Current Affairs 18th November 2020

Table of Contents

1. Mann Ki Baat helps AIR generate over Rs 30 Cr

Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat helped state-owned radio broadcaster generate four times the revenue. All India Radio garnered-in over Rs 30 crore courtesy Mann Ki Baat. RTI reveals that while a total of Rs 7.29 crore were spent on advertisement in print media, the show helped AlR generate a whopping Rs 30.28 crore.

2. Odisha to setup startup hub by March

The Odisha govt will set up a startup hub with common facilities by March 2021 to create employment opportunities for youth in the state. The state govt also gave its in-principle approval for providing financial assistance of around Rs 2.88 crore to five startups and four incubators. The number of startup ventures in Odisha has gone up to 774, which created 6,000 employment opportunities.

3. HDFC Bank launches a campaign

A campaign called Mooh Band Rakho has been launched by the HDFC Bank in Cyberabad during the International Fraud Awareness Week 2020. It has been launched in a bid to raise awareness on cyber frauds and how to prevent them. The campaign was initially aimed to contribute in the fight against COVID-19 and has now been extended to fighting cyber fraud.

4. My11Circle: Title sponsor for LPL

My11Circle has come on board as title sponsor of the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in a multi-crore deal. LPL is scheduled to kick-off from 26 Nov till 16 Dec 2020 at Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium (MRIC) in Hambantota. Five franchisee teams, named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla, and Jaffna, will compete in 23 matches over a 15-day period.

5. Jeft Bezos announces $791 mn in grants

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will give USD 791mn in grants as part of his Bezos Earth Fund to 16 organizations that are working to protect the environment. The list of grantees is a mix of big-name NGOs, labs, reforestation, and climate justice groups. The news comes one year after Amazon announced “The Climate Pledge”, which is its commitment to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2025.

6. Arunachal records Best Sex Ratio

According to a 2018 report on the ‘vital statistics on India based on the Civil Registration System’, Arunachal Pradesh recorded the best sex ratio in the country with 1,085 females born per thousand males. Manipur fared the worst with just 757. Sex ratio refers to the number of females born per thousand males.

7. Kris Gopalakrishnan: Chairperson of a hub

Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former co-chairman of Infosys, has been appointed as the first chairperson of the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub. The RBI had announced that it will set up the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging on technology and creating an environment that would facilitate and foster innovation.

8. Emerald won the prestigious JNA award

Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd based in Coimbatore has won the title ‘Manufacturer of the year 2020’ awarded by JNA. The JNA Awards programme is one of the most prestigious awards programmes in the jewellery and gemstone trade. It honours companies who uphold innovation, excellence in the jewellery industry

9. Equitas Bank launches account for women

Equitas Small Finance Bank has launched a new product aimed at women. ‘Eva’, a unique savings account, tries to address the well-being of Indian women in every aspect such as health, wealth and prosperity. Equitas Small Finance Bank also announced Smriti Mandhana – an Indian Woman cricketer as the new brand ambassador.

10. WHO lists 1st vaccine for emergency use

For the first time WHO listed a vaccine, nOPV2 developed by Indonesia’s Bio Farma, for emergency use in cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus strain which continue to rise. This vaccine has been listed for emergency use in several African and East Mediterranean countries. It is a first-of-its-kind which lays the foundation for the potential emergency listing of a COVID-19 vaccine.

11. Former HP speaker Tulsi Ram passes away

Former Himachal Pradesh assembly speaker and senior BJP leader Tulsi Ram passed away at Palampur in November 2020. Tulsi Ram was the speaker of the Himachal Pradesh assembly from 2007 to 2012 and was elected MLA thrice in 1990, 1998 and 2007 from the Bharmour assembly constituency. He was a great statesman who worked tirelessly for the cause of vulnerable sections of society.

12. Amenities Centre at Hyderabad University

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on November 16 inaugurated the Amenities Centre at the University of Hyderabad. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the university’s chancellor, vice-chancellor, faculty, staff and students along with the deans of other universities.

13. Eco-friendly food packaging material developed

IIT Kharagpur researchers develop eco-friendly food packaging material with cucumber peels. According to the team of researchers, cucumber peels have greater cellulose content than other peel waste. Cellulose nanocrystals derived from these peels can be used for making food packaging material which is biodegradable and has low oxygen permeability.

14. Hampi: Tallest Hanuman statue to be installed

A 215-metre idol of Lord Hanuman will be installed at Karnataka’s Pampapur Kishkindha. Kishkindha is located on the outskirts of Hampi in the northern district of Ballari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It will be built in two years with an investment of Rs 2 crore.

15. Japan, Aus reach ‘landmark’ security agreement

Japan and Australia agreed on a breakthrough defence pact facilitating reciprocal visits for training and operations. It is Japan’s first agreement covering foreign military presence on its soil since a status of forces agreement in 1960. This agreement allowed the US to base warship, jets & troops in Japan as part of an alliance that Washington describes as the bedrock of regional security.

16. China ready to cooperate with India

China is prepared to cooperate with India and other BRICS nations in the development of vaccines against COVID-19. Chinese President Xi Jinping was speaking at 12th BRICS virtual summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. China has joined the COVAX facility, a platform on which we will share vaccines with other countries, developing countries in particular”.

17. World’s only known white giraffe

The world’s only known white giraffe has been fitted with a GPS tracking device to keep poachers at bay in north-east Kenya. The giraffe has a rare genetic condition called leucism, which causes the loss of skin pigmentation. The giraffe’s carcasses were found in a conservation area in Kenya’s north-eastern Garissa County, where the male giraffe is currently living alone.

18. Sudeep Tyagi announces retirement

Former India pacer Sudeep Tyagi announced retirement from all formats of the game. The 33-year-old played four ODis– from which he took three wickets– and one T20 International. He featured in 14 Indian Premier League matches for Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Tyagi played 41 first-class matches from which he picked 109 wickets and also featured in 23 List A matches.

19. L&T delivers first hardware for Gaganyaan

Larsen& Toubro Ltd. (L&T) has delivered the first hardware, a booster segment, for Gaganyaan Launch Vehicle to ISRO. The segment was produced at L&T’s Powai Aerospace Manufacturing Facility, in Mumbai meeting the enhanced quality and timeline requirements for India’s maiden manned mission. “L&T is playing a vital role in powering ISRO’S Human Space Flight Program (HSFP).”

20. Lakshmi Vilas Bank brought under moratorium

Lakshmi Vilas Bank has been brought under moratorium effective 6 pm, 17 November until 16 December. It has restricted withdrawals of more than 25,000 per borrower during the period of moratorium. The bank was placed under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework in September 2019. The financial position of The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. (the bank) has undergone a steady decline.

21. US Navy destroyer shot down ballistic missile

The US Navy destroyer USS John Finn successfully intercepted a mock intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In the first-of-its-kind test, the Navy warship fired an SM-3 Block IIA, a weapon originally designed to eliminate mid-range missiles, at the mock ICBM. This test shows that nation has a viable option for a new layer of defence against long-range threats.

22. Deadly hemorrhagic fever in Bolivia appeared

A deadly animal virus that causes fevers, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding gums, skin rash and pain behind the eyes can now spread between people. The virus spread from person to person through bodily fluids in a region near Bolivia’s capital city of La Paz, killing three people. Hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola rarely spread as widely as respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19.

23. Ajay Kumar: Indian Envoy to Burundi

The present High Commissioner of India to Uganda A Ajay Kumar has been concurrently accredited as the next Indian envoy to Burundi. Ajay Kumar joined the Indian Foreign Service in the year 2001. He served as India’s Ambassador to Iraq from May 2014-November 2015. Later he served as Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra, Australia (2016-17).

24. India’s air bubble arrangement with Ethiopia

India has established a separate bilateral air bubble arrangement with Ethiopia for the operation of special international passenger flights between the two countries. Till now, India had formed such arangements with around 19 countries. These include Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine, the US, etc.

25. DRDO successfully test-fires QRSAM

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile air defence system has been successfully test-fired by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) on November 17, 2020. The Missile system secured a direct hit on its target during the trial. DRDO successfully tested two back to back trials of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile. The first launch tested on November 13, 2020.

26. Amit Shah to dedicate reservoir for Chennai

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will dedicate the Rs 380 crore Thervoy Kandigai reservoir in neighbouring Tiruvallur district on 21 Nov 2020. He will also lay the foundation stones for a slew of infrastructure projects worth over Rs 67,000 crore during his visit. Also, he will lay the foundation stone for the phase II of Chennai Metro Rail at an estimated cost of Rs 61,843 crore.

27. Odisha approves investment projects

Odisha government has approved four investment projects worth Rs 464.72 crore envisaging direct employment opportunities for more than 870 people. The government approved a Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) manufacturing facility at Malipada in Khurdha district. The MDF manufacturing facility will be set up by Galax Industries Private Limited with an investment of Rs 93 crore.

28. Indian Railways to offer commercial space

Indian Railways will offer about 3 lakh sq ft of commercial space for redevelopment at a railway colony near the railhead at Varanasi. It is an ancient pilgrimage centre that is also a part of the Centre’s ambitious Smart City project. The project involves building a commercial complex at the site that houses the railway colony. The Rail Land Development Authority has invited online bids.

29. CapitaLand secures three green loans in India

CapitaLand has secured its first three green loans in India, totalling Rs 1700 cr from DBS Bank India Limited and HSBC India. The three green loans mark CapitaLand’s first foray in sustainable finance in India. Proceeds from the green loans will be used to finance the development of its green-certified International Tech Parks in Chennai, Gurgaon and Pune.

30. RBI names 2 startups as part of its programme

The RBI has announced the names of two startups that have been selected as a part of its regulatory sandbox programme. It has shortlisted six companies out of 32 entities that had applied for the ‘Test Phase’ of the first cohort. The two companies are Jaipur based Natural Support Consultancy Services Private Limited and New Delhi based Nucleus Software Exports Limited.

31. Digital museum opened in Gwalior

In Madhya Pradesh, a digital museum has been opened at Maharaj Bada in Gwalior for the public from 17 Nov 2020. The museum is developed by Gwalior Smart City and entry for the public is being made free for a few days. It is the first centre of its kind in Gwalior and Bundelkhand area and will play a role in educating school students.

32. RPF starts awareness drive ‘Meri Saheli’

Railway Protection Force has started an intensive awareness drive called “Meri Saheli”. It aims to provide better safety and security to women passengers in Madhya Pradesh also. It was launched in order to boost the security of female passengers during their journey. A team of Lady Constables led by an Inspector has been formed in most of the stations including Bhopal, Jabalpur and ltarsi.

33. DK Thakur: New Police Commissioner of Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh government has transferred Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey. ATS chief DK Thakur has been appointed as the new police commissioner of Lucknow. Sujit Pandey will be ADG, Arms Training Centre, Sitapur. Sujit Pandey was the first CP of the city after the launch of the commissionerate system in January 2020.

34. FIFA cancels Women’s Under-17 World Cup

The Women’s Under-17 football World Cup in India, which was initially postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic, was cancelled by FIFA on 17 Nov 2020. India was handed the hosting rights of the 2022 edition. The FIFA cancelled both the women’s U-17 World Cup and U-20 World Cup which were scheduled to be held in India and Costa Rica respectively.

35. Dominic Thiem defeats Rafael Nadal

In tennis, Dominic Thiem defeated 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets at the ATP Finals in London on 17 Nov 2020. World number three Thiem of Austria clinched a 7-6, 7-6 victory over world number two Spaniard Nadal. Earlier, Thiem had beaten reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in his opening round-robin match.

36. HC of India launches Special Edition watches

A limited series of special edition wristwatches was released in Dhaka on 17 Nov 2020 for the Mujib Centenary year ‘Mujib Borsho’. The special edition watches have been designed and commissioned by the High Commission of India. The wristwatches in this limited edition series bear the images of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his signature.

37. Third Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum

PM Narendra Modi delivered an address at the Third Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum on 17 Nov 2020. The Bloomberg New Economy Forum was established in 2018 by Michael Bloomberg. It seeks to build a community of leaders to engage in real conversations leading to actionable solutions about the critical challenges facing a world economy in the throes of a historic transition.

38. PM Modi to hold virtual summit on Nov 19

PM Narendra Modi and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel will hold a virtual summit on 19 Nov 2020. This will be the first stand-alone Summit meeting between India and Luxembourg in the past two decades. The leaders will discuss the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including the strengthening of India-Luxembourg cooperation in the post COVID world.

39. PM to inaugurate Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020

PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate Bengaluru Tech Summit, 2020 on 19th Nov 2020 via video conferencing. The theme of the summit is “Next is Now”. The summit will deliberate on the key challenges emerging in the post-pandemic world with a focus on the impact of prominent technologies and innovations in the domains of Information Technology & Electronics’ and Biotechnology!

40. BRICS nations adopt new strategy

The five-nation grouping BRICS has adopted a new counter-terrorism strategy to effectively deal with terrorism. The objective of BRICS counter-terrorism cooperation is to complement and strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral ties among the BRICS countries. It also aims to make a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism.

41. AICTE’s Lilavati Award-2020 launched

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” virtually launched Lilavati Award-2020: AICTE’s Innovative education program to empower women on 17 Nov 2020. With women empowerment as the theme, the objective of the award is to create awareness about issues like sanitation, hygiene, health, nutrition, literacy, and employment among women. The theme of the award is women empowerment.

42. BCCI Announces MPL as Official Kit Sponsor

The BCCl confirmed that the merchandise brand of the Mobile Premier League (MPL) will be the official kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team for a period of three years. MPL Sports will design and manufacture the jerseys of both the senior and U-19 India men and women cricket teams. MPL Sports will also sell licensedTeam India merchandise.

43. Vasan Eye Care founder Dr AM Arun dies

Dr AM Arun, the founder of Tamil Nadu-based Vasan Eye Care, passed away in Chennai. Starting his career by taking over his family’s small medical shop in Tiruchirappalli, Arun went on to build a network of eye care hospitals in multiple locations in a span of 60 years. The healthcare group, which includes Vasan Healthcare Private Limited and Vasan Medical Centre (India) Private Limited.

44. Peru chooses 3rd President Francisco Sagasti

Peru’s legislature selected the country’s third president in a week. Mr Sagasti, an engineer, academic and first-time legislator, has been elected as the country’s new president. Seeking to stanch growing street protests over lawmakers’ decision to remove a popular president from office last week.

45. Zoom Announces New Security Features

Video conferencing software maker Zoom is introducing new features to tackle trolls and “Zoombombers”. The company has introduced three new features designed to make it easier to spot and remove meeting disruptors. A new security feature will allow hosts and co-hosts to temporarily pause a meeting, disable various features and remove disruptive meeting participants.

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