Daily Current Affairs 17 October 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Aim of the govt is to make India Trans Fat free by 2022: Health Minister
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the aim of the government is to make India Trans Fat free by 2022, a year ahead of target set by World Health Organization.
- Chairing the event on World Food Day organized by FSSAI, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, due to the unprecedented challenges faced by the world on account of the Covid pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability.
- He said, focus this year is on elimination of Trans Fats from the food supply chain.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari initiates Asia’s longest ZojiLa Tunnel works virtually
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the first blasting for construction related work at the 14.15 km Zojila tunnel, one of the longest in Asia, that will provide all-year connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh.
- Initiating the blast through a virtual ceremony, Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Gadkari said it was a ‘moment of pride’ for India.
- The project was re-awarded this year to Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL) which had emerged as the lowest bidder quoting ₹4,509.5 crore for the project.
Govt. launches ‘KAPILA’ Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness campaign
Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank virtually launched the ‘KAPILA’ (Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness) campaign on the 89th birth anniversary of former President and Scientist Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
- Under this campaign, students pursuing education in higher educational institutions will get information about the correct system of application process for patenting their invention and they will be aware of their rights.
- The Institution Innovation Council (IIC 2.0) annual report was also presented on the occasion and the launch of IIC 3.0 was announced. The IIC 3.0 website was also launched.
- It has also been decided to celebrate the week of October 15th to 23rd as ‘Intellectual Property Literacy Week’.
SC appoints Justice Lokur to monitor steps to curb stubble burning
The Supreme Court appointed former justice Madan B Lokur to monitor steps taken to prevent stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh amid rising levels of pollution in the national capital and adjoining regions.
- The order was passed by an apex court bench headed by Justice SA Bobde while hearing a PIL filed by two environmental activities seeking directions to ensure the implementation of the complete ban on stubble burning.
- The bench also directed court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to help the Lokur panel with physical surveillance of fields to check instances of stubble burning and other related matters.
J&K L-G announces ‘My Town My Pride’ programme
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha announced the ‘My Town My Pride’ programme, starting from October 19, as a part of the public outreach initiative “in J&K’s towns to deliver services at doorsteps to the urban population”.
- The three main objectives of this programme is public outreach in towns, strengthening grassroots democracy, and service delivery at doorsteps.
India to deliver submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar Navy
India will hand over INS Sindhuvir, a Kilo class submarine to the Myanmar Navy, the Ministry of External Affairs announced.
- INS Sindhuvir will be the first submarine of the Southeast Asian country and the move is in line with the overall Indian vision that aspires to guarantee security for all maritime partners.
- It belongs to a class of diesel-electric attack submarines built by the Soviet Union during the Cold War years.
India designated Vice-Chair of OECD Working Group on GLP
India has been designated the Vice-Chair of Good Laboratory Practice, GLP Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognising the contribution of the Indian GLP programme.
- Good Laboratory Practice is a quality system, which has been evolved by OECD to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products and medical devices can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.
BANKING & FINANCE
Indian Bank inks MoU with Housing Ministry, SIDBI for street vendors
Public sector Indian Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for payment of subsidy to street vendors under the Centre’s SVANidhi Scheme.
- Indian Bank has developed an integrated online system to make payments of interest subvention and cash incentives to all street vendor-beneficiaries across the country through the Direct Benefit Transfer.
Jana Bank to be sponsor bank for Ashoknagar Co-operative Bank
Jana Small Finance Bank, a Bengaluru-based small finance bank (SFB), has partnered with Ashoknagar Co-operative Bank Limited under the bank sponsorship programme.
- With this, Jana Bank has become the first SFB to go live under the sponsorship programme.
- Ashoknagar Co-operative Bank Limited, in association with Jana Small Finance Bank, can extend ATM, POS and e-commerce services to its customers. This association marks the fulfilment of Jana Bank’s endeavour to promote a full suite of services to co-operative banks.
PhonePe launches car and bike insurance on its platform in association with Baja Allianz
Flipkart-owned PhonePe launched car and bike insurance products on its platform in association with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
- With this launch, over 230 million registered PhonePe users can now insure their vehicles seamlessly in under 2 minutes, without the need for any documents to be uploaded before the purchase and also view their policy documents instantly on the app.
- PhonePe users can also customise their car insurance plan based on their needs with a range of value-added offerings such as zero depreciation, 24X7 roadside assistance and engine protection among others.
Irdai asks life insurers to launch Saral Jeevan Bima from January 1
Regulator IRDAI asked life insurance companies to launch a standard term insurance policy ‘Saral Jeevan Bima’ by January 1, 2021 to help customers take informed decisions.
- The Saral Jeevan Bima will be a pure term life insurance product that can be purchased by people in the age group of 18 to 65 years and will have a policy term of 4 to 40 years.
- The sum assured for the term life insurance policy will range from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh (in multiples of Rs 50,000).
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
GST compensation: Centre to borrow ₹1.1 lakh crore to meet shortfall
The central government will borrow ₹1.1 lakh crore under the special window to meet the shortfall of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation, the finance ministry informed.
- The amount borrowed will be passed on to the states as “back-to-back loan in lieu of GST compensation cess” releases, said the finance ministry. This borrowing will not have any impact on the fiscal deficit of the government.
- The amount will be reflected as the capital receipts of the state governments and as part of financing of its respective fiscal deficits, said the finance ministry.
Vishal V Sharma appointed India’s next Permanent Representative to UNESCO
Vishal V Sharma has been appointed as the next permanent representative of India to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- Sharma has succeeded Jawed Ashraf. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
Michael Irani appointed as International Weightlifting Federation interim President
The International Weightlifting Federation announced the appointment of Michael Irani as its interim president.
- Irani is chair of the IWF Medical Committee and a former chair of the IWF Anti-Doping Commission.
- He has extensive experience of the fight against doping and in safeguarding athlete welfare.
Chandigarh University bags first rank in India as stand-alone institution for filling highest number of patents in a year
Chandigarh University Gharuan has emerged as Top Stand-Alone University in India for filling highest number of patents in a year.
- The annual rankings for the year 2018-19 was recently released by Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Government of India which comprises of Academic Institutions and Multinational Companies.
- As per the Intellectual Property India annual report released by Government of India, Chandigarh University Gharuan has emerged as the leading stand-alone institution to file highest number of patents which is followed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with 239 patent applications, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with 202 applications and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) with 173 applications.
- In the academic institutions category, Chandigarh University Gharuan has emerged as the leading stand-alone institution while the university has been placed at second position in overall patent rankings,”. In addition, with the filing of 148 patents Chandigarh University has also bagged third position in the Top 5 Indian Applicants for patents in the field of Information Technology and is just placed behind the top Indian IT Companies TCS and Wipro”.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Japan Coast Guard tests unmanned SeaGuardian Aircraft
Amid tensions between Beijing and Tokyo, Japan began test flights of an unmanned aerial vehicle SeaGuardian in a bid to learn whether it can carry out key duties, including search, recuse and maritime surveillance.
- The tests will involve the use of the 12-meter-long, 24-meter-wide UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) developed by US defence firm General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, reported NHK World.
- The SeaGuardian is equipped with radars and high-definition cameras and is capable of flying for more than 24 hours nonstop. Hence, it will cover the outermost exclusive economic zone of Japan. It will test the real-time ending of data and images to the ground and the safety of the vehicle.
Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri passes away
Mahakavi’ Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, who brought last year’s covetous Jnanpith Award to Malayalam literature, died at a private hospital in Thrissur. He was 94.
- Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, popularly known as Akkitham, penned his first poem when he was eight. He went on to become one of the most respected names in Malayalam poetry, winning several literary accolades, including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973.
- A Padma Shri awardee, Namboothiri is also known for his critical essays, short stories and other literary works. His works have been translated into multiple languages.
‘Nightingale of Gujarat’ Kaumudi Munshi passes away
Legendary singer Kaumudi Munshi, known as the ‘Nightingale of Gujarat’ passed away due to COVID-19. She was 91.
- During the early stage of her career, Munshi sang mostly in Gujarati, gaining fame with songs like ‘Sachi re maari satre bhavani maa’.
- The singer also sang Bhojpuri songs, for the 1963 movie Bidesiya she sang ‘Neek Saiyan bin’ with renowned singer Geeta Dutt.
Bihar minister Kapil Deo Kamat passes away
Bihar’s Panchayati Raj minister Kapil Deo Kamat succumbed to Covid-19 at AIIMS, Patna. He was 70.
- Kamat was a JDU MLA from Babubarhi assembly constituency in Madhubani district, Bihar.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Book “Mr Prime Minister, We Shrank the Dragon” by author Pradeep Goorha all set to launch
Pradeep Goorha, is all set for the release of his second book “Mr Prime Minister, We Shrank the Dragon”.
- The book, though fiction is inspired by reality revolving around the currently developing story on India’s northern borders along with the perennially neglected Pakistan’s illegal occupation of PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan, and how these could be solved at this opportune time. Goorha has attempted at providing that solution. Befriending Iran at an altogether different level is central to the approach.
Shashi Tharoor announces new book “The Battle of Belonging”
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said his “magnum opus” book on the theory, evolution and practice of nationalism will be out November 2020.
- The book titled “The Battle of Belonging” is published by Aleph Book Company.
- The book appears to be an extension of his book “Why I Am a Hindu”.It provides the historical context to the ideas of nationalism, patriotism, humanism, democracy and their origins.
Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas
National Women Farmers’ Day (Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas) is observed every year on 15th October.
- Mahila Kisan Diwas was celebrated at ICAR Institutes and Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the country to recognize the contribution of women in Agriculture.
- The day was celebrated by ICAR-CIFRI with the hope to empower and leverage farm women with fisheries sector to bring Second Blue Revolution in the country.