Punjab August Current Affairs

Punjab August Current Affairs

1. Renowned portrait artist Mehar Singh passes away


Mehar Singh who was known for his exemplary artist skills has passed away. He was a renowned portrait artist. 

More about the News 

  • Mehar Singh was born on October 1, 1929. He was a master of Indian realism.  
  • He was honoured by the Punjab Government as the state artist and had also served as the president of the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and vice-president of the Punjab Art Council.  
  • He received the Punjab Rattan Award in 2012 for his life-time achievements. 
  • He has painted many famous portrait paintings among which is an oil painting depicting Guru Nanak Dev ji’s visit to Kabul on the way back from Mecca. The painting shows the local population gathered to see the Guru. 
  • Mehar Singh started his initial art training while being a school student in Lahore, under celebrated artist Sobha Singh. 
  • Mehar Singh joined the American Embassy, New Delhi, in 1958, making busts and portraits of various American presidents during his decade-plus tenure.  
  • A portrait of the then President, Richard Nixon, fetched him a signed letter of commendation from the President himself. 

2. Indian Army’s X Corps get Lt. General Mago as a new commander


Lieutenant General Manoj Kumar Mago took over the command of Indian Army’s X Corps headquartered in Bathinda, Punjab. 

More about the News 

  • Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago, an alumnus of Indian Military Academy in Dehrudun, took over the command of ‘Chetak Corps’ from Lt General Ajai Singh on Wednesday.  
  • The General Officer is an alumnus of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and was commissioned into the elite ‘Brigade of the GUARDS’. 
  • Lt General Manoj Kuamr Mago is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, Higher Command Course, Mhow and National Defence College, Delhi as well. 
  • He has rich operational experience of 35 years across all terrain and has served in Siachen, Kargil Sector (during Operation VIJAY), Desert Sector (during Operation PARAKRAM), seven tenures in Counter Insurgency Operations in Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Assam and with the Strategic Forces Command. 
  • Lt General Mago has been an instructor at the Army War College, prestigious Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare Institute (CIJW) and GUARDS Regimental Centre. 
  • He has also served in United Nations Peace Keeping assignments on two occasions at Somalia and Congo. 
  • The Officer was tenanting the appointment of Director General Operational Logistics & Strategic Move in the Army Headquarters, prior to taking over the Chetak Corps

3. Handicraft clusters to come up in Hoshiarpur, Bathinda 


To promote handicraft and strengthen the traditional industry, the state government would develop handicrafts cluster in Hoshiarpur and Bathinda.

More about the News

  •  To revive wooden inlay handicraft in Hoshiarpur at a cost of Rs 1.42 crore attempts would be made. 
  • Hoshiarpur had a distinct identity related to ivory inlay carving and wooden inlay handicraft. After a ban on ivory, plastic was used for carving. The state government has formed a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to revive this industry. 
  • Under this scheme, 25 per cent expenditure will be incurred by the SPV and 75 per cent by the state government.      
  • Machinery related to wood inlay, including CNC machine, router machine, panel saw, laser machine, wood saw machine and planer, would be installed.  
  • Around 150 families from these villages would take advantage of this cluster. 

4. India Report- June 2020 


On 28th July 2020, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ Union Minister for Human Resource Development(HRD) launched the compilation India Report – Digital Education June 2020 prepared by the Digital Education Division of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in consultation with Education Departments of States and UTs. 

About the Report 

  • The report elaborates on the innovative methods adopted by Ministry of HRD, Education Departments of States and Union Territories for ensuring accessible and inclusive education to children at home and reducing learning gaps.  
  • School Education is envisaged as a comprehensive and convergent programme committed to universalize digital education across the wide spectrum of schools from pre-nursery to higher secondary classes. 
  • The report discusses on the projects to assist the students, teachers and scholars on digital education like DIKSHA, Swayam Prabha TV Channel, Online MOOC courses, On Air Shiksha Vani, DAISY by NIOS(differently-abled), e-PathShala, National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) to develop e-content and energized books and other digital initiatives of State and UT Governments. 

Digital initiatives 

  • Some of the major digital initiatives by State Governments are SMILE (Social Media Interface for Learning Engagement) in Rajasthan, Project Home Classes in Jammu, Padhai Tunhar duvaar (Education at your doorstep) in Chhattisgarh, Unnayan Initiatives in Bihar through portal and mobile application, Mission Buniyaad in NCT of Delhi among others. 
  • Some States have launched innovative mobile apps and portals as means to facilitate remote learning. Madhya Pradesh has launched Top Parent App, a free mobile app that empowers parents of young children (3-8 years) with knowledge and strategies around child development to help them meaningfully engage with their children. 

About Ministry of Education(MoE): 

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD) was renamed as the Ministry of Education(MoE) on 29th July 2020. 
  • Union Minister– Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ 
  • Minister of State– Sanjay Dhotre 

5. eVIN helps to Strengthen Immunisation Supply Chain 


Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network is an indigenously developed technology that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. 

More about It 

  • Aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems in India, eVIN is being implemented under National Health Mission (NHM) by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). It ensures continuation of the essential immunization services to protect children and pregnant mothers against vaccine preventable disease. 
  • eVIN provides real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country amid COVID-19. 
  • Over 41,420 vaccine cold chain handlers provided training on eVIN and nearly 23,900 electronic temperature loggers have been installed on vaccine cold chain equipment for accurate temperature review of vaccines in storage. 
  • eVIN won the GSMA Asia Mobile Award 2017 (AMO) for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals inAsia. 
  • eVIN won the Public Health Initiative Silver Award at the India Health and Wellness Summit 2017.  
  • eVIN from Madhya Pradesh was awarded as one of the Best Innovations at the Third National Summit on Good & Replicable Practices & Innovations in Public Health Care Systems in India held at Tirupati in August 2016 

About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW): 

  • Union Minister– Dr. Harsh Vardhan 
  • Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey 

6. Punjab launches ‘Pride of Punjab’ programme in partnership of State Govt, YuWaah for youth. 


Punjab has launched the ‘Pride of Punjab’ programme which is a partnership programme between the Department of Youth Services and Sports and YuWaah – a joint initiative of UNICEFother UN agencies, civil society organisations and the private sector. 

More about the Programme 

  • The programme is aimed at enabling best opportunities for the Youth of Punjab and to support the community. 
  • The programme will start with a survey using U-Report to hear about the challenges and aspirations of the youth of Punjab.U-Report is a social messaging tool and data collection system supported by YuWaah and UNICEF to improve citizen engagement. 
  • The YuWaah partnership had already connected over 15 million youths across India to aspirational career opportunities through their career guidance portal, which will soon be accessible to Punjab’s youth at no cost 

About YuWaah: 

YuWaah is a multi-stakeholder alliance that aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work. It is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund. India was one of the first countries to launch this initiative. YuWaah is aimed at imparting skills among the youth of India and provide employment to more than 300 million young Indians. It is targeted at young people aged 10-24 years. 

7. Punjab Smart Connect Scheme 


This Scheme has been launched to provide free smartphones to the Class 12th Students. This scheme is worth Rs. 92 crores. 

About “Punjab Smart Connection Scheme”: 

  • The first phase of the scheme benefited around 1,74,015 class 12 students (87,395 – boys & 86,620 – girls) of the state in which around 1,11,875 students are from the rural areas and the others from urban government schools will be completed by November 2020. 
  • The major beneficiaries of the scheme belong to the Other Backward class(OBC) and Scheduled Caste (SC)and Scheduled Tribe (ST)categories. 
  • The smartphones distributed under the scheme were procured by the Punjab Ministry of Industry. 
  • This Scheme is aimed at providing easy mobile phone access to the students during the lockdown amid the pandemic. 
  • Punjab’s Ministry of Industry has decided about the future implementation of the programme by saying that it would procure the additional smartphones through Punjab Info-tech and the distribution will be done through M/s Lava, the implementation partner to deliver and distribute smartphones to Youths in Punjab.  

8. “UVSAFE”, UVGI Based Room Disinfection Device developed by IIT Ropar


Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar(IIT-R) in collaboration with Momentum India Private Limited developed “UVSAFE”, a state of the art room disinfection device based on Singular Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation(UVGI). The efficiency of the device was tested by FICCI Research and Analysis Centre(FRAC) (NABL Accredited Laboratory, New Delhi). 

More about the News 

  • The “State of the Art” design of UV Safe ensures Zero-shadow 360 degrees’ disinfection through its Prismatic Body and foldable wings.  
  • The specially designed wings provide focused exposure to the most frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, table tops, cupboards, room fixtures, wall corners, work tops, artifacts, furniture tops etc. 
  • It is remote controlled device to operate at a safe distance and takes 6 minutes to achieve 99.9% disinfection in a 14 sq. foot area. 
  • Its mathematical model is based on the 60 years’ research on viruses and bacteria to determine the precise dose of UV-C to inactivate the microbes in and on air, liquid and surface. 

9. Swachh Survekshan 2020 


During a virtual event of Swachh Mahotsav organized by, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA), Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (MoS)-Independent Charge (I/C) MoHUA announced the 5th edition of the annual cleanliness urban survey of India i.e. “Swachh Survekshan 2020 (SS2020)” conducted by MoHUA. 

About the event 

  • It is the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness urban survey conducted by the MoHUA. It is one of the world’s largest sanitation surveys. 
  • A total of 129 awards were given by the minister in which Madhya Pradesh’s Indore Creates record as India’s cleanest city for the 4th consecutive time while Gujarat’s Surat and Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai grabbed 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. 

One liners 

  • Union HRD Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched an Artificial Intelligence(AI) -powered mobile app called the ‘National Test Abhyas’ developed by National Testing Agency(NTA) to enable candidates to take mock tests for JEE Main and NEET. 
  • Shri Rajesh Bhushan, the officer on Special Duty of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a National Healthcare Supply Chain Portal Aarogyapath  to provide real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies with the involvement of manufacturers, suppliers and customers. 
  • The Punjab Government launched “Cova Punjab” mobile application to spread awareness and precautions to be taken against coronavirus. The application was launched by Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh. The application was developed by the Department of Government Reforms and Public Grievances. 
  • State of Punjab has secured first rank in the list of best performing states in operationalisation of Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW), Government of India. Punjab’s State Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu had announced regarding this ranking on 13th August, 2020. 
  • Punjab government (govt) promulgated ‘The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Ordinance, 2020’. As per the provision the temporary release of the prisoners has been allowed beyond the maximum period of 16 weeks in a calendar year. 

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