Current Affairs 09 August 2020

Two coastal villages of Odisha declared as Tsunami Ready by UNESCO

  • Paris-based UNESCO has recognised two coastal villages of Odisha as being “Tsunami Ready”, for their overall preparedness to face the calamity.
  • The two coastal villages are Venkatraipur (Boxipalli) village of Rangeilunda block in Ganjam district and Noliasahi village of Ersama block in Jagatsinghpur district.
  • With this recognition from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, Odisha has become the first state in the country to have Tsunami Ready villages.
  • Also, India has become the first country in the Indian Ocean region to have such villages.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurates dedicated 400 bed COVID hospital in Noida

  • 400-bed dedicated Covid-19 hospital has been inaugurated by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in sector 39 of Gautam Buddh Nagar, Noida on 8 August 2020.
  • The state of the art hospital with modern facilities is developed with the help of Bill and Milinda gates foundation and Tata Trust.
  • The hospital has a capacity of 400 beds and is the largest state-run Covid facility in Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is spread across eight floors and equipped with its own diagnostics laboratory and blood bank.

NHAI inks MoU with IIT Delhi to set up Centre of Excellence for Advance Data Management System for Highways

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Use of Artificial Intelligence in Data Driven decision making and Advance Data Management System for Highways.
  • Under the partnership, IIT Delhi will work with NHAI on developing advance analytics based on AI and ML, prepare simulation models, enhance data storage and retrieval capacities to further strengthen NHAI’s capabilities in data-driven decision making.
  • IIT Delhi will provide space and infrastructural facility support to house the CoE along with providing scientific and technical expertise.

Maharashtra partners with Google to deploy learning tools for online education

  • Considering the shutdown of schools due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the state government of Maharashtra has tied up with technology giant Google to launch online education project for the students in the state.
  • Under the tie-up, students and teachers will get access to Google Classroom and G Suite for Education to provide solutions to support remote learning.
  • Maharashtra is the first state in the country to introduce such a project.
  • Key features of Google Classroom and G Suite
    • The Google Classroom and G Suite allows interactive sessions, which will enable teachers to explain lessons using audio or video presentations.
    • Students can also ask their doubts while sitting at home
    • Homework and assignments can be uploaded, and teachers can check them online.
    • Parents can submit their complaints or suggestions through the system
    • Around 250 participants can attend the class at a time.
  • The initiative will cover over 1.09 lakh government, private, aided, and unaided schools, and benefit over 22.03 million students.


Centre Constitutes Panel to fix ceiling rates under Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has constituted a three-member committee to determine the ceiling rates for reimbursement of taxes and duties to exporters under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme.
  • The committee would comprise of former Home Secretary G K Pillai as Chairman.
    • The other two members are Y G Parande (retd CBIC member) and Gautam Ray (retd chief commissioner of custom and central excise).
  • The committee shall interact with the administrative ministries, export promotion councils, commodity boards, trade bodies and other stakeholders so as to take their views on the ceiling rates under RoDTEP scheme.
  • Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme
    • The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme for reimbursement of taxes was announced by the government to replace Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and make Indian products competitive in global markets..
    • The RoDTEP scheme aims to reimburse the taxes and duties incurred by exporters such as duty on power charges, VAT on fuel in transportation, farm sector, captive power generation, mandi tax, stamp duty and central excise duty on fuel used in transportation, which are not exempted or refunded under any other existing scheme.


Former SBI Card head Hardayal Prasad appointed new MD& CEO of PNB Housing Finance

  • PNB Housing Finance Ltd. has appointed Hardayal Prasad as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
  • The former SBI Card head, Hardayal Prasad will assume charge on August 10.
  • Currently, the housing finance company is headed by its interim Chief Neeraj Vyas.

Books & Authors

‘Amazing Ayodhya’, a new book by author Neena Rai, tells history of Lord Rama’s birth place

  • The publishing house Bloomsbury has announced their latest book which sheds light on the history of Ayodhya.
  • The book titled “Amazing Ayodhya”, has been written Neena Rai. It will hit stands in November 2020.
  • The book presents an authentic information about the city Ayodhya, to help better understand the life and times of ancient Hindus, including history, scriptures and Hindu civilisation and even the revered figures of  Rama and Sita.


India To Host 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Australia to Host 2022 Edition, Women’s CWC Postponed

  • The Cricket governing body, International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 that was postponed due to Covid-19 will be held in Australia in 2022.
  • Also, India will be the host country for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as planned earlier.
  • ICC has also decided to postpone the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand till February – March 2022 because of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic on cricket globally.


Mukund Lath, prominent cultural historian and exponent of Mewati gharana, passes away at 82

  • Prominent cultural historian, scholar, and an exponent of the Mewati gharana, Mukund Lath, has passed away. He was 82.
  • Lath was known for his writings on music, dance, aesthetics and culture of India.
  • In 2010, he was honored by the Government of India with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.

Important Days

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: 9 August

  • The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (World Tribal Day) is observed on 9 August annually to protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population and recognize the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.
  • The day was recognised by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994.
  • The date to marks the day of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at the United Nations in 1982.
  • The theme for 2020 is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience.

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