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Monthly Current Affairs: October 2020 in English

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MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS

Monthly Current Affairs: October 2020 in English

MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS OCTOBER 2020 in English

In this monthly current affairs section, we have covered entire important topics like Persons in News, Places in News, National Affairs, International Affairs, Sports Affairs, Schemes & Policies, Awards & Recognition, Appointments,  Books and Authors, Important Days and themes, Obituary, Ranking and Index, Conference and Summits, Agreements and MoUs, Defence, STATIC, etc of October 2020. These current affairs questions are most important for upcoming exams of SSC.

Persons in News

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has become the most successful driver in terms of victories in Formula 1 history. 

  • He won the Portuguese Grand Prix.
  • He claimed his 92nd victory; one more than Michael Schumacher.
  • He equalled Michael Schumacher’s all-time record 91 Formula One wins with an Eifel Grand Prix victory.

Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary (Labour and Employment) has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) for the period October 2020- June 2021.

  • After 35 years, India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization.
  • Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary (Labour and Employment) has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) for the period October 2020- June 2021. 
  • The Chairperson of the Governing Body of ILO is a position of international repute.
  • The Governing Body is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the Director-General. 
  • At present ILO has 187 members. 
  • Shri Apurva Chnadra will be presiding over the upcoming meeting of the Governing Body to be held in November 2020.

Minty Agarwal is the first woman to receive the Yudh Seva Medal.

  • Three Indian Air Force (IAF) officers who took part in the Balakot operation last year received Yudh Seva Medal on the occasion of 88th Air Force Day on (8 October).
  • The officers who received the Yudh Seva Medal are Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal, Group Captain Hansel Sequera and Group Captain Hemant Kumar Vadsra.
  • Yudh Seva Medal recognises distinguished service of a high order during war, conflict or hostilities.
  • Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal is a Fighter Controller with the Indian Air Force. She was part of the team that guided Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during the 2019 Balakot airstrike carried out by the IAF.

The Supreme Court has appointed Justice (retd) Madan B Lokur, a former judge of the apex court, as a one-man monitoring committee to prevent stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which is the main source of pollution in Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

  • The new committee will monitor the stubble burning and take preventive steps. 
  • It will get assistance from chief secretaries of all states as well as National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts.
  • The panel shall submit its report on stubble burning within 15 days to the apex court.

Dr Jajini Varghese, has been named an ‘Outstanding Young Person of the World 2020’.

A UK-based Indian-origin surgeon and  Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Royal Free Hospital and University College London is one of 10 nominations from the UK for the international award, by a non-profit NGO for her “incredible” scientific contributions to diagnosing and treating breast cancer

It honours outstanding young people under the age of 40 every year from across 110 countries for extraordinary accomplishments in various fields.

The documentary titled, “I RISE” based on the life of ace boxer Laishram Sarita Devi, has won the 'Best film on Woman, outstanding achievement award' in the Tagore International Film Festival, (TIFF) held at West Bengal. 

  • The 52-minute documentary is directed by National Award-winning filmmaker and journalist Borun Thokchom. I RISE, is a Films Division, Mumbai production.
  • TIFF is a monthly live screening international event.

In each month, the world film industry specialists announce 20 Officially selected films in various categories and one of those films receives the 'Best of the Category' award. 

In the 10th season of TIFF, 'I RISE' won the 'Best film on Woman, outstanding achievement award.

Rohan Jaitley, the son of former finance minister late Arun Jaitley, has been elected unopposed as the new president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). 

  • Rohan is slated to remain in the post till June 30, 2021
  • For the rest of the office bearers (treasurer and director), elections will be held on Late Arun Jaitley had also served as the president of DDCA between 1999 and 2013
  • Rohan Jaitley was expected to be the unanimous choice of all warring factions at the DDCA. Sunil Kumar Goel, the only other candidate, had withdrawn after filing his nomination for the president’s post.

Vishal V Sharma has been appointed as the next permanent representative of India to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

  • Sharma has succeeded Jawed Ashraf.
  • "Vishal V Sharma appointed as the next permanent representative of India to the permanent delegation of India to UNESCO, Paris, in succession to Jawed Ashraf," MEA said in a release.
  • Sharma is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

Gurdeep Singh-will become the longest serving chief at India’s largest power generation utility.(NTPC)

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has extended the tenure of state run NTPC Ltd chairman and managing director, Gurdeep Singh till 31 July 2025
  • This comes in the backdrop of NTPC's pivot towards green energy.
  • With an installed capacity of 62.91 gigawatts (GW), the NTPC group has 70 power stations across the country.
  • Singh had first assumed the charge of utility's chairman and managing director in February 2016. 

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has been appointed as the president of Gupkar Declaration and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti as vice president.

  • CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami is the convenor of the alliance while Sajad Lone of the People's Conference was named as spokesperson.
  • Hasnain Masoodi, an NC MP from Anantnag, will be the coordinator.
  • The decision was taken after a two-hour long meeting of the alliance leaders at Mufti’s residence in Srinagar.
  • The meeting took place a day after Mufti, in her first press conference after her release from detention, vowed not to contest any election unless J&K’s special status and Constitution are restored.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin of Rs 100 in honour of Smt Vijaya Raje Scindia  on 12th October, 2020 through a virtual ceremony. 

  • Smt Vijaya Raje Scindia is popularly known as the Rajmata of Gwalior. 
  • The coin is being released in  celebration of the birth centenary of Vijaya Raje Scindia. 
  • The special commemorative coin was minted by the Finance Ministry as a part of these  celebrations. 
  • Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia was a Jana Sangh leader and one of the founding members of the BJP

English poet and novelist Sarah Hall has become the first writer to win the BBC National Short Story Award for the second time.

  • She won the top honour for the story,The Grotesques.
  • Hall has been nominated four times in the past and last won in 2013 for her story, Mrs Fox.
  • The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was founded in 2005, and the recipient of this prize receives £15,000.

PLACES IN NEWS

All eight beaches recommended by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification in a single attempt.The beaches which got International Blue flag Certification are:

  • Shivrajpur beach - Gujarat
  • Ghoghla beach - Diu
  • Kasarkod and Padubidri  - Karnataka
  • Kappad - Kerala
  • Rushikonda  - Andhra Pradesh
  • Golden Beach  - Odisha
  • Radhanagar beach  - Andaman and Nicobar Islands

An Indian Army war memorial called the Joginder War Memorial was inaugurated at Bum La, Arunachal Pradesh. It was inaugurated by Joginder Singh’s daughter.

  • He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously. 
  • He joined the British Indian army in 1936.
  •  He served in the first battalion of Sikh regiment. 
  • During the 1962 Sino Indian War, he was a commanding officer. He led his outnumbered Troops against the Chinese and defended his post till he was wounded and captured. 
  • He was honoured with the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery of handling 50 Chinese men alone.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Atal Tunnel, Rohtang on  October 3. 

  • Atal tunnel is the world's longest highway tunnel above 10,000 ft.
  • This 9.02 km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul & Spiti Valley throughout the year.
  • Earlier, the valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall.
  • The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of three thousand metres from the Mean Sea Level.
  • It reduces the road distance by 46 kilometres between Manali and Leh and the time by about four to five hours.

Hudali village near Belagavi district in Karnataka is a living monument of Gandhian way of life.

  • It has imbibed Gandhian Philosophy and continues to live in the Gandhian way.
  • Mahatma Gandhi had spent a few days in the village in 1937 and introduced charkha and Khadi.
  • Hudali village follows Gandhi and his ideals and has become a proponent of village industry.

National Affairs

India’s premium Cotton would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton Trade.

The Indian Cotton has been endowed with a Brand & Logo on World Cotton day 

  • It is celebrated on 7 October as a global celebration of cotton and its stakeholders, from field to fabric and beyond.
  • World Cotton Day also aims to highlight the challenges faced by the world’s cotton economies, as cotton is significant for the least developed, developing and developed economies worldwide.This is the second edition. 
  • The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness. 
  • The first-ever World Cotton Day (WCD) was hosted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on October 7, 2019.

India has been designated the ‘Vice-Chair’ of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognising the contribution of the Indian GLP programme.

  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a quality system, which has been evolved by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Human and Veterinary), agrochemicals, cosmetic products, food/ feed additives, and medical devices, etc., can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, established the National GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority (NGCMA) with the approval of the Union Cabinet on April 24, 2002.
  • NGCMA is the National body which grants GLP certification to test facilities (TFs) conducting safety studies on new chemicals of the above-mentioned categories in accordance with OECD Principles of GLP and OECD Council norms.

Union minister Jitendra Singh has announced that the government has abolished the interview for recruitment in government jobs in 23 states and 8 union territories.

  • In 2015 Prime Minister had announced while delivering the speech from Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15.
  • This is being done in continuation to the plan of abolition of interview for Group-B (non-gazetted) and Group-C posts in the Central government.
  • This plan has been in mission mode since 2016.
  • The entire process is being done by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
  • Maharashtra and Gujarat are some states that quickly  implemented this rule while there are some states that were reluctant to abolish the conduct of interview for jobs.
  • However, after reminding repeatedly to State governments, practice of conducting interviews has been discontinued in all the 8 Union territories, including Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 
  • Further, 23 out of 28 states have also abolished the system.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination in order to mark the long-standing relation of India with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the occasion of 75th Anniversary of FAO on October 16, 2020. 

  • He would also be dedicating recently developed 17 biofortified varieties of 8 crops.
  • The event will mark the highest priority given by the government to agriculture and nutrition.
  • It also resolves to completely eliminate hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition.
  • It will be attended by Anganwadis, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Organic and Horticulture Missions across the country.   

Kerala became the first Indian state to fix the Minimum Support Price for sixteen agriculture items.

  • It consists of vegetables, fruits and tubers. The scheme is to support farmers and increase the agriculture sector.
  • Sixteen different varieties of vegetables will be covered in the first phase.
  • There is also a condition to revise the MSP price on a regular basis.
  • The Base Price will be 20% more than the production cost of vegetables. 
  • It will function in the same way as the MSP system.
  • Local self government bodies will correlate the procurement and circulation of vegetables.
  • The crops will be procured from Farmers through Vegetable and Fruits Promotion Council Keralam and Horticorp.
  •  All yields procured under the scheme, will be sold under the brand name “Jeevani Kerala Farm Fresh Fruits and Vegetables”.

NITI Aayog’s AIM (Atal Innovation Mission) will organize the India–Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

  • I-ACE Hackathon will be a two-day event on 7 and 8 December. The idea to organize I-ACE came up during a virtual summit on 4 June between Indian and Australian Prime Ministers ( Modi & Scott John Morrison).
  • I-ACE Hackathon will focus on innovative technology solutions by Indian and Australian students, startups and MSMEs.
  • I-ACE Hackathon has four key themes. Two winners (one student and one startup/MSME) for each theme will be selected from each country.
  • The award ceremony will be held on 11 December and the winner student and startup/MSME from India will get Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively.

Chief Minister of Manipur Shri N Biren Singh inaugurated two water supply projects for two villages under Jal Jeevan Mission.

  • The two villages on the Indo Myanmar border are remote and are now getting regular water supply under Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • Khangbarol village of Khengjoy sub division, Chandel, an aspirational district in Manipur is situated 69 km away from district headquarter. 
  • The Village lies about 30 km from the Indo Myanmar border. There are 82 households in the village. 
  • The water supply system has been designed keeping in mind the projected population of about 1,000 till 2041.

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

  • Himachal Pradesh has also secured second position at the national level for construction of roads under PMGSY. Union Ministry of Rural Development has declared the list of top performing 30 districts in the country for implementing the PMGSY programme.
  • Mandi district has received top position for constructing roads under PMGSY of maximum length in 2020-21. 

The Central Government recently amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989.

  • The amendment shall facilitate the setting up of District Development Councils (DDC).
  • The members will be directly elected by voters in J&K.
  • The DDCs will act as a new unit of governance in J&K. 
  • This structure will include a DDC and a District Planning Committee (DPC).
  • J&K Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, have also been amended to establish DDCs.
  • This system shall replace the District Planning and Development Boards in all districts.
  • It will also prepare and approve district plans and capital expenditure.
  • The term of the DDC will be five years. 

Uttar Pradesh government is expanding the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana Ayushman Bharat in the state.

  •  State government is mulling over selection of beneficiaries on the basis of national food security act for Ayushman Bharat scheme. 
  • This step will include half of the state's population under the health cover scheme of Ayushman Bharat
  • .Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had a high-level meeting with the concerned officers on this issue. 
  • After making NFSA the basis of selection of Ayushman Bharat scheme, the beneficiaries of Antyodaya scheme, eligible householder scheme and other schemes will also become eligible beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  • This will increase the number of eligible beneficiary families to 3.58 crore under the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state 
  • Currently under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the beneficiary is selected on the basis of social, economic, ethnic census-2011. On this basis of selection, 1.18 crore families of the state are eligible for Ayushman Bharat scheme.

India and France were re-elected as the President and Co- President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for a term of two years at the virtual meeting of the Third Assembly held on 14 October.

  • Four new Vice-Presidents were also chosen to represent the four regions of ISA. The representatives of Fiji & Nauru for Asia Pacific Region; Mauritius & Niger for Africa Region; UK & Netherlands for Europe and others Region, and Cuba and Guyana for Latin America and Caribbean Region assumed the vice presidency.
  • The Assembly also approved the initiatives of the ISA Secretariat in institutionalizing ISA’s engagement with the private and public corporate sector through the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA). Ten public sector organisations in India presented a cheque for 1 million USD each at the assembly.
  • Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh launched the ayurvedic ‘chemo recovery kits’ developed by a Pune-based cancer research institute and called for joint research by scientists in Ayurveda and modern medicine for cancer treatment.
  • The chemo recovery kits, containing an ayurvedic formulation and developed by the Integrated Cancer Treatment and Research Centre of the Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Trust, Pune with financial assistance from the Tata Trusts, were launched by Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan.

International Affairs

The 12th BRICS Summit will be held on 17th November 2020 via video conference.

  • The theme of the Meeting  is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
  • The Summit this year is being held under the Chairmanship of Russia and aims at a multifaceted cooperation between the member countries.
  • The five member countries have continued close strategic partnership on all the three major pillars of peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper are in India to hold the third round of US-India 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and their Indian counterparts. 

  • The two sides have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) that would enhance the geospatial cooperation between them and it is likely to help in improving the accuracy of missile systems of India.
  • India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue will focus on four themes — regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.

Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, has won a controversial third term with 59.49% of the vote.

  • His victory came amid widespread protests that were violently suppressed by security forces.
  • Such demonstrations have occurred for months after the government changed the constitution through a national referendum, allowing Condé to extend his decade in power.
  • Opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo received 33.50% of the vote. Voter turnout was almost 80%.

IAEA, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog, has confirmed that Iran has started building an underground nuclear facility.

  • According to IAEA, Iran has stockpiled low-enriched Uranium, but it doesn’t appear to possess enough to produce a nuclear weapon.
  • Iran had a nuclear facility at Natanz, but it got destroyed in July. After that, Iran stated it would build a more secure nuclear facility around Natanz.
  • In 2015 a landmark deal was agreed between Iran and world powers known as the P5+1 for a joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It had allowed Iran to produce a certain amount of uranium.
  • According to the IAEA report, Iran has stockpiled 2105 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. It is well above the limit decided in 

the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Sri Lankan Parliament recently passed the 20th Amendment of Sri Lankan constitution.

  • The 20th amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution has expanded the powers of the President and also has increased the immunity of the President.
  • Under the 20th amendment, the President gets the power to dissolve the parliament after two years and six months after being elected. It has weakened the powers of the prime minister.
  • The amendment empowers the President to appoint any person to the Government office without having need of getting consent from members of the parliament. This includes public services, election officials, human rights, police, corruption investigation commissions, bribery, etc.
  • The amendment allows the president to hold any ministries and also appoint and fire ministers.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun designated Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

  • Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians in consultations with Aoun. 
  • He faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon's power-sharing politics and agree to a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes: a banking crisis, currency crash, rising poverty and crippling state debts.
  • A new government will also have to contend with a COVID-19 surge and the fallout of the huge August explosion at Beirut port that killed nearly 200 people and caused billions of dollars of damage.

Europe’s tiny Andorra formally joined the International Monetary Fund becoming the crisis lender’s 190th member state as the tourism and trade-dependent principality struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The IMF said in a statement that Andorra’s initial quota – the capital subscription that determines its voting power and access to financing – is 82.5 million Special Drawing Rights, or about $116.4 million.
  • “Andorra faces both short-term and long-term challenges common to European and other IMF member countries which have been aggravated by the (coronavirus) pandemic
  • IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has  signed the ceremony with Elisenda Vives Balmana, Andorra’s ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico and the United Nations.
  • Capital-Andorra la Vella  Currency- Euro

India-assisted Mangdechhu hydroelectric project in Bhutan has been awarded the prestigious Brunel Medal for excellence in civil engineering by the UK-based Institute of Civil Engineers.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the 720 MW project on August 17 last year during his visit to Bhutan.
  • The run-of-river power plant, built on the Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan at a cost of Rs 4,500-crore, is seen as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

The North Atlantic Treaty organisation (NATO) will set up a new Space Centre in Ramstein, Germany.

  •  The centre will serve as a co-ordination Centre for space observation. It will gather information regarding the possible threats that satellites might face. The centre will be developed as a command centre for defensive measures in future. This centre is being set up under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty organisation.
  • This is a countermeasure against the aggressive policies of China and Russia. NATO countries are developing anti-satellite systems in order to disable the blind satellites that create dangerous debris in the orbit.
  • Article 5 empowers NATO to take collective defence action. 
  • It provides certain criteria under which NATO takes defensive measures. The article has been invoked several times by NATO in situations including the Syrian crisis, Russia-Ukraine crisis and 26/11 attack on the US. 

Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan and Nepal have been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

  • Nepal was among the five Asia-Pacific nations including China, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan vying for the seat.
  • In secret-ballot voting in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in that race, Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes. Saudi Arabia lost. 
  • Pakistan has secured the highest number of votes among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Pakistan has served the UNHRC since January 2018. Now, the country will continue for another three-year term commencing from January 1, 2021.

King of Jordan, Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein has appointed Bishr al-Khasawneh, policy advisor to the king, as new Prime Minister of the country. 

  • His appointment comes after King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz.
  • He served as the advisor to the king for Communication and Coordination at The Royal Hashemite Court (April 2019- August 2020).
  • He served as the Minister for Legal Affairs (2017- 2018).
  • He was a Former Ambassador of Jordan to Egypt, France, Kenya, Ethiopia, African Union, League of Arab States, and also to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Argentina formally became the first country in the world to approve the use of drought-resistant genetically modified (GMO) wheat, prompting fierce criticism by the country's massive export agriculture industry.

  • Argentina has approved HB4 drought–resistant GMO wheat by biotechnology firm Bioceres.
  • It will only begin marketing HB4 once it’s approved for importation by Brazil.
  • The HB4 technology provides seeds that are more tolerant to drought and helps minimize production losses.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that the country will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

  • Mr. Suga announced this in his policy speech at the first parliamentary session since he took office last month.
  • Mr. Suga emphasized the need to shift away from fossil fuels to counter climate change as an opportunity rather than a burden.
  • As per Japan’s current energy plan, 56 percent of its energy requirements come from fossil fuels.

Saudi Arabia is organizing a first-of-a-kind meeting of space agency leaders.

  • The Saudi Space Commission will meet with its counterparts from the other G20 countries in a forum that will address present and future space enterprise.
  • The meeting, hosted by the G20 Saudi Secretariat as part of The International Conferences Program honoring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, is titled Space Economy Leader Meeting.
  • Its purpose is to facilitate a stage on which influential countries (who foster the common vision of elevating the space sector) can collaborate on future and existing projects revolving around peaceful space exploration, space industry investment, and space science innovation.
  • The meeting will be held virtually (via video broadcast) on October 7, 2020, and will involve space agency leaders, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and a number of other organizations, consulting firms, economic entities and experts in the fields of space.

India and Myanmar have agreed to work towards the operationalization of the Sittwe port in the Rakhine state in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and Indian Army chief General MM Naravane concluded a two-day visit to Myanmar with the focus on taking forward bilateral ties in areas ranging from economic cooperation to security. 
  • Both the countries have agreed to deepen the economic and trade ties, further facilitate people to people and cultural exchanges and broad-base their defense exchanges across all the three services.

Sports Affairs 

Rafael Nadal won the French Open, 2020 beating Novak Djokovic. 

  • This is Nadal’s 20th Grand Slam and 13th French Open title.
  • In the female category of French Open, 2020, Iga Swiatek won the title. 
  • She was the first player from Poland to win a Grand Slam.

Polish teenager Iga Swiatek has become the new French Open Champion. 

  • She beat the Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the Women Singles final
  • The 19-year-old Swiatek will earn $1,900,000 for the incredible achievement and moves to 17th position in the world ranking. 
  • Earlier, Sofia Kenin left the court due to injury and could not play her natural game after returning on the court.

German duo Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies retained their French Open doubles crown as they beat Croatian Mate Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares.

  • A year after becoming the first all-German team to capture a Grand Slam men's doubles trophy in the professional era, they again shone on the Parisian clay, winning in 89 minutes.
  • The eighth seeds were clinical against the U.S. Open champions, breaking once in each set for victory and become only the fourth team to win back-to-back French Open titles.

Indian football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and midfielder Sanju are the winners of the 2019-20 AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year Award and the AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year Award respectively.

  • This is the first time Gurpreet has received this prestigious award, and in the process, he became the second goalkeeper after Subrata Paul in 2009 to be named the AIFF Player of the Year.
  • The Blue Tigers custodian was elected as the winner on the basis of votes from Indian Super League and I-League club coaches.
  • Furthermore, midfielder Anirudh Thapa was named as the AIFF 2019-20 Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year.
  • The 2019-20 AIFF Award for the Best Referee was won by L Ajit Kumar Meetei from Manipur while P Vairamuthu from Tamil Nadu was named the winner of the 2019-20 AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee.
  • Meanwhile, the 2019-20 AIFF Award for the Best Grassroots Development Programme went to the Indian Football Association (West Bengal).

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has launched the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) new logo at Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. 

  • The event was attended by Sports Secretary Ravi Mital, Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra and Director General SAI Sandip Pradhan, at the stadium.
  • Many eminent athletes, coaches and other sports enthusiasts joined in from across the country through video conference
  • The new logo signifies SAI's journey of metamorphosis from identifying and nurturing grassroot level sporting talent to creating sporting excellence in the country.

The doping charges brought against Bahrain's 400 metre world champion Salwa Eid Naser have been dismissed.

  • The 22-year-old Naser was provisionally suspended in June and charged with failing to meet 'whereabouts' criteria.
  • The AIU charged the Nigerian-born runner with four alleged 'whereabouts' failures which included three missed tests between March 2019 and January this year.
  • But the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal did not confirm a missed test from April 2019, therefore meaning Naser had not missed three tests within 12 months which is required to prove an anti-doping violation.

Commonwealth Games medallist shuttler Arjuna Awardee Chetan Anand Chetan Anand will be sporting India’s first-ever homegrown professional badminton brand “Transform”.

  • Made out of the military grade graphite, Transform racquets have the best weight to strength ratio which is at par with the best racquets available in the market that are currently imported from abroad for playing in India.
  • It’s the first time that one of India’s most successful sports will see an Indian company manufacturing world-class badminton racquets and other accessories at an affordable price compared to the existing brands for the sports and fitness enthusiasts.

Tanmay Srivastava, who top-scored for the India under-19 team which emerged triumphant in the 2008 Colts World Cup in Malaysia under Virat Kohli's captaincy, retired at the age of 30.

  •  In the final at Kuala Lumpur, he scored 46 - the highest score by any batsman on either side - as India edged out South Africa by 12 runs by the D/L method in a low-scoring game. He then played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, and became the leading run-getter for Uttar Pradesh in the 2008-09 first-class season. 
  • Last season, he replaced Unmukt Chand as the captain of the Uttarakhand team. In 90 first-class games, Srivastava scored 4918 runs at an average of 34.39, with 10 hundreds and 27 fifties. 

In Badminton, former World Champion Nozomi Okuhara clinched the Denmark Open title beating three-time world champion Carolina Marin in women's singles.

  •  PV Sindhu of India opting to sit out the event, two of her biggest rivals made it through to the final.
  • In the men's singles final, world number seven Anders Antonsen of Denmark defeated his compatriot Rasmus Gemke
  • Antonsen recovered after losing the first game to defeat world number 11 Gemke. 
  • The win means Antonsen moves up to second in the world rankings with Gemke at number three. 

The troubled International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has appointed Britain's Michael Irani as its third interim president taking over from Thailand's Intarat Yodbangtoey.

  • Yodbangtoey had replaced American Ursula Papandrea in the role after an emergency meeting of the executive board 
  • Irani was the chair of the medical committee and former chair of the anti-doping commission
  • The IWF board elected Papandrea in January after 81-year-old president Tamas Ajan, a Hungarian, stepped aside during a corruption probe.
  • Ajan, who eventually resigned in April, had been at the IWF since 1976, serving 24 years as general secretary and 20 as president.
  • International Weightlifting Federation Headquarters  Budapest, Hungary

SCHEMES & POLICIES 

Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat has inaugurated Integrated Model Agricultural Village scheme (Ekikrit Adarsh Krishi Gram Yojana) in the state in partnership with NABARD.

  • Integrated Model Agricultural Village scheme is a concept which will prove to be a milestone in strengthening the economy of farmers and doubling their income. 
  • The limit for the interest-free loan given to farmers is being hiked to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 2 lakh. 
  • Farmers to focus on it with emphasis on mechanised and scientific farming to boost productivity.

The Young Advocates Welfare Fund has been launched in Tamil Nadu.

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

Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi has inaugurated three key projects in Gujarat on 24th October, via video conferencing.

  •  The Prime Minister has launched the ‘Kisan Suryodaya Yojana’ for the farmers of Gujarat. 
  • He inaugurated the Paediatric Heart Hospital attached with U.N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre and a Mobile Application for tele-cardiology at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. 
  • He  also inaugurated the Ropeway at Girnar on the occasion.
  • Under ‘Kisan Suryodaya Yojana’ farmers will be able to avail power supply from 5 AM to 9 PM.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched the “Mukhya Mantri Saur Swarojgar Yojana” 

  • The scheme is aimed at promoting self-employment of the youth and promoting the production of Green Energy. 
  • The targeted beneficiaries include youths and migrant workers, who returned home after leaving jobs in various parts of the country due to pandemic.
  • The targeted beneficiaries will be allocated Solar Plants of 25 Kilowatts (KW) each.
  • The plants will generate 38,000 Units of Electricity per annum which will be bought by Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited for 25 years

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will launch YSR Jala Kala scheme,

  • Under this scheme borewells will be dug free of cost to the needy farmers. The scheme is estimated to bring in five lakh acres under cultivation through groundwater irrigation.
  • Around three lakh farmers will be benefited from YSR Jala Kala, which is estimated to cost Rs 2,340 crore in four years.
  • The government plans to drill about two lakh borewells to enable groundwater irrigation to the upland farmers and those in arid areas depending on the availability and the level of water table.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the physical distribution of property cards under the ‘SVAMITVA’ scheme on October 11, 2020.  This will be a historic move to transform rural India.

  • The move will provide villagers a way to use property as a financial asset.
  • The villagers could use their property for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  • This launch will enable one lakh property holders to download their property cards using SMS link. 
  • SMS links would be sent on their mobile phones. Then, they would be given physical property cards by the respective state governments. 
  • These beneficiaries come from 763 villages across six states.Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched 'Jaganna Vidya Kanuka' scheme for students studying in government schools.

  • "Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy launched yet another ambitious scheme for students studying in Government schools.
  • Putting an end to the earlier practice of delay and erratic supply of textbooks, school uniforms, and other essentials, this scheme aims to improve government schools' quality and enrolments.
  •  The school kits will bring relief to the parents and save the new academic year expenditure, motivating them to send their children to school and continue their education,

The Gujarat State Government launched the “Digital Seva Setu Programme” for rural areas on October 6, 2020. 

  • It was launched under the Bharat Net Project of the Central government.
  • The programme complies with India's Digital India Mission. 
  • The villages will be connected with the 100 MBps optical fibre network with an aim to make every village a mini Sachivalay.
  • The programme connects the village panchayats. It will provide twenty  pro-people services including the delivery of ration cards at door steps.
  • The programme will enable people to receive public welfare services at the Panchayat level.
  • Gram panchayats will be connected to the state data centre at Gandhinagar, under the programme. Thus, it will integrate the data.
  • The citizens will be charged Rs 20 to avail the benefits of the programme.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION 

Actor Sonu Sood has been honoured with the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for helping thousands of migrant workers reach home during lockdown.

  • The award was presented to him via a virtual ceremony.
  • Apart from arranging transportation facilities for migrant workers to help them reach homes during lockdown, Sonu also looked after the educational needs of underprivileged students.
  • He recently launched an initiative to provide full scholarships for higher education to students facing financial challenges.

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 has been awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson.

  • The two economists were awarded "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats."
  • Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers globally.
  • The prize comes with a 10 million Swedish krona cash award and a gold medal.
  • The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1969.
  • The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Nobel Peace Prize 2020 has been won by the World’s largest humanitarian organization, the World Food Programme.

  • The organization has been given the prize for its efforts to combat hunger, for contributions to make conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas better and for playing the role of driving force to stop use of hunger in the form of a weapon for war and conflict.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize comprises a diploma, a gold medal, and a 10 million Sedewish Kronor cheque.

The Nobel Prize for Literature 2020 has been awarded to American poet Louise Glück 

Glück is a poet and essayist.

  • A professor at Yale University, Glück made her debut in 1968 with her collection titled 'Firstborn' that was lauded by literary critics.
  • Gluck has been consistently writing poems, responding to the times we live in with her written word.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing. 

  • In a first in Nobel history, Chemistry prize awarded to a women-only team;
  • Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: Genetic scissors: a tool for rewriting the code of life. 
  • Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
  • This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.
  • Emmanuelle Charpentier: Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany
  • Jennifer A. Doudna: Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA 

The 2020 Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to Roger Penrose for black hole discovery and Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for discovering “a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.

  • Roger Penrose will receive half of this year’s prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity,” and the other half will be shared by Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for the “discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.”
  • Roger Penrose invented mathematical methods to prove that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation of black holes.
  • Genzel and Ghez developed methods to see the center of the Milky Way, which gives us the evidence of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
  • Prof Ghez is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics after Donna Strickland, Maria Goeppert Mayer, and Marie Curie.

Three scientists Harvey J Alter, Charles M Rice, and Michael Houghton, have jointly bagged the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.

  • It has been given for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
  • Dr. Alter and Dr. Rice are American medical researchers. Dr. Houghton is a British Professor of virology.
  • A gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish krona will be given to winners.
  • The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus has revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis.
  • Currently, there is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C, and this research work has raised hope for the development of an effective vaccine.
  • The Nobel Prize is awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and peace.

Late actor Om Puri was honoured at the third India International Film Festival of Boston this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • The award was received on his behalf by his wife Nandita Puri.
  • Other big winners of the night were Malayalam film Kaanthi, which won the Best Feature Film Award.
  • The Best Actor Male was won by Victor Bannerjee for playing a priest in Josef: Born In Grace. 
  • The Best Actor Female went to Shylaja Ambu for Kaanthi.
  • The film festival was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, from October 16 to 18. It is based in Boston USA.

An Indian organisation, Global Himalayan Expedition has won the prestigious UN Global Climate Action Award for its efforts to combat climate change amid the Covid pandemic.

  • GHE is a corporation that manages ‘Impacts Expeditions’ to the Himalayan villages in native areas. These expeditions will have a valid cause. For instance, to set up solar energy in remote villages.
  • GHE is an Indian corporation that strengthens technology and tourism in order to support remote groups to gain solar energy.
  • GHE utilizes a portion of the charged expedition fee in funding the cost of transmission, hardware, training, and installation of village-scale solar micro-grids.
  • The microgrid network launched by the Global Himalayan Expedition is then owned and handled by the community.

Veteran female playback singer Usha Mangeshkar was conferred Gan Samragni Lata Mangeshkar by the Maharashtra Government for the year 2020-21.

  • She is the sister of famous playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
  • Usha Mangeshkar has sung songs in Marathi, Hindi and several other Indian language films.
  • This award is given by the cultural department of the Maharashtra government.
  • This award includes a cash prize of five lakh rupees, a certificate and a memento.

Rajya Sabha MP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh has been chosen for the 'Gandhi Award' instituted by the Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation.

  • He was instrumental in India's diplomatic intervention to remove Mahatma Gandhi's images on beer bottles of a private company in Israel
  • The award will be presented to him by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at a ceremony in New Delhi in January 2021.
  • The AAP National Spokesperson was chosen for the award by a committee Chaired by former Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice K Narayana Kurup and convened by Senior Journalist and Literary luminary, Jayashankar Menon.
  • Sanjay Singh was a native of Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was a mechanical engineer by profession.
  • He has gained National attention by raising several popular issues in the upper house of Parliament
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation, Chairman Eby J Jose

Activists from Belarus,  Iran, Nicaragua and the United States were awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes referred to as the “Alternative Nobel".

  • Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer, who has defended activists, opposition politicians and women prosecuted for removing their headscarves, was given the award “for her fearless activism, at great personal risk, to promote political freedoms and human rights in Iran.”
  • Bryan Stevenson, US Civil Rights Lawyer won the award “for his inspiring endeavour to reform the US criminal justice system and advance racial reconciliation in the face of historic trauma.”

Aishwarya Sridhar's photo titled 'Lights of Passion' has won the 'Highly Commended' award at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020. 

  • The 23-year-old has become the first Indian to win the coveted award.
  • Sridhar's photo is a picture of a tree illuminated with fireflies. The fireflies and stars in the sky form a surreal galaxy around the tree. It won under the Behaviour-Invertebrates category.
  • The invertebrate category includes stills revealing the most interesting or memorable behaviour of any of the multitude of smaller animals without a backbone, whether on land, in the air or in water.
  • Sridhar, a wildlife photographer from Panvel, captured the photo during a trek in Bhandardara in June last year. The photo will be put on display from October 16.

Shai Evra of Princeton University, US, will be awarded the 2020 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize.

  • He will be awarded for his outstanding work on high dimensional expanders in combinatorial and geometric topology and on Golden Gates for 3-D unitary groups.
  • SASTRA Ramanujan Prize is given annually for outstanding contributions by individuals of age less than 32 years in mathematics.
  • The award is presented at an international conference in Number theory in December at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam.

Ravi Santhanam, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), HDFC Bank has been recognized in the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Influential CMOs’.

  • Ranked at Number 39, he is the only CMO of an Indian company to be featured in the illustrious list which includes marketing heads of Apple, BMW, Lego, Adobe, Microsoft, P&G among others.
  • This is the eighth edition of this annual list released by Forbes with research partners Sprinklr and LinkedIn.
  •  This year, 427 global CMOs were eligible for consideration.
  •  It is generated using data from news reports, websites, and social networks to measure influence.

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) has presented the lifetime achievement award to business icon Ratan Tata as part of its recent global leadership awards.

  • The IACC leadership bestowed the IACC Lifetime and Global Excellence Awards to Tata owing to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
  • Tata, who grew the revenues for India's largest conglomerate 'The Tata Group' to nearly USD 100 billion by 2011-12, remains an influential industrialist, philanthropist and humanitarian to this day.
  • Tata, who has accepted fewer awards over the last few years, received the honour as he believed that these awards inspire future global leaders and strengthen bilateral economic ties between India and the US.

Indian-origin philanthropist Harish Kotecha has won the prestigious Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • He has been awarded for his work in the US to meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Mr. Kotecha is the founder and president of Hindu Charities for America.
  • Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is given annually to recognize the people who have tirelessly worked to provide safety, shelter, and a future to the children.

The award conferred by the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi on eminent personalities of classical music every year has been renamed as ‘Sunanda Samman’.

  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved the proposal. As per the proposal, the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi will confer ‘Sunanda Samman’ on the personalities who excel in classical music every year.
  • The ‘Sunanda Samman’ carries a cash reward of Rs 2.5 lakh and a citation.
  • The award has been instituted after eminent classical singer Sunanda Patnaik

APPOINTMENTS:

The Central Government has reportedly appointed Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha as the new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), two months after the position at the top transparency watchdog fell vacant.

  • As per a media report, 155 applications were received for the post of CIC.
  • Sinha was sworn in as Information Commissioner on January 1, 2019.
  • He is a former diplomat who was appointed as High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.
  • The previous CIC, Bimal Julka, demitted office on August 26.

Aditya Puri, who was HDFC Bank managing director and CEO for 26 years has retired and Sashidhar Jagdishan has taken over the charge.

  • Puri retired in accordance with the RBI regulations which say a private bank CEO’s tenure should not exceed 70 years.
  • Jagdishan has been part of the bank since 1996, and played a critical role in supporting the growth trajectory of the bank. 
  • With an overall experience of over 30 years, Jagdishan has extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of banking, finance and economics. 

Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India, Bimal Julka, has been appointed as the new Chairman of Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), the self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports in India.

  • Julka is an IAS officer of 1979-batch of Madhya Pradesh cadre, who served as CIC until September 2020.
  • He will take over from John Loffhagen, who served as the chairman of FIFS for over three years.
  • Loffhagen will assume the role of a strategic advisor and support FIFS on collaborating with relevant international bodies in the industry.
  • Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) is India’s first and only self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports, established in 2017.

Major General Sonali Ghosal has taken over as the Additional Director General of Military Nursing Service.

  • She was commissioned in 1981.
  • She is also an alumnus of the School of Nursing, Indian Naval Hospital Ship Asvini, Mumbai.
  • She had worked on the post of Principal Matron of Army Hospital, Research & Referral, and Delhi Cantt.
  • She served the wounded soldiers during the Operation Blue Star and Operation Sadbhavana.
  • She was awarded the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Card in 2014.

Union Bank of India's MD and CEO Rajkiran Rai G has been elected as the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) chairman for the term 2020-21.  

  • SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara has been elected as the deputy chairman of the association.
  • IBA is an association of banks and other entities in the banking ecosystem in India catering to its members

Senior IPS officer, M A Ganapathy has been appointed as the Director-General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). He is a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre. 

  • The post of BCAS chief fell vacant after Rakesh Asthana was appointed as the Director-General of Border Security Force in August.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Ganapathy to the post of Director-General, BCAS, for a tenure up to his superannuation on February 29, 2024. 

J Venkatramu has been appointed the managing director and chief executive officer of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).

  •  He will succeed Suresh Sethi, who served the post till March 2020. 
  • Venkataramu is presently working as the chief digital officer in Equitas Small Finance Bank. 
  • He has been appointed to the post of MD and CEO of IPPB for a period of three years.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched IPPB in 2018.
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) Headquarters: New Delhi.

Books & Authors 

The book; “Night of the Restless Spirits” authored by Sarbpreet Singh is a heart-rending collection of stories that evokes the horrors and uncertainties of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, also known as the 1984 Sikh Massacre.

  • Published by Penguin, the book hit the shelves in October 2020
  • He is also the author of the bestselling “The Camel Merchant of Philadelphia”. 

“The fixer” is a debut novel of author Suman Dubey (Publishing house Rupa)

It is a gripping story of 40-year-old failed cricketer Neil Upadhyay, a cricketer-turned-fixer, who finds himself up against the wall when his family business takes an unfortunate turn. 

Veteran economist and bureaucrat NK Singh, has launched his autobiography, "Portraits Of Power: Half A Century of Being at Ringside" in a virtual event.

  • He is currently the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission.
  • N K Singh is  an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who served in key positions at the Centre and in Bihar; a core member of Manmohan Singh’s economic policy team which ushered in the 1991 reforms; secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee; a member of Planning Commission; a member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Bihar.

A Former intelligence officer with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), GBS Sidhu has written  the book `The Khalistan Conspiracy' 

  • The book published by HarperCollins will be released on October 24.
  • "The contents of this book revolve around a two-phased, top-secret operation, which I name "Operation Bhindranwale-Khalistan".

Kairavi Bharat Ram’s book 'C is for Cat and D is for Depression' takes young children on her journey with mental health, despair and hope.

She is the author of children’s books, Ramayana in Rhyme and Krishna in Rhyme, which are published by Scholastic and categorized as best sellers in its category. 

Author and politician Shashi Tharoor wrote the book  “The Battle of Belonging” 

The premise can be related in the subtitle which reads: On Nationalism, Patriotism And What It Means To Be Indian.

Important Days & Themes

IMPORTANT DAYS/WEEK

        DATE

EXTRA INFORMATION

World Habitat Day

1st Monday of October 

Theme: Housing For All — A Better Urban Future

World Animal Welfare Day

4th of October every year

Also known as "Animal Lovers Day

National Wildlife Week 

October 2 to October 8

Theme-RoaR (Roar and Revive) 

World Post Day 

October 9

Theme -“We Have Always Delivered”

World Space Week

October 4 to October 10 

Theme -“Satellites Improve Life

World Migratory Bird Day

Second Saturday in May and in October.

Theme 2020 -“Birds Connect Our World”. 

World Arthritis Day 

October 12

Theme- Time2Work 

International Day of the Girl Child 

October 11

Theme: My voice, our equal future

World Food Day

16th October 

Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.

International Food & Agri Week -

16th October to 22nd October 

  •  

World Statistics Day

October 20

Theme- Connecting the world with data we can trust

World Polio Day

October 24

A win against polio is a win for global health

Infantry Day 

October 27 

 

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2020 

October 27 

Theme- “Your Window to the World.”

-Vigilance Awareness Week

27th October to 2nd November, 2020.

Theme सतर्क भारत, समृद्ध भारत (Vigilant India, Prosperous India)

 

Obituary 

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel passed away.

  • He was 92. He passed away reportedly due to cardiac arrest.
  • Keshubhai Patel was Gujarat's CM from March 1995 to October 1995 and from March 1998 to October 2001.
  •  He was a senior BJP leader in the state until he resigned from the party in 2012 to launch a new political outfit named 'Gujarat Parivartan Party' to contest the polls.
  • While Patel had recovered from Covid-19 last month,he also suffered from prostate cancer

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee passed away after lying incapacitated in a hospital for more than half a decade.

  •  He was 78 years old.
  • He was the richest person in South Korea, according to Forbes, with a net worth of nearly $21bn (£16bn).
  • He stepped down as Samsung chairman in 2008 after he was charged with tax evasion and embezzlement. He was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence for tax evasion but was given a presidential pardon in 2009 
  • He returned as chairman of Samsung Group in 2010, but was left bedridden by the 2014 heart attack.

Former Home Minister and Member of Legislative Council N Narasimha Reddy passed away.

  • He had fully recovered from COVID19 but was later admitted to the hospital with complications.
  • The 86-year-old, a founder leader of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), was the first Home Minister of the state post its formation between 2014 and 2018.

Wing Commander (retd) Vijaylakshmi Ramanan, the first woman officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF), passed away 

  • She died due to age related ailments; she was 96.
  • Her husband, Wing Commander (retd) KV Ramanan had passed away in 1971.
  • They were the first couple of the IAF, but we lost my father-in-law very early to cancer. 
  • Vijayalakshmi had also designed the IAF uniform for women
  • Vijayalakshmi joined the Madras Medical College for MBBS in 1943. 
  • She was awarded the best outgoing student in 1948, and was a recipient of the Balfour memorial medal medal for Medicine and prize for Surgery by Madras University.

Mexican scientist Mario Molina, who became his country's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the threat to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has passed away at the age of 77.

  • In 2008, he was appointed a scientific adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama
  • One of Mexico's most eminent scientists, Molina conducted some of his first experiments at a tender age in his childhood home before becoming a global authority on climate change.
  • The government and his former university announced Molina's death, but the cause was not immediately clear.

Renowned Malayalam poet and Jnanpith laureate Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri passed away due to age-related ailments

  • He was 94.
  • Recently, he was conferred with the Jnanpith award, the highest literary award in the country, at a special function held at his house at Kumaranallur in Palakkad district.
  • His work Balidarshanam won the State and Central Sahitya Akademi Awards in 1972-73.
  • He was awarded Padmashri in 2017.

Kuwait's Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has died at the age of 91

  • His 83-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has been sworn-in as the new emir. 
  • In July, Sheikh Sabah was flown to the United States for medical treatment following surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait that month.
  • He had ruled the oil-rich Gulf Arab state since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years.
  • He was dubbed the "dean of Arab diplomacy" for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.

Nagaland’s environment minister, C M Chang passed away due to COVID-19. 

  • He was a retired IAS officer and former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha (2009-13). 
  • He was elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly from 51 Noksen constituencies under Tuensang district in 2013 and later retained the same seat in 2018 on Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) ticket.

The supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Joseph Mar Thoma, passed away He was 89.

  • He was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
  • He was ordained as Ramban in January 1975 and was ordained and given the episcopal title of Joseph Mar Irenaeus a month later. He was designated as suffragan metropolitan on 15 March 1999, when Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the suffragan metropolitan, was designated as the officiating metropolitan.

India's first Oscar winner Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passed away after prolonged illness. She was 91.

  • Athaiya, won an Oscar for her work in the 1983 epic film “Gandhi”
  • She jointly won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design with John Mollo, for Richard Attenborough's “Gandhi”.
  • In 2012, Athaiya returned her Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safe keeping.

Former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, Justice KK Usha, passed away. 

  • She was appointed Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court from 2000 to 2001, Justice Usha became the first woman to join the High Court Judiciary from the Bar and became a Chief Justice.
  • Justice Usha, who had a distinguished career as a judge and later as chief justice, began her career in 1961
  • She was India’s representative at the United Nations’ Joint Seminar on ‘Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination as regards women’, organised by the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the International Federation of Women of Legal Careers.

Former Nagaland Governor, CBI chief and Ex-DGP of Himachal Pradesh Ashwani Kumar has allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Brockhorst in Shimla.

  • Sources said that he was under depression for some time. Teams of police and doctors from IGMC have rushed to the spot.
  • SP Shimla Mohit Chawla confirmed the incident and said that it was sad and shocking news as he was a role model for police officers.

Afghanistan's top-order batsman, Najeeb Tarakai, passed away. 

  • He was only 29-year-old. He met with a tragic road accident. 
  • He also played 12 T20Is and one ODI for his country.
  • The right-handed batsman made his international debut at the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. His highest international score was 90 which came against Ireland in a T20 International series in March 2017.
  • Tarakai's last international appearance was in September 2019 against Bangladesh.

Jharkhand Minority Welfare Minister Haji Hussain Ansari passed away while he was undergoing treatment for Covid

  • The 73-year-old leader was made Minister for the second time in January this year in the Hemant Soren’s government.
  • He was elected legislator for the first time in 1995. Later, he was re-elected in 2000, 2009, and 2019.
  • The only woman Chief Minister of Assam, Syeda Anwara Taimur, passed away at the age of 84.
  • She served as the Chief Minister of Assam from December 1980 to June 1981. During that time, the anti-foreigner movement in Assam was at its peak.
  • She nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1988 and got elected in 2004

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and President of Lok Janshakti Party, Ram Vilas Paswan, passed away at the age of 74.

  • He was suffering from critical illness with multiple organ complications.
  • He was elected eight times as a Lok Sabha member.
  • In 2000, he formed the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
  • He had previously served as the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Minister of Steel.

RANKING & INDEX

Haryana State emerged as the best state in the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index among all the 29 states in the country.

  • Haryana was ranked at the top with an AMB Index of 46.7.
  • The state has also achieved 93% of immunization in the year 2019-2020 for the first time.
  • Haryana is one of 11 states in the country that have achieved National Health Policy targets well before 2020.
  • The institutional deliveries in the states have also increased to 93.7 % as a result of 24-hours delivery facilities.
  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF. The scheme has been launched in order to reduce the prevalence of Anemia across India. Anaemia Mukt Bharat strategy focuses on benefiting six target beneficiary groups, through six interventions and six institutional mechanisms.  The programme is aimed at achieving the target of anaemia reduction under the POSHAN Abhiyan.

The Global hunger index has been jointly prepared by Welhunger life and Concern Worldwide. 

  •  This year,  India has been ranked 94th Out of 107 countries.
  •   India was ranked 103 in 2018 while  India was ranked 102 in 2019 
  • The report ranked the countries on the basis of four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality.
  • The report has put India under “serious category” and has given the score of 27.2.
  • The child stunting rate, for age group 0-5 years, in India was reported as 37.4 %.
  • Nepal has been ranked 73rd,  Bangladesh has been ranked 75th while Pakistan has been ranked 88th this year.

AGREEMENTS & MoUs 

Microsoft has announced a collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to skill more than 1 lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months.

  • This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country.
  • The partnership is focused on enhancing women’s workforce participation by equipping underserved young women from rural communities with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy. 
  • These live training sessions will be delivered online through the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform. 
  • Under this partnership, eSkill India – NSDC’s digital skilling initiative – will support in building the outreach of this engagement through its skilling ecosystem, which includes sector skill councils, training partners, and training centres. Microsoft and NSDC will award a joint e-certificate to participants post-course completion.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has signed an agreement with the IIT-Delhi and DRDO to create a pool of officials who will work to find technology solutions for its operational challenges.

  • The about 3.25 lakh-strong force has about 500 officers and sub-officers who hold professional degrees in engineering and technology.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding will enable these officers to undertake short-term specialised courses at these institutions and also pursue research work.
  • “A batch of 40 engineering graduate officers and subordinate officers of the CRPF with right aptitude and potential will undergo a certificate course of about three to six months under IIT-Delhi’'s continuing education programme”, a CRPF spokesperson said.
  • CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari

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 activities under this MoU will be coordinated by Prof Mukesh Sharma, department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Kanpur.
  • The MoU was signed among IIT-K, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Archaeological Survey of India, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti E Paesaggio, Venice on creating a network and sharing skills for restoration and protection of historical monuments.

DEFENCE AFFAIRS

Australia will participate in the Malabar naval exercise, involving the United States, Japan and India, to bring the four key partners in the Indo-Pacific region together next month.

  • In a significant move that comes amid a India-China border row, India announced Australia's participation in the upcoming Malabar exercise along with the US and Japan, effectively making it the first military-level engagement between the four-member nation grouping - the Quad.
  • The invitation by India to the Australian navy for the exercise next month came two weeks after the foreign ministers of the Quad held extensive talks in Tokyo with a focus on enhancing their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, a region that has been witnessing increasing Chinese military assertiveness.

Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal has recently launched an anti-ship missile.

  • The missile launched somewhere from the Arabian Sea homed in on its target - an old ship - and hit it with deadly accuracy at its maximum range.
  • AShM launched by Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal, homes on with deadly accuracy at max range, sinking target ship.

The Indian Navy has got ready its first batch of three women pilots for Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) missions on Dornier aircraft.

  • Lieutenant Divya Sharma, Lt Shubhangi Swaroop and Lt Shivangi are now ready to take on all MR missions on Dornier aircraft.
  • They have been “operationalised (mission ready) on Dornier aircraft” by the Southern Naval Command (SNC)
  • The three women pilots were part of the six pilots of the 27th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who graduated as Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots at a passing out ceremony held at INS Garuda.

The Eighth Edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 is scheduled off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 October 2020.

  • The Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLN Ships Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu(Training Ship) led by Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Sri Lanka Navy. 
  • Indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and Kiltan under the command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, will represent the Indian Navy. 
  • In addition, Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopters embarked onboard IN ships, and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft will also be participating. 
  • The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Visakhapatnam in September 2019.

The constellation of maritime surveillance satellites for the Indian Ocean Region, will be jointly launched by India and France.

  • It will be able to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships.
  • In August last year, CNES and ISRO committed to developing and building a constellation of satellites carrying telecommunications and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments, constituting the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.
  • The monitoring centre will be based in India.
  • It will also be able to detect oil slicks and trace their origin.
  • The main purpose of this is to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships. The Indian Ocean Region has several Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) and is used by many ships every day.
  • The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Coast guard Vessel Kanaklata Barua was commissioned at Kolkata on September 30, 2020 through video conferencing.

  • The ICGS Kanaklata Barua is one among the five Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs)
  • It has been built by Kolkata based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
  • The vessel was delivered in June, 2020.
  • This is the 105th vessel delivered by the defence PSU shipyard.
  • These ships can achieve speeds exceeding 34 knots with an endurance of  1,500 nautical miles or more.

The Indian Space of Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch its Venus 

  • Mission in 2025 along with participation from French Space Agency CNES (The National Centre for Space Studies).
  • Shukrayaan-1 is a proposed orbiter to Venus by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus.

BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea.

  •  The missile hit the target successfully with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres. 
  • BrahMos as a ‘prime strike weapon’ will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges, thus making the destroyer another lethal platform of Indian Navy. 
  • The highly versatile BrahMos has been jointly designed, developed and produced by India and Russia. 
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and Indian Navy for the successful launch.
  • BrahMos missiles will add to the capabilities of Indian Armed Forces in many ways.

India will be delivering a Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar Navy as part of defence cooperation.

  • This will be the first submarine of the Myanmar Navy.
  • Briefing media, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, cooperation in the maritime domain is an important part of India's enhanced engagement with Myanmar.
  • It is in accordance with India's vision of SAGAR and in line with build capacities and self-reliance in all the neighbouring countries.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed Rustom-II medium altitude long endurance drone.

  • The prototype drone achieved eight hours of flying at an altitude of over 16,000 feet at Karnataka's Chitradurga. 
  • The drone is expected to achieve 18 hours of continued flying at a height of 26,000 feet by the end of 2020 itself.
  • The indigenously developed drone is capable of carrying varied combinations of payloads, including synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems. It also boasts of a satellite communication link to relay vital information on a real-time basis.
  • The DRDO is developing Rustom-II drone to match the specifications of the Israeli Heron unmanned aerial vehicle which is already being used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy.

DRDO has successfully flight tested (SMART) Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo, was successfully flight tested from Odisha.

  • All the mission objectives including missile flight upto the range and altitude, release of Torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) have been met perfectly. 
  • SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for Anti-Submarine Warfare or ASW operations far beyond Torpedo range.The launch and demonstration are significant in establishing Anti-Submarine warfare capabilities. 
  • A number of DRDO laboratories including DRDL, RCI Hyderabad, ADRDE Agra, NSTL Visakhapatnam have developed the technologies required for SMART.

India has successfully test-fired the Rudram – an Anti-Radiation Missile on October 9, 2020. 

  •  Rudram is the country's first indigenous Anti Radiation missile for Indian Air Force, being developed by DRDO, and is integrated on SU-30 MkI fighter aircraft as the launch platform, having the capability of varying ranges based on launch conditions.
  • Anti-radiation missiles are designed for use against enemy's radars.
  • The missile was test fired from its primary test platform Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft off the east coast.
  • It has been designed for suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD).
  • It has the capability to destroy enemy surveillance radars, tracking and communication systems.
  • The missile is the first-of-its-kind  air-to-ground missile developed by DRDO for the IAF arsenal. Similar missile named BrahMos is there but it was jointly developed by India and Russia.

ITBP Director General, S S Deswal has been given the additional charge of counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) as its incumbent chief A K Singh is going to retire on September 30. This is the second time that Deswal, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer, has been directed to lead the NSG in an additional capacity.

The second edition of Indian Navy and Bangladesh Navy Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar is scheduled to commence in Northern Bay of Bengal on 03 October 2020. 

  • Exercise Bongosagar, whose first edition was held in 2019, is aimed at developing interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations.
  •  In the upcoming edition of Exercise Bongosagar, ships from both navies will participate in surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations. 
  • This exercise will be followed by the 3rd edition of IN - BN Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in Northern Bay of Bengal from 4 to 5 October 2020, wherein IN and BN units will undertake joint patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). 
  • Conduct of CORPATs has strengthened understanding between both the navies and instituted measures to stop conduct of unlawful activities.

Indian aerospace start-up AgniKul Cosmos has signed a memorandum of agreement with Alaska Aerospace Corporation to test launch their Indian-made Agnibaan rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island in the United States.

  • The launch from Alaska is expected to take place from 2022 onwards.
  • They include US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch licensing, US export control, and will comply with export laws & regulations in India to receive necessary clearances from the Indian authorities as well.
  • The aim is to define launch vehicle-spaceport interfaces, related procedures and conduct at least one test launch from PSCA.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare has launched a Scheme titled “SERB-POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)”, designed exclusively for women scientists. 

  • The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has been contemplating to institute a scheme to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research  in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.
  • SERB – POWER Scheme will have two components namely (i) SERB-POWER Fellowship (ii) SERB- POWER Research Grants.

NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. 

  • This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.
  • SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. 
  • Under NASA’s Artemis program, the agency is eager to learn all it can about the presence of water on the Moon in advance of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 and establishing a sustainable human presence there by the end of the decade.
  • SOFIA’s results build on years of previous research examining the presence of water on the Moon

Tubarial salivary glands are a set of salivary glands deep in the upper part of the throat.

  • They were discovered recently by Scientists in the Netherlands.
  • The glands are about 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) in length on average and are located over a piece of cartilage called the torus tubarius.
  • The glands probably lubricate and moisten the upper throat behind the nose and mouth. 
  • The discovery may be important for cancer treatment.
  • Until now, there were three known large salivary glands in humans: one under the tongue, one under the jaw and one at the back of the jaw, behind the cheek.

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will commission India's largest High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, ‘PARAM Siddhi – AI’.  

  • This would put India into top countries in the field of global AI supercomputing research and innovation.
  • The supercomputer will have 210 AI Petaflops
  • It will be based on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD.
  • The computer will use NVIDIA Next Generation technology, C-DAC software stack and Cloud platform.
  • The super computer will develop an ecosystem for research and innovation in science and engineering.
  • It will also enhance the partnerships with the Academia, Start-ups,  Industry and MSMEs.

Origin Space, which is a private company, in Beijing, China is all ready to send out the world’s first asteroid mining robot into space in November 2020. 

  • The robot is named as ‘asteroid mining robot’ by the space start-up in China.
  •  A Chinese Long March series rocket will launch the asteroid mining robot into space. The mission will be a milestone for the space resources industry.
  • NEO-1  is a small, around 30 kilograms, satellite that intends to enter a 500-kilometer-altitude sun-synchronous orbit. 
  • It will be launched as a secondary payload by a Chinese Long March series rocket. This small spacecraft with limited propulsion may take a long time to reach the moon as compared to India's second lunar mission- Chandrayaan-2. It used a circuitous route to go from geosynchronous transfer orbit  to the lunar orbit.

ECONOMY: 

“Bank of Ghana” has won the Central bank of the year award 2020. 

  • Apart from this, Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) has won the Governor of the year 2020. 
  • Central Banking Awards are held annually to recognize excellence in the central banking community. 
  • This was the 7th edition of the award and the ceremony was held virtually on.

New Development Bank, also known as BRICS Bank has approved infrastructure projects worth 741 million dollars in India.

  • The Board of Directors approved a loan of USD 500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Project and a loan of USD 241 million for Mumbai Metro Rail II (Line 6) Project.
  • The loan for Delhi NCR region would be used by Government of India for on-lending to the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) for construction of a rapid rail corridor connecting the National Capital Territory of Delhi with the cities of Ghaziabad and Meerut located in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The RRTS will have a total length of 82.15 km (68.03 km elevated and 14.12 km underground) with 25 stations.

The Government of India (GoI) has appointed M. Rajeshwar Rao as the new Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on October 7, 2020. 

  • The post of deputy governor was vacant since March 2020 after the former Deputy Governor N R Vishwanathan resigned due to health issues.
  • The deputy governor is tasked with the duty of managing the internal debts, financial market operations, international departments and secretarial departments at the apex bank. 
  • He is a major part of the RBI Board.
  • The RBI Board is set as per the RBI Act, 1934 by the Government of India. 
  • The board comprises four deputy governors. 
  • The deputy governor acts as the ex-officio chairman of the board. 

PORTALS & APPS 

Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has inaugurated the land web portal Dharani in Medchal-Malkajgiri district.

  • Once land web portal Dharani is launched, the government will allow all the property transactions, including registrations and mutations, through the web portal. 
  • The state government has already started training tahsildars and nayab tahsildars on conducting property registrations through the land web portal Dharani 
  • The Dharani is a one-stop portal for all land and property related transactions as well as documentation.

The Indian Army has launched a messaging mobile application called the SAI (Secure Application for Internet) 

  •  The application will provide secure voice, video and text calling services to the soldiers of Indian Army. 
  • The SAI model is much similar to other commercial applications such as Telegram, WhatsApp, SAMVAD.
  • It uses end-to-end encryption messaging protocol.
  • It facilitates secure communication among the Indian Army personnel.
  • The application was developed by Colonel Shankar of the Indian Army. Apart from providing communication links, the application will also help in infrastructure management.
  • It will help the Indian Army to monitor land encroachment and manage cantonment roads.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched an integrated State scholarship portal to help eligible students avail scholarship benefits in a seamless and transparent manner.

  • Patnaik informed that more than 11 lakh beneficiaries will be benefited through this unified portal – www.scholarship.odisha.gov.in.
  • Patnaik also launched Sumangal portal – www.sumangal.odisha.gov.in – developed by Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Department, to grant incentive to inter-caste married couples under Odisha Right to Public Services Act, 2012.
  • The Sumangal portal can help the beneficiaries of inter-caste marriage to avail the incentive amount of Rs. 2.5 lakh within 60 days.
  • Both the portals have been launched under the 5T initiative of the State government.

The Chief Minister of Assam has launched a portal “Kritagyata”, an online pension submission and tracking system.

  • It has been launched to lend convenience to the pensioners to dispose of their pension related claims.
  • With the help of the portal, the retired government employees will submit the pension related papers online and will also get the opportunity to check the status of his pension. 
  • The portal has been launched in line with the “Bhavishya” portal of Government of India.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has launched the ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal

  • The portal will integrate the legacy drawings including the maps and lease plans in the management information system. 
  • The portal will make the maps and lease plans geographic information system (GIS)-enabled
  • The land and development office (L&DO) is currently dealing with around 60,000 commercial, residential, industrial and institutional properties. 
  • It provides a property certificate incorporating details and the outline map of the property. 
  • These details can now be accessed online on the portal.
  • The property holder would be provided a certificate.
  • The certificate would include the property details such as land type, property type, date of allotment, property status, plot area, property address etc.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated the “Mo Bidyut” portal and app under the government’s 5T initiative through video conferencing to facilitate electricity consumers in the state.

  • As per the reports, consumers can avail electricity connections up to 5 Kilowatt through the app. 
  • Besides, consumers can also pay their electricity bills and submit grievances through the app.
  • The initiative aims to benefit 89 Lakh consumers in the state.
  • The portal will facilitate domestic, commercial, farming, irrigation category consumers to get new electricity connections within 48 hours.

IIT-Madras incubated dairy-tech startup, has launched a first-of-its-kind, fully-automated direct payment platform, ‘mooPay’, for dairy farmers in Rajasthan.

  • “mooPay” is a payment gateway for dairies and dairy farmers where the dairy officials can transfer milk payments digitally to member farmers from the dairies’ existing bank account to farmers’ savings bank account.
  • Directly depositing payments in farmers’ bank accounts will help enhance farmer savings and will also build farmer loyalty to the dairy.
  • This will remove the risks and costs of transferring money in cash to hundreds of thousands of farmers in hundreds of villages.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has digitally launched ‘Gram Darshan’, which will allow accessibility to data of development projects of 6,197 gram panchayats of the state.

  • The vision of Gram Darshan is to make all government services accessible to the common citizens in their locality, through the Gram Panchayat websites and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services to realise their basic needs.
  • Each Gram Panchayat website would display details of Elected Representatives, including Sarpanch, Panches and Gram Sachiv of Gram Panchayat. 

MISC.

World’s first scientoon book “Bye Bye Corona”on Coronavirus has been released by Governor of UP, Ms. Anandi Ben Patel. 

  • The book, published by Vigyan Prasar of DST, makes people aware of Covid-19. 
  • It is further planned to make a 3D version of this book to facilitate its multi lingual adaptation across India and abroad
  • Post its launch in India, the book would soon be released in Brazil under Brazil-India Network program and would possibly be translated into Portuguese language. 
  • The author is Dr Pradeep Srivastava. 

Banni  is certainly the weirdest and bloodiest Dussehra celebration anywhere in India. 

  • Every year on Dasara, the Devaragattu Temple in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh witnesses controlled violence at an unimaginable scale.
  • The district collector had announced a ban on the Devaragattu Banni festival this year citing Covid-19 guidelines. The Kurnool district police wing had clamped section 144 to prevent congregation of the public. 
  • Nearly 50 persons were injured engaged in a fierce stick fight during the Banni festival in  Kurnool district.

Recently in the Mann ki Baat address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited an example of Oaxaca village in Mexico to convey the importance and popularity of Khadi.

  • There is a place in Mexico called Oaxaca (pronounced O-aa-ha-ka), there are many villages in this area where local villagers weave khadi. 
  • The khadi of this place has gained popularity by the name Oaxaca khaadi.
  • Khadi Oaxaca is a farm-to-garment collective which comprises around 400 families, which live and work on traditional farms and homesteads in the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico.

India’s first sand dune park is set to be developed in Goa. 

  • The World Bank has sanctioned around Rs.3 crore under the programme.
  •  The Goa state biodiversity board has proposed the project, which will be implemented with financial assistance from the World Bank.
  • The Sand Dune park project will have interpretation centres to educate locals and tourists on the importance of the sand dune ecosystem. Park would also have Bridges made of nature-friendly material to reduce trampling on sand dune vegetation. Besides this, nurseries of sand dune vegetation will also be set up, which will enable its replantation on beach stretches where vegetation has gone extinct.

On October 19; Mother Teresa Day is celebrated in Albania.

  • The airport of Tirana, the capital of Albania, is the Tirana International Airport (Nënë Tereza), named after Mother Teresa in 2002.
  • The second largest square in Tirana, the Mother Teresa Square, is named after her.
  • The biggest civil hospital in Tirana is named after her.
  • In 1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • October 19 is the anniversary of the beatification of Mother Teresa by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
  • She was beatified on October 19, 2003 as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Heeng(Ferula assa-foetida) cultivation starts in India for the first time. First-plantation of Heeng was done in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Director CSIR-IHBT.

  • Heeng (asafoetida) is one of the widely used spices in Indian cuisine since time immemorial. 
  • There is no production of heeng in India and currently about 1,200 tons of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported annually from Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. Introduction of the crop will reduce the import.
  • CSIR Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) has introduced six accessions of heeng from Iran through the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi, and standardized its production protocols under Indian conditions.

Prime Minister has renamed the Pravara Rural Education Society as ‘Loknete Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society’ and also released the autobiography of Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil.

  • His autobiography ‘Deh Vechwa Karani’ means ‘dedicating one’s life for a noble cause.
  • He dedicated his entire life to the welfare of society in various fields, including agriculture and cooperatives.

India’s first women-led manure cooperative society, Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli, was granted NDDB’s trademark “Sudhan”.

  • Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli of Anand district was granted Sudhan for making bio slurry-based organic fertilizers.
  • Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli will now process slurry and manufacture organic fertilizer. 
  • NDDB will also support two such projects in Begusarai, Bihar and Cuttack, Odisha.
  • Under the Manure Management Initiative, dairy farmers put biogas plants in their backyard and use them to produce gas, used as cooking fuel.
  • Biogas plants also produce bio-slurry. Farmers use this bio-slurry in their fields. Surplus bio-slurry is sold to other farmers or converted to organic fertilizers.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched the first blasting for construction related work at the Zojila tunnel that will provide all-year connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh.

  • Blasting means blowing up or breaking apart something solid with explosives
  • The 14.15 Km long tunnel links Srinagar valley (Kashmir)and Leh (Ladakh plateau) through Drass and Kargil on NH-1.
  • The project will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours with providing all-weather connectivity to the region.
  • Zojila Pass tunnel will be Asia’s longest 2-lane bi-directional pass.

The red cherry pepper chilli of Sikkim which is locally known as the “Dalle Khursani” has earned the geographical indication (GI) tag from the Union department of Industry promotion and internal trade.

  • Notably it is considered as one of the hottest chilli in the world.
  • Dalle Khursani has been included in the GI Registry of the Government of India on the basis of an application filed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (Neramac) on behalf of Sikkim.
  • It is to be mentioned that the largest manufacturer of Dalle Khursani products is the state government-owned Sikkim Supreme.

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

  • These Police Stations will be given enough powers to register the case and investigate the matter independently.
  • The state government is going to establish 40 new anti-trafficking units which will work like police stations in districts and will conduct the investigation after registering the cases. 
  • Earlier, only 35 districts in the state had Police stations of anti-human trafficking unit which was established in 2011 and 2018.

To offer a safe passage to wildlife on the under-construction Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, five “animal overpasses” on the lines of “ecoducts” in the Netherlands are being planned, a first such effort in the country.

  • The idea is to ensure that wildlife, including tigers, on the Ranthambore Wildlife Corridor that connects Ranthambhore and Mukundra (Darrah) sanctuaries in Rajasthan is not disturbed
  • As per the proposal, the "animal bridges" would be constructed like natural-looking structures. These would be constructed at every 500 metres intervals and provide a safe passage to the wildlife across the high-speed road.
  • The passage will be developstaticed in a way that the animals find it natural. Five underground stretches, with a combined length of 2.5 km, would be constructed,
  • The 1,250km long expressway will cut the travel time between the cities to 13 hours from 24 hours. 
  • The expressway has a capital cost of Rs 82,514 crore, out of which Rs 20,928 crore is the land acquisition cost.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) conferred 'Special Consultative Status' on the Puttaparthi-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.

  • The special consultative status conferred on Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies as well as with the United Nations secretariat, programmes and agencies in several ways.
  • ECOSOC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations that serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system.

Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya virtually launched diamond jubilee celebration of Shipping Corporation of India, on october 2 (the occasion of its foundation day).

  • Shri Mansukh Mandaviya unveiled the logo of diamond jubilee celebrations of Shipping Corporation of India(SCI), which has been created by a SCI employee. 
  • The minister also awarded the winners of various competitions, organized as the part of the celebration.

“Skinks of india” is a recent publication by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

  • India is home to 62 species of skinks and about 57% of all the skinks found in India (33 species) are endemic.
  • They are found in all kinds of habitats in the country, from the Himalayas to the coasts and from dense forests to the deserts.
  • With 1,602 species of skinks across the world, making it the largest family of lizards, their occurrence in India is less than 4 % of the global diversity.
  • With long bodies, relatively small or no legs, no pronounced neck and glossy scales, skinks are common reptiles.



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Who is Who

Attorney General of India

K K Venugopal

Solicitor General of India

Tushar Mehta

Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG)

G C Murmu 

Chief of Army Staff

Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane

Chief of Air Staff 

Air Chief Marshal R K Singh Bhadauria

Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Karambir Singh

Chief Election Commissioner 

Sunil Arora

National Human Rights Commission, Chairman

H.L. Dattu

(15th) Finance Commission, Chairman 

N. K. Singh

ISRO Chairman

K. Sivan

Chief Justice of India 

Sharad Arvind Bobde

Chief of  Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

Samant Goel

Chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB)

Arvind Kumar

TRAI ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chairman

P D Vaghela

Central Vigilance Commissioner(CVC)

Sanjay Kothar

Chief Information Commissioner  (CIC)

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor

Shaktikanta Das

Chief of National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)

Anil Dhasmana

National Security Advisor of India (NSA)

Ajit Doval

Chairman of SSC

Braj Raj Sharma

Chairman of UPSC

Pradeep Kumar Joshi 

Chairman of CBSE

Manoj Ahuja

Chairman UGC

D P Singh

DG, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Balram Bhargava

Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla

Chairman, NASSCOM

U. B. Pravin Rao

Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

Dr. A P Maheshwari

Director General, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

Rajesh Ranjan

Director General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP)

S S Deswal

Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB) 

Kumar Rajesh Chandra

President, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce 

& Industry (FICCI)

Sangita Reddy

Chairman, National Highway Authority Of India (NHAI)

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu

Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs(CBIC)

M. Ajit Kumar

International Cricket Council (ICC) -Interim Chairman

Imran Khwaja (Hong Kong)

Chairman, National Medical Commission of India

Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma

Chairman, Banks Board Bureau

Bhanu Pratap Sharma

Chairman, DRDO

Dr G. Satheesh Reddy


Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman


Pramod C Mody

Chairman-Cycling Federation of India (CFI)

Onkar Singh

Director-General of UNESCO

Audrey Azoulay

Secretary General of NATO

Jens Stoltenberg

President of the European Council

Charles Michel

Head of World Health Organization

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Managing Director of IMF

Dr. Kristalina Georgieva

President of the World Bank

David Malpass

Secretary-General of the United Nations

António Guterres

Chairman of African union

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Director General, International Labour Organisation

Guy Ryder

Country/ Capital/ Currency

Country 

Capital 

Currency 

Iran

Tehran

Rial 

Japan

Tokyo 

Japanese yen

Italy

Rome

Euro

Mexico

Mexico City 

Mexican peso

Seychelles

Victoria 

Seychellois rupee

Solomon Island

Honiara

Solomon Islands dollar

Hungary

Budapest

Hungarian forint

Albania

Tirana

Albanian lek

Lebanon

Beirut

Lebanese pound

Andorra 

Andorra la vella 

Euro

Germany

Berlin

Euro 

Papua New Guinea 

Port Moresby

Papua New Guinean kina

Bahrain

Manama 

Bahraini dinar

Indonesia

Jakarta 

Indonesian rupiah

Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

Sri Lankan rupee

Ghana 

Accra

Ghanaian cedi

Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek

Kyrgyzstani som

France

Paris

Euro, CFP franc

Poland 

Warsaw

Polish złoty

Jordan

Amman

Jordanian dinar

Afghanistan 

Kabul

Afghan afghani

Cambodia

Phnom Penh

Cambodian riel

Kuwait 

Kuwait City

Kuwaiti dinar

 

International Organizations and their HQs

Organizations 

HQs

World Health Organisation (WHO) 





Geneva, Switzerland 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

International Telecommunication Union 

International Labour Organization

World Trade Organisation 

 

United Nations 



          New York (USA) 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

 

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Vienna, Austria

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

 

World Bank , International Monetary Fund

Washington D.C.  USA 

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank  (AIIB) 

Beijing, China

New  Development Bank

Shanghai, China

Asian Development Bank

Manila (Philippines)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Lausanne, Switzerland

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

Brussels (Belgium)

South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC)

Kathmandu (Nepal) 

Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Jakarta, Indonesia 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nairobi (Kenya)

Chief Ministers and Governors

State 

Chief Minister 

Governor 

Andhra Pradesh  

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Shri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan

Arunachal Pradesh 

Pema Khandu

B. D. Mishra

Assam

Sarbananda Sonowal

Jagdish Mukhi

Bihar

Nitish Kumar

Phagu Chauhan

Chhattisgarh

Bhupesh Baghel

Anusuiya Uikey

Goa

Pramod Sawant

Bhagat Singh Koshyari (additional)

Gujarat

Vijaybhai Rupani

Acharya Dev Vrat

Haryana

Manohar Lal Khattar 

Satyadeo Narain Arya

Himachal Pradesh

Jairam Thakur

Bandaru Dattatraya

Jharkhand

Hemant Soren

Droupadi Murmu

Karnataka

B. S. Yediyurappa

Vajubhai Vala

Kerala

Pinarayi Vijayan

Arif Mohammed Khan

Madhya Pradesh

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Anandiben Patel  (additional)

Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray

Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Manipur

N. Biren Singh

Najma Heptulla

Meghalaya

Conrad Sangma

Satya Pal Malik

Mizoram

Pu Zoramthanga

P.S. Sreedharan Pillai

Nagaland

Neiphiu Rio

R. N. Ravi

Odisha

Naveen Patnaik

Ganeshi Lal

Punjab

Capt. Amarinder Singh

V.P. Singh Badnore

Rajasthan

Ashok Gehlot

Kalraj Mishra

Sikkim

Prem Singh Tamang

Ganga Prasad

Tamil Nadu

Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Banwarilal Purohit

Telangana

K Chandrasekhar Rao

Tamilisai Soundararajan

Tripura

Biplab Kumar Deb

Ramesh Bais

Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Aditya Nath

Anandiben Patel

Uttarakhand

Trivendra Singh Rawat

Baby Rani Maurya

West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Jagdeep Dhankhar

 

Union Territory 

  • Andaman and Nicobar Island   Admiral D K Joshi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Delhi     Shri Anil Baijal  (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Jammu and Kashmir     Shri Manoj Sinha (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Puducherry       Dr. Kiran Bedi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Ladakh     Shri Radha Krishna Mathur (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Chandigarh         Shri. V.P. Singh Badnore (Administrator)
  • Lakshadweep         Shri Dineshwar Sharma, IPS, (Administrator)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman -Diu Shri Praful Patel (Administrator)

Cabinet Ministers 

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways 

Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers 

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Ministry of Rural Development

Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ministry of Law and Justice

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Ministry of Textiles

Dr. Harsh Vardhan



Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Ministry of Science and Technology

Ministry of Earth Sciences

Shri Prakash Javadekar

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Ministry of Steel

Shri Pralhad Joshi

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Ministry of Coal

Ministry of Mines

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministry of Jal Shakti

Shri Giriraj Singh

Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

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