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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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