Table of Contents

1. Microsoft and NSDC collaborate

Microsoft has announced a collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to skill more than 1 lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months.

This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country.

As part of it, more than 70 hrs of course content will be made available free of cost.

2. Geojit launches global investment platform

Geojit Financial Services has announced the launch of its global investment platform.

It will help its customers invest in the US markets and diverse global assets through a single account from anywhere in the world.

Geojit has partnered with New York-based global wealth management services platform Stockal, to develop the Al-powered global investment platform.

3. Google plans to launch VPN service

Google will launch a VPN service for consumers, which would be available with certain subscription plans for its Google One cloud storage services.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are used by individuals in countries where access to certain sites and services have been barred by governments.

The service will roll out in the US in the coming weeks through the Google One app for Android users.

4. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha to be next CIC

Former diplomat and Central Information Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha will be appointed as the country’s next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).

Mr. Sinha is a retired officer of the Indian Foreign Service and has previously served as India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and to Sri Lanka.

He was appointed as a member of the Central Information Commission in January 2019.

5. Shiv Nadar Foundation sets up new university

The Shiv Nadar Foundation has set up a multi-disciplinary university in Chennai, its 2nd varsity after the existing one in Greater Noida, UP

The new university will begin admissions from 2021 and academic session with two schools – School of Engineering, and School of Commerce and Management.

The School of Engineering will offer four-year undergraduate courses in Al and Data Science.

6. BharatPe launches digital gold

BharatPe, a leading merchant payment network, has announced the launch of digital gold on its platform.

The launch of this new category of fintech product is in line with the company’s commitment to offer the entire gamut of financial products to Small and Medium Enterprises.

Through this latest offering, BharatPe’s merchants will be able to buy and sell 99.5 percent pure 24-carat gold.

7. Single-use plastic to be banned in Ambala

Single-use plastic and polythene bags will remain prohibited in Ambala, with effect from November 1, 2020.

Awareness is being created among people and announcements are also being made. Shopkeepers are being requested not to use
polythene bags to give goods to customers.

Customers will also be penalised if they don’t agree and accept such bags.

8. Srinagar residents have COVID-19 antibodies

Over 40% people living in Srinagar have developed COVID-19 antibodies. The results of the study conducted by the Government Medical College Srinagar (GMC) show a quantum jump from 3.8 per cent sero-prevalence recorded in a similar study conducted in the city in Jun 2020.

A sero-survey involves testing the blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against infection.

9. Paytm Payments issues 5 million FASTags

Paytm Payments Bank is now enabling automatic cashless payments at 211 toll plazas. It continues to be the largest issuer of FASTags in India and has equipped over 5 mn vehicles with these tags.

With this, it has emerged as the largest facilitator of digital toll payments. It is further aiming to acquire another 100 toll plazas and achieve 100% growth in FASTag sales in the next 3 months.

10. Oxford to try new COVID-19 test

To identify asymptomatic individuals with the COVID virus, Oxford University will trial a new testing technology.

The university will be taking part in a new pilot scheme to assess the use of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTS), a new COVID test designed to identify asymptomatic individuals with the deadly virus.

Over the next few weeks, the trials of the technology will go ahead across Britain.

11. Yuvraj Singh invests in Wellversed

Former cricketer turned entrepreneur Yuvraj Singh has invested an undisclosed amount in Wellversed, a full-stack nutrition brand.

The pre-series A investment from Singh’s YWC Ventures values the two-and-a-half-year-old startup at Rs100 crore.

Besides investing, he will be the brand ambassador of the startup for 3 years and will be closely working with the founding team to scale the business.

12. 7.5% reservation for Govt school students

The Tamil Nadu Govt has passed an order to provide 75% reservation for Government school students in undergraduate medical courses.

The state Assembly passed a bill unanimously on September 15th, 2020 for the purpose.

However, it is yet to become a law as it awaits the state Governor’s nod.

It will be made applicable for the state quota seats in the government and private medical colleges.

13. Maharashtra School Education Dept releases GR

Maharashtra School Education Department has released a government resolution (GR). It directs 50 per cent attendance for teaching and non-teaching staff in all the schools of Maharashtra.

The attendance has been initiated so that the teaching and non-teaching staff can complete online and offline education or tele counselling-related work.

14. PM Modi inaugurated various projects

PM Modi inaugurated Arogya Van and Arogya Kutir at Kevadia in Gujarat on 30 Oct 2020. Later, he inaugurated Ekta Mall Children Nutrition Park.

He also inaugurated Jungle Safari and Geodesic Dome Aviary. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to Gujarat from 30 Oct 2020 and will pay tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 145th birth anniversary on 31 Oct 2020.

15. Highest civilian award of Bangladesh conferred

The highest national award of Bangladesh ‘Swadhinata Puraskar 2020’ was conferred on eight distinguished persons and an educational institute on 28 Oct 2020.

The award carries a gold medal, certificate and Taka 5 lakh.

The award is given away to individuals and institutions ahead of Independence Day on March 26 every year since 1977.

16. Govt revises PLI Schemes

Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry has revised the Production Linked Incentive Schemes for promoting domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices.

In the revised guidelines, the minimum threshold investment requirement has been replaced by committed investment taking into account the availability of technology choices which varies from product to product.

17. 8th India-Mexico Joint Commission Meeting

The 8th India-Mexico Joint Commission Meeting was held through Video-Conference on 29 Oct 2020.

The Meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard.

The two sides discussed a number of issues and agreed to add new momentum to the relations in the fields of Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, Health, Space, Science and Technology

18. Railways launches ‘Meri Saheli’ initiative

Railways has launched Meri Saheli initiative for focused action on the security of women passengers across all zones.

The objective of this mission is to provide safety and security to lady passerngers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to the destination station.

Meri Saheli initiative was started as a pilot project in South Eastern Railway in September 2020.

19. I-T exemption under LTC cash voucher scheme

Govt has decided to extend the income tax exemption available under leave travel concession (LTC) cash voucher scheme to non-central govt employees also to boost consumer spending

Non-central govt employees will include employees of state govs, public sector enterprises, banks and private sector.

The move will allow non-govt employees to claim tax-free cash allowance from their employers.

20. Government bans export of onion seeds

The government on 29 Oct banned exports of onion seeds with immediate effect amidst rising prices of the bulb in the domestic markets.

The export of onion seeds was in the restricted category, which means an exporter was required to obtain a licence or permission from the government for shipments.

Onion seed exports were worth USD 0.57 million during April-August.

21. PUBG Mobile to stop working for users in India

PUBG Mobile, the sleeper hit mobile game,
will terminate all service and access for users in India on October 30.

Two months after New Delhi banned the game in the world’s second largest internet market over cybersecurity concerns.

India on September 2 banned PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG Mobile Lite, along with more than 100 apps with links to China.

22. MIT’s Al model detects asymptomatic patients

Al can diagnose asymptomatic Covid patients using a cellphone.

Researchers from MIT found that people who are asymptomatic may differ from healthy individuals in the way that they cough.

The Al model identified 98.5% of coughs from people confirmed with COVID-19.

23. Tata group to invest ₹5000 crore in TN

The Tata group is investing ₹5,000 crore to set up a phone component manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu.

The new company, Tata Electronics, has been allotted 500 acres by TIDCO(Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation).

Titan Co Ltd’s precision engineering division, Titan Engineering and Automation Ltd (TEAL), will provide the expertise for this project.

24. NASA’s JUNO captured Jupiter’s outbursts

JUNO, a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter- recently captured images of colorful bursts of lightning-like electricity high in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

For the first time, these bright, unpredictable, and extremely brief flashes of light, also known as transient luminous events, or TLE’s, are seen in another world.

25. The Kolkata International Film Festival

The Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), scheduled to be held in November, has been deferred to January next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially, the 26th edition of the KIFF, with a limited number of visitors, was scheduled to be held from November 5 to 12.

It will now be organised from January 8 to 15, 2021.

26. VEXAS Syndrome: Scientists Discover Disease

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have found a rare and deadly inflammatory disease affecting men called the VEXAS syndrome.

The condition, called VEXAS after its features, is an inflammatory condition that tends to cause symptoms of blood clots, fevers, and, in 40% of cases, death.

VEXAS has been found in men because it is linked to the X chromosome in which men only have one.

27. Maharashtra govt extends lockdown till 30 Nov

Maharashtra government on 29 Oct announced that it has extended the lockdown in the state till 30 November amid the rise in novel coronavirus cases.

The activities that are already being allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned to this order and shall remain in force till November 30.

28. WB assembly Speaker Sukumar Hansda Demise

Trinamool Congress MLA from Jhargram, Sukumar Hansda, died at a Kolkata hospital on 29 Oct morning

Hansda was also the deputy Speaker of West Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was also serving as AlITC State Vice President.

29. Gully Boy wins Best Original Score at AFA14

The 14th Asian Film Awards (“AFA14”) were announced on 28 October 2020 virtually by the Asian Film Awards Academy (“AFAA’).

Gully Boy bagged the award for the Best Original Score at the event. Bagged the best original music award for musician Karsh Kale and the Salvage Audio Collective.

It was India’s official entry to Oscars in the International Feature Film category.

30. MI become the first team to qualify for IPL20

Mumbai Indians have become the first team to qualify for playoffs of IPL 2020 after Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai.

The four-time champions have eight wins from 12 matches they have played so far.

Following Ml on the list are Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who have seven wins from 12 matches.

31. Bengaluru civic body collects ₹75L fine

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has intensified its crackdown measures on the violations of solid waste management.

From June 1-October 27, the civic authority has collected Rs 75 lakh as fines. Eight patrol vehicles have been deployed in each of the BBMP zones.

The offences include filure to segregate waste at its source as well as littering.

32. Summons to Jio, Airtel, Uber, Ola, Truecaller

A Joint Committee of Parliament issued a notice, caling representatives of telecom operators Reliance Jio and Airtel and cab aggregators Ola and Uber to depose before it on the issue of data security.

The committee, chaired by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, is examining the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019.

The Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Ravi Shankar Prasad.

33. L&T set to win ₹25,000 crores contract

L&T set to win 25,000 cr contract for Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

Larsen & Toubro has emerged as the lowest bidder to build the largest segment of the upcoming high-speed rail line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The company bid 24,985 crores for constructing the 2371 km line for the bullet train project, beating two other bids led by Tata Projects and Afcons Infrastructure.

34. Dr Satish Mishra bags Dr Tulsi Das Chugh Award

The Orations & Awards Committee of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), has selected Dr Satish Mishra for “Dr:Tulsi Das Chugh Award” for 2020.

He will be awarded in recognition of his research work on Malaria parasite’s life cycle which is a complex process involving two hosts.

He is the Principal Scientist, Division of Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow.

35. Govt clears ₹10,211-crore Dam rehab project

The government has given nod for Phase ll and Phase ll of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).

It will improve the safety and operational performance of selected 736 dams across India.

The project, worth ₹10,211 crores, will be implemented from April 2021-March 2031.

World Bank (WB), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AlIB) would financially assist the project.

36. EC, ICSSR sign New Implementing Arrangement

The European Commission and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) have signed a new implementing arrangement to enhance scientific cooperation.

This initiative will provide opportunities to Indian researchers (Principal Investigators of Research Projects, Senior Fellowship Awardees and Post-Doctoral Fellows) who are supported by the ICSSR.

37. DBS named Asia’s Safest Bank

DBS Bank has been named the ‘Safest Bank in Asia’ for the 12th consecutive year by New York-based trade publication Global Finance.

DBS rankings as the fourth-safest commercial bank in the world and 14th safest bank globally remain unchanged from 2019 and 2018.

DBS was also Global Finance’s pick for ‘Best Bank in the World’ 2020.

38. Indian Army develops a messaging application

The Indian Army has developed a simple messaging application named the Secure Application for Internet.

The application supports end to end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platform over the internet.

The model is similar to commercially available messaging applications like Whatsapp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS and utilises end to end encryption messaging protocol.

39. Telangana CM launches ‘Dharani’ Portal

Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has launched ‘Dharani’ Portal for land and property registrations at Mudu Chinatalapalli village of Medchal-Malkajgiri district.

The slot bookings in the website for the land registrations began from 29 Oct 2020 and all the land and property registrations will start from Nov 2.

The website has been launched with all the details of properties of the citizens.

40. Dr.Reddy’s to get BIRAC support

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has announced a collaboration with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

It will receive advisory support for the clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vacine that the company plans to start soon in the country.

Under the partnership, it will get to identify and use some of BIRAC’s clinical trial centres for the vaccine.

41. India, UK to set up a Forum

India and the United Kingdom have agreed to establish a bilateral Sustainable Finance Forum to drive forward deeper cooperation on sustainable finance.

The decision was taken during the 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue between India and the UK.

India-UK economic ties are important as together they are two of the world’s top seven economies with a combined GDP of over USD 5 trillion.

42. Keshubhai Patel passes away

Former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel, who led the first BJP government in Gujarat in 1995, passed away in October 2020.

He was Gujarat’s CM from March 1995 to October 1995 and from March 1998 to October 2001.

PM Narendra Modi had succeeded him as Gujarat CM. Patel was a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly six times. He quit the BJP in 2012 and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party.

43. Film on boxer Sarita Devi’s life wins award

A documentary based on boxer Laishram Sarita Devi’s life titled ‘1 Rise’ has won the ‘Best film on Woman, Outstanding Achievement Award’ at the Tagore International Film Festival held in West Bengal.

The 52-min documentary is directed by the national award-winning filmmaker Borun Thokchom.

It has already won best film on sports and best audiography at the 13th Manipur State Film Awards 2020.

44. “Direct Port Entry Facility” inaugurated

Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has inaugurated a direct port entry (DPE) facility at VO. Chidambaranar port trust.

The development is aimed at expediting cargo movement. DPE is a scheme meant to reduce release time and cost in case of exports, under which export containers are allowed direct entry into the port terminal prior to granting the let export order.

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