Daily GK Update: 16th June 2020

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches Indian Gas Exchange

  • Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, today, launched the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), which is the first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform.
  • IGX has been incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the IEX, which is India’s energy market platform.
  • The trading platform will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts. IGX is fully automated with web-based interface and it provides seamless trading experience to the customers.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pradhan said that the launch of the new electronic trading platform for natural gas has opened a new chapter in the energy history of India and will help the nation move towards free market pricing of natural gas.
  • He said that with this landmark, India has joined the club of progressive economies.
  • Petroleum Minister said , the new electronic trading platform for natural gas is an indicator of centre’s progressive policy and is in tandem with Prime Minister’s vision to provide energy justice to every citizen.

Source: All India Radio

SHGs under Van Dhan Yojana proposes to increase three fold to 10 lakh

  • “Self-dependent” seems to be a new buzzword in the mind of the government. On the same line, Van Dhan Start-ups set up under the initiative by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has emerged as a source of change for a tribal population which is evident.
  • TRIFED has organized a webinar to familiarize them with the innovative approach of Van Dhan Start-ups so that they can further spread awareness among people. The webinar was chaired by Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and it was attended by over 40 participants.
  • Krishna informed that 1205 Tribal Enterprises have been established to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18000 Self-help groups in 22 States. The aim of the Start-ups scheme is to treble the coverage to 10 lakh tribal gatherers through the Covid-19 relief plan of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs under article 275(I).A State-wise snapshot was also presented to show how the states are faring. Started in 2019, the Start-ups spread rather quickly to all the 22 states, almost became a competition once the states realised the value added by this initiative.

Source: Tribune News Line

India joins Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) as a founding member

  • India today joined the league of leading economies including USA, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore to launch the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay).
  • GPAI is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. This is also a first initiative of its type for evolving better understanding of the challenges and opportunities around AI using the experience and diversity of participating countries. In order to achieve this goal, the initiative will look to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities.
  • In collaboration with partners and international organizations, GPAI will bring together leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate to promote responsible evolution of AI and will also evolve methodologies to show how AI can be leveraged to better respond to the present global crisis around COVID-19.

Source: Ministry of Electronics & IT

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), launches multi location claim settlement to expedite member claims

  • Taking a big leap towards ensuring uniform standards of service delivery across the country and optimum utilisation of its workforce during COVID-19 Pandemic, EPFO has recently launched a multi-location claim settlement facility. This facility will bring a paradigm shift by allowing EPFO offices to settle online claims from any of its regional offices, across the country. All types of online claims i.e. provident fund, pension, partial withdrawal and claims and transfer claims can be processed under this novel initiative.
  • ​COVID-19 crisis has affected 135 regional offices of EPFO with different levels of severity depending on their location. It was observed that though many offices in Mumbai, Thane, Haryana and Chennai zones operate with even less then skeletal staff on account of COVID-19 Pandemic, but there has been a disproportionate increase in claim receipt due to recently introduced COVID-19 advance. Consequently, claim pendency in these offices rose to higher levels leading to delay in claim settlement cycle while other offices, working with 50% workforce and with the help of recently introduced auto settlement mode could bring the claim settlement period down to 3 days for COVID-19 advances.

Source: Ministry of Labour & Employment

Sprinter Hima Das nominated for Khel Ratna award

  • Country’s top sprinter Hima Das, who had a stellar 2018, has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Khel Ratna’ by the state government of Assam.
  • Assam sports secretary Dulal Chandra Das sent the letter of recommendation to the sports ministry on June 5.
  • The 20-year-old from Dhing village in Assam is one of the youngest nominees for Khel Ratna this year.
    India’s first track athlete to win a global title at U20 World Championship in Tampere, Finland in 2018, Hima will compete with ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, TT player Manika Batra, women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal and cricketer Rohit Sharma for country’s highest sporting honour.

Source: The Indian Express

Kishan Reddy launches microbe-killing device

  • Union Minister of State for Home affairs G. Kishan Reddy on Sunday launched ‘GermiBAN’, a device developed by Atal Incubation Centre & Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India-Women Entrepreneurs HUB. The device can kill 99.9% of surface and air microbes and is useful for isolation wards, quarantine centres, hospitals and all general places for killing viruses like coronavirus.
  • Appreciating the ALEAP WE HUB enterprise, he pointed out that startups like these have a potential to grow their business and government will provide them support in all aspects to create an ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Innovations’ including materials made to combat COVID-19 like PPE kits, critical care equipment, testing kits, large area sanitisation, IT solutions such as geofencing, tracking etc.

Source: The Hindu

Indian Railways’ ‘Captain Arjun’ to screen passengers for covid-19

  • Indian Railways’ Central Railway zone has luanched an AI enabled robot ‘Captain Arjun ((Always be Responsible and Just Use to be Nice) ‘ to intensify the screening and surveillance of railway passengers and railway staff.
  • This innovation will help Indian Railways to modernise its security measures at the time of covid-19
  • The robot is launched to screen passengers while they board trains and keep a watch on anti-social elements.
  • On this occasion, Mr. Sanjeev Mittal, General Manager of Central Railway appreciated the innovation by the Railway Protection Force and said “The Robotic Captain Arjun will protect the passengers and the staff from any possible infection and also its surveillance will provide enhanced security”.

Source: Live Mint

ICICI Bank introduces ‘Insta FlexiCash’

  • ICICI Bank today announced the launch of a facility, that enables its Salary Account customers to get approval for overdraft (OD) instantaneously and in a paperless manner. Called, ‘Insta Flexicash’, the end-to-end fully digital facility can be availed using the Bank’s internet banking platform.
  • The facility comes handy to lakhs of the Bank’s pre-approved customers who can apply for the OD from the comfort of their home, without visiting a bank branch. The facility can be sanctioned immediately while customers can start using the approved OD limit within 48 hours. The interest payable on the OD is calculated on the basis of the actual amount availed by the customer, not on the full amount of the OD sanctioned.

Source: ICICI Bank

CBIC Begins Using e-Office in all CGST and Customs offices

  • Shri M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) launched the e-Office application in over 500 CGST and Customs offices across India here today. The e-Office application was launched remotely in the presence of over 800 senior officers of CBIC. Dr Neeta Verma, DG, National Informatics Centre, (NIC) was also present.
  • Over 50,000 officers and staff will use this application making CBIC one of the largest Government departments to automate its internal office procedures.
  • The launch of e-Office marks a fundamental change in internal office procedures which is so far based on manual handling of files and paper movement. The CBIC expects e-Office would complement its many other IT led reforms which are directly aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business for the trade and industry.
  • The launch of e-Office is one more measure taken by the CBIC in leveraging technology for providing a ‘Faceless, Contactless and Paperless’ indirect Tax administration.

Source: Ministry of Finance

Former Bangladesh Minister Mohammad Nasim passes away at 72

  • AIR PicsFormer Bangladesh Minister and Awami League Presidium member Mohammad Nasim passed away in Dhaka on Saturday. He was 72.
  • He had suffered a stroke on June 1 and was also found Corona positive initially. PM Sheikh Hasina condoled the death of Mohammad Nasim.

Source: All India Radio

Former New Zealand Test cricketer Matt Poore dies aged 90

  • Former New Zealand Test cricketer Matt Poore, who is remembered for catching a stray dog during a match in Bengaluru in 1955 and subsequently taking 12 anti-rabies injections, has died at the age of 90.
  • According to stuff.co.nz, Poore, a dog lover, “did not hesitate when a stray ran onto the field when playing cricket for New Zealand in Bangalore.” He ferried the dog away from the pitch but received a nip for his trouble, which set off alarm bells in the national team for fear that the dog had passed on life-threatening rabies, the report said.

Source: Sportstar

Airtel Payments Bank rolls out ‘Suraksha salary account’ for MSMEs

  • Airtel Payments Bank on Monday launched ‘Suraksha Salary Account’, designed specifically for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  • India’s MSME sector has over 60 million units and accounts for 29 per cent of India’s GDP.
  • These units employ large number of informal labour force who are not eligible for social and healthcare benefits as part of their salaries, and lack of any financial protection makes them vulnerable, particularly in the current times, Airtel Payments Bank said.

Source: Business Standard

Former Lok Sabha MP, Banker Madhavrao Patil Dies in Maharashtra’s Nashik District

  • Former Lok Sabha MP and founder of Janalaxmi Cooperative Bank Madhavrao Patil died after a brief illness on Sunday morning in Maharashtra’s Nashik district.
  • He was 80 and is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
  • He was a staunch supporter of Sharad Pawar and was among the first to join when the latter formed the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999.
  • Patil had won from Nashik Lok Sabha constituency on a Congress ticket in 1998.
  • His last rites were performed at Amardham crematorium here.

Source: News 18 India