Current Affairs
Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 3rd December 2020

NATIONAL

IOCL launches India’s first 100 Octane Premium Petrol

• Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan launched India’s first indigenously developed ‘100 Octane premium petrol’ through video conferencing. Octane ratings are measures of fuel stability that increases engine efficiency. The high octane premium grade petrol will be marketed under the brand ‘XP-100’. It has been developed by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at its Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh.

• XP-100 will be made available in a phased manner across the country and in the first phase, it will be made available in 10 cities. The cities are Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Agra, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.

• With this launch, India has joined a select league of nations globally that have such superior quality fuel.  Till date, such quality of fuel is available only in six countries including USA, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia and Israel.

West Bengal launches massive ‘Duare Sarkar’ outreach campaign

• West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign titled ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at doorsteps) to aware people about the 11 state-run welfare schemes and help them avail its benefits. The two-month-long outreach programme has been launched keeping in view the 2021 state assembly elections which are due in April-May.

• The campaign will continue from December 1, 2020, to January 30, 2020, in four phases, with slogan ‘jar jekhane darkar, asche apnar duare sarkar’ (government will be at your doorsteps whenever you need it). The 11 schemes will be made available to the beneficiaries through camps set up for the purpose.

Arjun Munda e-launches "Virtual Aadi Mahotsav-Madhya Pradesh"

• The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda has launched the first-ever virtual edition of Aadi Mahotsav – Madhya Pradesh. The event will showcase the tribal traditions of the various tribal communities by having their crafts and natural products on display. Videos showcasing different aspects of their culture – music, dance etc, will also be shared. In essence, it will still be a celebration of the tribes and their diverse, varied lifestyle but on a different platform.

• The 10-day long festival will begin from December 1, 2020. It is being hosted on the Tribes India website – www.tribesindia.com. The highlights of the virtual launch included a virtual tour of the artisans’ workplace and glimpses of the tribal dance and music from Madhya Pradesh. The main focus of the first virtual Aadi Mahotsav is on the tribal craft and culture of Madhya Pradesh. The next focus state of the programme would be Gujarat ( from 11th December 2020), followed by West Bengal from the 21st December 2020.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Army successfully testfires Anti-Ship version of BrahMos missile

• India successfully test-fired the anti-ship version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The test was conducted as part of the ongoing trials being conducted by the Indian Navy. The DRDO-developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 300 Km was launched from Indian Navy’s INS Ranvijay and it successfully hit its target ship near the Car Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

• Recently the land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was also successfully test-fired from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world’s fastest operational system in its class.

OBITUARY

MDH owner ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati passes away

• The owner of MDH Masala, Dharampal Gulati passed away. He was born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan. He was fondly called ‘dalaji’ and ‘Mahashayji’. A school dropout, Dharampal Gulati joined his father’s spice business in the early days. Back in 2019, the government honoured him with Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country.

• After partition in 1947, Dharampal Gulati moved to India and stayed at a refugee camp in Amritsar. He then moved to Delhi and opened a store in Delhi’s Karol Bagh. Gulati officially established the company in 1959. The business did not just flourish in India only but Gulati became a distributor and exporter as well. His company exports Indian spices to various parts of the world including the UK, Europe, UAE, Canda, etc.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary becomes new Director General of BRO

• Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary has been appointed as the 27th Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). His appointment is effective from 1st December 2020.

• Lt Gen Chaudhary succeeds Lt Gen Harpal Singh who has been appointed as the new Engineer-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The BRO is responsible for construction and maintenance of all border roads including those along the frontiers with China and Pakistan.

AR Rahman roped in as ‘BAFTA Breakthrough’ India ambassador

• Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian composer, AR Rahman has been roped in as ambassador of the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative in India. In 2020, BAFTA will identify and support up to five exceptional talents working in film, games or television in India.

• The BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy’s year-long programme to support new talent, coming up in the film, games and television industries in the UK, China, India and the US and gives them access to unique career development and mentoring opportunities. It is a unique opportunity for promising artists to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, including connections with other talented creatives across the world and being mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees.

Bata names Sandeep Kataria as global CEO

• Footwear major Bata Shoe Organization has appointed Sandeep Kataria as the new global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is the first Indian to be appointed to the global role of Bata (Headquarter-Lausanne, Switzerland). He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who has stepped down after almost five years in the role.

• Before this, Kataria was the CEO of Bata India since 2017. Under Kataria, Bata India managed to transform into the largest footwear retailer in India within a relatively short span.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 03 December

• The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3. The IDPWD day was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. The 2020 theme: ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’.

• The day is celebrated to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

RANKING

India ranked 8th in Global Terrorism Index 2020

• In the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2020, India has been ranked at 8th spot globally in the list of countries most affected by terrorism in 2019. The GTI score of India is 7.353 out of 10. India recorded 277 Deaths, 439 Injuries & 558 Incidents due to Terrorism in 2019. Regionally, South Asia was the most impacted region by terrorism in 2019, recording more deaths than any other region. Also, globally the deaths caused due to terrorism fell by 15 per cent to 13,286 in 2019 over 2018.

• Jammu and Kashmir was the most affected Region due to terrorism, it reported 165 attacks and 103 deaths. The three most active groups in Kashmir was Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen & Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

• Chhattisgarh was the second most affected region in India with 85 attacks and 53 deaths all from Maoist Extremists.

Countries Most Affected by Terrorism:

• With a score of 9.592, Afghanistan has topped the index as the worst terror impacted nation among the 163 countries.

• It is followed by Iraq (8.682) and Nigeria (8.314) at second and third place respectively.

Countries Least Affected by Terrorism:

• Qatar (0.014) took the 133rd Rank followed by Uzbekistan (0.010) in the 134th Rank and around 29 Countries (score of 0.000) took the 135th Rank which means they are Least Affected Countries or Face No Impact due to Terrorism.

US Air Quality Index: Lahore is world’s most polluted city

• Lahore, the cultural capital Pakistan, has been ranked as the world’s most polluted city, according to air pollution data released by the US Air Quality Index (AQI). Lahore reported a particulate matter (PM) rating of 423. New Delhi stood second with a PM of 229, while Nepal’s capital Kathmandu ranked the third with a PM of 178.

• The Air Quality Index (AQI) is released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give people an idea of whether it’s safe to breathe the air.

• AQI is based on the levels of five major pollutants regulated by the EPA: ground-level ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

• AQI measures air quality by placing it on a scale of 0-500, where air quality is regarded as satisfactory if the AQI is under 50.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB and India sign $50 million loan agreement for West Bengal

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have inked $50 million policy-based loan agreement to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies in West Bengal. Titled as the ‘West Bengal Public Finance Management Investment Programme’, the project will help to achieve more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state.

• A centre for fiscal policy and public finance will be established to deepen the capacity of the state government officials on public finance management while developing a web-based grievance redress system for transport corporations and urban local bodies will provide a credible citizen-government interface.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 30th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Quarantine’ named Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2020

• Cambridge Dictionary has named ‘quarantine’ as Word of the Year 2020. The word has been named the word of the year based on data that showed that it was one of the most highly searched words on the Cambridge Dictionary this year. Cambridge editors have noticed that people are using the word in a new way this year describing a “general period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely so that they do not catch or spread a disease.” This new sense of quarantine has now been added to the Cambridge Dictionary.

• “Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for both search spikes and overall views (more than 183,000 by early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen in the week of March 18-24, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of C-19,” as per an official release.

NATIONAL

PM Modi Chairs 33rd PRAGATI Meet

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the 33rd PRAGATI meeting to review multiple projects, grievances and programmes. PRAGATI stands for “Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation”.

• The projects worth around Rs 1.41 lakh crore, related to ten states and union territories, were reviewed. They included Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

• These projects were related to the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry.

PM Modi visits 3 cities to review vaccine development

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the C-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process at facilities in these cities.

Facilities visited by PM Modi are:

Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad,

Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad

Serum Institute of India in Pune

• The scientists at these facilities expressed their joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts in the vaccine development journey.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

• The United Nation recognised Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on 30th November every year since 2005. The day marks a tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.

• The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago. Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties.

OBITUARY

British Actor David Prowse passes away

• British character actor David Prowse, best known for playing ‘Darth Vader’ in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away. He was a weightlifter-turned-actor, was selected to portray Darth Vader for his imposing physique of 6-foot-7 inch. However, the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.

• Prowse wore the black suit and helmet to play Darth Vader.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

UBS Projects India’s GDP at -10.5% for FY21

• The UBS has projected India’s real GDP to contract 10.5% in FY21, in its Global Economics & Markets Outlook 2021-2022 report. For the fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) UBS expect India’s real GDP growth to rebound to +10%  in FY22. UBS also estimates India’s GDP to stabilise at 6.2 per cent YoY in FY23.

YES Bank launches ‘SMS Pay’ on POS Terminals

• Private lender YES Bank has launched an ‘SMS Pay’ functionality on POS terminals, which would allow merchants to accept contactless and remote payments from their customers. YES Bank has collaborated with French payment services company Worldline to launch the new facility.

• SMS Pay will facilitate merchants to accept remote payments on their POS machines and enable their customers to transact safely without leaving the comfort of their homes.

• Through SMS Pay, local merchants & department stores could request payments from their customers by entering their contact details in the POS terminal following which an SMS would be triggered to the customer’s mobile number instantly, with a payment URL link.

• Customers can complete the payment through their domestic debit and credit cards.

IRDAI approves ICICI Lombard acquisition of Bharti Axa General

• The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given its in-principle approval for the merger of Bharti AXA General Insurance with ICICI Lombard. The merged entity will have a market share of around 8.7 per cent on a proforma basis in the general insurance business.

• Based on the share exchange ratio recommended by independent valuers, shareholders of Bharti AXA will receive two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA. At present, promoter ICICI Bank Ltd holds is 51.89% stake in ICICI Lombard, while the rest is with the public. After the proposed deal, the promoter stake will come down to 48.11%.

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has already approved the acquisition of the two entities while approvals request from other concerned regulators for the transaction has been applied. The policyholders should benefit from an enhanced product suite and deeper customer connects touchpoints.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 28th November 2020

NATIONAL

SpiceJet launches dedicated freighter services to Leh in Ladakh

• SpiceJet has launched dedicated freighter services connecting Leh with the rest of the country. This is the first time a civil airliner has started freighter services to Leh. Accordingly, the airline operated its first freighter flight from Delhi to Leh carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies. SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet, will deploy its Boeing 737 freighter on this route.

• The dedicated cargo flights will help transport fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, perishables, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other general cargo. Besides improving logistics and connectivity, the new freighter service will ensure transportation of these essential commodities remains unaffected due to dipping temperatures and adverse weather conditions during these winter months.

• The new flights launched are seasonal and will operate during the winter months when surface transportation is disrupted owing to harsh weather conditions. In line with its commitment to ensuring seamless transportation of essential commodities, SpiceJet aims to address the geographical challenges while offering seamless connectivity through its cargo service.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Highway projects in Uttar Pradesh

• Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of 16 National Highway projects in Uttar Pradesh. The construction cost of these infra projects is estimated to be around Rs 7477 crore.

• These highway projects include a road length of 505 kilometres and will provide better connectivity, convenience to the public as well as lead to economic growth in the state. National Highways works worth two lakh crore rupees are being undertaken in UP.

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has cleared the proposal to rename the Ayodhya airport as Maryada

• Purushottam Sri Ram Airport, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The proposal for the same will be sent to the Ministry of Civil Aviation after it is passed by the state Assembly.

• Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had announced on the occasion of Deepotsav on Diwali eve in November 2018 that Ayodhya will have both international and domestic terminals and could potentially be one of the largest airports of UP.

Ladakh gets largest solar project at Leh Indian Air Force station

• The Union Territory of Ladakh has got the largest solar power project set up under the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ initiative at Leh IAF station to provide sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuel and traditional methods of energy generation. The project namely ‘Provision of Solar Photo Voltaic Powerplant 1.5 MW’ has been completed within 12 months well before the completion deadline of March 31, 2021.

• The largest solar project at a high altitude in the entire Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh has been established at IAF Station Leh.

• The project was conceptualised under Make In India, and executed to provide sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuel and traditional methods.

• It is the largest installed solar project till date out of the target of 300 MW in three phases for defence sectors and 14 MW for Leh region as set by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

• The project worth Rs 122 crore was recently inaugurated by Air Marshal V R Chaudhari, Commander-in-chief, Western Air Command.

OBITUARY

Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn passes away

• Australian-American lawyer, investment banker, and economist James Wolfensohn, who served as the President of the World Bank for 10 years, passed away. He had served as the ninth president of the World Bank Group from 1995 to 2005.

• Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Wolfensohn launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in 1996, a program that eventually provided more than $53 billion in debt relief to 27 of the world’s poorest countries.

Father of Indian IT industry FC Kohli passes away

• Founder of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Faqir Chand Kohli, better known as the Father of the Indian IT industry, passed away. Besides being the founder, he was also the first CEO of TCS.

• Kohli also worked as the deputy general manager of Tata Power Company and was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of College of Engineering, Pune.  As the first CEO of TCS, he pioneered India’s IT revolution and helped the country build the $190-billion IT industry.  A visionary and pioneer by nature, he was a recipient of Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Mercedes-Benz joins hands with SBI to target HNI customers

• Mercedes-Benz has joined hands with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer financial benefits to the lender’s High Net Worth Individual (HNI) customers. This collaboration will give the luxury automobile manufacturer access to State Bank of India’s High Net Worth Individual (HNI) customer base, while the bank’s customers will enjoy exclusive benefits at the time of booking a Mercedes-Benz car. The collaboration with SBI gives an exciting opportunity to expand our customer base and reach out to the potential HNI customers of the bank with products and services.

• This collaboration includes financial benefits like ‘attractive’ rate of interest on loans with tenure up to five years and offers on the processing fee.

• There is also an additional benefit of Rs 25,000 for customers booking a Mercedes-Benz vehicle via SBI Yono platform.

• They can even get a car loan sanctioned through SBI Yono after fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

• The customers need to produce online booking confirmation and SBI loan sanction letter at the Mercedes-Benz dealership to avail the benefits.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 14th November 2020

National

Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana: Government launches new employment scheme

• The Government has launched a new employment scheme Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana to incentivise the creation of new employment opportunities during the C-19 recovery phase.

• The scheme was launched as a part of a fresh stimulus worth Rs 2.65 lakh crore announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 12, 2020 to boost the C-19-hit Indian economy.

• The Finance Minister had announced 12 new measures under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 during her press conference. She had announced the launch of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana’ alongside other key announcements to revive employment opportunities in India. 

Government expands credit guarantee scheme to include 26 stressed sectors

• The Government has decided to expand the scope of emergency credit guarantees to include 26 sectors that are stressed due to the C-19 pandemic.

• This was announced during Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s press conference on November 12, 2020 when she had announced few new measures as a part of the new stimulus package worth Rs 2.65 lakh crore to boost the recovery of the Indian economy.

• Under the expansion of the credit guarantee scheme, the entities will get additional credit up to 20 percent of outstanding credit. The repayment can be done in five years, which includes 1-year moratorium and 4 years of repayment.

India’s First Sandalwood Museum to come up in Mysuru, Karnataka

• The Mysuru Forest Divison has set up India’s first Sandalwood Museum at its premises at the Sandalwood Depot in Aranya Bhavan, Mysuru, Karnataka.

• The museum has been conceptualised to spread awareness about the history and cultivation of sandalwood products as well as behold their awe-inspiring variety in the display.

• The Sandalwood museum will be inaugurated after November 25 and the state government will make efforts to shift the museum to the luxurious Mysuru Palace.

Obituary

Former CM of Sikkim Sanchaman Limboo passes away

• Former Sikkim chief minister Sanchaman Limboo passed away. He was 73.

• He was the fourth Chief Minister of Sikkim from 17 June 1994 – 12 December 1994 from Sikkim Sangram Parishad Party.

Bollywood actor Asif Basra passes away

• Bollywood actor Asif Basra, who was known for his role in the recent thriller series Paatal Lok, has passed away. Apart from this, Basra had appeared in a number of Bollywood films, including a movie on the 1993 Mumbai blasts Black Friday, the 2002 Gujarat riots Parzania and Kai Po Che.

•  He had also starred in several plays in India and abroad, performing in English, Hindi and Urdu theatre productions.

Days

Children’s Day

• On 14th November, Children’s Day is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Children’s Day is popularly known as ‘Baal Diwas’ in India.

• The day aims at increasing the awareness of the rights, care and education of children. On this day, many educational and motivational programs are organised across the country, by and for children.

•  Notably, Children’s Day was celebrated in India first on November 20, 1956, along with the Universal Children’s Day.

World Diabetes Day

• World Diabetes Day is observed on 14th November every year. The campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes.

• The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is “The Nurse and Diabetes.”

• In 2007 General Assembly adopted resolution 61/225 designating 14 November as World Diabetes Day.

• The document recognized “the urgent need to pursue multilateral efforts to promote and improve human health, and provide access to treatment and health-care education.”

India Ayurveda Day

• In India, the ‘Ayurveda Day’ is observed every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras). Dhanvantari is the Hindu god of medicine

• The day was declared by the Ministry of AYUSH, in 2016, to focus on the strengths of Ayurveda and its unique treatment principles.

• In 2020, India is observing the 5th National Ayurveda Day on 13 November 2020.

• The theme of the 2020 National Ayurveda Day is — Ayurveda for C-19 pandemic.

Books and Authors

Sonu Sood’s autobiography to be titled ‘I Am No Messiah’

• Actor Sonu Sood, is all set to bring out his autobiography titled ‘I Am No Messiah’, which is set to be out in mid-December 2020.

• In the book, the Dabanng actor, who is often dubbed as the ‘Messiah of migrants’ for his philanthropic work during the on-going C-19pandemic, has revealed the emotional challenges faced by him while extending help.

• The book will be published by Penguin Random House India.

• It is co-written by Meena Iyer.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less

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.

Read More
Read Less