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Important Current Affairs 25th 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.

Saad al-Hariri reappointed as Lebanon Prime Minister

• Former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad al-Hariri has been re-appointed to the post, after winning a slim majority of votes in parliament election. Hariri received 65 parliamentary votes out of 118, giving him the mandate to form his new government.

• In October 2019, Hariri announced his resignation amid 2019-20 mass-protests. Previously he had served as Prime Minister of Lebanon from 9 November 2009 to 13 June 2011 and then from 18 December 2016 to 21 January 2020.

• Hariri is the third person to be tasked with forming a government this year, after academic Hassan Diab, who succeeded in forming a government but resigned and then diplomat Mustafa Adib.

NATIONAL

Mandi district bags top position for implementation of PMGSY

• Union Ministry of Rural Development has declared the list of top-performing 30 districts in the country for implementing the PMGSY programme.

• Himachal Pradesh's, Mandi district has bagged top position among 30 districts of the country in the successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

• Himachal Pradesh has also secured the second position at the national level for construction of roads under PMGSY.

India gets Chairmanship of ILO Governing body after 35 years

• India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization (ILO), after a gap of 35 years.

• The Labour and Employment Secretary, Apurva Chandra, has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the ILO for the period October 2020- June 2021.

• Chandra is a 1988 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Maharashtra Cadre. He would preside over the upcoming the Governing Body’s meeting, to be held in November 2020.

• The Governing Body is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the Director-General.

• At present, ILO (Headquarter- Geneva, Switzerland) has 187 members. It meets three times a year, in March, June and November.

NITI Aayog panel for reforms in urban planning education

• NITI Aayog has constituted a 14-member advisory committee to look into introducing reforms in the urban planning education system. The panel will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

• The members of the committee include Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog and secretaries of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA), Ministry of Education(MoE) and Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

• The committee will examine the current system in terms of multidisciplinarity, curriculum and other related issues at the level of graduates and postgraduates against the challenges of rapid urbanization.

• The committee will examine the urban planning education system in India and examine the availability, demand and supply of the qualified urban planners in India.

IMPORTANT DAYS

United Nations Day: 24 October

• 24th October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.

• The United Nations was founded in 1945 to support collective action to realize peace, development and human rights for all.

• With the ratification of the UN Charter by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

World Polio Day: 24 October

• The World Polio Day is celebrated annually on October 24, to raise awareness for polio vaccination and eradication of polio.

• World Polio Day provides an opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio-free world and honour the tireless contributions of those on the frontlines in the fight to eradicate polio from every corner of the globe.

• The Day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. 2020 theme for World Polio Day is “A win against polio is a win for global health.”

• As of August 2020, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two nations which remain with the continued transmission of wild poliovirus.

World Development Information Day: 24 October

• The United Nations’ World Development Information Day is held on October 24 every year.

• The day aims to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them for overall growth and development.

• The General Assembly in 1972 established World Development Information Day to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

• The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Mastercard partners with Atlantis to expand Digital First Program in India

• Mastercard has entered into a partnership with Atlantis to expand the Digital First Program in India.

• The partnership aims to provide the users of Mastercard, a technology solution that enables them to enjoy a best-in-class digital banking experience.

• After the launch in India, the partnership will expand to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The partnership allows the users of the Mastercard to have immediate account access and convenient payments.

Bank of Baroda ties up with Toyota Kirloskar Motor

• Bank of Baroda (BoB) has entered into a tie-up with Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), whereby the bank will be one of the preferred financiers for the entire range of vehicles sold by the latter.

• India’s third-largest public sector bank, in a statement, stated that under the tie-up, customers can avail customised solutions such as high on-road funding of 90 per cent, long repayment period of 84 months, no prepayment or foreclosure charges.

• On the other hand, TKM dealers will benefit from ‘digitised supply chain finance’ with competitive interest rates.