India will take part in the multilateral military “Russian Kavkaz 2020” strategic command-post exercise to be held in Astrakhan, Russia. The Indian contingent includes 150 Army personnel and a smaller number of personnel from the Navy and Air Force. The invitation for participation to Kavkaz 2020, also referred to as Caucasus-2020, has been extended to at least 18 countries including China, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey apart from other Central Asian Republics part of the SCO. 

  Maharashtra government has tied up with Google to provide online education to students in the state. Maharashtra is the first state in the country that is launching such a project. The project was launched by the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and will cover over 1.09 lakh government, private, aided, and unaided schools, and benefit over 22.03 million students. Students and teachers will get access to Google Classroom and G Suite for Education that will provide solutions to support remote learning.
About Google Classroom and G Suite:
  • Google Classroom and G Suite, which will be available free of cost, are the tools that allow the education institutes to conduct interactive sessions.
  • The tools allow interactive sessions, which will allow teachers to explain lessons, and students can also ask their doubts while sitting at home.
  • Homework can be uploaded, and teachers can check them online.
  • The move is significant, considering the shutdown of schools due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The new academic year of schools in the state should have started on June 15.
  • Teachers can make their audio or video presentations.
  • Students can clear their doubts, and upload homework and assignments.
  • Even parents can submit their complaints or suggestions through the system.

 The International Cricket Council has confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 that was postponed due to Covid-19 will be held in Australia in 2022. India will host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as planned. ICC has also decided to postpone the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand till February-March 2022 because of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on cricket globally.
Format of the tournament:
  • The format of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will remain as it was for 2020 and all teams that qualified for that event will now participate in India in 2021.
  • A new qualification process will be run for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
  • The format of the postponed ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will remain as it was for 2021.
  • Five teams have already qualified for the event and that will stand for 2022.
  • The original global qualification event to determine the final three teams to contest the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in July 2020, but this was postponed due to COVID-19. The qualification event will now be held in 2021.

  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an expert committee under veteran banker KV Kamath to suggest financial parameters for resolution of Covid-19 related stressed assets. The committee will submit its recommendations to the RBI, which will notify them along with modifications, in 30 days. The other members of the committee will be Diwakar Gupta, T N Manoharan and Ashvin Parekh will be strategy advisor and the Indian Banks’ Association CEO will function as member secretary of the panel.

 Odisha cadre IPS officer, P S Ranipse has been appointed as Inspector General (IG), in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He will hold the post on Central deputation for a period of five years from the date of joining. IPS officer P S Ranipse belongs to the 1995 batch and was serving as Additional Director General (Vigilance) in Odisha. He held the position of Inspector General of Police (Odisha) in 2013.

 The Indian railways will begin its “Kisan Rail” services to transport perishable goods from today. India’s first ‘Kisan Rail’ will run between Devlali in Maharashtra’s Nashik and will reach Danapur in Bihar. The train will cover the journey of 1,519 kilometres in over 31 hours. The train will be flagged off via video conferencing by Union Minister of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
About Kisan Rail:
  • This train is a step towards realizing the goal of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. Indian Railways aims to help double farmers’ income with the launch of Kisan Rail.
  • This train will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time.
  • The train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk.

  Educationist Professor, Pradeep Kumar Joshi has appointed as the chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He will succeed Arvind Saxena who completes his term as UPSC chairman. Joshi, who was the chairman of both Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commissions, joined the UPSC as member in May 2015. His tenure as the chairman of the UPSC will be till May 12, 2021. 
  • About Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):
UPSC conducts the civil services examination to select India’s bureaucrats and diplomats for the country. The commission conducts the civil services examination annually in three stages preliminary, mains and interview to select officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) among others.

 Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Bharti AXA General Insurance to offer “Smart Plan Shop Package Policy” for the financial protection of the bank’s retailers and merchants. The policy will provide financial protection in case of damage to assets inside the shop due to fire and allied perils and burglary, among others, as covered in the product.
  • About Smart Plan Shop Package Policy:
This policy covers assets inside the shop against burglary, fire and allied perils such as flood, earthquake, landslide, rockslide, riots, strike and malicious damage, among others. It also covers the loss of money in safe because of an accident. The policy has a flexible sum insured option, starting from Rs 2 lakh up to Rs 25 lakh.

 Indian Railways has launched an Overhead Equipment (OHE) Inspection app which will help in minimizing the train delays and long waits due to technical snags. The app has been rolled out on an all over India basis. On 1 July 2020 for the first time in the history of Indian Railways, 100% punctuality of trains was achieved as 201 trains arrived at their destination at the right time. The previous best was 99.54% on 23rd May 2020.
About OHE app:
  • The Overhead Equipment (OHE) app will monitor the overhead wire in real-time and if there are any defects in it, it will alert the Indian Railways.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) based tracking of the patrolman. Real-time capturing of Overhead Equipment defects and provision of taking Photographs. Exception alerts to the Indian Railways.

 The famous fiction writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Shirley Ann Grau passed away. She was born on July 8, 1929, in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. She wrote six novels and four short stories which are all set in the Deep South, from New Orleans to north Louisiana and Alabama. Her first book, The Black Prince was published in 1954. Shirley won the Pulitzer Prize for her fourth book, “The Keepers of the House” in 1965 which speaks about the romance between a wealthy white man and his black housekeeper in rural Alabama which drew critical praise and threatening phone calls. The Book, “The Black Prince and Other Stories” was nominated for the National Book Award in 1956.

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