Current Affairs 3rd November 2020

Table of Contents

1. Priyanca Radhakrishnan: Minister New Zealand

Ernakulam native Priyanca Radhakrishnan has created history by becoming the first-ever Kiwi-Indian minister in the Jacinda Ardern ministry. Priyanca is a second time MP and has been given three key portfolios which include community and voluntary sector, diversity, inclusion and ethnic communities, youth and is also an associate minister for social development and employment.

2. MIT develops a battery-free method

MIT has developed a new navigation system designed for use underwater that could do for underwater wayfinding what GPS has done for travel on and above the surface. GPS doesn’t really penetrate underwater, because radio waves aren’t really water-friendly. The new approach could spark an era of battery-free ocean exploration, with applications ranging from marine conservation to aquaculture.

3. BMC starts free COVID-19 testing at 244 booths

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from November 2, started free COVID-19 testing at 244 centres in Mumbai. The free COVID-19 testing facilities have been started at 244 locations in the BMC-run hospitals and dispensaries in Mumbai. “With this, citizens of Mumbai can easily and freely get their COVID-19 tests done.”

4. Violinist TN Krishnan passes away

Violin maestro and Padma awardee TN Krishnan passed away in Chennai in Nov 2020. He received many legendary awards like Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Sangeetha Kalanidhi. He also taught violin to many students in his academic career at Chennai Music College and was the dean for the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi.

5. UK study finds cellular immunity

The latest research was conducted from the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), Public Heakth England and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It indicated that a robust cellular (T cell) immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be present within most adults six months after primary infection.

6. SWF: 1st fund to get 100% income-tax exemption

Abu Dhabi’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) MIC Redwood 1 RSC Limited – has become the first foreign SWF that has been notified and granted 100% income-tax exemption for the long-term investments to be made in the specified priority sectors in India. India has gradually opened up the economy for FDI), except very few sectors and has also extendeda lot of tax concessions for sovereign funds.

7. Mass vaccinations of EpiVacCorona by 2021

Authorities in Russia are preparing for mass vaccinations against coronavirus by 2021 as the country’s second Covid-19 vaccine EpiVacCorona has proved to be “effective”. The vaccine has been developed by Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology. For Russian citizens, the vaccination will be voluntary and free.

8. Singapore to stop printing S$1,000 notes

Singapore will stop printing S$1,000 banknotes from Jan 2021. This will curb the risk of them being used for money laundering and to finance terrorism. Existing notes will remain legal tender and banks can continue to re-circulate them. Countries around the world have been looking to phase out high denomination notes for years over concerns they are used for criminal activity.

9. SoftBank’s COO retires

SoftBank Vision Fund’s COO Ruwan Weerasekera has retired. Neil Hadley, who’s also chief of staff to Vision Fund Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Misra, will take on the COO role in addition to his current duties. Penny Bodle, a partner who headed investor relations, has also departed. Avi Golan, an operating partner, has left to become CEO of artificial intelligence software maker AnyVision.

10. Government blocks 12 websites

The government has ordered to block 12 websites linked to pro-Khalistani outfits. Some of the blocked websites were being directly operated by outlawed organisation Sikhs for Justice (SF). These websites were carrying pro-Khalistani content. These have been ordered to be blocked by the Ministry of Electronics and IT under section 69 A of the IT Act.

11. VP Ajey Mehta quits HMD Global

Ajey Mehta, India VP for HMD Global, will now start his own internet of things venture, Ikiva, that will focus on the healthcare domain. Mehta had been looking after the India market since the time HMD started operations in India. He spearheaded the launch of Nokia’s Android smartphones and built HMD Global’s business in India in his role as the country head between Dec 2016 to Jun 2019.

12. FT Mutual Fund’s 6 schemes generate ₹438 crore

Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund’s six shut schemes have received ₹438 crore from maturities, pre-payments and coupon payments in the second half of October 2020. This amount takes the total cash flows received to ₹8,741 cr since closing down of the schemes in April. FT MF had closed six debt mutual fund schemes on April 23, citing redemption pressures and lack of liquidity in the bond market.

13. Emergency Credit Line Scheme extended

Union Government has extended the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). It has been extended by one month till 30th of November 2020 or till an amount of Rs. 3 lakh crore is sanctioned under the scheme, whichever is earlier. This has been done in view of the opening up of various sectors in the economy and the expected increase in demand during the ongoing festive season.

14. Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat Saptah

Online Camp ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat IV’ commenced on 2 Nov 2020 for NCC cadets of North Eastern Region, West Bengal and Sikkim Directorates. 250 ANOs and cadets would be attending the six-day camp. The aim of online Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat Saptah will be to foster the spirit of National Integration and solidarity by overcoming cultural, religious, geographical, and linguistic barriers.

15. Rajasthan assembly passes a bill

Rajasthan assembly has passed the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases (Amendments bill 2020) making it mandatory to wear masks. The bill prohibits the movements of any person in a public place, public transport, workplace or at any Social, Political, general function or gathering. The bill, however, does not specify the penalties if someone caught without masks.

16. Duarte Pacheco: New President of IPU

Duarte Pacheco of Portugal has been elected the new President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the period 2020-2023. The election process to elect the new IPU President took place through remote electronic secret ballot, with a 24-hour window for casting votes. The Indian Parliamentary Delegation was by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

17. 4 more ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ flights

Air India will operate four more Vande Bharat Mission flights between India and China. These flights will be operated from Delhi on 13th, 20th and 27th November and 04th of December 2020. Indian Embassy in a notification said that Indian Nationals and eligible OCI cardholders, who wish to travel to Delhi must register with Indian Embassy or Indian Consulates as per jurisdiction.

18. Malabar Naval Exercise scheduled in two phases

The 24th edition of the Malabar Naval Exercise is scheduled in two phases during November 2020. The First Phase of the Exercise Malabar-20 involving participation by Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is set to commence off Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal. It will continue till 6 November 2020.

19. Ganga Utsav-2020 begins virtually

The Ganga Utsav-2020 began on 2 Nov 2020 virtually amidst COVID-19 precautions. The festival will continue till 4th of November 2020. Several programmes were also held in districts as a part of Ganga Utsav celebrations. Ganga Task Force conducted afforestation drive with NCC cadets and educational tour for youth in the project area.

20. Centre releases Rs 2,200 crores

The Centre has released Rs 2,200 cr as the 1st instalment to 15 states for the improvement of air quality measures in their million-plus cities. The amount has been released based on the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission. The states which have been given the amount include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal.

21. Administers integrity pledge to DARPG Official

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh administered the integrity pledge to the Officials of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. On this occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the DARPG’s Ideas Box on Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic and released Social Media tweets on the Best Practices in e-governance.

22. Indian Naval Ship Airavat reaches Port Sudan

Indian Naval Ship, Airavat reached Port Sudan on 2 November as a part of Mission Sagar-II. The Indian government is providing assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries to overcome natural calamities and COVID-19 pandemic, and towards the same INS Airavat is carrying a consignment of 100 Tonnes. Mission Sagar-ll, INS Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea.

23. Two-wheelers, exports push October records

Bajaj Auto recorded 5,12,038 unit sales for the month of October 2020, an 11 per cent increase year-on-year (YoY) from 4,63,208 sold in October 2019. Domestic sales rose 1 percent to 2,81160 units from 2,78,776 units; and exports leaped 25 percent with record 2,30,878 units sold compared to 1,84,432 year-on-year.

24. Hyderabad airport starts on-site Covid-19 test

International passengers flying out of Hyderabad or arriving in the city can now get themselves tested for Covid-19 at the airport itself. An on-site coronavirus testing laboratory started its operations from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Passengers availing of the testing services will have to provide details such as, name, contact details, and valid ID proof for registration.

25. Bengaluru startup Inito gets USFDA approval

Bengaluru-based medical technology startup Inito announced that its Fertility Monitor has cleared the regulatory pathway of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Inito’s Fertility Monitor is a small device that enables smartphones to perform lab-grade fertility diagnostic tests at home. This paves the way for the product’s launch in the US, and also allows access to countries.

26. India’s first solar-powered miniature train

A solar energy-driven miniature train billed as the country’s first of its kind, was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village hereby Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The train, which would be an attraction for children especially, was part of a string of projects. The eco-friendly solar-powered 2.5 km miniature railway will enable visítors to enjoy the beauty of nature.

27. NGT notice to Centre to ban fire crackers

The National Green Tribunal issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and four state governments on whether use of fire crackers be banned from November 7-30 in the interest of public health and environment. The NGT also appointed senior advocate Raj Panjwani and advocate Shibhani Ghosh to assist it as amicus curiae in the matter.

28. IIT Madras students develop game

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) students have developed a digital “IIT-M Covid Game” to create awareness among the general public. Particularly children, on the importance of following precautions to safeguard themselves against the disease. The game is browser-based and can be played on several devices.

29. Nidec plans $2 billion EV motor factory

Nidec Corp will spend 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) on a new plant in Serbia to build motors for electric vehicles as it seeks to win more business from automakers turning away from internal combustion engines. Nidec founder Shigenobu Nagamori has said he wants a 35% market share for energy-saving electric motor technology knows as e-axle or e-drive by 2030.

30. No manufacturing industry will be allowed

In order to reduce pollution in the national
capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said no manufacturing unit will be allowed in new industrial areas of the city and only service and hi-tech industries will be permitted there. Centre has okayed the Delhi government proposal by changing the definition of the industry in the Delhi Master Plan 21 and issued a notification to implement it.

31. Delhi gov mulls ban on sale of loose Cigarette

The Delhi government is mulling to ban the sale of loose cigarettes and beedis to discourage people from consuming such items as they are injurious to health. The ban can be imposed under sub-section 2 of section 7 of the cigarettes and other tobacco products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003.

32. Eddie Hassell dies at 30

American Actor, Eddie Hassell dies after being shot in the stomach. The 30-year old actor known as Clay in The Kids Are Alright movie and the TV series Surface. A Texas native, Eddie was seen playing small roles since 2000. He is in the limelight since he starred in the comedy-drama, The Kids Are Alright, along with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Eddie was last seen in Oh Lucy!

33. Huawei plans chip production plant in Shanghai

Huawei’s operations face great difficulties following the latest US ban, that cut access to chip supply Huawei so it is planning a dedicated chip factory in Shanghai, China. To overcome the restrictions imposed by the United States government and will be backed by the local government. It plans to make 20nm chips by 2022 and would make almost every 5G cellular hardware.

34. Rajasthan to make masks compulsory through law

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced the state will enacta law, making wearing masks compulsory. It will be the first state in the country bring in such a law to fight COVID-19 since “mask is the vaccine” Along with the ‘public movement against coronavirus’ going on in the state, the government will make wearing masks compulsory by enacting a law itself.

35. China set to build rail line close tobborder

China is all set to begin the construction of the strategic Sichuan-Tibet rail track between Ya’an in southwest Sichuan province and Linzhi in Tibet, close to the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh. Linzhi, which is also known as Nyingchi, is located close to Arunachal Pradesh border. China railway announced the bidding results for the construction of two tunnels and one bridge.

36. Story of ‘Forest man of India’

The inspiring story of Forest man of India, Jadav Payeng, has reached the pages of US schools books. The students are studying about Padma Shri Jadav Payeng as a part of their ecology lesson. The primary reason was to inspire and encourage future generations of the country on how a single person can make a huge positive impact in the world.

37. IIT Bombay launches self-help website ‘Bandhu’

Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre has launched a self-help website Bandhu for the students of lIT Bombay. The website is supported by the alumni of Class of 1992. The website addresses several issues such as procrastination, exam stress, the fear of failure, hostel life, discrimination, peer pressure, Internet addiction and a range of mental health issues.

38. ESSC appoints PVG Menon as CEO

The Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI) has announced the appointment of PVG Menon as its CEO. Menon will be responsible for overseeing the operations of ESSCI and work closely with its governing Council. ESSCI works with the National Skill Development Corporation, and the Ministry of Electronics and IT to provide both skilling and re-skilling services to the industry.

39. Rajiv Jalota: Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust

Rajiv Jalota has been appointed as the chairman of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) under the Union ministry of shipping. Jalota, who is the first GST commissioner of the state, is currently the additional chief secretary in higher and technical education department of the state government. He first served as sales tax commissioner and then as GST commissioner from January 2015 to January 2020.

40. Asteroid 16 Psyche

A recent study has found that asteroid 16 Psyche, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, could be made entirely of metal and is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion – more than the entire economy of Earth. Its surface may mostly comprise iron and nickel similar to the Earth’s core, according to the study published in The Planetary Science Journal showed.

41. India’s first-ever E-Resource Center

Chief Justice of India (CI) Sharad Arvind Bobde has inaugurated India’s first-ever E-resource centre Nyay Kaushal at Judicial Officers Training Institute in Nagpur. Nyay Kaushal will facilitate e-flling of cases in the Supreme Court, any High Court and district courts across the country. The centre was inaugurated at Judicial Officers Training Institute on 31 Oct 2020.

42. Mansar Lake project to attract tourists

In a move to increase tourism, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region, has inaugurated the Mansar Lake Development Plan in Jammu and Kashmir. The project is eyed to attract almost 20 lakh tourists every year. It will create employment for 1.15 crore man-days with an income generation of ₹800 crores per year.

43. Yogi Adityanath launches TB Campaign

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has launched a special campaign for Tuberculosis (TB) vaccination, for the search for active TB patients and golden card distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Arogya Yojana in Lucknow. Now with this campaign, the govt focus on 29 low-performing districts for 10 days. The golden card distribution campaign would cover 6,709 villages across 29 districts.

44. Aditya Puri joins Carlyle Group as advisor

The Carlyle Group has announced the appointment of Aditya Puri, former CEO of HDFC Bank, as a senior advisor in Asia. Puri will advise the Carlyle team on investment opportunities across Asia. Puri will provide guidance on the evolving market landscape and new investment
opportunities. Puri was appointed as the first CEO of HDFC Bank when it was established in 1994.

45. Manipal Hospitals to acquire Columbia Hospital

Manipal Hospitals has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Columbia Asia Hospitals in India. The acquisition will be for Rs 2,100 cr. The company intends to acquire 100 per cent stake in Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt Ltd (Columbia Asia). The transfer of ownership to Manipal Hospitals is expected to be completed post regulatory approvals.

46. Chhattisgarh CM launches a scheme

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel.has launched a scheme for the distribution of fortified rice through Public Distribution System(PDS). He also launched other welfare initiatives for the people of Kondagaon district of the state on a pilot basis. The fortified rice is a mixture of iron, vitamin B-12 and folic acid-enriched fortified rice kernel (FRK), which helps in controlling anaemia.

47. MPL new apparel sponsor of Indian cricket team

Mobile Premier League’s subsidiary arm ‘MPL Sports Apparel and Accessories’ is the new kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team for a period of three years. BCCI has inked the apparel and merchandise deal with MPL, replacing Nike. The rate per match will be Rs 65 lakh per game instead of Rs 88 lakh that Nike was giving. BCCl will also get 10% of the royalty from the sale of merchandise.

48. J&K administration scraps Roshni Act

The J&K administration has declared all the actions taken under the J&K State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001- also known as the Roshni Act – as “null and void”. The govt would evict encroachers and retrieve all land distributed under the scheme within six months. In 2001, the govt enacted the Jammu and Kashmir State Lands Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants Act.

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