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Important Current Affairs 13th November 2020

National

Finance Minister announces Economic Stimulus Package 4.0

• The Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman announced the Economic Stimulus Package 4.0.

• Production Linked Incentive Scheme for 10 sectors. Rs 1.46 trillion to be provided.

• Rs 6,940 crore scheme to promote manufacture of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients).

• Rs 18,000 crores allocated to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). The implementation of the programme will generate 7.8 million jobs.

Operation Green Scheme: Centre announces 50 percent subsidy for air transportation of fruits, vegetables

• The central government on November 11, 2020 announced a new scheme- Operation Green- under which a 50 percent subsidy will be provided to the Himalayan and North-Eastern states for air transportation of 41 notified fruits and vegetables to any place in the country.

• Under the scheme, the airlines will provide direct air transport subsidy to the supplier, consignor, consignee or agent by charging only 50 percent of the actual contracted freight charges. The balance 50 percent will be claimed by the airlines as subsidy from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s projects India GDP for 2020 at -8.9%; 2021 forecast at 8.6%

• Rating Agency Moody has projected the GDP of India at -8.9% for the calendar year 2020. Earlier this was projected at -9.6%.

• Apart from this, India’s GDP growth for Calendar year 2021 is projected at 8.6% by Moody’s from 8.1% earlier.

Paytm launches “Payout Links” for small businesses

• Paytm has launched “Payout Links” for businesses, enabling them to instantly process payouts to customers, employees and vendors, without collecting their bank details.

• It is aimed at helping small businesses in sectors like gaming, retail, export, manufacturing and e-commerce.

HDFC Bank Launches SmartHub Merchant Solutions 3.0 for SMEs

• The private sector lender HDFC Bank has launched SmartHub Merchant Solutions 3.0, India’s first comprehensive banking and payment solution for merchants.

• The new solution will allow merchants and self-employed professionals to instantly open a current account and start accepting payments in-store, online, and on-the-go.

• SmartHub 3.0 will be available in app based, web based and a range of PoS devices.

Acquisitions and Mergers

TCS to acquire Deutsche’s Postbank Systems AG

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced an agreement under which the company will acquire 100% of the shares of Postbank Systems AG (PBS) from Deutsche Bank AG.

• PBS has close to 1,500 employees and post the acquisition, they will become a part of TCS. The acquisition is expected to finalise by year end.

• The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and governmental approvals.

Appointments and Resignations

Kash Patel named Chief of Staff to acting US Defence Secretary

• Indian-American Kash Patel has been named as the Chief of Staff to the Acting US Defence Secretary Chris Miller. The new appointment comes a day after Donald Trump fired Defence Secretary Mark Esper and designated Chris Miller, as the Acting Secretary.

• Kash Patel, currently on the National Security Council staff. He replaces Jen Stewart, who resigned earlier in the day.

Days

World Kindness Day

• World Kindness Day is held globally on 13 November to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.

• The theme for 2020 World Kindness day is Kindness: The World We Make – Inspire Kindness.

• World Kindness Day was first celebrated in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement.

Books and Authors

Maharashtra Governor releases a book ‘Majhi Bhint’

• Maharashtra Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari has released the book ‘Majhi Bhint’ (My Wall) authored by former Maharashtra Minister of Education Rajendra Darda at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.

• The book is a compilation of selected Facebook posts of Rajendra Darda pertaining to a range of issues written over the last four years.

Nepal President unveils pictorial anthology on Mahatma Gandhi

• A pictorial anthology on Mahatma Gandhi in the Nepali language was released by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to mark his 151st birth anniversary and bring the Nepalese youth closer to the revered global peace icon.

• The book titled Maile Bujheko Gandhi or the Gandhi as I understood, was released at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Kathmandu in the presence of Ambassador of India to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

• The book has been published by the Embassy of India along with the B P Koirala India-Nepal Foundation to “cherish the values of the Mahatma’s universal teachings with our Nepali friends.

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Important Current Affairs 12th November 2020

National

Digital/Online media now under govt regulation

• Digital/Online media has been brought under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

• Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.

• The 2nd Schedule of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 has been amended to include following entries viz. Films and Audio-Visual programmes, News and current affairs content.

Government scales up goal of PM-KUSUM scheme to 30.8 GW of solar capacity by 2022

• The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued an order to scale-up and expand Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme.

• According to the new order by the Ministry, the target of the scheme now is to achieve an enhanced solar capacity of 30.8 GW (gigawatt) by the year 2022. For the target to be achieved, the central financial support has also been revised to Rs. 34,035 crores.

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had earlier in February 2019 the launch of PM-KUSUM Scheme and aimed at providing water and financial security to the Indian farmers. At that time, the scheme had the aim of adding a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022 and the total financial support to be provided was Rs. 34,422 crores.

Union Cabinet approves PLI scheme for ten key sectors to boost manufacturing

• The Union Cabinet on November 11, 2020, approved the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for ten major sectors including pharmaceutical drugs, auto components, and automobiles for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and export.

• The financial outlay approved by the government for the 10 sectors over a period of 5 years is worth nearly Rs. 2 lakh crores.

• The Union Minister, Prakash Javadekar also informed that the Production Linked Incentive Scheme will also help in creating jobs. He also added that manufacturing is 16% of GDP and it needs to increase.

India’s first solar-based water supply project launched in Arunachal Pradesh

• India’s first solar-based Integrated Multi-Village Water Supply Project (IMVWSP) was dedicated to the people of Arunachal Pradesh by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

• The solar-based lift water supply project for 39 villages in Lower Dibang Valley district in northeastern Arunachal Pradesh was commissioned at a cost of Rs 28.50 crore.

• The project is designed to provide drinking water to 17,480 people and has been conceived as an integrated project with an element of drinking water, green energy and tourism component in it.

• He also launched the “Arunachal Jal Sankalp“, a state government dedicated flagship programme to supplement the Jal Jeevan Mission and to sustain the drinking water systems.

Banking and Economy

RBI to evaluate impact of ‘RBI Kehta Hai’ campaign

• The Reserve Bank of India will evaluate the impact of multi-media public awareness campaign ‘RBI Kehta Hai’, which was launched in 14 languages to educate the public about safe banking and financial practices.

• ‘RBI Kehta Hai’ was the first even 360-degree campaign initiated by the central bank using all mass media, including media such as television, radio, newspapers, hoardings, web banners, gifs, social media and SMS.

Awards

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu presents 2nd National Water Awards

• The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu presented the National Water Awards (NWAs) for 2019 on 11 November 2020. This is the second edition of the award.

• The award ceremony has been organised by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is from 11 & 12 November, 2020 through virtual platform.

• Among the states category, Tamil Nadu bagged the Best State Award, followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

• The NWA awards are given to motivate the individuals/organizations to adopt the best usage practices in the field of water resources conservation and management and create awareness among the people about importance of water.

Ruskin Bond conferred with Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement Award

• Ruskin Bond, one of India’s most cherished authors, has been conferred the 11th Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020, to recognise his very long literary life of almost seventy years.

• Apart from this, renowned poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar has been named as the Poet Laureate of the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2020.

Indian Astronomers collaborate with 2020 Nobel Physics Nobel Laureate for Thirty Meter Telescope Project

• Indian astronomers have collaborated with the 2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Andrea Ghez for the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

• The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is a proposed extremely large telescope (ELT) which is planned to be installed at Maunakea on the island of Hawaii.

• The TMT project is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India, to revolutionize the understanding of the universe and the enigmas in it.

China’s Chen Meng claims ITTF Women’s World Cup title

• The world number one Chen Meng beat Chinese compatriot Sun Yingsha to win her maiden International Table Tennis Federation(ITTF) Women’s World Cup table tennis title in held in Weihai, China.

• The 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup was the 24th edition of the ITTF-sanctioned event.

Obituary

Bahrain PM Sheikh Khalifa dies at 84

• The Prime Minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Khalifa passed away on November 11, 2020. He was 84. Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa was the world's longest-serving Prime Minister.

• Prince Khalifa took over the post of Bahrain’s Prime Minister since its independence in 1971.

Days

Public Service Broadcasting Day

• Public Service Broadcasting Day is celebrated every year on November 12 to commemorate the first and only visit of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, to the studio of All India Radio, Delhi in 1947.

• Mahatma Gandhi addressed the displaced people (refugee from Pakistan), who had temporarily settled at Kurukshetra in Haryana after partition.

World Pneumonia Day

• World Pneumonia Day is observed globally on 12th November every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness, promote prevention and treatment and produce action to combat the disease.

• The day was celebrated on November 12 in 2009 by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia.

Books and Authors

Thavaasmi book launched by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

• Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu has launched the book titled “Thavaasmi: Life and Skills through the lens of Ramayana”.

•  The book was authored by Rallabandi Srirama Chakradhar and co-author by Amara Sarada Deepthi.

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Important Current Affairs 11th November 2020

National

Prime Minister addressed at the 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State

• The 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State was held on November 10, 2020, in Video Conference Format.

• The Meeting was chaired by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led the Indian delegation.

• All SCO Member States were represented by their Presidents, while India and Pakistan were represented at the level of Prime Minister.

• The Secretary General of the SCO Secretariat, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, the Presidents of the four Observers (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia) of the SCO also attended the meeting.

• This was the third meeting that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.

• India will host the next regular Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government on November 30, 2020 in virtual format.

Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to inaugurate 13th Urban Mobility India Conference 2020

• The 13th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 09 November 2020.  It was inaugurated by Shri Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (IC) Housing and Urban Affairs.

• The day-long Conference was held via Video Conference on the theme “Emerging Trends in Urban Mobility”.

• The conference focused on innovative measures taken at national and international level to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic to provide accessible and convenient transport to the people.

• The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, had issued the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 (NUTP) to ensure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for the growing number of city residents to jobs, education, recreation and such other needs within our cities.

Obituary

‘Scooby-Doo’ Co-creator Ken Spears passes away

• American television editor, writer, and producer Ken Spears, who co-created the beloved animated series “Scooby-Doo” has passed away. He was 82.

• Ken was also the co-founder of television animation production company, Ruby-Spears Productions, along with the late Joe Ruby.

• Together, Spears and Ruby created Scooby-Doo, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, and Jabberjaw, among other programs.

Sports

Mumbai Indians wins IPL 2020 trophy

• Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals in the final of Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 to lift their fifth IPL trophy.

• Rohit Sharma adjudged Game Changer of the Match in the final of IPL 2020.

• Trent Boult named the Player of the Match in the final of IPL 2020.

• Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul bags the Orange Cap.

• Game Changer of the Season: KL Rahul.

• Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada wins the Purple Cap.

• Emerging Player of the season: Devdutt Padikkal (RCB).

• Rajasthan Royals speedster Jofra Archer emerges as the Most Valuable Player.

Appointments and Resignations

Former chief secretary MM Kutty to be chairperson of CAQM

• Former Chief Secretary of Delhi, M.M. Kutty was appointed as the chairperson of Commission for Air Quality Management(CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.

• The CAQM was formed on October 28 after dissolving several pollution-monitoring bodies, including most prominently the 22-year-old, Environment Pollution Prevention & Control Authority (EPCA) that has so far addressed air pollution in the Delhi NCR.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) director Akshay Kumar Singh appointed as new MD & CEO of Petronet LNG

• Akshay Kumar Singh, the Indian Oil Corp (IOC) director-pipelines, has been appointed as the new managing director and chief executive of Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest gas importer.

• Singh replaces Prabhat Singh who completed his five-year term on September 13, 2020.

• Petronet is a joint venture of IOC, GAIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and BPCL.

Days

National Education Day

• In India, the National Education Day is celebrated on 11 November every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India.

• The day was announced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on 11 September 2008.

• Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served as education minister from 15 August 1947 to 2 February 1958.

World Science Day for Peace and Development

• World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated each year on November 10 every year. This day is celebrated to highlight the important role that science play in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.

• This year World Science Day for Peace and Development theme is “Science for and with Society”.

• This year the focus of World Science Day is on “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.”

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Important Current Affairs 10th November 2020

NATIONAL

Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival to be celebrated virtually

• Nagaland govt decides to celebrate Hornbill Festival virtually this year, amid the surge in C-19 cases in the country. This festival is also called the Festival of Festivals. It is held every year from December 1 to 10, showcases the culture, heritage, food and customs of Naga tribes.

• 16 tribes come together to celebrate their traditions with dance performances. Tourists from across the globe attend the 10-day gala.

Pakke Tiger Reserve provide C-19 Insurance to Green Soldiers

• Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Arunachal Pradesh has become the first in the eight-State northeast to provide insurance cover against C-19 for “green soldiers”. Eight-State northeast includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

• 57 frontline staff (referred to as green soldiers) of the Park have been insured for nine months against health issues due to the infection by the C-19. The forest guards are rightly the green soldiers in the frontline of India’s wildlife, and the onus of wildlife conservation pretty much falls on them.

FASTags mandatory for all four-wheelers from January 1, 2021

• The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification that FASTags will become mandatory for all four-wheelers, including old vehicles, from January 1, 2021. For this government has made an amendment in FORM 51 (certificate of Insurance), wherein the details of FASTag ID shall be captured. This shall be applicable w.e.f. April 1, 2021.

• Government has amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 to make FASTag mandatory for registration of new four-wheeled vehicles, including for those sold before December 1, 2017.

• FASTag would be supplied by the vehicle manufacturers or their dealers during registration.

• Apart from this, a valid FASTag will also be mandatory while getting new third party insurance. The initiative aims to promote electronic toll collection and ensure that payment of fees is done at toll plazas through the electronic means only so that the vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas.

SPORTS

Russian Daniil Medvedev wins Paris Master 2020

• Russian, Daniil Medvedev has won Paris Master 2020 title in tennis, when he beat Alexander Zverev 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 in Paris. He became the fourth Russian to capture the Rolex Paris Masters title.

• The World No. 5 earned his first service break at 4-4 in the second set and charged to the title from that point by winning eight of the final nine games. Medvedev joins countrymen Marat Safin, Nikolay Davydenko and Karen Khachanov on the Paris honour roll.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Indian diplomat Vidisha Maitra elected to UN advisory committee

• Indian diplomat, Vidisha Maitra has been elected to the UN’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The election was a tightly contested one but Maitra won with 126 UN members supporting her candidature for the only post for the Asia-Pacific group while 64 voted for the opposing candidate who was from Iraq.

• India has been a member of the committee since its inception in 1946.  India’s win in this committee comes as India also prepares to take a seat as one of 10 non-permanent members in the UN Security Council for a two year period starting 1 January 2021.

West Indies Great Michael Holding Appointed MCC Foundation Patron

• Former West Indies fast bowler, Michael Holding has been appointed as a new patron of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Foundation. The 66-year-old Holding is a passionate advocate for equality in cricket and the wider community. The MCC Foundation is the charitable arm of the Marylebone Cricket Club, custodian of the game’s laws, and was created with the aim of enhancing lives through cricket.

• Last month, actor, mental health advocate and cricket-lover Stephen Fry had joined the Foundation as a patron. The pair join the list which includes Claire Taylor, Mike Brearley, Mike Atherton, Mike Gatting.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Malayalam author S Hareesh wins the JCB Prize for Literature

• Malayalam author, S Hareesh has won the JCB Prize for Literature 2020 for his novel Moustache. It has been translated into English by Jayasree Kalathil & published by HarperCollins India.

• The JCB Prize for Literature is regarded as the richest literary prize in India. As per the norm, the Malayalam author will receive a Rs 25 lakh cash prize and the translator will receive an additional Rs 10 lakh.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Anupam Kher’s new book titled ‘Your Best Day Is Today!’

• Actor Anupam Kher’s latest book is titled “Your Best Day Is Today!”. He had announced the book, in which he experiences during the C-19-induced countrywide C-19. Through this book, Kher will recount his experiences during the C-19, several ups and downs, including the time when his mother Dulari and brother Raju Kher had contracted the virus.

• His previous books are his biography Lessons Life Taught Me Unknowingly & The Best Thing About You is You. He is also a recipient of two National Film Awards.

Ex-SPG officer pens novel “Rasaathi” on transgenders

• Ex-SPG officer, Sasindran Kallinkeel’s has penned a novel named “Rasaathi: The Other Side of a Transgender”. The main character in the novel, published by BookMitra, is a transgender named Rasaathi born in a well-to-do family in South India.

• Rasaathi, meaning princess, is in the late 40s who wants people to treat transgenders like human beings by showering love, affection, sympathy and recognise their pathetic and horrible life.

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Important Current Affairs 9th November 2020

NATIONAL

NGT bans sale and use of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

• The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region from 9 November to 30 November. The ban will be applicable in cities and towns where the air quality is in the “poor” category.

• NGT further added that in cities or towns where the air quality is “moderate” or below, only green firecrackers will be sold and the time duration of bursting them will be restricted to two hours during festivals such as Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve as may be specified by the state. Currently, the state governments have their own set of guidelines with regard to permitting/banning the sale and use of firecrackers during the festive season.

Kerala launches “Parivarthanam” scheme for better livelihood of fisherfolk

• The government of Kerala has launched a pioneering eco-sustainable programme called ‘Parivarthanam’, to improve the livelihood of the fishing community. The scheme aims at improving the livelihood skills of youngsters along the coastline and also enable socio-economic uplift of the fishermen community.

• Parivarthanam, which means change, will be headed by Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC).

• The scheme will promote the processing and marketing of clean fish and its fresh products.

• Parivarthanam will also guarantee a fixed price to fish-catchers as fair compensation.

• It would also provide jobs to college dropouts and migrant workforce returning home due to C-19.

• Apart from this, the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) of Union governments will monitor the procurement and processing of fish besides ensuring its quality.

1st solar-based water supply project of India launched in Arunachal Pradesh

• Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has launched India’s first solar-based Integrated Multi-Village Water Supply Project (IMVWSP) in Arunachal Pradesh. The solar-based lift water supply project is ‘first of its kind’ in the country, and has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 28.50 crore. However, such projects will be carried out in other parts of the country too.

• The project would provide drinking water to 17,480 people in 39 villages of Lower Dibang Valley district in Arunachal Pradesh.

• The solar-based Integrated Multi-Village Water Supply Project has been designed as an integrated project with three components, which are drinking water, green energy and tourism.

• The project uses a green energy-solar grid, SCADA automation system, pre-fabricated zinc alum storage tank and HDPE conduit for mains, sub-mains and distribution networking system. The project also includes amusement park including swimming pool, amphitheatre, fountains, and sit-outs.

AIM and Sirius jointly launch ‘AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’

• The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative by the NITI Aayog, and Russia’s Sirius (Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station) have jointly launched ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’. AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0 is a 14-day virtual programme for Indian and Russian schoolchildren.

• It is the first Indo-Russian bilateral youth innovation initiative, which seeks to develop technological solutions, both web-based and mobile-based, for the two countries.

• During the event, around 48 students and 16 educators and mentors will create 8 virtual products and mobile applications to address global challenges across a wide range of areas, in the wake of the C-19 pandemic.

• These areas include culture, distance education, applied cognitive science, health and well-being, sports, fitness, and games training, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and digital financial assets.

PM Modi: Shipping ministry to be renamed

• The Ministry of Shipping is being expanded and renamed as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. This information was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November 2020, during a launch event of Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flagging off the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat, which will reduce the 370-km road distance between the two places to 90-km by sea route.

• The service will also cut the travel time between the two places to about four hours from 10 to 12 hours. The ferry will make three trips daily, annually transporting five lakh passengers, 80,000 passenger vehicles, 50,000 two-wheelers and 30,000 trucks, as per the release.

OBITUARY

Filmmaker Sudarshan Rattan passes away

• Bollywood filmmaker Sudarshan Rattan passed away due to C-19. He was known for his 1986 film Manav Hatya, starring Madhuri Dixit and Shekhar Suman.

• Apart from this, the late filmmaker had also written, directed and produced the 1996 action drama film Hahakaar, starring Sudhir Pandey, Shafi Inamdar, Neelima Azeem and Johny Lever among others.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Legal Services Day: 09 November

• In India, 09 November is celebrated as “National Legal Services Day” every year by all Legal Services Authorities, to commemorate the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987.

• The Day is celebrated to make people aware of the various provisions under the Legal Services Authorities Act and the right of the litigants. The aim of celebrating this day is to offer free of charge, proficient and legal services to the people belonging to weaker sections of society. It also seeks to make sure the availability of free services to weaker section people as well as making them conscious about their rights.

• On 11 October 1987, the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 was enacted, while the act took effect on 9 November 1995. The day was started by the Supreme Court of India in 1995 to provide help and support to poor and weaker sections of the society. It was established with a mandate to offer help and support to a weaker and poor group of sections of people which may be women, disabled persons, Scheduled Tribes (STs), children, Scheduled Castes (SCs), human trafficking victims as well as natural calamities victims.

International Day of Radiology: 08 November

• International Day of Radiology is observed globally on 8th November every year. The day is celebrated to promote the awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving public understanding of the vital role radiologists and radiographers play in the healthcare continuum.

• In 2020, the International Day of Radiology will therefore be dedicated to all imaging professionals and their essential role in fighting the C-19 pandemic making an indispensable contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of C-19 patients. The motto of International Day of Radiology 2020: ‘Radiologists and radiographers supporting patients during C-19’.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Vidya Balan’s short film ‘Natkhat’ eligible for Oscar nomination

• The Indian film ‘Natkhat’, starring and co-produced by Vidya Balan, has won the top prize at the third edition of Best Of India Short Film Festival 2020. By winning the festival, the film has become eligible for 2021 Oscar qualification. The film has been directed by Shaan Vyas and co-produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Vidya Balan.

• The film also won cash prize money of $2,500 (approximately Rs 1,85,497) and an opportunity for a television broadcast deal on ShortsTV. The Best of India Festival has been established by ShortsTV since 2018 to honour and recognize the exceptional work of the Indian (India) filmmaker.

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Important Current Affairs 8th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Joe Biden wins the US presidential election

• Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th U.S. president. Biden will become the oldest president-elect in U.S. history and the first to oust a sitting commander-in-chief after one term since Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992. Biden’s electoral college vote to 290, surpassing the 270 needed to win the White House. Biden’s running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, becomes the first Black and Indian-American woman to serve as vice president.

• Biden Jr. was born November 20, 1942, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania. A member of the Democratic Party, Biden previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 and United States Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

NATIONAL

India-Italy Virtual Bilateral Summit 2020

• The Bilateral Summit between India and Italy was held virtually on 6th November 2020. The Summit was attended by the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Italy Prof. Giuseppe Conte. The two leaders reviewed the broad framework of the bilateral relationship and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against common global challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

• A wide range of issues was discussed including political, economic, scientific & technological, space and defence cooperation. 15 MoUs/Agreements were signed during the Summit in various sectors such as energy, fisheries, shipbuilding, design etc.

ISRO launches PSLV C49 with 10 satellites

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)  has launched the 51st mission of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This is the first mission by ISRO in 2020. The carrier vehicle PSLV C49 will deliver 10 satellites in all with EOS-01 as the primary one. It is the 51st mission of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The carrier was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

• The EOS-01, an earth observation satellite, was intended to provide agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. The nine customer satellites are from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4). The customer satellites were being launched under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), department of space.Two-day joint coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ begins

• A two-day joint coastal security exercise, “Sagar Kavach” was launched at Paradip Coast, Odisha. The exercise is being carried out by a joint effort of the state of Odisha and West Bengal governments.

• The main purpose of the exercise is to carry out the exercise on the coast of Paradip this year, just like every year after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The exercise is being carried out to prevent a repeat of the Mumbai attacks by sea.

• More than 10 such departments, including the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, the

Odisha Police, the local fishermen, the forest department, and the port marine department, have joined the joint exercise.

It will run for two days, with red and green forces being formed to infiltrate and prevent attacks. This year for coastal security the exercise was named “Sagar Kavach”.

PM Modi Chairs Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR) 2020

• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR) 2020 Conference, aimed at attracting investment in the country. It provided a platform for exclusive dialogue between leading global institutional investors, Indian business leaders and the highest decision-makers from the government of India and financial market regulators. The Indian side included business leaders, financial market regulators, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI governor Shaktikanta Das.

• The conference focused on discussions around India’s economic and investment outlook, structural reforms and the government’s vision for making the country a $5 trillion economy.

• The Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR) was organised by the Ministry of Finance and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

• The roundtable witnessed participation from 20 of the world’s largest pension and sovereign wealth funds with total assets under management of about USD 6 trillion.

• These global institutional investors represent key regions including the US, Europe, Canada, Korea, Japan, Middle East, Australia, and Singapore.

Manipur’s Gyanendro Ningombam becomes new president of Hockey India

• Manipur’s Gyanendro Ningombam was elected unopposed as the President of Hockey India, while former President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad is back in the Hockey India Executive Board after being Elected Unopposed for the Senior Vice President post.

• Earlier, Gyanendro Ningombam has been serving as the Officiating President of Hockey India since July 2020.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Dharmendra Pradhan co-chairs 4th Meeting of the OPEC-India Dialogue

• The 4th High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-India Dialogue was hosted by the OPEC Secretariat. The Meeting was co-chaired by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel.

• Key matters discussed at the meeting included rapidly changing global energy landscape, overcoming energy challenges, global oil price mechanisms, measures being taken by OPEC and its partners for balancing oil markets, and on ensuring oil supply security for India.

• This was the first time that the meeting of this Institutional Dialogue was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

• The virtual meeting was joined by OPEC Member countries, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India and CMD & MDs of India’s oil and gas industry from both the public and the private sector.

• The first such dialogue was held in 2015. It was informed that the next High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-India Dialogue will be held in 2021, and if possible in person, in New Delhi.

Whatsapp Partners with 5 Banks for UPI Payment

• WhatsApp has partnered with five Indian banks to process its payment services. These are State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Jio Payments Bank. The Facebook-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp Inc., has received the approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based payments services in India, to let users send or receive money across the country.

• The service can however be expanded in a graded manner. It means that initially, Whatsapp can only roll out the payments service to only its 20 million users. The payment system will be rolled out in ten Indian regional languages in the latest version of WhatsApp app.

AAI Signs MoU With NTPC Subsidiary, NVVN

• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), to promote usage of electric vehicles and set up solar power plants at the airports managed and operated by AAI.

• NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) will be provided adequate land and rooftop space by AAI, free of cost, at identified AAI airports to set up solar power plants.

• Initially, NVVN will begin working on the projects at airports in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

• The solar capacity required at airports in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan is around 55 MW and 8 MW, respectively to become 100% solar-powered airports.

• Apart from this, AAI and NVVN will jointly work towards supporting the government of India’s initiatives for the adoption of electric vehicles by the creation of public charging infrastructure and promoting the usage of electric vehicles at airports.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SEBI increases Overseas Investment limits for Mutual Funds

• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has enhanced the investment limits for Mutual Fund companies for overseas investments. Mutual Funds can make overseas investments subject to a maximum of US $ 600 million per Mutual Fund, within the overall industry limit of US $ 7 billion. Earlier it was USD 300 million.

• Mutual Funds can make investments in overseas Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) subject to a maximum of US $ 200 million per Mutual Fund, within the overall industry limit of US $ 1 billion. Earlier it was Rs 50 million.

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Important Current Affairs 7th November 2020

NATIONAL

Two-day joint coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ begins

• A two-day joint coastal security exercise, “Sagar Kavach” was launched at Paradip Coast, Odisha. The exercise is being carried out by a joint effort of the state of Odisha and West Bengal governments.

• The main purpose of the exercise is to carry out the exercise on the coast of Paradip this year, just like every year after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The exercise is being carried out to prevent a repeat of the Mumbai attacks by sea.

• More than 10 such departments, including the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, the Odisha Police, the local fishermen, the forest department, and the port marine department, have joined the joint exercise.

• It will run for two days, with red and green forces being formed to infiltrate and prevent attacks. This year for coastal security the exercise was named “Sagar Kavach”.

India’s special forces conducted ‘Bull Strike’ triservice exercise

• Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) has conducted a three-day Tri-Service Combat Exercise code-named “Bull Strike” at Teressa Island in Nicobar Group of Islands. The exercise focussed on interoperability and synergy among three services – Army, Navy and Air Force to maximise combat potential.

• The exercise saw participation from three services components of ANC, elements of Indian Army’s Parachute Brigade, MARCOS (Marine Commando Force) and Special Forces.

• The training activities included combat free fall and paradrop from Advanced Airlifter C-130J “Super Hercules” by a company of Para Commandos, action by MARCOS of Indian Navy and Special Heli Borne Operations (SHBO) by Indian Army Ghatak platoons.

• Search and rescue (SAR) and medical evacuation procedures were also practised by the participating troops.

Centre forms committee to assess existing TRP system of TV channels

• The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has constituted a four-member committee, to assess the existing Television Rating Points (TRP) of TV channels. The committee will be chaired by Prasar Bharati CEO, Shashi S Vempati.

• The committee will be responsible to address the ‘needs of the stakeholders’ and make necessary recommendations for a rating system which shall be ‘robust, transparent and accountable’.

• It will have to submit its report to the Information and Broadcasting minister within two months.

• The need to form such committee was felt after the alleged TRP scam in which it was alleged that certain TV channels manipulated TRPs in return for payment.

• TRP is calculated in India by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) using a device called Bar-O-Meter, which is installed in over 45,000 households across the country.

• The device collects data about a programme or channel watched by members of these households on the basis of which weekly ratings are issued by BARC.

DMC launched "Plastic Lao MASK LE JAO" initiative

• In Uttarakhand, Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) has launched an initiative named Plastic Lao MASK LE JAO to fight against the menace of plastic waste and contain the spread of C-19.

• It has distributed Five thousand face masks in exchange for plastic waste.

• Municipal commissioner of Dehradun, Vinay Shankar Pandey, who was the first to bring plastic waste from his house and get a face mask, and create awareness in the public against plastic waste and also the importance of masks.

India receives 2nd batch of Three Rafale Aircraft

• India receives the second batch of three Rafale Aircraft, bringing total Rafale Jets with IAF to eight.

• The second batch of three Rafale jets landed in Jamnagar, Gujarat on 4th November 2020, after flying non-stop from France.

• Earlier, the first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 28 and they were officially inducted in the Indian Air Force on 10 September at Ambala Air Base in Haryana.

• With the arrival of the second batch, the IAF now has a total of eight Rafale fighter aircraft. As per the information by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, the induction of all 36 jets will be completed by 2023.

Chacha Chaudhary becomes the Brand Ambassador for NamamiGange Project

• The iconic Indian superhero, Chacha Chaudhary, whose brain works faster than a computer has now come forward to join hands with the NamamiGangeProgramme.

• Diamond Toons will conceptualize and publish this new ‘Talking Comics’ with Chacha Chaudhary spreading awareness on the cultural and spiritual significance of River Ganga and deploy best available knowledge across the masses for Ganga rejuvenation. The teaser was released during Ganga Utsav 2020.

Syska Group announces Rajkummar Rao as its new brand ambassador

• Fast Moving Electrical Goods (FMEG) company Syska Group, has roped in actor Rajkummar Rao as the new face of the brand.

• Rao will work closely with the company to promote the Syska products across LED and fan segments.

• The partnership will also see Syska Group launch a new ad campaign with Rajkummar focusing on LED and fans.

• The company aims to leverage the actors strong connect with urban audiences, as well as with those from Tier 2 and 3 markets, which make up the large segment of its target groups.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

NDDB Chairman Dilip Rath elected to IDF

• National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman, Dilip Rath has been unanimously elected to the board of global dairy body International Dairy Federation (IDF).

• He has been associated with IDF for the last 10 years as Member Secretary of Indian National Committee and as a member of the Standing Committee on Dairy Policy and Economics.

• Rath has played a key role in signing the Dairy Declaration at the IDF World Dairy Summit in Rotterdam in October 2016 between IDF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

• India ranks first among the world’s milk-producing nations and has the largest bovine population in the world.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Cancer Awareness Day 2020

• The National Cancer Awareness Day is observed annually in India on November 7, to spread awareness on cancer, its symptoms and treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.

• In 2018, approximately 18 million cases were there globally, of which, 1.5 million were in India alone. In 2018, there were around 0.8 million cancer deaths in India against 9.5 million globally.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Shaktikanta Das Chairs 40th SAARC Central Bank Governors Meet

• The 40th Meeting of the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Group was held virtually, under the Chairmanship of Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, RBI.

• The meeting was attended by the Governors from SAARC central banks. During the meeting, Mr Das also inaugurated the SAARCFINANCE Sync, a closed user group secure communication network.

• In his opening remarks, Governor Shri Das highlighted the close partnership and co-operation among the member countries in jointly fighting the pandemic.

• The group took stock of the macroeconomic situation in the SAARC region; discussed the current SAARCFINANCE initiatives; and the way ahead.

• The Governors reaffirmed their commitment to continued co-operation and sharing of central bank experiences.

• SAARCFINANCE is a network of central bank governors and finance secretaries of the SAARC region.

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the current chair of SAARCFINANCE.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Hariharan wins JC Daniel award for lifetime contributions in Malayalam cinema

• Noted filmmaker Hariharan has been selected for the JC Daniel Award, the state government’s highest honour for lifetime contributions to Malayalam cinema.

• The award carries a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a citation, and a sculpture. Hariharan was chosen for the prestigious award by a jury chaired by MT Vasudevan Nair with director Harikumar, actor Vidhubala, State Chalachitra Academy chairman Kamal and Cultural Department Secretary Rani George as members.

• Hariharan, who initially skilled with cinematographer U Rajagopal in Madras, later assisted administrators M Krishnan Nair, AB Raj, and JD Thottanm for seven years. In 1972 he directed the film ‘Girls Hostel’. Later he got here up with a few of the evergreen films in Malayalam.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

WhatsApp's payments service gets NPCI nod

• The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has finally allowed Facebook-owned messaging platform "WhatsApp" to roll out its payments service in the country in a “graded” manner.

• The announcement by NPCI came after the organisation made a crucial change to its regulations concerning the use of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

• The change puts a limit on single third parties such as WhatsApp or its rivals Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe where they can only handle 30 per cent of overall UPI transaction volumes.

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Important Current Affairs 6th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

United States Formally Exits Paris Climate Accord

• The United States has officially withdrawn from the Paris climate accord on 04 November 2020. With this, the US has now become the only country to formally pull out of the deal since it was adopted in 2015.

• The landmark Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015 to protect the planet from the worsening impacts of the climate crisis. As per the rules of the agreement, a country cannot officially leave before one full year of notifying the UN of its intent to withdraw. The United States notified the United Nations of its withdrawal on November 4, 2019.

Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli wins second term

• The President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli has been sworn for a second five-year term. He took the oath of the office on 05 November 2020.

• Magufuli won 84% of the total votes in elections held on October 28. He was elected as the fifth President of Tanzania and is in office since 2015. CHADEMA party candidate Tundu Lissu took the second position.

NATIONAL

Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurates “Tourist Facilitation Centre” in Kerala

• Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel virtually inaugurated the “Tourist Facilitation Centre” facility at Guruvayur, in Kerala.

• The facility has been constructed under the project “Development of Guruvayur, Kerala” under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism, at the cost of Rs. 11.57 Crores.

• The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) were launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15.

• The objective of PRASHAD scheme is integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.

• It includes infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last-mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport, area Lighting and illumination with renewable sources of energy, parking, drinking water, toilets, cloakroom, waiting rooms, first aid centres, craft bazaars /haats/ souvenir shops/ cafeteria, rain shelters, Telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.

Indian Army chief made honorary General of Nepal Army

• The Chief of Army Staff General, MM Naravane was conferred the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. He was honoured at a special ceremony at the President's official residence 'Shital Niwas' in Kathmandu, Nepal.

• The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other senior officials of both the countries.

• The practice follows a seven-decade-old tradition of conferring Army Chiefs of each other's country with the honorary title.

• Commander-in-Chief General KM Cariappa was the first Indian Army Chief to be decorated with the title in 1950.

• In January last year, Chief of Nepali Army, General Purna Chandra Thapa, was also made the honorary General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in New Delhi.

OBITUARY

Kannada actor HG Somashekar Rao passes away

• Veteran Kannada theatre and film actor, HG Somashekar Rao passed away. He had appeared in more than 60 movies during his career spanning about five decades.

• He made his big-screen debut with 1975 Kannada film Geejagana Goodu. Apart from this, HG Somashekar Rao was also a published author. He has written 25 books, including an autobiography.

Bollywood Actor Faraaz Khan passes away

• Bollywood actor Faraaz Khan passed away. He had acted in several popular Bollywood films in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

• Some of them include Mehndi (1998), Fareb (1996), Dulhan Banoo Main Teri (1999) and Chand Bujh Gaya (2005) among others.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

AK Gupta becomes new MD and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL)

• AK Gupta, the new Managing Director and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) took charge. Before this, he was Director (Operations) of the company.

• Gupta was also the Head of New businesses in Marketing in ONGC and Head Business development in ONGC Videsh, both for the domestic and international markets.

• He has handled commercial negotiations with alliance partners, regulators, customers and National Oil Companies.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

• The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is an international day observed annually on November 6. On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

• At the time of war, it affects the ecosystem such as water supply is poisoned, the forest is burnt, animals killed, etc. Though humanity has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage.

World Tsunami Awareness Day: 5 November 2020

• World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November. The day is celebrated to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.

• In 2020, World Tsunami Awareness Day encourages the development of national and community-level, local disaster risk reduction strategies to save more lives against disasters. This year’s observance promotes "Sendai Seven Campaign,” target.

• In December 2015, the UN General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day, calling on countries, international bodies and civil society to raise tsunami awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction.

• World Tsunami Awareness Day was the brainchild of Japan, which due to its repeated, bitter experience has over the years built up major expertise in areas such as tsunami early warning, public action and building back better after a disaster to reduce future impacts.

• UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) facilitates the observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day in collaboration with the rest of the United Nations system.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘Till We Win’: Book on C-19 by AIIMS Director

• A new book titled “Till We Win” by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and two other doctors will give a definitive account of India’s fight against C-19 and how to deal with the pandemic in the days to come.

• The book has been co-written by leading public policy and health systems expert Chandrakant Lahariya and renowned vaccine researcher and virologist Gagandeep Kang.

• The book deals with the “realization of inner strength and unity” amongst people of all walks of life in a country known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. It will hit the stands this month and published by Penguin Random House India.

• The book delves into how learnings from C-19 pandemic can be used to strengthen the Indian health system, for better, forever. It is up to all of us to convert the challenge posed by pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen health systems.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank launched ‘Mine’ a comprehensive banking programme

• Private lender ICICI Bank has launched a comprehensive banking programme for its millennial customers, (in the age bracket of 18 years to 35 years ), called ‘ICICI Bank Mine’. The ‘ICICI Bank Mine’ is India’s first and unique product launched by the bank to offer a mobile-first, highly personalised and experiential led banking experience to the millennial customers.

• Governor of RBI Shaktikanta Das Chairs 40th SAARC Central Bank Governors Meet.

• The 40th Meeting of the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Group was held virtually, under the Chairmanship of Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, RBI. The meeting was attended by the Governors from SAARC central banks. During the meeting, Mr Das also inaugurated the SAARCFINANCE Sync, a closed user group secure communication network.

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Important Current Affairs 5th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara wins 3rd term

• The incumbent President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, has won a third 5-year term in a landslide victory, gaining more than 94 per cent of the votes polled.

• The 78-year-old, Mr Ouattara was first sworn in as the president in 2010 and then re-elected in 2015. Apart from this, he has also served as the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993.

Sarbananda Sonowal lays foundation stone of Indo-Israeli CoE

• The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal has laid the foundation stone of Indo-Israeli Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Vegetables Protected Cultivation at Khetri on the outskirts of The Indo-Israeli Centre of Excellence for Vegetables Protected Cultivation is estimated to be set up at an investment of Rs 10.33 Crore.

• The CoE will provide exposure to the latest Israeli technologies to the farmers of Assam and help them in maximizing their production and income. It would also boost agricultural and horticultural production in Assam leading to greater economic rewards to state’s farmers.

NATIONAL

NMCG organises three-day virtual 'Ganga Utsav 2020'

• Ganga Utsav-2020 has been organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) jointly with the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The three-day-long Ganga Utsav-2020 has been organised from 02 to 04 November 2020, virtually amidst C-19 precautions.

• The annual event is organised to spread awareness about river Ganga and the need to keep the river clean and rejuvenated. The 2020 edition marks the 12th anniversary of Ganga being accorded the status of National River, on 4th November 2008.

India-US-Japan-Australia kick-starts Malabar Naval Exercise-2020

• The Navies of India, the US, Japan and Australia began the four-day-long phase first of the Malabar naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal.

• From the Indian side, destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, off-shore patrol vessel Sukanya, fleet support ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj will be part of the drill. US Navy Ship USS John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), Australian Navy Ship HMAS Ballarat (long-range frigate) and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Ship JS Onami (destroyer) are participating along with Indian Navy units.

• The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the exercise in

Indian Naval Ship ‘Airavat’ reaches Port Sudan under ‘Mission Sagar-II’

• As a part of Mission Sagar-II, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Airavat has reached Sudan with 100 tonnes of food aid. Under Mission Sagar-II, INS Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea amid the C-19 pandemic.

• The government of India has launched this initiative to provide assistance to friendly foreign countries to overcome natural calamities and C-19 pandemic.

• Mission Sagar-II follows the Mission Sagar-I, which was undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India provided food and medicines to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros.

• It is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her maritime neighbours and further strengthens the existing bond.

SPORTS

West Indies batsman M. Samuels retires from all forms of cricket

• West Indies batsman, Marlon Samuels has announced his retirement from professional cricket.

• The 39-year-old had informed Cricket West Indies (CWI) about his retirement in June this year, having last played for his country in December 2018 against Bangladesh.

• He has played 71 Tests, 207 ODIs, and 67 T20s at the international level, has scored 11,134 international runs including 17 centuries across all formats. He also has 152 international wickets to his name.

Obituary

Violin Maestro, Padma Awardee TN Krishnan passes away

• Noted violin maestro and Padma awardee, TN Krishnan passed away. His full name was Tripunithura Narayanaiyer Krishnan.

• He was born on 6 October 1928, in Tripunithura, Kerala and later around 1942, he settled in Chennai. He was conferred with many prestigious awards such as the Padma Shri (1973), the Padma Bhushan (1992) and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1974) among others.

6th & shortest served CM of Bihar Satish Prasad Singh passes away

• Former Chief Minister and Socialist of Bihar, Satish Prasad Singh passed away. He was born on January 1, 1936, in Korchakka(now known as Satish Nagar) Village, Khagaria district, Bihar.

• Satish Prasad Singh, the leader of Soshit Samaj Dal became the 6th and the shortest- served CM of Bihar for 5 days(28 January to February 1, 1968) with the support of Indian National Congress(INC).

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India successfully test-fires enhanced version of PINAKA rocket system

• The enhanced version of PINAKA rocket system was successfully flight tested by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. This enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets. While Mk-1 had a range of 40 km, the new variant can hit a target 45 to 60 km away.

• The design and development of Pinaka were done by DRDO laboratories based in Pune, namely Armament Research and Development Establishment, ARDE and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, HEMRL.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Tsunami Awareness Day: 5 November

• World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November. The day is celebrated to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.

• In 2020, World Tsunami Awareness Day encourages the development of national and community-level, local disaster risk reduction strategies to save more lives against disasters. This year’s observance promotes “Sendai Seven Campaign,” target.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB approves USD 132.8 mn loan to improve power distribution in Meghalaya

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 132.8 million loan to Meghalaya, to improve and upgrade the power distribution network in the state. The fund will help in improving the distribution system & financial sustainability of the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL).

• The MePDCL has a huge outstanding against the power purchased from central power generating stations and to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). The loan will support in clearing the power outstanding dues.

• The project will construct 23 substations; renovate and modernize 45 substations, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems; install and upgrade 2,214 kilometres of distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of the six circles in the state.

• It will replace antiquated electromechanical meters with smart meters, which will benefit about 180,000 households.

• The project will help develop a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL). These road maps will strengthen the capacity of MePDCL to operate and manage the distribution networks.

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Important Current Affairs 4th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Portugal’s Duarte Pacheco elected as President of IPU for 2020-23

• Portugal MP, Duarte Pacheco has won the elections for the post the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The term of the Duarte Pacheco will be from 2020-2023. He will be the 30th President of the IPU and will succeed Mexican MP Gabriela Cuevas Barron who completed the tenure in October 2020.

• Candidates from four countries were in the race for elections. The other three participants were Pakistan’s Muhammad Sanjrani, Uzbekistan’s Akmal Saidov and Canada’s Pakistani origin Salma Ataullahjan.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan becomes first Indian-origin minister of New Zealand

• Indian-origin New Zealand politician, Priyanca Radhakrishnan has created history by becoming the first Indian-Kiwi woman to become a minister in New Zealand. Radhakrishnan was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

• The 41-year-old was one of five new ministers inducted into the Cabinet. She was appointed as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet.

NATIONAL

CJI inaugurates e-resource centre, virtual court in Nagpur

• The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court, jointly inaugurated India’s first-ever E-resource centre and the virtual court called “Nyay Kaushal” at Judicial Officers Training Institute in Nagpur.

• The Nyay Kaushal will facilitate electronic-filling of cases in the Supreme Court, any High Court as well as district courts across the country to enable speedy justice for litigants, by utilising technology. The virtual court will be working from Katol in Nagpur district of Maharashtra.

India’s 1st solar-powered miniature train launched in Kerala

• India’s first of its kind solar energy-driven miniature train was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village, Kerala by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

• The train, which would be an attraction for children especially, was part of a string of projects totally worth Rs 60 crore taken up to elevate the facilities at the panoramic destination to international standards.

AAI hands over Lucknow airport to Adani group

• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has handed over the Lucknow airport to the Adani group on lease for a period of 50 years.

• Apart from this, the Adani group has taken over/will take over operations of 5 more airports. In February 2019, the Central Govt had privatised six major airports of the country namely Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati.

• The right to run all these 6 airports has been won by Adani Group for 50 years.

• Adani group has taken over the operations of Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram in September 2020, Mangaluru on October 31, 2020, Lucknow on November 02, 2020, and will take on the operations of Ahmedabad Airport on November 11, 2020.

SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2020 at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari race track, Italy.

• This was his 9th win of the season and 93rd F1 win of his career. Valtteri Bottas finished second while Daniel Ricciardo finished third. Mercedes won the seventh consecutive constructors’ title for 2020.

Shane Watson retires from all forms of cricket

• Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

• The 39-year-old will hang up his boots after an illustrious career during which he won two ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups and two ICC Champions Trophy titles.

• He played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is.

OBITUARY

James Bond actor Sean Connery passes away

• The Scottish actor, best known for his portrayal of James Bond, Sean Connery passed away.

• Scottish movie legend Connery, who shot to international stardom as the suave and sophisticated British agent James Bond and went on to grace the silver screen for four decades. Connery will be remembered first as British agent 007.

Filmmaker-actor Ashish Kakkad passes away

• Noted actor, filmmaker and voiceover artiste, Ashish Kakkad, has passed away. He was one of the most prominent artists from the Gujarati film industry. As a filmmaker, Ashish was known for his Gujarati projects namely Better Half (2010) and Mission Mummy (2016).

• As an actor, he was seen in several Hindi films such as Kai Po Che! in 2013, and psychological thriller ‘Beyond Blue: An Unnerving Tale of a Demented Mind’ in 2015, including other Gujarati films.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

IISc and Indian Oil R&D inks MoU for hydrogen-generation technology

• The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Research and Development Centre of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) have signed an MoU to develop and demonstrate biomass gasification-based hydrogen generation technology. This technology will be used for producing fuel cell-grade hydrogen at an affordable price.

• The IISc and IndianOil will work jointly on the optimisation of both biomass gasification and hydrogen purification processes, The developed technology will be scaled up and demonstrated at IndianOils R&D Centre at Faridabad, Haryana.

• Hydrogen generated from this demonstration plant will be used to power fuel cell buses.

• This initiative to produce fuel cell grade hydrogen from biomass is another step by IndianOil jointly with IISc to bring hydrogen fuel to the major energy matrix of India while using the agricultural forces of India.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled “Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy” by T. Bandyopadhyay

• Tamal Bandyopadhyay has authored a book titled “Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy” and will be released on November 09, 2020. This book, published by Roli Books, provides an understanding of the challenges and economic potential of India.

• The book “Pandemonium” accounts how many promoters had swapped equity with debt while the managements of the banks were finding a way to protect their balance sheets until the intervention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) against their bad loans.

• The Same issue trouble also affected the developing non-banking financial companies of India who were quick to identify the post-demonetisation easy liquidity and the reluctance of banks to lend which promoted them to borrow short to lend long.

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