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Important Current Affairs 13th October 2020

National

PM releases Rs 100 commemorative coin to honour Vijaya Raje Scindia

• On 12 October 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of Rs 100 to mark the birth centenary of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia, one of the founder member of the ruling BJP, through a virtual ceremony.

• The special coin has been minted by the Ministry of Finance.

• Vijaya Raje Scindia, who dedicated her life to poor people, is also popularly known as the Rajmata of Gwalior.

Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi & NCR

• The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has directed the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) states to implement air pollution control measures listed under the “very poor” and “severe” category of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). These measures will come into force from October 15, 2020 to improve the air quality of the Delhi-NCR region.

• As per the directions given by the EPCA, the diesel generators will no longer be used in Delhi and NCR towns including Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and others with effect from October 15. The generators will only be used for emergency and essential services.

• Moreover, the Pollution control authorities will carry out the night patrolling to investigate dust, industrial emissions and burning of waste. The pollution monitoring body has also directed the authorities to undertake frequent sprinkling of water on roads.

International

World Economic Forum shifts annual meeting 2021 from Davos to Lucerne

• The World Economic Forum (WEF) said it will hold its Annual Meeting 2021 in Lucerne-Burgenstock, Switzerland, from May 18 to 21, as against the traditional venue of ski resort town Davos in January-end.

• The change in schedule and venue was necessitated by the C-19 pandemic.

Argentina becomes 1st nation to approve genetically modified wheat

• Argentina has approved HB4 drought-resistant GMO wheat, making it the first country in the world to approve a strain of GMO wheat.

• The drought-resistant HB4 wheat variety was developed by Argentine biotechnology company Bioceres, working with the National University and Conicet.

• Bioceres’ HB4 wheat is resistant to drought and tolerates the herbicide glufosinate sodium, a combination the company says can help boost yields on dry years.

Banking and Economy

Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Rs.73,000-Crore Measures To Boost Consumer Demand

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 43rd GST Council meeting through video conferencing in New Delhi on 12 October 2020.

• Sitharaman announced several measures to boost capital expenditure and stimulate consumer demand in the economy, which are are estimated to cost Rs 73,000 crore by 31 March 2021.

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced that government employees can avail cash voucher for LTC if they can’t travel due to pandemic. Employees can use the money to buy items attracting 12 per cent or more GST, increasing consumer demand. However, employees can spend an LTC cash voucher only through digital mode and at places registered under GST before 31 March 2021.

• The government also announced that the north-east states will get 50-year interest-free loans of Rs 1,600 crore and Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will get Rs 900 crore. The amount has to be spent by 31 march 2021. Other states will also get Rs 7,500 crore loans in proportion to their share in Finance Commission evolution.

• FM Sitharaman added that half of the amount will be disbursed initially and the second part will be disbursed once the previous amount is utilised. Further, the government increased the centre’s capital expenditure budget by Rs 25,000 crore from Rs 4.13 lakh crore for expenditure on the road, water supply, urban development, and defence infrastructure including manufacturing domestic equipment

Awards

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2020 announced

• The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”

• The award is officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020.

• The laureates in economic sciences are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

• It comes with a gold medal and a cash award of 10 million Swedish krona ($1.12 million).

Sarah Hall becomes first writer to win BBC National Short Story Award twice

• Sarah Hall has become the first writer to win the BBC national short story award twice, with judges describing her as a virtuoso of the form.

Days

International Day for Disaster Reduction

• The United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction is observed globally on 13th October.

• The day is celebrated to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction and also celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

• This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about governance.

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Important Current Affairs 12th October 2020

National

All eight Indian beaches recommended by Ministry of Environment and Forests awarded the prestigious International Blue Flag Certification

• The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has informed that all eight beaches recommended by the Government of India has got the coveted International Blueflag  Certification.

• India is the first nation to achieve such a feat, as no other Blueflag nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt.

• The Blue Flag programme is a world-renowned award operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark to benchmark the beaches as clean and hygienic.

CWG medallist Shuttler Chetan Anand named brand ambassador of India’s first-ever Badminton Brand ‘Transform’

• Commonwealth Games medallist in Badminton, Chetan Anand has been roped in as the brand ambassador for the India’s first-ever homegrown professional badminton brand “Transform”.

• Transform Badminton is India’s 1st professional badminton brand at par with the best racquets available in the market that are currently imported from abroad for playing in India.

• Transform racquets have been made out of the military grade graphite.

Banking and Economy

WTO revises up forecast for goods trade to 9.2% decline in 2020

• The World Trade Organization upgraded its forecast for trade in goods this year to a level still comparable to the decline during the global financial crisis, but better than initially predicted due to a rebound in June and July.

• The WTO said that global merchandise trade would fall by 9.2% this year and then increase by 7.2% in 2021.

• The WTO forecast in April that merchandise trade would decline by between 13 and 32% this year, figures described by the WTO chief as “ugly”, before rebounding by between 21 and 24% in 2021 if countries worked together.

Tamil Nadu government to set up advanced manufacturing hub in partnership with WEF

• Tamil Nadu’s Guidance, nodal investment promotion and facilitation agency of the state of Tamil Nadu has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish India’s first advanced manufacturing hub (AMHUB) in Tamil Nadu.

• The Advanced Manufacturing HUB or AMHUB is one of the 19 platforms designed by the WEF.

• This platform focuses on engaging entire regional production ecosystems to identify and address regional opportunities and challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) by amplifying regional success stories, sharing best practices & incubating new partnerships.

Sports

Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek wins French Open 2020

• In tennis, Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0,6-2,7-5 to win the men’s 2020 French Open on 11 October 2020.  This is his 13th French Open men’s singles title and 20th Grand Slam title.

• In Women’s single, the 19-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland, claimed a historic win, by becoming the youngest women to win the title in the history of the championship in 28 years.

• Winners of French Open Tennis 2020

Men’s Single – Rafael Nadal (Spain) beat Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Women’s Single – Iga Swiatek (Poland) defeated Sofia Kenin (US)

Men’s Double –  Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies of Germany

Women’s Double – Tímea Babos (Hungary)/ Kristina Mladenovic (France)

Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Eifel Grand Prix

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, held on 11 October 2020  at the Nurburgring in Nurburg, Germany.

• This is Hamilton’s 7th win of the season and 91st career race victory, which was till now achieved only by Michael Schumacher.

• The race was the eleventh race in 2020 Formula One World Championship and the first running in history of the Eifel Grand Prix.

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) came second followed by Daniel Ricciardo (Renault, Australia) at third position.

Days

World Arthritis Day

• On World Arthritis Day, 12 October, people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases from around the world join together to make their voices heard.

• Objective of the day is to raise awareness about arthritis, an inflammatory condition which causes pain and stiffness in joints which can worsen with age.

• This day was started by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) in 1996 in order to spread awareness about arthritis and encourage policymakers to help reduce burden of arthritis.

• The World Arthritis Day theme 2020 is Time2Work.

International Day of the Girl Child

• International Day of the Girl Child (also known as Day of Girls and the International Day of Girls) is observed annually on October 11 since 2012.

• This international observance day was declared by the United Nations to raise awareness of issues facing girls internationally surrounding education, nutrition, child marriage, legal and medical rights.

• The theme for 2020 International Day of the Girl Child is “My voice, our equal future”.

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Important Current Affairs 9th October 2020

National

India’s first B2B Crypto trading exchange DigitX launched

• DigitX, India’s first business-to-business (B2B) cryptocurrency trading exchange, began its trading operations.

• DigiX aims to deliver transparent and secure model with its network of trusted links in a first of its kind industry initiative to instill trust and confidence in its investors and traders of cryptocurrency.

Government launches online startup discovery platform ‘Startup India Showcase’

• To further give boost to the Indian startups, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched an online discovery platform for startups called “Startup India Showcase”.

• The main aim of this website is to make a repository of India’s most promising startups that have proved their capabilities, from across sectors such as fintech, enterprise tech, social impact, healthtech, and edtech, among others.

• The listed firms will also be considered by the government and corporate buyers as potential suppliers of goods or services.

• The startups mentioned on the website will be handpicked by experts, and will go through multiple screening and evaluation rounds,

• Each startup will have its own profile page, with a detailed information about its product and innovation, as well as video and PDF links.

International

Russia Successfully Test-Launches ‘Tsirkon’ Hypersonic Missile

• Russia has successfully test-fired its highly touted hypersonic cruise missile called Tsirkon in the waters of northwestern Russia.

• The missile traveled four and a half minutes at the hypersonic speed of more than Mach 8 and a maximum altitude of 28 kilometers.

Banking and Economy

World Bank report states India's Economy to contract by 9.6% in FY21

• India's economy is expected to contract by 9.6 per cent in the current fiscal year (2020-21) because of C-19 pandemic, the World Bank said on October 8, 2020. India's economy is the largest in South Asia.

• The World Bank in its biannual regional update stated that South Asia is set to plunge into its worst-ever recession as the devastating impacts of C-19 on the region's economies linger on. This would take a toll on the informal workers and push millions into extreme poverty in South Asia.

• As per the World Bank report, the regional growth of South Asia is expected to contract by 7.7 per cent in 2020 after topping 6 per cent annually in the past five years.  However, the regional growth is projected to rebound to 4.5 per cent in 2021.

• The income-per-capita in the region will remain 6 per cent below 2019 estimates, factoring growth in population. This indicates that the expected rebound will not offset the lasting economic damage caused by the pandemic.

API integration between PM SVANidhi and SBI portal launched

With an aim to ease processing of loan applications, the Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra has initiated the Application Programming Interface (API), integration between the PM SVANidhi Portal and the State Bank of India (SBI) portal.

Awards

Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 announced

• The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

• The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by The Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

Obituary

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passes away

• Union minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan passed away. He was born on 5 July 1946. He was also the president of the Lok Janshakti Party and current Rajya Sabha MP.

• An eight-time Lok Sabha MP, Paswan went to jail during Indira Gandhi’s tenure when an emergency was imposed in the country. He began his political career as a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party and in 1969 became a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Former CBI director Ashwani Kumar passes away

• Ashwani Kumar, former Governor of Manipur and Nagaland, and ex-CBI Director passed away.

• He was born at Nahan in Sirmaur district and joined the Indian Police Force in 1973.

• From March 2013 to July 2014, he served as the Governor of Nagaland and also held the additional charge of Governor of Manipur for some time.

Appointments and Resignations

Govt appoints M Rajeshwar Rao as new deputy governor of RBI

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet appointed M Rajeshwar Rao as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

• Currently, BP Kanungo, MK Jain and Micheal Patra are the deputy governors.Rao will take charge as the fourth deputy governor. The post became vacant after N S Vishwanathan demitted office in March citing health reasons just before his tenure was to end.

• Prior to this, he was the chief general manager of the financial markets operations department.

J Venkatramu appointed MD and CEO of India Post Payments Bank

• J Venkatramu has been appointed the managing director and chief executive officer of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). He will succeed Suresh Sethi, who served the post till March 2020.

• Venkatramuis presently working as the chief digital officer in Equitas Small Finance Bank. He has been appointed to the post of MD and CEO of IPPB for a period of three years.

Ranking

World Water Development Report 2020 released by United Nations

• The World Water Development Report 2020 and PCRWR Groundwater Investigation and Mapping report released by the United Nations.

• Around 74% of all-natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related and during the past 20 years.

• Floods could cost South Asia as much as US$215 billion each year by 2030

• Global floods and extreme rainfall events have increased by more than 50% this decade, and are now occurring at a rate four times higher than in 1980.

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Important Current Affairs 6th October 2020

National

Union Minister Jitendra Singh releases Coffee Table Book ‘Discovering the Heritage of Assam’, authored by Padampani Bora with foreword by Amitabh Bachchan

• The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh released a Coffee Table Book on “Discovering the Heritage of Assam”, written by Padampani Bora and having foreword by Amitabh Bachchan. The book has been published by Penguin.

• With beautiful pictures and photographs, the book depicts the heritage, faith, beliefs and traditions of different ethnic tribes and subtribes living in Assam, the largest State of the North Eastern Region.

• The author, Padampani Bora, is by profession an officer of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS-2009 batch), but has over the years established himself as an accomplished author, specializing in the subjects reflecting diverse nuances of the North Eastern Region of India.

Awards

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 announced

• The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden on October 5, 2020, announced that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice, and Michael Houghton for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.

• The discovery of the virus is termed as a landmark achievement in a battle against the virus that is a big threat to human health. The three scientists have made a crucial contribution in a fight against blood-borne hepatitis that causes liver cancer and cirrhosis in people.

• The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus by the three scientists revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.

• The prestigious Nobel prize award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish Kronor.

• As per the World Health Organisation, over 70 million cases, and 4,00,000 deaths due to Hepatitis are recorded every year.

Right Livelihood Award 2020 announced

• The Right Livelihood Award Foundation has announced the four winners of the 2020 Right Livelihood Award 2020 which is also known as the alternative Nobel Prize in Stockholm.

• The four activists Ales Bialiatski of Belarus, Nasrin Sotoudeh of Iran, Bryan Stevenson of the United States(US) and Lottie Cunningham Wren of Nicaragua shared the 2020 award for their contribution towards equality, democracy, justice and freedom.

Science and Technology

DRDO successfully flight tests weapon system SMART- Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo

• India has successfully flight-tested SMART (Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo) from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha on October 5, 2020.

• The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful flight test of SMART. He mentioned it to be a major technology breakthrough in anti-submarine warfare.

• A number of DRDO laboratories, including RCI Hyderabad, DRDL, NSTL Vishakhapatnam, ADRDE Agra have developed the technologies that were required for SMART.

Obituary

Justice AS Dave, former Judge and acting CJ of the Gujarat HC passes away

• Former Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court Justice Anantkumar Surendraray Dave passed away at the age of 62.

• Justice Dave was appointed as a Gujarat High Court Judge in 2004 and was made permanent in 2006.

• He was appointed as an Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on November 14, 2018 and served until the present Chief Justice Vikram Nath took over the helm in September 2019.

Veteran Social activist Pushpa Bhave passes away

• Veteran social activist Prof Pushpa Bhave, also known as the Iron Lady of Mumbai, has passed away following a prolonged illness. She was 81.

• Bhave has been associated with the Rashtra Seva Dal and democratic movements since her student days.

Ranking

Puducherry airport becomes AAI’s first 100% solar-powered airport

• The Puducherry airport has become the first airport of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which is entirely solar-powered.

• The 500KWp ground-mounted solar power plant was commissioned on 2nd October 2020. The approx cost of the plant is Rs 2.8 crore.

• With becoming absolutely power-neutral, the Puducherry airport will be able to meet its entire power requirement through the solar power plant.

Days

World Space Week

• World Space Week is celebrated on October 4-10, to commemorate the launch of earth’s first human-made satellite, Sputnik I, on October 4, 1957, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on October 10, 1967.

• 2020 World Space Week is dedicated to satellites and their broad benefits under the theme “Satellites improve life.”

World Habitat Day 2020

• World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter as well as remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future generations.

• In 2020, the World Habitat Day is being celebrated on 5th October. The theme for 2020 World Habitat Day is Housing For All — A Better Urban Future.

• It was officially designated by the United Nations in 1985 and first celebrated in 1986.

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Important Current Affairs 4th October 2020

National

Kerala’s first Mega Food Park inaugurated virtually

• Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare inaugurated Kerala’s first and nation’s twentieth mega food park in Palakkad district. The inauguration was conducted virtually through video conferencing.

• The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers. This Mega Food Park has been set up in 79.42 acres of land at a project cost of Rs. 102.13 crore.

Tamil Nadu & Arunachal Pradesh integrated under One Nation One Ration Card Scheme

• Two more States, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh have been integrated with existing national portability cluster of 26 States and UTs under One Nation One Ration Card.

• With this, a total of 28 States and UTs are now seamlessly connected with each other under the ‘ One Nation One Ration Card plan’, which aims to provide an option to all NFSA beneficiaries.

• The beneficiaries of these states can lift their entitled foodgrains under NFSA from any ePoS enabled Fair Price Shop of their choice anywhere in the country, by using their existing/same ration card with Aadhaar authentication on ePoS device.

National Institute Of Naturopathy’s Tribal Unit set up in Pune

• A 20-bed tribal unit of the National Institute of Naturopathy was inaugurated in Pune’s Ambegaon tehsil by Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik. It would provide free clinical services to the tribal population in the area.

• A research unit on tribal practices for health maintenance had also been set up and it will be a “repository of knowledge and will work in areas of education, nutrition and health problems of the tribal population”.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020 comes into force

• As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the amended Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act came into force on 29 September 2020.

• The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020 amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

• As per the amended law, furnishing of Aadhaar numbers by office-bearers of NGOs has become mandatory for registration. The Act also provides for reduction in administrative expenses of any NGO receiving foreign funding, from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds to ensure spending on their main objectives.

International

US commits USD 1.9 mn to India to support informal sector workers

• The United States has announced a financial aid of USD 1.9 million for India to support vulnerable populations like informal sector workers whose livelihoods have been disrupted due to C-19.

• The fund will be extended by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to support efforts to rebuild local economies and improve the livelihoods of Indians who have been hit hardest by this pandemic.

Summits and Mou’s

India signs USD 90 million defence deal with US to buy spares for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft

• India and the United States have entered into a defence deal worth $90-million, wherein US would provide equipment, spare parts and logistical support for India’s fleet of C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft.

• As per the deal, the US will repair the C-130J Super Hercules to India, as well as supply spare part and ground support.

• India has also ordered an AN/ALR-56M advanced radar warning system, 10 lightweight night vision binoculars, 10-night vision glasses, GPS and electronic warfare to the US.

Awards

Founder of Sari Recycling Project Wins Goldman Sachs And Fortune Global Women Leaders Award

• Rayana Edwards, the South African who started a project to empower women to recycle saris into internationally-acclaimed fashion garments, has been named as a joint winner of this year’s Goldman Sachs and Fortune Global Women Leaders award(USD 25,000).

• The other winner was Emma Dicks, founder of CodeSpace Academy, a coding school.

Science and Technology

ICMR develops “Purified Antisera” as treatment

• The Indian Council of Medical Research has developed “Purified Antisera”. The antiserum has been obtained from animals. This is to be used as a prophylaxis and treatment for C-19.

• The new therapy works just like that of plasma therapy. But here the plasma is obtained from animals. Antiserum is blood-based serum that holds antibodies against viruses.

• In this new therapy, the serum is raised from horses that have recovered from viral infection and found to hold antibodies against the virus in their system.

Days

World Animal Day

• The World Animal Day is observed annually on October 4 since 1929.The day aims to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.

• It was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann and he organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd October 2020

National

World’s longest highway tunnel ‘Atal Tunnel’ to be opened by Prime Minister

•  Prime Minister of India will open World’s longest highway tunnel ‘Atal Tunnel’ on 3 October 2020.

•  This Tunnel is named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

•  This is 9.2 km long tunnel which is the longest highway tunnel in the world.

•  This tunnel is connecting Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year.

•  It reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

Tribes India E-Marketplace – India’s Largest Market of Tribal Products

•  Union Minister for Ministry of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda will launch – India’s Largest Market of Tribal Products named Tribes India E-Marketplace on 02 October 2020, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

•  This Tribes India e-Marketplace is an initiative of the government which aims to give platform for 5 lakh tribal producers for sourcing of various handicraft, handloom, organic food products across the country and brings the best of tribal produce.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches CSIR Technologies for rural development

•  The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched CSIR Technologies for rural development under a joint initiative of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) and Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA).

•  The initiative was launched during the celebrations of 40th foundation day of CSIR-NISTADS.

Banking and Economy

BRICS Bank approves loans for Mumbai Metro, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail

•  The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved loan for Mumbai metro and for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project.

•  $241 million loan for the Mumbai metro rail-II project will be used for implementing a metro rail line 6 with a length of 14.47 km in Mumbai

•  A loan of $500 million has been approved for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS project.

SBI signs MoU with HUL for an end to end digital solutions for ecosystem

•  India’s largest lender State Bank of India has entered into a partnership with FMCG major Hindustan Unilever to offer corporate solutions to its trade partners.

•  The partnership aims to make availing of credit easy for channel partners, provides UPI based payment solutions and PoS terminals to retailers & distributors

•  The objective of the partnership is to augment the width of credit and will be beginning a pilot in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Awards

Bengal Peerless ropes in former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly as brand ambassador

•  City based real estate developer Bengal Peerless Housing has roped in Sourav Ganguly as brand ambassador for the company.

•  The former national cricket team captain and current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Ganguly will primarily lead the campaign of the company’s residential project Avidipta II on EM Bypass.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat presents Swachh Bharat Awards 2020

•  The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria virtually conferred the Swachh Bharat 2020 Awards to the best performing States/UTs, districts, blocks, GPs in various categories on 2nd October 2020.

•  The Ministry of Jal Shakti is observing the Swachh Bharat Diwas, 2020 on 2nd October to mark six years of the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

•  The Swachh Bharat 2020 Awards were conferred under three categories which are:

 Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) campaign

 Samudayik Shauchalaya Abhiyan (SSA)

 Gandagi Se Mukt (GMB) campaign

Science and Technology

DRDO successfully test fires laser-guided anti-tank guided missile

•  The indigenously developed Laser Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by DRDO on 1st Oct 2020. It defeated a target located at longer range. The test was conducted from MBT Arjun at KK ranges (ACC&S) Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.

•  This Laser guided ATGM has been developed by Armament R&D Establishment (ARDE), Pune in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune and Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun.

•  It has a tandem HEAT warhead to destroy Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles in ranges from 1.5 to 5 km.The missile is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun.

Appointments and Resignations

Crown prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah becomes Kuwait’s new ruling emir

•  Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah became the oil-rich nation’s new ruling emir, after the death of his half-brother Sheikh Sabah al- AhmadAl- Sabah at the age of 91.

•  Sheikh Nawaf, 83, had served as the crown prince since 2006, jumping a traditional order of alternating rule between the Al Jaber and the Al Salim branches of the country’s ruling family.

RBI Approves Appointment of CoD to Run Dhanlaxmi Bank Till Appointment Of CEO

•  Dhanlaxmi Bank said that the RBI has approved a three-member interim committee of directors, to run the private sector bank after the shareholders voted out its MD and CEO Sunil Gurbaxani.

•  The committee of directors (CoD) will be constituted with G Subramonia Iyer as chairman and G Rajagopalan Nair and P K Vijayakumar as its members.

Apurva Chandra appointed as Secretary of Ministry of Labour & Employement

•  Apurva Chandra appointed as new secretary of Union Ministry of Labour & Employement.

•  Earlier he was serving as Special Director General, Defence Acquisition, Ministry of Defence.

•  He belongs to the 1988 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Maharashtra Cadre.

SBI appoints Charanjit Attra as CFO

•  The State Bank of India (SBI) has appointed Charanjit Singh Attra as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect from 01 October 2020.

•  The post was lying vacant after the former Deputy MD & CFO Prashant Kumar, was appointed as the CEO of Yes Bank in March 2020.

•  C Venkat Nageshwar was serving the post on interim capacity.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd October 2020

National

Government constitutes panel to screen China's foreign investment proposals

• The Indian government has set up a screening panel to vet all the Chinese foreign investment proposals and those which will be considered non-controversial could be approved.

• The screening panel has been headed by the home secretary and has the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary as a member. As per the senior official, more than 100 proposals involving the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China are pending.

• In April 2020, prior government clearance was made mandatory for FDI from the countries sharing a land border. The step was widely seen to be directed at curbing Chinese takeover of companies amid stock market volatility during the C-19 pandemic.

First VVIP aircraft 'Air India One' for PM, President, Vice President arrives

• The first of the two VVIP aircraft Air India One for President, Vice President, and Prime Minister arrived in India on October 1, 2020.

• The Special Extra Section Flight (SESF) aircraft for the country's VVIP arrived at Delhi's International Airport from the United States. A joint team of senior officers from Air India, VVIP security personnel and senior government officials had gone to the US to accept the delivery of the VVIP's flight Air India One.

• The Air India One is equipped with an advanced and secured communication system, which will enable availing audio and video communication functions mid-air without any worries of hacking or being taped.

• The VVIP aircraft B-777 will replace wide-body aircraft Boeing B-747 jumbo aircraft whose call sign is Air India One.

Banking and Economy

RBI Excludes 6 PSBs from Second Schedule of RBI Act

• The RBI has excluded six public sector banks, including OBC and Allahabad Bank, from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act following their merger with other banks.

• The six banks are Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), United Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, and Allahabad Bank.

• These six banks merged with other public sector banks (PSBs) with effect from April 1.There were as many as 27 PSBs in 2017.The total number of PSBs in the country has now come down to 12.

SBI Card joins hands with American Express to offer premium benefits, services

• SBI Card has joined hands with American Express to offer global benefits and exclusive privileges for consumers in India.

• Under this agreement, SBI Card’s top-end products SBI Card ELITE and SBI Card PRIME will be available on American Express’ global network.

• Customers will also get benefits like pre-ticketing access to sporting and entertainment events such as the Wimbledon and the US Open which are presently accessible virtually.

Summits and Mou’s

Gujarat inks MoU with Denmark in water sector

• The Government of Gujarat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Denmark in water sector.

• The MoU was signed through online interactive platform between the Gujarat government arm ‘Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board’ and ‘Deanish Water Forum’.

• The MoU will facilitate technology exchange, training, capacity building, knowledge exchange, cooperation in water supply, waste water treatment/reuse and water management.

Science and Technology

ISRO to launch its Venus Mission in 2025, France to take part

• ISRO is scheduled to launch its Venus mission in 2025 and France will participate in it.

• The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument co-developed with the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the LATMOS atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory attached to the French national scientific research centre CNRS has been selected by the ISRO after a request for proposals.

• CNES will coordinate and prepare the French contribution, the first time a French payload will be flown on an Indian exploration mission.

Sports

Kiren Rijiju launches new logo of Sports Authority of India

• Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju launched the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) new logo at Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

• The new logo signifies SAI’s journey of metamorphosis from identifying and nurturing grassroot level sporting talent to creating sporting excellence in the country.

Ranking

“Crimes in India” Report, Released by NCRB – Crimes against women increased by 7.3%

• National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data released the Crimes in India Report for the year of 2019.

• As per the Report, crimes against women increased by 7.3% between 2018 and 2019.

 Crimes against women: Assam

 Crimes against scheduled castes: Uttar Pradesh

 Crimes against girl children: Uttar Pradesh

 Highest number of dowry cases: Uttar Pradesh

 Highest number of acid attack: Uttar Pradesh

 Rapes against Dalit women: Rajasthan

Days

International Day of Non-Violence

• Every year, 02 October is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence, to mark the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

• This day is referred to as Gandhi Jayanti in India. On 15 June 2007 the United Nations General Assembly, voted to establish 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence.

• The day aims to “spread the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.

• The year 2020 marks 151th birth anniversary of the global peace icon who was born on 2 October 1869, in Porbandar in Gujarat.

World Vegetarian Day

• World Vegetarian Day is observed annually on October 1 globally to raise awareness about the ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.

• The day was initiated by the North American Vegetarian Society in Scotland in 1977 during the World Vegetarian Congress.

International Coffee Day

• International Coffee Day is celebrated on 1st October every year to celebrate millions of people across the world who do hard work to create and serve the beverage in the consumable form such as farmers, roasters, baristas, and coffee shop owners etc.

• The first ICD was launched in 2015 by the International Coffee Organization in Milan. The theme 2020 of the day is ‘‘Coffee’s Next Generation’’.

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Important Current Affairs 1st October 2020

National

Rajnath Singh launches Defence India Startup Challenge-4 to promote innovation in defence sector

• Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4) during the iDEX event. iDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines were also launched by the Raksha Mantri during the event.

• All these initiatives are aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem in the country.

• iDEX4Fauji is a first of its kind initiative, launched to support innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from soldiers/ field formations. iDEX4Fauji will allow our soldiers to become part of the innovation process and get recognised and rewarded.

International

India, Netherlands sign agreement to support decarbonisation

• NITI Aayog of India and the Embassy of the Netherlands in New Delhi have signed a Statement of Intent on  September 28, 2020 to support decarbonisation and energy transition agenda in order to accommodate cleaner energy.

• The main objective of the partnership is to co-create innovative technological solutions.

•  The SoI was signed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Ambassador of the Netherlands to India Marten van den Berg.

Banking and Economy

RBI sets WMA Limit for Govt at Rs 1,25,000 crore for the second half of FY21

• The Reserve Bank of India has set the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the second half of the financial year 2020-21 (October 2020 to March 2021) for Central Government at Rs. 1,25,000 crore.

• The Reserve Bank will trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilizes 75% of the WMA limit.

• The interest rate on WMA/overdraft will be:

WMA: Repo Rate

Overdraft: Two percent above the Repo Rate

Summits and Mou’s

Flipkart partners with Bajaj Allianz to offer cyber fraud insurance

• Keeping the upcoming festive season and growing online frauds in mind, Flipkart announced a partnership with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company to offer ‘Digital Suraksha Group Insurance for customers in the country.

• The “Digital Suraksha Group Insurance” policy will cover financial losses caused by various kinds of online frauds and cyber attacks that might occur during digital transactions.

• The customers can choose for a one-year cover at premiums as low as Rs 183 for a cover of Rs 50,000, Rs 312 for Rs 1 lakh, and Rs 561 for Rs 2 lakh for a 12-months tenure, with covers also extending up to Rs 10 lakh.

BSE joins hands with Yes Bank to empower SMEs

• Leading stock exchange BSE said it has signed a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank to empower the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) listed on the platform.

• The pact aims at empowering the SME segment through awareness and knowledge-sharing programmes.

• As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), BSE and Yes Bank will conduct knowledge events for SMEs, export promotion of SMEs, in addition to providing banking and financial solutions.

Awards

Sonu Sood honoured with SDA Special Humanitarian Action Award by UNDP

• The veteran actor Sonu Sood has been conferred the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 28 September 2020 during a virtual ceremony.

• The actor has been awarded for selflessly extending a helping hand and sending home lakhs of migrants, helping thousands of stranded students across geographies abroad, providing free education and medical facilities to young children and creating free employment opportunities to the needy in the wake of the C-19 pandemic.

Science and Technology

India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

• India successfully test-fired the extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on September 30, 2020. The BrahMos missile is capable of hitting targets at over 400 kilometre range.

• DRDO Chairman Dr. G Satheesh Reddy said that the successful test will lead to adding more indigenous content to the supersonic cruise missile. The BrahMos can be launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.

• The test-firing was carried out under the PJ-10 project of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile was launched with an indigenous booster from a land-based facility in Odisha.

• This is the second test-firing of the extended range version of the missile that has an indigenously developed airframe and booster. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been developed as a joint venture between the DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).

Obituary

‘I Am Woman’ Singer Helen Reddy passes away

• Singer Helen Reddy, whose 1972 song ‘I Am Woman’ became a global feminist anthem, died in Los Angeles aged 78.

• Helen Reddy’s 1971 version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No. 1.

• In 1973, she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for “I Am Woman,” quickly thanking her then-husband and others in her acceptance speech.

Veteran lyricist songwriter Abhilash passes away

• Veteran songwriter Abhilash, who is best known for the song ‘Itni Shakti Hame Dena Daata’ from the 1986 film Ankush, has passed away. He was 74.

• His real name was Om Prakash. His song ‘Itni Shakti Hame Dena Daata’ has been translated into eight languages and is played as a prayer song across schools and other institutions even today.

Appointments and Resignations

Shekhar Kapur appointed president of FTII Society & chairman of FTII Governing Council

• Noted Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has been named as the President of Film and Television Institute of India, FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council of FTII.

• He has a vast experience, will add more value to the Institute, will replace television producer BP Singh.

Ranking

Mukesh Ambani tops Hurun India Rich List for ninth consecutive year

• The Reliance Industries’ Chairman, and Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has topped the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2020 for the ninth consecutive year.

• He has a total net worth of Rs 6,58,400 crore.

• London-based Hinduja brothers (SP Hinduja, along with his three brothers) is at second position with combined net worth of Rs 1,43,700 crore followed by HCL’s Shiv Nadar at third spot with net worth of Rs 1,41,700 crore.

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Important Current Affairs 30th September 2020

National

Ministry of Home Affairs approves 3 more NIA branches at Chennai, Ranchi & Imphal

• The Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) has approved to set up 3 additional branches of National Investigation Agency (NIA) at Chennai, Ranchi and Imphal.

• The move is expected to ensure quick response to any emergency situation arising in these three states.It will also strengthen NIA’s capability to interrogate terrorism-related cases and other matters related to National Security.

• Presently, there are 9 branches of National Investigation Agency (NIA) which are located at:

1. Guwahati

2.  Jammu

3.  Mumbai

4. Kolkata

5. Kochi

6. Hyderabad

7. Raipur

8. Lucknow

9. Chandigarh

World’s longest span concrete deck extra-dosed cable stayed bridge inaugurated in Hyderabad

• Union MoS for Home G Kishan Reddy and Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao inaugurated the World’s longest span concrete deck extra-dosed cable-stayed bridge at Durgam Cheruvu of Hyderabad.

• The bridge was constructed at the cost of Rs 184 crore and it was built by Larsen & Toubro.

• The cable-stayed bridge portion is 435 m long, including the approaches at both ends, 25.8 m wide with a total of 52 stay cables.

International

India signs MoU with Denmark on Intellectual Property cooperation

• To further the objectives of National IPR Policy and become a major player in global innovation, India entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Denmark in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) Cooperation.

• The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public, authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions of both countries.

Banking and Economy

RBI approves 3-member committee of directors for Lakshmi Vilas Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India has appointed a 3-member Committee of Directors (CoD) to look after the affairs of Lakshmi Vilas Bank. This comes after, RBI had earlier removed seven directors of the board of LVB.

• The three members are- Meeta Makhan, Shakti Sinha, and Satish Kumar Kalra. Meeta Makhan is the head of this Committee of Directors (CoD).

Awards

Usha Mangeshkar gets Lata Mangeshkar award

• Maharashtra government announced the Lata Mangeshkar Award for 2020-21 to veteran singer Usha Mangeshkar.

• The award has been constituted for the felicitation of senior vocal artistes and their contribution. The award carries a cash prize of Rs five lakh and a citation.

Appointments and Resignations

Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela appointed TRAI chairman

• Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela was on Monday appointed as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), according to a Personnel Ministry order.

• Vaghela, a 1986-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, is currently Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals. He will succeed R S Sharma.

ITBP chief S S Deswal given additional charge of NSG DG

• ITBP Director General, S S Deswal has been given the additional charge of counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) as its incumbent chief A K Singh is going to retire on September 30.

•  This is the second time that Deswal, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer, has been directed to lead the NSG in an additional capacity.

Days

International Translation Day

• Every year, the International Translation Day is marked on 30 September. The International Federation of Translators (FIT) organise the day ever since it was set up in 1953.

• The day aims to celebrate the work of language translation professionals which facilitates dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.

• 2020 theme: Finding the words for a world in crisis.

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

• International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction is observed globally on 29th September. This year is the first-ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

• It also comes during the global C-19 pandemic, that has brought about a global wake-up on the need to transform and rebalance the way our food is produced and consumed.

• The theme for International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction 2020 is “Stop food loss and waste. For the people. For the planet.”

Books and Authors

‘A bouquet of flowers’ authored by Dr. Krishna Saksena launched by Rajnath Singh

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched a book titled ‘A bouquet of flowers’ written by Dr. Krishna Saksena.

• Dr. Krishna Saksena is the first lady to get a PhD, in 1955 from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

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Important Current Affairs 29th September 2020

National

Defence Minister unveils Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020 in New Delhi on September 28, 2020. The Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 will be applicable with effect from October 1, 2020.

• The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was first promulgated in 2002. Since then, the procedure has been revised periodically to provide a boost to the growing domestic industry and achieve enhanced self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

• The Defence Minister had approved the constitution of the Main Review Committee under Chairmanship of DG (Acquisition) Apurva Chandra in August 2019 for preparation of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

ICMR Vaccine web portal & C-19 National Clinical Registry launched

• The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the first-of-its-kind national vaccine portal for C-19 on 28 September 2020, created by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

• The vaccine web portal will act as a repository for all information related to C-19 vaccine development in India and abroad. Currently, 3 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India for C-19.

• The portal will also provide information related to C-19 vaccine data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).You can access the website at https://vaccine.icmr.org.in/.

Banking and Economy

SBI Card launches new brand campaign ‘Contactless Connections’

• SBI Card announced the launch of its new brand campaign, Contactless Connections that spreads the message that love and care can be shared even during this difficult period where social distancing is the norm.

• The campaign endeavours to bring a fresh breath of positivity by demonstrating that people can connect emotionally and spread joy despite the social distancing practices by which we are bound.

Awards

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sanju Yadav win AIFF Player of the Year Awards for 2019-20 season

• Indian men’s team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and women’s squad’s mid-fielder Sanju were declared the winners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Footballer of the Year awards for the 2019-20 season.

• This is the first time Gurpreet has received the award, and in the process, he became the second goalkeeper after Subrata Paul in 2009 to be named the AIFF Player of the Year.

• Meanwhile, national women’s team mid-fielder Sanju was selected the winner after an excellent season, while Ratanbala Devi won the 2019-20 Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year Award.

Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma Conferred Srimanta Sankaradeva Award

• Assam’s Srimanta Sankaradeva Award 2017 was conferred on eminent Vaishnavite scholar, writer and ‘Satradhikar of Barpeta’ Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma.

• The award carries a citation, a ‘sarai’ (traditional Assamese bell metal item), ‘angabastra’ (scarf), a gold memento and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.

Science and Technology

India’s first RRTS train with design speed of 180 kmph unveiled

• The Centre on Friday unveiled the first look of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train that can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor.

• The design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple and is aligned with PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ policy.

Appointments and Resignations

Mali’s Former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane appointed as new Prime Minister

• The interim President of Mali, Bah Ndaw, has named former Malian Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the prime minister West African nation.

• The 64-year-old served as foreign minister between 2004 and 2011 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency.

Days

World Heart Day

• World Heart Day is observed on 29th September annually to draw people’s attention to heart illness and the range of associated health issues.

• The day which is celebrated annually creates awareness of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including heart disease & stroke and highlights the preventive and control measures.

•  The theme for World Heart Day 2020: “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

• The International Day for the Universal Access to Information (commonly known as Access to Information Day) is held on 28 September ever year. Theme 2020: Access to Information – Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!

• Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information for healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

• Initially the day was designated by the UNESCO in November 2015 and was first held on 28 September 2016.It was later proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly.

Books and Authors

‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ for Kids by Neelakantan

• “Baahubali” series author Anand Neelakantan has written his debut book in the children’s space which tells some of the most hilarious stories about child asuras and their antics.

• The book titled ‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ has full-colour illustrations accompanying the narrative. It was put by Puffin.

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