Oct. 28, 2020

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

WAIVER OF INTEREST ON INTEREST SCHEME
The Reserve Bank of India has asked all lending institutions to credit the interest waiver on loans upto two crore rupees for the six months moratorium period beginning March 1, 2020.

About:

  • The government announced the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.

  • Under the scheme, the lending institutions have been mandated to grant ex-gratia payment to certain categories of borrowers through crediting the difference between simple interest and compound interest for the period between March 1- August 31, 2020.

  • The lending institutions shall credit the difference between compound interest and simple interest with regard to the eligible borrowers in respective accounts for the said period irrespective of whether the borrower availed the moratorium on repayment of loan or not.

  • The government has asked banks to credit the amount to borrowers by 5th of November.

  • Post payment, lenders can claim the amount from the central government.

  • The scheme will cover education, housing, automobile loans, MSME loans, personal loans to professionals, credit card dues, consumer durable loans and consumption loans.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

FENI BRIDGE
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the 1.8 kilometre long Feni bridge connecting Sabrum in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh will be completed by December this year.

About:

  • Name: Feni Bridge is known as Maitree Setu in Chattogram.

  • Location: The bridge is being built over the Feni River and will connect Tripura with Chittagong port of Bangladesh.

  • Timeline: The foundation of the bridge was laid in 2015 jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The project is scheduled to be completed by April next year.

  • Agencies Involved: The bridge is being constructed by the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd of Ministry of Road and Transport highways, Government of India.

Important Info :

Significance:

  • It is being developed as a corridor for trade and commerce between India's North-East and Bangladesh.
  • It will provide direct road connectivity between South Tripura and Chittagong allowing India to use Chittagong as a “port of call" and promoting trade, tourism and people-to-people ties.
  • The bridge will facilitate carrying of heavy machines and goods to and from the north-eastern states and the rest of India via Bangladesh through Chattogram.
Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

K.R. NARAYANAN
President Ram Nath Kovind paid homage to former President K.R. Narayanan on his birth anniversary.

About:

  • Kocheril Raman Narayanan (27 October 1920 – 9 November 2005) was an Indian diplomat, academic and politician who served as the 10th President of India (1997–2002) and 9th Vice President of India (1992–1997).

  • He began his career in India as a member of the Indian Foreign Service in the Nehru administration.

  • He entered politics at Indira Gandhi's request and won three successive general elections to the Lok Sabha and served as a Minister of State in Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet.

  • Elected as Vice President in 1992, Narayanan went on to become President in 1997. He was the first person from the Dalit community to hold either post.

  • Narayanan is regarded as an independent and assertive President. He described himself as a "working President" who worked "within the four corners of the Constitution"; something midway between an "executive President" who has direct power and a "rubber-stamp President" who endorses government decisions without question or deliberation.

Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

SKILL INDIA MISSION
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in collaboration with their unified regulator— National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) unveiled guidelines for the Awarding Bodies (AB) and Assessment Agencies (AA) over a digital conference.

About:

  • The guidelines and operation manuals have been developed for the recognition and regulation of these two entities, key elements of skilling ecosystem.

  • The guidelines aim at establishing quality, improved outcomes and standardizing the processes under Skill India Mission.

Important Info :
  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was formed on November 9, 2014 by the Government of India to focus on enhancing employability of skills.
  • Under its flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-2020, the Ministry has trained more than 92 lakh candidates so far.
  • The National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) was notified by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on 5th December 2018. The NCVET acts as an overarching skills regulator which regulates the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training.
Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

NRITYANJALI
The Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is organizing the concluding part of ‘Nrityanjali’, an online film festival on Indian classical dance and its maestros from October 28 to 30.

About:

  • Nrityanjali is an online festival of documentary films on the life and work of some of the leading Indian classical dance exponents.

  • The festival will be streamed on Films Division website and its YouTube channel. All films will be streamed live, simultaneously, for three days.

Important Info :
  • Indian Classical Dance is an umbrella under which various performing arts whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text, Natya-Shastra, the foundational treatise by Bharata Muni.
  • Prominent traditional dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohini Aattam, include music and recitation in the local language or Sanskrit and they represent a unity of core ideas in a diversity of styles, costumes and expression.
Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

INDIA-US 2+2 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the third edition of the 2+2 talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Documents announced during the 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue:

  1. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Department of Defence of United States of America.

  2. MoU for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.

  3. Agreement for the Electronic Exchange of Customs Data between the Postal Operators.

  4. Arrangement extending the duration of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA.

  5. Letter of Intent between the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Cancer Institute, Government of the USA for cooperation in the field of Ayurveda and Cancer Research.

Important Info :
  • USA is the top export destination for India (~17%) which is also reflected in exchange of goods through postal channel.
  • In 2019, around 20% of outbound EMS and 30% of Letters & Small Packets transmitted by India Post were destined to USA whereas 60% of the Parcels received by India Post were originated from USA.
Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

INFANTRY DAY
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended greetings on the occasion of Infantry Day.

About:

  • Infantry Day is observed on October 27 to mark the landing of first Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 to push back Pakistan supported intruders.

  • On October 26, 1947 the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the instrument of accession, making his state a part of Indian dominion, and thus paving the day for Indian troops to be deployed in the state to fight against Pakistani invaders.

Source : The Hindu
History

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

JAPAN TO ACHIEVE ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2050
Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said the country will become carbon neutral by 2050, heralding a bolder approach to tackling the climate emergency by the world’s third-biggest economy.

About:

  • Japan had come under pressure to strengthen its climate commitments after initially saying that it would achieve an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 followed by carbon neutrality “as soon as possible” in the second half of the century.

  • The policy shift brings Japan into line with the European Union, which set itself a similar target last year, while China recently announced it would become carbon-free by 2060.

  • Japan’s current energy plan, set in 2018, calls for 22-24% of its energy to come from renewables, 20-22% from nuclear power and 56% from fossil fuels.

  • Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe in mid-September, did not provide details on how Japan would reduce carbon emissions to zero.

Source : Hindustan Times
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

NATURAL GAS AND GST
Global energy majors have called on the Government of India to bring natural gas under the GST regime at the India energy Forum being held this week.

About:

  • Currently petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas and crude oil fall outside India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

  • Government officials have also indicated that the government is considering bringing natural gas under the ambit of the GST regime.

Important Info :

Why is it important to bring natural gas under the GST regime?

  • It would lead to a reduction in the cascading impact of taxes on industries such as power and steel, which used natural gas as an input.
  • it would do away with the central excise duty and different value added taxes imposed by states.
  • This would lead to an increase in the adoption of natural gas in line with the government’s stated goal to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket from 6.3% to 15%.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2020

PARAMPARA SERIES
Vice President of India launched the festival of ‘Parampara Series 2020- National Festival of Music & Dance.’

About:

  • It was organised by Natya Tarangini in partnership with the United Nations. Natya Tarangini is organising the ‘Parampara Series’ continuously since past 23 years.

  • This festival was organized to coincide with the World Day for Audio-visual Heritage.

  • ‘Parampara’ means ‘tradition’, the transmission of cultural treasure house from one generation to the next.

Important Info :
  • Natya Tarangini Performing Arts Centre, was founded initially as a Kuchipudi Dance Institute by India's legendary dancing couple Dr.(s) Raja Radha and Kaushalya Reddy in the year 1976 in New Delhi.
Culture

Oct. 27, 2020

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

BUNDI
The Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series titled “Bundi: Architectural Heritage of a Forgotten Rajput Capital” on 24th October 2020 focused on Bundi, Rajasthan.

About:

  • Bundi is a district in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan. Bundi was the erstwhile capital of Hada Rajput province known as Hadoti located in south-eastern Rajasthan.

  • Bundi is also known as City of stepwalls, blue city and also as Chotti Kashi.

  • Bundi was known as Chotti Kashi owing to presence of over hundred temples within and around the hada capital.

  • Temples constructed in early phase of Bundi’s growth were is classical Nagara style, while in later phases new temple typologies emerged from amalgamation of architectural form of traditional haveli with the classical Nagara style.

  • Jain temples formed third type of temple type constructed in an introvert form.

  • A fourth temple type emerged in the form of raised or elevated temple. Absence of monumentality in their scale is a distinctive feature of temples in Bundi.

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

INDIA–AUSTRALIA CIRCULAR ECONOMY HACKATHON (I-ACE)
AIM (Atal Innovation Mission), in association with CSIRO, is organizing a two-day hackathon on circular economy, ‘India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE)’, on 7 and 8 December.

About:

  • The idea of I-ACE was conceived during a virtual summit on 4 June, between the Indian and Australian prime ministers, exploring innovative ways to boost circular economy in India and Australia.

  • The four key themes for the hackathon are as follows:
    • Innovation in packaging reducing packaging waste

    • Innovation in food supply chains avoiding waste

    • Creating opportunities for plastic waste reduction

    • Recycling critical energy metals and e-waste



Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

GO-ADHARITH
Union Minister of Tribal Affairs will launch two Centers of Excellence for Tribal Welfare in a collaboration between Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Art of Living (AoL) on October 27, 2020.

About:

  • The first initiative ‘Strengthening PRIs’ will be launched in 5 districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand, in creating awareness among elected representatives of PRI about various Tribal Acts.

  • The second is about training 10000 tribal farmers in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra on sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques.

  • Farmers will be helped in getting the Organic certification and the marketing opportunities will be made available to them to make each of them Atmanirbhar Tribal Farmers.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

INDUS SUTURE ZONE (ISZ)
The suture zone of the Himalayas or the Indus Suture Zone (ISZ) in the Ladakh region where Indian and Asian Plates are joined has been found to be tectonically active, as against current understanding that it is a locked zone.

About:

  • This could have major implications in terms of earthquake study, prediction, understanding the seismic structure of the mountain chains well as its evolution.

  • Himalaya were known to be made up of north dipping thrusts like the Main Central Thrust (MCT), the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), and the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT).

  • As per the established models, all of these thrusts except MFT are locked, and overall deformation in Himalaya is being accommodated only along with the MFT.

  • The new findings, which suggest a more remote fault at the suture zone being neo-tectonically active, could call for a serious relook into the existing evolutionary models using new techniques and a larger geological database.

Source : PIB
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

AENIGMACHANNA GOLLUM
A 100 million-year-old fish has been discovered in Kerala which is named after the dark and conflicted character of JRR Tolkien’s epic saga movie ‘Lord of the Rings’.

About:

  • ‘Aenigmachanna gollum’ belongs to an old family of fish, called dragon snakeheads, which retains its primitive characteristics after all these millennia.

  • It looks like a dragon, swims like an eel, and has remained hidden for a hundred million years.

  • Besides the Gollum, a sister species has also been discovered, called ‘Aenigmachanna mahabali’.

  • The discovery of a new family of fish is very rare. The dragon snakeheads have evaded scientists till now because they live in subterranean aquifers and come to the surface only after heavy flooding from rain.

  • The lack of evolution can be seen in the shortened swim bladder of the dragon snakeheads as well as fewer vertebrae with ribs. These indicate that the family is less specialised than regular snakeheads.

  • The family also has eyes and a reddish brown pigmentation, which is unusual as most subterranean fish are pale and have no eyes.

Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRE (SIAC)
A tribunal in Singapore restrained Future Group and Reliance Industries Limited from proceeding with a Rs 24,713-crore deal signed in August for Future Retail to sell its units to Reliance Retail and Fashionstyle.

About:

  • The emergency order by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) came on a plea from global e-commerce giant Amazon.

  • Singapore has emerged as the preferred location for international arbitration involving Indian companies as foreign investors typically want to avoid the rigmarole of the Indian courts.

  • According to the 2019 annual report of SIAC, India was the top user of its arbitration seat with 485 cases being referred to SIAC, followed by Philippines at 122, China at 76 and the United States at 65.

  • India now has its own international arbitration centre in Mumbai. But in context of arbitration, this is a recent development.

Important Info :

Way Ahead:

  • Currently under Indian law, there is no express mechanism for enforcement of the orders of the Emergency Arbitrator. Typically, the parties voluntarily comply with the Emergency Award.
  • However, if the parties don’t comply with the order voluntarily, then the party which has won the emergency award, can move the High Court in India under Section 9 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996, to get similar reliefs as granted by the Emergency Arbitrator.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

NATIONAL HIGHWAY PROJECTS IN TRIPURA
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways will lay the foundation stones of nine National Highway projects in Tripura on October 27, 2020.

About:

  • The Projects, on completion, will provide faster and hassle-free inter-state and international connectivity to Bangladesh, and will be a major stride towards strengthening tourism sector of the State.

  • The Projects include:
    • Jolaibari - Belonia of NH-108A

    • Kailashahar - Kumarghat of NH-208

    • Khayerpur to Amtali (Agartala bypass) of NH-08

    • Agartala – Khowai of NH-108B

    • Kailashahar to Kurti bridge of NH-208A

    • Manu-Simlung of NH-44A

    • RCC Bridge over river Muhuri & RCC Bridge over river Gomati

    • Strengthening of Churaibari-Agartala section with paved shoulder of NH-08

    • Geometric improvement on Churaibari-Agartala section of NH-44



Source : LiveMint
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

NATIONAL HIGHWAY 310
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was in Sikkim to dedicate the 19.85 kilometre alternate alignment of the national highway 310.

About:

  • National Highway 310 (NH-310) traverses the state of Sikkim in India.

  • Necessitated due to the previous alignment having seen extensive damages due to sinking and other natural hazards, the road serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in the Nathu-La Sector in particular and in whole of East Sikkim in general.

  • The road was constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Source : LiveMint
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

CHILD CARE LEAVE
Union Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions said that the male employees of the government are also now entitled to Child Care Leave.

About:

  • However, the provision of Child Care Leave (CCL) will be available only for those male employees who happen to be “single male parent”.

  • This may include male employees who are widowers or divorcees or even unmarried and may therefore, be expected to take up the responsibility of child care as a single - handed parent.

  • The orders regarding this had been issued quite some time back but somehow did not receive enough circulation in the public.

  • An employee on Child Care Leave may now leave the head quarter with the prior approval of Competent Authority. In addition, the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) may be availed by the employee even if he is on Child Care Leave.

  • Child Care Leave can be granted at 100% of leave salary for the first 365 days and 80% of leave salary for the next 365 days.

  • In case of a disabled child, the condition of availing Child Care Leave up to the age of 22 years of the child has been removed and now Child Care Leave can be availed by a government servant for a disabled child of any age.

Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Oct. 27, 2020

PLASMA THERAPY
Recently published findings on convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients have triggered a debate over its efficacy.

About:

  • After the country’s largest such trial, known by the acronym PLACID, found that convalescent plasma was ineffective in arresting Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been considering dropping this option from the national guidelines.

  • Plasma is the liquid part of the blood. Convalescent plasma, extracted from the blood of patients recovering from an infection, is a source of antibodies against the infection.

  • The Plasma therapy involves using their plasma to help others recover. For Covid-19, this has been one of the treatment options. The donor would have to be a documented case of Covid-19 and healthy for 28 days since the last symptoms.

Source : indian express
Health

Oct. 26, 2020

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

महेश कनोडिया
प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने पूर्व लोकसभा सांसद और संगीतकार महेश कनोडिया के निधन पर दुख व्यक्त किया है।

इनके बारे में:

  • वह दीर्घानुभवी गुजराती फ़िल्म संगीतकार, गायक और पाटन निर्वाचन क्षेत्र के पूर्व लोकसभा सांसद थे। वह 83 वर्ष के थे।

  • वह उत्तर गुजरात के पाटन निर्वाचन क्षेत्र से 10 वीं, 11 वीं, 12 वीं और 14 वीं लोकसभा के सदस्य थे। गुजराती सिनेमा में उनका योगदान चार दशकों से अधिक समय का था।

  • उन्हें गुजराती फिल्मों जिगर आने एमी, तानारीरी, जोग संजोग और लाजु लखन के लिए सर्वश्रेष्ठ संगीत के लिए सम्मानित किया गया। उन्होंने महेश कुमार एंड पार्टी के माध्यम से हजारों स्टेज शो किए थे।

Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

WORLD DAY FOR AUDIOVISUAL HERITAGE
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2020 will be observed on 27 October under the theme “Your Window to the World.”

About:

  • The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage takes place every 27 October.

  • This commemorative day was chosen by UNESCO in 2005 to raise awareness of the significance and preservation risks of recorded sound and audiovisual documents (films, sound and video recordings, radio and television programmes).

Important Info :

Memory of the World Programme?

  • UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992.
  • The vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.
Source : United Nations
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

PM SWANIDHI SCHEME
Uttar Pradesh government has secured the first rank in central government's the PM Atmanirbhar Nidhi Scheme (SVANidhi Scheme) by approving the highest number of loans under the scheme in the country.

About:

  • State has ranked first in all the categories - Applications, Sanctions and Disbursements of the loans under the scheme.

  • Seven cities of the state also find place in the list of top 10 cities of the country. Varanasi, Lucknow and Aligarh are the top three cities in the list even as other cities of the state include Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad and Kanpur.

Important Info :

Background:

  • The scheme was launched on June 1, 2020, by the Central Government to help the street vendors resume their livelihood activities that were impacted by COVID-19.
  • It aims at facilitating working capital loan up to Rs. 10,000 at a subsidised rate of interest. The scheme aims at providing benefits to street vendors or hawkers in urban, pre-urban and rural areas.
Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

TOCILIZUMAB
A recent study suggests that the drug tocilizumab may not prevent mortality in Covid-19 patients. It is the second such study on this drug.

About:

  • Tocilizumab is the second drug, after hydroxychloroquine, that had quickly earned global popularity as a Covid-19 treatment before its efficacy came under question in the wake of poor trial outcomes.

  • Tocilizumab is an immunosuppressant, commonly used for rheumatoid arthritis, and marketed as Actemra by Swiss pharma company Roche. It was repurposed in January to fight severe lung infection in Covid-19 patients.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON VIGILANCE AND ANTI-CORRUPTION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, on the theme of 'Vigilant India, Prosperous India' on October 27, 2020.

About:

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) organizes this National Conference coinciding with ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’, which is observed in India every year from 27th October to 2nd November.

  • The three day conference would discuss series of issues including the challenges in investigation in foreign jurisdictions, Preventive Vigilance, Effective Auditing, Latest amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, Capacity Building and Training etc.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

MAHESH KANODIA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the demise of former Lok Sabha MP and Musician Mahesh Kanodia.

About:

  • He was a Veteran Gujarati film musician, singer and former Lok Sabha MP from Patan constituency. He was 83.

  • He was a member of the 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha from Patan constituency of North Gujarat. His contribution in Gujarati Cinema was spread over more than four decades.

  • He was awarded for Best Music for the Gujarati films Jigar ane Ami, Tanariri, Jog Sanjog and Laju Lakhan. He has done thousands of stage shows through Mahesh Kumar and Party.

Source : All India Radio
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

WORK FROM HOME AND AIR POLLUTION
As per a new report released by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), some areas in the UK could experience greater levels of air pollution due to large numbers of people working from home due to the pandemic this winter season.

About:

  • During the course of winter, air pollution, specifically emissions of nitrogen oxides are set to increase in the UK as a result of people spending more time working from their homes and using gas boilers for heating purposes.

  • These additional nitrogen oxide emissions will be roughly equivalent to cancelling out two years’ of gains incurred as a result of traffic pollution measures.

Reason

  • Gas combustion in buildings from cookers and boilers is a major source of local air pollution and accounts for roughly 21 per cent of nitrogen oxides emissions across the Greater London area for instance.

  • As a result of this increased energy use, ECIU analysis suggests that urban air quality will worsen, with nitrogen oxide emissions increasing by approximately 12 per cent in some UK towns and cities.

Important Info :
  • As per the State of Global Air report 2020, which is published by the US based Health Effects Institute, India’s population has the third highest exposure to PM 2.5, one of the most harmful pollutants for human health.
Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

US STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM LIST
Sudan became the third Arab nation in recent weeks to normalise relations with Israel, days after the US removed it from its State Sponsor of Terrorism list, of which the North African country was a part for over 27 years.

About:

  • President Donald Trump said he would be removing Sudan from the terrorism list, which effectively kept the impoverished nation off the global financial system since 1993.

  • The US Secretary of State (the minister primarily in charge of foreign relations) has been given powers to designate countries that “have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism” as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”.

Important Info :

Do you know?

  • The US can place four categories of sanctions on countries part of the list– restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defence exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.
  • Sanctions can also be placed on countries and persons that engage in certain trade with designated countries.
  • After Sudan’s delisting, three countries remain with the designation: Syria (listed in 1979), Iran (1984) and North Korea (2017).
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

WORLD POLIO DAY
October 24 is observed as World Polio Day every year in order to call on countries to stay vigilant in their fight against the disease.

About:

  • As per the WHO, since 1980, the cases of wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99.9 per cent as a result of vaccination efforts made around the world.

  • World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop the vaccine against the disease.

Important Info :
  • Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that affects the nervous system.
  • There are three variants of the poliovirus, numbered 1 to 3.
  • For a country to be declared polio-free, the wild transmission of all three kinds has to be stopped. For eradication, cases of both wild and vaccine-derived polio infection have to be reduced to zero. India was declared polio-free in January 2014, after three years of zero cases.
Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

SANITATION
US President Donald Trump referred to it as “filthy India” during the final presidential debate and India received a lot of unwanted attention.

About:

  • While he was talking with reference to the Paris Climate Accord, the attempt here is to look at the filth in terms of poor or inadequate sanitation and rising pollution levels.

  • According to the website “Our World in Data”, part of Oxford University, “an estimated 775,000 people died prematurely as a result of poor sanitation in 2017. “This was 1.4% of global deaths. In low-income countries, it accounts for 5% of deaths.

  • In India, this share has been higher than its neighbours such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

  • In 2015, 68% of the world population had access to improved sanitation facilities. In other words, almost one-third of people did not have access.

  • In India, only 40% of the population had access to improved sanitation. This is much lower than its next-door neighbours such as Sri Lanka (95%) and Pakistan and Bangladesh (both over 60%).

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Oct. 26, 2020

KHADI OAXACA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to the region of Oaxaca (pronounced O-aa-ha-ka) in Mexico, where he said khadi was being manufactured, and narrated an anecdote about how khadi reached the Latin American country.

About:

  • 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.

  • It has been founded by Mark “Marcos” Brown, an American living in Mexico, and his wife, Kalindi Attar.

  • It uses cotton produced and cultivated on the Oaxaca coast, and produces chemical-free clothing, relying on locally harvested plant-based dyes.

  • Before starting the project, Brown lived in India for 12 years, and was strongly influenced by Gandhi. For two years (1986-88), he lived in Gujarat’s Sabarmati Ashram, where he learned about khadi.

Source : Indian Express
Geography

Oct. 25, 2020

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

LIBYA
Rival parties in Libya Friday announced a historic ceasefire followed by five days of the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks in Geneva, giving way to the possibility that the long-drawn conflict might be coming to an end.

Background:

  • Libya has been embroiled in a tussle for power between rival militias ever since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power by NATO-backed forces and was killed by rebel militia in October 2011.

  • Gaddafi’s death marked the end of an eventful 42-year rule by the former Army officer who took over the reins of power from King Idris in a military coup in 1969.

New Ceasefire Agreement:

  • As per this new agreement facilitated by the UN, all foreign mercenaries and armed forces will have to withdraw within the next 90 days and the parties also agreed that any violations in the ceasefire will be dealt by a joint military force, which will be under a unified command.

  • The agreement has also established a Joint Police Operations room that will implement and propose special arrangements to secure the areas that are cleared of military units and armed groups.

  • Further, the 5+5 have also agreed to open the land and air routes that connect the regions and cities of Libya.

Important Info :

Do you know?

  • Libya is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.
  • The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

BNO PASSPORTS
Chinese foreign ministry said that it will consider not recognizing Hong Kong British national overseas (BNO) passports as valid travel documents, a day after the British government's announcement of new visa rules for British National Overseas citizens in HK.

New visa rules:

  • Britain recently said that it will start to process BNO visa applications for residents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from January 31, 2021.

  • Britain had announced plans to extend the immigration rights of BNO passport holders on 1st July, the day after China imposed stringent national security law on Hong Kong.

  • As per new visa rule, BNO Visa holders will have the right to work and study in the UK for a period of five years. They can apply for citizenship after the sixth year.

Important Info :

Background:

  • The British National (Overseas) passport, commonly referred to as the BN(O) passport, is a British passport for persons with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status.
  • The passport was first issued in 1987 after the Hong Kong Act 1985,[2] from which this new class of British nationality was created.
  • Holders of BN(O) passports are permanent residents of Hong Kong who were British Dependent Territories citizens until 30 June 1997 and had registered as BN(O)s.
Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

DHAMMACHAKRA PRAVARTAN DAY
In Maharashtra, 64th Dhammachakra Pravartan Day will be celebrated in a limited manner at Nagpur Holy’s Dikshabhoomi due to prevailing covid-19 situation.

About:

  • Dhammachakra Pravartan Day (DhammaChakra Anupravartan Din) is a day to celebrate the Buddhist conversion of B. R. Ambedkar and approximately 600,000 followers in October 1956 at Deekshabhoomi on the occasion of Vijayadashami.

  • It is primarily celebrated at Deeksha Bhoomi every year.

Important Info :

Do you know?

  • Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism located at Nagpur city in Maharashtra; where the B. R. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism.
  • Deekshabhoomi is one of two places of considered to be of great importance in the life of Ambedkar, the other being Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.
Source : All India Radio
History

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

VIJAYADASHMI
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind greeted people on the eve of Vijayadashami.

About:

  • Vijayadashami is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navratri every year i.e. on the tenth day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin.

  • The festival also starts the preparation for Diwali, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami.

  • It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Durga Puja:

  • Region: Eastern & North-Eastern India.

  • Reason for observance: It marks the end of Durga Puja. It remembers goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.

  • Celebrations: It includes processions to a river or ocean front that carry clay statues of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, accompanied by music and chants. After this the statutes are immersed into the water.

Dussehra:

  • Region: Northern, Southern & Western India.

  • Reason for observance: It marks the end of "Ramlila." It remembers God Rama's victory over the demon Ravana.

  • Celebrations:
    • Here the festival is also known as Dasara or Dussehra. The towering effigies of Ravana symbolizing the evil are burnt with fireworks marking evil's destruction.

    • The performance arts tradition during the Dussehra festival was inscribed by UNESCO as one of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" in 2008.



Source : All India Radio
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

PAEDIATRIC HEART HOSPITAL ATTACHED WITH THE U.N MEHTA INSTITUTE OF CARDIOLOGY AND RESEARCH
Prime Minister inaugurated the Paediatric Heart Hospital attached with the U.N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre and a Mobile Application for tele-cardiology at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.

About:

  • The U.N Mehta Institute will now become India’s biggest hospital for cardiology in addition to being one of the select few hospitals in the world with a world-class medical infrastructure and medical facilities.

  • The Institute is undergoing expansion at the cost of Rs. 470 crores. The number of beds will increase from 450 to 1251 after the completion of the expansion project.

  • The Institute will also become the biggest single super speciality cardiac teaching institute in the country and one of the biggest single super speciality cardiac hospitals in the world.

  • The research centre will house India’s first Advanced Cardiac ICU on Wheels with O.T., which is equipped with ventilators, IABP, haemodialysis, ECMO etc.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

INDO-TIBETAN BORDER POLICE (ITBP)
Union Minister for Home Affairs took part in the Raising Day function organized in Greater Noida on the 59th Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

About:

  • ITBP is one of the Central Armed Police Forces of India.

  • ITBPF is a specialized mountain force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers.

  • Origin: It was raised in 1962, in the wake of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 for deployment along India's border with China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

  • Status: ITBP was initially raised under the CRPF Act. However, in 1992, parliament enacted the ITBPF Act and the rules there under were framed in 1994.

  • Motto of the Force: “Shaurya-Dridhata-Karma Nishtha” (Valour – Determination – Devotion to Duty).

  • Parent ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs.

Important Info :

Mandate:

  • Presently, ITBP is deployed on Border Guarding Duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 KM of India China Border. This was done in pursuance of GoM recommendations on “One Border One Force”, In the year 2004.
  • Apart from guarding the border; the Force is also deployed for Anti Naxal operations and other internal security duties.
  • ITBP is also providing security to the pilgrims during Annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from 1981. Being the first responder for natural disaster, ITBPF has been carrying out numerous rescue and relief operations across the country.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

GIRNAR ROPEWAY
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the world's longest temple ropeway project at Girnar in Junagadh.

About:

  • Girnar ropeway project consists a total of 25 cabins and is of 2.3 kilo meters length and 900 meters height. It operates at a capacity of 800 passengers per hour and 8000 per day.

  • The Rupees 130 crore project will attract more tourists and pilgrims to this historical place which will boost employment opportunities.

  • In addition to this, the ropeway will also provide a scenic view of the lush green beauty surrounding the Girnar mountain.

  • Mount Girnar is a major igneous plutonic complex which intruded into the basalts towards the close of the Deccan Trap period.

Source : The Hindu
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

KISAN SURYODAYA YOJANA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Kisan Suryodaya Yojana in Gujarat for providing 16 hours of power supply to farmers.

About:

  • To provide day-time power supply for irrigation, the Gujarat Government had recently announced the ‘Kisan Suryodaya Yojana’.

  • Under this scheme, farmers will be able to avail power supply from 5 AM to 9 PM.

  • The state government has allocated a budget of Rs.3500 crore for installing transmission infrastructure under this scheme by 2023.

  • 234 ‘66-Kilowatt’ transmission lines, with a total length of 3490 circuit kilometers (CKM) will be established under the project, in addition to 220 KV substations.

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

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (or INDUSTRY 4.0)
IIT Kharagpur and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have jointly developed a novel Industry 4.0 technology for remotely controlled factory operations and real-time quality correction during industrial production in a bid to deliver quality output at low costs.

About:

  • History: Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the Geneva-based WEF, published a book in 2016 titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” and coined the term at the Davos meeting that year.

  • Meaning: The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to how technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the internet of things are merging with humans’ physical lives.

  • Examples: Voice-activated assistants, facial ID recognition or digital health-care sensors.

Important Info :

Comparison with earlier industrial revolutions?

There is a common theme among each of the industrial revolutions: the invention of a specific technology that changed society fundamentally.

  1. The First Industrial Revolution started in Britain around 1760. It was powered by a major invention: the steam engine. The steam engine enabled new manufacturing processes, leading to the creation of factories.
  2. The Second Industrial Revolution came roughly one century later and was characterized by mass production in new industries like steel, oil and electricity. The light bulb, telephone and internal combustion engine were some of the key inventions of this era.
  3. The inventions of the semiconductor, personal computer and the internet marked the Third Industrial Revolution starting in the 1960s. This is also referred to as the “Digital Revolution.”
  4. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is different from the third for two reasons: the gap between the digital, physical and biological worlds is shrinking, and technology is changing faster than ever.
Source : All India Radio
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Oct. 25, 2020

YELLOW DUST
North Korean authorities have urged citizens to remain indoors to avoid contact with a mysterious cloud of ‘yellow dust’ blowing in from China, which they have warned could bring Covid-19 with it.

About:

  • Asian Dust (also known as yellow dust, yellow sand, yellow wind or China dust storms) is actually sand from deserts in China and Mongolia that high speed surface winds carry into both North and South Korea during specific periods every year.

  • The sand particles tend to mix with other toxic substances such as industrial pollutants, as a result of which the ‘yellow dust’ is known to cause a number of respiratory ailments.

  • Usually, when the dust reaches unhealthy levels in the atmosphere, authorities urge people to remain indoors and limit physical activity, particularly heavy exercise and sport.

Source : Indian Express
Geography
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