Table of Contents

1. Former Odisha Speaker Sarat Kar passes away

Former Odisha Assembly Speaker Sarat Kumar Kar passed away in October 2020. He has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sarat Kar, a veteran leader and eminent writer, was elected to the State Legislative Assembly thrice from Mahanga in Kendrapara district.

Kar was the Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly from the year 2000 to 2004.

2. Cyient partners with SPRINT

Cyient has announced its strategic partnership with UK-based Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT) to accelerate
innovation in the space sector. The partnership will enable Cyient to identify SPRINT provides businesses in the UK.

New business opportunities, lower its product development costs and offer cutting-edge geospatial solutions with higher precision.

3. Kerala with high-tech classrooms in schools

Kerala has become the first state in the country to have high-tech classrooms or high-tech labs in all government-run and aided schools.

Under the state government’s high-tech classroom scheme, 16,027 schools from primary to higher secondary level have been equipped with 3.74 lakh digital gadgets. High-speed broadband internet has been ensured in 12,678 schools.

4. Rahul Shrivastava: Ambassador to Albania

Indian Foreign Service officer Rahul Shrivastava has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Albania.

Shrivastava, a 1999-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is presently serving as Ambassador of India to Romania. He will have his residence in Bucharest.

5. Manoj Kumar: Ambassador to Indonesia

Manoj Kumar Bharti, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Indonesia.

This was informed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He is presently Special Secretary in the Ministry. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

6. Goa gets new police districts

The Government of Goa has decided to create two new police districts namely Mapusa and Ponda.

This takes the total number of police districts in the State to four. The Mapusa district will cover police stations in Mapusa and Bicholim talukas, while the Ponda district will include police stations in Ponda, Quepem, and Sanguem talukas.

7. NASA to launch Karur students’ satellite

An experimental satellite developed by three students of Karur has been selected for launch in sub-orbital space by NASA.

It took more than two years of research and development for M. Adnaan of Thanthonrimalai, M. Kesavan of Nagampalli village near Malaikovilur and V. Arun of Thennilai to design and develop the satellite.

8. Microsoft, AICTE collaborate to skill students

Microsoft has partnered with All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE).

It will empower learners and educators in new-age technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data science, and cloud computing.

As part of the partnership, over 1,500-course modules from Microsoft will be made available to students and educators free of cost.

9. Haryana govt launches water testing labs

The Haryana govt has launched a mobile water testing laboratory van. It is fully equipped with a multi-parameter system containing analysers, sensor, probes and instruments meant for assessing water quality.

Water quality in Haryana is mainly affected by constituents like total dissolved solids, fluoride, nitrate, iron and alkalinity. This testing lab is GPS-enabled for location tracking.

10. Pakistan re-elected to UN rights body

Pakistan has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite opposition from activist groups over its abysmal human rights records.

Among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region vying for four seats in the UN’s premier human rights body, Pakistan secured the highest number of votes. Russia and Cuba, running unopposed, also won the seats.

11. World Bank approves $12 bn to finance vaccine

The World Bank has approved $12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments.

This is aimed at supporting the vaccination of up to 1 billion people. The $12 billion is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to $160 billion to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

12. PhonePe launches car, bike insurance plans

PhonePe has now added car and bike insurance to its product portfolio in association with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

Two-wheeler insurance on PhonePe starts at ₹482, while car insurance at ₹2,072. The company claims users can buy plans within 2 minutes.

After the payment has been made, policy documents can be accessed instantly on the аp.

13. Axis Bank collaborates with Google Pay

Axis Bank has announced the launch of its ACE Credit Card in India in collaboration with Google Pay and Visa.

The card is meant to help with digital payments. The company is also offering 4 per cent-5 per cent cashback for expenses on food ordering, online grocery delivery, cab rides for transactions made on partner merchant platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato, BigBasket, Grofers and Ola.

14. World Standards Day: 14 October

Every year on October 14, the world celebrates International Standards Day, also known as World Standards Day.

It is celebrated with the aim to promote awareness about the essentiality of ‘standardisation to global economy’ for enhancing peace and prosperity without harming our planet Earth.

The theme for World Standards Day 2020 is – ‘Protecting the planet with standards

15. IMF projects India’s GDP to contract 10.3%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the Indian economy, severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic shall contract by a massive 10.3 per cent in 2020.

However, India is likely to bounce back with an impressive 8.8 per cent growth rate in 2021, surpassing China’s projected growth rate of 8.2 per cent. This was announced by IMF in its latest ‘World Economic Outlook’ report.

16. Mars appeared biggest on 13 October

Mars appeared its biggest and brightest on 13 Oct 2020 night as the Red Planet was seen lined up with Earth and Sun.

It happens in about every two years and is called opposition in astronomy terms: the Sun and Mars on opposite sides of Earth.

Opposition happens because of the different speeds at which Earth and Mars orbit the Sun and the different paths they take.

17. PepsiCo to set up a production unit in UP

PepsiCo is setting up a greenfield potato chips production unit in Uttar Pradesh with an investment of Rs. 814 crore.

The unit is being set up in Kosi – Mathura on 35 acres of land provided by UP State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA).

The unit, which is expected to commence commercial production by 2021, will facilitate direct and indirect employment to about 1,500 patrons.

18. Gujarati singer Kaumudi Munshi passes away

Legendary singer Kaumudi Munshi passed away in Oct 2020 due to COVID-19.

The singer was also known as the ‘nightingale of Gujarat. During the early stage of her career, Munshi sang mostly in Gujarati, gaining fame with songs like ‘Sachi re mari satre bhavani maa’, and ‘koi aghe aghe thi vai che’.

Munshi is also known for her contribution to children’s music.

19. BBMP to set up multi-speciality clinics

Karnataka Deputy CM Dr C N Ashwath Narayana has directed Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to set up digital and virtual multi-speciality clinics at 27 Primary Health Centres in Bengaluru.

They will provide the services of Specialist doctors through online mode to patients in addition to the existing services. Each Assembly constituency in the city will have one such clinic.

20. ASI Trichy Circle to soon launch a campaign

The newly formed Trichy Circle of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will soon launch a cultural campaign to make youth aware of the country’s national heritage.

School and college students will be involved in the campaign.

It will centre around heritage hotspots like the Big Temple in Thanjavur and the various palaces in Madurai, Sivagangai and Pudukkottai districts of Tamil Nadu.

21. MP Police begins an initiative

In Madhya Pradesh, the police have started an initiative to connect Banchhara and Kanjar community with the mainstream of the society.

These communities are known for their criminal activities. This is the first of its kind of attempt in Madhya Pradesh. The youth of these communities are getting free training and employment in private companies.

22. National Shooting Camp for Olympic shooters

National Shooting Camp for core Olympic shooters will be taking place at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range for a period of two months. It will be starting from 15th of October 2020.

The responsibility of maintaining the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be shared by the Sports Authority of India and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

23. 45% people in Dhaka carry COVID-19 antibody

Nearly 45% of people in Dhaka have been
found to be carrying COVID-19 antibody.

The finding is based on a study conducted by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Bangladesh and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

The study also found that 82 per cent of the COVID 19 cases were asymptomatic in the city.

24. National Philately Day: 13 October

The National Philately Day was celebrated on 13 Oct 2020 throughout the country. The Philately is the study of postage stamps and postal history.

The day also marks the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other philatelic products.

India Post is also celebrating National Postal Week from 9th October to 15th October 2020.

25. Establishment of supercomputing infrastructure

Several premier academic institutions across the country will soon partner with indigenous assembling and manufacturing facilities to establish supercomputing infrastructure in the country at an affordable cost.

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, C-DAC signed a total of 13 MoU with the premier academic and R&D institutions for establishing it under National Supercomputing Mission.

26. 21st meeting of high-level GoM on COVID-19

Health & Family Welfare Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan on 13 Oct 2020 chaired the 21st meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers, GoM on COVID-19. He informed that India has the highest recovery rate of 86.78 percent and lowest fatality rate of 1.53 per cent in the world.

He also informed that India’s testing capacity has been hiked to 1.5 million tests per day.

27. 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting

The 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting of India and China was held in Chushul on 13 Oct 2020.

The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control.

Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.

28. Foreign Secy holds bilateral consultations

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on 13 Oct 2020 held bilateral consultations over a diverse range of issues with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun in New Delhi.

Both highlighted convergences and shared interests between India-US. Both sides reiterated their commitment to the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

29. Subsidy of 50% on transportation of fruits

Ministry of Food Processing Industries has agreed to extend a subsidy of 50% on transportation of notified fruits and vegetables through Kisan Rail trains, under Operation Greens TOP to Total.

The Ministry will initially provide Rs 10 crores to operate the scheme. Once this corpus has been utilized, Railways will provide a Utilization Certificate to Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

30. 6th session of India-Norway Joint Commission

The 6th session of India-Norway Joint Commission was held on a virtual platform on 13 Oct 2020.

External Affairs Minister of India, Dr S. Jaishankar and his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Soreide attended the meeting.

The ministers reiterated their commitment to cooperate closely in combating the COVID 19 pandemic.

Both ministers welcomed the establishment of the global facility COVAX.

31. 20 States allowed to raise over Rs 68,000 cr

The Dept of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance on 13 Oct 2020 granted permission to 20 States to raise an additional amount of Rs 68,825 crore through open market borrowings.

Additional borrowing permission has been granted at 0.50 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product, GSDP to those States who have opted for Option- 1 out of the two options suggested by the Ministry.

32. 100 days as cut-off for COVID-19 reinfection

India is taking 100 days as the cut-off period in the identification of reinfection of novel coronavirus cases.

Indian Council of Medical Research has decided upon a cutoff of 100 days for reinfection of COVID-19, if it occurs. Antibodies have also been assumed to have a life of four months.

Reinfection was a problem which was first described via a case from Hong Kong.

33. “Tech for Tribals” initiative launched

“Tech For Tribals” initiative was e-launched by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs in association with Chhattisgarh MFP Federation and IIT Kanpur on 13 Oct 2020.

The programme aims at the holistic development of tribals with a focus on entrepreneurship development, soft skills, IT, etc.

It will run over a period of 30 days and will include 120 sessions.

34. Atal Innovation Mission collaborates with CGI

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with CGI India in order to further rev up the innovation across the schools.

As part of the SOI, CGI has agreed to adopt 100 schools with ATLs across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai to promote and train students.

CGI volunteers will coach and mentor students at the ATLs to enhance technical literacy.

35. Foundation stone laid for Nechiphu Tunnel

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has laid the foundation stone for the strategically important Nechiphu tunnel at West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh via video conferencing.

The 450m-long tunnel, which will bypass the existing road, will be D-shaped and comprise two lanes of 3.5m width each.

Another 1.8 km-long tunnel is also being constructed on the BCT road.