Daily Current Affairs 31 October 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
PM Modi inaugurates Sardar Patel Zoological Park & Arogya Van in Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, inaugurated as many as 17 new projects including new tourist attractions near the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya in Narmada district.
- Modi first inaugurated Arogya Van (health forest”), spread over 17 acres with a wide range of medicinal plants.He also inaugurated a Children Nutrition Park, dubbed as the world”s first such technology-driven theme park developed over 35,000 square meters. Its primary objective is to make children understand the importance of nutritious food.
- Modi then inaugurated Jungle Safari, a state-of-the- art Zoological Park spread across 375 acres and seven levels.
- The PM then inaugurated Ekta Cruise”, a ferry boat service which would cover the distance of 6 km from Shrestha Bharat Bhavan to the Statue of Unity within 40 minutes.
- Other projects inaugurated by the PM included a navigation channel in Narmada river to facilitate boating, Garudeshwar weir downstream on the river, a new bridge across the river near Gora village, a bus bay terminus, home-stay facility for tourists and eco-tourism project near Khalwani village.
- Late in the evening, the PM inaugurated the Unity Glow Garden, the first of its kind in India, developed in 3.61 acres with a glimmering array of illuminated installations.
- Lastly, Modi inaugurated the Cactus Garden spread in 25 acres on the opposite bank of the river. It is home to more than 450 species with a total of 6 lakh plants.
West Bengal Ranks First in Decline of School Dropout Rate: Survey
According to the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2020, West Bengal occupies the top position in the decline of dropout rate among school students during 2018-2020.
- The report says, school dropout rate in the state declined from 3.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent while it went up from four per cent to 5.5 per cent at the national level.
- The dropout rate in some bigger states like Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan was 11.3 per cent, 14 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively.
- West Bengal also holds the first position in the country in terms of text books provided to the students with 99.7 per cent coverage, while in bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, the same stands at 79.6 per cent, 60.4 per cent, 95 per cent, 34.6 per cent and 80.8 per cent respectively.
Kerala, Goa and Chandigarh Best Governed States and Union Territory, Says PAC Ranking
Kerala was adjudged the best governed state in the country while Uttar Pradesh ended at the bottom in the large states category, according to the Public Affairs Index-2020 released by the Public Affairs Centre.
- Four southern states, Kerala (1.388 PAI Index point), Tamil Nadu (0.912), Andhra Pradesh (0.531) and Karnataka (0.468) stood in the first four ranks in the large state category in terms of governance.
- Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar were at the bottom of the ranking, scoring negative points in the category. They got – 1.461, -1.201 and -1.158 points respectively.
Feni bridge connecting India & B’desh to be completed by December: Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari assured that the ongoing construction of the bridge over the river Feni in southeastern Bangladesh and Tripura state to be completed by December this year.Gadkari said this while laying the foundation stones of nine highway projects in Tripura to be built at over Rs 2,752 crore.
- The bridge will provide direct road connectivity between South Tripura and Chittagong allowing India to use Chittagong as a “port of call” and promoting trade, tourism, and people-to-people ties”.
PPL tournament to be played in Indore to free city from single use plastic
On the lines of IPL cricket, a unique Plastic Premier League (PPL) tournament is being played in Indore, Madhya Pradesh to free the city from single use plastic.
- The 19 zones of Indore Municipal Corporation are divided into these four teams. For the competition, the team captain Radio Jockey will encourage citizens to donate more and more plastic from their radio station.
- These teams have been provided municipal workers and five vehicles to collect plastic.
- The team that collects the most single-use plastics in this 45-day competition will be awarded the PPL Trophy.
IIT Kanpur and ASI Sign MOU for the Restoration of Monuments
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and the Archaeological Survey of India have signed an agreement with two institutions from Italy, seeking restoration and protection of historical monuments.
- The activities under this MoU will be coordinated by professor Mukesh Sharma, department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Kanpur.
- All institutes have agreed to develop collaborative scientific study activities and sharing skills to restore and protect monuments on a reciprocal and equal basis
India, Mexico to further work on strengthening ‘Privileged Partnership’
The 8th India-Mexico Joint Commission Meeting was held through Video-Conference. The Meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard.
- The two sides agreed that given their respective economic strengths, growing regional and global profile, India and Mexico will further work on strengthening their ‘Privileged Partnership’.
- 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. They also underscored the importance of the Joint Commission mechanism in deepening political dialogue, reviewing bilateral and multilateral co-operation.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI revises norms for housing finance firms
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shared final guidelines for housing finance companies (HFC) highlighting that these NBFCs should have at least 60% of their net assets deployed in the business of providing finance for housing by March 31, 2024.
- RBI notified that any HFC not having 60% of its net assets deployed for housing loans must get 50% of its books utilised for such loans by March 31, 2022, 55% by March 31, 2023 and 60% by March 31, 2024.
- Minimum percentage of total assets towards housing finance for individuals during this period should be raised to 40%, 45% and 50%, respectively.
SBI ties up with global education platform edX
State Bank of India (SBI) has entered into a strategic partnership with global non-profit education platform edX, where the bank will offer its Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the platform from November onwards.
- Initially, SBI will be offering three courses – Unleashing Creativity at the Workplace, Relationship Marketing Strategy for Financial Services, and Conflict Resolution.
- The duration of these courses would be for four to six weeks, with an expected spend of two to three hours per week on a course.
- The bank’s collaboration with edX is aimed at facilitating learners with expanding perspectives and access to knowledge beyond the classrooms.
Centre Extends Term Of Justice (Retd.) Bansi Lal Bhat As Officiating Chairperson Of NCLAT
The Central Government has further extended the term of Justice (retd) Bansi Lal Bhat as the officiating Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
- The term of Justice AIS Cheema as Judicial Member of NCLAT has also been extended till December 31 or until a regular Chairperson is appointed or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Navy Warship INS Kora successfully test-fires anti-ship missile at ‘maximum range’
The Indian Navy successfully test-fired an Anti-Ship Missile (AShM) from its Guided Missile Corvette INS Kora in the Bay of Bengal hit the target ship at “maximum range” with precise accuracy.
- The missile was fired by frontline corvette INS Prabal as part of a mega drill involving aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and a number of warships, attack helicopters, aircraft and other assets of the Navy.
Indian Army develops messaging application ‘Secure Application for Internet’
Indian Army has developed a simple messaging application named the Secure Application for Internet (SAI).
- 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.
- SAI scores over on security features with local in-house servers and coding which can be tweaked as per requirements.
Panna (India), Fuvahmulah and Addu Atoll (Maldives) join UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves
UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme included Panna in India and Fuvahmulah and Addu Atoll in the Maldives, to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
- For India it is the twelfth entry, whereas for Maldives second and third after Baa Atoll.
- In total 25 new sites were added, one of them transboundary, in 18 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now numbers 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries around the globe.
- UNESCO biosphere reserves seek to reconcile human activity with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Kabartal Wetland in Bihar designated as New Ramsar Sites
Kabartal Wetland (Bihar) and Asan Conservation Reserve (Uttrakhand) have been designated as Ramsar sites, making them ‘Wetlands of International Importance’.
- Kabartal Wetland Also known as Kanwar Jheel, it covers 2,620 hectares of the Indo-Gangetic plains in the Begusarai district of Bihar.
- Asan Conservation Reserve, ACR is a 444-hectare stretch of the Asan River running down to its confluence with the Yamuna River in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It is Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar Site.
- With 2 more inclusions, the total number of Ramsar sites in India is 39, the highest in South Asia.
Former Turkish PM Mesut Yılmaz passes away
Mesut Yilmaz, a former Turkish prime minister, and veteran politician who served as premier three times during a tumultuous political era in his country, died. He was 72.
- Yılmaz, a former chairperson of the Motherland Party (ANAP), was appointed as prime minister three times between 1991 and 1999, serving as premier for a period of two years in total.
- He resigned from the presidency of ANAP when the party failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold needed for a political party to have a seat in the parliament in the election in November 2002.
- In the 2007 elections, he was elected as an independent member of parliament.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
World’s first scientoon book “Bye Bye Corona”on Coronavirus released by Governor of UP
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel released a ‘sciencetoon’ book with comprehensive information on the COVID-19 pandemic, its symptoms and prevention through precautions.
- The book, named ‘Bye Bye Corona’, published by Vigyan Prasar of the Department of Science and Technology, makes people aware of COVID-19 in an engaging way.
- The 220-page book contains comprehensive information on the novel coronavirus pandemic, its symptoms and prevention through precautions.
National Unity Day
National Unity Day is celebrated in India on 31 October since 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of the Iron Man of India-Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
- This year marks the 144th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter and an ace politician.
- To acknowledge his efforts in uniting the nation, India celebrates National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on his birth anniversary.
World Cities Day
World Cities Day is celebrated annually on 31 October to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization.
- The 2020 World Cities Day themed ‘Valuing our communities and cities’ underlines the importance of the local communities who are at the heart of building sustainable cities.