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Important Current Affairs 24th November 2020

                                                                                                         National

India to host G-20 Summit in 2023

• India will host the Summit of the G20 Group in 2023. India was earlier slated to host the summit in 2022.

• However, now the G20 Summit be be hosted by Italy in 2021, Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024.

• India and Indonesia have swapped their respective hosting year of G20 as Indonesia would also chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2023.

5th India International Cherry Blossom Festival cancelled

• The 5th India International Cherry Blossom Festival has been cancelled due to C-19 pandemic. The festival is held every year in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, to celebrate the unique autumn flowering of the Himalayan cherry blossoms and mark the beginning of India’s version of autumn.

• Every year, Shillong hosts a plethora of events like fitness art, fashion show, rock concerts and much more to mark the festival.

                                                                                                      International

Malaysia hosted 2020 APEC Summit

• The 2020 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

• This was the first time that all 21 APEC Economic Leaders met virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The APEC 2020 ended with the adoption of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration. The APEC Summit 2021 will be hosted by New Zealand. This is the second time Malaysia hosted an APEC meeting, having hosted one in 1998.

• The theme of the APEC Malaysia 2020 was “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”.

                                                                                                Banking and Economy

LIC launches 1st digital app ‘ANANDA’

• Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched a digital application for agents for onboarding to get a life insurance policy. The Digital Application is called “ANANDA”, which is an acronym for Atma Nirbhar Agents NewBusiness Digital Application.

• The Digital application is a tool for the onboarding process to get the life insurance policy through a paperless module with the help of the agent or intermediary.

                                                                                      Acquisitions and Mergers

IBM to Acquire SAP Consulting Partner TruQua

• IBM said that it has acquired TruQua, an IT services and consulting company focused on SAP’s finance and analytics technologies.

• Big Blue said the deal will support its hybrid growth strategy and expand its breadth of consulting services.

• IBM said the deal is expected to close in Q4 2020. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

                                                                                         Science and Technology

Indian Navy gets 9th P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft

• Indian Navy has got its ninth Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, part of the nearly $1 billion deal with the US for four additional planes signed in 2016.

• India, which had first signed a contract for eight such aircraft in 2009, is also negotiating a deal for six more P-8Is with the US under the government-to-government route. While the ninth aircraft was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in July this year, the C-19 pandemic delayed plans.

• The remaining three are scheduled to be handed over to India in 2021. Incidentally, the aircraft, the latest of which landed at INS Hansa in Goa.

                                                                                                            Obituary

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi passes away

• Three-time Assam Chief Minister from Congress party Tarun Gogoi, has passed away after been undergoing treatment for post-Covid complications. He was 84.

• Tarun Gogoi had served as the Chief Minister of Assam between 2001 and 2015.He was the longest serving chief minister of Assam.

• Apart from this, Gogoai had also served as the food and food processing industry minister in the Union Cabinet of India under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao between 1991 and 1996.

Sahitya Academy award winner Shaik Khaja Hussain passes away

• Noted Telugu poet, journalist, scriptwriter Shaik Khaja Hussain, has passed away after brief illness. He was 70.

• Popularly known as Devi Priya, the renowned poet bagged the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 2017, for his book Gaali Rangu.

                                                                                                             Sports

Daniil Medvedev beat Dominic Thiem to win ATP Tour Finals 2020

• In Tennis, Daniil Medvedev (Russia) beat Dominic Thiem (Austria) to win the 2020 ATP Tour Finals, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, held in London on 22 November 2020.

• This is the biggest title of his career. The 24-year-old will finish the year at fourth position in the world rankings.

• In the doubles final, Dutch-Croatian duo Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic claimed their first title together after surpassing Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd November 2020

                                                                                                                     National

India becomes 4th nation to have navigation satellite system as IRNSS Gets IMO Recognition

• The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region.

• With this, India has become the only fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by IMO.

• The other three countries that have its navigation systems recognised by the IMO are the US [Global Position System (GPS)], Russia and China.

• The IRNSS will  now be officially used to provide accurate position information services to assist in the navigation of ships in Indian ocean waters within the area of approximately 1,500 km from the Indian boundary

PM Modi called for Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth at 15th G20 Summit

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the 15th G20 Leaders Summit on November 21, 2020. The two-day summit was convened by Saudi Arabia, chair of G20 for this year.

• The summit saw the participation of the heads of governments of 19 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organizations. It was conducted virtually due to the C -19 pandemic.

• While speaking at the summit, PM Narendra Modi congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership for its successful Presidency of the G20 in 2020 and for organizing the second virtual G20 Summit in 2020 despite the challenges posed by the C-19 outbreak.

Second Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20 held in Andaman Sea

• The 2nd edition of India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20 was conducted from 21 to 22 November 20 in Andaman Sea.

• The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

• Indian Navy (IN) Ships including indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk participated in the exercise.

• The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability between IN, RSN and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and also strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region. 

• The first edition of SITMEX was hosted by Indian Navy in 2019 off Port Blair.

                                                                                                             International

China to launch spacecraft to Moon to bring back lunar rocks, first attempt since 1970s

• China is all set to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon this week for bringing back the lunar rocks. It will be the first attempt by any nation in the world for retrieving the samples from the natural satellite of Earth since the 1970s.

• Named after the ancient Chinese Goddess of the moon, Chang’e-5 probe will seek on collecting the materials from the moon. It will help the scientists to understand more about its origin and surface.

• If China becomes successful in its mission, it will become the third country to retrieve moon samples, following the Soviet Union and the United States decades ago. The mission will also be testing China’s ability to remotely acquire the samples from space.

• China also plans on retrieving the samples from Mars by 2030. In July 2020, China had also launched an unmanned probe to Mars. It was its first independent mission to another planet.

                                                                                               Banking and Economy

Bank Credit Rises 5.67%, Deposits Up 10.63%, RBI Data Shows

• Bank credit grew by 5.67 per cent to Rs 104.04 lakh crore, while deposits increased by 10.63 per cent to Rs 143.80 lakh crore in the fortnight ended November 6, according to RBI data.

• In the fortnight ended November 8, 2019, bank credit stood at Rs 98.46 lakh crore and deposits at Rs 129.98 lakh crore.

• On a year-on-year basis, non-food bank credit growth decelerated to 5.8 per cent in September 2020 from 8.1 per cent in the same month of the previous year.

• Credit to industry recorded ‘nil’ growth in September 2020 as compared to 2.7 per cent rise in September 2019.

• Credit to agriculture and allied activities rose by 5.9 per cent during the reporting month, as against a growth of 7 per cent in the same month last year.

• Loan growth to the services sector accelerated to 9.1 per cent in September 2020 from 7.3 per cent in September 2019.

• Personal loans registered a growth of 9.2 per cent in the month compared to 16.6 per cent growth in September 2019.

RBI becomes world’s first central bank with a million Twitter followers

• Reserve Bank of India, in a first among Central Banks, has become the first monetary authority that has gained 1 million followers on its official Twitter Handle.

• Shaktikanda Das, RBI Governor congratulated his colleagues on this occasion. He also has a separate Twitter Handle with 1.37 lakh followers. He shared the news of achievement through Twitter and congratulated everyone for the new milestone.

• India’s monetary authority has beaten the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve on Twitter by becoming the most popular central bank to be followed on the microblogging site. Currently, the Reserve Bank of India is followed by as many as 10,00,513 followers on Twitter.

                                                                                                             Awards

Department of Fisheries presents Fisheries Sector Awards for the first time on World Fisheries Day

• Department of Fisheries presents Fisheries Sector Awards for the first time on World Fisheries Day The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying awarded best performing States for 2019-20 on 21 November 2020 on the occasion of the ‘World Fisheries Day’, to recognise their accomplishments in the field and their contribution into the growth of the sector. 

Top States

1. Marine states – Odisha

2. Inland states – Uttar Pradesh

3. Hilly and NE states – Assam

Top Organisations

1. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd. (for Marine)

2. Telangana State Fishermen Cooperative societies Federation Ltd (for Inland)

3. Assam Apex Cooperative Fish Marketing and Processing Federation Ltd. (for Hilly region)

Top Districts

1. Best Marine District – Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh

2. Best Inland District – Kalahandi, Odisha

3. Best Hilly and NE District – Nagaon, Assam

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Important Current Affairs 22nd November 2020

                                                                                                         National

PM lays the foundation stone of rural drinking water supply projects in Vindhyachal region of Uttar Pradesh

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of rural drinking water supply projects in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of Vindhyachal region in Uttar Pradesh on 22 November 2020 via video conference.

• The total estimated cost of the projects is around Rs 5,555.38 Crore.

• The projects are planned to be completed in 24 months.

• It will provide household tap water connections in all rural households of 2,995 villages and will benefit about 42 lakh population of these districts.

                                                                                                          Banking and Economy

Indian students contributed over $7 billion to US economy in 2019-20

• According to the report “Opens Doors 2020“, Indian students contributed USD 7.6 billion to the US economy in the academic year 2019-20, even though there was a 4.4 per cent drop in the total number of Indian students.

• China remained the largest source of international students in the US, with the number of Chinese students in the country increasing for the 16th consecutive year. There were over 372,000 Chinese students in the U.S. during 2019-20 year.

• According to the report, released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), for the fifth consecutive year the United States hosted more than 1 million international students (1,075,496) in an academic year.

                                                                                                      Awards

Naseeruddin Shah honoured with Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar

• Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has been honoured with the 2020 Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar at annual Sangit Kala Kendra Awards.

•  Alongside, two emerging stars, in the firmament of theatrics – Neel Choudhary and Irawati Karnik were awarded the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskars. “Theatre” is the central theme, for this year’s awards.

                                                                                        Acquisitions and Mergers

RBL Bank selects Amazon Web Services to drive digital transformation

• RBL Bank has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud service to drive digital transformation. At present, around 40 per cent of the bank’s mission-critical applications are on the cloud.

• The bank first migrated its corporate website to AWS cloud and with the experience gained initiated a 10-in-10 project (a complete migration of 10 applications in 10 days).

• The bank chose AWS for its commitment to security and highly reliable global infrastructure.

                                                                                                           Ranking

Hong Kong, Zurich, and Paris most expensive cities in EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its biannual ‘Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL)’ report of the World’s Most Expensive Cities in 2020, based on their cost of living.

• Hong Kong, Paris and Zurich shares the top spot as the most expensive cities in the list, which comprises of 133 cities.

• The report took into account the price of 138 items, used in every day for survival, and the falling or rising value of that country’s currency due to C-19 to rank the cities accordingly.

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Important Current Affairs 21st November 2020

                                                                                                               NATIONAL

Mastercard & USAID Partners to launch “Project Kirana”

• Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have collaborated under Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to launch ‘Project Kirana’ in India, to help women entrepreneurs grow and thrive.

• Project Kirana is a two-year programme, and initially, it will be rolled out in select cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi. The programme will be implemented by DAI Digital Frontiers and ACCESS Development Services.

• Build financial and digital literacy skills;

• Improve basic business management skills including inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty;

• Addressing cultural and other barriers to women becoming successful Kirana entrepreneurs;

• It will work to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and digital payments adoption of Kirana shops that are owned or operated by women.

Ravi Shankar Prasad releases “My Stamp on Chhath Puja”

• Union Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad has released a “My Stamp on Chhath Puja”. My Stamp is an innovative concept initiated by the Department of Posts. Any common person or corporate organisation can now book order and get a personalised photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp.

• My Stamp is one of the unique products being offered by India Post, which has gained its popularity in the customised gifting category. My Stamp on Chhath Puja is available in all Philatelic bureaus and major post offices across the country. A special cover on the theme “Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness” was also released.

CBIC Chairman Ajit Kumar inaugurates GST Bhawan

• Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Chairman M. Ajit Kumar, along with members of the Board inaugurated the GST Bhawan, Panchkula,  Haryana. The state of the art building will house the offices of Central GST at Panchkula. It has been built at a cost of about 31 crores rupees.

• This is the first major infrastructure project of CBIC completed in these times of C-19. The building is a fully air-conditioned three-storied building built on a plot of about 1.4 acres with 7600 square metres covered area and seating capacity of about 200 persons.

                                                                                               IMPORTANT DAYS

World Television Day: 21 November

• World Television Day is observed on 21 November every year. The day is observed to acknowledge the role of broadcast media. On this day, the journalists, writers, bloggers, and others who are associated with the medium promote the role of television in communication and globalization.

• The 21 November was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1996, because the first World Television Forum was held in 1996.

World Fisheries Day: 21 November

• World Fisheries Day is celebrated on 21 November every year throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities. It highlights the importance of healthy oceans ecosystems and to ensure sustainable stocks of fisheries in the world. 2020 is the fourth World Fisheries Day.

• The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean. Fishing communities worldwide celebrate this day through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, dramas, exhibition, music show, and demonstrations to highlight the importance of maintaining the world’s fisheries.

Africa Industrialization Day: 20 November

• Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. It is a time when governments and other organizations in many African countries examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process. It is also an occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialization in Africa.

• Theme 2020: “Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in the AfCFTA era”.

World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November

• World Children’s Day is observed globally on 20 November every year. The day is celebrated to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

• World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year.  It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

                                                                                       SUMMITS AND MOU’S

World Bank Signs $120 Million Project to Improve Connectivity in Meghalaya

• The Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank has signed a $120-million project to improve and modernize the transport sector of Meghalaya. This will help Meghalaya to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism. The $120 million loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of six years. The International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a development bank administered by the World Bank.

• The Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP) will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges by using innovative, climate-resilient, and nature-based solutions.

• The segments will serve major agriculture areas, important tourist destinations, small-scale industries, major towns and underserved populations by linking them to markets, health and education centres, and national and international corridors.

• It will also support innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction.

• This operation will also support the state’s government “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected due to C-19 pandemic.

• It will help restore transport services for the movement of agricultural produce, improve access to health facilities during C-19 type medical emergencies, benefit about 500,000 inhabitants, and generate direct employment of about 8 million person-days.

                                                                            AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Scottish Author Douglas Stuart wins 2020 Booker Prize

• Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has won the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction. He has been awarded for his debut novel, “Shuggie Bain”. The 44-year-old Stuart is only the second Scot to have won the prestigious literary prize.

• The Booker Prize for Fiction, (formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize (1969–2001) and the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019)), is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. It carries £50,000 prize ($66,000).

Dr Pokhriyal to be conferred with Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award

• Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ will be conferred with the Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award. This award will be conferred to the Minister for writing, poetry and other literary works. The Minister has penned more than 75 books on wide-ranging issues, which have also been translated into many national and foreign languages. Vatayan International Awards given by the Vatayan-UK organization in London honours poets, writers and artists for their exemplary work in their respective fields.

• Mr Pokhriyal has earlier received several awards in the field of literature and administration including Sahitya Bharati Award by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sahitya Gaurav Samman by Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Bharat Gaurav Samman, Good Governance Award by Dubai Government, outstanding Achievement Award by Global Organization of Person of Indian Origin by Mauritius, awarded in Ukraine in the area of environmental protection, among others. Mr Nishank is also honoured with “Himal Gaurav Samman” by Nepal.

                                                                                                RANKING

India Ranks 77 in TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix 2020

• India is placed at 77th position in the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix 2020. India has achieved a score of 45 in a global list that measures business bribery risks of 2020. India’s rank stood 78 positions in 2019. It was a better performance than neighbouring nations such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and China. But, Bhutan scored better than India and got 48th place in the list.

• North Korea, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Venezuela and Eritrea had the highest commercial bribery risk. Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand showed the lowest bribery risk.

• The TRACE Matrix list is released by TRACE International, an anti-bribery standard-setting organisation, which measures business bribery risk in 194 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions.

                                                                                         BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveils two books

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled two books ‘The Republican Ethic Volume III’ and ‘Loktantra Ke Swar’ which are a collection of selected speeches of President Ram Nath Kovind during the third year of his presidency. Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar unveiled the e-book versions of the two books.

• Mr Rajnath Singh stated that the President’s speeches depict his concern towards issues such as girls education, empowerment of women, and welfare of the weaker sections.  All the speeches in this book reflect on the self-confidence in this country. This book comprises speeches on the country’s efforts to fight C-19, where India is faring much better than other countries, to bravely defending its borders. This compilation of speeches of President Kovind presents a comprehensive picture of his work, personality and values.

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Important Current Affairs 20th November 2020

                                                                                                     INTERNATIONAL

Maia Sandu Wins Moldova Presidential Election

• Maia Sandu has won Moldova’s presidential election after a run-off vote against the incumbent Igor Dodon. Ms Sandu has won 57.7% of the vote compared to Mr Dodon’s 42.2%.

• Sandu is a former World Bank economist who favours closer ties with the European Union. Mr Dodon, meanwhile, is openly backed by Russia.

                                                                                                      NATIONAL

Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses 33rd Stop TB Partnership Board meet

• The Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has addressed the 33rd Stop TB Partnership Board meeting in New Delhi through Video Conference. During the meet, the minister has stressed on the need to create a mass movement for the elimination of TB with strategized advocacy, thought leadership, disruptive social entrepreneurship, powerful, societal and political commitment.

• It must be noted that India is running the “TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” campaign that targets to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target related to TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.

Vijayanagara becomes 31st District of Karnataka

• The world heritage site of Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagar empire, will soon be part of a new district. The Karnataka Government has approved to carve out Vijayanagara as a new district of the state.

• Vijayanagara will be the 31st district of the State. The new district would be carved out of Ballari and named after the Vijayanagara empire that ruled from this region.

Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates capacity building component of PM-FME

• Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Narendra Singh Tomar has virtually inaugurated the capacity building component of the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme). PM-FME Scheme has been launched with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25. He also launched the GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India.

• The component envisages imparting training to food processing entrepreneurs, various groups, viz., self-help groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Co-operatives, workers, and other stakeholders associated with the implementation of the PM-FME scheme.

• Training would be given to the master trainers through online mode, classroom lecture and demonstration, and self-paced online learning material.

• The master trainers will then train the district-level trainers, who will eventually train the beneficiaries.

                                                                                                       SPORTS

BCCI announces MPL Sports as Official Kit Sponsor

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced its partnership with Mobile Premier League (MPL) Sports, the athleisure wear and sports merchandise brand from Mobile Premier League, India’s largest esports platform, as the new kit sponsor and official merchandise partner for the Indian Cricket Team.

• MPL Sports has entered into a three-year agreement from November 2020 to December 2023.

• MPL Sports’ association with the BCCI begins with upcoming India’s tour of Australia, 2020-21, which will see Team India sporting the new jerseys.

• The senior men and women and the Under-19 teams are also a part of the deal for the new kits.

• Apart from Team India jerseys, MPL Sports will also sell licensed Team India merchandise.

• MPL Sports will offer the jerseys and its wide range of Team India merchandise to fans at affordable prices.

FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup 2021 cancelled

• The 2021 U-17 Women’s World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in India, has been cancelled due to the C-19 pandemic. It has also been decided that India will host the 2022 edition of the World Cup. The tournament was supposed to be held in November 2020 initially, only for the pandemic to force a postponement.

• FIFA then revised the schedule and the tournament was to be held in February and March in 2021 in India. The 2020 U20 Women’s World Cup has also been cancelled along with the U17 edition. While Costa Rica will get the chance to host the 2022 U20 Women’s World Cup.

• Five venues had been selected as host cities for the tournament – the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) in Kolkata, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, EKA Arena in Ahmedabad and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

                                                                                              SUMMITS AND MOU’S

DIPAM inks agreement with World Bank

• Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has signed an agreement with the World Bank, to provide advisory services to DIPAM for asset monetization. DIPAM is mandated with facilitating monetization of non-core assets of government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment or closure and enemy property of the value of 100 crore and above. DIPAM has a framework for monetizing non-core assets.

• The World Bank advisory project, approved by the Finance Minister, is aimed at analyzing public asset monetization in India and benchmarking its institutional and business models against international best practices as well as supporting the development of operational guidelines and capacity building for their implementation.

                                                                                                              RANKING

India’s Param Siddhi ranked 63rd in most powerful supercomputers

• According to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Indian supercomputer, Param Siddhi has achieved 63rd rank in the list of 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. Param Siddhi is the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer established under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC. The Top 500 project which ranks the top 500 non-distributed computer systems in the world is published twice a year.

• The first of these updates always coincides with the International Supercomputing Conference in June, and the second is presented at the ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference in November.

• The AI system will strengthen application development of packages in areas such as advanced materials, computational chemistry & astrophysics, and several packages being developed under the mission on the platform for drug design and preventive health care system, flood forecasting package for flood-prone metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Patna and Guwahati.

                                                                                         BANKING AND ECONOMY

Barclays Projects India’s GDP at -6.4% in FY21

• Barclays has revised down its GDP forecast for India in the current fiscal year 2020-21 (FY21) to – 6.4% from its earlier estimate of – 6%.

• However, Barclays has raised its FY22 (2021-22) growth forecast to 8.5 per cent from 7 per cent.

Karnataka Bank launches CASA campaign

• Karnataka Bank launched CASA (current account, savings account) mobilisation campaign which will run from November 17 to March 4, 2021. The bank stated that it intends to mobilise over 4.10 lakh current and savings accounts with an accretion of 650 crores of business. With this campaign, the bank intends to introduce its attractive and superior line of digitally powered savings and current account products to its customers.

• To enable the basic banking services to the unbanked(not use banks or banking institutions) sections of the society.

• To popularize bank’s digitally powered CASA products to the next level of customers on the basis of their requirements.

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Important Current Affairs 19th November 2020

                                                                                                 INTERNATIONAL

Japan & Australia signs defence deal to counter China

• Japan and Australia have signed a ‘landmark’ defence pact in a bid to counter China’s growing influence in the South China Sea and over the Pacific island nations. The deal called Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) was signed between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

• RAA will allow Japanese and Australian troops to visit each other’s countries and conduct training and joint operations. The treaty will strengthen its security ties and facilitate cooperation between defence forces.

                                                                                                    NATIONAL

Madhya Pradesh govt announces ‘Gau Cabinet’ for protection of cows

• The Madhya Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has decided to set up a ‘Gau Cabinet’ for the protection, conservation and promotion of cows in the state. The Cabinet will comprise of the departments of animal husbandry, forests, panchayat and rural development, revenue, home and farmers welfare.

• The first meeting of the Cabinet will be held at 12 pm on ‘Gopashtami’ on November 22 at the Cow Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district named ‘Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya ‘. It is India’s first cow sanctuary which was set up by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh government in September 2017.

PM Modi addresses 3rd Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the 3rd Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum through video-conferencing. The forum witnessed discussions on refuelling the economy and charting a course for the future, as the world economy is grappling with the C-19-19 pandemic.

• Some other Speakers of the forum included Director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, former US President Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres.

• The Bloomberg New Economy Forum was established in 2018 by Michael Bloomberg, to build a community of leaders to engage in real conversations leading to actionable solutions about the critical challenges facing a world economy in the throes of a historic transition. The inaugural Forum was held in Singapore and the Second Annual Forum was hosted in Beijing.

Asia’s 1st solar power-enabled Textile Mill to be unveiled in Maharashtra

• The first solar power-enabled Textile Mill in Asia is set to be set up in Parbhani district, Maharashtra. Spread across 30 acres of land, the Jai Bhawani women’s cooperative textile mill will be first in Asia that will operate entirely on solar power. The overall cost of setting up the project is around Rs. 100 crore.

• Once functional, the mill will process cotton to cloth and would provide jobs to many women in the district. Parbhani is the leading cotton-producing district in Maharashtra and with the operationalization of the mill, it will give momentum to the industrial sector in the district.

                                                                                                           SPORTS

Sudeep Tyagi announces retirement from all forms of cricket

• Indian cricketer, Sudeep Tyagi has announced his retirement from all forms of the cricket. The 33-year-old had played for the Indian national cricket team in four ODIs and a lone T20I as a fast bowler.

• Apart from this, the right-arm medium-fast bowler had also featured in 14 games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

                                                                                                   OBITUARY

Former Goa Governor Mridula Sinha passes away

• Former Governor of Goa and veteran BJP leader, Mridula Sinha passed away. She was the first woman Governor of Goa. She was also a proficient writer, making extensive contributions to the world of literature as well as culture. She has served as the head of the BJP’s women’s wing and Chairperson of Central Social Welfare Board in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

• A native of Muzaffarpur, Sinha will be remembered for starting cultural events called ‘Chaand ke Saath’ in the lawns of Governor House. She had also opened a cattle shed inside the Raj Bhawan.

Rajasthan Minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal passes away

• Rajasthan Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal passed away. The five-time MLA represented the Sujangarh assembly constituency of Churu district of the state.

                                                                                             IMPORTANT DAYS

World Toilet Day: 19 November

• World Toilet Day (WTD) is observed globally on 19 November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

• The day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and officially declared by the UN General Assembly in 2013. This year the theme remarks on the importance of "Sustainable sanitation and climate change".

World Philosophy Day: 19 November

• World Philosophy Day is observed on the third Thursday of November every year. This year World Philosophy Day falls on 19 November 2020. The Day encourages academic exchange and highlights the contribution of philosophical knowledge in addressing global issues. The 2020 edition invites the world to reflect on the meaning of the current pandemic, underlining the need, more than ever before, to resort to philosophical reflection in order to face the multiple crises we are going through.

• In 2005 the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed that World Philosophy Day would be celebrated every third Thursday of November. In establishing World Philosophy Day UNESCO strives to promote an international culture of philosophical debate that respects human dignity and diversity.

World COPD Day 2020: 18 November

• World COPD Day is observed on the third Wednesday of November every year to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improve COPD care throughout the world. World COPD Day 2020 falls on 18 November 2020.

• The 2020 theme: Living Well with COPD-Everybody, Everywhere.

• The day is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world. The first World COPD Day was held in 2002. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease that blocks airflow and makes it difficult to breathe.

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Important Current Affairs 18th November 2020

SPORTS

Novak Djokovic lifts ATP Year-end No. 1 Trophy for 6th time

• Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has given the ATP Tour No. 1 trophy on 15 November 2020, for finishing 2020 as the year-end No. 1 (world number one). With this, he has become the only second player in tennis history, after Pete Sampras, to receive the trophy sixth time.

• Earlier Djokovic had finished as world number one in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. Before this, only Pete Sampras has managed to finish six years on top of the rankings which he did between 1993 and 1998.

OBITUARY

Japanese Nobel-prize-winning Masatoshi Koshiba passes away

• Physicist Masatoshi Koshiba, who shared 2002 Nobel prize for the detection of cosmic neutrinos, passed away. Koshiba’s most famous work involved detecting neutrinos from a distant supernova explosion using a vast detector based in a mine in central Japan. Koshiba, a distinguished professor at the University of Tokyo.

• Koshiba devised the construction of giant underground chambers to detect neutrinos, elusive particles that stream from the sun. Neutrinos offer a unique view of the sun’s inner workings because they are produced in its heart by the same process that causes the sun to shine. His student, Takaaki Kajita, won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2015 for research at the Super-Kamiokande facility that found neutrinos have mass.

Former Pondicherry Lt Guv Chandrawati passes away

• Former Lt Governor of Pondicherry, Chandrawati passed away. She has a number of 1st to her credit as she was the 1st Member of Parliament (1977), the 1st MLA, 1st minister (1964-66 and 1972-74) & 1st leader of Opposition in the Haryana assembly (1982-85).

• Chandrawati had also served as the president of the Janata Party from 1977 to 1979.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

ED Director SK Mishra's tenure extended by one year

• The Union government has extended the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (ED) Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year after modifying his appointment order that was issued in 2018. His tenure was to end next week as the ED director’s post comes with a fixed term of two years.

• As per an order issued by the Department of Revenue under the Union finance ministry on Friday, the 2018 order for appointment of Mishra has been modified. “The President of India is pleased to approve the modification in the earlier order dated November 19, 2018, appointing Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra as director of enforcement in the Enforcement Directorate.

• The ED is a central investigative agency that enforces two central laws, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). These laws were enacted to curb money laundering, terror financing, black money and hawala or illegal financial transactions that have cross-border ramifications.

IMPORTANT DAYS

3rd Naturopathy Day is celebrated on 18 November

• The National Naturopathy Day is observed in India on 18 November every year, to promote positive mental and physical health through a drugless system of medicine, called as Naturopathy. The 48-day program of webinars will continue till the third National Naturopathy Day, which falls on 18 November 2020. The day was declared by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India, on November 18, 2018.

• As a part of the occasion, National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune under Ministry of AYUSH has organised a series of webinars on ‘Gandhian philosophy of Self Reliance through Self Health Reliance’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations from 2nd Oct 2020. It was on this day in 1945 when Mahatma Gandhi became lifetime Chairman of the All India Nature Cure Foundation Trust and signed the deed with the object of making the benefits of Nature Cure available to all classes of people.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Dr Susanta Kar Honoured with Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award-2020

• Dr Susanta Kar, Senior Scientist, Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI) was honoured with “Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award 2020” by Society of Biological Chemists (India), Bengaluru. The award is given to him for his contribution towards defining the survival tactics of Leishmania Donovani.

• Leishmania Donovani is a protozoan parasite that infects the macrophages and the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI creates Reserve Bank Innovation Hub to boost financial inclusion

• The Reserve Bank of India has created a Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH). The aim of Innovation Hub is to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging on technology and creating an environment which would facilitate and foster innovation. RBIH will collaborate with financial sector institutions, technology industry and academic institutions and coordinate efforts for exchange of ideas and development of prototypes related to financial innovations.

• Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) would be managed by a Governing Council (GC) consisting of 10 members (including a chairperson). Shri Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former co-Chairman, Infosys, has been appointed as the first Chairperson of the RBIH.

RBI puts Lakshmi Vilas Bank under moratorium

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed cash-strapped Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) under a moratorium for a period of one month and restricted withdrawals at Rs 25,000 for depositors, owing to a serious deterioration in the lender’s financial position. The central bank also superseded the board of directors of LVB for a period of 30 days owing to a serious deterioration in the financial position of the bank. The move was announced through an order by the Ministry of Finance.

• Reserve Bank has come to the conclusion that in the absence of a credible revival plan, with a view to protecting depositors’ interest and in the interest of financial and banking stability, there is no alternative but to apply to the Central Government for imposing a moratorium under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank to be merged with DBS:

• The RBI has also drafted a scheme of amalgamation for LVB with DBS Bank India Ltd. and aims to complete the merger process before the moratorium period ends.

• DBS Bank India Ltd (DBIL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DBS Bank Ltd, Singapore (“DBS”), which in turn is a subsidiary of Asia’s leading financial services group, DBS Group Holdings Limited.

• The bank invited suggestions and objections, if any, from members, depositors and other creditors of transferor bank (LVB) and transferee bank (DBIL), on the draft scheme.

• DBIL will bring in additional capital of ₹2,500 crore upfront, to support credit growth of the merged entity.

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Important Current Affairs 17th November 2020

National

PM Narendra Modi unveils ‘Statue of Peace’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually unveiled the ‘Statue of Peace’ on November 16, 2020 to mark the 151st birth anniversary celebrations of a Jain saint - Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj.

• The 151-inch tall statue has been built from eight metals (Ashtadhatu) with Copper as the major constituent. It has been installed at Vijay Vallabh Sadhana Kendra, Jetpura in Pali, Rajasthan.

• Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj had lived during 1870-1954 and had led an austere life as a Jain Saint, working selflessly and dedicatedly to spread the message of Lord Mahavira.

Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for 7th term

• The Chief of Janata Dal (United), Nitish Kumar has taken an oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar and he will begin his 7th term on 16th November 2020.

• Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Kumar at Raj Bhavan in Patna.

• BJP legislature party leader Tarkishore Prasad and Deputy leader Renu Devi have been made the new Deputy Chief Ministers.

International

RCEP: 15 Asia-Pacific countries form world’s largest trading bloc

• 15 Asia Pacific countries have signed the world’s biggest free trade deal, led by China, on 15 November 2020, on the sidelines of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

• The deal called as ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’, is the world’s largest trading bloc, comprising of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

• Members of the RCEP accounts for nearly a third of the world’s population and around 29% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Banking and Economy

SBM Bank India set to launch a neo banking platform

• SBM Bank India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of State Bank of Mauritius has partnered with Fintech PayNearby to launch a neo banking platform.

• Both firms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build an “open banking” network towards delivering basic banking solutions as well as advanced financial services, to their customers.

•  SBM Bank India was the first foreign bank in India to obtain a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as a Wholly Owned Subsidiary in January 2019.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Reliance Retail Ventures acquires 96% holding in Urban Ladder

• Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired equity shares of Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Private Limited (UrbanLadder) for a cash consideration of Rs 182.12 crore.

• The investment represents 96 per cent holding in the equity share capital of UrbanLadder. RRVL has a further option of acquiring the balance stake, taking its shareholding to 100 per cent of the equity share capital of UrbanLadder.

• UrbanLadder was incorporated in India on February 17, 2012. UrbanLadder is in the business of operating a digital platform for home furniture and decor products.

Science and Technology

SpaceX, Nasa launches 4 astronauts on first operational mission in space

• A SpaceX spacecraft carried four astronauts into outer space on November 15, 2020. With this kick-off, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) hopes that SpaceX will be helping in keeping the International Space Station (ISS) fully staffed.

• NASA astronauts, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi, who is an astronaut with a space agency of Japan, are now in the orbit. They are riding aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule that has been expected to dock with ISS on November 16, 2020, at 11 pm ET (9.30 am IST).

• As it is the first fully operational crewed mission for SpaceX, it is for sure a landmark one for NASA and the company. It follows up a test mission that carried NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, both the test pilots to the space station.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Turkish Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Turkish Grand Prix 2020, held on 15 November 2020.

• This was his 10th victory of the season, and 94th F1 win of his career.

• Also, with this win, he claimed the seventh Formula One championships title of his career to equal the record of Michael Schumacher.

• Sergio Perez (Racing Point-BWT- Mexico) secured second position and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished third.

Days

International Day for Tolerance

• The International Day for Tolerance is observed annually on 16 November.

• The day was declared by UNESCO in 1995, on its fiftieth anniversary, to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.

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Important Current Affairs 16th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Aung San Sui Kyi Party claims to win Myanmar Elections

• Myanmar’s ruling party led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi claimed a resounding victory.

• National League for Democracy (NLD) party has won close to 400 seats while the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has secured only 21 seats.

• Around 38 million voted to select the National League of Democracy (NLD) Party for a second term. NLD was required to win at least 2/3rd of the elected seats to win.

NATIONAL

Dr Harsh Vardhan attends 8th BRICS STI Ministerial Meet

• The 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting was held through a virtual platform for Science and Technology cooperation among the member countries, which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

• The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation. (Russia is the Chair for 12th BRICS Summit).

 S. Jaishankar Represents India at 15th East Asia Summit 2020

• The External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar has represented India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on behalf of PM Modi. The Summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc because Vietnam is ASEAN Chair in 2020 (ASEAN holds the central role and leadership in the forum). All the 18 EAS countries participated in the virtual Summit.

• Jaishankar underlined the key role played by the East Asia Summit (EAS) as a leading mechanism of the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated India’s support to make it stronger and more responsive. He also re-affirmed the importance of EAS as the Leaders-led forum to exchange views on strategic issues. On C-19, he briefed the EAS leaders about India’s response to the pandemic and highlighted India’s efforts to support the international community.

India Extends USD1 Million Aid For C-19 ASEAN Response Fund

• India has extended financial contribution of USD 1 million to the C-19 ASEAN Response Fund. This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit, which was held virtually.

• Leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025, at the conclusion of the Summit. PM Modi, participated in the 17th ASEAN-India Summit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is the current chair of ASEAN.

Ministry of Textiles launches “Local4Diwali” campaign

• The Union Ministry of Textiles has launched a campaign for Diwali- “Local4Diwali”.

• The campaign has been launched to promote the Indian handicraft which is the cultural heritage of the country and also a source of livelihood for many.

• As per the available data, the handicrafts sector is a major sector of women empowerment as almost 55% of the workers and artisans are women.

• The main aim of the #Local4Diwali campaign is to urge people to buy and gift Indian handicraft products on this Diwali.

• The basic aim of the campaign is to give a boost to Indian handicrafts and artisans.

• This campaign will help the handicraft artisans and workers in increasing their sales and promoting their business.

• After the promotion of the idea of “Vocal for Local” by PM Modi, every sector is working towards promoting local businesses and strengthening Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

IRCTC to start ‘Bharat Darshan Yatra’ on December

• Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be starting ‘Bharat Darshan–Dakshin Bharat Yatra’ from December 12.

• The Bharat Darshan Yatra will start from Hyderabad and Secunderabad from December 12 to 18. The theme of this yatra will be ‘Show India to Indians’.

• The facility of boarding and de-boarding this tourist train will be available at Secunderabad, Khammam, Nellore, Vijayawada, Warangal, Ongole, and Renigunta.

• The train will have 12 sleeper coaches, one 3-tier AC coach and a pantry car.

• The standard fare for sleeper coaches will be Rs 7,140 and that for three-tier AC will be Rs 8,610.

• The facility of night stays for all the tourists will be made at dormitories or dharmasalas.

• Tourists will also be provided with the morning tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner and a water bottle per day.

• The authorities will arrange non-AC bus transportation on sharing basis and tour escort and security on the train.

• In January 2019, IRCTC also started booking for Shirdi Sai Baba darshan tickets on its website.

OBITUARY

Veteran Bengali Actor Soumitra Chatterjee passes away

• The legendary Bengali actor and Dadasaheb Phalke award recipient Soumitra Chatterjee passed away. He became famously known after his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films. He had won a number of awards in home and abroad.

• Soumitra Chatterjee was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2004, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award for cinema, in 2012. In 1999 Soumitra Chattopadhyay became the first Indian film personality to be conferred with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest award for artists.

Noted journalist and writer Ravi Belagere passes away

• Noted journalist and writer Ravi Belagere passed away. He was from Karnataka. He was famous for writings on the crime world and his column ‘Paapigala Lokadalli’ was very popular.

• Belagere was honoured with many awards, including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, Kannada Rajyotsava awar, Karnataka Media Academy award and many more. Also an educationist, Belagere started Prarthana School, where his mortal remains were kept for the public to view, before being taken to the crematorium. He penned a book on the real-life story of the gangsters, titled Bheema Theerada Hanthakaru, which was published in 2001, and turned into a bestseller.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Press Day: 16 November

• National Press Day is observed on 16th November every year to celebrate free and responsible press in India. On this day the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that the press maintains high standards and is not constrained by any influence or threats. It also commemorates the day when the Press Council of India started functioning.

• In 1956, the First Press Commission was planned to form a Press Council to protect freedom of the press in India. On 4 July 1966, the Press Council was established in India. It came into effect from 16 November 1966. Therefore, 16 November is celebrated as National Press Day every year.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IFSCA approves draft banking regulations at IFSC

• International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has conducted a meeting in New Delhi.

• The IFSC Authority approved the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Banking) Regulations, 2020 in the meeting.

• The draft banking regulations approved at the meeting opens the way for making rules for the various aspects of banking operations that would be permissible at the IFSC.

• As banking plays an important role at IFSC, banking regulations will help it in reaching its desired potential.

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Important Current Affairs 15th November 2020

National

PM inaugurates future-ready Ayurveda institutions at Jamnagar and Jaipur

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) at Jamnagar and National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) at Jaipur on 5th Ayurveda Day via video conferencing.

• These institutions are expected to play global leadership roles in the growth and development of Ayurveda in the 21st Century.

• This will provide them the autonomy to upgrade the standard of Ayurveda education, frame various courses as per emerging national and international demand.

S. Jaishankar Represents India at 15th East Asia Summit 2020

• The External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar represented India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on 14 November 2020 on behalf of PM Modi.

• The Summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc because Vietnam is ASEAN Chair in 2020 (ASEAN holds the central role and leadership in the forum).

• All the 18 EAS countries participated in the virtual Summit.

Harsh Vardhan attends 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meet

• The 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial meeting was held on 13 November 2020 through a virtual platform for Science and Technology cooperation among the member countries, which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

• The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Russian Federation. (Russia is the Chair for 12th BRICS Summit)

• The Union Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan represented the Indian delegation at the meeting

• The meeting concluded with the adoption of BRICS STI Declaration 2020.

International

China successfully sends world’s first 6G communications test satellite into orbit

• China successfully launched 13 satellites into orbit with a single rocket, including the world’s first 6G experiment satellite.

• The satellites were launched into the orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the Shanxi Province from Long March-6 carrier rocket

• With the launch of 6G communications test satellite, China has become the world’s first country to test 6G technology.

Awards

Bangladeshi teen Sadat Rahman wins International Children’s Peace Prize 2020

• Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh has been awarded the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize 2020.

• The award was presented to 17-year-old Sadat by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai on 13 November 2020, during a ceremony in the Netherlands. He was selected out of 142 applicants from 42 countries.

• He was awarded the prize for his involvement in setting up his social organization and mobile app ‘Cyber Teens’ to stop cyberbullying.

• The International Children’s Peace Prize is given annually since 2005 by the International children’s rights organization KidsRights based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Science and Technology

India Successfully Test Fires Quick Reaction Surface-To-Air Missile off Odisha Coast

• India successfully test-fired the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system off the coast of Balasore in Odisha on 13 November 2020.

• The system achieved a major milestone by a direct hit on to a Banshee Pilotless target aircraft at medium range and medium altitude.

• The QRSAM system has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited for the Indian Army

Books & Authors

A New Book on Gulzar “Boskiyana” by Radhakrishna Prakashan

• ‘Boskiyana’, a new Hindi book on Gulzar, veteran Indian poet-lyricist has been published by Radhakrishna Prakashan. The book portrays the life of Gulzar through his films, poetry, philosophies, lifestyle, likes and dislikes.

• The 228- page book is edited and compiled by Yashwant Vyas. ‘Boskiyana’ is the name of the house of Gulzar in Mumbai.

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