PC Kandpal appointed as MD & CEO of SBI General Insurance
* Prakash Chandra Kandpal has been appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer of the Non-life insurer SBI General Insurance. He is serving as the deputy CEO of SBI General Insurance since June 2019. He will replace Pushan Mahapatra who has been appointed as director (strategic investments & digital initiatives).
Sumit Deb appointed as new CMD of NMDC
* Sumit Deb has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). Deb is presently serving as Director (Personnel) in the NMDC. His tenure as the CMD of NMDC would be applicable till 28 February, 2023. He will succeed N Baijendra Kumar as the CMD of NMDC who will retire as CMD on 31st July 2020.
India successfully tests fires ATGM “Dhruvastra”
* India has successfully conducted flight tests of its indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’. The flight tests were conducted from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. ‘Dhruvastra’ is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is a helicopter version of ‘Nag Helina’.
* ‘Dhruvastra’, the helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is meant to be fired from air to destroy enemy bunkers, armoured vehicles and main battle tanks. Hence, it is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
Arun Kumar nominated as Vice-Chairman of UIC
* The Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Arun Kumar has been nominated as the Vice-Chairman of UIC (Union Internationale Des Chemins/International Union of Railways), Security Platform from July 2020 to July 2022. He will take over as Chairman of the Security Platform from July 2022 to July 2024. The decision to nominate Arun Kumar was taken during the 96th UIC General Assembly.
Greta Thunberg named winner of Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity
* The 17 year old climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg has been named winner of the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. She will receive a prize money of 1 million euro. She has been awarded for her efforts to mobilise younger generations to tackle climate change. She commenced a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and risen to global prominence, becoming the figurehead for a series of school strikes by children around the world.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates 3-days long Indian Air Force (IAF) commanders’ conference in New Delhi
* The three-day-long Indian Air Force (IAF) commanders’ conference began in New Delhi on 22 July 2020.
* The conference was inaugurated by Union Defense Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and chaired by India’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria.
* The theme of the IAF Commanders’ Conference is “Indian Air Force in the Next Decade”.
US Navy and Indian Navy conduct naval exercise PASSEX in A&N
* The United States Navy and the Indian Navy undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX), a joint maritime drill in the Indian Ocean region near Andamans and Nicobar Islands on 20 July 2020.
* The high-end Passex exercise was carried out to maximize training and interoperability, including air defence of the two navies.
* The passage exercise involved a total of eight Indian and US warships.
World’s largest aircarft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) along with Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), participated from US Navy.
* Four frontline warships of the Indian Navy took part from in the exercise.
The Indian Navy had also conducted similar PASSEX exercises with Japanese Navy (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) and French Navy in recent past.
Nomura estimates India’s GDP to contract by 6.1% in FY21
* The Indian economy is expected to contract by 6.1 percent in the current fiscal (2020-21), as per the Japanese financial services firm Nomura.
* The contraction in the GDP is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted both supply and demand forces in the economy since March 2020.