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Important Current Affairs 16th September 2020

National

Parliament passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020, after Rajya Sabha approval

• The Parliament on September 15, 2020, passed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 after it was approved by Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on March 17, 2020.

• The bill aims to amend the Aircraft Act of 1934 and convert the 3 regulatory bodies under the Civil Aviation Ministry into the statutory bodies.

• The 3 regulatory bodies include the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

International

India becomes member of United Nation’s Commission on Status of Women (UNCSW)

• UNCSW is a body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is responsible for promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

• India will be a member of the UNCSW for four years — from 2021 to 2025. Three countries, India, China and Afghanistan had contested the elections in which India and Afghanistan have been elected to UNCSW while China has failed to do so.

• TS Tirumurti, permanent representative of India to the United Nations shared the information.

Liberia declares rape a national emergency after spike in cases

• Liberian President George Weah has declared rape a national emergency and ordered new measures to tackle the problem after a recent spike of cases in the West African state.

• The move comes after thousands of Liberians protested against rising incidents of rape in the capital Monrovia last month in a bid to draw attention to the country’s alarming rate of sexual assault.

• The government will also establish a so-called “national security task force” on sexual and gender-based violence.

Banking and Economy

Asian Development Bank projects Indian economy to shrink by 9% in FY21, grow by 8% in FY22

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that the GDP of India is expected to contract by 9 percent in the fiscal 2020-21 (FY21). This estimate is worse that ADB’s previous estimate of -4%.

• However, for the FY22 (2021-22), ADB expects India’s GDP at 8 percent.

• ADB also expects the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for developing Asia at – 0.7 percent in 2020, the first negative economic growth since 1962.

Infosys to acquire Europe-based Guide Vision for €30 million

• IT major Infosys has signed a definitive agreement to acquire European consultancy firm Guide Vision for up to Euro 30 million (approximately $35 million).

• Guide Vision is one of the largest Service Now Elite Partners in Europe, specialised in offering strategic advisory, consulting, implementations, training and support.

• With this acquisition, Infosys will enhance its Cobalt portfolio of cloud services and further strengthen its Service Now capabilities for its clients in Europe.

• Infosys launched Cobalt in August 2020, which is a set of services, solutions, and platforms to help its clients, mostly large enterprises, build new cloud-first capabilities.

S&P Projects Indian Economy to Contract 9 Percent

• S&P Global Ratings slashed its growth forecast for India to (-) 9 per cent in the current fiscal, from (-) 5 per cent estimated earlier, saying that rising C-19 cases would keep private spending and investment lower for longer.

• S&P Global Ratings now expects the country’s economy to contract by 9 percent in the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2021.

Science and Technology

Vi launches integrated 4G network GIGAnet

• VI (erstwhile Vodafone Idea) has launched GIGAnet network that is an integrated 4G network.

• With the launch of GIGAnet, VI aims to overcome the loss of customers and attract new customers from rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

• GIGAnet offers faster downloads & uploads, low latency, and real-time connectivity. It is built on many principles of 5G architecture that help in delivering a superior network experience.

Appointments and Resignations

Harivansh re-elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

• NDA candidate Harivansh has been re-elected as the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

• The upper house cleared his name with a voice vote. BJP President JP Nadda had moved the proposal to elect Harivansh as the deputy chairman and his motion was adopted. Later, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announced his name.

Amazon signs Amitabh Bachchan for its Alexa voice assistant

• Amazon.com Inc has signed up Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan for its Alexa voice assistant.

• Alexa users will be able to access Amitabh Bachchan’s voice on Alexa by purchasing the Amitabh Bachchan voice experience.

• He is the first Indian celebrity to lend his voice to Alexa.

Days

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: 16 September

• The International Day for the preservation for Ozone layer (World Ozone Day) is observed annually on September 16 to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it.

• The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 2000, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.

• Theme for 2020 World Ozone Day: ‘Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’.

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

• The World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) is observed on September 15 every year. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer.

• WLAD is a global initiative, initiated in 2004 by the Lymphoma Coalition (LC), a non-profit network organisation of 83 lymphoma patient groups from 52 countries around the world.

Books and Authors

Gauri Khan authors book titled ‘My Life in Design’

• Interior designer Gauri Khan has authored her first book titled “My Life In Design”, which will be published by Penguin Random House India in 2021.

• It is a coffee-table book, in which Gauri has written about her journey as a designer.