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Important Current Affairs 24th October 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Turkey itself on FATF grey list after preventing Pak’s blacklisting earlier

•Global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ of countries. In a briefing, FATF president Marcus Pleyer also said that three new countries Turkey, Jordan, and Mali have also been added to the Grey List. In June this year, the FATF had retained Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing.

•The FATF asked Islamabad to investigate and prosecute UN-designated terror terrorists including Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. It also asked Pakistan to work to address its strategically important deficiencies.

•Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the FATF in June 2018. Since then, Pakistan continues to be in the list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates. Due to its placing on the Grey List, it has become increasingly difficult for Pakistan to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union.

NATIONAL

DRDO successfully tests high-speed expendable aerial target Abhyas off Odisha coast

•The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT)- ABHYAS, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha. The target aircraft is equipped with a MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.

•ABHYAS is designed & developed by DRDO laboratory, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru, for the Indian Armed Forces. The air vehicle ABHYAS can be used as an aerial target for the evaluation of various missile systems.

•The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check-out of air vehicles is done using a laptop-based Ground Control Station (GCS).

UIDAI to host "Aadhaar Hackathon 2021" from October 28-31

•Government agency UIDAI is hosting a Hackathon titled “Aadhaar Hackathon 2021”. The hackathon is starting on 28 Oct 21 and would continue till 31 Oct 21. With new challenged and themes, the Hackathon 2021 will have two topics. The first theme is around “Enrolment and Update”, which essentially covers some of the real-life challenges being faced by the residents while updating their address. The second theme of the Hackathon is around the “Identity and Authentication” solution offered by UIDAI.

•UIDAI is soliciting innovative solutions to prove Identity without sharing the Aadhaar number or any demographics information. Also, it is looking for innovative applications around face authentication API – the newly launched authentication modality of UIDAI. The objective is to popularize some of the existing and new APIs to solve the needs of residents.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft Launches Program To Support AI Startups In India

•Microsoft recently announced the launch of Microsoft AI Innovate, a 10-week initiative that will support startups in India leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, helping them scale operations, drive innovation, & build industry expertise. The program will also enable startups to reach out to newer customers and geographies with Microsoft’s sales and partners.

•To support the startup ecosystem in the country, the company has launched a programme, Microsoft AI Innovate, for nurturing and scaling startups that are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). Microsoft AI Innovate was aimed at bringing together startups, corporates, industry bodies, governments, and venture capital firms, to create a shared platform for learning and innovation. The selected startups in each of the cohorts will have access to industry deep-dive sessions and AI masterclasses by industry experts, mentoring by unicorn founders, skilling and certification opportunities, among other benefits.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

ICRA appoints Ramnath Krishnan MD and group CEO

•Ramnath Krishnan has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of rating agency ICRA. He replaces N Sivaraman, who resigned with immediate effect citing personal reasons on October 23, 2021. Gurgaon based ICRA is a unit owned by global rating agency Moody’s Corporation.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Polio Day 2021: 24th October

•World Polio Day is celebrated annually on October 24, to raise awareness for polio vaccination and eradication of polio. The Day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. 2021 theme for World Polio Day is “Delivering on a Promise.”

•Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. The Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is, therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops, and the world is polio-free.

World Development Information Day 2021: 24th October

•The United Nations’ World Development Information Day is held on October 24 every year. The day aims to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them for overall growth and development. The World Development Information Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972, to coincide with the United Nations Day.

•The General Assembly in 1972 established World Development Information Day to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them. The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

International Day of Diplomats 2021: 24th October

•The International Day of Diplomats is celebrated on 24 October every year. The day aims to commemorate the contributions made by diplomats in shaping the world since ancient times and in making our planet a better place. It also aims to bridge the gap in perception and reality of diplomats’ lives among the general public.

•The first International Day of Diplomats was celebrated in Brasília on 24 October 2017. The day was proposed by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K and saw participation from the diplomats of Bangladesh, France, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation wins Earth Heroes Awards 2021

•The Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation has bagged the Earth Guardian Award instituted by the NatWest Group. The eight winners of the award were felicitated by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora secretary-general Ivonne Higuero through a virtual ceremony.

•These awards were instituted by NatWest Group India. They are part of an initiative which recognises the efforts of individuals and institutions that are working to subvert climate change by conserving & preserving biodiversity in India.

Martin Scorsese, Szabo to get Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award

•Hollywood veteran Martin Scorsese and celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The 52nd edition of the film festival will be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa.

•While Szabo is known for his masterpieces like 1966’s “Father” and 1981 movie “Mephisto”, Scorsese is one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history.

•The opening film of this edition of IFFI will be “The King of all the World”, directed by Carlos Saura. Around 30 titles have been shortlisted for screening at 52nd IFFI from prominent International Film Festivals in the Festival Kaleidoscope and World Panorama Section. The festival will also pay a special tribute to Sean Connery, the first actor to portray fictional British spy James Bond on the big screen.

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