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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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Important Current Affairs 3rd November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

IBM, Indian Oil Corporation collaborate for digital services

• Tech giant IBM stated it has collaborated with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) to transform the latter’s customer experience using digital tools. Around 12,400 IOCL distributors covering about 130 million consumers can now use the IndianOil One mobile app and portal, developed by IBM Services. The IndianOil One mobile app and portal are part of Indian Oil’s Project ePIC, an integrated platform for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Distribution Management System (DMS).

• This platform ensures real-time updates to inventory, orders, and invoices, thereby reducing the time to order fulfilment. Indian Oil can respond more quickly to customer service requests, including grievances using the platform. The platform also presents a unified customer experience across various access devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.

NATIONAL

India-Pak border to light up with 8000MW renewable park

• India’s border areas with Pakistan in Rajasthan would soon be illuminated with renewable energy. The state government will soon ink an MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to establish Ultra Mega Renewal Energy Power Park.

• The park to be set up near borders areas will be of 8,000 megawatts (MW) capacity, which will comprise 4,310 MW of wind energy; 3,760 MW of solar energy and 120 MW of power from biomass. Currently, Rajasthan’s solar generation capacity is 4,883 MW.

• The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) would be signing a separate MoU with the NTPC and the SECI to materialise the GoI Mega Power Park project. Rajasthan has over 1000 kilometre-long international border which is currently supplied power through traditional methods. The Rajasthan government had also approved a proposal for setting up solar power parks to generate 10,000 MW green energy with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore. The state has given nod to the proposal of Adani Green Energy Limited to set up solar power parks at five locations and a solar panel manufacturing unit which will generate around 7,500 direct and indirect jobs.

India’s first ‘tyre park’ to come up in West Bengal

• In West Bengal, Kolkata will soon feature India’s first “Tyre Park”, where artworks made from scrap and defective parts will be on display. The West Bengal Transport Corporation will launch this Tyre Park.

• The Tyre Park, which will come up at the Esplanade area, would have a small cafe where people can sit, relax and enjoy the craftsmanship made from tyres. No scrap material can be labelled as waste, it can be reused and converted into an art form. Scrap tyres, lying as waste in various bus depots, have been reworked and converted to colourful shapes by the in-house team of WBTC.

Indian Railways launches ‘Meri Saheli’ initiative for security of women

• The Indian Railways has introduced a new initiative called “Meri Saheli” to provide safety and security to women passengers during their train journeys. The Meri Saheli initiative has been launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways.

PM Modi inaugurates ‘Arogya Van’ in Gujarat’s Narmada district

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Arogya Van’ in the Narmada district of Gujarat. PM Modi was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Governor Acharya Devvrat. PM also inaugurated Arogya Kutir, Ekta Mall, and Children Nutrition Park.

SPORTS

Indian boxers Amit Panghal wins gold at the Alexis Vastine International

• Indian boxers Amit Panghal, Sanjeet and Ashish Kumar have won gold medals at the recently concluded Alexis Valentine International Boxing Tournament held in Nantes, France. The tournament was the first international event that Indian boxers were a part of since the c -19.

• Amit Panghal, the silver medalist at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in the 52 kg-weight categories, overcame the challenge from American boxer Rene Abraham.

• Sanjeet was up against France’s Soheb Bouafia in the 91 kg final bout and produced a clinical performance to win the top honours.

• In the 75 kg weight category, Indian boxer Ashish Kumar won the gold medal after his opponent from the USA, Joseph Gerome Hiks, gave him a walkover due to injury.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India Successfully test fires BrahMos Missile from Sukhoi 30 MKI

• The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test-fired an air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi fighter aircraft in the Bay of Bengal. The aircraft took off from an airbase in Punjab & reached the Bay of Bengal after mid-air refuelling.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

PVG Menon appoints as CEO of Electronics Sector Skill Council of India

• The Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI) announced the appointment of PVG Menon as its chief executive officer. Menon will be responsible for overseeing the operations of ESSCI and work closely with its governing Council on strategic issues related to the growth of the electronic systems design and manufacturing (ESDM) industry in India.

• ESSCI works with industry, the National Skill Development Corporation, and the Ministry of Electronics and IT to provide both skilling and re-skilling services to the industry.

Rajiv Jalota becomes new chairman of Mumbai Port Trust

• Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, Rajiv Jalota has been appointed as the chairman of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The appointment committee of the Union cabinet issued the order for the central deputation. The post of MbPT chairman was vacant after former chairman Sanjay Bhatia retired on July 31 and was appointed as Lokayukta of Maharashtra.

• Jalota, who is the first Goods and Services Tax (GST) commissioner of Maharashtra, is currently the additional chief secretary in the higher and technical education department of the state government. He first served as sales tax commissioner and then as GST commissioner from January 2015 to January 2020.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia selected for Ezhuthachan Puraskaram 2020

• Noted Malayalam writer, Paul Zacharia has been selected for this year’s Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the Kerala government’s highest literary honour. Zacharia was chosen for his contribution to Malayalam literature during the past five decades.

• A five-member jury, headed by Kerala Sahitya Akademi President Vyshakhan, selected him for the award. ‘Salam America’, ‘Oridath, ‘Aarkkariyam’, ‘Bhaskara patelarum ente jeevithavum’ are among his various literary works. Zacharia also won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979 and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 2004.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI imposes monetary penalty on DCB Bank for rule violations

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed monetary penalty on DCB Bank and Jio Payments Bank for various rule violations. The central bank has imposed a penalty of Rs 22 lakh on DCB Bank for non-compliance with certain provisions on marketing/distribution of mutual fund/insurance etc. The penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

• In the case of Jio Payments Bank, the RBI imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore for non-compliance with RBI directions on timely submission of application in the case of reappointment of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer under Section 35B of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act).

ICICI Lombard, FreePaycard to offer health insurance solutions

• ICICI Lombard in partnership with Freepaycard, an online pre-paid card trading platform, has launched Group Safeguard Insurance. This strategic partnership will make the bite-sized health insurance solutions, designed specifically for Freepaycardmembers, available at its multi-category partner retail outlets. Freepaycard members can add these health solutions on the go while shopping for other essential goods or services.

• The plan will be offered to the members of Freepaycard, allowing them to receive an assured amount in case of any injury or hospitalization for treatment. The insurance offering is a customized hospitalization product that comes in three variants – Hospital Daily Cash Benefit, Death Benefit, and Special Vector-borne Disease-related Hospitalization Benefit.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd November 2020

NATIONAL

Harsh Vardhan launches SERB-POWER schemes to support women scientists

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

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

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

1. SERB – POWER Fellowship

2. SERB – POWER Research Grants

1. SERB – POWER Research Grants

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

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

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

2. SERB – POWER Fellowship

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

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

• Research grant of Rs.10 Lakh per annum.

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

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

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

PM Modi launches India’s first seaplane service in Gujarat

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

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

SPORTS

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

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

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

OBITUARY

Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz passes away

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

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

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

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

World Vegan Day: 01 November

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 1st November 2020

OBITUARY

Former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel passes away

• Former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai Savdasbhai Patel passed away. He had served as the Chief Minister of the state for a few months in 1995 and then from March 1998 to October of 2001.

• He was a six-time member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly and was a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) till 2012.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Cities Day: 31 October

• The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day. The Day is celebrated to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

• 2020 Theme: Valuing Our Communities and Cities

National Unity Day: 31 October

• In India, the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day is observed every year on October 31 since 2014, to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This year marks the 145th anniversary of the great leader who played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence, and later during the integration of the country.

• He was born on 31st October 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat.

• He was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of independent India.

• He played an important role in the integration of many Indian princely states to make an Indian federation.

International Internet Day 2020

• International Internet Day is observed on 29th October every year. It aims to honour a momentous day in the history of telecommunications and technology. This day also highlights the sending of the 1st electronic message which was conveyed from one computer to another computer in the year 1969.

• Charley Kline who was a student programmer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he discovered the transmission of first-ever electronic message in the world ‘LO’ on 29th October 1969.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Om Puri awarded Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously at IIFFB 2020

• Late Indian actor, Om Puri was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the third edition of the India International Film Festival of Boston (IIFFB 2020). The award was received by his wife Nandita Puri. The three-day film festival, based in Boston USA. Another highlight of the festival was a conversation with chef Vikas Khanna, recipient of the “Pride of India Award”.

• Malayalam film “Kaanthi” bagged the Best Feature Film Award, while the Best Male Actor was won by Victor Banerjee for playing a priest in Josef: Born In Grace. The Best Female Actor went to Shylaja Ambu for Kaanthi at the Boston festival.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

World’s first scientoon book “Bye Bye Covid-19” by Anandiben Patel

• World’s 1st scientoon book entitled “Bye Bye Covid-19”, was released by Anandiben Patel, Governor, Uttar Pradesh. The book was written by ‘scientoonist’ Dr Pradeep Srivastava, former Senior Principal Scientist at CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. It is further planned to make a 3D version of the book. The book has been published by Vigyan Prasar.

• The 220 pages book contains comprehensive information on novel Covid-19 pandemic, its symptoms and its prevention through precautions.

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Important Current Affairs 31st October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

India extends $1 bn credit line to Central Asian countries

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

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

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

NATIONAL

Telangana CM Chandrasekhar Rao launches ‘Dharani’ Portal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Army launches indigenous mobile application SAI

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS

Plastic Premier League tournament to be played in Indore

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA’s SOFIA discovers water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

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

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

OBITUARY

Award-winning author and editor Daniel Menaker passes away

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

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

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India hosts 19th Meeting of SCO Ministers of Foreign Economy

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

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

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

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

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

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

14th Asian Film Awards 2020 announced

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

14th Asian Film Awards Winners List:

Award

Name Winner

Best Actor

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

Best Actress

Zhou Dongyu – Better Days (China)

Best Cinematography

Dong Jinsong – The Wild Goose Lake

Best Costume Designer

Pacharin Surawatanapongs– Happy Old Year

Best Director

Wang Xiaoshuai for So Long, My Son (China)

Best Editing

Yang Jin-mo – Parasite

Best Film

Parasite (South Korea)

Best Newcomer

Jackson Yee – Better Days

Best New Director

Hikari – 37 Seconds

Best Supporting Actor

Ryo Kase – To the Ends of the Earth

Best Supporting Actress

Ko Shu-chin – A Sun

Best Screenplay

Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won – Parasite

Best Original Music

Karsh Kale, The Salvage Audio Collective – Gully Boy

Best Production Design

Ha-jun Lee – Parasite

Best Visual Effects

Tomi Kijo, Renovatio Pictures – Detention

Best Sound

Yoshifumi Kureishi – Listen to the Universe

Anzar Mustaeen Ali wins special prize in Global Art Competition

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 30th October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Japan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050

• Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga has stated that the country will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Prime Minister stated he intends to make a sustainable economy a pillar of his growth strategy and put maximum effort into achieving a green society.

• Suga emphasized the need to shift away from fossil fuels to counter climate change as an opportunity rather than a burden. As per Japan’s current energy plan, 56 per cent of its energy requirements come from fossil fuels.

NATIONAL

BharatPe launches digital gold on its platform

• A leading merchant payment network, BharatPe has announced the launch of digital gold on its platform. The launch of this new category of fintech product is in line with the company’s commitment to offering the entire gamut of financial products to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

• BharatPe’s merchants will be able to buy and sell 99.5 per cent pure 24-carat gold. Merchants can choose to buy in rupees or grams, any time of the day and from anywhere, by using the BharatPe app.

• To facilitate this, BharatPe has also partnered with Safegold, a digital platform that allows customers to buy, sell and receive vaulted gold.

• SafeGold has appointed IDBI Trusteeship Services to protect the interest of merchants with regard to their gold purchases.

PM Modi Inaugurates 4th edition of India Energy Forum

• PM Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 4th India Energy Forum by CERAWeek organised by HIS Markit.

• The theme of this edition is "India's Energy Future in a World of Change". India is the third-largest and the fastest-growing aviation market in terms of domestic aviation and Indian carriers are projected to increase their fleet size from 600 to 1200 by 2024.

• According to PM, India’s Energy Plan aims to ensure energy justice while fully following India’s global commitments for sustainable growth.

• This means more energy is needed to improve the lives of Indians with a smaller carbon footprint. He envisioned India’s energy sector to be growth-centric, industry-friendly and environmentally conscious.

Kerala becomes the first state to fix floor price for vegetables

• Kerala becomes the first state in the country to fix the floor price for vegetables.

• The floor price will be 20 per cent above the production cost of the vegetable. Even if the market price goes below the floor price, the product will be procured at the floor price from the farmers.

• This is the first time in the country that the floor price is being fixed for vegetables produced in the state.

Odisha CM launches 'Sumangal' & Student Scholarship web portals

• Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik has launched two web portals named 'Odisha State Scholarship Portal' and 'Sumangal Portal'.

• The former portal is to help eligible students of the state to avail scholarship benefits in a seamless and transparent manner, while the latter one is to help people avail inter-caste marriage incentives.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Yashvardhan K. Sinha appointed as new Chief Information Commissioner

• Government of India has approved the name of Former Foreign Service officer, Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha as the new Chief Information Commissioner. He was already the Information Commissioner and was also the most senior. The post of CIC chairman had been vacant for several months after Bimal Zulka retired.

• A Marathi journalist, Uday Mahurkar has been selected for the post of Information Commissioner. Uday Mahurkar worked as a deputy editor in India Today Group and is considered close to the Sangh Parivar. Uday Mahurkar has also written a book on Prime Minister Modi titled “Merging with a Billion” and “Center Stage: Inside Narendra Modi”.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Microsoft & NSDC tie-up to empower 1 lakh women with digital skills

• Microsoft has collaborated with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to impart digital skills to more than one lakh underserved women in India over the next ten months. This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country.

• The programme will curate a series of live training sessions and digital skilling drives to help create opportunities for young girls and women, particularly first-time job seekers and those whose jobs may have been impacted by C-19, to join the future workforce.

India Post, US Postal Service sign pact for electronic exchange of customs

• Indian Posts & US Postal Service entered into an agreement for the electronic exchange of customs data related to postal shipments. It will enable to transmit & receive electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival.

• The agreement will make it possible to transmit and receive electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival at the destination and would enable customs clearance of postal items in advance in line with the evolving global postal framework.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Dr Satish Mishra bags "Dr Tulsi Das Chugh Award-2020

• The National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) has selected the Principal Scientist, Division of Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, (CSIR-CDRI)-Lucknow, Dr Satish Mishra for "Dr.Tulsi Das Chugh Award 2020".

• He is awarded for his research work on Malaria parasite's life cycle which is a complex process involving two hosts and three invasive stages.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

DMRC & SBI card launch multi-purpose smart card

• The SBI Card in association with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation launched a contactless multi-purpose card that can function as a credit card and as a metro smart card.

• The credit card Delhi Metro SBI Card is designed for regular commuters on Delhi Metro.

• It will enable its users to use it as a smart card with an auto-top up facility whenever the balance is below Rs 100.

• The credit card facility will automatically recharge a top-up value of Rs 200 from the user’s linked card/bank account.

• The card offers an enhanced daily commute experience to millions of metro commuters together with a rewarding experience on their daily purchases.

• The DMRC has identified 100 stations to put up kiosks from where commuters can purchase the card.

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Important Current Affairs 29th October 2020

NATIONAL

Vice President launches virtual festival of ‘Parampara Series 2020

• Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu has launched the virtual festival of “Parampara Series 2020-National Festival of Music and Dance” organised by Natya Tarangini in partnership with the United Nations. Natya Tarangini has been organising this for the past 23 years.

• This dance and music festival as the normal life has been disrupted by C-19, economic downturns and lack of social interaction caused by the pandemic. It may be noted that this festival has been organized to coincide with the World Day for Audio-visual Heritage.

GoI sets up committee to commemorate 400th anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur

• The Centre has set up a high-level committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur.

• Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will be the member secretary of the 70-member high-level committee.

• The committee will look into the approval of policies, plans, programmes and supervision and guiding the commemoration, as well as for deciding dates for detailed programmes of celebration.

Arjun Munda launches two Centers of Excellence for tribal welfare

• The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda has launched two Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Tribal Welfare in a collaboration between Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Art of Living (AoL) through video conference.

• The first CoE has been launched in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra for training about 10000 tribal farmers in the field of sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques.

• The second CoE has been launched in Jharkhand in the field of ‘Strengthening PRIs’ in 5 districts of the state covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages.

Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurates ‘Direct Port Entry Facility’

• The Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C), Mansukh Mandaviya has inaugurated the ‘Direct Port Entry (DPE) facility’ of V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust in Tamil Nadu.

• This will help in increasing Ease of Doing Business for the exporters, as the facility will bring efficiency and reduce dwell time, lower tariff cost and improve the competitiveness of shipper in the international trade.

• The state-of-the-art Direct Port Entry (DPE) facility would enable direct movement of containers from factories, without intermediate handling at any Container Freight Station (CFS), thus facilitating the shippers to Gate-In their factory stuffed exports directly to the Container Terminal on 24×7 basis.

UP Govt to establish anti-human trafficking Police Stations

• Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to establish anti-human trafficking Police Stations in each and every district in a major step towards the security of women and children.

• These Police Stations will be given enough powers to register the case and investigate the matter independently.

• The state government is going to establish 40 new anti-trafficking units which will work like police stations in districts and will conduct the investigation after registering the cases.

• Earlier, only 35 districts in the state had Police stations of anti-human trafficking unit which was established in 2011 and 2018.

• The new Police stations are being established after directives from women safety division of union Government. Union Government has also allocated funds for these units.

Young Advocates Welfare Fund launched in Tamil Nadu

• The Young Advocates Welfare Fund has been launched in Tamil Nadu. The Young Advocates Welfare Scheme is aimed at helping such fresh candidates to withstand the initial challenges. It provides monthly financial assistance of three thousand rupees each for two years to the lawyers who just come out of law colleges.

• Normally a fresher from law colleges takes three to four years to begin practice as an advocate in the court as the registration in the Bar Council, and the mandatory practicing under a senior advocate takes time. Unable to sustain themselves during the initial period, many from poor and rural backgrounds shifted their profession.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Om Birla participates in 6th BRICS Parliamentary Forum virtually

• The 6th BRICS Parliamentary Forum has been organised virtually under the chairmanship of Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of Russian Parliament.

• The Indian Parliamentary Delegation is being led by Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla and also consists of Member of Lok Sabha Kanimozhi Karunanidhi.

• The forum provides an effective platform to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue and Parliamentary Diplomacy among the Parliaments of BRICS countries with a view to strengthening the role of Parliaments on a range of contemporary global issues.

• Speakers and members of five BRICS Parliaments namely Brazil, Russian, India, China and South Africa are attending the Forum. The theme of the Forum is ‘BRICS partnership in the interest of global stability, general safety and innovative growth: Parliamentary dimension’.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled “Night of the Restless Spirits” authored by Sarbpreet Singh

• A book titled “Night of the Restless Spirits: Stories from 1984″ authored by Sarbpreet Singh. The author Sarbpreet Singh’s recounts the Sikh massacre of 1984 in this book.

• The book is a fictionalised version of real happenings comprising just eight chapters. It shows the events of 1984 through the prism of many lives & impact on Sikhs. The book is published by Penguin Publication.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SBI signs $1 billion loan agreement with JBIC

• State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a loan agreement of up to $1 billion with The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The loan will facilitate the operations of Japanese car companies in India. The financing will assist in Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

• While $600 million will be financed by JBIC, the rest will come from other participating lenders which include the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, , Mizuho Bank, Shizuoka Bank and Bank of Yokohama. JBIC will provide a guarantee for the portion co-financed by the participating banks. The loan is intended to promote the smooth flow of funds for the whole range of business operations of Japanese automobile manufacturers in India.

RBI bars payment system operators from launching any new QR codes

• The Reserve Bank of India has barred Payment System Operators (PSOs) from launching any new proprietary QR code for payment transactions.

• Currently, there are two interoperable QR codes — UPI QR and Bharat QR.

• The decision to continue with the two existing Quick Response (QR) codes was based on the recommendations of the committee which was set up by the Reserve Bank under the chairmanship of Deepak Phatak to review the current system of such codes in India and suggest measures for moving towards interoperable QR codes.

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Important Current Affairs 28th October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Indian-origin Wavel Ramkalawan elected President of Seychelles

• Indian-origin Wavel Ramkalawan has been elected as the President of Seychelles. Seychelles has elected an opposition candidate as president for the first time since 1977. He has defeated the incumbent Danny Faure.

• Ramakalwan is a priest of Indian Origin whose grandfather came from Gopalganj, Bihar.

Luis Arce declared as Bolivia’s president-elect

• Luis Arce has been chosen as the President-elect of Bolivia, after winning a landslide victory in the 2020 Bolivian general election. He captured 55.1% of the total votes. Arce will take the charge of the office on 8 November 2020. He would succeed Jeanine Anez, who is serving as the interim President of Bolivia.

• The 57-year-old, Luis is a member of the political party Movement Toward Socialism. Previously, Arce served as Minister of Economy and Public Finance from 2006 to 2017 and in 2019 under the President Evo Morales.

Alpha Condé won the 3rd Term as President of Guinea

• Alpha Condé, the incumbent president of Guinea and leader of Rally of the Guinean People (Rassemblement du Peuple Guinéen – RPG) party won the 3rd the term as the President of Guinea by winning the 2020 presidential elections.

• He won the election against Cellou Dalein Diallo with 59.49 % votes. Diallo got 33.5% votes in the election. Winning the 2020 elections, Alpha Condé is set to govern the country for the next 6 years.

NATIONAL

NATO plans to set up new space center in Germany

• The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, plans to build a headquarters for space operations at its airbase in Ramstein in Germany, to counter a rising Russian and Chinese threat.

• The new centre is to be a central point of contact to support NATO missions with communication and satellite images. It will also be a place to exchange information on potential threats to satellites. Some 2,000 satellites orbit the Earth, more than half of which are operated by NATO members, allowing everything from mobile phone services to weather forecasts. Currently, at least 40 per cent of NATO’s communications are via satellite.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launches ‘e-Dharti Geo portal’

• Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri has launched the ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal’ to integrate legacy drawings such as maps and lease plans in the management information system and make its geographic information system (GIS)-enabled.

• The Land and Development Office deals with more than 60000 residential, commercial, industrial and institutional properties. Now with the launch of the portal the property certificate details and outline map of the property can be easily accessed online. The portal is highly beneficial to the elderly public. It will help avoid unnecessary litigation. Also, the portal will help a purchaser to learn about the details of the property whether any lawsuit is pending in respect of the property.

SPORTS

Under-19 World Cup-winner Tanmay Srivastava retires from cricket

• Tanmay Manoj Srivastava, who was part of India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning team in 2008 announced his retirement from all forms of domestic cricket.

• He played 90 first-class games, scoring 4918 runs. He also played 44 List A matches and 34 T20s. He also played IPL (Indian Premier League), where he represented Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers Kerala.

Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports appoints Bimal Julka as Chairman

• Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has announced the appointment of Bimal Julka as its Chairman. In his new role, Julka will work closely with all the stakeholders to further strengthen the operating standards of the Indian fantasy sports industry. Bimal Julka is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of the 1979 batch belonging to the Madhya Pradesh Cadre.

• Julka is taking over from John Loffhagen, who served as the Chairman of FIFS for over three years. Loffhagen will assume the role of a Strategic Advisor and support FIFS on collaborating with relevant international bodies in the industry.

OBITUARY

Veteran Gujarati Film Musician, Former MP Mahesh Kanodia passes away

• Famous Gujarati film musician, singer and former Parliamentarian Mahesh Kanodia passed away. He was born at Kanoda village of Mehsana district on January 27, 1937.

• Kanodia was a three-time BJP MP from Patan in north Gujarat. He represented Patan Lok Sabha constituency as a Member of Parliament of the BJP thrice between 1991 and 1999. He had received several accolades and awards for his performance as a music composer and singer for Gujarati films including Jigar and Ami, Tanariri, Jog Sanjog and Laju Lakhan.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

HDFC Bank MD & CEO Aditya Puri retires

• The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HDFC Bank, Aditya Puri has stepped down, after 25 years of a highly successful career at India’s largest private sector lender. The 70-year-old Puri had transformed a start-up in a sector dominated by state-owned banks into an industry leader. At nearly Rs 6 trillion, HDFC Bank leads the industry in terms of market capitalisation and remains the most profitable by a long margin.

• Sashidhar Jagdishan has been appointed as the new chief executive and managing director of the HDFC Bank w.e.f. 27 October 2020.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Army celebrates 74th Infantry Day in J&K

• Every year, October 27 is celebrated as Infantry Day by the Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir (known by the nickname, Chinar Corps).

• The Chinar Corps celebrated the 74th Infantry Day on October 27, 2020, to honour the supreme sacrifice of the gallant soldiers in fighting the Pakistani invaders, in Jammu and Kashmir, in 1947.

International Animation Day: 28 October

• International Animation Day is observed globally on 28 October every year. The day has celebrated the art of animation and also recognise the artists, scientists and technicians behind animation.

• This year marks the 19th International Animation Day. The day was created in 2002 by International Animated Film Association (ASIFA), an International Animated Film Association, a member of UNESCO.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue begins in New Delhi

• India is hosting the third India-US two plus two Ministerial Dialogue at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar are leading the Indian delegation. The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper are leading the US delegation. The First two plus two dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 and the Second in Washington DC in 2019.

• Besides, covering all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest during the third dialogue, the two sides also signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) to further expand the geospatial cooperation between them and improve the accuracy of missile systems of India.

IIT Jodhpur, NHAI sign MoU for betterment of Highway Infrastructure

• Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share expertise for the betterment of highway infrastructure.

• The two institutions will work in domains which include transportation engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering.

• They will also cooperate in hydraulics engineering, infrastructure systems, earthquake engineering, urban and rural planning and disaster management and planning domains.

• The MoU will enable Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of IIT Jodhpur to undertake internships from the above-mentioned domains.

• The joint activities will bridge the industry-institution gap and develop technologies that would be adopted in practice by NHAI.

RANKING

Haryana tops Anemia Mukt Bharat Index in country

• Haryana is the best State in Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index with 46.7 among 29 states in the country. Further, in the year 2019-20, the state had achieved 93 per cent of immunization.

• This information came to light during the 8th Governing Body Meeting of the State Health Society of the National Health Mission (NHM) in Chandigarh. The meeting was presided over by the Haryana chief secretary, Vijai Vardhan.

Samsung Tops Forbes’ list of World’s Best Employer 2020

• South Korea based electronics conglomerate, Samsung Electronics has topped the list of ‘World’s Best Employer 2020′ published by Forbes’. Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and LG are among the top 5 in the list respectively. The global list features 750 multinational and large corporations headquartered in 45 countries.

• From India, HCL Technologies is the top industry in the list. It is placed at the 30th position globally. In the Banking sector, HDFC Bank is top from India. It is at 176th position.

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Important Current Affairs 27th October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh govt orders ‘no mask, no service’ policy

• Bangladesh government has decided that no service will be provided to people who don’t wear a mask. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided that no one will be allowed to enter offices without the mask. It decided that all offices must install notice boards saying ‘no mask, no service’ in order to control the spread of COVID 19 virus in the country.

• Involving community leaders in the campaign to wear a mask, the Cabinet Secretary said that the government has also talked to the Islamic scholars and religious leaders to publicise this at all mosques through the Imams.

ICICI Bank has shut down his operations in Sri Lanka

• ICICI Bank has shut down his operations in Sri Lanka after getting approval from the Sri Lankan monetary authority. The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, having considered the request made by ICICI Bank, has granted approval to close down the business operation of the bank in Sri Lanka and cancel the licence issued to it.

• The Director of Bank Supervision being satisfied with the bank complying with the terms and conditions imposed by the Monetary Board, the licence issued to the bank to carry on banking business in Sri Lanka is cancelled with effect from October 23, 2020.

NATIONAL

Prahlad Singh Patel virtually launched “Life in Miniature” project

• Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C), Prahlad Singh Patel has virtually launched the “Life in Miniature” project, a collaboration between the National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts & culture.

• On the Google Arts & Culture app, online viewers can experience the first Augmented Reality-powered art gallery designed with traditional Indian architecture, and explore a life-size virtual space where you can walk up to a selection of miniature paintings.

• The artworks showcased are presented along with five universal themes of the human relationship with nature, love, celebration, faith, and power.

• Users will be able to see famous miniature collections of the National Museum, like the Ramayana, Royal Saga, Pahari style paintings in never before seen ways and in extraordinary detail, in just a few clicks at co/LifeInMiniature.

IMPORTANT DAYS

59th ITBP Raising Day: 24 October

• Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has observed his 59th raising Day on 24th October. The ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression and it has a strength of about 90,000 personnel with 60 battalions on the ground.

• ITBP is one of the five bodies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). It keeps Vigil on the northern borders and prevents border violations. It checks illegal immigration, trans-border smuggling, and maintains peace.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: 27 October

• The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed globally on 27 October every year. The day was chosen by UNESCO to raise awareness of the significance and preservation risks of recorded sound and audiovisual documents. The theme of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2020: “Your Window to the World”.

• The 33rd session of UNESCO’s General Conference adopted 33 C/Resolution 53 to proclaim 27 October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, in commemoration of the adoption, in 1980 by the 21st session of the General Conference, of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images.

India Posts releases 75th Anniversary of UN Commemorative Stamp

• Department of Posts (DOP), Ministry of Communications released a commemorative postage stamp on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Organisations.

• External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava stated India attaches the highest priority to the expansion of the UN Security Council so that it reflects contemporary realities of the world. He stated reformed multilateralism will be a key pillar of the overall approach in the upcoming innings of India as a non-permanent member.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

BSE inks MoU with ICCI to support SMEs & start-ups

• Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has signed an agreement with Inventivepreneur Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, and promote their listing on the exchange.

• ICCI will offer assistance to BSE in evaluating SMEs and start-ups for listing on BSE SME board.

• ICCI will also help to offer industry connections to respective BSE start-ups globally and support entrepreneurship nationwide through knowledge transmission on government announced programs, acceleration fund, international presence and global business relations.

RANKING

NTPC ranks 1st among Indian PSUs in Forbes’ World’s Best Employer 2020

• National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has featured on the top on the list of Indian PSUs under the ‘World’s Best Employer 2020’, published by Forbes. The recognition is testimony to NTPC’s commitment towards inculcating best in class practices that are thoughtfully designed and robustly executed, the company stated in a statement.

• The modules have helped thousands of workers from NTPC to grow and think beyond the professional sphere.

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Important Current Affairs 26th October 2020

INTERNATIONAL

World Bank sanctions Rs 3 crore for Sand Dune Park in Goa

• India’s first sand dune parks and interpretation centres are set to be developed in Goa. World Bank has sanctioned around Rs.3 crore under the programme. The Goa state biodiversity board has proposed the project, which will be implemented with financial assistance from the World Bank.

• Andorra has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to become its 190th member.

• Andorra is a microstate situated between France and Spain. However, it is the largest microstate in Europe.

• IMF’s Membership allows the Andorran government to benefit from IMF policy advice, especially as the country tackles the crisis caused by COVID-19 and can now receive an annual review or “health check” of its economy by the IMF, tap technical assistance, and access IMF lending if needed.

NATIONAL

India-assisted hydroelectric project in Bhutan wins UK engineers’ body award

• India-assisted Mangdechhu Hydroelectric project in Bhutan has been awarded the Brunel Medal-2020, an award conferred by the UK’s top engineering body, Institute of Civil Engineers.

• The 720-MW Mangdechhu run-of-river power project is built on the Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan at a cost of Rs 4,500-crore.

• The project was jointly inaugurated by the prime ministers of the two countries in August 2019, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Bhutan.

Pakistan to remain in grey list of FATF till Feb 2021

• The global terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced that Pakistan will continue to remain on its grey list till February 2021.

• This decision has been taken since Pakistan has not been able to fulfil six out of the 27 mandates to check terror funding. FATF has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021.

PM Modi launched 3 projects in Gujarat

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated three projects in his home State Gujarat, one each related to farmers’ welfare, healthcare, and tourism development, via video conference from New Delhi. The projects inaugurated include:

Kisan Suryodaya Yojna

• The ‘Kisan Suryodaya Yojna’ is an Agri scheme which aims to provide power supply during daytime from 5 am to 9 pm (16 hours) for irrigation purposes to farmers.

• The state government has allocated a budget of Rs 3,500 crores for installing transmission infrastructure under this scheme by 2023.

• Initially, Dahod, Patan, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur, Kheda, Tapi, Valsad, Anand and Gir-Somnath districts have been covered under the scheme for 2020-21. The rest will be included in a phased manner by 2022-23.

India’s biggest cardiac hospital in Ahmedabad

• The Paediatric Heart Hospital was inaugurated at U.N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre at Civil Hospital campus in Ahmedabad and a Mobile Application for telecardiology.

• The new facilities have been set up at the cost of Rs 470 crore and will be India’s biggest hospital for cardiology.

• It has increased the existing 450 beds to 1251 beds, 531 cardiac ICU beds, 15 cardiac modular operation theatres and 6 cardiac cath labs.

World’s longest temple ropeway project at Girnar in Junagadh

• Girnar hill ropeway at Junagadh is Rs 130 crore project. It would attract more tourists and pilgrims to this historical place which will boost employment opportunities.

• The 2,320 metres long ropeway has a capacity of carrying 1,000 passengers every hour.

SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton wins Portuguese Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, held at Algarve International Circuit, Portugal. This was the 12th round of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. This is Hamilton’s 8th win of the season and 92nd career race victory.

• With this win, he has surpassed the record of 91 wins set by German great Michael Schumacher. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes- Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) at the third spot.

OBITUARY

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee passes away

• The chairman of South Korea’s largest conglomerate, Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee has passed away. Lee helped to transform Samsung from a small trading business to become the world’s largest producer of smartphones and memory chips.

• The firm’s overall turnover today is equivalent to a fifth of South Korea’s GDP. Lee was also the richest person in South Korea, according to Forbes, with a net worth of nearly $21bn.

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