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Important Current Affairs 31st October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

India extends $1 bn credit line to Central Asian countries

• The second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue was held virtually, under the chairmanship of the External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar. The foreign minister of all the five Central Asian countries- Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan– participated in the meeting.

• During the meeting, India announced US $1 billion line of credit for “priority developmental projects” in Central Asian countries in the fields of connectivity, energy, IT, healthcare, education, agriculture and offered to provide grant assistance for implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP) for furthering socio-economic development in the countries of the region.

• Apart from this, the Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also attended the meeting as a special invitee. The first India-Central Asia Dialogue was held in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand in 2019.

NATIONAL

Telangana CM Chandrasekhar Rao launches ‘Dharani’ Portal

• Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao has launched the web portal ‘Dharani’ for land and property registrations. The state government will now undertake all the property transactions, including registrations and mutations, through a web portal.

• The Dharani is a one-stop portal for all land and property-related transactions as well as documentation.

• The portal will do away with any loopholes in the registration process as well as store all land and property-related information online.

• It will simplify the registration, succession and even partition of agriculture lands, to ensure that the entire process is completed within a few minutes and the e-pattadar passbook is provided to the landowners immediately.

IIT Kanpur, ASI sign MoU with Italian institutes for restoration of monuments

• The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and the Archaeological Survey of India have signed an agreement with two institutions from Italy, seeking restoration and protection of historical monuments.

• The MoU was signed among IIT-K, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti E Paesaggio, Venice, on creating a network and sharing skills for restoration and protection of historical monuments.

• All institutes have agreed to develop collaborative scientific study activities and sharing skills to restore and protect monuments on a reciprocal and equal basis.

• All institutes shall seek to promote collaboration and activities in areas such as collaboration in scientific studies and skill sharing, the exchange of knowledge, experience, academic materials and publications, conducting workshops, undertaking joint field studies and technology development.

Indian Army launches indigenous mobile application SAI

• The Indian Army has launched a secured messaging application platform named 'Secure Application for the Internet' (SAI).

• This mobile application for Android will support end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services. This application is similar to applications like Telegram and WhatsApp.

• SAI has been vetted by CERT-in empanelled auditor and Army Cyber Group. It also informed that the process for filing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) hosting the infrastructure on NIC and working on iOS platform is currently in progress.

• Ministry of Defence also informed that SAI will be used by pan Army to ensure securing messaging.

• Upon reviewing the functionalities of the application, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised Col Sai Shankar for his skill and ingenuity for developing the application.

SPORTS

Plastic Premier League tournament to be played in Indore

• A unique Plastic Premier League (PPL) tournament is being played in Indore, Madhya Pradesh to free the city from single-use plastic. Indore is known for its innovative efforts regarding cleanliness. Indore has been awarded as the cleanest city in the country four times so far.

• Four teams have been formed for the Plastic Premier League competition.

• The 19 zones of Indore Municipal Corporation are divided into these four teams.

• For the competition, the team captain Radio Jockey will encourage citizens to donate more and more plastic from their radio station.

• These teams have been provided by municipal workers and five vehicles to collect plastic.

• The team that collects the most single-use plastics in this 45-day competition will be awarded the PPL Trophy.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA’s SOFIA discovers water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

• Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed “cold traps” at lunar polar regions. Using data from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Telescope, researchers scanned the lunar surface at a more precise wavelength than had been used before — six microns instead of three. This allowed them to distinguish the spectral fingerprint of molecular water.

• Previous research has found indications of water by scanning the surface, but these were unable to distinguish between water (H2O) and hydroxyl, a molecule made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom. But a new study provides further chemical proof that the Moon holds molecular water, even in sunlit areas.

OBITUARY

Award-winning author and editor Daniel Menaker passes away

• Daniel Menaker, an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction and a longtime editor at The New Yorker and Random House who worked with Alice Munro, Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann and many others, passed away.

• Daniel Menaker was the author of several books, including the memoir My Mistake and the comic psychological novel The Treatment, adapted into a 2007 movie starring Chris Eigeman and Ian Holm. He was also known for the O Henry Award-winning title story of his collection The Old Left.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India hosts 19th Meeting of SCO Ministers of Foreign Economy

• India hosted the 19th Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Ministers of Foreign Economy and Foreign Trade. The virtual meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Shri Piyush Goyal. It was attended by the Secretary-General of SCO Vladimir Norov and Ministers from Kyrgyz Republic, China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

• Statement on the response to C-19: It highlights the need for greater cooperation for access to medicines and facilitation of trade.

• Statement on the Multilateral Trading System of Ministers of SCO Countries who are WTO Members: It highlights the importance of the rules-based multilateral negotiations.

• Statement on SCO Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It relates to the cooperation of intellectual property and include sharing information/experience on legislation and enforcement, cooperation in international organisations and other areas.

• Action Plan for Implementation of MOU to stimulate cooperation within the framework of SCO in the field of MSMEs. It looks at the number of areas of cooperation among MSMEs, including the exchange of information, organisation of events and collaboration on research and capacity building.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

14th Asian Film Awards 2020 announced

• The 14th edition of Asian Film Awards was organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy. Indian Movie Gully Boy has received the award for the Best Original Score at 14th Asian Film Awards. The award went to Karsh Kale and The Salvage Audio Collective. Gully Boy has been directed by Zoya Akhtar. In Gully Boy, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt played leading roles.

14th Asian Film Awards Winners List:

Award

Name Winner

Best Actor

Lee Byung-hun – The Man Standing Next (South Korea)

Best Actress

Zhou Dongyu – Better Days (China)

Best Cinematography

Dong Jinsong – The Wild Goose Lake

Best Costume Designer

Pacharin Surawatanapongs– Happy Old Year

Best Director

Wang Xiaoshuai for So Long, My Son (China)

Best Editing

Yang Jin-mo – Parasite

Best Film

Parasite (South Korea)

Best Newcomer

Jackson Yee – Better Days

Best New Director

Hikari – 37 Seconds

Best Supporting Actor

Ryo Kase – To the Ends of the Earth

Best Supporting Actress

Ko Shu-chin – A Sun

Best Screenplay

Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won – Parasite

Best Original Music

Karsh Kale, The Salvage Audio Collective – Gully Boy

Best Production Design

Ha-jun Lee – Parasite

Best Visual Effects

Tomi Kijo, Renovatio Pictures – Detention

Best Sound

Yoshifumi Kureishi – Listen to the Universe

Anzar Mustaeen Ali wins special prize in Global Art Competition

• A six-year-old Bangladeshi boy, Anzar Mustaeen Ali won a special prize of USD 1000 for his artwork in the global art competition organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The ICCR had launched a global painting competition named ‘United Against C -19- Express through Art’ which attracted 8000 artwork entries from around the world. After the first round of competition 210 artworks were shortlisted.

• The final jury evaluated and decided the winners from each category such as Indian and Foreign, Professional/Amateur/Children in four different sections.

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