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Current Affairs Today – 13th October 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The United Nations observe International Day for Disaster Reduction every year on 13th
  2. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 43rd GST Council meeting through video conferencing in New Delhi on 12 October 2020.
  3. The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has informed that all eight beaches recommended by the Government of India has got the coveted International Blueflag Certification.
  4. Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the “DBT-BIRAC Clean Tech Demo Park” at Barapullah drain site, near Sundial Park, Sarai Kale Khan, New Delhi in a virtual event.
  5. Harsh Vardhan Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced that FELUDA paper-strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis will be begun in next few weeks.
  6. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will release the autobiography of Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and rename Pravara Rural Education Society as ‘Loknete Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society’.
  7. The State of Kerala is the first state in the country to make public education completely digital.
  8. Anation-wide campaign started by the Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog (RKA) named “Kamadhenu Deepawali Abhiyan”.
  9. A toll-free government helpline for mental health” Mann Samvad” was launched by Health Minister Raghu Sharma in Rajasthan.
  10. The Goa Agriculture department has collaborated with the Postal Department to enroll 11,000 farmers, eligible to avail the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN), under which small and marginal farmers get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support.
  11. To determine the quality of potable water a state-of the art-Mobile-Water Testing Laboratory Van of Rs 99-lakh is launched by Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar.
  12. Argentina has approved HB4 drought-resistant GMO wheat, making it the first country in the world to approve a strain of GMO wheat.
  13. A 16-year-old girl Aava Murto assumed the post of the Prime Minister of Finland for one day, under the “Girls Takeover” program.
  14. BRICS Ministerial Summit 2020 held through online mode via Video Conferencing.
  15. The international charitable organisation ‘Oxfam International’ released a report on 2020 Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index.
  16. According to the Lancet Report, India is expected to be the third largest economy by 2050 and it overtakes China. India will retain the same position in 2100.
  17. The Department of Science & Technology (DST) partnered with IBM India for promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning among students and to inspire them towards STEM careers.
  18. IIT Kanpur and CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) signed an MoU to establish a 1.3 peta FLOP supercomputing facility at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
  19. The Government of India’s All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) has partnered with Microsoft to empower learners and educators with future-ready skills.
  20. Uber tied-up with Amazon Pay that will allow users in India to pay for their rides on the ride-hailing platform using Amazon Pay.
  21. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 300 million loan for India to finance the Rajasthan Secondary Towns Development Sector Project.
  22. The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”
  23. The Fleet Award Function (FAF), 2020 was organised to mark the successful culmination of the Operational Cycle of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam.
  24. The additional charge of Health and Family Welfare Department has been given to Dr. K Sudhakar.
  25. The prestigious Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award has been conferred to Indian-origin philanthropist Harish Kotecha in recognition of his work in the US for meeting the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
  26. The National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship 2020 held on 12 October 2020.
  27. IIT Kharagpur has designed a robotic system which is capable of identifying the diseases plaguing plants through camera-captured image analysis.
  28. IIT Madras have developed a sustainable antimicrobial wrapping material that can prevent packaged food contamination by bacteria and is biodegradable.
  29. Renowned Indian-origin South African human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana has passed away at the age of 76.
  30. Senior Nagaland Minister ‘CM Chang’ has passed away, due to Covid-19 at the age of 78.
  31. Vinod Kumar Singh, the Minister for Backward and Extremely Backward Classes in Bihar has passed away after being infected with COVID-19 at the age of 50.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

International Day for Disaster Reduction observed on 13 October

  • The United Nations observe International Day for Disaster Reduction every year on 13th

Objective:

  • To promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction and also celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

Theme:

  • Theme of 2020 International Day for Disaster Reduction is ‘Disaster risk governance’.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces measures to boost consumer & capital demand

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 43rd GST Council meeting through video conferencing in New Delhi on 12 October 2020.
  • Sitharaman announced several measures to boost capital expenditure and stimulate consumer demand in the economy, which are estimated to cost Rs 73,000 crore by 31 March 2021.
  • Rs 12,000 crore interest-free 50-year loan to states for spending only on capital projects in a bid to boost economy.
  • Additional capital expenditure of Rs 25,000 crore. This will be provided over and above the existing Rs 4.13 lakh crore allotted in the annual budget.
  • LTC Cash Voucher Scheme and Special Festival Advance Scheme to primarily benefit central government employees.
  • The schemes will generate additional consumer demand of Rs. 36,000 crores by March 31, 2021.

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

All eight beaches recommended by GoI gets coveted International Blueflag Certification

  • The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has informed that all eight beaches recommended by the Government of India has got the coveted International Blueflag Certification.
  • India is the first nation to achieve such a feat, as no other Blueflag nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt.

Extra Shots:

Environment Ministry

  • Union Environment Minister: Prakash Javadekar

Dr Harsh Vardhan Inaugurates DBT-BIRAC Clean Tech Demo Park In Delhi

  • Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the “DBT-BIRAC Clean Tech Demo Park” at Barapullah drain site, near Sundial Park, Sarai Kale Khan, New Delhi in a virtual event.
  • Clean Tech Demo Park at Barapullah drain site is a Department of Biotechnology (DBT) initiative that will demonstrate innovative waste-to-value technologies.

Health Ministry to conduct Feluda paper strip COVID-19 test

  • Harsh Vardhan Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced that FELUDA paper-strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis will be begun in next few weeks.
  • The paper-strip test is developed by CSIR-IGIB.
  • The FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay (FELUDA) test is a paper strip test, similar to a pregnancy test, and has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India.

PM Narendra Modi to release autobiography of Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will release the autobiography of Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and rename Pravara Rural Education Society as ‘Loknete Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society’.
  • Balasaheb Vikhe Patil served as Member of Lok Sabha for multiple terms.
  • His autobiography is titled ‘Deh Vechwa Karani’ which means ‘dedicating one’s life for a noble cause’, and is aptly named as he dedicated his entire life to the benefit of society through his path-breaking work in various fields, including agriculture and cooperatives.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Kerala: First State to become Digital in Public Education

  • The State of Kerala is the first state in the country to make public education completely digital.
  • The state Government has achieved it at a cost of Rs 42.36 crores. The initiative was launched in 2018.

Extra Shots:

Kerala:

  • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
  • Governor: Arif Mohammed Khan
  • Festivals: Onam, Vishu, Thrissur Pooram, Nehru Trophy Boat Race
  • National Parks: Anamudi Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Periyar National Park,Silent Valley National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Aralam WLS, Chimmony WLS, Idukki WLS, Periyar WLS, Wayanad WLS, Peppara WLS, Neyyar WLS, Kurinjimala WLS, Malabar WLS etc

Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog begins “Kamadhenu Deepawali Abhiyan”

  • A nation-wide campaign started by the Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog (RKA) named “Kamadhenu Deepawali Abhiyan”.

Objective:

  • To promote extensive use of cow dung during the Diwali season. The RKA will promote cow dung based Diyas, dhoop, Agarbatti, swastika, wall-pieces, idols of goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha.
  • To reach to 11 crore families and ignite 33 crore diyas made of cow dung. The initiative is being implemented by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • The initiative will ignite 3 lakh diyas in Ayodhya, 1 lakh in Varanasi.

Toll-free Helpline for Mental Health Services launched by Rajasthan

  • A toll-free government helpline for mental health” Mann Samvad” was launched by Health Minister Raghu Sharma in
  • The helpline 1800-180-0018 launched by the state government to continuously strengthening mental health services during the coronavirus period.
  • The facility of free tele-counselling is being provided to patients with mental health issues that through the helpline.

Extra Shots:

Rajasthan

  • Statehood Day: 30 March 1949
  • Capital: Jaipur
  • Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
  • Governor: Kalraj Mishra

Goa partnered with India Post to get farmers enrolled in PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme

  • The Goa Agriculture department has collaborated with the Postal Department to enrol 11,000 farmers, eligible to avail the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN), under which small and marginal farmers get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support.
  • Three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 every four months are transferred into the farmers’ account.
  • The scheme defines family as husband, wife and minor children.
  • Under this initiative, the postman will be utilized to benefit farmers. This is India’s First Such initiative and a Unique drive

Extra Shots:

Goa:

  • Capital: Panaji
  • Chief Minister: Pramod Sawant
  • Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Water Testing Lab on Wheels is launched by Haryana govt

  • To determine the quality of potable water a state-of the art-Mobile-Water Testing Laboratory Van of Rs 99-lakh is launched by Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar.
  • This initiative has been launched under the Jal Jeevan Mission for providing tap water connection to every rural household.

Objective:

  • To provide easy access for water testing in remote locations of the state and also help identify the water-quality problems on the spot.

About the Water Van

  • The Mobile Water Testing Laboratory Van is fully equipped with multi-parameter system, capable of measuring different water quality parameters like pH, alkalinity, TDS, hardness, residual chlorine, zinc, nitrite, Fluoride, turbidity and micro-biological test of water samples.
  • It is also GPS enabled for location tracking, and will help in quickly identifying the water quality problem on the spot at site.

Extra Shots:

Haryana

  • Statehood day: 1 November 1966
  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
  • Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Argentina becomes 1st nation to approve genetically modified wheat

  • Argentina has approved HB4 drought-resistant GMO wheat, making it the first country in the world to approve a strain of GMO wheat.
  • The drought-resistant HB4 wheat variety was developed by Argentine biotechnology company Bioceres, working with the National University and Conicet.

Extra Shots:

Argentina (Capital/Currency): Buenos Aires/ Argentine peso

  • President: Alberto Fernández

Aava Murto Takes charge as Finland’s PM for a day

  • A 16-year-old girl Aava Murto assumed the post of the Prime Minister of Finland for one day, under the “Girls Takeover” program.
  • Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin handed over her power to Murto on 7th October 2020 for a day.
  • Aava Murto is from the small village of Vaaksy in southern Finland.

Extra Shots:

Finland (Capital/Currency): Helsinki/ Euro

  • President: Sauli Niinistö
  • Prime Minister: Sanna Marin

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

BRICS Ministerial Summit 2020 held virtually

  • BRICS Ministerial Summit 2020 held through online mode via Video Conferencing.
  • Minister of State (I/C) for Labour & Employment, Shri Santosh Gangwar represented India in this meeting. This BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Virtual Meeting was held under Russian Presidency.
  • The Objective of this BRICS Summit is to discuss various issues including approaches to creating a safe work culture in BRICS countries.

Extra Shots:

BRICS

  • Founded: June 2006
  • Formation: 2009
  • Official language: Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Mandarin, English
  • Founders: China, Brazil, Russia

RANKS AND INDICES

Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2020

  • The international charitable organisation ‘Oxfam International’ released a report on 2020 Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index.
  • India has been ranked 129 among 158 countries.
  • The 2020 CRI index has been topped by Norway.
  • South Sudan is the lowest ranking country in the index at 158th position.

About the Index:

  • It monitors what governments are doing through their policy commitments to reduce inequality and tackle the gap between rich and poor.
  • The index is based upon three basic pillars: Public Services Pillar, Progressive Tax Pillar and Workers Rights Pillar.

Extra Shots:

Oxfam

  • Founder: Cecil Jackson-Cole
  • Founded: 1942, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Director: Winnie Byanyima
  • Founded at: Oxford, England
  • Named after: Oxford Committee for Famine Relief

India will be the third largest economy by 2050

  • According to the Lancet Report, India is expected to be the third largest economy by 2050 and it overtakes China.
  • India will retain the same position in 2100.
  • The report additionally indicates that, India will become the fourth largest economy behind the US, China, Japan by 2030 and subsequently will overtake Japan in 2050.
  • India is currently the fifth largest economy in the world, closely followed by France and UK.

Extra Shots:

China (Capital/Currency): Beijing/ Renminbi

  • President: Xi Jinping

AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

DST Partnered with IBM to boost STEM Career opportunities for Students

  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST) partnered with IBM India for promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning among students and to inspire them towards STEM careers.
  • The both organizations aim to create a robust STEM ecosystem that nurtures critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and next-generation innovators.

Extra Shots:

Ministry of Science & Technology

  • Union Minister: Harsh Vardhan
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

IBM

  • CEO: Arvind Krishna
  • Founder: Charles Ranlett Flint
  • Founded: 16 June 1911, Endicott, New York, United States
  • Headquarters: Armonk, New York, United States

IIT Kanpur signs an MoU with CDAC for establishing PARAM SANGANAK

  • IIT Kanpur and CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) signed an MoU to establish a 1.3 peta FLOP supercomputing facility at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
  • The MoU is signed in the presence of Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Honourable Union Minister of State of Education, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India on 12 October 2020.

Extra Shots:

CDAC

  • The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing is an Indian autonomous scientific society, operating under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Microsoft and AICTE partnered to skill students

  • The Government of India’s All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) has partnered with Microsoft to empower learners and educators with future-ready skills.
  • As part of this partnership, over 1500 course modules from Microsoft will be made available to students and educators free of cost through AICTE’s e-learning portal, ELIS.

Extra Shots:

Microsoft

  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • Founded: 4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
  • Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen

AICTE

  • Founded: November 1945
  • Sector: Technology education
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Chairperson: Anil Sahasrabudhe

Uber tied-up with Amazon Pay to allow Indian users to pay for rides

  • Uber tied-up with Amazon Pay that will allow users in India to pay for their rides on the ride-hailing platform using Amazon Pay.
  • The partnership will see Amazon Pay being integrated as a payment option on the Uber app, enabling millions of customers to make contactless, safe and secure payments for their Uber rides.
  • To facilitate their Uber trip, customers will need to link their Amazon Pay account to Uber by clicking on the ‘Payments’ icon and choosing Amazon Pay.

Extra Shots:

UBER

  • CEO: Dara Khosrowshahi
  • Founded: March 2009, San Francisco, California, United States
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Amazon Pay

  • Headquarters: Seattle, Washington United States

India signs a $300 Million Loan to Develop Rajasthan’s Secondary Towns with ADB

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 300 million loan for India to finance the Rajasthan Secondary Towns Development Sector Project.

Objective of the Project

  • To provide inclusive and sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in 14 secondary towns of the state of Rajasthan to improve the quality of life in these towns, including for the poor and vulnerable.

Extra Shots:

ADB

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • Purpose: Economic development
  • Membership: 68 countries

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

  • The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”
  • The award is officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020.
  • It comes with a gold medal and a cash award of 10 million Swedish krona ($1.12 million).

Best Ships in FAF 2020: Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kora

  • The Fleet Award Function (FAF), 2020 was organised to mark the successful culmination of the Operational Cycle of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam.
  • Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kora is named as the Best Ships in FAF 2020.
  • During the event, the Fleet Operations Officer presented the Annual Report of activities and achievements of the Fleet for 01 Apr 19 to 31 Mar 20.

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

Karnataka Medical Education Minister, K Sudhakar be given additional charge of Health and Family Welfare Department

  • The additional charge of Health and Family Welfare Department has been given to Dr. K Sudhakar.
  • Earlier B Sriramulu served as a minister for Health and Family Welfare Department.

Harish Kotecha conferred with lifetime Achievement award in US

  • The prestigious Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award has been conferred to Indian-origin philanthropist Harish Kotecha in recognition of his work in the US for meeting the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • The lifetime achievement award from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) was presented to Kotecha.

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

17th NBA Championship won by Los Angeles Lakers

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship 2020 held on 12 October 2020.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers won this year trophy by defeating the Miami Heat.
  • NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP): LeBron James of the Lakers’ was named the for the fourth time in his career.

Extra Shots:

NBA

  • Commissioner: Adam Silver
  • Founded: 6 June 1946, New York, New York, United States
  • Number of teams: 30

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CURRENT AFFAIRS

IIT Kharagpur designs robotic system to identify diseases plaguing plants

  • IIT Kharagpur has designed a robotic system which is capable of identifying the diseases plaguing plants through camera-captured image analysis.
  • This robotic system is completely battery-driven and it will be able to perform its duty in the field for about two hours if fully charged.

IIT Madras Developed sustainable antimicrobial food wrapper

  • IIT Madras have developed a sustainable antimicrobial wrapping material that can prevent packaged food contamination by bacteria and is biodegradable.
  • The wrapper’s anti-bacterial compound has been approved by authorities and doesn’t cause any toxicity, it added.
  • The films developed by an IIT team were made with polymeric blends containing starch, polyvinyl alcohol, cyclic beta glycans.

OBITUARY

Priscilla Jana, Renowned Indian-origin South African Human Rights Lawyer Passes Away

  • Renowned Indian-origin South African human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana has passed away at the age of 76.
  • Jana, who had played a significant role against apartheid, was the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

CM Chang, Environment Minister of Nagaland passes away of Coronavirus

  • Senior Nagaland Minister ‘CM Chang’ has passed away, due to Covid-19 at the age of 78.
  • Chang was serving as the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Justice and Law.

Vinod Kumar Singh passes away of COVID-19

  • Vinod Kumar Singh, the Minister for Backward and Extremely Backward Classes in Bihar has passed away after being infected with COVID-19 at the age of 50.
  • He was a BJP MLA from Pranpur Assembly constituency of Katihar district in northeast Bihar.

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