Table of Contents

1. India, US signed BECA military deal

India and the US signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (Beca). It will allow India access to crucial information that will have implications in any potential military conflict.

These include access to a range of topographical, nautical and aeronautical data considered key to map hostile movements and precise and real-time information on enemy positions accessed from US military satellites during any potential border conflict.

The signing of the pact happened after India and the US held their third 2+2 talks. The pact represents a deepening of military ties, a testament to the rapid warming of bilateral relations in a span of two decades.

2. Disarmament Week: 24-30 October 2020

Disarmament Week is observed from 24-30 October every year.

It seeks to promote awareness and a better understanding of disarmament issues and their cross-cutting importance.

It was established in the Final Document of the General Assembly’s 1978 special session on disarmament (resolution S-10/2). Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapon.

3. World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: 27 October

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is annually observed on October 27.

It raises global awareness of issues on preserving audiovisual material, such as sound recordings and moving images.

The theme for the year 2020 is Your Window To The World.

The 33rd session of UNESCO’s General Conference adopted a resolution to proclaim 27 October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

4. EAM Dr. S Jaishankar meets his US counterpart

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in New Delhi on 26 October 2020.

The meeting focussed on key bilateral, regional and global issues. Both reviewed progress in bilateral ties over the last four years.

Both also followed up on Indo-Pacific engagement and the Quad deliberations.

5. Hardik Pandya takes a knee in support

MI’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya has become
the first player in the ongoing Indian Premier League to take a knee in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Pandya’s gesture came during the game against Rajasthan Royals here on 25 Oct. After reaching his half-century in the 19th over, he went down on one knee with his right arm raised to show solidarity with the movement against racism.

6. Samsung tops Forbes’ list

Samsung has become the best employer in the world in 2020, according to the rankings released by US business magazine Forbes.

Samsung beat some of the most renowned companies including Amazon, IBM and Microsoft to rank No.1 in 2020.

It took a giant leap from the previous 76th rank in 2019 and 106th rank in 2018 on a list of 750 MNCs(Multi-National Corporations).

7. US to announce plan for Medicare

The US administration will announce a plan to cover the costs of COVID vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid.

According to the plans, Medicare and Medicaid will now cover vaccines that receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

It will also address other COVID related issues like expanding flexibility for Medicaid patients.

8. 18 more individuals declared as terrorists

The Govt has declared eighteen more individuals as designated terrorists, under the provisions of the UAPA Act 1967 (as amended in 2019).

The govt has included their names in the Fourth Schedule of the said Act.

The Central Government had amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in August 2019, to include the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.

9. Microsoft to discontinue Internet Explorer

Microsoft has taken steps to end the support for its Internet Explorer as it pushes users to install the revamped Chromium-based Edge browser.

Now, when you visit an incompatible site in Internet Explorer, the browsing session wil automatically be directed to Microsoft Edge.

The redirection is being achieved via an Internet Explorer Brovwser Helper Object (BHO).

10. Global FDl halved in first six months: UN

Global foreign direct investment plunged by 49% in the first half of 2020 from the same period in 2019 and is on course to fall by up to 40% for 2020.

FDI flows to European economies turned negative for the first time ever, falling to -$7 bn from $202 bn, while flows to the US fell by 61% to $51 bn.

This was announced by the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its report.

11. SBl raises ₹5,000 crores

SBI has raised ₹5,000 crores by issuing Basel-lll compliant bonds.

The committee of directors of capital raising met on 26 Oct 2020 and accorded its approval to allot 50,000 Basel-ll compliant non-convertible, taxable debt instruments.

The Basel-Ill capital regulations are globally accepted banking norms under which banks need to improve and strengthen their capital planning processes.

12. SpiceJet to launch 8 new flights

SpiceJet has announced the launch of eight new flights between India and Bangladesh under the air bubble agreement between the two countries, starting November 5, 2020.

The airline will operate four times a week non-stop flight services between Kolkata and Chittagong, besides connecting Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai with Dhaka. Chittagong will be the 11th international destination of SpiceJet.

13. Aditya Puri retires as MD of HDFC Bank

Aditya Puri has retired from HDFC Bank as its Managing Director.

He has handed over the charge to Sashidhar Jagdishan, who will be the new chief executive and managing director of HDFC Bank.

Over 25 years ago, Puri had started work as the bank’s first head and built the bank which now employs close to 1.20 lakh people.

14. Noida Authority slaps penalties of ₹5.39 lakh

The Noida Authority has slapped penalties worth ₹5.39 lakh on entities, including construction sites, that were found violating guidelines to combat air pollution here.

The action included a major penalty worth ₹5.20 lakh on three entities that had kept construction material uncovered in violation of guidelines of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

15. Seaplane from Maldives arrives in Ahmedabad

A seaplane from the Maldives arrived here in Ahmedabad on 26 Oct 2020.

The plane will connect the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Narmada district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take the official inaugural flight on October 31, 2020.

The seaplane, which will be operated by SpiceJet, is a Twin Otter 300 and registered in the name of Spicejet Technic.

16. Ant to raise $34.5 bn in biggest IPO

Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. is set to raise about $34.5 billion through initial public offerings in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The listing will rank as the biggest IPO ever and make it one of the most valuable finance firms on the planet.

Ant has picked China International Capital Corp. (CICC) and CSC Financial Co. to lead its Shanghai leg of the IPO.

17. NPCI launches ‘RuPay Festive Carnival”

The National Payments Corporation of India has unveiled discounts up to 65% on the purchase of various branded items using RuPay card.

The ‘RuPay Festive Carnival’ will provide compelling benefits and attractive discounts to RuPay users, aimed at encouraging safe, contactless and cashless payments.

RuPay cardholders can avail offers from categories such as health, fitness, education, etc.

18. Mirae Asset launches two passive ESG funds

Mirae Asset Mutual Fund has launched India’s first ESG ETF, “Mirae Asset ESG Sector Leaders ETF.

It is an open-ended scheme tracking NIFTY 100 ESG Sector Leaders Total Return Index and India’s first ESG Fund of Fund, the ‘Mirae Asset ESG Sector Leaders Fund of Fund.

Both the funds will be managed by Bharti Sawant and will be benchmarked against the Nifty 100 ESG Sector Leaders Index (TRI).

19. Amitabh Bachchan: Country’s most trusted brand

Amitabh Bachchan has emerged as the country’s most trusted and respected brand, according to a recent report.

The TIARA (Trust, Identify, Attractive, Respect and Appeal) research report on celebrities as human brands has been released by the Indian Institute of Human Brands (lIHB).

In Bollywood, Akshay Kumar was the most trusted celebrity with a score of 86.8.

20. Paytm Money launches ETFs

Paytm Money has launched Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) on its platform, post-approval from SEBI.

With this inclusion, the company has become a comprehensive platform wherein investors from across all financial and knowledge backgrounds can conveniently access ETFs.

An ETF is a passive form of investing which invests in a basket of securities that mostly tracks a certain index.

21. Rates of Corona tests reduced in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, rates of Corona tests in private labs have been further revised and they have been reduced by Rs. 200.

With the reduction of Rs. 200, the cost of Corona test has come down to less than Rs 1000.

Now the lab test will cost Rs. 980, whereas in COVID centres, hospitals it will cost Rs 1400, while testing for the samples collected from home, will cost Rs.1800.

22. Anti-human trafficking Police Stations in UP

UP Govt has decided to establish anti-human trafficking Police Stations in each and every district.

This is a major step towards the security of women and children.

These Police Stations will be given enough powers to register the case and investigate the matter independently.

The govt is going to establish 40 new anti-trafficking units which will work like police stations in districts.

23. Foundation stones of 9 projects laid

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones of 9 National Highway projects in Tripura on 27 Oct 2020.

The total length of these highways wil be 262 kilometres which will provide faster and hassle-free inter-state and international connectivity to Bangladesh.

These highways will strengthen the tourism sector in the state by providing better connectivity.

24. National Day of Austria: 26 October

The Austrian National Day is celebrated on October 26 and relates to political developments after WW ll.

The Austrian State Treaty was signed on May 15, 1955, in Vienna’s Schloss Belvedere and entered into force on July 27, 1955.

On October 26, 1955, the Austrian Parliament passed constitutional law on permanent neutrality, which has been celebrated as the Austrian National day since 1965.

25. PPL tournament to be played in Indore

A unique Plastic Premier League tournament is being played in Indore, Madhya Pradesh to free the city from single-use plastic.

Indore has been awarded as the cleanest city in the country four times so far. The 19 zones of Indore Municipal Corporation are divided into four teams.

The team that collects the most single-use plastics in this 45-day competition will be awarded the PPL Trophy.

26. Japan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050

Japan will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. It had previously made a commitment only to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 and achieve carbon neutrality in the second half of the century.

Under its current Basic Energy Plan, it aims to increase the share of renewables to 22 to 24% by 2030, and nuclear power to between 20 and 22%, although it is expected to unveil new targets in 2021.

27. ISKCON President Jashomatinandan Das dies

Jashomatinandan Das, President of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Mandir Ahmedabad and Zonal Secretary of ISKCON Gujarat, passed away in Oct 2020.

He had passed following prolonged illness after detecting positive for COVID-19.

One of his major contributions was his translation of ISKCON Bhagavad Geeta and other religious books in the Gujarati language.

28. Two Centers of Excellence launched

Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda launched two Centers of Excellence for Tribal Welfare on 27 Oct 2020.

The first initiative strengthening Panchayati Raj institutions was launched in five districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand.

The model is designed to create youth volunteers among the tribal youths by giving them personality development training.

29. Rajnath Singh holds bilateral meeting

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral delegation-level meeting with US counterpart Mark Esper on 26 Oct 2020.

The two Ministers reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues.

They also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward.

30. Vigilance Awareness Week begins across country

The Central Vigilance Commission is observing Vigilance Awareness Week from 27th Oct to 2nd Nov 2020.

The birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31st October) also falls during this week. The theme for the year 2020 is- Satark Bharat, Samriddh Bharat (Vigilant India, Prosperous India).

The CBl is hosting a 3-day national conference on vigilance and anti-corruption beginning 27 Oct 2020.

31. Guinea President Alpha Condé wins third term

Alpha Conde won Guinea’s disputed presidential poll, the national electoral authority, setting the stage for a controversial third term.

Electoral authority president Kabinet Cisse said that Conde, 82, had won 59.49 % of the votes in the October 18 election.

His main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo, at the forefront of protests against a third term for Conde

32. SVC Bank partners with NPCI

SVC Bank, one of the leading Co-operative Banks in the country, announced entering into a partnership with NPCI to launch a rewards programme.

Designed to make banking experience more rewarding for its customers in the form of Reward points earned upon the use of SVC Bank Cards and digital solutions.

These points can be then redeemed to purchase products and services across leading brands.

33. Oxford jab prompts immune response

One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in both young and old adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus.

AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, British drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is helping manufacture the vaccine.

34. A new analytical model by scientists

A new analytical model has thrown up possibilities that some of the ‘First stars’ formed between 100 mn to 250 mn years after the Big Bang, may have survived till the present epoch.

Led by Jayanta Dutta from Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research Mohali, a team has developed a model that allows following the evolution of these protostars up to a million years from their birth.

35. NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Moon surface

NASA revealed a discovery about the Moon that confirms water has been found on the sunlit surface.

The discovery was found using infrared instruments from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

NASA revealed the discovery brings the idea forth that water may be distributed across various areas of the surface of the Moon, rather than solely in the shadowed, cold areas.

36. MIT researchers create a self-driving Roboat

The creative folks over at MIT are always coming up with wild new pieces of technology, and now, they’re unveiling another new project of that ilk: a robotic, autonomous boat capable of ferrying actual passengers.

The boat, aptly named “Roboat Il”, is the product of five years of experimentation over at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

37. World’s tiniest boat can sail down a hair

Physicists at Leiden University in the Netherlands have 3D printed what could be the world’s smallest boat, a test object known as Benchy.

At 30 microns long, it’s a third smaller than the thickness of a human hair and about six times larger than a bacteria cell.

It’s not only small but surprisingly detailed, with an open cockpit that features some tricky geometry.

38. New York honours Punjabi community

The Punjabi community in the Queens area of New York came together to celebrate the christening of a street in its honour.

The South-Asian community’s contributions were marked by co-naming the stretch of 101st Avenue between 111th and 123rd streets as Punjab Avenue.

The area that was casually known as ‘Little Punjab’ and has been now officially named as Punjab Avenue.

39. Samsung, Stanford Collaboration

Samsung and Stanford University have collaborated to make an OLED display with resolutions of up to 10,000 pixels per inch (ppi).

This could lead to advancement in virtual and augmented reality technologies as high pixel density results in more realistic images, according to the research.

The result was achieved by expanding on existing designs for electrodes of ultra-thin solar panels.

40. China to Sanction U.S. Weapons Makers

China will impose sanctions on top US defence firms, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for supplying weapons to Taiwan, amid deepening tensions between Beijing and Washington over increasing American arms
sales to Taipei.

China’s retaliation followed after the US State Department approved the sale of 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response missiles.

41. Punjabi version of Fitness Protocols

Punjab Sports and NRI Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi has launched the Punjabi version of ‘Age Appropriate Fitness Protocols’ for all age groups.

It has been launched under the fit India movement under the initiative of Sports Authority of India (SAI).

PM Modi launched these Protocols on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement on 24th September 2020.

42. Kotak Mahindra Bank revises FD rates

Kotak Mahindra Bank has revised interest rate on fixed deposits (FD) on select maturities effective 22nd October 2020.

Now, with the latest revision, Kotak Mahindra Bank FD interest rates range from 2.50% to 5% on maturities with different tenures.

For FDs maturing in 7 to 30 days, 31 to 90 days and 91 to 179 days, Kotak Mahindra Bank offers interest rate 2.5%, 3% and 3.5% respectively.

43. Qatar signs deal to buy Moderna COVID vaccine

Qatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use.

The American group is also working with Swiss group Lonza AG to scale up the manufacturing and production of its potential COVID-19 vaccine to supply markets outside the United States.

44. Airtel launches cloud communications platform

Bharti Airtel Ltd has launched a cloud communications platform for businesses, entering the $1 bn Indian market for such services.

The homegrown platform, Airtel 1Q wil eliminate multiple channels and allow communication on a unified platform.

With just a code, businesses can embed communication services such as voice, SMS, VR (interactive voice response) system in their applications.

45. Actor Payal Ghosh joins Republican Party

Actor Payal Ghosh has joined the Republican Party of India (Athawale) in Mumbai on 26 October 2020.

She joined the party in the presence of party chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale and has been named as the vice president of women’s wing of RPI (A).

Republican Party of India has its roots in the Scheduled Castes Federation led by B. R. Ambedkar.

46. India records lowest daily increase in cases

With 45,149 new coronavirus infections, India’s total cases surged to 79,09,960 on 26 Oct 2020.

India recorded its lowest death toll in about four months on 26 Oct with 480 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 119,014

The world’s second-most populous country also has the second-highest number of infections after the United States, which has around 8.1 million.

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