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Important Current Affairs 2nd November 2020


Harsh Vardhan launches SERB-POWER schemes to support women scientists

• The Union Minister of Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan has launched the ‘SERB – POWER’ schemes which aim to encourage and support emerging as well as eminent women researchers to undertake R&D activities in frontier areas of science and engineering. SERB-POWER stands for Science and Engineering Research Board – Promoting Opportunities For Women in Exploratory Research.

• This scheme is formulated to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research funding in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D Laboratories, to ensure equal access and weighted opportunities for Indian women scientists engaged in research and development activities.

• The schemes have been launched to provide two categories of research support which are:

1. SERB – POWER Fellowship

2. SERB – POWER Research Grants

1. SERB – POWER Research Grants

• This scheme will encourage emerging and eminent women researchers for the individual-centric and competitive mode of research funding. Under this, the funding will be under the following two categories:

Level I: The scale of funding up to 60 Lakhs for three years.

Level II: The scale of funding up to 30 Lakhs for three years.

2. SERB – POWER Fellowship

• The Power Fellowship scheme will identify and reward outstanding women researchers and innovators working in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories, holding in any branch of science and engineering.

• Fellowship of Rs. 15,000/- per month in addition to regular income.

• Research grant of Rs.10 Lakh per annum.

UNESCO allots India’s Panna Tiger Reserve ‘Biosphere Reserve’ status

• In Madhya Pradesh, the Panna Tiger Reserve has been included in the ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’ list of the UNESCO. This is the 12th biosphere reserve from India to be included in the ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’, and third from Madhya Pradesh, after Pachmarhi and Amarkantak. Currently, Panna Tiger Reserve is home to 54 tigers.

• The UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) covers internationally designated protected areas (known as biosphere reserves) that demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature (like encourage sustainable development).

PM Modi launches India’s first seaplane service in Gujarat

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the country’s first seaplane service between the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad. He travelled in the maiden flight of the twin-engine plane from pond-3 close to Sardar Sarovar Dam and landed at Sabarmati riverfront where a water aerodrome has been set up.

• The 19-seater seaplane will be managed by private airline SpiceJet.


Jio named title sponsor for BCCI’s Women T20 Challenge 2020

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced Jio as the Title Sponsor of the 2020 edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge. The partnership will also have the support of Reliance Foundation Education and Sports For All (RF ESA).

• This is a historic partnership, as for the first time a sponsor has signed with BCCI exclusively for the women’s matches. The Jio Women’s T20 Challenge to be played from 4th November to 9th November will be held in Sharjah. Three teams are Velocity, Supernovas and Trailblazers will play each other once to decide the finalists on November 9, a day before the IPL final.


Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz passes away

• Veteran Politician and former prime minister of Turkey, Mesut Yilmaz has passed away. He was the Chief of the now-defunctional centre-right Motherland Party or ANAP from 1991 to 2002. He served as prime minister of Turkey three times in the 1990s. His first two prime-ministerial terms lasted for just one month, in 1991 and then in 1996, while the third term was from June 1997 to January 1999.


International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

• The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is an UN-recognized day observed annually on 2 November. The day draws attention to the low global conviction rate for violent crimes against journalists and media workers, estimated at only one in every ten cases.

• The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The Resolution urged the Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

World Vegan Day: 01 November

• World Vegan Day is observed globally on 1st November every year. This day is celebrated to spread benefits of veganism for humans, non-human animals, and the natural environment.  Vegan Day is an opportunity to promote the benefits of a vegan diet and veganism in general.

• The term vegan was coined by Donald Watson and derived from the word Vegetarian. At that time, the differentiation was that Vegans did not consume dairy products. Later this extended to eggs, and by 1951, veganism had become a movement of people who did not partake in the exploitation of animals. Each year there are a number of festivals and exhibitions held around the world by vegan societies. In addition, there are many local events, talks and cooking demonstrations organised by individuals. Vegan Day is an opportunity to promote the benefits of a vegan diet and veganism in general.

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