Table of Contents

1. World Statistics Day: 20 October

The third World Statistics Day is being celebrated around the globe on 20 October 2020. The theme for the year 2020 is “Connecting the world with data we can trust.”

The celebrations are organized under the . guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission.

At its 41st Session in February 2010, the UN Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20 October as World Statistics Day.

2. National Solidarity Day: 20 October

India observes National Solidarity Day on 20th October every year. This day is observed to honour the Armed Forces. On this day in 1962, China had attacked India and the war went on till 21 November 1962.

In 1966, a committee constituting PM Indira Gandhi decided to dedicate 20th October as National Solidarity Day.

3. World Osteoporosis Day: 20 October

World Osteoporosis Day is observed every year on 20 October. The day tries to create awareness about the causes, prevention and treatment for this condition.

Osteoporosis is a condition where the density of the bone goes below the level that is expected for a particular age and gender in comparison to the population at large. The 2020 campaign will feature THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS as a headline.

4. Global Hunger Index 2020 released

India ranked 94 among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and continues to be in the ‘serious’ hunger category.

In 2019, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries. The Global Hunger Index data showed that 14 per cent of India’s population was undernourished.

Besides, the country recorded a 37.4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent.

5. India’s agricultural exports rise by 14.8 %

India’s agricultural exports have recovered from a pandemic-induced decline. Exports of major farm products stood at Rs 53,000 cr in the five-month period between April and August 2020-21, a rise of 14.8% compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Exports of basmati rice, during April-August, rose 8.2% from the year-ago period, while the value of non-basmati rice exports grew 91.3%.

6. NITI Aayog to establish CIC with AWS

NITI Aayog has announced the establishment of a Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre, CIC with Amazon Web Services, AWS.

It is the first of its kind in India. It will be a great enabler to budding innovators and start-ups and help in piloting state-of-the-art, cloud-centric digital innovations by leveraging emerging technologies such as AI, IOT, and robotics, blockchain.

7. GOI, ADB inks 177 million dollar loan pact

Asian Development Bank and Govt of India have signed a 177-million dollar loan. It will be used to upgrade 450 kilometres of state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra.

The project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centres in the state enabling rural communities to better access markets, employment opportunities, and services.

8. Free digital online mobile education library

The Mumbai Municipal and Private Urdu Teachers Union have launched a mobile phone library for children in Mumbai.

This library has been launched in Imamwada area of Mumbai for Class 1-10.

Financially weak students, who could not buy mobile phones, are now attending online classes here through the ‘Free Digital Online Mobile Education Library’ and 22 students have so far enrolled themselves.

9. AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR scheme launched

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR scheme on 19 October 2020.

AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR scheme has been formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

The scheme aims at bringing transformation in the health services primarily in the rural areas. It provides interest subvention of one per cent to women majority cooperatives.

10. SAIF Partners renamed Elevation Capital

SAIF Partners, which has close to $2 bn in assets under management, has been renamed as Elevation Capital.

Along with the change in brand identity, Elevation Capital also announced that it has raised $400 mn as a part of its India-focussed.

Fund VII, through which it looks to make 25-30 investments, over the next 2-3 years. The VC firm will deploy the new fund, by the last quarter of 2020.

11. Vineet Nayyar resigns from IL&FS board

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) group has announced the resignation of Vineet Nayyar as the executive vice-chairman.

Nayyar, who resigned on grounds of poor
health, requested the Uday Kotak-led board of directors to relieve him of his duties with effect from October 31, 2020.

CS Rajan, MD, IL&FS, has been asked by the board to discharge Nayyar’s responsibilities.

12. Zydus Cadila gets USFDA nod for a drug

Zydus Cadila has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Solifenacin Succinate tablets.

The tablets are used for the treatment of overactive bladder. They will be marketed in the strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.

The newly-approved medication will be manufactured at the group’s formulation manufacturing facility at the special economic zone, Ahmedabad.

13. AnaCap makes first investment in India

AnaCap Financial Partners has made its first investment in India by acquiring three K-12 school and student housing assets from the Jain Group of Institutions (JGI Group).

The investment is in a joint venture with Cerestra Advisors, a specialist investor in Indian education assets. The firms have been working together for more than 18 months.

14. Government amends J&K Panchayati Raj Act

The government has amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act.

This has been done to provide for setting up of District Development Councils in each district which will have directly elected members.

The District Development Councils (DDCs) of each district shall have 14 constituencies after their delimitation by the respective deputy commissioners.

15. ConocoPhillips to buy Concho

ConocoPhillips is buying shale producer Concho Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $9.7 billion.

Concho’s common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 1.46 shares of ConocoPhillips shares.

The combined business will have an enterprise value of approximately $60 billion and a combined resource base of approximately 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

16. 50% Indians to have COVID by Feb 2021

At least half of India’s 1.3 billion people are likely to have been infected with the new coronavirus by next February 2021.

This was informed by a member of a federal government committee tasked with providing projections.

India has so far reported 7.55 million cases of the coronavirus and is second only to the United States in terms of total infections.

17. NHAI receives 5,011 cr from Cube Highways

The National Highways Authority of India has received upfront consideration of 5,011 cr from
Cube Highways.

This has been received under the third bundle of the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model. TOT is part of the govt’s initiative to monetize public infrastructure and build new assets.

Under this model, the highest bidder wins the right to operate and maintain highway assets for 30 yrs.

18. Sebi forms committee to democratize data

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has formed a committee with a view to ensuring that market data is made more freely accessible to all.

The committee will recommend policy measures to ensure access to data, segment-wise data perimeters identification, data needs and gaps.

It will also consider the data privacy issues and data access regulations applicable to market data.

19. 4G cellular network on the Moon

Nokia has announced its expansion into a new market, winning a deal to install the first cellular network on the Moon.

It was selected by NASA to deploy an ultra-compact, space-hardened wireless 4G network on the lunar surface.

The $14.1 mn contract, awarded to Nokia’s US subsidiary, is part of NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to send the first woman, and next man, to the moon by 2024.

20. Wales: 1st Euro territory to re-enter lockdown

Wales will become the first territory in Europe to impose a full lockdown later in Oct 2020.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that the nation would shut down for two weeks to reduce a surge in coronavirus cases.

Approximately three million residents in Wales will be told to stay at home from 23 Oct 2020. Non-food retailers, cafes, restaurants, etc. will remain closed.

21. 6 Chinese companies to trade with Iran

The US has imposed sanctions on 6 Chinese companies for their dealings with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

IRISL is used by Iran to transport proliferation-sensitive items intended for Iran’s ballistic missile and military programs.

The State Dept had designated IRISL and its Shanghai-based subsidiary E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd. for their proliferation-related conduct.

22. Intel to sell storage unit to SK Hynix

Intel Corp. has agreed to sell its Nand memory unit to South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc. for about $9 billion. This is a part of a broader effort by the U.S. chipmaker to concentrate on its main business.

The acquisition includes Intel’s solid-state drive, Nand flash and wafer businesses as well as a production facility in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian.

23. Apple Music launches TV channel

iPhone maker Apple has recently launched the channel Apple Music TV which is exclusively for music videos.

Apple Music TV is a free, curated, 24-hour live stream of popular music videos where American users can watch videos in the browse tabs of the Apple Music app and on the Apple TV app.

Apple Music TV is available for US residents only on the Apple Music app and the Apple TV app.

24. Sunteck Realty acquires 50 acres in Thane

Sunteck Realty Ltd has entered into an agreement to acquire approx 50-acre land parcel in Thane Vasind.

The project will offer approximately 2.6 million square feet.

Envisaged as one of the largest residential development under ‘Sunteck World’ brand in Thane District, the project will have a revenue potential of Rs. 1,250 crores (Rs. 12.5 Billion) spanning over the next 4-5 years.

25. Survey by LocalCircles

A survey by community social media platform LocalCircles has shown that female employees who lost their jobs were impacted the most during the pandemic.

According to the survey, 31% of MSMEs and startups had to reduce their workforce, mostly women, in the past 8 months.

The report said 25% of the respondents had to shut shop and let go of all employees, while 15% reduced staffing by 50%.

26. Dukaan raises $6 million in seed funding

Dukaan has raised $6 mn as a part of its seed funding round co-led by Matrix Partners India and Lightspeed India Partners.

It plans to leverage these funds, to expand its services to 60 million small and mid-sized merchants

The startup which was founded early in 2020 is a ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) platform which enables small retailers with zero programming skills to set up an online store.

27. Heeng cultivation starts in India for 1st time

Heeng cultivation has started in India for the 1st time. First-plantation of Heeng was done in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

Heeng (asafoetida) is one of the widely used spices in Indian cuisine.

There is no production of heeng in India and currently about 1,200 tons of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported annually from Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan.

28. MP: Fine of Rs 500 for spitting

In Madhya Pradesh, a fine of 500 rupees will be imposed now on the people who spit on the railway premises. West Central Railway has taken this step to prevent corona infection.

It has been started from the Bhopal division. Automated machines have also been installed to measure the temperature at all major railway stations including Bhopal for identification of Corona infected passengers.

29. Foundation stone laid for a project

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari virtually laid the foundation stone for the first-ever multi-modal logistic park of the country in Assam on 20 Oct 2020.

The park at Bongaigaon district will provide direct connectivity to air, road, rail, and waterways to the people of Assam. It will be developed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Centre,

30. Centre invites British government

Minister for Development of North Eastern Region Dr. Jitendra Singh has invited the British Government and the private sector for exploiting huge business potential in North Eastern Region of India.

He also welcomed the British Council’s proposal for collaboration in the Education Sector for teaching Science and Mathematics in all the 8 States of the region and an MoU will be signed soon.

31. Vega ropes in Rohit Sharma as brand ambassador

Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma has been signed up by Vega, for its men’s personal grooming electronics range under the ‘Vega Men’ brand.

He has earlier been conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest honor for an Indian sportsperson.

Vega is one of India’s leading beauty accessories and appliances brand and has the largest range of Beauty accessories.

32. Asan Reserve in Ramsar sites list

Asan Conservation Reserve has become the first wetland from Uttarakhand to be included in the prestigious Ramsar sites list. Besides Asan, Kabartal Wetland from Bihar was the second new site to get included in this list.

These fresh inclusions have brought India’s total number of ‘Ramsar Sites’ to 39. Till February 2020, only 37 sites from India were in the Ramsar site list.

33. Sheikh Russel INTL Air Rifle Championship

World number one Indian Elavenil Valarivan won a gold medal and Shahu Tushar Mane bagged a silver in the Sheikh Russel International Air Rifle Championship held virtually on 20 Oct.

The championship was organized by Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation (BSSF).

In the 60-shot competition in which shooters from six nations participated, including hosts Bangladesh.

34. Kerala gov to introduce 22 tourism projects

Kerala government decides to launch 22 tourism projects on October 22, which are expecting to give an impetus to the crisis-ridden sector.

The tourism department is expecting that the footfall will increase in the hill, adventure, and backwater tourism destinations on weekends.

The tourism department has listed as many as 120 projects for inauguration in the coming months.

35. Another ancient coffins found in Saqqara

Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed another trove of ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of Cairo.

The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement that archaeologists found the collection of colorful, sealed sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago at the Saqqara necropolis.

Archaeologists also found colorful, gilded wooden statues.

36. Tanuj Choudhry promoted as co-founder, COO

Home interiors company HomeLane has made Tanuj Choudhry as its co-founder and chief operating officer.

The announcement was made by Srikanth Iyer, co-founder, and CEO of HomeLane. Established in 2014, HomeLane provides end-to-end interior services in a personalized way.

37. Summit of Ministers of Justice of SCO

The Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was hosted by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology.

Law Minister urges the SCO Member States to promote the exchange of ideas, best practices, and experiences in identified areas through the platform.

38. Australia will join the Malabar naval exercise

Ministry of Defence on 19th October announced that Australia would join the Malabar 2020 naval exercise, consisting of India, Japan, and the U.S.

The exercise is to be held at the end of November. This will formally bring together the militaries of the four countries in the Quad group. India seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain.

39. Total partners with Google

French energy company Total has developed a tool to determine solar energy’s potential of rooftops.

Partnering with Google Cloud, the tool will help popularise the deployment of solar energy panels in households.

The tool Solar Mapper uses artificial intelligence algorithm to extract data from satellite images. Al helps facilitates sharper and quicker estimation of solar energy potential.

40. Nadabaha Dasara Cultural Events

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has virtually inaugurated Nadabaha Dasara cultural events.

On the same occasion, Vinayak Torvi was awarded Rajya Sangeetha Vidwan Award in Mysore.

Pandit Vinayak Malharrao Torvi is an Indian Classical vocalist and belongs to the Gwalior and Kirana Gharanas. In 1983, he had established Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha in Bengaluru.

41. Intelligent Traffic Management System in Kochi

The 1st-ever Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) has come up at Kochi from 19 October 2020.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the project, which will integrate the traffic movement in the city.

The ITMS, implemented by the Cochin Smart Mission Limited in association with Keltron, consists of two major modules.

The first one is the traffic management and the second is enforcement.

42. Trump signs Merrill’s Marauders Act

US President Donald Trump has signed the Merrill’s Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act into law.

It has been signed to recognise war veterans who fought for the country in World War II. The law would award Congressional gold medals to soldiers of the famed 5307th Composite Unit, a warfare unit that fought in the jungles of Burma (Myanmar) during the Second World War.

43. Health Training Institute in Kochi

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the Occupational Safety and Health Training Institute (OTI) in Kochi.

It will be able to ensure the safety of workers and people living around industrial areas alike. The initiative will help create a risk-free and
occupational disease-free society.

This is the first instance of an OTI being set up under the state government in India.

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