“Dream Kerala project” announced for rehabilitation of Keralites returning from abroad

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1.FCC designates 2 Chinese companies – Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation as National Security Threats

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated two Chinese companies – Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation as national security threats.FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said both Huawei and ZTE have close ties with Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus.The FCC has increasingly scrutinised Chinese companies as tensions grow between Beijing and Washington over trade, the coronavirus and security issues.The agency is considering banning these Chinese telephone companies from entering the US market.The US contends that Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for spying.

2.First Edition of ‘Matsya Sampada’ launched by Union Minister

Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh has launched the 1st Edition newsletter “Matsya Sampada” fisheries and aquaculture published by the Department of Fisheries and the operational guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).From the first quarter of 2020-21, newsletter Matsya Sampada will be published on a quarterly basis.The operational guidelines for the PMMSY scheme have also been published in the first edition of the newsletter.The newsletter will serve as a means of communication for educating and providing the latest information and developments related to the fisheries and aquaculture sector to all the stakeholders involved in the sector.

3.SERB launches ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ scheme to strengthen scientific research mechanism

The Science and Engineering Research Board has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’.The scheme will provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs and workshops across the country.The primary objective of this inter-ministerial scheme is to encourage high-end scientific research and prepare scientific manpower, which can lead towards research careers and knowledge-based economy.Accelerate Vigyan will initiate and strengthen mechanisms for identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshops on a national scale.

4.”Dream Kerala project” announced for rehabilitation of Keralites returning from abroad

Kerala has announced “Dream Kerala project” for rehabilitation of the Keralites returning from abroad and for the overall development of the State.The State’s economy is badly hit with many non-resident Keralites losing their job amid COVID crisis.The project aims, not only, the rehabilitation of returnees but also, using their skill and knowledge for reviving the State.The various departments under the State Govt will be coordinating the project.Through the Dream Kerala project , ideas and suggestions from the public will be invited.Stipulated time frame has been  fixed  for early implementation of projects.

5.Ashadhi Ekadashi celebrated in Maharashtra

Ashadhi Ekadashi, one of the most significant festivals in Maharashtra which also marks the culmination of the pilgrimage undertaken by the Warkaris (devotees of Lord Vitthal) from different parts of the state on their feet to travel hundreds of kilometres to reach temple town Pandharpur in Solapur district.Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray performed the Mahapooja of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini at the temple town of Pandharpur in the wee hours.The CM prayed to make Maharashtra and the country free of Coronavirus and to grant peace and prosperity to farmers in the state.In normal times, lakhs of Warkaris from Maharashtra and other states throng the temple in Pandharpur on ‘Ashadhi Ekadashi’.However, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra Government cancelled this year’s annual ‘Wari’ (pilgrimage), which is characterised by people walking from far with palanquins to Pandharpur.

6.World Bank to give $750 million funding support to MSMEs in India

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $750 million MSME Emergency Response program to support funding to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The programme will help in improving funding capacity of small finance banks (SFBs) and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) for the MSME sector.The World Bank said this programme will address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of some 1.5 million viable MSMEs to help them withstand the impact of the current shock and protect millions of jobs.

7.Pakistan Army appoints first female lieutenant general

The Pakistan Army has appointed a woman officer as lieutenant general for the first time.Major General Nigar Johar, who got the coveted post of a three-star general, has also been appointed as the first female surgeon general of the Pakistan Army.In 2017, she became the third woman officer in the Pakistan Army to attain the rank of major general.The other two women major generals were Shahida Badsha and Shahida Malik.

8.Shrikant Madhav Vaidya takes charge as IOC Chairman

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya took charge as the new chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).Prior to his elevation, Vaidya was the Director (Refineries) on the IOC Board, since October 2019.He succeeds Sanjiv Singh, who has superannuated from the services of the Corporation on June 30.Vaidya will also be the chairman of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, a stand-alone refining subsidiary of IOC, and Indian Oiltanking Ltd, a joint venture providing terminalling services.

9.Sanjay Dwivedi appointed as Director General of IIMC

Professor Sanjay Dwivedi has been appointed as the Director General of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).Dwivedi is at present Registrar of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as the DG, IIMC on direct recruitment basis for a period of three years.IIMC established in 1965, is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

10.Indra Mani Pandey appointed India’s Permanent Representative to UN

Senior diplomat Indra Mani Pandey has been appointed as the next Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva.Mr Pandey, a 1990 batch IFS officer is presently additional secretary in the External Affairs ministry.He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

11.Shashank Manohar steps down as ICC Chairman

India’s Shashank Manohar stepped down as International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman.He announced this just one week before the election process for his successor was announced.Deputy chairman Imran Khwaja, formerly of Singapore Cricket Association, will be the interim head.As per the ICC rules, Manohar could have stayed for another two-year-term as a maximum of three terms is allowed.

12.Ravindra Jadeja named India’s 21st century Most Valuable Player by Wisden

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been named the Most Valuable Player for India in the 21st century by Wisden.The 31-year-old’s MVP rating, which was calculated using the cricket data analysis tool CricViz, was 97.3. His rating is second only to Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka making him the second most Valuable Test Player of the 21st Century.Wisden used CricViz, a detailed analysis tool in cricket to analyse his performance.