Current Affairs Oct 2020

Delhi Law Academy


India’s first B2B Crypto trading exchange DigitX launched

·            DigitX, India’s first business-to-business (B2B) cryptocurrency trading exchange, began its trading operations.

·            DigiX aims to deliver transparent and secure model with its network of trusted links in a first of its kind industry initiative to instill trust and confidence in its investors and traders of cryptocurrency.

World’s longest highway tunnel ‘Atal Tunnel’ inaugurated by Prime Minister

·            Prime Minister of India opened World’s longest highway tunnel ‘Atal Tunnel’ on 3rd October 2020.

·            This Tunnel is named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

·            This is 9.2 km long tunnel which is the longest highway tunnel in the world.

·            This tunnel is connecting Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year.

·            It reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

Tribes India E-Marketplace – India’s Largest Market of Tribal Products

·            Union Minister for Ministry of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda will launch – India’s Largest Market of Tribal Products named Tribes India E-Marketplace on 02 October 2020, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

·            This Tribes India e-Marketplace is an initiative of the government which aims to give platform for 5 lakh tribal producers for sourcing of various handicraft, handloom, organic food products across the country and brings the best of tribal produce.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat presents Swachh Bharat Awards 2020

·            The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria virtually conferred the Swachh Bharat 2020 Awards to the best performing States/UTs, districts, blocks, GPs in various categories on 2nd October 2020.

·            The Ministry of Jal Shakti is observing the Swachh Bharat Diwas, 2020 on 2nd October to mark six years of the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

·            The Swachh Bharat 2020 Awards were conferred under three categories which are:

  • Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) campaign  
  • Samudayik Shauchalaya Abhiyan (SSA)
  • Gandagi Se Mukt (GMB) campaign

Kerala’s first Mega Food Park inaugurated virtually

·            Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare inaugurated Kerala’s first and nation’s twentieth mega food park in Palakkad district. The inauguration was conducted virtually through video conferencing.

·            The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers.

Government constitutes panel to screen China’s foreign investment proposals

·            The Indian government has set up a screening panel to vet all the Chinese foreign investment proposals and those which will be considered non-controversial could be approved.

·            The screening panel has been headed by the home secretary and has the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary as a member. As per the senior official, more than 100 proposals involving the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China are pending.

·            In April 2020, prior government clearance was made mandatory for FDI from the countries sharing a land border. The step was widely seen to be directed at curbing Chinese takeover of companies amid stock market volatility during the C-19 pandemic.

First VVIP aircraft ‘Air India One’ for PM, President, Vice President arrives

·            The first of the two VVIP aircraft Air India One for President, Vice President, and Prime Minister arrived in India on October 1, 2020.

·            The Special Extra Section Flight (SESF) aircraft for the country’s VVIP arrived at Delhi’s International Airport from the United States. A joint team of senior officers from Air India, VVIP security personnel and senior government officials had gone to the US to accept the delivery of the VVIP’s flight Air India One.

·            The Air India One is equipped with an advanced and secured communication system, which will enable availing audio and video communication functions mid-air without any worries of hacking or being taped.

·            The VVIP aircraft B-777 will replace wide-body aircraft Boeing B-747 jumbo aircraft whose call sign is Air India One.

ICMR Vaccine web portal & C-19 National Clinical Registry launched

·            The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the first-of-its-kind national vaccine portal for C-19 on 28 September 2020, created by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

·            The vaccine web portal will act as a repository for all information related to C-19 vaccine development in India and abroad. Currently, 3 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India for C-19.

·            The portal will also provide information related to C-19 vaccine data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

India’s first RRTS train with design speed of 180 kmph unveiled

·            The Centre on Friday unveiled the first look of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train that can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor.

·            The design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple and is aligned with PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ policy.

First State to provide 100% Tap Water Connections is Goa

·            Goa has become the first state in India to provide 100% tap water connections in rural areas under “Har Ghar Jal State”.

·            The State of Goa is now planning to install sensor-based service delivery monitoring system to monitor the functionality of water supply.

·            The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide 55 litres of tapped water per person per day to all the households by 2024.


BRICS Bank approves loans for Mumbai Metro, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail

·            The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved loan for Mumbai metro and for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project.

·            $241 million loan for the Mumbai metro rail-II project will be used for implementing a metro rail line 6 with a length of 14.47 km in Mumbai

·            A loan of $500 million has been approved for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS project.

Union Cabinet approves World Bank-aided STARS project

·            The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of the World Bank-aided STARS project. The project seeks to support the states in implementing, developing, evaluating and improving interventions with direct linkages to improve quality of education. STARS stands for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States.

·            The total project cost is estimated to be around Rs. 5,718 crore, out of which the financial support from World Bank will amount to USD 500 million

Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi & NCR

·            The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has directed the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) states to implement air pollution control measures listed under the “very poor” and “severe” category of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). These measures will come into force from October 15, 2020 to improve the air quality of the Delhi-NCR region.

·            As per the directions given by the EPCA, the diesel generators will no longer be used in Delhi and NCR towns including Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and others with effect from October 15. The generators will only be used for emergency and essential services.

·            Moreover, the Pollution control authorities will carry out the night patrolling to investigate dust, industrial emissions and burning of waste. The pollution monitoring body has also directed the authorities to undertake frequent sprinkling of water on roads.

GoI to borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore to meet shortfall of GST compensation

·            The central government will borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore under the special window to meet the shortfall of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation. Under the Special Window, the estimated shortfall of Rs 1.1 lakh cr (assuming all States join) will be borrowed by Government of India in appropriate tranches. The borrowed amount will be passed on to the States as a back-to-back loan in lieu of GST Compensation. This will not have any impact on the fiscal deficit of the Government of India.

·            The amounts will be reflected as the capital receipts of the State Governments and as part of the financing of its respective fiscal deficits. This will avoid differential rates of interest that individual States may be charged for their respective SDLs and will be an administratively easier arrangement. The govt also clarified that the General Government (States+Centre) borrowings will not increase by this step. The States that get the benefit from the Special Window is likely to borrow a considerably lesser amount from the additional borrowing facility of 2% of GSDP (from 3% to 5%) under the Aatma Nirbhar Package.


DRDO successfully test fires laser-guided anti-tank guided missile

·            The indigenously developed Laser Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by DRDO on 1st Oct 2020. It defeated a target located at longer range. The test was conducted from MBT Arjun at KK ranges (ACC&S) Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.

·           This Laser guided ATGM has been developed by Armament R&D Establishment (ARDE), Pune in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune and Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun.

·            It has a tandem HEAT warhead to destroy Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles in ranges from 1.5 to 5 km.The missile is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun.

India’s Anti-Radiation Missile RUDRAM successfully tested

·            The new generation anti-radiation missile named Rudram 1 which has been generated to kill enemy radar is successfully tested in the Balasore test range located off the coast of Odisha in Bay of Bengal.

·            This missile was developed by Defence research and development organisation.

·            The missile can reach up to a range of 200 km, can achieve a maximum speed of 2 mach and can be fired from an altitude envelope of 500 meters to 15kms

C-DAC to commission India’s fastest HPC-AI Supercomputer ‘PARAM Siddhi – AI’ with NVIDIA

·            The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will be commissioning India’s largest HPC-AI supercomputer ‘PARAM Siddhi – AI’.

·            This initiative will place India among the top countries in global AI supercomputing research and innovation

ISRO to launch its Venus Mission in 2025, France to take part

·            ISRO is scheduled to launch its Venus mission in 2025 and France will participate in it.

·            The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument co-developed with the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the LATMOS atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory attached to the French national scientific research centre CNRS has been selected by the ISRO after a request for proposals.

·            CNES will coordinate and prepare the French contribution, the first time a French payload will be flown on an Indian exploration mission.

India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

·            India successfully test-fired the extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on September 30, 2020. The BrahMos missile is capable of hitting targets at over 400 kilometre range.

·            The BrahMos can be launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.

·            The test-firing was carried out under the PJ-10 project of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile was launched with an indigenous booster from a land-based facility in Odisha.

·           This is the second test-firing of the extended range version of the missile that has an indigenously developed airframe and booster. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been developed as a joint venture between the DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).

DRDO successfully flight tests weapon system SMART- Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo

·            India has successfully flight-tested SMART (Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo) from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha on October 5, 2020.

·            The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful flight test of SMART. He mentioned it to be a major technology breakthrough in anti-submarine warfare.

·            A number of DRDO laboratories, including RCI Hyderabad, DRDL, NSTL Vishakhapatnam, ADRDE Agra have developed the technologies that were required for SMART.


Kiren Rijiju launches new logo of Sports Authority of India

·            Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju launched the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) new logo at Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

·            The new logo signifies SAI’s journey of metamorphosis from identifying and nurturing grassroot level sporting talent to creating sporting excellence in the country.

Robert Lewandowski wins UEFA Player of the Year award

·            The Polish forward scored 15 goals on the way to Bayern Munich’s sixth Champions League title, hitting the target in every match before the final except a group game against Tottenham Hotspur when he was rested.

·            Other players in consideration were Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer


Crown prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah becomes Kuwait’s new ruling emir

·            Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah became the oil-rich nation’s new ruling emir, after the death of his half-brother Sheikh Sabah al- AhmadAl- Sabah at the age of 91.

·            Sheikh Nawaf, 83, had served as the crown prince since 2006, jumping a traditional order of alternating rule between the Al Jaber and the Al Salim branches of the country’s ruling family.

12th BRICS Summit to be held virtually on November 17, Russia to chair

·            The 12th BRICS Summit will be held on 17th November 2020 via video conference. The theme of the Meeting of the Leaders of BRICS countries is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.

·            The Summit this year is being held under the Chairmanship of Russia and aims at a multifaceted cooperation between the member countries.


Nobel Peace Prize 2020

·            The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to World Food Programme (WFP) on 9th October 2020.

·            The World Food Programme (WFP) has won the prestigious honor “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 announced

·            The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

·            The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by The Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

·            The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics on 6th October 2020.

·            One half of the award has been given to Roger Penrose for black hole discovery; and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.

·            UK’s Roger Penrose has been awarded “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity”

·            America’s Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez have jointly won “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 announced

·            The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden on October 5, 2020, announced that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice, and Michael Houghton for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.

·            The discovery of the virus is termed as a landmark achievement in a battle against the virus that is a big threat to human health. The three scientists have made a crucial contribution in a fight against blood-borne hepatitis that causes liver cancer and cirrhosis in people.

·            The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus by the three scientists revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.