Current affairs 18 July 2020

International news 

1. Ossouka Raponda appointed as Gabon's first female PM

  • Rose Christian Ossouka Raponda has been appointed as Gabon's first female Prime Minister.

  • She is the country's 12th PM and replaces Julian Nicoge Becale.
  • Ossouka Raponda served as Defense Minister from February 2019, before taking up this position.
  • Her appointment is the fourth cabinet reshuffle since January 2019 by Gabon President Ali Bongo Odimba.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
Gabon Capital: Libreville;  
Gabon's Currency: Central African CFA Franc.

State news

2. Uttarakhand Government to make electricity from waste

  • The government of Uttarakhand has decided to convert waste generated in the state into electricity under an initiative called 'Aste Waste to Energy'.

  • According to the Uttarakhand Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), this waste can generate 5 MW of electricity and control pollution.
  • The scheme also aims to solve the problem of non-availability of landfill for disposal of solid waste in hilly states, with 13 areas being 10 as hilly areas.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand: Trivendra Singh Rawat;  
Governor: Baby Rani Maurya

Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding

3. CBSE ties up with IBM to integrate AI curriculum

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has integrated a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) curriculum for classes XI and XII in the current academic year (2020-2021).

  • The course was developed in collaboration with IBM (International Business Machines Corporation).
  • The IBM AI curriculum is a part of CBSE's social empowerment through the Work Education and Action (SEWA) program.
  • The IBM AI curriculum is structured around a curriculum framework for students consisting of a base strand of knowledge (basics, history, application), skills (design thinking, computational thinking, data flow, critical thinking) and values   (ethical decision making, bias).  

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
CBSE President: Manoj Ahuja.
CBSE Head Office: Delhi.
Executive Chairman of IBM: Virginia M.  Romiti
Chief Executive Officer of IBM: Arvind Krishna.
IBM Headquarters: New York, United States.

Appointment news

4. Roshni Nadar Malhotra becomes new president of HCL Tech

  • India's richest woman, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, became the new chairman of Noida-based IT company, HCL Technologies.

  • The appointment for the new role of non-executive director Roshni Nadar Malhotra becomes effective immediately.  She will replace her father Shiva Nadar.  
  • Shiv Nadar will continue to be the Managing Director of HCL Tech with the designation of Chief Strategy Officer.

Awards and rewards

5. CPJ International Press Freedom Award 2020 Announced

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced the winners of the International Press Freedom Awards 2020 including Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh, Mohammed Mossed from Iran, Dapo Olrununyomi from Nigeria and Svetlana Prokopayeva from Russia.

  • All four journalists have faced arrest or criminal prosecution in retaliation for their reporting.
  • Apart from him, lawyer Amal Clooney will be awarded the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award 2020.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
CPJ Headquarters: New York, US.
CPJ Executive Director: Joel Simon.

Rank and report

6. India ranks third in global manufacturing risk index 2020

  • India is the third largest country in the Global Manufacturing Risk Index 2020.

  • The annual Global Manufacturing Risk Index (MRI) report was released by Cushman & Wakefield, a US-based property consultant, to rank the most suitable locations for global manufacturing among 48 countries in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific.
  • Each country has been evaluated in four key areas: Bouncebackability, Conditions, Cost and Risk.
  • China and the United States respectively retain the top two spots in MRI 2020, while India has moved up one place from the previous version of the report, ranking third in MRI 2020.

Sports news

7. Real Madrid win 34th La Liga titlwin against Villarreal.

Important day

8. Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated on 18 July

  • United Nations celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July every year.
  • The day acknowledges Nelson Mandela's contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and in promoting a culture of peace around the world.
  • Nelson Mandela Day is an opportunity for everyone to take action and inspire change.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
Headquarters of the United Nations: New York, USA;  Founded: 24 October 1985.
Mr. Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


9. Arjuna Awardee Para-athlete Ramesh Tikaram passes away

  • Arjun Awardi, Para-athlete and Para-Badminton player, Ramesh Tikaram passed away due to COVID-19.

  • He won several medals in shotput and javelin throw including an international meet in Nottingham in 1995.
  • He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2002 for his excellence in para-athletics and badminton.
  • He became the founding secretary of the Badminton Sports Association of India for the Challenged, now known as the Para-Badminton Association of India in 2000.

Miscellaneous news

10. Priyanka Chopra Jonas appointed as Ambassador for TIFF 2020

  • Bollywood actor, Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been selected as Ambassador of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2020.
  • Priyanka has joined the list of 50 distinguished filmmakers and actors, who have been invited as TIFF ambassadors.
  • Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has also been selected for TIFF 2020.

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