Current Affairs 4th November 2020

Table of Contents

1. First American transgender legislators elected

Democratic candidates in the US states of Delaware and Vermont made history when they became the first openly transgender legislators in their states. Sarah McBride became Delaware’s 1st trans senator, taking 86% of the vote in the state’s first Senate district. Further, Taylor Small became the state’s first transgender representative, taking 43% and 41% of the vote in her two districts.

2. Raja Krishnamoorthi wins US House race

Indian-origin Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has been re-elected to the US House of Representatives for the third consecutive term. Krishnamoorthi, who was born in New Delhi, easily defeated Preston Nelson of the Libertarian Party. Krishnamoorthi, whose parents are from Tamil Nadu, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.

3. 6 women led startups win COVID-19 Shri Shakti

Six women-led startups have won COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge organized by MyGov in collaboration with UN Women. With an objective to encourage and involve women-led startups to come up with innovative solutions that can help in the fight against COVID-19 or solve problems that impact a large number of women. Launched the COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge in April 2020.

4. Kerala to set up own milk powder factory

Kerala is all set to get a state-of-the-art milk powder factory, at a time when the state dairy sector has faced grave crisis after the pandemic. The ₹53.93 crore facility would be set up in northern Malappuram district, under the MILMA’s Malabar Regional union using NABARD’s infrastructure investment fund. Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF) is popularly known as MIlLMA.

5. Amit Panghal, Sanjeet win gold

Amit Panghal (52kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) struck gold at the Alexis Vastine International Boxing Tournament in Nantes, France. Amit, also an Asian Games champion besides being Commonwealth Games silver-medallist, defeated American Rene Abraham 3-0. Sanjeet, a former India Open gold-medallist, defeated Frenchman Soheb Bouafia in his summit clash and secured a gold.

6. Army Chief begins 3-day Nepal visit

Army chief Gen MM Naravane arrived in Nepal on 4 Nov 2020 on a three-day crucial visit. Naravane’s visit is largely aimed at resetting relations with Nepal after the ties came under severe strain following a bitter border row. Gen Naravane will pay homage at the martyrs’ memorial at the Army Pavilion on 5 Nov 2020 and receive a guard of honour at the Nepal Army headquarters.

7. Haryana to give exemption in electricity-duty

Haryana government has decided to give
exemption in electricity-duty for 20 years under “Haryana Enterprises and Employment Policy -2020” (HEEP) to attract more industries in the state. Earlier this exemption was applicable only for 10 years. Apart from this, those industries which will employ local youth wil get a subsidy of ₹48,000 employee per year for seven years.

8. Odisha Assembly to upgrade to e-Vidhan Sabha

The Odisha Assembly is set to go paperless following the model of the e-Vidhan Sabha of Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly. The Odisha Assembly will be upgraded to e-Vidhan Sabha after the winter session. E-Vidhan Sabha is a concept under which, there will not be any hard file. Everything will be done online. The government will be able to save lakhs of rupees and even the paper.

9. Ruchir Sinha joins Touchstone Partners

Ruchir Sinha, a former top lawyer at law firm Nishith Desai Associates (NDA) has joined Touchstone Partners and will head the law firm’s Mumbai office. Touchstone started as Daulet-Singh & Associates in 2002 and was rebranded Platinum Partners in 2008. Sinha worked at NDA for over 13 years. Touchstone has advised clients such as Tencent, Wellington and Actis among others.

10. Adani Gas signs agreement to acquire CGD

Adani Gas Limited has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of three geographical areas (GAs), namely Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Kutch (East). With this, Adani Gas tally of geographical areas shall now increase to 22. Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Kutch (East) have high volumes potential in terms of demand of more than 6.5 MMSCMD over a period of 10 years.

11. Sebi lays downs guidelines

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has laid down a fresh set of norms for increasing diligence on debt securities. Sebi had first approved these new norms in its board meeting on 30 September 2020. These rules strengthen the role of debenture trustees by empowering them to conduct an independent inspection of assets on which a charge is being created.

12. Book titled “Pandemonium” to be out soon

Author Tamal Bandyopadhyay is coming up with a new book titled “Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy”. It will be released on 9 November 2020. This book gives a bird’s-eye view of Indian banking and also a fly-on-wall documentary. This book, published by Roli Books, provides an understanding of the challenges and economic potential of India.

13. Adani Group takes over Lucknow Airport

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has handed over the Lucknow airport to the Adani group on lease for a period of 50 years. The AAI had handed over the Mangaluru airport to the group on October 30, 2020. The central government in February 2019 privatised six major airports of the country located in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati.

14. TVS Motor partners Pilipinas Petroleum

TVS Motor Company has partnered with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation in the Philippines for providing its customers access to Shell loyalty cards. The association will be carried out through the company’s distributor in the Philippines Global Automobile Traders FZCO. Under the partnership, TVS customers will receive Php 700 worth of Shell cards

15. Virtual Global Investor Roundtable

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable on 5th November 2020. The Roundtable is being organized by the Finance Ministry and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. It is an exclusive dialogue between leading global institutional investors, Indian business leaders and the highest decision-makers from the Govt and Financial Market Regulators.

16. Rupsi Airport to start operation by Jan 2021

In Assam, Rupsi Airport at Kokrajhar district is all set to start commercial operation under Regional Connectivity Scheme by Jan 2021. The airport has been re-developed at an estimated cost of 69 cr rupees and has also received its license by Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Spread across 337 acres of land, the newly developed airport has a terminal building with an area of 3,500 sqm.

17. Odisha Govt bans sale & use of firecrackers

Odisha Govt has banned the sale and use of firecrackers in the state from the 10th to the 30th Nov 2020. The decision has been taken in view of the potentially harmful consequences of burning crackers amidst COVID situation. Firecrackers release a copious amount of toxic carbon gases like nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and monoxide which negatively impacts the respiratory health.

18. Dehradun Municipal Corp launched an initiative

In Dehradun, the Municipal Corporation has launched an initiative named ‘Plastic Lao Mask Le Jao’ to fight against the menace of plastic waste and contain the spread of COVID. It has distributed 5000 face masks in exchange for plastic waste. Municipal commissioner Vinay Shankar Pandey informed that it will create awareness in the public against plastic waste and also the importance of masks.

19. Panna Reserve gets ‘Biosphere Reserve’ status

Panna National Park in MP, a popular tourist spot for wildlife lovers has been declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Every year UNESCO designates new Biosphere reserves and remove others to promote the conservation of biodiversity. Panna Tiger Reserve in 2019 witnessed a remarkable turnaround in tiger population by increasing the number of big cats to 50 from zero estimated a decade ago.

20. Jal Shakti Ministry organises a conference

Jal Shakti Ministry organised a virtual conference on 3 Nov 2020 with all states and UTs Ministers in charge of rural water supply to review the progress made under Jal Jeevan Mission. It was chaired by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. About 2.55 crore rural households have been provided tap connections since the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission in August 2019.

21. Ant Group’s $37 billion IPO suspended

Ant Group’s $37 billion listing has been suspended in both Shanghai and Hong Kong in a dramatic move just two days before what was set to be the world’s largest-ever stock market debut. Alibaba shares slumped 7% after Ant Group IPO Suspended. The Shanghai stock exchange first announced that it had suspended Ant’s initial public offering on its STAR market.

22. Filmmaker-actor Ashish Kakkad dies at 49

Filmmaker-actor Ashish Kakkad dies at 49;
Gujarati industry mourns his demise. Ashish Kakkad, who had directed the film ‘Better Half’, shot to fame with ‘Mission Mummy’. He was also seen in filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor’s acclaimed movie ‘Kai Po Che’ and psychological thriller ‘Beyond Blue: An Unnerving Tale of a Demented Mind’, directed by Zanane Rajsingh.

23. Cockroaches and lizards inspire new robot

A new high-speed amphibious robot inspired by the movements of cockroaches and lizards. Developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers, swims and runs on top of the water at high speeds and crawls on difficult terrain. The mechanical design of the Amphi STAR robot and its control system was presented virtually at the IROS.

24. Deutsche Bank plans to cut ties with Trump

Deutsche Bank is looking for ways to end its relationship with President Donald Trump, as it tires of the negative publicity stemming from the ties. Deutsche Bank has about $340 million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization, the president’s umbrella group that is currently overseen by his two sons.

25. Veteran British journalist dies at 74

The veteran British foreign correspondent Robert Fisk has died at the age of 74. A fluent Arabic speaker, he was among the few Western journalists to interview the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, which he did three times during the 1990s. Fisk won many prestigious awards over the span of his career for his coverage of the Middle East.

26. CDF Kenya – Week Long Visit to India

General Robert Kibochi, Chief of Defence Forces of Kenya is visiting India from 02-06 Nov 2020 on the invitation by the MOD. India is the first country that the CDF Kenya is visiting outside of Africa after he assumed Command in May. Scheduled to meet the Raksha Mantri, the National Security Adviser, the Service Chiefs and senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs at New Delhi.

27. India-GCC Political Dialogue

India and the GCC Troika held their annual Political Dialogue in virtual mode. External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar, led the Indian delegation. The leaders undertook a detailed review of India-GCC ties and appreciated the upward trajectory in ties witnessed in the last few years. EAM thanked the GCC countries for taking care of the large Indian diaspora in their countries.

28. J&K: Tributes paid to Major P Purushottam

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in a solemn and poignant ceremony held at the Public Relations Office, Badami Bagh (BB) Cantonment in Srinagar, all ranks paid rich tributes to Late Major P. Purushottam and five brave soldiers, who were martyred in action on this day in 1999. On this occasion, wreaths were laid by all ranks of the unit at the memorial in Public Relations Office.

29. Commercial coal mine auctions begin on day 2

The second day of the auction of coal blocks for commercial mining saw Sarda Energy and Minerals bagging the Sahapur West mine in Madhya Pradesh. While the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation made the highest bid for Brahmadiha mine in Jharkhand. Hindalco lIndustries was also vying for the Dhirauli block.

30. World’s biggest pink diamond mine closes

The world’s largest pink diamond mine has
shut its doors after exhausting its reserves of the expensive gems. The Argyle mine, in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, churned out more than 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds-sought after for their incredible rarity. The seam was discovered in 1979 and the Anglo-Australian from began mining operations there four years late.

31. Scientists develop faster method

Researchers from the EPSRC-funded interdisciplinary research collaboration, i-sense have developed a new, a quicker way of detecting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The standard method for detecting resistance in bacteria takes between 12 and 24 hours. But, the new technique, developed by a collaborative team, uses nanotechnology to detect antibiotic resistance in approximately 45 minutes.

32. Ola plans to set up e-scooter plant

Bengaluru-based emobility giant Ola Electric is looking for 100 acres of unencumbered land to build the world’s largest e-scooter facility as the company plans to launch its electric two-wheeler models. Ola Electric is planning to launch e-scooters after acquiring Amsterdam-based EV startup Etergo BV. Honda currently operates the world’s largest scooter manufacturing site in Gujarat.

33. Hyderabad Govt sets up special wing

The state government has now set up an exclusive project wing within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to mitigate the adversities due to heavy rains in the future. ‘Strategic Nala Development Programme’ along the lines of the Strategic Road Development Plan announced.

34. No service charge on Basic Savings Bank Account

The government announced that no service charge is applicable on the 60 crores Basic Savings Bank Deposit accounts, including Jan Dhan accounts. Finance Ministry said, there have been several media reports alluding to a steep increase in service charges by certain Public Sector Banks. Ministry of Finance says Bank of Baroda has withdrawn its recent changes that involve charging customers.

35. 8th meeting of India-UAE High Level Joint Task

The eighth meeting of the India-UAE High-Level Joint Task Force on Investments was hosted by India in virtual format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.

36. 100 additional products unveiled

Ministry of Tribal Affairs said that 100 additional products in the Forest Fresh Naturals and Organics range were unveiled online in Tribes India Product Range. The Ministry in a statement said, since 26th of October, Tribes India has been expanding its product range and catalogue by including 100 new products on a weekly basis. Products will be available in 125 Tribes India outlets.

37. Citigroup names Anand Selva as global head

Anand Selva will become head of Citigroup Inc in January 2021, filling the spot left vacant by Jane Fraser when she becomes the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank. Most recently, he was served as CEO of U.S. consumer banking since 2018. Additionally, the bank informed that Chief Risk Officer Brad Hu has decided to leave the bank after 12 years at the firm.

38. India’s first radio channel for fisherfolk

A fisherman from the Ramanathapuram district’s Pamban town has started ‘Kadal Osai FM 90.4’ India’s first and only radio channel for fisherfolk. It offers infotainment to listeners – from information on marine and COVID-19 to folk songs sung by fishermen/women and film Songs. Nearly 80 per cent population of Pamban is engaged in fishing, it was launched to help them.

39. Assam CM lay foundation for a project

Assam CM Sarbanada Sonowal and Ambassador of Israel to India, Ron Malka have laid the foundation stone of the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables Protected Cultivation at Khetri in Kamrup district. It will be built under the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project at a cost of Rs 10.33 cr. It will have facilities like a hi-tech greenhouse, automated irrigation system, etc.

40. Aspen Pharmacare, Johnson sign a deal

South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare has announced signing a deal with two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries. It will start manufacturing the multinational firm’s COVID-19 vaccine. The production will be based out of Aspen Pharmacare’s sterile facility in the South African city of Port Elizabeth. The company has invested more than $184 million in the facility.

41. Flipkart acquires Mech Mocha

Flipkart has acquired the intellectual property from mobile gaming startup Mech Mocha. Mech Mocha’s gaming team will also join Flipkart, as the latter aims to focus on developing new and innovative formats to engage with users on its GameZone platform. Flipkart had also invested in Bengaluru-based Mech Mocha’s $1 million seed funding round in 2015.

42. 30 Indian cities to face ‘water risk” by 2050

Nearly a third of the 100 cities in the world susceptible to ‘water risk), are in India, according to the WWE Water Risk Filter. This is an online tool, co-developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Jaipur topped the list of Indian cities, followed by Indore and Thane. The global list includes cities such as Beijing, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Mecca and Rio de Janeiro.

43. Odisha CM inaugurates 3 sports facilities

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated three sports facilities in the state. Out of the three new facilities, the multi-sport indoor stadium at Hinjilicut in Ganjam district is spread over 1.5 acres of land with a seating capacity of 300. It has playing courts for badminton, volleyball and basketball, besides facilities for yoga, gym and physiotherapy.

44. Kerala gets accelerator to boost start-ups

Kerala has launcheda state-of-the-art accelerator for electronics technologies (ACE). It will provide a boost to start-ups striving to scale up as sustainable enterprises. ACE, a joint initiative of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), will nurture the development of high-tech start-ups in electronics and allied disciplines.

45. Maharashtra govt inks Rs 35,000-crore MoUs

The Maharashtra govt has inked MoUs worth around Rs 35,000 crore with 15 companies. The MoUs worth Rs 34,850 crore were signed between the state-run Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and the 15 companies and they are expected to create 23182 jobs. CM Thackeray made the remarks during the Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 event, which seeks to mobilise investments in the state.

46. ADIA, PIF invest $1 billion in Reliance

Reliance Industries Ltd. is raising $1 billion in investment from two sovereign wealth funds. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, or ADIA, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, or PIF, will each invest 37.8 billion rupees ($507.2 million) in buying units of Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust. The firm has already secured over $25 bn investment from backers such as Facebook Inc. and Google.

47. Li Quanhai named World Sailing’s new President

China’s Li Quanhai has been chosen as the new President of World Sailing, which is the sport’s international governing body. Li, who has been the director general of China’s National Olympic Sports Center, was elected to a 4-year term that ends in 2024. Li is now the first Chinese to hold the top job at World Sailing. Qingdao Sailing School president Qu Chun was elected as a council member.

48. Commission of Indian Coast Guard Ship C-452

Rajan Bargotra, Additional Director General (Western Seaboard), will commission Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) ship C-452 through video conference in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The ship was indigenously designed and built by Larsen & Toubro, Surat complying with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat”

49. Dept of Posts releases special cover on DST

Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Posts Sanjay Dhotre released the Special Cover of Department of Posts for commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Department of Science and Technology at a function in New Delhi. Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated DST saying that scientists have proved their mettle in all fields of science at an international level.

50. IREDA signs MoU with MNRE

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), for setting key targets for the year 2020-21. The MOU was signed by MNRE Secretary, Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and IREDA CMD, Pradip Kumar Das.

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