1. U.S. spacecraft named after late Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla

An American commercial cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station has been named after fallen NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first India-born woman to enter space, for her key contributions to human spaceflight.

Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defence technology company, announced that its next Cygnus capsule will be named the “S.S. Kalpana Chawla”, in memory of the mission specialist who died with her six crewmates aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

While informing about its decision, Northop Grumman further added that Kalpana Chawla was selected in honour of her prominent place in history as the first woman of Indian descent to go to space.

2. India slips 26 spots to 105th position on economic freedom index

India has fallen 26 spots to rank at the 105th position on the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020, as per an annual report released on September 10, 2020. The country was ranked at the 79th spot in last year’s rankings.

The rankings were published in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report by Canada’s Fraser Institute, which was released in India in conjunction with the Indian think tank Centre For Civil Society.

As per the report, prospects for increasing economic freedom in India depend on next-generation reforms in factor markets and in greater openness to international trade.

3. India & Japan signs MoU on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies & Services

India and Japan signed an agreement concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defense Forces of Japan.

This agreement forms the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.

The agreement will also improve the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries.

4. Overall job growth rate slips to 3.5% in FY 2020: CARE Ratings Report

Overall job growth rate slips to 3.5% in FY 2020, 50.02 lakh people got jobs – CARE Ratings Report.

As per the CARE (Credit Analysis and Research Limited) Ratings Report, the employment growth rate has declined to 3.5% in the Financial Year 2020 from 3.8% in the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile the total number of jobs increased to 50.02 lakh from 48.32 lakh, says a report.

In FY20, 1.70 lakh new jobs were added, while the net addition was 1.76 lakh in FY19, shows a CARE Ratings report.

But in FY20, as many as 321 companies reduced their headcounts by 1.13 lakh compared to 272 companies doing so by 1.18 lakh in the previous year.

5. Defence Minister launches Aero India 21 website; Space Booking Opens for Asia’s Largest Aeroshow

The 13th edition of Aero India-21 will be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka from 3rd to 07th February 2021.

Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Aero India 2021 website https://aeroindia.gov.in at New Delhi today giving the go ahead for space-booking.

Aero India 2021 website will be a contactless online interface for Asia’s largest Aeroshow and host all online services related to the event for both the exhibitors and visitors besides hosting informative content about Ministry of Defence’s recent policies, initiatives as also product profile of indigenous aircraft and helicopters.

Raksha Mantri conveyed his best wishes for the success of the event.

Exhibitors will be able to register and book space online as per their requirements on a first-come first served-basis, and make all payments online on the Aero India website. Exhibitors can avail early bird discounts by booking space on the website before 31 October 2020.

6. Andhra Pradesh govt launches 2 new schemes to combat malnourishment among women & children

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched two nutrition schemes ‘YSR Sampoorna Poshana’ and ‘YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus’ to provide nutritious food to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children in the state.

YSR Sampoorna Poshana will cover the urban and rural areas lying in plain lands while YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus is intended to supply nutritious food exclusively in 77 Tribal areas covering 8320 Anganwadi Centres.

Around 30.16 lakh women/mothers and children will benefit from these two schemes.

7. SBI planning to launch loan product ‘SAFAL’ for organic cotton growers

State Bank of India is planning to launch a loan product, SAFAL.

The product Safe and Fast Agriculture Loan (SAFAL) is primarily focussed on organic cotton growers who don’t have any credit history.

SBI will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for this purpose.

8. Bank of Baroda tops EASE 2.0 Index by IBA

Bank of Baroda has topped the EASE Banking Reforms Index 2.0.EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) reform index is prepared by the Indian Banking Association (IBA.

The Index measures the performance of the Public Sector Bank on more than 120 objective metrics based on six themes.
State Bank of India and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce are second and third respectively.

The aim of this index is to bring fruitful change in the PSBs by brining in healthy competition among these PSBs and by encouraging them to learn from each other.

9. Paresh Rawal becomes Chief of the New National School Of Drama

Former LokSabha MP and Bollywood actor, Paresh Rawal have been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama by President Ram Nath Kovind.

In a career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994.

He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

10. Playerzpot appointed Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Smriti Mandhana as brand ambassadors

The fantasy sports gaming platforms, Playerzpot has announced the signing of cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Smriti Mandhana as its brand ambassadors.

Playerzpot is a fantasy sports gaming app that allows its users to play fantasy cricket.

The partnership will see the cricketers in the brand’s upcoming campaigns and promote Playerzpot through engagement activities.

The duo will anchor the brand with their sports charisma and help in creating a higher brand recall amongst the key target audience.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an iconic cricketer and an inspiration for the younger generation.

Smriti Mandhana herself is a world-class performer and connects beautifully with sports, cricket, and even female audience.

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