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Important Current Affairs 16th October 2020


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.


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.


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).


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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