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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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