13th October 2020 Current Affairs
Union Minister for Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman announced major schemes at 43rd GST Council meeting to improve consumer & capital demand through virtual mode. As per the finance ministry, the consumer & capital demand estimated to cost Rs 73,000 crore by 31 March 2021.
Interest-free 50-year loan to states worth Rs 12,000 crore:
- Under this, States can use this loan amount for spending only on capital projects with an objective to improve economy.
Additional capital expenditure of Rs 25,000 crore:
- This additional money will be for spending on roads, defence infrastructure, water supply and urban development, defence infrastructure and domestically produced capital equipment.
LTC Cash Voucher Scheme Special Festival Advance Scheme:
- Under this scheme government will give the entitled fare as cash vouchers, which employees could use to make purchases of their choice. This should be spent by March 31, 2021.
Special Festival Advance Scheme:
- Using this scheme, non-gazetted government employees able to get interest-free advance of Rs. 10,000, in the form of a prepaid RuPay Card.
Haryana State Government launched “Lab on Wheels” initiative to test the water quality in the state. This Lab on Wheels initiative is part of Jal Jeevan Mission. The Lab vans are fully equipped with a multi-parameter system containing analyzers sensor, probes and instruments meant for assessing water quality.
- These labs will test for alkalinity, hardness, chlorine, nitrate, zinc, turbidity, PH and other microbiological tests.
- The lab also carries a LED display that will display the result immediately after analysis.
- The Mobile water testing lab is GPS-enabled for location tracking.
Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog initiated campaign to celebrate Kamadhenu Deepawali 2020
Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) has initiated a campaign to celebrate Kamdhenu Deepawali Abhiyan this year on the occasion of Deepawali festival.
- Under this campaign, the RKA is promoting extensive use of cow-dung and products during this Diwali Festival. The campaign also promote Swadeshi movement while reducing environmental damage.
About Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog:
- Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog has been constituted by the resolution dated 21st February, 2019 to organize animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and to take steps for preserving and improving breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows.
Every year National Philately Day is celebrated on October 13. This year India Post Mumbai Division introduced Stamped Mask & Virtual i-Card on Philately Day. India Post also celebrated National Postal Week from 9 to15 October 2020.
The Stamped mask contains images of postage stamps imprinted on them. This initiative of India Post, Mumbai is an attempt to make masks attractive and also drive home the importance of the role played by Masks during the current Covid situation.
This virtual card containing the name, beat number, area of service, contact number and photo of the postman / postwoman, would be circulated to customers, which will help them to know their postmen better and contact them directly in case of any emergency.
About India Post:
- Parent Ministry: Ministry of Communications
- Headquarters: New Delhi
PM Narendra Modi released autobiography of Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and and renamed Pravara Rural Education Society
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the autobiography of Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and renamed Pravara Rural Education Society as ‘Loknete Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society’.
- Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil served as a Member of Lok Sabha for multiple terms.
- Pravara Rural Education Society was established with an objective to provide a world-class education to the rural masses and empower the girl child. The Society is currently serving with the core mission of educational, social, economical, cultural, physical and psychological development of students.
The top diplomats of United States at the recent India-US forum have called for the expansion of QUAD grouping also known as The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. United States officials announced countries and groupings should come together and join hands to protect and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific ocean region.
- The statement was made by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun at the India-US forum in New Delhi.
- The Quad is a partnership driven by shared interests, not binding obligations, and is not intended to be an exclusive grouping.
The fifth meeting of the India-Mexico Bilateral High Level Group held between both countries. Due to Covid19 the Meeting was held virtually. Discussions were held on Trade, Investment and Cooperation (BHLG).
- This meeting was co-chaired by the Commerce Secretary of the Government of India, Dr. Anup Wadhawan and the Vice Minister for Foreign Trade of the Government of Mexico, Ms. Luz María de la Mora. Several Ministries, Departments and Business Chambers from both countries participated in the meeting.
- The 4th meeting of Bilateral High Level Group on Trade Investment & Economic Cooperation at the level of Commerce Secretary was held in Mexico City in July 2016
Pakistan listed on ‘Enhanced Follow-up List’ by FATF Asia Pacific Group
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Asia Pacific group which is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog has kept Pakistan in its ‘Enhanced Follow Up’ list. The organisation had downgraded Pakistan status from “regular follow-up” to “enhanced follow up”.
- According to the FATF’s report, Pakistan complied with only two of the 40 recommendations of Financial Action Task Force.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister signs 14 MoUs to generate employment
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami signed 14 Agreements worth Rs. 10, 055 crore with potential to generate employment in the State.
- The Tamil Nadu State Government is also ranked first among Indian states in attracting investments during the first six months of this year.
About Tamil Nadu:
- Capital: Chennai
- Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Kerala becomes First State in India to go Digital in Public Education
Kerala State has become the First State in India to make the Public Education Sector completely digital. It has been implemented at a cost of Rs.42.36 crores, out of which KIIFB has contributed Rs 34.75 crores.
- The Project was implemented by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE). Financial assistance was provided by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education.
- Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
- Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan
- Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
India Govt signed 300 million dollars loan agreement with ADB to improve Rajasthan’s Secondary Towns
Indian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed 300 million dollars loan agreement to develop 14 Secondary Towns of Rajasthan by giving sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services to people.
- Through the project, water supply systems in at least eight project towns are expected to improve by 2027.
- Citywide sanitation systems will benefit about 720,000 people in at least14 secondary towns.
- Governor: Kalraj Mishra
- Capital: Jaipur
- Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
PepsiCo plans to establish potato chips plant in Uttar Pradesh with Rs 814 crore outlay
PepsiCo, which is an American multinational food, snack and beverage corporation has planned to establish potato chips in Uttar Pradesh with Rs 814 crore investement.
- The unit is being set up in Kosi – Mathura on 35 acres of land provided by UP State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA).
- This agreement was signed by PepsiCo to establish this project at UP Investors Summit-2018 and the project started with the arrangement of land at the ground breaking ceremony held in July 2019.
India and ADB signed MoU worth 270 million dollars to develop urban services in Madhya Pradesh
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed loan agreement worth 270 million dollars to improve water supply and integrated storm water and sewage management infrastructure in 64 cities of Madhya Pradesh.
- This agreement will strengthen capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) for improved service delivery in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
About Madhya Pradesh:
- Capital: Bhopal
- Chief minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Telangana State Government and Intel to establish Applied Artificial Intelligence Research Center
Intel India and the State Government of Telangana collaborated to launch of an applied artificial intelligence (AI) research (INAI) center in Hyderabad.
- For this initiative, Telangana government partnered with International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) which is the founding healthcare partner in the initiative.
- This centre will identify and solve the challenges in the healthcare and smart mobility segments.
- Capital: Hyderabad
- Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan
Ranking & Index
India secured 129th position in the 2020 Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index. The total number of countries participated in 158 countries. This is third edition of the Index. The Index is released by Oxfam International.
- The Commitment to Reducing Inequality is topped by Norway. South Sudan is the lowest ranking country in the index at 158th position.
- Norway, Denmark and Germany secured first three places respectively.
Summits & Conference
Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held on October 16. This Year India will host this SCO Justice Ministers Meeting. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will represent India in this meet. Due to coronavirus situation this year the meeting will be held through online mode.
- This meeting will be attended by Law and Justice Ministers from China, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic.
- They will discuss on the action plan of the working groups of experts on legal services and forensic activities.
Exim Bank extended USD 310 million LoC to Zimbabwe to repower of Hwange Thermal Power Station
Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has signed an agreement worth USD 310 million LoC(Line of Credit) with Zimbabwe for the purpose of financing repowering of Hwange Thermal Power Station in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
- Out of the total credit by Exim Bank under the agreement, goods, works and services of the value of at least 75 per cent of the contract price shall be supplied by the seller from India, and the remaining 25 per cent of goods and services may be procured by the seller for the purpose of the eligible contract from outside India.
About Exim Bank:
- President: David R.Malpass
- Headquarters: Washington D.C
Indian Football – Forward Together New Motto of AIFF
All India Football Federation (AIFF) which is the governing body of association football in India introduced its new motto which is ‘Indian Football, Forward Together’.
- This motto emphasizes the Values, passion, integrity, respect, leadership and professionalism which are followed by AIFF.
- President: Praful Patel
- Founded on: 1937
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year won by Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski who is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award 2020.
- The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and journalists.
- In 2019, The award won by Virgil van Dijk (Dutch professional footballer).
- President: Aleksander Ceferin
- First vice-president: Karl-Erik Nilsson
- Headquarters: Nyon, Switzerland
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which is an agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development in Ministry of Defence of the Government of India has test-fired Nirbhay Cruise Missile from Odisha. But the missile was aborted few minutes later due to technical difficulty.
- Nirbhay is India’s first indigenously developed cruise missile
- The Missile is powered by a solid rocket booster developed by DRDO’s Advanced Systems Lab.
- The Nirbhay Subsonic Missile can fly at a speed of 0.7 Mach
- Chairman: Dr.G. Satheesh Reddy
- Headquarters; New Delhi
Indian Army and Maharashtra Police organized a Suraksha Kavach Exercise which is a Joint Anti Terrorist Exercise. Quick Reaction Teams, Dog Squads and Bomb Disposal Teams of Army, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Quick Reaction Team of Maharashtra Police are also participated in this Suraksha Kavach Exercise.
- The aim of the exercise was to coordinate the drills and procedures of both Army and Police for activating anti-terrorist Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) to counter any terrorist actions in Pune.
About Indian Army:
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
- Chief of Defence Staff (CDS): General Bipin Rawat
Flim Maker B.Vijaya Reddy Dies
Veteran Flim Maker B.Vijaya Reddy who belongs to Kannada Flim Industry passed away due to cardiac arrest. He was born on 15 July 1936.
- His First Flim is Rangamahal Rahasya (1970). He also worked in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam Flim Industries.
Every Year International Day for Disaster Reduction is observed on October 13. This day celebrated to spread how people all over in the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. The day is also known as World Calamity Control Day.
- Theme of 2020 International Day for Disaster Reduction is ‘Disaster risk governance’.
- Headquarters: New York, United States
- Founded: 24 October 1945
- Secretary General: Antonio Guterres