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Current Affairs

NPCI Rolls Out AI Based Virtual Assistant ‘PAi’

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) said that it has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, PAi, to create awareness around its products like FASTag, RuPay, UPI, AePS on a real time basis. This is yet another NPCI’s initiative to improve digital financial inclusion in India.

  • Founder & CEO of CoRover: Ankush Sabharwal.
  • MD & CEO of National Payments Corporation of India: Dilip Asbe.

IAF operationalises second LCA squadron, inducts first LCA Tejas in FOC standard

  • The Indian Air Force inducted first Tejas Mk-1 FOC aircraft into the recently resurrected No 18 Sqn, the “Flying Bullets” at Air Force Station Sulur.
  • The Squadron is the first in the IAF to induct this platform.
  • Tejas Mk-1 FOC is a single engine, light weight, highly agile, all weather multi role fighter aircraft capable of air-to-air refueling thus making it a truly versatile platform.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 440 metre-long tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana in Chamba

  • Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated the 440 metre-long tunnel, constructed below the busy town of Chamba as part of the Chardham Connectivity Project.
  • Addressing the Border Road Organization (BRO) officials through video conferencing, Mr. Gadkari said, the tunnel will significantly reduce the time taken by travellers on the Rishikesh-Dharasu and Gangotri stretch of the Chardham Highway. He said, it will also avoid congestion in the city of Chamba and open up avenues of socio-economic development in the region.

U.S. to pull out of Open Skies treaty, Trump’s latest treaty withdrawal

In a setback to the world’s arms control framework, the Trump administration  said that it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty (OST), a 34-member accord that allows participants to fly unarmed reconnaissance flights over any part of their fellow member states.

What is the Open Skies Treaty?

First proposed in 1955 by former US President Dwight Eisenhower as a means to deescalate tensions during the Cold War, the landmark treaty was eventually signed in 1992 between NATO members and former Warsaw Pact countries following the demise of the Soviet Union. It went into effect in 2002 and currently has 35 signatories along with one non-ratifying member (Kyrgyzstan).

  • Effective: 1 January 2002
  • Ratifiers: 35
  • Location: Helsinki

United Nations Declares Manipur’s Khudol among the top 10 global initiatives to fight COVID-19

  • The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth has listed Manipur’s Khudol (gift) among the top 10 global initiatives for an inclusive fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Khudol is a crowdfunded initiative of Ya_All, an Imphal-based NGO.
  • The initiative entails ensuring food supplies and health services for the LGBTQI+ community, people living with HIV, daily-wage earners, children and adolescents.
  • Ya_All is an Imphal-based NGO which was founded in 2017 to organise mental health workshops.
  • Founder of Ya_All: Sadam Hanjabam.
  • United Nations Envoy on Youth: Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Indian-Origin Girl Vaneeza Rupani Names NASA’s First Mars Helicopter

  • Vaneeza Rupani, a high school junior from Northport, Alabama, earned the honour of naming NASA’s first Mars helicopter.
  • NASA has developed a new Mars helicopter and Vaneeza Rupani, a high schooler from Northport, Alabama, was bestowed the honour to name it. In a historic event, the 17-year-old girl of Indian origin Vaneeza has officially named NASA’s first Mars helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ and everyone loves it. It will be the first aircraft to attempt powered flight on another planet.

  • The administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): Jim Bridenstine.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States

IDEAthon on ‘The Future of River Management’

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and  National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) recently organized an IDEAthon to explore how coronavirus pandemic can shape River Management strategies for the future.

  • National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
  • It is an institute for research, training and information dissemination in urban development and management in New Delhi, India.
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG)
  • NMCG was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

Union Minister for Jal Shakti: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

CAIT to launch national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ for retail traders

  • Traders (CAIT) has announced to launch a national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ soon for all retail traders in collaboration with several technology partners.
  • In a statement, CAIT said the marketplace will integrate capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home.

Kashmir saffron gets Geographical Indication tag

  • Department of Agriculture Kashmir has been granted Certificate of Registration by Registrar of Geographical Indication, Chennai, Government of India for Kashmiri saffron.
  • The registered proprietor of the Kashmir saffron is Director Agriculture, Kashmir, facilitated by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology SKUAST (K) and Saffron Research Station Dusso Pampore J&K.

  • Lt. Governors of Jammu and Kashmir: Girish Chandra Murmu.

Russia to launch first satellite to monitor Arctic climate in 2020

Russia is planning to launch a satellite called Arktika-M at the end of the year to monitor the Arctic climate and environment. The announcement was made by Vladimir Kolmykov, General Director of the Lavochkin aerospace company.

  • Vladimir Putin is President of Russia.
  • Moscow is the capital city of Russia.
  • The Russian ruble is the currency Russia.

CSIR lab, TaTa Sons sign MoU for licensing for COVID-19

  • CSIR’s constituent lab, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) and TATA Sons have signed an MoU for licensing of KNOWHOW for FNCAS9 EDITOR LINKED UNIFORM DETECTION ASSAY (FELUDA) FOR RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19.
  • The license shall include transfer of the knowledge for scaling up the KNOWHOW in the form of a kit that can be deployed for COVID-19 testing on ground as early as end of May.
  • A completely indigenous scientific invention, FELUDA for COVID-19 has been designed for mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 situation and cater to mass testing.

IMD forecasts now include PoK’s Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad

  • The weather agency now lists local weather report and forecast for towns in Gilgit Baltistan region in its daily forecast for ‘north-east India’.
  • In a subtle change, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has started issuing weather bulletin for areas under the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), including Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad region.

  • Headquarters of Indian Meteorological Department: New Delhi.
  • Indian Meteorological Department Founded: 1875

GI tag for Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting, Telangana’s Telia Rumal

  • Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting and Telangana’s Telia Rumal were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag
  • The application for the painting was made by Sohrai Kala Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited while the application for Telia Rumal was made by the Consortium of Puttapaka Handloom Cluster-IHDS.
  • A ritualistic mural art and an intricately designed handloom cloth get their due

  • Chief Minister of Jharkhand: Hemant Soren; Governor: Shrimati Droupadi Murmu.
  • Chief Minister of Telangana: K Chandrasekhar Rao; Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Bangalore wins Skytrax award for best regional airport

  • The Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, has won this year’s SKYTRAX Award for Best Regional Airport in India and Central Asia.

NRAI partners with DotPe to build tech platform for online payments

  • National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), the apex body of the F&B industry, has partnered with fintech start-up DotPe to build its own tech platform that would enable them with online payments for digital ordering, bill settlements, and contactless dining.
  • President of NRAI: Riyaaz Amlani.
  • NRAI Founded: 1982.
  • NRAI Headquartered: Delhi.
  • DotPe was founded by the erstwhile PayU co-founder and Managing Director: Shailaz Nag.
  • DotPe Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana.