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July 03, 2020

Essays for Competitive Exams 2020 : Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Programmes in India

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Essay on Farmer Welfare Schemes of India

Indian farmers hae always needed welfare programmes to help them survive due to the numerous problems they face in earning their livelihoods. Successive governments have implemented many schemes and programmes over the years, but farmer distress remains. That is why farmers remain poor and farmer suicides continue. Thus, we should first understand the various problems farmers face, so that we can comprehend better the prospects of success of the programmes for farmer welfare which the government has initiated.

The first problem the Indian farmers face is fragmented land holdings. Most Indian farmers are small farmers with economically unviable small and scattered agricultural land holdings. The major reason for this is our inheritance laws, due to which land belonging to the father is equally distributed among his sons after the father passes away, causing it to be fragmented. Such farmers cannot take advantage of economies of scale.

The second problem faced by farmers is scarcity of inputs or their high cost which does not determine finished product costs. Good quality seeds, manures and chemical fertilizers are either costly or their availability is limited.

The third problem is that only one-third of the cropped area in India is under irrigation. Irrigation is the most important agricultural input in a tropical monsoon country like India where rainfall is uncertain, ureliable and erratic.

The fourth problem for farmers is non-remunerative prices for their finished products, the crops. In the absense of marketing facilities, small farmers have to depend upon local traders, moneylenders and middlemen for the disposal of their farm produce, which is often sold at a throw-away price.

Another problem which causes distress to small farmers is spiraling debt traps caused by scarcity of finance. Although there has been a steady increase in the flow of institutional credit from banks and cooperative societies to agriculture over the years, it is still inadequate. The reason is inflexibility in the conditions on which loans are given and the inability of such farmers to complete the documentation required.

Some of the problems mentioned above are due to the farmers' own poor awareness and education. Most small farmers are illiterate or poorly educated. They are also not aware of details of the institutional finance available to them. Thus, completing the required documentation remains a challenge. So they take the easy way out by borrowing the required finance from the local money-lenders, traders and commission agents.

Successive governments subsequent to independence have tried to help such farmers with various schemes. The first such scheme, launched in 1952, was the Community Development Programme CDP), in which overall development of rural areas with people's participation was planned. The next was the Intensive Agriculture Development Programme (IADP) to provide loans for purchasing seeds and fertilizers to farmers in 1960. A large number of schemes and programmes of various types were implemented in subsequent years with some earlier schemes being merged with or subsumed in programmes made subsequently. Some of these were solutions to other problems faced in rural areas, including reduction of poverty, increase in employment and development of rural areas. However, many of these suffered from various flaws, due to which the intended benefits were only partially achieved. 

In the recent past, several state governments have waived agricultural loans as part of their efforts to win over farmers in distress. Political parties have also been demanding for a Centre-sponsored national-wide loan waiver. However, loan waivers have many negative consequences. First, whether the benefits of the waivers will reach those who really need them is difficult to determine. Further, the waivers could significantly impact a state government's finances. In addition, the working of banks gets affected, as the farmers willing to repay the loans may not do so in the hope that the loans will be waived soon. Thus, we need to move away fro such measures and take up concerted and urgent reforms in capacity building in agriculture by addressing issues in marketing, pricing, credit and extension services. 

With the present government coming into power in 2014, the scenario changed significantly due to a diligent analysis of the earlier failures and revamping of some of the schemes accordingly, besides introducing more practical schemes whose implementation is ongoing. In May 2018, the government made a commitment to double the farmer's income by the year 2022. In pursuit of this objective and their commitment to improve the farmers' lot, the schemes and welfare programmes introduced by the present government are as follows. 

1. Soil Health Card 

The card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil after it is tested in a laboratory, as well as recommending what is required to improve its fertility. Thus, it prevents indiscriminate use and wastage of chemical fertilizers. 

2. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) 

The scheme aims at promoting sustainable agriculture through climate change adaptation measures such as integrated farming, soil health management and synergising resource conservation. 

3. Neem Coated Urea (NCU)

NCU slows down the release of fertilizer to the soil and makes it available to the crop in an effective manner. It reduces the cost of cultivation and improves soil health management. 

4. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanchai Yojana (PMKSY) 

It was launched in July 2015 for providing complete solutions in the irrigation supply chain, i.e., water sources, distribution network and farm level applications. It also popularizes micro irrigation by providing a Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) for encouraging public and private investments in micro irrigation. 

5. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

It promotes organic farming in the country, as organic products fetch a higher price in the local market besides having export potential.

6. National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)

It provides an e-marketing platform at national level and supports creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing. This innovative market process is revolutionizing agriculture markets by finding better prices for agricultural products.

7. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

PMFBY is a premium based scheme under which a farmer has to pay a maximum premium of 2% for Kharif Crops, 1.5% for Rabi and Oilseed crops, as well as 5% for annual commercial  horticultural crops. The scheme facilitates prompt claims settlement in case of a crop loss due to unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters.

The above schemes are an improvement over previous schemes due to the provision of transferring the money given by the government directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries which are linked to their Aadhar numbers. This ensures transparency and eliminates corruption.

In the recent union budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on 1st February 2020 announed 16 points action plan for farmers, towards the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022. The government allocated 2.83 lakh crore rupees for agriculture and allied activities, irrigation and rural development in 2020-21 budget. Further, she proposed comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts in the country. She added that agricultural credit target has been set up at 15 lakh crore. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) to be expanded to provide 20 lakh farmers in setting up standalone solar pumps. The milk processing capacity to be doubled from 53.5 million tonne to 108 million tonne by 2025. Though these are small steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen how these are implemented.

In conclusion, we can definitely say that the State and Union governments must communicate better the benefits of the schemes to farmers. They should send teams of volunteers to rural areas for explaining the benefits to farmers and persuade them to apply for the schemes. Further, instead of loan waivers, they should give incentives to farmers for timely repayment of the loans. The present government has already made a start in this direction. Finally, the governments must implement the schemes effectively so as to benefit the targeted beneficiaries suitably.

Shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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June 01, 2020

SSC Examinations 2020 new Schedule out

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Friends, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has released the New Schedules for the examinations which are being conducted by SSC in the year 2020. Today the organization has reviewed the situation arising out of the Corona virus pandemic with a view to rescheduling its pending examinations.Taking into account the overall situation, it has been decided to announce tentative dates of the following examinations as per the details given below. You can download the pdf version of this SSC Examination Schedule / Callender of the year 2020 from the Official Website of the Staff Selection Commission (https://ssc.nic.in/)or from below link. All the Best :)



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Govt launches PM SVANIDHI scheme to provide affordable loan to Street Vendors

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To provide affordable loan to street vendors, the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry of Indian Government today announced a new Micro-Credit Facility Scheme titled PM SVANIDHI. It is an acronym for Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi. The scheme is aimed at enabling the street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. The scheme has been launched in pursuance of the announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month. Street vendors play significant role in ensuring availability of the goods and services at affordable rates at the door-step of the city dwellers.

The scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors, who had been vending on or before 24th March this year, in urban areas. The duration of the scheme is till March 2022. The street vendors belonging to the surrounding peri-urban or rural areas are being included as beneficiaries under the urban livelihoods programme for the first time.

With PM SVANIDHI, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of upto 10,000 rupees, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year. On timely and early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy at the rate of seven per cent per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on six monthly basis.

If the vendor will repays the instalments in time or earlier, they will develop his credible credit score that makes him eligible for higher amount of term loan to 20 thousand rupees and so on. Urban Local Bodies will play pivotal role in the implementation of the scheme. The lending institutions under the Scheme include Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, NBFCs, Micro Finance institutions and Self Help Group banks.

In order to ensure fast implementation of the scheme with transparency, a digital platform with web portal and mobile app is being developed to administer the scheme with end-to-end solution. The IT platform will also help in integrating the vendors into the formal financial system.

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May 31, 2020

31st May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (30th May 2020) Important Current Affairs updates. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 30th May 2020

International Current Affairs
  • Today (31st May) is World No Tobacco Day.
    • This day is an annual awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourage governments to adopt effective policies to reduce smoking and other tobacco use.
    • Theme of World No Tobacco Day 2020 : ‘#TobaccoExposed’.
  • The Nepalese government presented a constitutional amendment bill in the parliament that seeks to make changes to the country's political map which includes Indian territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh
    • The amendment also seeks to make changes to the national emblem.
National Current Affairs
  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that use of caste-based remarks during a phone call does not constitute an offence under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
  • The government is planning to start home delivery of petrol and CNG for the greater convenience of customers, said Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
    • The government is also planning a new fuel retail model where all types of fuels would be available at one place.
    • Note : In 2018, Indian Oil started home delivery of diesel through mobile dispensers.
Science & Technology
  • Elon Musk-led SpaceX made history by successfully launching NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to space aboard in its Crew Dragon spacecraft becoming the 1st  private company to do so. 
    • SpaceX also successfully landed its first stage booster from Falcon 9.
    • Once the mission 'Demo-2' is complete, SpaceX's launch vehicle will be certified for commercial crewed flights to space.
    • About Astronauts :
      • Douglas Hurley : He was selected as an astronaut in 2000. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and was a fighter pilot and test pilot in US Marine Corps. 
      • Robert Behnken : He is a veteran of two space shuttle flights. He holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering.
  • The government has launched a national Artificial Intelligence Portal, www.ai.gov.in
    • It will work as a "one stop" digital platform for AI related developments in India
    • It was jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and IT Industry. 
  • The Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) has installed foot-operated elevator to avoid hand contact with the elevator buttons in order to reduce the possibility of contracting coronavirus. 
    • With its initiative, the CMRL has become the first metro rail in the country to do so
    • Currently, the facility is installed at the CMRL Admin Building at Koyambedu.
Sports Current Affairs
  • The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has nominated the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2020
    • Neeraj, who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, was conferred with the Arjuna Award in the year 2018. 
    • Note : Last week the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nominated India opener Rohit Sharma for the Khel Ratna.
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        May 30, 2020

        30th May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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        Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (30th May 2020) Important Current Affairs updates. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

        Daily Current Affairs of 30th May 2020

        International Current Affairs
        • US President Donald Trump today announced that the United States is terminating its relationship with World Health Organization (WHO)
          • The US will now redirect funds from WHO to other organisations. 
        • India and China are talking to each other at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the standoff in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced today. 
          • Both the countries have made it "clear" that they want to resolve the issue, he added. 
          • Further, Singh said, "We will not allow India's dignity to be hurt under any circumstances."
        • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today spoke to US Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper to discuss cooperation on COVID-19. 
          • They exchanged views on regional developments of shared security interest.
        National Current Affairs

        • Covid-19 cases has reached 1 lakh 73 thousand 763 in India. 
          • But there is a silver lining that the overall recovery rate has reached 47.40 in the country and a total of 82 thousand 370 patients have been cured so far.
        • The Government today extended the lockdown in containment zones till June 30 and said all economic activities can restart in a phased manner outside those zones.
          • The fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, was scheduled to end tomorrow.
          • Home Ministry has issued new guidelines for reopening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner.  

        • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of successive locust invasions until July in Rajasthan with eastward surges as far as Bihar and Odisha
          • However, the swarms are less likely to reach south India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the UN agency said. 
          • These movements will cease as swarms begin to breed and become less mobile, it added.
        Banking ,Business & Economic Affairs
        • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a ₹4-crore penalty on Citibank
          • The regulator said it fined Citibank for not complying with the directions related to customer credentials at the time of opening current accounts. 
          • Earlier, RBI imposed penalties of ₹5 crore on Bank of India, ₹1.2 crore on Karnataka Bank and ₹30 lakh on Saraswat Co-operative Bank for non-compliance with various rules.
        • Private lender Yes Bank has acquired a 24.19% stake in Dish TV India, by invoking pledged shares after loan defaults by several companies. 
          • Dish TV is a direct-to-home (DTH) entertainment service provider, operated by the Zee Group and the Videocon Group. 
        Deaths
        • Astrologer Bejan Daruwalla (88) died due to coronavirus at an Ahmedabad hospital today. 
          • The Millennium Book of Prophecy, published by HarperCollins, USA had him listed as one of the 100 great astrologers in last 1,000 years.
        • Lyricist Yogesh Gaur (77), who wrote the lyrics of songs like 'Kahin Dur Jab Din Dhal Jaye' and 'Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli', passed away. 
          • He also wrote songs for films like 'Chhoti Si Baat' (1976), 'Baton Baton Mein' (1979), 'Manzil' (1979). 
        Science & Technology
        • The World Health Organization (WHO) along with 37 nations and numerous partners has launched a 'COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (CTAP)' which aims to make vaccines and other key COVID-19 tools accessible to all. 
          • C-TAP will provide a "one-stop shop" for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be "shared equitably by global community". 
        People in News
        • The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to reinstate State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar who was dismissed on 10th April 2020. 
          • The court struck down an ordinance which reduced the SEC's term from five to three years and abruptly ended Kumar's tenure. 
          • Note : The state government had posted former Madras HC judge Justice V Kanagaraj in Kumar's place.
        Sports Current Affairs
        • India captain Virat Kohli remained the only cricketer to be included in the list of top 100 highest-paid athletes of 2020 by Forbes magazine. 
          • He is also the only Indian athlete to be featured in the list.
          • Swiss tennis great Roger Federer topped the list.
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            May 29, 2020

            29th May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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            Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (29th May 2020) Important Current Affairs updates. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

            Daily Current Affairs of 29th May 2020

            International Current Affairs
            • US President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at regulating social media companies 2 days after Twitter added fact-check label to his tweets. 
              • Under these new regulations, social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct won't be able to keep their 'liability shield'," Trump said. "The order will protect free speech and rights of Americans," he added.
            National Current Affairs
            • India now has the world's 9th worst coronavirus case count as number of those infected in the country rose to 1,65,799. 
              • According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of deaths from coronavirus in India stands at 4,706. 
              • Out of the total cases, 89,987 are active, while 71,106 people have been cured, discharged or migrated.
            • 1st phase of the Army Commanders' Conference, concluded today in New Delhi
              • Over last three days, Army’s apex leadership deliberated upon various aspects related to existing and developing security challenges.
              • Human resource management issues, studies pertaining to ammunition management, merger of co-located training establishments and merger of Military Training Directorate with HQ Army Training Command were also discussed.
            Science & Technology
              • Foundation Stone for a Missile Park " AGNEEPRASTHA" was laid at INS Kalinga by Cmde Rajesh Debnath,  Commanding Officer, in the presence of Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain.
              • The Missile Park "AGNEEPRASTHA"  once completed will be dedicated to all the Officers, Sailors and Support Staff of INS Kalinga, who have served in this premier op-support Base of the ENC since its establishment in 1981. 
              • The Park also commemorates the award of the prestigious Unit Citation to INS Kalinga for the year 2018-19.
            • The world's largest all-electric plane took its first successful flight, that lasted for about 30 minutes. 
              • The 'eCaravan' aircraft is a Cessna 208 Caravan plane, which was fitted with a 750-horsepower electric motor made by US-based startup MagniX and modified by aerospace engineering firm AeroTEC. 
              • The aircraft, which is about 37 feet long, typically seats nine passengers.
            New Appointments
            • Bengaluru-based IT services giant Wipro has appointed Capgemini's Chief Operating Officer Thierry Delaporte as its MD & CEO with effect from July 6. 
            Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
            • India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3.1% in the January-March quarter from a year ago, slowing from downwardly revised 4.1% in the prior three months. 
              • This is the slowest pace of expansion since the fourth quarter of 2008-09.
            • Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that Centre is making efforts to control crop-damaging locust swarms that have entered several states. 
              • At least 50 spray machines procured from the UK will soon reach India and will be deployed to control locusts. 
              • Plans are also afoot to deploy drones and helicopters for aerial spray of pesticides.
            • The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has removed restrictions on the export of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) of paracetamol
              • The government had imposed curbs on the export of paracetamol and formulations made from the compound on March 3. 
              • On April 17, the government had lifted restrictions on shipments of formulations made from paracetamol.
            • India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced interest rates on retail term deposits by up to 40 basis points (bps) across all tenors. 
              • This is the second reduction in fixed deposits interest rates by the lender in May. 
              • It had reduced its deposit rates on May 12.
            Deaths
            • World's oldest man Bob Weighton (112 years) died from cancer in the UK today. 
              • Weighton, from Alton, Hampshire, was given the title by Guinness World Records at the age of 112 years and 1 day after the death of Japan's 112-year-old Chitetsu Watanabe. Bob saw 26 Prime Ministers come and go during his lifetime.
            • Ex-Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi (74) passed away. 
              • He had served as the 1st CM of Chhattisgarh from November 2000 to November 2003. 
            • Rajya Sabha member and Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi's Managing Director MP Veerendra Kumar (83) passed away in Kozhikode. 
              • A veteran socialist leader and a former Union Minister, Kumar was jailed during the Emergency. 
            Sports Current Affairs
            • Cricket Australia today announced the dates for India's tour of Australia
              • India will be playing a 3-match T20I series from 11th to 17th October 2020, while the 4-Test series will begin on 3rd December 2020 in Brisbane and the Day-Night Test will take place in Adelaide from 11th December 2020. 
                • India will further play three ODIs from 12th to 17th January 2020.
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                May 28, 2020

                26th, 27th & 28th May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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                Dear Great Ambitionists, here are the Current Affairs updates of 26th, 27th & 28th May 2020. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

                Daily Current Affairs of 26th, 27th & 28th May 2020

                International Current Affairs
                • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered a 9th-century monolithic sandstone Shiva Ling during the ongoing conservation project at Vietnam's Cham Temple Complex
                  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced the find on Twitter, saying the development underscored "civilisational connect" between the countries. 
                • Japan has added India and 10 other countries to its entry ban list to contain the spread of coronavirus, PM Shinzo Abe announced today. 
                  • The total number of countries and regions included in Japan's entry ban list climbed to 111. 
                  • The move means foreign nationals who've been to these countries within the last 14 days will be denied entry into Japan.
                  Chinese parliament has voted and passed a decision which paves the way to directly impose national security legislation on Hong Kong
                  • The National People's Congress voted 2,878 to 1 in favour of the decision to empower its standing committee to draft the legislation. 
                  • The legislation is expected to prohibit treason, sedition and subversion of the Chinese government in Hong Kong.
                National Current Affairs
                • The Supreme Court today took suo motu cognizance of "problems and miseries of migrant labourers" who had been stranded in different parts of the country. 
                  • Saying there have been inadequacies and lapses on part of central and state governments in assisting the labourers, the apex court issued notices seeking their response. The next hearing will take place on May 28.
                • The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has  suggested that schools in Orange and Green Zones could be opened and students from Classes 8 to 12 can be brought in a staggered manner when the lockdown is lifted. 
                  • These suggestions were made after the HRD Ministry asked it to set-up a task-force on ways of reopening schools.
                Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
                • The government has announced it will stop selling its savings bonds that offered an interest rate of 7.75% on a taxable basis, also known as RBI 7.75% bonds, from Friday. 
                  • They will cease for subscription with effect from the close of banking business on Thursday. 
                  • These bonds have a tenure of 7 years and minimum value of investment is ₹1,000.
                • The European Commission has proposed a €750 billion recovery fund to help the European Union (EU) countries to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 
                  • The fund is made up of €500 billion in grants and €250 billion in loans. Monetary grants from the fund to be linked to domestic economic reform in countries applying for it.
                • India's economy is estimated to have grown at 1.2% for the quarter ended March 2020, said the SBI's Ecowrap report
                  • It said the economic activity in the last seven days of March was completely suspended due to lockdown, causing an estimated loss of around ₹1.4 lakh crore. 
                  • Subsequently, it projected the annual GDP growth for 2019-20 to be around 4.2%.
                • LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's largest carrier, has announced that the company and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the US have filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. 
                  • This comes two weeks after Latin America's second-largest airline Avianca filed for bankruptcy.
                • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has announced India is looking at storing some low priced US oil in facilities there as the local storage is full. 
                  • Pradhan added India had already filled its 5.33 million tonnes of strategic storage. 
                  • Note : Last month, Australia said it would build an emergency oil stockpile, initially by buying crude to store in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
                Science & Technology
                • Arogya Setu, India's Covid-19 contact tracing, syndromic mapping and self assessment mobile app is now open source.
                  • Announcing it in New Delhi, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, transparency, privacy and security have been the core design principles of Araogya Setu since it's inception and opening of the source code upto the developer community signifies Government of India's continuing commitment to this principle.
                • Officials from India and Israel recently held discussions on scientific cooperation between the two countries to develop rapid diagnosis for COVID-19 based on AI.
                • Elon Musk's SpaceX will be launching two NASA astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, in its Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. 
                  • This will be the first crewed flight to launch from the US since 2011. 
                • Using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, researchers have created the first-ever map of the electric current systems in the Martian atmosphere. 
                  • Unlike Earth, Mars lacks a protective global magnetic field to shield its upper atmosphere from the solar wind. Instead, the magnetic field in the solar wind wraps around the red planet. 
                  • This creates an induced magnetosphere, generating electric currents.
                New Appointments
                • Govinda Rajulu Chintala took charge as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) today.
                  • His tenure will last till his superannuation (July 31, 2022) or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
                  • Previously, he was the Managing Director of NABFINS, a subsidiary of NABARD headquartered in Bengaluru.
                  • Note : Along with Chintala, the government has also appointed KV Shaji (General Manager, Canara Bank) and PVS Suryakumar (Chief General Manager, NABARD) as Deputy Managing Directors (DMDs) of NABARD.
                • KV Kamath's five-year term as the president of the New Development Bank led by the five BRICS member countries came to an end today. 
                  • Brazil's Marcos Troyjo will be replacing Kamath as its new president while India's Anil Kishora will be the new vice-president. 
                • British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers Aston Martin has announced that its CEO Andy Palmer stepped down and will be replaced by CEO of Mercedes-AMG Tobias Moers on August 1. 
                  • VP Keith Stanton will serve as the interim CEO until Moers takes over. 
                • Marie Cau, a transgender woman in France, won an election in her village in northern France to become the country's first openly transgender mayor.
                Deaths
                • Former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and former acting Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Justice Viswanathan Rattanam (87) passed away due to coronavirus. 
                Awards & Honors
                • Indian Army Major Suman Gawani will be the 1st Indian recipient of the UN Military Gender Advocate award.
                  • She had been serving as a UN peacekeeper in South Sudan since 2018.
                • Indian-American scientist Rajiv Joshi has bagged the "Inventor of the Year Award" in recognition of his "pioneering work in advancing the electronic industry and improving artificial intelligence capabilities" by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. 
                  • Joshi has more than 250 patented inventions in the US and he works at the IBM Thomson Watson Research Center in New York.
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                    Meet the new President of New Development Bank (NDB) - Marcos Troyjo

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                    India's KV Kamath's five-year term as the president of the New Development Bank (NDB) came to an end today. He is going to be replaced by Marcos Troyjo of Brazil, as the new President of NDB. Elections for the post were held during a special meeting of the bank’s board of governors today. Marcos is currently working as Brazil's Deputy Minister of the Economy and also in charge of Foreign Trade & International Affairs. He is Brazil's Alternate Governor at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and a representative at board level in many other multilateral development institutions.

                    India’s Anil Kishora has been appointed as NDB’s new Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer. Kamath, who took over in 2015, was responsible for the bank’s swift response in launching the Covid-19 Emergency Programme Loan product. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who attended the meeting, commended the NDB on funding infrastructure and other projects that positively impacted the development agenda of its member-nations, including India. 

                    About NDB
                    The New Development Bank, which was earlier BRICS Development Bank, was established by the BRICS States (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Since its establishment in 2014, the NDB has approved an amount of $16.6 billion for 55 projects. The idea for setting up the bank was proposed by India to the BRICS nations in 2012, after which it was set up with headquarters in Shanghai. 

                    Note : India's Anil Kishora will be the new vice-president of NDB.

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                    May 25, 2020

                    24th & 25th May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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                    Dear Great Ambitionists, here are the current affairs of 24th & 25th May 2020. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

                    Daily Current Affairs of 24th & 25thMay 2020

                    International Current Affairs
                    • Brazil has surpassed Russia to report the second-highest cases of coronavirus globally after it reported 16,508 new virus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total cases to over 3.47 lakh. 
                      • Brazil reported 965 deaths from coronavirus during the same period, increasing the nationwide death toll to 22,013. 
                      • Brazil is the worst coronavirus-hit country in Latin America.
                    National Current Affairs
                    • Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated across the country today. 
                      • The festival heralding the end of the fasting month of Ramzan was celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala yesterday.
                      • Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid Sayyed Ahmad Bukhari has appealed to people not to come to mosques to offer prayers and offer namaz at home in view of the pandemic. 
                      • This is perhaps the 1st time when there will be no mass namaz at mosques and idgahs across the country as all kinds of religious gatherings have been prohibited to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
                    • India is now among 10 countries with worst coronavirus case count as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 1,38,845 today. 
                      • India surpassed Iran which has 1,35,701 coronavirus cases.
                      • Top 10 Countries :
                        • The US
                        • Brazil
                        • Russia
                        • The UK
                        • Spain
                        • Italy
                        • France
                        • Germany 
                        • Turkey 
                        • India
                    • In order to provide employment to the migrant labourers returning to the state amid coronavirus lockdown, UP government has decided to set up a 'Migration Commission'. 
                    • The Andhra Pradesh HC has passed an interim order to seize the premises of LG Polymers after the gas leak at its chemical plant in Vizag killed at least 11 people. 
                      • No individual, including the company's executives, would be allowed to enter the premises. 
                      • Moreover, no assets would be allowed to be moved without permission from the court.
                    • To commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij on 26th May 2020, the Ministry of Culture’s National Gallery of Modern Art will organise virtual tour titled “Ramkinkar Baij | Journey through silent transformation and expressions”. 

                    Banking and Economy Current Affairs
                    • Procurement of wheat by the government agencies surpassed last year’s figures of 341.31 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) to touch 341.56LMT on 24th May 2020, surmounting all impediments created due to the spread of COVID-19 virus and the country wide lockdown. 
                    • The World Bank has agreed to grant Pakistan a $500 million loan to help it reduce the impact of coronavirus crisis and improve healthcare quality. 
                      • The country will repay the loan in 30 years, which is provided by the institution's arm – the International Development Association. 
                      • Note : Pakistan's public debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to increase from 85% to 90% of GDP.
                    Science & Technology
                    • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to operationalize its squadron called the Number-18 - Flying Bullets with a fleet of the Light Combat Aircraft, LCA Tejas at its Sulur base near Coimbatore. 
                      • It will be launched by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria on Wednesday.
                      • It will be the second Indian Air Force squadron to operate with the modern multi-role light fighter aircraft.
                    • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Adviser to Lieutenant Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan inaugurated a first of it’s kind Infectious Disease Block facility at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) at Soura in Srinagar today for the treatment of COVID-19 and other pathologies infected patients.

                    People in News
                    • Benjamin Netanyahu has became the 1st serving Israeli PM to go on trial
                      • He faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
                    New Appointments
                    • The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to appoint former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq as coach for international players at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore. 
                      • Saqlain, who picked 208 wickets in 49 Tests and 288 wickets in 169 ODIs, has previous experience of having been with the England, West Indies and New Zealand teams as spin bowling coach/consultant.

                    Deaths
                    • Indian hockey legend and 3-time Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr (96) passed away. 
                      • He holds the record for most goals scored by an individual in men’s hockey final at the Olympics.
                     Download January 2020 Month's Current Affairs PDF File from HERE 
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                      May 23, 2020

                      23rd May 2020 Daily Current Affairs

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                      Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (23rd May 2020) Important Current Affairs updates. Check complete Daily Current Affairs of the year 2020 from HERE. Happy Reading :)

                      Daily Current Affairs of 23rd May 2020

                      International Current Affairs
                      • Today (23rd May) is World Turtle Day.
                        • The purpose of this day is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
                        • World Turtle Day 2020 Theme American Tortoise Rescue
                      National Current Affairs
                      • As many as 6,654 coronavirus cases were confirmed in India in the last 24 hours, marking the biggest one-day jump so far and taking the total number of cases to 1,25,101
                        • Meanwhile, 137 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,720. 
                        • Out of the total cases, 69,597 cases are active.
                      • To provide job to every labourer, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan today launched the Shram Siddhi campaign in every Panchayat. 
                        • Job cards will be given to labourers after a door-to-door survey and then they will be given jobs. 
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