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Dipankar Ghose, PARI win Prem Bhatia award for outstanding journalism 

Indian Express reporter Dipankar Ghose and People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) have won this year’s Prem Bhatia award for outstanding journalism. Ghose won for reporting on political issues. PARI, a non-profit journalism website, won for reporting on environmental & development issues. The awards were instituted in 1995 by the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust, in memory of eminent journalist Prem Bhatia (1911 – 1995). 

Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan launched or popularizing science among school students 

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on August 1, 2020 launched Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan, 2020-21. This initiative is a national programme for popularizing science among school students of Class 6th to 11th. It has been designed to identify the bright minds with a scientific aptitude. 

Pan-India 1,000 genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 completed 

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on August 1, 2020 announced the successful completion of pan-India 1,000 genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. Vardhan said the information in the database will improve our understanding about the behaviour of the virus which will help in containing the transmission of COVID-19. 

Maharashtra scraps pension for those imprisoned during emergency (1975-77) 

The Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government of Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP on July 30, 2020 announced that it had decided to scrap the erstwhile BJP-Shiv Sena government’s move in 2018 to give pension to those who fought against the Emergency (1975-77) imposed by the then Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh passes away at 64 in Singapore 

Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh died in Singapore at the age of 64 on August 1, 2020. He was expelled from the Akhilesh Yadav-led the Samajwadi Party in 2017. 

International webinar on Lokmanya Tilak being organized by ICCR on Aug 1-2 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated a two-day international webinar on the theme of ‘Lokmanya Tilak – Swaraj to Self-reliant India’ organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations on the 100th death anniversary of freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in New Delhi on August 1, 2020. 
Government widens ambit of Rs 3 lakh crore ECLGS for MSMEs 

The government on July 31, 2020 widened the scope of the Rs 3-lakh crore MSME credit guarantee scheme by doubling the upper ceiling of loans outstanding to Rs 50 crore and including certain individual loans given to professionals like doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants for business purposes under its ambit. The tweaking of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) was done in line with new MSME definition approved by the Union Cabinet in June. 

Govt. launches programme for artisans involved in manufacturing of agarbattis 

The government has approved a programme for the benefit of artisans involved in manufacturing of agarbattis and to develop village industry under the ‘Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organisation under the MSME Ministry, will provide training, and assist artisans working in this area, with Agarbatti manufacturing machines. 

Govt allows export of indigenously made ventilators 

The high-level Group of Ministers (GOM) on Covid-19 has agreed to the health ministry’s proposal to allow the export of indigenously made ventilators. The Health Ministry said this was done in view of low rate of fatality (2.15%) among Covid-19 patients which means fewer numbers of active cases are on ventilators. 

Northern Railway runs first-ever Vyapar Mala Express train from Delhi to Tripura 

Northern Railway on August 1, 2020 ran first-ever Vyapar Mala Express train from Kishanganj in Delhi bound for Jirania in Tripura. The journey is 2763 km long. According to Railways, it will help small traders in moving their cargo through Railways in lesser time and in a more cost-effective mode of transportation. 

Barakah nuclear power plant in UAE successfully starts up its first reactor 

The Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached its first criticality on July 31, 2020. That’s when the nuclear chain reaction within the reactor is self-sustaining. Built with the help of South Korea, it is the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula. 

Week-long World Breastfeeding Week commenced from August 1 

The week-long World Breastfeeding Week commenced from August 1, 2020. This year’s theme is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. WHO and UNICEF urged governments to promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling. 

England: Former cricketer Ian Botham made member of House of Lords 

Legendary England all-rounder Ian Botham (64) has been made a member of the House of Lords of the British Parliament. Botham, who played 102 Test matches for England between 1977 and 1992, was knighted in 2007.

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