Weekly Current Affairs Pocket : 8 – 10 August 2020

Pradeep Kumar Joshi takes over as new Chairman of UPSC
* Pradeep Kumar Joshi, an Educationist Professor, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 7 August 2020.
* He succeeds Arvind Saxena, whose tenure as UPSC chairman ended on 7 August 2020.
* Joshi will serve as the chairman of the UPSC till May 12, 2021.
* Prior to this, Mr Joshi was serving as a member in UPSC since May 2015.

Reliance Industries ranks second biggest brand globally; Apple tops: FutureBrand Index 2020
* Billionaire Mukesh Ambani owned oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries has been ranked as second biggest brand in the world in the FutureBrand Index 2020.
* The 2020 index is topped by technology giant Apple.
* Samsung is ranked third, followed by Nvidia, Moutai, Nike, Microsoft, ASML, PayPal and Netflix among top 10 global brands.
* FutureBrand Index 2020 is the 6th edition of the annual brand. The index ranks world’s 100 leading firms that are rising while dealing with challenges and how they have fared over the past year.

RBI constitutes committee for financial parameters to be factored in Resolution Framework for Covid19-related Stress; Head- Shri K.V. Kamath
* The Reserve Bank of India has announced the constitution of an Expert Committee to make recommendations on the required financial parameters to be factored in the Resolution Framework for Covid19-related Stress’.
* The committee will be headed by Shri K.V. Kamath. (President of New Development Bank)
* There will be 4 other members in this committee as- Shri Diwakar Gupta, Shri T.N. Manoharan, Shri Ashvin Parekh and CEO, Indian Banks’ Association. The Indian Banks’ Association shall function as the Secretariat to the Committee.

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune wins first prize in Smart India Hackathon-2020
* The Pune-based Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), an autonomous organization under the Department of Defence Research & Development (DRDO) has won the first prize in Smart India Hackathon (SIH)-2020, which was held from 1-3 August 2020, at Noida Institute of Engineering & Technology (NIET), Uttar Pradesh.
* SIH-2020 was a 36-hour non-stop digital product building national level competition, organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
* The winning team “Age of Ultron” from DIAT, comprised of six members under the guidance of Dr. Sunita Dhavale.

Indian Express Journalist Dipankar Ghose and website PARI wins 2020 Prem Bhatia journalism awards
* The 2020 Prem Bhatia Awards, given for outstanding journalism, have been given to Dipankar Ghose, Special Correspondent of Indian Express and non-profit journalism website People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) for their coverage of COVID-19 and its impact across the country.
* Ghose won the award in the category of Outstanding Political Reporting of The Year for his coverage of the migrant labour crisis and other Covid-19 related issues. He will be awarded cash prizes of Rs 2 lakh
* PARI won the award in the category of Outstanding Environmental Reporting of The Year, for its extensive field reports, including climate change effects and the impact of the pandemic on rural India. It will be awarded cash prizes of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Two coastal villages of Odisha declared as Tsunami Ready by UNESCO
* Paris-based UNESCO has recognised two coastal villages of Odisha as being “Tsunami Ready”, for their overall preparedness to face the calamity.
The two coastal villages are Venkatraipur (Boxipalli) village of Rangeilunda block in Ganjam district and Noliasahi village of Ersama block in Jagatsinghpur district.
* With this recognition from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, Odisha has become the first state in the country to have Tsunami Ready villages.
* Also, India has become the first country in the Indian Ocean region to have such villages.

Former SBI Card head Hardayal Prasad appointed new MD& CEO of PNB Housing Finance
* PNB Housing Finance Ltd. has appointed Hardayal Prasad as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
* The former SBI Card head, Hardayal Prasad will assume charge on August 10.
* Currently, the housing finance company is headed by its interim Chief Neeraj Vyas.

Indian Armed Forces contingent heads to Russia for Russian Kavkaz 2020 Exercise
* India is all set to participate in the Russian Kavkaz 2020 (Caucasus-2020) strategic command-post exercise to be held in September 2020.
* A tri-service Indian contingent comprising 150 personnel from Army, Air Force and Navy will head to Astrakhan in Southern Russia for the exercise.
The exercise is scheduled to be held in September 15-26.
* Around 18 countries are supposed to take part in KavKaz 2020, including countries from Central Asian Republics who are part of SCO as well as China, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.
* The main objective of the exercises is development of techniques and systems for opposing cruise missiles and the general use of low-speed and small-sized UAVs.

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