Daily GK Update: 2nd July 2020

‘Accelerate Vigyan’ to strengthen scientific research mechanism

  • To provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs, and workshops across the country, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV). You can get more information on this scheme from its web portal www.acceleratevigyan.gov.in. Straight off the block, AV has already called for applications under its ‘ABHYAAS’ component for the Winter Season.
  • The primary objective of this inter-ministerial scheme is to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to research careers and knowledge-based economy. Recognizing that all research has its base as development of quality and well-trained researchers, AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshop on a national scale.
  • “The vision is to expand the research base, with three broad goals, namely, consolidation / aggregation of all scientific programs, initiating high-end orientation workshops, and creating opportunities for research internships for those who do not have access to such resources / facilities,” said Dr Rajeev Mehajan, Advisor, SERB. The institution is also planning to launch an app for this in the coming two months.

Source: Ministry of Science & Technology

Banks sanction over Rs 1 lakh cr loans to 30 lakh MSMEs under credit guarantee scheme

  • The finance ministry on Tuesday said banks have sanctioned over Rs 1 lakh crore loans under the Rs 3-lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector reeling under coronavirus-induced economic slowdown.
  • While, Rs 45,860 crore is disbursed under the 100 per cent ECLGS for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) till June 26, it said.
  • The scheme is the biggest fiscal component of the Rs 20-lakh crore ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month.

Source: The Indian Express


  • India’s first maritime cluster took another step forward with Goa Industrial Development Corporation allotting an industrial plot at Verna industrial estate to Konkan Maritime Cluster on Friday. The maritime cluster, a consortium of 49 Goan enterprises, will utilise the 14,380 sqm of land to setup a world-class common facility for manufacturing, design and allied services for the shipbuilding industry.
  • With the land allotted, the maritime cluster will now approach the Centre for a one-time grant to setup the common manufacturing and design facility at Verna. The Goa government is likely to contribute 10% of the setup cost, said sources.
  • “I presented the allotment letter of the plot at Verna Industrial Estate to the Konkan Maritime Cluster, a consortium of 49 Goan entrepreneurial enterprises in the sunrise sector of ship building which aims to hand hold its stakeholders by creating world class facilities and thereby allowing the Goan enterprises to compete in the world market,” GIDC chairman Glen Ticlo said.

Source: Indian Daily Mail

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya takes charge as IOC Chairman, succeeds Sanjiv Singh

  • Shrikant Madhav Vaidya on Wednesday took charge as the new chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
  • Prior to his elevation, Vaidya was the Director (Refineries) on the IOC Board, since October 2019. He succeeds Sanjiv Singh, who has superannuated from the services of the Corporation on June 30.
  • Concurrently, Vaidya will also be Chairman of Chennai Petroleum Corporation, a stand-alone refining subsidiary of IOC and Indian Oiltanking Ltd. Vaidya who is on the board of Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd will be taking over as its Chairman and will also be Director on the Board of Petronet LNG.

Source: Business Standard

Special liquidity scheme for NBFCs/HFCs

  • The Government of India has approved a scheme to improve the liquidity position of NBFCs/HFCs through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to avoid any potential systemic risks to the financial sector. To be eligible under the Scheme, the following conditions should be met:
  1. NBFCs including Microfinance Institutions that are registered with the RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, excluding those registered as Core Investment Companies;
  2. Housing Finance Companies that are registered under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987;
  3. CRAR/CAR of NBFCs/HFCs should not be below the regulatory minimum, i.e., 15% and 12% respectively as on March 31, 2019;
  4. The net non-performing assets should not be more than 6% as on March 31, 2019;
  5. They should have made net profit in at least one of the last two preceding financial years (i.e. 2017-18 and 2018-19);
  6. They should not have been reported under SMA-1 or SMA-2 category by any bank for their borrowings during last one year prior to August 01, 2018;
  7. They should be rated investment grade by a SEBI registered rating agency;
  8. They should comply with the requirement of the SPV for an appropriate level of collateral from the entity, which, however, would be optional and to be decided by the SPV.

Source: Reserve Bank of India

Shri Ravinder Bhakar assumes charge as CEO, CBFC

  • Shri Ravinder Bhakar, a 1999 batch officer of Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS), has taken over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Board of Films Certification (CBFC). Prior to his appointment as CEO, CBFC, Mr. Bhakar was posted as the Secretary & Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railways.
  • Chairperson, CBFC Shri Prasoon Joshi extended a warm welcome and wished Shri Bhakar for his tenure with the organization, that is undergoing important digitization and modernization initiatives since the last few years.
  • Bhakar is a Mechanical engineer from MNIT, Jaipur. In his distinguished career as an Indian Engineering Services officer, Shri Bhakar has rich experience of holding many important posts in Indian Railways. He is also recipient of many prestigious awards, including the National award from Minister of Railways for outstanding service & General Manager Award both in Western Railways (WR) & Central Railways (CR) for exemplary service. He has also played a key role in various modernization drives in WR and CR and was closely associated in developing modern PR techniques, implementation of electronic procurement, formulation of various multi-modal logistics plans & transport management.

Source: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

Smt. Parminder Chopra takes charge as Director (Finance), PFC

  • Government-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC), India’s leading NBFC, today announced the appointment of SmtParminder Chopra as Director (Finance) of the company. She succeeds Shri N.B. Gupta, who superannuated on June 30 2020.
  • Smt. Chopra was working as Executive Director (Finance) at Power Finance Corporation (PFC) before assuming charge as Director (Finance), PFC.With over 32 years of rich and varied experience, she specializes in handling crucial and core finance functions such as fund mobilisation, corporate accounts, banking & treasury, asset-liability management, stressed asset resolution etc.
  • Before joining PFC, she was associated with key organizations in the power sector like National Hydroelectric Power Corporation of India (NHPC) and Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL).Smt. Chopra, who joined PFC in 2005, spearheaded the key initiative to diversify PFC’s fund mobilisation to international markets that allowed the lender to raise money at lower costs. With her focussed approach, share of fund mobilisation in foreign currency grew from a meagre 2% to 15% within a short span of 2 years.
  • Smt. Chopra has also been lauded for many firsts including launch of PFC’s maiden Green Bond issue & PFC’s first fund raising from US bond market under sec 144(a). She also played a key role in PFC’s mega acquisition of Government of India’s holding of 52.63% in REC Ltd. and overcame challenges related to PFC’s capital adequacy levels and negotiations with various parties regarding PFC’s borrowing agreements & domestic & international credit rating.

Source: Ministry of Power

“Dream Kerala project” announced for rehabilitation of Keralites returning from abroad

  • Kerala has announced “Dream Kerala project” for rehabilitation of the Keralites returning from abroad and for the overall development of the State.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the State’s economy is badly hit with many non resident Keralites losing their job amid COVID crisis. The project aims, not only, the rehabilitation of returnees but also, using their skill and knowledge for reviving the State.
  • The various departments under the State Govt will be coordinating the project.Through the Dream Kerala project , ideas and suggestions from public will be invited. Steering committee headed by Chief Minister is entrusted with the task of making the final decision on ideas selected. Stipulated time frame has been fixed for early implementation of projects. Meanwhile as Kerala recorded over 100 cases for the 13th consecutive day, bringing great relief over 100 recoveries were also reported today.
  • When 151 new COVID cases were reported , 131 persons recovered from the disease today . Presently 2130 active COVID cases are there in the State.

Source: All India Radio

Udyam Registration Portal For MSMEs Becomes Operational from Today

  • Udyam Registration Portal developed by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has become operational from today. The new process of classification and registration of enterprises has started as already declared vide notification dated 26th June, 2020. Alongwith launching the portal https://udyamregistration.gov. in for online registration, M/o MSME has also organized single window system at champions control rooms and DICs for facilitation.
  • Ministry has expressed hope that this new registration process will boost up ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and it will reduce transaction time and costs. Ministry has clarified that except the portal no other private online or offline system, service, agency or person is authorized to do MSME registration.

Source: Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

Tribes India outlet now opens at Prayagraj Airport today

  • Tribes India Outlet of TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs was opened at Prayagraj Airport, today. The Tribes India outlet at Prayagraj Airport is the second one in the city of Prayagraj and the 4th in the State of Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated through Video Conferencing by MD, TRIFED Shri Pravir Krishna. In collaboration with Airport Authority of India (AAI), TRIFED has set up 9 Tribes India Showrooms at Airports in Chennai, Jaipur, Udaipur, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kolkata and Goa, which are doing very well. The newly-inaugurated outlet at Prayagraj Airport is the 10th such outlet (at airports) and the 121st across the country.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pravir Krishna thanked and congratulated the entire team working and achieving this milestone – the shop was allotted in May 2020 and has come up in a mere 15 days! Commending the team for their dedication and hard work, He also thanked Mr. Sunil Yadav, the Regional Director, AAI for his cooperation and initiative in taking this project to completion.
  • He encouraged the other TRIFED warriors in other regions to use this as an example and hoped that there would be TRIBES India outlet in all government owned airports by the end of the year. He exhorted the TRIFED Warriors to contact all the suppliers and artisans in their respective regions and empanel them on to the platform so that they can gain access to national and international markets.

Source: Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Dr. Harsh Vardhan releases Good Clinical Practice Guidelines Handbook & Prospectus for Fellowship Programme for International Students (FPIS) of NBE

  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare released the Good Clinical Practice Guidelines Handbook and Prospectus for Fellowship Programme for International Students (FPIS) of National Board of Examinations (NBE), here today along with Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (Health).
  • Speaking at the release of the e-books on the web platform, Dr. Harsh Vardhan exhorted the medical community to pledge to follow ethical behaviour in their profession. He said “Good Clinical Practice Guidelines Handbook is an attempt to provide guiding points to all Diplomates of National Board (DNB) residents to follow the principles of ethical and professional conduct expected from a medical professional. The exercise is aimed at the safety of doctors and patients alike.” He emphasized the importance of understanding their roles and responsibilities as a ‘Good Clinical Practitioner’ during the formative years of DNB resident training life.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare