Miscellaneous Current Affairs in November 2020
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 30th November 2020
‘Mitigation and Management of Covid-19: Practices from India’s States & UTs’ released by Niti Ayog
NITI Aayog has released a compilation of practices from States and UTs that details the information of various initiatives implemented by the states, districts, and cities in India for the containment and management of the Covid-19 outbreak. It has been categorized under six sections.
Prime Minister has released a book on the Life And Ideals Of Guru Nanak Dev
Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a book on the life and ideals of Guru Nanak Dev, which is authored by Chandigarh based author, Kripal Singh. Guru Nanak Dev Ji born in 1469, is the founder of Sikhism and the first of its ten gurus. Guru Nanak Jayanti was celebrated on November 30, 2020.
Jallikattu, a Malayalam film is India’s official entry for Oscars 2021
The Malayalam film Jallikattu is India’s official entry to the Best International Feature Film category of the 93rd Academy Awards, making it the 3rd Malayalam film to be selected for Oscar Entry. Jallikattu is based on a short story novel titled Moustache. This short story novel has won the JCB prize for literature. Jallikattu is directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 27th November 2020
Acquisition of Future Group
The acquisition of the Future Group has been finalized.
- The Competition Commission of India has approved the acquisition.
- The said acquisition will be done by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, the Retail & Fashion Lifestyle Limited of the Reliance Industries Ltd.
- The acquisition will be of the wholesale undertaking, and the logistics & warehousing undertaking of Future Group
- This said the dead will be under Competition Act 2002.
Cycling expedition in Gujarat & Rajasthan
Indian Army has launched a Cycling expedition in Gujarat & Rajasthan
To commemorate the 1971 Indo-Pak War victory
- To commemorate the commencement of the Golden Jubilee Victory Celebrations of Indian Armed Forces in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
- The Konark Corps of Indian Army has launched a 1971 km cycling expedition that was flagged off Lakhpat in Kutch
Dedicated freighter services to Leh in Ladakh
The first time a civil airliner has started freighter services to Leh
Service provided by:
SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of Spice jet
- Accordingly, the airline operated its first freighter flight from Delhi to Leh carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies.
- Boeing 737 freighter has been deployed on this route.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 22nd November 2020
Mentorship Program for Women entrepreneurs
A Novel mentorship program has been launched for bolstering the status of women in business.
- FICCI FLO -FICCI Ladies Organization.
- IIM Shillong
- This is to provide guidance and mentor women entrepreneurs.
- This will be done by facilitating a nurturing, instructive, and supportive environment.
- This mentoring will be provided especially in the initial stages of, critical stages of the new business.
- The help and guidance shall enable them by reducing the initial startup cost.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs - 18th November 2020
Vaccine Derived Polio Virus: nCOP2
The World Health Organisation has added the nCOP2 vaccine to its Emergency Use Listings.
Bio Farma of Indonesia.
- The vaccine is supposed to treat the derived poliovirus strains.
- This decision was made in the backdrop of an increase in the cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus between 2010 and 2019.
- This approval of WHO is first of its kind.
- There have been a total of 149 immunodeficiency vaccine-derived poliovirus cases starting from 1961, according to the World Health Organisation, as of May 2020.
- The vaccine-derived poliovirus cases occur if a population is poorly vaccinated.
- Of all the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 is the most prevalent form.
- nOPV2 is the novel oral polio vaccine type 2
- This vaccine is genetically stable.
- It is less likely to revert into a form that causes paralysis in a low immunity environment.
- In India, in October 2019, there were around 50 cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus cases
- The new Emergency Use Listing mechanism was developed by the World Health Organisation in response to the Ebola virus outbreak that occurred between 2014 and 2016.
- The emergency use listing procedure is a risk-based procedure to assess and list unlicensed vaccines.
- The Vaccine of Bio Farma becomes the first vaccine to be approved under the said list.
Vaccine-derived Polio Virus
- The vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV) are the rare strains of poliovirus.
- They have genetically mutated from the original strain of the oral polio vaccine. The different types of VDPVs are
- Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus
- Immuno Deficiency related Vaccine derived poliovirus
- Ambiguous vaccine-derived poliovirus
Miscellaneous Current Affairs - 13th November 2020
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
North Korea has placed allegations on the IAEA of being a puppet of hostile countries.
It was initially set up as the World’s Atoms for Peace organization
It came into existence in 1957
IAEA falls under the ambit of the United Nation.
- United Nations General Assembly
- Security Council.
- Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to market the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
- Aims at marketing the peaceful use of atomic energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
Board of Governors:
- 22 member states
- must represent a stipulated geographic diversity
- elected by the General Conference
- 11 members elected every year for a 2-year term.
- At least 10 member states are nominated by the outgoing Board.
- Board members each receive one vote.
- Renders recommendations to the overall Conference on IAEA activities and budget.
- Responsible for publishing IAEA standards.
- Making most of the policy of the IAEA.
- The Director-General appointed is subject to General Conference approval.
- Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
- Human Health Program.
- Water Availability Enhancement Project.
- International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.
Pyongyang has gradually built an atomic stockpile after abandoning the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, and has tested several nuclear bombs in the years since, which it has said has been developed in order to protect itself from US invasion.
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Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 11th November 2020
New rules notified under FCRA 2010 by the Home ministry
The Ministry of Home Affairs has made amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Rules, 2011 (FCRA Rules, 2011) by notifying new rules under the FCRA, 2010 on 11th November 2020.
- As per the amendments made, The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must be atleast three years old and must have spent Rs. 15 lakhs in voluntary activities to be eligible for receiving any funding from foreign donators.
- The new rules have been added under Clause (b) of sub-section 12 of FCRA, 2010.
- The FCRA regulates donations from foreign contributors to ensure that the internal security of the country does not get compromised due to the foreign funding.
- There are around 22,400 operational NGOs present in India, which have been registered under FCRA.
- Amit Anilchandra Shah is the Union Minister of Home Affairs.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 6th November 2020
Pakistan's Provincial Status to Gilgit-Baltistan
Prime Minister of Pakistan has stirred the hornet’s nest when he declared that, Gilgit and Baltistan, part of the contested Kashmir region will provisionally become a full province of Pakistan
Pakistan is looking to make Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan’s fifth province through a constitutional amendment.
- Pakistan has administered this region now called Gilgit-Baltistan since shortly after the country’s birth in 1947
- New Delhi asserts the mountainous territory bordering China and Afghanistan is an integral part of Kashmir.
- China is including a long stretch of the Karakoram Highway, a key component to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in its Belt and Road initiative.
- India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson has released an official statement that “Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its illegal occupation, cannot hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan-occupied territories.”
- Two of the three wars the rival neighbors have fought since independence was over Kashmir — home to shrinking Himalayan glaciers seen as vital lifelines to the water-stressed countries.
- Gilgit-Baltistan is among the other the disputed territories of India.
- It is a part of high-altitude territory located on the northwestern corner of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
- It is located strategically because it borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.
- The region was an area of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir but has been under Pakistan’s control since 4th November 1947, following the invasion of Kashmir by tribal militias and the Pakistan army.
- Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of J&K, had signed the Instrument of Accession with India on 26th October 1947.
- India moved to the UN Security Council to debate about the problem of Pakistan’s invasion on 1st January 1948.
- The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for Pakistan to withdraw from all of Jammu and Kashmir then India had to scale back its forces to the minimum level following which a plebiscite would be held to determine people’s wishes.
- However, no withdrawal was ever administered and it remains some extent of contention between the two countries.
- The Gilgit-Baltistan region is at the center of the USD 65 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor Infrastructure development plan.
RBI Data Localisation Norms
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has allowed Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp to start out its payments service within the country in a ‘graded’ manner.
- NPCI has given its nod to WhatsApp to offer payment services via the Unified Payments Interface.
- WhatsApp users can link their UPI-enabled bank accounts and transfer money through the messaging app.
- Unified Payments Interface or UPI is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI).
- It was introduced in April 2016 as a pilot project and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
As per the data- localization norms set by RBI:
- While there is no bar on the processing of payment transactions outside India, the Payment System Operators (PSOs) will have to ensure the data is stored only in India after the processing.
- In case the processing is completed abroad, the info should be deleted from the systems abroad and brought back to India not later than the one business day or 24 hours from payment processing, whichever is earlier. The same should be stored only in India.
- The data stored in India are often accessed for handling customer disputes, whenever required.
- The payment system data could also be shared with a foreign regulator if required, but with the approval of RBI.
- Some banks, especially foreign, that had been permitted to store the banking data abroad may still do so. However, in respect of domestic payment transactions, the information shall be stored only in India.
The data stored domestically must include:
- End-to-end transaction details and data associated with payment or settlement transactions collected or processed as a part of a payment.
- Information such as customer name, mobile number, email, Aadhaar number, PAN number.
- Payment sensitive data like customer and beneficiary account details; payment credentials like OTP, PIN, Passwords.
Need for guidelines:
- The payment systems in India have witnessed rapid advancements in innovation, eCommerce, and fintech.
- It is only natural to ensure that the guidelines, prescriptions, and regulations also advance in order to safeguard the interests of the customers, users, and the government.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 4th November 2020
President promulgates Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The new promulgation will come into effect from 23rd October 2015 retrospectively.
Objective- The promulgation will enable all the stakeholder parties to seek an unconditional halt or stay or temporary suspension of legal procedure upon the enforcement of arbitral awards where the arbitration agreement is done by fraud or corruption.
- Pesident exercised the powers conferred by the Clause 1 of Article 123 of the Indian Constitution for amending the Act.
- The amendment has been made in Section-36 (3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act from 23rd October 2015 retrospectively.
- Arbitration is an alternative of legal form dispute resolution involving the court.
- In an Arbitration two parties present arguments to an Arbitrator (a lawyer or a retired Judge) instead of taking their conflict directly to the court.
- The judgment made by the Arbitrator will be enforceable by the court.
The MoU between India, Spain to expand collaborations in astronomy was approved by the cabinet
On November 4th, 2020, The MoU was signed between:
- the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru and
- Spain’s Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and
- The GRANTECAN, S.A. (GTC)
To develop scientific and technical collaborations in the field of astronomy.
- The programs under this agreement are expected to lead to new scientific results, new technologies, and capacity building through increased scientific interaction and training and joint scientific projects.
- The joint training programs, research projects, conferences, seminars conducted under the MoU will be open to all qualified scientists, students, and technologists.
- Scientific merit and experience will be given importance in this regard.
The signing of the MoU between India, the UK to boost cooperation in the Telecommunication/ICTs field was approved by the cabinet.
MoU has been signed between :
- India’s Ministry of Communications, and
- the United Kingdom’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports
To extend and expand the cooperation in the Telecommunications/Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) sector.
- This will facilitate the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding between the two nations in the Telecommunications field.
- The agreement enhances the scope of cooperation and opportunities for India post-Brexit.
MoU between India, the UK in Medical Products Regulation field was approved by the Cabinet
The MoU was signed between India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), and the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA)
To extend the cooperation in the Medical Product Regulation
- This will facilitate in establishing a framework for cooperation and exchange of information between COSCO and UK MHRA
- The regulatory authorities will be helped in matters relating to Medical product regulation in line with their international responsibilities and facilitate a better understanding of the regulatory aspects between the two sides.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Israel on cooperation in Health and Medicine Field
The MoU covers several areas including
- The training and exchange of medical doctors, and other health professionals,
- Assistance in the development of human resources and
- Setting up of health care facilities.
- This will enable the exchange of information regarding the regulation of pharmaceutical, medical devices, and cosmetics and the sharing of expertise for vulnerability assessment for the health of citizens against climate risk
Good and Vigilant Governance Initiative launched
Recently, on the last day of the Vigilance Awareness Week 2020, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has launched new initiatives for good and vigilant governance
- On both the DARPG as well as on the MyGov platform “Ideas Box on Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic” has been made operationalized
- Best Practices in e-governance has been launched on Twitter.
- Discussions on “Satark Bharat, Samriddh Bharat” (Vigilant India, Prosperous India) were held.
Vigilance Awareness Week
- Observed by the Central Vigilance Commission every year during Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birthday week. (31st October).
- To affirm India’s commitment to the promotion of integrity and probity in public life through citizen participation
- To highlight the Government’s initiative to continue the crusade against corruption.
- The theme for 2020: Satark Bharat, Samriddh Bharat
DTH education channels will be available as DD co-branded channels
An MoU was signed between the Prasar Bharati and Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics on 4th November.
- All the 51 DTH education channels will be available as DD co-branded channels to all DD Fresh Dish viewers.
- They include Swayamprabha, E-Vidya for Class 1 to 12, DigiShala, Vande Gujarat, etc.
- They provide quality educational programs to rural and remote households. -
- These are free of cost for all the viewers 24/7.
- This will aid aims to provide “Education to all”.
Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds - SWAYAM
- It was launched in 2017 by MHA.
- It provides a platform and portal for online courses.
- It provides 32 high-quality education channels.
- It was mainly launched to make quality learning resources to remote areas where the internet is still a challenge.
- GSAT-15 satellite program for the telecast.
- TV channel launched by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
- Promote cashless transactions and digital payment ecosystem,
- It is managed by Door Darshan
- Made available through GSAT15.
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Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 3rd November 2020
Current Affairs-Indian Government and Politics-3rd November 2020
Indian Railways ties up with Indian School of Business
Indian Railways has tied up with Indian Scholl of Business, Hyderabad to improve its operational efficiency. It will be done by using digital tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics.
Date of Agreement- 3rd November 2020
- Indian School of Business will analyse the data related to the passengers, train operations, freight and assets provided by Indian Railways.
- Indian Railways will appoint Chief Technological Officers (CTOs) in the zonal headquarters to keep track of emerging technologies in analytics and AI to integrate them into the management system.
- An introductory capacity-building program on industrial practices of AI in rail transport will be launched by the Indian School of Business.
- A Centre of Excellence will also be established by the Indian School of Business under the agreement.
Nyay Kaushal E-resource Centre
Chief Justice of India has recently inaugurated the first-ever e-resource center and virtual court for traffic and transport to enable speedy justice for litigants, called ‘Nyay Kaushal’, at Nagpur.
Working from: Katol in Nagpur district.
Nyay Kaushal Centre
- This will facilitate the electronic filing of cases in the Supreme Court, High Courts, and district courts across the country.
- It is supposed to be a step at mitigating various inequalities
- It will provide the easiest way of filing court matters utilizing technology.
- It will save time, traveling long distances, and reduce costs.
- This virtual court can take up all traffic challan cases from every corner of Maharashtra online.
- The litigants can now pay the fine and get the traffic challan case disposed of with the click of a button on a smartphone or a computer.
- With the pandemic, access to justice became conditional on access to technology.
- This has ended up creating a divide between technical haves and have nots
- Our system of justice does not have to suffer from the virtual court, and the rule of law continues to be maintained.
Sri Lanka returns illegal waste to the U.K.
Following a two-year court battle, Sri Lanka has recently started shipping about 240 containers of hazardous waste, which includes body parts from mortuaries, back to Britain.
- The containers were shipped in 2017,
- These contained clinical waste, used cushions and mattresses, plant parts, plastic waste, and other hazardous and uncategorized waste.
- The waste was import did not without adhere to the terms of the BASEL Convention
- Wealthy western nations sometimes ship their waste to developing countries to reduce the cost incurred as it is cheap and helps to meet their recycling targets.
- Oftentimes, contaminated plastic and rubbish gets mixed with material meant for recycling, which eventually ends up in illegal processing centers.
- Previously, Cambodia, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia have also reported similar incidents.
- The responsible individuals could face a custodial sentence of up to two years, an unlimited fine, and the recovery of money and assets gained through the course of the illegal activity.
Additional Information :
- Basel Convention is an international treaty on the trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste.
- Rotterdam Convention is a treaty to promote shared responsibility and deals with the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 2nd November 2020
Fit India Walkathon
A 200-km walkathon flagged off by Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju aimed at promoting ”fit India” in Rajasthan.
Organized by: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
Will be held in December
Personnel from various paramilitary forces and state police forces will be a part of the initiative.
It shall conclude in the Thar desert on November 2.
The path goes through sand dunes in areas like Sakhirewala, Bhuttewala, and Katoch.
Crossing the Indira Gandhi canal will culminate in the walkathon.
- Senior Advocate argued about the discrepancies in the Central Vista Redevelopment Project process in a Supreme Court hearing.
The Central Vista
- It spreads over 3 km in the heart of New Delhi
- Runs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
- Large green spaces and significant structures such as Parliament, the Secretariat buildings, and the National Archives will surround the structure.
- All ministries will have a common Central secretariat
- The new Parliament is expected to be ready by March 2022.
- The new Central Vista has to be ready by November 2021 and the new common Central secretariat by March 2024.
- North and South Blocks and The Parliament House will not be demolished, but their usage may change.
Kevadia Tourism Circuit
Recently PM Modi inaugurated 17 tourism projects around the Statue of Unity (SoU), now called the Kevadia Tourism Circuit.
- Water Aerodrome at Kevadia and the seaplane service connecting Statue of Unity in Kevadia with Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad was inaugurated.
- This is to bring in last-mile connectivity.
Additional Information :
- Kevadia is a village in the tribal district Narmada.
- It is home to the Sardar Sarovar Dam reservoir on the Narmada river.
- Kevadia circuit covers 35 tourist spots which include the Valley of Flowers, Vishwa Van, Cactus Garden, Butterfly Garden.
Miscellaneous Current Affairs- 1st November 2020
New Directives Under National Cybercrime Reporting Portal
The Union Home Ministry has advised all States to examine and register FIRs based on the complaints received on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
- The conversion of complaints registered on the portal to FIR is only 2.5%.
- According to NCRB, the number of registered cybercrimes increased by 63.5% in the year 2019
- Home Ministry to raise awareness on this through the above-mentioned portal, by inviting Good Samaritans to register as Cybercrime Volunteers to flag “unlawful content” on the Internet for facilitating the agencies in noticing, reporting, and removal of illegal/unlawful online content.
Other Government initiatives to spread awareness about cybercrimes:
- Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre 4looks after issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
- National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for the safeguarding of critical information infrastructure in the country.
- CERT for providing digital services
- Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) for the detection of malicious programs.
- Crisis Management Plan for tackling cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism.
Indian Government and Politics
AYUSH Ministry signs an MoU with Invest India
Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Invest India for setting up a Strategic Policy Unit named as ‘Strategic Policy & Facilitation Centre (SPFB)’.
Date of Agreement- 1st November 2020
Significance- This will facilitate the planned and systematic growth of AYUSH Sector along with efficient Policymaking.
- Highly trained and expert resources will be deployed by Invest India for proper implementation and execution of plans of the Ministry of AYUSH across the states and among various sub-sectors.
- SPFB will be involved in knowledge creation and management, strategic policymaking and support, facilitation of investments through proper policies and criteria, and facilitation coordination with and among the state departments.
- Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency that focuses on the sector-specific investments and development of new partnerships in India.
- Invest India was set in 2009 under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade governed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Foundation stone laid for the development of Mansar Lake in Jammu
Foundation stone for Mansar Development Plan has been virtually laid by Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) virtually for the renovation and up-gradation of Mansar Lake Tourist Place on 1st November.
Name of the Project- Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation/ Development Plan
Venue- Mansar, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir
Foundation Stone laid by- Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.
- The plan has been launched to boost the socio-economic development of the region by attracting tourists from all over India and abroad.