Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 19 & 20 2020
1. World Heritage Day observed on April 18
World Heritage Day known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites is observed annually on April 18.
The theme of World Heritage Day 2020 is “Shared Culture’, ‘Shared heritage’ and ‘Shared responsibility”. The main aim is to promote cultural heritage through activities undertaken by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
2. TVS acquires Britain iconic sporting motorcycle brand Norton
TVS Motor Company announced the acquisition of the UK’s most iconic sporting motorcycle Norton for £16 million, by acquiring certain assets of Norton Motorcycles (U.K.)
The brand is known for its classic models and eclectic range of luxury motorcycles, ranging from the authentic retro classic reboots. Finally TVS Motor Singapore Pte. Ltd signed an asset purchase agreement with Norton Motorcycles Holdings Ltd and Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd
3. National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India launched
The Union Minister of culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The list is to include 13 elements that are already included in UNESCO Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The initiative is a part of Vision 2024 of Ministry of Culture. It aims to increase the awareness about intangible cultural heritages.
4. Tata AIA becomes first life insurance company to give additional benefits related to Covid-19
Following in the large footsteps of the recently announced contribution by Tata Trusts and Tata group towards the management of COVID-19 pandemic in India, Tata AIA Life Insurance announced additional benefits for its Policyholders and Agents.
As part of Tata AIA Life’s initiative, its individual policyholders will get COVID-19 related additional benefit up to Rs 500,000 at no additional cost. Further, to extend the Circle of Protection to its own Agents, all ‘active’ Agents of Tata AIA Life Insurance along with their spouse and children will be reimbursed up to Rs 25,000 in case of hospitalisation due to COVID-19. This is a first of its kind initiative in India.
5. Power Ministry floats draft Electricity Act Bill 2020
The supply of quality power at affordable prices is essential for sustained growth of the economy of the country. Ministry of Power issued a draft proposal for amendment of Electricity Act, 2003 in the form of the draft Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for comments/suggestions from Stakeholders on 17th April 2020.
6. Demo-2 mission: NASA to launch Astronauts to space first time in 11 years
NASA announced that it will launch its flight of astronauts on May 27, 2020. This is the first flight of NASA in 9 years.The mission is to use Falcon-9 rocket. The astronauts are to be sent for an extended stay at the international space station.
The mission is to be launched by SpaceX. It is the first crewed launch of the Elon Musk space company. The mission of NASA sending astronauts to International Space Station has been named “Commercial Crew Programme”.
7. IISD: India’s Renewable Subsidies decline by 35%
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CCEW) and International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) recently released a report called “Mapping India’s Energy Subsidies, 2020”.
The report says that India’s energy subsidies have declined by 35% in 2019 as compared to 2017. On the other hand, the oil and gas subsidies have increase by 65%.
8. UP became the first state in India to geotag its 7,368 community kitchens
Uttar Pradesh became the first state in India to geotag its 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts which produce 12 lakh food packets a day.
The UP state government has partnered with Google to ‘Geo-map’ the locations of all these establishments on the Google Maps app for ease of beneficiaries. The state government has established community kitchens in adequate numbers in each of the 75 districts.More than two crore food packets have been distributed in Uttar Pradesh since 25 March.
9. Rajasthan starts antibody tests as Jaipur & Jodhpur turn hotspots
Rajasthan has started rapid antibody tests, among the first states to do so, as the state capital Jaipur and Jodhpur have emerged as hotspots, reporting more than half the confirmed Covid-19 cases and accounting for 70% of deaths in the state. The development comes as 26 out of the 33 districts in Rajasthan have confirmed Covid-19 cases, although the state had an early success in curbing coronavirus in Bhilwara.
10. Microsoft adds five Indian languages to Microsoft Translator
Microsoft India has announced that Microsoft Translator will now offer real-time translation in five additional languages. The newly added languages include Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, and Punjabi.
This takes the total number of Indian languages supported to 10, including Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. With this, the service will now allow over 90% of Indians to access information and work in their native/preferred languages, making computing language-agnostic and more inclusive in the country.
11. UN Chinese Language Day
UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. The event was established by the UN Department of Public Information in 2010, seeking “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”. April 20 was chosen as the date “to pay tribute to Cangjie, a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago”
12. Tom and Jerry director Gene Deitch dies at 95 in Prague
Gene Deitch, an American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film director and producer has died. He was 95.
His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, told The Associated Press Deitch died unexpectedly in his apartment in Prague’s Little Quarter neighborhood. No further details were given.
13. Marion Hollins elected to 2021 class of Golf Hall of Fame
Marion Hollins financed and developed a golf course for women in New York and was the brains behind two fabled golf courses in California. And with one determined swing, she set in motion plans for the famous par-3 16th at Cypress Point.
A visionary in golf course architecture, a confidante of Alister Mackenzie and a U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, Hollins now takes her place among the greats in the game.