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Important Current Affairs 23rd October 2020

NATIONAL

Tamil Nadu Government launched “Smart Black Board Scheme”

• The state government of Tamil Nadu has launched the Smart Black Board scheme in 80,000 government schools of the state. The initiative aims to ensure a better teaching environment as well as lead towards Digital India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

• Under this Smart Black Board scheme, audiovisual teaching material would be possible, that can even be fed into the computer screens in classes using widely available pen drives. The Tamil Nadu Govt has taken an important decision to lessen syllabus for season 2020-21 by 40 per cent.

Asan Conservation Reserve becomes Uttarakhand’s First Ramsar site

• Asan Conservation Reserve has become Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site, making it a ‘Wetland of International Importance’, announced the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Reserve is located on the banks of Yamuna river near Dehradun district in Garhwal region of the Himalayan state.

• “Asan Conservation Reserve cleared five out of the nine criteria needed to be declared as a Ramsar site and get identified as a Wetland of International Importance. It cleared the category on species and ecological communities, one on water-birds and another on fish. Ramsar declares Asan Conservation Reserve as a site of international importance. With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 38, the highest in South Asia and Uttarakhand gets its first Ramsar site.

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘YSR BIMA’ for BPL families

• The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched ‘YSR Bima’, a scheme to provide financial assistance through insurance cover to the beneficiary in case of death or accident of their families members. All families with white ration cards are eligible for YSR Bima scheme. Village/ward volunteers will visit the families and enrol the names of the primary householders.

• The claim amount will be directly credited into the beneficiary bank account within 15 days of making the claim.

• Apart from this, immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 will be provided to the families through village and ward secretariats.

• The scheme will benefit 1.41 crore BPL families of the state.

• An amount of Rs 510 crore would be paid by the state government annually as an insurance premium for this scheme.

• This will also make Andhra Pradesh as the first state in the country to single-handedly fund the insurance scheme.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

“INS Kavaratti” commissioned into Indian Navy

• The Chief of Army Staff, General MM Naravane has commissioned the ‘INS Kavaratti’, the last of four indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes, into the Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam.

DRDO successfully conducts final trial of Nag anti-tank guided missile

• Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully carried out the final trial of the third generation, anti-tank guided missile ‘NAG’, from the Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan.

• The successful final user trial of the missile makes the Nag anti-tank missile ready for induction in the Indian Army. Following the final trial, the missile will now enter into the production phase.

OBITUARY

Renowned economist Dr Jayanta Madhab passed away

• The renowned economist from Assam, Dr Jayanta Madhab passed away. He worked as financial adviser to Calcutta Metropolitan Development Corp and has served as a director at the ADB.

• He was the founder chairman of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. He was also the financial advisor of the Chief Minister from 2003-2009.

First woman officer of  IAF’s Vijayalakshmi Ramanan passed away

• Indian Air Force 1st woman officer, Wing Commander (retd) Dr Vijaylakshmi Ramanan passed away. She was born in February 1924, she did her MBBS and later was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on August 22, 1955. Besides having served as a gynaecologist at various Air Force Hospitals, including here, she had also attended to the troops wounded during wars and performed administrative duties.

• Ramanan was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in August 1972 and honoured with the Vishist Seva Medal five years later.

• She had retired in February 1979. Ramanan was also trained in Carnatic music and had been an artist with the All India Radio at a very young age.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lewis Hamilton named ambassador of LG Signature

• LG Electronics has named Lewis Hamilton a global ambassador for its home solutions brand, LG Signature. Hamilton, the epitome of skill, style and precision will be seen communicating the brand's philosophy.

• In the new campaign, he will share with audiences his thoughts on how to lead a stylish, sophisticated life, and what motivates him to be the best in his field.

Parle agro Named Priyanka Chopra Jonas as brand ambassador

• Parle Agro has roped in Priyanka Chopra Jonas as the national brand ambassador to maximise reach and awareness of its fruits plus fizz portfolio ‘B-Fizz’.

• The campaign will be aggressively promoted across IPL on Hotstar and YouTube. B-Fizz is a unique and refreshing apple juice-based malt flavoured carbonated drink that is set to revolutionize the taste experience of consumers across age groups.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ECI constitutes committee to examine issues concerning expenditure limits

• The Election Commission of India has set up a 2-member committee to examine the issue of revising the expenditure limit for candidates for Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

• The committee will comprise of Shri Harish Kumar, Ex. IRS and DG (Investigation), Shri Umesh Sinha, Secretary-General and DG (Expenditure). The need to set up this committee was felt in view of the increase in the number of electors and the rise in the Cost Inflation Index.

• It will submit its report within 120 days of its constitution.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Singapore becomes 1st country to use facial recognition to pay taxes

• Singapore became the World’s First Country to attach Facial verification in the National Identification Database. The function is called “SingPass Face Verification”. This technology is being rolled out to the city-state’s SingPass digital identity scheme, offering access to no less than 400 online services, including tax declarations and public housing applications.

• According to the Singapore authorities, the technology helps ensure that the right person is genuinely present in front of their screen, rather than a photograph, a video, a replayed recording or a deepfake.

NATIONAL

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launches ‘Mo Bidyut’ portal

• Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik has launched the electricity consumer service portal ”Mo Bidyut” and a mobile app through video conference.

• The bilingual online electricity integrated consumer service portal www.mobidyut.com developed by the Energy Department and dedicated to the public under 5T (Teamwork, Transparency, Technology, Time leading to Transformation) initiative of the state government. Through this people will now be able to avail efficient, time-bound, and transparent online service delivery.

Uttar Pradesh emerges as top destination in 2019

• Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the top destination for attracting the highest number of domestic tourists visiting the state in 2019 as per the Indian Tourism Statistics (ITS) 2020, released by the Ministry of Tourism. About 53.6 crore domestic tourists visited Uttar Pradesh in 2019, which is 23.1% of the total travellers. Tamil Nadu (21.3%) came second followed by Andhra Pradesh (10.2%).

Tamil Top destination for attracting foreign travellers

1. In terms of Foreign tourists, Tamil Nadu has topped the list with nearly 68 lakh foreigners visiting the state in 2019.

2. Maharashtra (over 55 lakh) is at the second position in this list while Uttar Pradesh (over 47 lakh) has secured the third position in attracting foreign tourists visiting in 2019.

3. Goa came last on this list with over 9 lakh foreign tourist visits in 2019.

RPF launches ‘Meri Saheli’ initiative on AP Express

• Railway Protection Force (RPF), Visakhapatnam has started implementing ‘Meri Saheli’ initiative in AP Express (Visakhapatnam to New Delhi), in order to provide proactive security to women passengers.

• The main motto of ‘Meri Saheli’ is to provide safety and security to women passengers travelling in trains throughout their journey.

• A team of women Sub Inspectors and women constables of RPF will enter all coaches including ladies coaches and identify women passengers, who are travelling alone before the departure of the train.

• These passengers will be briefed about all precautions to be taken during the journey and inform about help no. 182 apart from giving contact numbers of RPF to contact in case of any issue.

Nokia selected by NASA to build 4G LTE Mobile Network on the Moon

• Nokia has been selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon. NASA aims to return humans to the moon by 2024 and dig in for a long-term presence there under its Artemis programme. The first wireless broadband communications system in space would be built on the lunar surface in late 2022.

• The network will configure itself and establish a 4G/LTE communications system on the moon, Nokia said, though the aim would be to eventually switch to 5G. It will partner with a Texas-based private spacecraft design company, Intuitive Machines, to deliver the equipment to the moon on their lunar lander.

• The network will give astronauts voice and video communications capabilities, and allow telemetry and biometric data exchange, as well as the deployment and remote control of lunar rovers and other robotic devices.

• The network will be designed to withstand the extreme conditions of the launch and lunar landing and to operate in space. It will have to be sent to the moon in an extremely compact form to meet the stringent size, weight and power constraints of space payloads.

Narendra Singh Tomar launches AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR scheme

• Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar has launched “AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR”. The scheme is a unique way to assist cooperatives to play an important role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.

• AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR scheme has been formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

• The NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of 10 thousand crores in the coming years.

• NCDC’s scheme will be a step towards strengthening farmers welfare activities by the Central Government.

• NCDC’s Ayushman Sahakar scheme aims at bringing transformation in the health services primarily in the rural areas.

• The scheme also provides working capital and margin money to meet the operational requirements of the health facilities. It provides interest subvention of one per cent to women majority cooperatives.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

 IIT Kharagpur’s develops ‘COVIRAP’ Technology for C-19

• The researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed ‘COVIRAP,’ the C-19 diagnostic test technology, which is fairly easy to conduct and affordable as well and can produce results within one hour. This COVIRAP technology has been successfully validated for its efficacy in C-19 detection by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and been granted certification, after rigorous testing with patient samples by an authorized ICMR laboratory.

• This testing technology is comparable to the celebrated RT-PCR tests, and will just cost the common people with a testing cost of around Rs 500.

• COVIRAP is a cuboid-shaped portable testing device that can deliver results in an hour, making it an effective tool to scale up coronavirus screening in peripheral and rural areas.

• This machine can be developed at a cost of less than Rs 10,000 with minimal infrastructural requirement making the technology affordable to common people. The testing process in this new machine is completed within one hour.

• This implies influenza, malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, tuberculosis and many other infectious, as well as vector-borne diseases, can be tested using the same machine.

• This will virtually minimise the need for thermal cyclers or real-time PCR machines, without sacrificing the expected high standards of a molecular diagnostic test.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Police Commemoration Day: 21 October

• In India, the National Police Commemoration Day is observed on 21st October every year. The day is marked to remember and honour the brave policemen who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

• On 21 October 1959, twenty Indian soldiers were attacked by Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Hot Spring area, in which, ten Indian policemen lost their lives and seven were imprisoned. Since that day, 21 October has been observed as Police Commemoration Day in honour of the martyrs.

International Stuttering Awareness Day: 22 October

• International Stuttering Awareness Day is observed globally on 22nd October every year. The day is intended to raise public awareness of the millions of people who have a speech disorder of stuttering or stammering.

• This year’s theme is “Journey of Words – Resilience and Bouncing Back”.

• The International Stuttering Awareness Day, ISAD, (October 22) began in 1998, spear-headed by Michael Sugarman, Oakland, California. ISAD recognizes the growing alliance between SLPs and consumers, who are learning from each other and working together to share, give support, and educate one another and the general public on the impact that stuttering has on individuals’ lives. Online Conferences, organized by Judy Kuster, have been an integral part of International Stuttering Awareness Day since its inception.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India participates in 18th meeting of Prosecutors General of SCO

• The 18th meeting of Prosecutors General of SCO was held on 20 October 2020, via video conference. India was represented by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. During the meeting, all the prosecutors agreed to strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, mutual legal assistance and exchange of regulatory legal acts.

• India will host the SCO Prosecutors General Meeting in 2021. SCO is an important regional grouping which gives India an opportunity to engage its extended neighbourhood especially central Asian countries.

RANKING

India ranked 2nd in OECD International Migration Outlook report

• India has acquired the second rank in terms of the number of migrants going to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and acquiring the citizenship of those countries. China retained its top spot with 4.3 lakh migrants, which was 1 per cent lower than the 2019 report.

• This is the 44th edition of the annual report. The data was released by the OECD in its 2020 edition of the annual International Migration Outlook report, which analyses the recent developments in migration movements and policies in its countries.

• From India, 3.3 lakh migrants moved, and this is 10 per cent more than the last edition. Romania emerged as the third-largest exporter of human capital to these countries. Paris-based OECD is an association of 37 developed countries which often attract immigrants for work opportunities, education and asylum.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

NK Singh launches his autobiography ‘Portraits Of Power’

• Veteran Economist and bureaucrat N K (Nand Kishore) Singh has released his autobiography titled “Portraits of Power: Half a Century of Being at Ringside”.

• The book portrays the life of NK Singh who played an active role in the development of the Indian economy. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission. The book is published by Rupa Publications India.

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Important Current Affairs 21st October 2020

NATIONAL

UP Governor launches “Safe City Project” for women's safety

• Uttar Pradesh (UP) Governor, Anandiben Patel has launched “Safe City Project” – a women’s safety campaign in Lucknow, UP. The Project is a 180-day-long campaign under which police and other departments will work towards strengthening the security of women in public places. The campaign will involve the movement of women police personnel to inculcate a feeling of pride and safety for women in Lucknow. The UP Governor flagged off 100 pink scooters and 10 four-wheeler police vehicles as part of the campaign. The vehicles are equipped with first-aid kits, flashlights and other facilities.

• It is a mission mode initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its main aim of Safe City Project is to create a safe, secure and empowering environment for women in public places.

• Eight cities (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow) have been identified for implementation of this project in the first phase.

• The projects will be financed under Nirbhaya Fund at a cost of INR 2919.55 Crores.

Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of multi-modal logistic park in Assam

• The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari virtually laid the foundation stone for the first-ever multi-modal logistic park of India, at Jogighopa, in Bongaigaon district of Assam.

• The logistic park will provide direct connectivity to air, road, rail and waterways to the people of Assam and other parts of North East.

• The fund for the multi-modal logistics park would be spent in three components – road and railway connectivity as well as building and infrastructure work. It will also give employment to 20 lakh people.

• The overall cost of this project is around Rs 693.97 Crore and is being developed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Central Government.

Kati Bihu festival celebrated across Assam

• Kati Bihu is one of the sets of three Bihu festivals (agricultural festivals) was celebrated in the state of Assam. The Kati Bihu is also known as Kangali Bihu, the festival of the poor (the word “Kongal” means “poor”) is celebrated in mid-October when the crops are at growing stage and the granaries of the farmers are depleting.

• The Kati Bihu is celebrated with the lamp called ‘Saki’ which is lit on the tips of bamboo poles in the fields which represents a guide to spirits and earthen lamps are lit in the garden, under the tulsi plants and in the granaries.

• The farmers chant spells to ward off the negativity and pests in the field and pray for a prosperous harvest.

• The locals of Assam celebrate the festival by lighting Diya in their fields and homes and perform cultural dance and organise feasts.

IIT Madras startup launches ‘mooPay’ for dairy farmers in Rajasthan

• The IIT-Madras incubated dairy-tech startup, “Stellapps” has launched a first-of-its-kind, fully-automated direct payment platform, ‘mooPay’, for dairy farmers in Rajasthan. The Digital technology solutions provider Stellapps is a first of its kind end-to-end dairy technology solutions company of India. It is also one of the technology pioneers of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

• mooPay is a payment gateway for dairies and dairy farmers where the dairy officials can transfer milk payments digitally to member farmers from the dairies’ existing bank account to farmers’ savings bank account.

• Directly depositing payments in farmers’ bank accounts will help enhance farmer savings and will also build farmer loyalty to the dairy.

• This will remove the risks and costs of transferring money in cash to hundreds of thousands of farmers in hundreds of villages.

Australia to join Malabar-2020 Naval Exercise with India, US & Japan

• India has invited Australia to participate in its trilateral naval exercise “Malabar-2020” which is scheduled to be held in November 2020, in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. In 2020, the exercise will be held in a ‘non-contact – at sea’ format. It aims to increase cooperation and enhance safety and security in the maritime security domain.

• The Malabar series of naval exercises began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy-US Navy. Later, Japan joined the Naval exercise in 2015. It must be remembered that US-India-Japan and Australia are already the part of the “Quad” alliance.

ADB and India inks USD 177 million loan for Maharashtra

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a loan agreement worth USD 177 million, to upgrade 450 km of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra. The project aims to improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centres in the state to enable rural communities to have better access to markets, employment opportunities and services, which in turn will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside of the state’s major urban centres to second-tier cities and towns thus reducing income disparities.

• Under the project, 2 major district roads and 11 state highways, with a combined length of 450 km, will be upgraded to 2-lane standard across seven districts of Maharashtra.

• The Government of Maharashtra will contribute $78.99 million equivalent toward the $255.99 million total costs of the project.

SPORTS

India’s Elavenil Valarivan wins gold in International Air Rifle Championship

• In Shooting, the world number one Elavenil Valarivan of India won the gold medal in women’s event of the 2020 Sheikh Russel International Air Rifle Championship. The event was organised by Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation (BSSF).

• Japan’s Naoya Okada won the gold in the men’s event, while India’s Shahu Tushar Mane bagged a silver. The event was a 60-shots competition in which shooters from six nations participated which included Bangladesh, India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Bhutan.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India successfully test-fires “SANT” Missile off Odisha coast

• India successfully flight-tested its indigenously developed Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast. The missile was test-fired from a roof-top launcher of the ground-based platform. It is an upgraded version of the anti-tank missile, Helicopter Launched Nag (HeliNa). This was the 11th missile test-fired by India within one and a half month.

• SANT is an air-to-surface missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Air Force. The SANT missile has both lock-on before launch and lock-on after launch capability and can destroy targets 15 km to 20 km away.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju attended Y20 Global Summit Virtually

• The first-ever virtual G20 (Group of Twenty) Youth 20 (Y20) Global Summit was virtually hosted from Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia for exchanging ideas and dialogues for the empowerment of youth Post C-19, where Indian side was represented by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju. Indian side emphasized on galvanizing the youth to take on the challenges set forth by the worldwide C-19 Pandemic.

• The theme of the Summit was “Government – Youth dialogue on post-C-19 opportunities”. The Summit concluded with the drafting of the Y20 Communique under the three overarching priority areas viz. Future Fit; Youth Empowerment; and Global Citizenship.

• Notably, the year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Y20 as the official G20 youth engagement group. Y20 is a forum for developing cooperation with the future generation and provides a platform for young people to have their voices heard on issues relevant to the G20 agenda.

RANKING

India 4th most powerful country in Asia Power Index 2020

• India has been ranked at 4th position, with a score of 39.7 out of 100, in the Asia Power Index 2020, released by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute. The Asia Power Index 2020 ranks 26 countries and territories to assess the relative power of states in Asia.

• The United States has retained its position as the most powerful country influencing the Asia-Pacific with a score of 81.6. It is followed by China (76.1) and Japan (41) at second and third spot respectively. The annual Asia Power Index is an analytical tool that ranks countries in terms of what they have, and what they do with what they have (resources and influence) to have dominant power in Asia.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IDBI Bank launches banking services on WhatsApp

• IDBI Bank announced the launch of banking services on WhatsApp. The WhatsApp Banking service is being offered through a dedicated WhatsApp verified number ensuring end-to-end encryption, the Bank stated.

• The facility will enable IDBI Bank customers to avail various essential services such as account balance information, last five transactions, request for a cheque book and an email statement, interest rates, as well as details of IDBI Bank branches/ATMs in the vicinity, to begin with.

Obituary

Veteran TV Actress Zarina Roshan Khan passes away

• Renowned TV actress, Zarina Roshan Khan passed away. She was fondly remembered for her role in the television show ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ as Indu Dadi.

• Zarina had begun her career as a stunt woman, before taking up acting as a profession and has featured in several shows and films. The actor has also performed in serials like Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and played the role of a mother in several Hindi films.

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Important Current Affairs 20th October 2020

National

CRPF collaborates with IIT Delhi, DRDO, JATC to augment R&D capabilities

• The country’s largest para-military force, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has collaborated with IIT Delhi, Defence Research and Development Organisation, and Joint Advanced Technology Centre (JATC) to augment its Research and Development capabilities.

• The CRPF officers/SOs(Subordinate Officers) who are trained by the IIT Delhi will also be associated with joint research projects undertaken by DRDO and IIT Delhi in the field of defence/security tech solutions. CRPF has over 3 lakh personnel, of which more than 500 officers/SOs holds a degree in Engineering.

Summits and Mou’s

India hosts 7th meeting of Ministers of Justice of SCO

• The 7th meeting of Ministers of (Law and) Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was virtually hosted by Indian Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Indian side urged the SCO Member States to promote the exchange of ideas, best practices and experiences in identified areas through the platform. He also mentioned initiating Pro Bono Legal Services to provide free legal aid to marginalized sections of the society.

• The virtual meeting was attended by justice ministers from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, according to a statement by the Ministry Of Law and Justice. The Seventh Session of the Justice Ministers of SCO member states deliberated on areas of cooperation; emphasized the high relevance of mutual exchange of legal information on counteraction to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and acknowledged the need for cooperation in ADR mechanism area, among others.

Appointments and Resignations

GoI extends Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s tenure till 2021

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension of the tenure of Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla till August 22, 2021. Bhalla, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, was appointed as Home Secretary in August 2019. He was to superannuate on November 30, 2020.

Rajkiran Rai becomes new chairman of IBA

• The Managing Director and CEO of Union Bank of India, Rajkiran Rai G has been elected as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for the term 2020-21. He succeeds Rajnish Kumar as the IBA Chairman after Kumar recently retired as SBI Chief.

• Apart from this, Dinesh Kumar Khara, the Chairman of State Bank of India has been elected as the deputy chairman of the association. IBA is an association of banks and other entities in the banking ecosystem in India catering to its members.

Awards

ISA Solar Awards conferred for the first time

• For the first time, since the inception of the framework agreement of ISA, the Solar Awards were presented during the third Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to the countries of the region as well as institutions working for solar.

Three categories of awards were conferred which included:

1. Visvesvaraya award recognises the countries with a maximum floating solar capacity in each of the four regions of ISA.

2. Kalpana Chawla awards recognise the outstanding contribution of scientists and engineers working in the field of solar energy.

3. Diwakar award recognizes organisations & institutions that have been working for the benefit of differently-abled people and have maximised the use of solar energy in the host country.

List of Winners:

• Visvesvaraya award: Japan for the Asia Pacific region and the Netherlands for Europe and Others region.

• Kalpana Chawla awards: Dr Bhim Singh from IIT Delhi (India) and Dr Aaesha Alnuaimi from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (United Arab Emirates).

• Diwakar award: Arpan Institute (Haryana) and Arushi Society.

Obituary

Veteran Bengali Vocal Artiste Pradip Ghosh passes away

• Noted Bengali elocutionist, Pradip Ghosh passed away. Ghosh was a prominent recitor and renowned vocal artist, who was well-known for his inimitable style of recitation.

• His most notable works included his recitation of Tagore’s poems, especially those for children.

Sports

Nozomi Okuhara and Anders Antonsen wins Denmark Open 2020

• In Badminton, former World Champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan clinched the Denmark Open 2020 title beating three-time world champion Carolina Marin in women’s singles. In the men’s singles final, world number seven Anders Antonsen of Denmark defeated his compatriot Rasmus Gemke.

Winners List:

Category  

Name of the Sportsperson

Women’s Single 

Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)

Men’s Single  

Anders Antonsen (Denmark)

Men’s Double  

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge (England)

Women’s Double 

Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota (Japan)

Mixed Double  

Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich (Germany)

Days

World Statistics Day: 20 October

• The third World Statistics Day is observed globally on 20 October 2020. The celebration of World Statistics Day 2020 is a global collaborative endeavour, organized under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission.

• The World Statistics Day 2020 theme “Connecting the world with data we can trust.” This theme reflects the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation and the public good in national statistical systems.

• At its 41st Session in February 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20 October 2010 as World Statistics Day. The General Assembly adopted on 3 June 2010 resolution 64/267, which officially designated 20 October 2010 as the first-ever World Statistics Day under the general theme “Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics. In 2015, with resolution 96/282, the General Assembly decided to designate 20 October 2015 as the second World Statistics Day under the general theme “Better data, better lives,” as well as to celebrate World Statistics Day every five years on 20 October.

World Osteoporosis Day: 20 October

• The World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is observed globally on 20 October. The day is celebrated to raise global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. WOD is organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), by the launch of a year-long campaign with a specific theme.  WOD aims to make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority by reaching out to health-care professionals, the media, policymakers, patients, and the public at large.

• In 2020 the Global WOD Campaign theme is “THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS”, highlighting emotionally impactful visuals and stories of real people living with osteoporosis in all regions of the world.

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Important Current Affairs 19th October 2020

International

Jacinda Ardern wins 2nd term as New Zealand’s PM

• The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, won a landslide victory in the country’s general election, to be elected as the PM for the second consecutive three-year term. In the battle against C-19, Ardern was alone among her western peers in pursuing an explicit elimination strategy and imposed one of the strictest nationwide C-19s in the world.

• Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party won 49.2% of the total 83.7% votes counted in the 120-member parliament. The 40-year-old is serving as the 40th Prime Minister of the country since 26 October 2017.

WHO backs India’s proposal against “C-19 Vaccine Nationalism”

• Early in October, 2020, India and South Africa urged the TRIPS Council of the World Health Organization to waive certain rules to scale-up research, development, manufacturing and supply of medical products to fight against C-19. This has been backed by the World Health Organization.

• India and South Africa had proposed to ease international and intellectual property agreements on C-19 vaccines, treatments and tests. This will make tools related to C-19 available at affordable costs.

India-Sri Lanka to hold SLINEX military exercise

• On October 19, 2020, India and Sri Lanka are to begin a three-day military exercise “SLINEX”. The eighth edition of the exercise is to be held off coast of Trincomalee. It is to be conducted in non-contact at-sea only format. This strategy has been adopted due to C-19 pandemic.

• The drill will include series of anti-air weapons firing, cross deck flying operations to fine tune high degree of inter-operability. Indian Navy is to deploy INS Kiltan and INS Kamorta, Chetak helicopters and Dornier maritime patrol aircrafts in the exercise.  The Sri Lankan Navy is to be represented by SLN Ships Sayura and Gajabahu. Gajabahu is a training ship and Sayura is an offshore patrol vessel.

• In 2019, the SLINEX exercise was conducted in Vishakhapatnam. The exercise is being conducted in consonance with India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) and Neighbourhood first policy of India.

Awards

Aishwarya Sridhar wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award

• A 23-year-old, Mumbai based girl, Aishwarya Sridhar became the first Indian woman to win the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. It is the 56th year of the prestigious award. Her image titled ‘Lights of passion’, won among 50,000 entries from over 80 countries across the world.

• Only 100 images were shortlisted and she won the award for her photograph in the Behaviour Invertebrates category. She is the first and youngest girl to win this prestigious award from India in the Adult category. The award winners were announced at the Natural History Museum in London.

Ranking

India ranked 94 in Global Hunger Index 2020

• India ranked 94 among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020. With a score of 27.2, India has been placed in the “serious” category in the GHI scale. Although there is an improvement in a score as compared to 38.9 in 2000, 37.5 in 2006, and 29.3 in 2012 but still it represent a serious level of hunger. Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries. According to the report, 14 per cent of India’s population is undernourished. It also showed the country recorded a 37.4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent. The under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7 per cent.

• The neighbouring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too are in the ‘serious’ category but ranked higher than India in this year’s hunger index. While Bangladesh ranked 75, Myanmar and Pakistan are in the 78th and 88th position. Nepal in 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position are in ‘moderate’ hunger category, the report showed.

Appointments & Resignation

Rohan Jaitley elected unopposed as DDCA President

• Advocate Rohan Jaitley, the son of late Union Minister Arun Jaitley, has been elected unopposed as the President of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). He was the single candidate left for the post, as the lone candidate who had filed his nomination against him withdrew his candidature.

• The 31-year-old lawyer is slated to remain in the post till June 30, 2021. Notably, late Arun Jaitley had also served as the president of DDCA between 1999 and 2013.

Sports

Pakistan’s fast Bowler Umar Gul announces retirement

• Pakistani pace bowler, Umar Gul has announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket. The 36-year-old Gul, who played his last match for Pakistan an ODI in 2016, featured for Balochistan team in the National T20 Cup.

• The Peshawar-born Gul made his international debut in an ODI in 2003. He played his first Test that year itself. His last Test was against South Africa in 2013. From 47 Test matches, Gul took 163 wickets at an average of 34.06. He also claimed 179 wickets from 130 ODIs, besides 85 wickets from 60 T20Is.

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Important Current Affairs 18th October 2020

National

J&K L-G announces ‘My Town My Pride’ programme

• Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has announced that the government is coming up with a movement called ”My Town My Pride” from October 19 to provide governance at the doorsteps in urban areas on the pattern of the ”Back to Village” programme.

• The three main objectives of the programme:

1. Public outreach in towns

2. Strengthening grassroots democracy

3. Service delivery at doorsteps

• The programme will also ensure that on-the-spot grievance redressal, instant delivery of services to the masses, and on the ground speedy execution of people-centric projects.

• The “My Town My Pride” programme anticipates the time-bound delivery of documents like domicile, SC/ST/RBA/ALC/OBC certificates, revenue services.

• This programme will also ensure the time-bound delivery of benefits of various welfare schemes like pensions, scholarships, PMAY, KCC, Health golden cards, Ladli Beti, etc.

International

India’s night trial of Nuclear Capable PRITHVI II missile successful

• India recently conducted the night trial of indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi II missile. The test was successful. The test was conducted at the Integrated Test Range, Balasore, Odisha.

• Prithvi II is a surface-to-surface missile. The first trial of Prithvi II was conducted in September 2020. The launch was conducted by the Strategic Force Command. The complete trial of the missile was monitored by Defence Research Development Organization.

• The missile has a range of 25-350 kilometres. It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of Nuclear material. It is powered by Liquid Propulsion Single Engine and is a single stage missile. It uses advanced inertial guidance system. It was first inducted into the Indian Defence System in 2003.

Science & Technology

DRDO test fires Naval Version of BRAHMOS missile successfully

• On October 18, 2020, the Defence Research Development Organization test fired the naval version BRAHMOS missile from INS Chennai successfully. The missile was test fired from an indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Chennai. The missile hit a target in Arabian Sea.

• BRAHMOS is a supersonic missile. It was jointly developed by India and Russia.

• The major classification of the missiles is Cruise Missiles and Ballistic Missiles.

• The Ballistic Missiles are those missiles that have a ballistic trajectory. The currently operational ballistic missiles in the Indian Defence Systems are Prithvi I, Agni I, Prithvi II, Agni II and Dhanush.

Appointment & Resignation

IWF appoint Michael Irani as interim president

• Dr Michael Irani of Great Britain (GBR) has been appointed as the Interim President of the International Weightlifting Federation(IWF), at the meeting of the IWF Executive Board, in accordance with the constitution of IWF. Michael Irani was appointed following the resignation of IWF President Tamás Aján. Prior to this, Michael Irani was serving as the chairman of the IWF Medical Committee.

• Michael Irani was born in Bombay, India.

• Michael Irani is a leading physician in Rheumatology who works as a Consultant Rheumatologist at Ashford Hospital NHS Trust.

• He was the former Chairman of the anti-doping Commission of IWF.

• He was a member of the IWF Medical Committee since 1992.

• He served as the President of the European Weightlifting Federation(EWF) Medical Committee from 1995 to 1999.

Vishal V Sharma appointed India’s next permanent representative to UNESCO

• Vishal V. Sharma has been appointed as the next Permanent Representative of India to the Permanent Delegation of India to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with the rank of Ambassador. He will replace Jawed Ashraf. Sharma is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

UNESCO headquarters: Paris, France.

UNESCO Head: Audrey Azoulay.

UNESCO Founded: 16 November 1945.

Days

36th Raising Day of National Security Guard

• The 36th Raising Day of National Security Guard (NSG) is observed on 16 October. NSG plays a crucial role in India’s security apparatus. It has been associated with the utmost courage and professionalism.

• The NSG is a Federal Contingency force to deal with anti-terrorist activities. The NSG is a force equipped and trained to deal with the specific situation and is therefore used in exceptional circumstances to thwart serious acts of terrorism. It was established in 1984, NSG is popularly known as the Black Cats. It is an elite striking force in the country trained and equipped to handle situations like a terrorist attack, hijacking, and hostage captivity.

Books & Authors

A book titled ‘The Battle of Belonging’ authored by Shashi Tharoor

• Renowned Author and Politician, Shashi Tharoor is set to release his new book titled “The Battle of Belonging” is set to be released in November 2020. The book is published by Aleph Book Company. Shashi Tharoor described this book as his “magnum opus” on the Theory, evolution and practice of Nationalism across the globe and especially in India.

• The book appears to be an extension of his book “Why I Am a Hindu”.

• It provides the historical context to the ideas of nationalism, patriotism, humanism, democracy and their origins.

• This book established the actual Indianism and what it means to be a patriotic and nationalistic Indian in the 21st century.

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Important Current Affairs 17th October 2020

National

Union Education Minister launched “KAPILA” Kalam Program

• Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has virtually launched the campaign ‘KAPILA’, which stands for Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness campaign on 15th October 2020. The day was launched in honour of 89th birth anniversary celebration of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

• Through the campaign, the government will spread awareness through educational programs about the importance of patenting an invention, to lead India towards self-reliance. In order to promote awareness in the field, the Ministry has decided to celebrate the week from 15 to 23 October as ‘Intellectual Property Literacy Week’. Various awareness programs will be organised to create awareness about the system and the importance of the process of applying for a patent.

Banking and Economy

GoI to borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore to meet shortfall of GST compensation

• The central government will borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore under the special window to meet the shortfall of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation. Under the Special Window, the estimated shortfall of Rs 1.1 lakh cr (assuming all States join) will be borrowed by Government of India in appropriate tranches. The borrowed amount will be passed on to the States as a back-to-back loan in lieu of GST Compensation. This will not have any impact on the fiscal deficit of the Government of India.

• The amounts will be reflected as the capital receipts of the State Governments and as part of the financing of its respective fiscal deficits. This will avoid differential rates of interest that individual States may be charged for their respective SDLs and will be an administratively easier arrangement. The govt also clarified that the General Government (States+Centre) borrowings will not increase by this step. The States that get the benefit from the Special Window is likely to borrow a considerably lesser amount from the additional borrowing facility of 2% of GSDP (from 3% to 5%) under the Aatma Nirbhar Package.

Appointments & Resignations

SC appoints former judge to monitor steps to prevent stubble burning

• The Supreme Court has appointed Justice Madan B Lokur, a former judge of the apex court, as a one-man monitoring committee to prevent stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, amid rising levels of pollution in the national capital and adjoining regions.

• The bench also directed court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to help the Lokur panel with physical surveillance of fields to check instances of stubble burning and other related matters.

• The new committee will monitor the stubble burning and take preventive steps. It will get assistance from chief secretaries of all states as well as National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts. The panel shall submit its report on stubble burning within 15 days to the apex court.

Days

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

• International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed globally on 17 October every year. The day aims to raise awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution around the world, particularly in developing countries.

• 2020 Theme: “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”. The theme for the Day this year addresses the challenge of achieving social and environmental justice for all.

• This year marks the 27th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly, in its resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year also marks the 32nd anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski — which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty — and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Obituary

“Nightingale of Gujarat” Kaumudi Munshi passes away

• The “Nightingale of Gujarat”, Kaumudi Munshi passed away due to C-19. During the early stage of her career, Munshi sang mostly in Gujarati, gaining fame with songs like ‘Sachi re maari satre bhavani maa’. The singer also sang Bhojpuri songs, for the 1963 movie Bidesiya she sang ‘Neek Saiyan bin’ with renowned singer Geeta Dutt.

• Singer and musician Kaumudi Munshi were born in Varanasi. She completed her education with an arts degree in music from Banaras Hindu University. She trained under the likes of Siddheshwari Devi and Taj Ahmed Khan. After shifting to Mumbai, she got selected in an audition for All India Radio. This is also where she met and later married Ninu Mazumdar, a music director associated with All India Radio.

Bihar Panchayati Raj Minister Kapil Deo Kamat passes away

• The senior Janata Dal (United) leader Kapil Deo Kamat, who was serving as the Panchayati Raj Minister of Bihar, passed away due to C-19.

• He was a JDU MLA from Babubarhi assembly constituency in Madhubani district, Bihar.

Sports

Constantina Dita named ambassador for Half Marathon C’ships Gdynia 2020

• Romania’s 2008 Olympic champion, Constantina Dita has been named an ambassador for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020. The 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, originally scheduled for 29 March 2020 in Gdynia, Poland, was postponed until 17 October 2020, due to the C-19 pandemic.

• Dita competed at eight editions of the World Half Marathon Championships and earned seven medals in the process, making her one of the most successful athletes in the history of the event. Her double victory in Edmonton in 2005, taking individual and team gold medals, remains one of the highlights of her career.

• She won the marathon gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

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Important Current Affairs 16th October 2020

National

Cabinet approves Rs. 5718 crore World Bank-supported STARS project

• Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project. STARS is a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education for improving the quality of education, in the Indian School Education System.

• The total project cost is Rs 5718 crore with the financial support of World Bank amounting to the USD 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crores). The project will cover 6 states namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.

• The project envisages improving the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian School Education System by supporting the selected states in developing, implementing, evaluating and improving interventions with direct linkages to improved education outcomes and school to work transition strategies for improved labour market outcomes

• The overall focus and components of the STARS project are aligned with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 of Quality-Based Learning Outcomes.

International

India contributes 1 million dollars to UNRWA for Palestine Refugees

• India has contributed one million dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in Near East. This aid will support the Agency’s programmes and services, including education, health care, relief and social services.

• The Representative Office of India in Ramallah stated, India’s support for the Palestinian cause is an integral part of the nation’s foreign policy. It shall continue supporting the UNRWA’s activities in providing vital services and necessary humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.

India re-elected as president of International Solar Alliance

• India and France were re-elected as the president and co-president of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for a term of two years at the virtual meeting of the third assembly.

• A total of 53 member countries and five signatory and prospective member countries participated in the assembly.

1. The representatives of Fiji & Nauru for Asia Pacific Region

2. Mauritius & Niger for Africa Region

3. UK & Netherlands for Europe and other Region

4. Cuba and Guyana for Latin America and the Caribbean Region

Appointments and Resignations

NTPC CMD Gurdeep Singh’s term extended till 2025

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has extended the tenure of state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd, chairman and managing director, Gurdeep Singh till 31 July 2025. He had first assumed the charge of utility’s chairman and managing director in February 2016.

• Gurdeep Singh has earlier worked at NTPC and also across the power sector in firms such as CLP, CESC, IDFC, Powergen and AES. His second term will start from 4 February next year and extend till 31 July 2025 which is the date of his superannuation.

Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigns

• Kyrgyzstan President, Sooronbai Jeenbekov has resigned from his post, following 10 days of unrest caused by protesters who have demanded his removal from office. On 4th October 2020, he was re-elected as the President in Parliamentary election, causing political turmoil

• The 61-year-old has served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 2017 to 2020. He was also the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from April 2016 to August 2017.

Obituary

Legendary Malayalam poet Akkitham passes away

• Legendary Malayalam poet and Jnanpith laureate, Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri passed away. He has penned more than 46 literary works including poems, plays, essays and short stories. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2017.

• Akkitham, who was instrumental in introducing modernism in Malayalam poetry, had worked as scriptwriter and editor with Akashvani Kozhikode and Thrissur for nearly

• He bagged Kerala Sahitya Academy award in 1972 for his work Balidarshanam.

• He had won several other awards including the Ezhuthachan puraskaram, Vayalar award, Sanjayan puraskaram and Odakuzhal award.

Cricket journalist and commentator Kishore Bhimani passes away

• Veteran sports journalist and Cricket commentator, Kishore Bhimani passed away. He was a leading cricket commentator in the Eighties and Nineties and is best remembered for being on the air during the tied Test of 1986 between India and Australia in Chepauk, Chennai. He had received a lifetime achievement award for his decades-long contribution in the fields of media and commentary in 2013.

First Indian to win Oscar Bhanu Athaiya passes away

• The first Indian to win the Oscar award, Bhanu Athaiya passed away. She won the Best Costume Design Oscar for her work in the 1982 film Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough. In 2012, Athaiya returned her Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safekeeping.

• Bhanu Athaiya had also designed costumes for over 100 Bollywood movies. And in a career of more than five decades won two National Awards, for Gulzar’s mystery drama “Lekin” (1990) and the period film “Lagaan” directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (2001).

Days

World Food Day: 16 October

• World Food Day (WFD) is observed globally on 16 October every year. The day is celebrated to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. This day generates awareness globally for those who suffer from hunger and to ensure the need for food security and nutritious diets for all. Theme 2020: “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”.

• The main focus of this day is that food is a basic and fundamental human right. WFD commemorates the day in 1945 when the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was founded.

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Important Current Affairs 15th October 2020

National

Union Cabinet approves World Bank-aided STARS project

• The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of the World Bank-aided STARS project. The project seeks to support the states in implementing, developing, evaluating and improving interventions with direct linkages to improve quality of education.  STARS stands for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States.

• The total project cost is estimated to be around Rs. 5,718 crore, out of which the financial support from World Bank will amount to  USD 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore). This was informed by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar during a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.

• The project will cover six states- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Kerala. This is expected to mark an important milestone and mark the beginning of the New Education Policy.

World Economic Forum shifts annual meeting 2021 from Davos to Lucerne

• The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced that the Annual Meeting 2021 will be held in Lucerne-Burgenstock, Switzerland, as against the traditional venue of ski resort town Davos.

• The meeting has been re-scheduled to be held from May 18 to 21, 2021 instead of the usual January-end each year.

• The Annual Meeting 2021 in Lucerne-Burgenstock will be held around the theme of ‘The Great Reset’.

International

Pakistan listed on ‘Enhanced Follow-up List’ by FATF

• Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Asia Pacific group has kept Pakistan in its ‘Enhanced Follow Up’ list.

• The organisation had downgraded Pakistan status from “regular follow-up” to “enhanced follow up”.

• According to the FATF’s report, Pakistan complied with only two of the 40 recommendations of Financial Action Task Force.

Banking and Economy

IMF projects India’s GDP to contract 10.3% in 2020

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the Indian economy to contract by 10.3 percent in 2020-21, from its earlier prediction of -4.5 percent due to rise in C-19 cases.

• IMF estimates the GDP of India to grow at 8.8 percent in 2021-22, as compared to 6 percent predicted earlier, regaining the position of the fastest growing emerging economy.

Banks’ aggregate exposure limit for small businesses raised to Rs 7.5 crore by RBI

• The credit card named Axis ACE Credit Card to entities with turnover up to Rs 50 crore to Rs 7.5 crore by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

• RBI has also decided to extend the existing enhanced Held to Maturity (HTM) limit of 22 percent for SLR securities acquired between September 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, up to March 31, 2022.

Summits and Mou’s

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister signs 14 MoUs to generate employment

• Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami signed 14 Agreements worth Rs. 10, 055 crore with potential to generate employment in the State.

• The Tamil Nadu State Government is also ranked first among Indian states in attracting investments during the first six months of this year.

Awards

Central bank of the year award 2020 awarded to “Bank of Ghana”

• Bank of Ghana has won the Central bank of the year award 2020.

• Apart from this, Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) has won the Governor of the year at the Central bank of the year award 2020.

Appointments and Resignations

Bharate launches new brand campaign with 11 cricketers as brand ambassadors

• BharatPe has announced the launch of its high impact TV campaign starring ‘Team BharatPe’ with 11 Cricket stars.

• The TVC series has been directed by ace Bollywood director, Puneet Malhotra, and communicates the message ‘Hum Hai Team BharatPe – Jo Desh Ke Har Dukandaar Ke Saath Hai Khade’.

• This is the first time that a new age FinTech company has rolled out a TV campaign with 11 top cricket stars as its brand ambassadors. Team BharatPe includes Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shubhman Gill.

Days

World Students’ Day

• World Students’ Day is observed every year on October 15 to mark the birth anniversary of former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

• In 2010 the United Nations declared 15 October “World Students’ Day”, due to Kalam’s love for students and who himself was a dedicated teacher and identified himself foremost in that role before anything else.

• 2020 marks 89th birth anniversary of the former president and ‘Missile Man’ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Books and Authors

Autobiography of former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil

• Prime Minister released the autobiography of former Union Minister Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil through video conferencing on 13 October 2020.

• The autobiography of Dr. Patil has been titled ‘Deh Vechwa Karani,’ means ‘dedicating one’s life for a noble cause.’

• Dr Patil was a prominent leader from Maharashtra who served as seven time Member of Lok Sabha.

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Important Current Affairs 14th October 2020

National

Kerala: First State to become Digital in Public Education

• The State of Kerala is the first state in the country to make public education completely digital.

• The state Government has achieved it at a cost of Rs 42.36 crores. The initiative was launched in 2018.

BRICS Ministerial Summit 2020 held virtually

• BRICS Ministerial Summit 2020 held through online mode via Video Conferencing.

• Minister of State (I/C) for Labour & Employment, Shri Santosh Gangwar represented India in this meeting. This BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Virtual Meeting was held under Russian Presidency.

• The Objective of this BRICS Summit is to discuss various issues including approaches to creating a safe work culture in BRICS countries.

Banking and Economy

IMF projects India’s GDP to contract 10.3% in 2020; rebound with 8.8% growth in 2021-22

• In its latest ‘World Economic Outlook’ report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the Indian economy to contract by 10.3 percent in 2020-21, from its earlier prediction of 4.5 percent due to rise in C-19 cases.

• However, IMF estimates the GDP of India to grow at 8.8 percent in 2021-22, as compared to 6 percent predicted earlier, regaining the position of the fastest growing emerging economy.

• On the other hand, the Fund expects the world economy to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020. This projection was -5.2 percent earlier

Axis Bank launches ACE Credit Card in collaboration with Google Pay and Visa

• Axis Bank has launched a new entry-level credit card named Axis ACE Credit Card, with focus on increasing participation of users in the digital economy.

• The card has been launched in collaboration with Google Pay and will run on Visa (Signature) platform.

• ACE Credit card users would get 5% Cashback on Bill payments (electricity, internet, gas and more), DTH and mobile recharges done through Google Pay.

Summits and Mou’s

Microsoft and AICTE partnered to skill students

• The Government of India’s All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) has partnered with Microsoft to empower learners and educators with future-ready skills.

• As part of this partnership, over 1500 course modules from Microsoft will be made available to students and educators free of cost through AICTE’s e-learning portal, ELIS.

Awards

Best Ships in FAF 2020: Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kora

• The Fleet Award Function (FAF), 2020 was organised to mark the successful culmination of the Operational Cycle of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam.

• Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kora is named as the Best Ships in FAF 2020.

• During the event, the Fleet Operations Officer presented the Annual Report of activities and achievements of the Fleet for 01 Apr 19 to 31 Mar 20.

Obituary

Former Indian Football Captain Carlton Chapman passed away

• Former Indian football captain, Carlton Chapman passed away. He was born on 13th April 1971 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. He announced his retirement from professional Football in 2001.

• He was the captain of the Indian team when India won the South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup in 1997. He was a leading midfielder played for Indian from 1995 to 2001.

• He joined Quartz FC, Kozhikode as the technical director in 2017.

Priscilla Jana, Renowned Indian-origin South African Human Rights Lawyer Passes Away

• Renowned Indian-origin South African human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana has passed away at the age of 76.

• Jana, who had played a significant role against apartheid, was the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

CM Chang, Environment Minister of Nagaland passes away

• Senior Nagaland Minister ‘CM Chang’ has passed away, due to C-19. He was 78-years-old.

• Chang was serving as the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Justice and Law.

Sports

17th NBA Championship won by Los Angeles Lakers

• The National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship 2020 held on 12 October 2020.

• The Los Angeles Lakers won this year trophy by defeating the Miami Heat.

• NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP): LeBron James of the Lakers’ was named the for the fourth time in his career.

Ranking

Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2020

• The international charitable organisation ‘Oxfam International’ released a report on 2020 Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index.

• India has been ranked 129 among 158 countries. The 2020 CRI index has been topped by Norway. South Sudan is the lowest ranking country in the index at 158th position.

Days

World Standards Day

• The World Standards Day (WSD), also known as International Standards Day, is celebrated globally on 14 October annually.

• World Standards Day 2020 theme is “Protecting the planet with standards”.

• The day aims to raise awareness about the importance of standardisation to the global economy among the consumers, regulators and industry.

International Day for Disaster Reduction observed on 13 October

• The United Nations observe International Day for Disaster Reduction every year on 13th October.

• Objective is to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction and also celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

• Theme of 2020 International Day for Disaster Reduction is ‘Disaster risk governance’.

Books and Authors

A former RAW officer unravels the path to 1984 in his book `The Khalistan Conspiracy’

• A former intelligence officer with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), GBS Sidhu has written the book titled ” The Khalistan Conspiracy”.

• The book published by HarperCollins will be released on October 24.

• The contents of this book revolve around a two-phased, top-secret operation, which he named “Operation Bhindranwale-Khalistan”.

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