Table of Contents

1. Navy’s first batch of three women pilots

The Indian Navy operationalised the first batch of women pilots of Dornier Aircraft by the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi.

The three women pilots were part of the six pilots belonging to the 27th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who graduated as Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots at a passing out ceremony held at INS Garuda.

2. Dr Neena Malhotra: Ambassador to San Marino

Indian diplomat Dr Neena Malhotra has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino.

According to an official statement issued
by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Dr Malhotra, 1992-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, will have the residence in Rome.

Presently, she is serving as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Italy.

3. The final trial of Nag anti-tank

India on 22 Oct successfully carried out the
final user trial of the third-generation anti-tank guided missile Nag at Pokhran desert in Rajasthan.

It is a significant milestone that paves the way for the deployment of the weapon in strategically sensitive sectors.

The missile has been developed by the DRDO to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in day and night conditions.

4. US approves sale of weapons systems to Taiwan

US State Department has approved the sale of weapons systems worth around 1.8 billion dollars to Taiwan.

The deal comprised three weapons systems, including rocket launchers, sensors and artillery.

The weapons will help improve Taiwan’s defensive capabilities to deal with the enemy threat and new situation. The arms deal will likely have a major impact on its relationship with the US.

5. Parle: Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassador

Parle Agro has made a new addition to its fruits plus fizz portfolio, ‘B-Fizz’ and has roped in Priyanka Chopra Jonas as the brand ambassador to maximise the reach of it.

Jr. NTR has been roped in as the ambassador for Southern India.

The marketing campaign will begin with two new TVCs, one featuring her for national media and the other featuring Jr. NTR exclusively for southern markets.

6. Goldman subsidiary pleads guilty in 1MDB scam

Hong Kong’s financial regulator slapped Goldman Sachs with a $350 million fine on 22 Oct for its involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

The bank’s “serious lapses” and deficiencies in management contributed to the misappropriation of $2.6 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund, the Securities and Futures Commission said in a statement.

7. RBI to conduct purchase of Govt securities

RBI will conduct the purchase of Govt securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs) for an aggregate amount of Rs. 20,000 cr on 29 October 2020.

OMOS refer to the sale or purchase of govt securities by RBI to commercial banks with a view to adjust liquidity conditions in the economy.

The State Development Loans (SDLs) are defined as securities issued by the states to manage their own finances.

8. ECI constitutes a committee

Election Commission of India has constituted a committee to examine the issues concerning the expenditure limit.

The committee is comprised of Harish Kumar, Ex. IRS and DG (Investigation), Umesh Sinha, Secretary-General and DG (Expenditure).

The EC has limited the campaign expense per candidate in the assembly election to 28 lakh.

9. Northern Railways to end a 52-year legacy

The Northern Railways will hand over the reins of the Parliament canteen to ITDC on November 15, 2020 bringing to an end its 52-year legacy of serving food to Parliamentarians.

A letter from the Lok Sabha Secretariat has asked the Northern Railways to pack up and move on from the premises by that time.

At present, the canteen serves around 5,000 people during every session.

10. Flipkart, Myntra in deal with ABFRL

Walmart-owned Flipkart Group will be investing Rs1,500 crores for a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL).

It will do it through its investment vehicle, Flipkart Investments, to enhance the consumer fashion experience for both entities.

Through this deal, Flipkart Group will strengthen the range of brands offered on its e-commerce platforms-Flipkart and Myntra.

11. Smart Black Board scheme in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu govt is implementing the Smart Black Board scheme in 80,000 government schools to ensure a better teaching environment.

The scheme envisages usage of audiovisual teaching material that can be fed into the computer screens in classes using widely available pen drives.

The Central Education Ministry’s Smart Class Room scheme is also being implemented in 7500 schools in the state.

12. J&K UT govt introduces certain substitutes

The Govt of J&K has introduced certain substitutes in 226(2) Article of J&K Civil Service Regulations, on the orders of Lieutenant Governor.

The Govt may, at any time after a Govt servant has attained the age of 48 years or completed 22 years of service, as the case may be, retire him in the public interest. Such a servant shall be granted pensionary benefits admissible under these rules.

13. UP cops to converse in regional dialects

Police personnel in UP will also converse in regional dialects on 112 police Help Line to the convenience of the rural population of the state.

As part of this scheme, it has been decided to include Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Braj, Bundeli and other local dialects in the system.

The communication officers serving at the emergency services have been specially trained for this purpose.

14. Oxygen Generation Plants in Chhattisgarh

In Chhattisgarh, the state government will set up Oxygen Generation Plants in all medical colleges and 17 district hospitals of the state.

This will ensure the availability and timely supply of the medical oxygen to Covid hospitals.

Earlier, a state-level ‘Medical Oxygen Control Room’ was also established in capital Raipur to ensure timely supply of medical oxygen in various hospitals.

15. Mandi district bags top position

Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district has bagged top position among 30 districts of India in the successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

It has also secured the second position at the national level for construction of roads under PMGSY.

6 more districts of Himachal have secured positions among top 30, which include Chamba, Shimla, Kangra, Una, Sirmour, Hamirpur and Solan.

16. Initiative to fulfill nutritional requirements

Maharashtra’s Women and Child welfare department has launched a new initiative to fulfil the nutritional requirements of lactating mothers and children in the state.

The platform ‘TARANG SUPOSHIT MAHARASHTRACHA’ is based on the interactive voice response system.

The platform is equipped with the facilities like a helpline, broadcast call, WhatsApp chatbot etc.

17. Puducherry gets retired IFS officer as SEC

Former IFS officer Roy P Thomas has been
appointed as the Puducherry State Election
Commissioner (SEC).

The new SEC was appointed under the
provisions of the Village and Commune
Panchayats Act 1973 and the Puducherry
Municipalities Act 1973.

The SEC would hold the office for three years from the date he takes over charge or till he attains 68 years whichever is earlier.

18. Harsh Vardhan launches ‘Aditi Urja Sanch’ Unit

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has launched the DME fired Aditi Urja Sanch unit along with the DME-LPG blended fuel cylinders and handed them for the public.

Dimethyl ether (DME) is an ultra-clean fuel. CSIR-NCL has developed the nation’s first kind of DME pilot plant with 20-24Kg/day capacity.

The newly designed stove can burn with up to 30% DME blended with LPG or 100 per cent DME as fuel.

19. Nigeria blacklists Gujarat based Mars Remedies

Nigeria has blacklisted Gujarat based drugmaker Mars Remedies for manufacturing substandard and falsified antibiotic ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablets.

Nigeria is the 5th-largest export destination for Indian pharmaceuticals by value.

The tablet manufactured by Gujarat based
company showed marked deviation from the tablets registered by the NAFDAC for Pinnacle Health Pharmaceutical Ltd, Nigeria.

20. “e-Dharti Geo portal” launched

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister
Hardeep Singh Puri has launched the ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal’.

It will integrate legacy drawings such as maps and lease plans in the management information system and make it geographic information system (GIS)-enabled.

This measure will benefit the general public, particularly the elderly.

21. Meghalaya CM launches ‘micro ATM’ service

Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma has launched the ‘micro ATM’ service in rural areas of the state.

He distributed the handheld devices, through which money could be withdrawn, to banking correspondent agents (BCA) on 21 Oct 2020.

The initiative is being promoted by the Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society (MSRLS) in partnership with the Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB) and NABARD.

22. Vijayalakshmi Ramanan passes away

Wing Commander (Retd) Dr Vijayalakshmi Ramanan, the first woman commissioned officer of the Indian Air Force, passed away in Oct 2020.

Ramanan is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva
Medal (VSM).

Born in February 1924, she did her MBBS and later was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on August 22, 1955 and was seconded to the Air Force with effect from the same day.

23. Dr Jajini Varghese named Outstanding Young Person

Dr Jajini Varghese has been named an
Outstanding Young Person of the World 2020 by a non-profit NGO contributions to diagnosing and treating breast for her incredible scientific cancer.

She is a UK-based Indian-origin plastic
surgeon. A Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Royal Free Hospital and University College London, she was one of 10 nominations from the UK for the award.

24. NK Singh’s new book

Veteran economist and bureaucrat N K Singh’s autobiography ‘Portraits of Power’ has been released.

‘Portraits of Power’ recalls Singh’s various
stints over the decades- starting from 1964
when he joined the IAS, serving at highest
echelons of the government of India before
taking a political plunge with a Rajya Sabha term.

He is currently the Chairman of the 15th
Finance Commission.

25. India International Science Festival

The 6th India International Science Festival (IISF), 2020, will be held virtually from Dec 22-25, 2020.

IISF is an annual event organised jointly by the science and technology-related ministries and depts of the govt and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha).

The first and second editions of lISF were held in New Delhi, the third in Chennai, the fourth in Lucknow, and the fifth in Kolkata.

26. Saad Hariri returned as prime minister

Lebanon’s political parties have chosen
Saad Hariri to be prime minister, a year
after he stepped down in the face of mass
anti-government protests.

The devastating blast in August, which many blamed on government negligence, prompted the resignation of Mr Hariri’s successor, Hassan Diab. The man nominated to replace him, Mustapha Adib, quit last month.

27. Evidence of lost river discovered

An international team of researchers has found a “lost” river that ran through the central Thar desert, near Bikaner, 172,000 years ago.

This evidence indicates a river flowed with phases of activity dating to approximately upto 172 thousand years ago, nearby to Bikaner, Rajasthan, which is over 200 kilometres away from the nearest modern river.

28. TCS to buy Deutsche Bank’s tech unit

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Asia’s
biggest software exporter by market value, is in advanced talks to acquire a technology services unit of Deutsche Bank AG.

The pandemic is accelerating moves by global banks and financial services firms to shed their captive technology centres.

AG is an abbreviation of Aktiengesellschaft, which is a German term for a public limited company.

29. Burger King files for IPO

Burger King India Ltd., one of the fastest-growing, quick-service restaurant chains in the country filed its draft prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) with markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India.

The IPO, a combination of fresh issue and
offer for sale, looks to raise 542 crores as fresh capital.

The company plans to have about 700 franchise, Sub-franchise.

30. Govt sets aside 7 bn to vaccinate population

India’s government has set aside about 500 billion rupees ($7 bilion) to vaccinate the world’s most populous country after China against the coronavirus.

Govt estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 per person in the nation of 1.3 billion.

Adar Poonawalla, head of the Serum Institute of India Pt, has predicted the nation would need about 800 billion rupees.

31. Covaxin gets DCGI approval for phase 3 trial

Bharat Biotech, which is developing India’s
vaccine for coronavirus named COVAXIN, has got the nod from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct phase 3 clinical trials.

Covaxin is the first indigenous vaccine developed by India against COVID-19 and is derived, from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune.

32. Jagan Reddy launches ‘YSR Bima scheme

Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the ‘YSR BIMA’ scheme. In this scheme, the beneficiary will receive an insurance amount in their family member’s untimely death or permanent disability.

It is aimed at providing security to the families of poor and unorganised workers Reddy has also announced financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to the family of those who died in an accident.

33. ACKO partners with Finserv MARKETS

India’s first and fastest-growing wholly digital general insurance provider, ACKO has partnered with Finserv MARKETS, a leading fintech aggregator.

It will offer two and four-wheeler insurance policies.

Customers can now buy ACKO Insurance for their car or bike on the Finserv MARKETS platform by providing basic details.

34. Vatican, China extend bishop agreement

The Vatican and China extended a controversial accord on bishop nominations over strong opposition from the White House and conservative Catholics.

The Holy See and Beijing government jointly announced a two-year extension to the 2018 agreement, which expired on 22 Oct 2020.

The agreement, which hasn’t ever been
published, envisages a process of dialogue in selecting bishops.

35. OCl and PIO card holders can visit India

The govt has decided to permit all OCl and
PIO cardholders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a Tourist Visa to enter by air or water routes through authorized airports and seaport immigration check posts.

This includes flights operated under
Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights.

36. Singapore: 1st to use Facial Recognition

In Singapore, online govt services can now be accessed by facial recognition, being the 1st in the world.

This technology is being rolled out to the
SingPass digital identity scheme, offering access to 400 online services, including tax declarations and public housing applications.

Facial recognition is also increasingly being used to access other online services, such as banking.

37. UP emerged as top destination in 2019

UP has emerged as the top destination for
attracting the highest number of domestic
tourists in 2019.

The Indian Tourism Statistics (ITS), 2020,
has announced that as many as 53.6 crores
domestic tourists visited UP in 2019 which was much higher as compared to 2018.

Uttar Pradesh attracted the highest number of domestic tourists in the country in 2019 with a share of 231% travellers.

38. 21 October: World Iodine Deficiency Day

World lodine Deficiency Day, also known as Global lodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day, is observed on 21 October every year.

To spread awareness about that essential
micronutrient everyone needs for proper thyroid function, brain development and overall growth.

The WHO states that IDD is the world’s most prevalent cause of brain damage, even though it is highly preventable.

39. StanChart to set its GBS office in Chennai

Standard Chartered is setting up its biggest
Global Business Services (GBS) office in
Chennai.

The London-based bank’s Standard Chartered GBS unit is leasing 7.7 lakh square feet for 15 years in a project being developed by DLF and Singapore sovereign fund GIC.

This is one of the largest commercial office
space deals in India during recent times.

40. Six China media outlets as foreign missions

The U.S. State Department has designated
the U.S. operations of six China-based media companies as foreign missions.

The designations restrict the operations of
Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening
News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review, and Economic Daily in the United States. The designation means they’ll be treated as foreign embassies or other diplomatic missions.

41. Brazil rejects purchase of vaccine from China

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has decided to cancel the purchase of Coronavac, a COVID-19 vaccine in phase-3 clinical trials by Chinese firm Sinovac.

Brazil has been among the world’s hardest-hit nations by the pandemic, with more than 5 mn infections and more than 150,000 deaths.

Earlier, Bangladesh had rejected co-financing of the phase 3 trial of the Sinovac made Corona vaccine.

42. Ministry of Shipping amends a condition

Ministry of Shipping has amended the Right of First Refusal licensing conditions to boost shipbuilding in India.

The revised guidelines will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding and shipping industries.

It will also encourage the domestic shipping industry to support the domestic shipping industry. It will promote Make in India’s initiatives through self-reliance.

43. 11.58 lakh Railway employees to get bonus

About 11.58 lakh non-gazetted Railway
employees have been granted bonus equivalent to 78 days wages for 2019-20.

The bonus to railway employees has been
estimated to be of over Rs 2081 cr.

The Union Cabinet has accepted the proposal of the Ministry of Railways for payment of Productivity Linked Bonus equivalent to 78 days’ wages for all eligible non-gazetted employees of Railway.

44. Life in Miniature project launched

Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel virtually launched Life in Miniature project on 22 Oct 2020.

The project is a collaboration between the
National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts and Culture.

Several hundred miniature paintings from the National Museum can be viewed online on Google Arts and Culture by people around the world.

45. 20% vacancies for apprentices: Rail

Ministry

Indian Railways has reserved 20 per cent
vacancies for the apprentices in 1,03,769 notified vacancies for the level-1 recruitment.

This has been done as per Apprentice Act in 2016. All eligible citizens of the country are entitled to compete and apply for regular jobs, Direct recruitment without any open competition is against the rules.

46. 19.40 lakh repatriated through Vande Bharat

A total of 19.40 lakh Indian nationals have been repatriated through the Vande Bharat Mission. Phase 7 of Vande Bharat Mission has been operational since 1st October 2020.

Of the 1050 international flights scheduled
under this phase, 690 flights have already been operated from 20 countries, reaching 22 airports across the country and repatriating an estimated 1.30 lakh people.

47. Regional Raw Drug Repository at AlIA

AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik has
inaugurated the Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) at All India Institute of Ayurveda in New Delhi.

This RRDR is the second in the series of repositories proposed by National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB).

In order to document the diversity in the
genetics and chemistry of medicinal plants, 8 RRDR and 1 NRDR have been proposed by AYUSH Ministry.

48. CBSE introduces facial recognition systems

Using the state of the art Facial Recognition
System, CBSE will enable students, to download their digital academic documents of class X and XII.

This computer application matches the human face from a digital image already stored in the database.

This application is now available on “Parniaam Manjusha” and Digi Locker at https://digilocker.gov.in/cbse-certificate.html for all 2020 records

49. S Jaishankar holds meeting with Nasser Bourita

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a virtual meting with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita on 22 Oct 2020.

They agreed that both sides should expedite the finalisation of the MOU on defence cooperation and the Cultural Exchange Programme.

The two Ministers had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and global issues, including the UN reforms.

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