange Programme and on cooperation between Bureau of Indian Standards and Ghana Standards Authority were signed.
3. Infosys Foundation, Bangalore Metro Sign MoU for Constructing Station
• Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IT major, Infosys, signed an MoU with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for the construction of a station at Konappana Agrahara in Electronics City.
• The station is under the second phase of Bangalore Metro’s expansion plans and the Foundation has committed to maintaining it for the next 30 years.
4. AIIA & IIT Delhi Sign MoU To Give Scientific Validation To Ayurveda
• An agreement was signed between IIT Delhi and the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under which projects would be launched that would aim to give “scientific validation” to the ancient medical science and integrate it with technology.
• The projects would be funded by the Ayush Ministry. Under the MoU, the faculties of IIT Delhi and AIIA will work together in the projects to look at ways to integrate technology with Ayurveda.
5. India and Japan Hold 4th Round of Maritime Affairs Dialogue
• India and Japan held the fourth round of Maritime Affairs Dialogue in New Delhi. During the dialogue, key issues related to the Indo-Pacific region and maritime security were discussed.
• The Indian delegation at the dialogue was led by Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the External Affairs Ministry, while the Japanese side was led by Ambassador Kansuke Nagaoka, Policy Planning and International Security Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
6. Myanmar Joins International Solar Alliance
• Myanmar joined the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), thus, becoming the 68th signatory to the Framework Agreement of the ISA that aims for optimum utilisation of solar energy.
• Myanmar Minister for International Cooperation, Kyaw Tin handed over the ISA Framework Agreement to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a bilateral meeting on Delhi Dialogue 2018.
7. Chhattisgarh Launches ‘Abhar Aapki Sewa Ka’ App For Pensioners
• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh announced a Chhattisgarh Online Pension Management System (OPMS). E-payment to e-procurement to provide internet to every village has been done. It is under e-governance, fulfilling the dream of Digital India plan of India and Digital Chhattisgarh.
• The Chhattisgarh OPMS has launched an app called “Abhar aapki sewa ka”. Through this application, 80,000 pensioners of the state will now get all the information related to pension and payment online.
8. NABARD Award for Repco Micro Finance
• Repco Micro Finance Ltd, a non-banking finance company promoted by Repco Bank, received Nabard 2018 award for its service to self-help group (SHG) linkage in Tamil Nadu for the fiscal year 2017-18.
• Since its inception, the NBFC has disbursed loans amounting to Rs2,500 crore to over 10 lakh beneficiaries through 50,000 SHGs.
9. ONGC Board Approves Exiting Pawan Hans
• Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved exiting its helicopter service provider Pawan Hans by selling its entire 49% stake.
• The move will cut debt and consolidate resources in this core oil and gas business. ONGC wants its interest to be clubbed with the 51% government stake that is already on offer for sale.
10. Renowned Poet Gopal Das Neeraj Passes Away
• Hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj passed away in New Delhi after a prolonged illness. He was 94. His famous poetic works include Asawari, Lahar Pukare and Paran Geet.
• He won 3 Filmfare awards and penned some of the all-time hits like Likhe jo khat tujhe. He was conferred with Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007.
11. ISRO signs contracts with 3 vendors to assemble 27 Satellites
• U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), ISRO’s nodal satellites division has signed separate contracts with three vendors to outsource Spacecraft Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) activities.
• The contracts were signed with Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd and its six consortium members; also with defence public enterprise Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd, Hyderabad.
12. Arman Ali takes charge of national disabled people’s organisation NCPEDP
• Arman Ali was appointed as Executive Director of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).
• He will succeed Javed Abidi and take over his new role in October 2018. Arman has played pivotal role in bringing disability sector together in North East by forming network of organisations from seven states.
13. TN government sets up 24-hour helpline for inter-caste couples
• The Tamil Nadu government informed the Madras High Court that a 24-hour helpline has been set up to investigate issues faced by inter-caste couples and offer them necessary assistance and protection.
• A special cell has been formed in all districts and cities in the state, comprising district-level officers such as superintendent of police and deputy commissioner of police at the city level, to receive complaints of harassment and threat to inter-caste couples.