Current Affairs – 15 October 2020

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Top One-Line Headlines

INDIA

  • Cabinet approves STARS (Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States) project for school education in six states; partially funded by World Bank
  • Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari flags off Special Kisan Rail ‘Nagpur-Adarsh Nagar New Delhi’ carrying oranges
  • Bengaluru: Theatres to resume operations from Friday; government issues guidelines
  • Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launches second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna”
  • Singrauli pollution: SC notice to Centre on plea alleging non-compliance of NGT order
  • Kuchipudi dancer Sobha Naidu dies; won Padma Shri (2001), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991)

WORLD

  • World Bank approves $12 bn to help developing countries get Covid vaccines
  • India contributes USD one million to UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to support Palestinian refugees
  • India, France re-elected as president, co-president of International Solar Alliance (ISA)
  • Cyprus cancels passport scheme for wealthy overseas investors that granted holders citizenship access to 27-member EU
  • Tanzania: Volunteers trying to put out a fire on Mount Kilimanjaro (5,926 meters), Africa’s tallest peak

ECONOMY

  • MSME Ministry introduces AI & ML for strengthening its single window system portal ‘Champions’ to assist MSMEs
  • Tax relief for private company staff too for LTA spends on consumer goods
  • Decision to waive off compound interest for small borrowers during 6-month moratorium period must be implemented by Nov 2: SC

INDUSTRY

  • Piramal Enterprises appoints Kunal Bahl, Suhail Nathani as independent directors to its board
  • Adani Green-Total JV takes over Essel’s solar assets acquired by Adani earlier
  • BARC suspends news channels’ TV ratings for up to 12 weeks , NBA welcomes the move
  • 9 in 10 organisations say working from home during pandemic has been challenging for employees: Survey
  • BMW India launches Series 2 Gran Coupe with prices starting at Rs 39.3 lakh

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INDIA

Current Affairs – 15 October 2020 1

National Rural Livelihood Mission: Union Cabinet approves Rs 520 crores for Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir

  • On October 14, 2020, Union Cabinet approved the special package of Rs 520 crores under National Rural Livelihood Mission for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The cabinet has approved the package for a period of five years till 2023-24. The National Rural Livelihood Mission enables to increase household income.
  • The mission was launched in 2011 and is a restructured version of Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana. It aims to create effective institutional platforms.
Jammu and KashmirA region formerly administered by India as a state from 1954 to 2019
Founded 26 October 1947

EVIN: India’s Plan to store COVID-19 Vaccines

  • The Government of India has started to identify private facilities and government facilities to create a hub to store COVID-19 vaccines. India is under the plan of rolling out multiple vaccines for COVID-19. The Government of India is to use the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (EVIN) to store the vaccine.
  • The Government is making logistical arrangements to procure, store, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines for their uninterrupted delivery. The expert group on Vaccine Administration under Dr V K Paul was deployed earlier. The group has mapped the cold storage units in the country.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: ECONOMY

Current Affairs – 15 October 2020 2

GoI sets up Panel of Secretaries to streamline telecom spectrum allocation

  • GoI has constituted a panel under the cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to streamline telecom spectrum allocation. The panel has been constituted with secretaries of railways, defence, home, telecom, department of space and Information and Broadcasting.
  • The spectrum auction had been held by GoI for six times. They are 2010, 2012-16. However, there was no clarity on frequency of future airwave sale.

Operation Green: 50% Freight Subsidy for agricultural perishables

  • The Ministry of Food Processing and the ministry of Railways have jointly provided subsidised rate of 50% for freight transportation of perishable agriculture produce such as vegetables and fruits. The step is being implemented to boost Operation Green. Operation Green is implemented by Ministry of Food Processing.
  • The ministries will provide 50% subsidies to farmers transporting surplus agricultural produce such as vegetables and fruits by train. Also, the ministry will provide 50% subsidy to cold chain storage of Agricultural commodities. In order to receive the subsidies, the farmers have to submit self-certified documents on “Sampada” portal. The portal is maintained by the Ministry of food processing.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Current Affairs – 15 October 2020 3

EpicVacCorona: Second COVID-19 Vaccine approved by Russia

  • The Russian Authorities have approved a new COVID-19 vaccine called “EpicVacCorona”. It is a two shot vaccine.
  • EpiVacCorona is a peptide-based vaccine. Sputnik V was the first vaccine developed by Russia. Russia is to conduct the vaccine trial of EpicVacCorona on 40,000 volunteers.
  • The first phase of the vaccine is to be held through open trials. It will include men and women of age 18 to 30 years. The second phase of the trial is placebo-controlled. It will include men and women of the age group 18 to 60 years.
Russia PresidentVladimir Putin
Currency Russian Rouble
Prime ministerMikhail Mishustin
CapitalMoscow

CURRENT AFFAIRS: ENVIRONMENT

Graded Response Action Plan comes into force in Delhi

  • The Anti-Pollution measure Graded Response Action Plan is to come into force in Delhi. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has banned the operation of electricity generator sets. The Environment Pollution Authority had earlier directed Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana Governments to implement air pollution control measures under Graded Response Action Plan.
  • The Graded Response Action Plan are institutional measures that are to be adopted when the air quality deteriorates. It is an emergency measure. It was prepared by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. It aims to prevent Particulate Matter PM 10 and PM 2.5 go beyond “moderate” Air Quality Index.

Uttarakhand to Start Plantation Drive to Clear Compensatory Afforestation Backlog in Other states

  • Uttarakhand Forest Department is to set up a plantation drive in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan to clear the backlog for compensatory afforestation over the following two years. The Compensatory afforestation is done against the transfer of forest land for non-forestry purposes.
  •  In compensatory plantation, 1,100 vegetation are planted over an area of one hectare.
Uttar PradeshState of India
CapitalLucknow
GovernorAnandiben Patel
Chief ministerYogi Adityanath