General Knowledge & Current Affairs

October 2020 - 1st to 10th

1. China to send first-ever ‘asteroid mining robot’ into space

  • An IEEE Spectrum report, the Beijing-based company is set to send the world’s first mining robot named ‘asteroid mining robot’ into space by November 2020 to identify and extract resources
  • The mining robot will be launched into space by a Chinese Long March series rocket
  • The 30-gram spacecraft, NEO-1, is likely to be launched as a secondary payload on a Chinese Long March rocket
  • This company also has another mission, Yuanwang-1 (‘Look up-1’), nicknamed ‘Little Hubble’, which is to be launched by late 2021 or early 2022

2. Russia successfully test-fires Tsirkon hypersonic missile

  • Russia successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile in the Arctic
  • The Missile was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea, Russian Arctic
  • The missile covered a distance of 450 km with the maximum altitude of its trajectory at 28 km
  • The flight lasted 4.5 minutes and the missile reached a hypersonic speed of over Mach 8
  • The Missile is a scramjet-powered manoeuvring anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile

1. Kiren Rijiju launches new logo of Sports Authority of India

  • The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju has launched the new logo of Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) on 30 September 2020 at Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand Stadium
  • The new logo of SAI features a flying figure which indicates the freedom an athlete to leapfrog his/her career in SAI
  • The figure features Indian Tricolour and blue colour of the chakra
  • The logo signifies SAI’s journey of metamorphosis from identifying and nurturing grassroots level sporting talent to creating sporting excellence in the country

2. Smriti Irani launches first ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton

  • Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani has launched the first-ever Brand and Logo for Indian Cotton on Second World Cotton Day through video conferencing
  • Now India’s premium cotton would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade
  • The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness

1. Meghalaya Govt partners with Israel to set up ‘Centre of Excellence’

  • Meghalaya government has entered into a partnership with Israel to establish a one of a kind Centre of Excellence(CoE) on high-value vegetables in the state to improve and promote the livelihoods of farmers
  • CoE is important for tapping the diverse biodiversity and available resources in the state in terms of its soil and agro-climatic condition

2. Gujarat govt signs MoU with Denmark in water sector

  • Gujarat Government has signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Denmark in the water sector
  • The state government arm Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board has signed the MoU with ‘Danish Water Forum’ through an online interactive platform
  • This MoU will help in technology exchange, training, capacity building, knowledge exchange, cooperation in water supply, wastewater treatment- reuse and water management between the two organizations
  • MoU has been signed for a five-year period in order to set up the Indo-Danish Water Technology Alliance in Gujarat and contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal -6

3. UP government signs agreement with Zurich Airport for Jewar Airport

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has signed a concession agreement with representatives of Zurich Airport International for designing, building and operating Noida International Airport at Jewar for a period of 40 years
  • The airport will be developed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and is scheduled to open in 2024
  • The ˜concession agreement’ for the Greenfield airport, estimated to cost Rs 29,560 crores, was inked between the Uttar Pradesh government’s agency and the Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a special purpose vehicle floated by the Zurich Airport for the project

1. GoI appoints three new economists as RBI’s MPC members

  • The Government of India has appointed three new economists as members of the six-member rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The government had formed a committee for selection of these three new members of MPC
  • This search-cum-selection committee for MPC was headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj

2. RBI’s 3rd Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2020-21 Released

  • The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India met on 7th, 8th and 9th October for its third meeting of 2020-21
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das has announced crucial policy decisions at the Bank’s 3rd bi-monthly monetary policy

1. NASA launched SS Kalpana Chawla Cargo Spacecraft to ISS

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft named “SS Kalpana Chawla” after its astronaut  Kalpana Chawla
  • The spacecraft was launched on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, United States (US) to deliver nearly 8,000 pounds of scientific investigations, technology demonstrations, commercial products, and other cargo to the International Space Station

2. C-DAC to commission India’s fastest Supercomputer ‘PARAM Siddhi AI’

  • 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
  • The initiative was headed by Abhishek Das, Scientist and Program Director (HPC-AI Infrastructure Development) at C-DAC, who conceived the idea and designed the architecture for the largest HPC-AI infrastructure in India

1. Alyssa Healy breaks MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping record in T20Is.

  • Australian woman cricketer and wicketkeeper, Alyssa Healy broke the record of “Most Dismissal by Wicket Keeper” by MS Dhoni’s who made 91 dismissals in 98 T20 Internationals(T20Is) for India
  • Healy has played 114 T20Is for Australia and broke the record with 92 dismissals in the shortest format of the game during the match against New Zealand in the 2nd T20I of the three-match series at Allan Border Field at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

2. Visnu Shivaraj Pandian wins International Online Shooting Championship

  • India’s Visnu Shivaraj Pandian has won the 10m air rifle event at the fifth edition of the International Online Shooting Championship
  • The 16-year-old Visnu shot 251.4 to win the title by a clear margin of two points
  • The world No. 27 Etienne Germond of France came second followed by Martin Strempfl of Austria at third place

1. Veteran Social activist Pushpa Bhave passes away

  • Veteran social activist, Prof Pushpa Bhave, also known as the Iron Lady of Mumbai, has passed away
  • She has been associated with the Rashtra Seva Dal and democratic movements since her student days
  • She was also an academician and an intellectual, who fought for the rights of common citizens
  • She had taken part in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement

2. Nobel Prize winner scientist Mario Molina passes away

  • Mario J Molina, the only Mexican scientist to receive the Nobel Prize, passed away. He was born on 19th March 1943 in Mexico City, Mexico
  • He shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States(US) and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their 1970 research on the damage to the Ozone layer

1. IACC presents lifetime achievement award to Ratan Tata.

  • The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) has presented the lifetime achievement award to business icon Ratan Tata for his pioneering role in the Business Relations of India-USA and for his lifetime achievement in Global Leadership.
  • This award was announced in the virtual event of IACC “COVID Crusader Award-2020”. This is the 1st time IACC conferred the Lifetime Achievement award to any individual.

2. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 announced.

  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter(America), Charles M. Rice (America) and Michael Houghton (Britain) for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.
  • This year’s Nobel Prize is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world.
  • The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.

3. Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 announced.

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 is awarded to the American poet Louise Gluck “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.
  • She made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature
  • She has received several prestigious awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize (1993) and the National Book Award (2014).

4. Nobel Prize in Peace 2020 announced

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP).
  • The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security
  • In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger

1. Famous chilli of Sikkim “Dalle Khursani” gets GI Tag.

  • The red cherry pepper chilli of Sikkim which is locally known as the “Dalle Khursani” has earned the geographical indication (GI) tag from the Union department of Industry promotion and internal trade.
  • Notably, it is considered as one of the hottest chillies in the world.
  • Dalle Khursani fetches as much as Rs 480 per kg in the local market today. Dalle Khursani has been included in the GI Registry of the Government of India on the basis of an application filed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (Neramac) on behalf of Sikkim.
  • It is to be mentioned that the largest manufacturer of Dalle Khursani products is the state government-owned Sikkim Supreme.

2. Puducherry airport becomes AAI’s first 100% solar-powered airport.

  • The Puducherry airport has become the first airport of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which is entirely solar-powered.
  • The 500KWp ground-mounted solar power plant was commissioned on 2nd October 2020.
  • The approx cost of the plant is Rs 2.8 crore. With becoming absolutely power-neutral, the Puducherry airport will be able to meet its entire power requirement through the solar power plant.

3.Amnesty International halts operations in India.

  • The Amnesty International India has stopped its operations in the country, after the government of India froze the bank accounts of the organization. on September 10, for allegedly breaking rules on foreign funding laws.
  • The organization has laid off more than 100 staff members and ceased its human rights campaigns and research work in India.
  • As per the Government of India, Amnesty International has been receiving foreign funds, which the government has prohibited under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) 2010..

1. World Cotton Day: 07 October

  • World Cotton Day (WCD) is observed globally on 7th October since 2019.
  • The international day aims to celebrate the advantages of cotton, ranging from its qualities as a natural fiber to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade, and consumption.

2. World Mental Health Day: 10 October.

  • World Mental Health Day is observed globally on 10th October every year.
  • The day is celebrated with an objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing the efforts in support of mental health.
  • World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health.
  • This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘mental health for all’.

1. SBI appoints Charanjit Attra as CFO.

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has appointed Charanjit Singh Attra as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect from 01 October 2020.
  • The post was lying vacant after the former Deputy MD & CFO Prashant Kumar, was appointed as the CEO of Yes Bank in March 2020
  • C Venkat Nageshwar was serving the post on interim capacity.
  • Attra is a former Partner at global consulting firm EY India and had also served as the CFO at the ICICI Securities.

2. Dinesh Kumar Khara becomes new Chairman of SBI.

  • The government of India has appointed Dinesh Kumar Khara as the new Chairman of State Bank of India for a period of three years. His appointment is effective from October 7.
  • Currently, Khara is the Managing Director in-charge of Global Banking & Subsidiaries.
  • The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) had recommended Khara for the post of Chairman of SBI on August 28, ruling out an extension to Rajnish Kumar, whose term is ending on October 6.

3. IPS officer MA Ganapathy appointed DG of BCAS.

  • Senior IPS officer, M A Ganapathy has been appointed as the Director-General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). He is a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre.
  • The post of BCAS chief fell vacant after Rakesh Asthana was appointed as the Director-General of Border Security Force in August.

1.12th BRICS Summit to be held on 17 November virtually.

  • The 12th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held on 17th November 2020 via video conference
  • This is the first time in the history of the forum that the meeting will be held virtually, due to the global COVID pandemic
  • The Summit is being held under the Chairmanship of Russia
  • The BRICS Summit will focus on further strengthening cooperation among the member states amid the Covid-19 crisis
  • The theme of the Meeting of the Leaders of BRICS countries is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
  • During 2020, the five countries in the grouping continued their close strategic partnership on three major pillars: peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges

2. Quad Countries’ Foreign Minister Meet held in Tokyo

  • Quad Countries’ Foreign Minister meet held in Tokyo, Japan. All four Quad countries the United States, Japan, India and Australia to hold bilateral discussions over the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) initiative amid coronavirus pandemic
  • This is the second Quad FM meeting. The first was held in 2019
  • The Quad FM meeting was represented by External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi
  • They discussed the post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic

1. World Bank expects India’s GDP to contract by 9.6% in FY-21

  • The World Bank projected India’s GDP to contract by 9.6% this FY-21, which is reflective of the national lockdown and the income shock experienced by households and firms due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The World Bank earlier in June had estimated the Indian economy to shrink by 3.2% in the current fiscal
  • The World Bank recently released its report titled ‘South Asia Economic Focus’, noting that the country’s economic situation is much worse than ever seen before
  • The report also forecasted a sharper than expected economic slump across the South Asian region, with regional growth expected to contract by 7.7% in 2020, after topping 6% annually in the past five years. Regional growth is projected to rebound to 4.5% in 2021


1. MoHUA signs MoU with Swiggy to take street food vendors online

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has entered into an MoU with “Swiggy”, one of the leading food delivery platforms, to onboard street food vendors on its e-commerce platform
  • The MoU aims at giving the street food vendors online access to thousands of consumers and help them grow their businesses
  • The arrangement has been facilitated under the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme

2. NCERT books to be converted into Indian Sign Language

  • According to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center (ISLRTC) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to make educational materials accessible for hearing impaired children.
  • It is a historic decision for people with difficulties in speaking or hearing and will empower differently-abled persons

3. Amazon India ties up with IRCTC to start online train ticket bookings

  • Amazon India has partnered with ‘Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’ (IRCTC), to provide its customers with the facility to book reserved train tickets on Amazon
  • With this launch, the e-commerce company’s digital payments arm Amazon Pay adds another travel category, thereby offering its customers a one-stop-shop for booking flights, bus and train tickets

1. Vodafone Idea rebrands itself as ‘Vi’.

  • Vodafone Idea has announced its new unified brand identity by renaming all its products under a new name and logo “Vi”.
  • The Beleaguered telecom operator, announced the rebranding of the company through a virtual platform.
  • The integration into one brand is believed to be the company’s efforts to reduce the cost of maintaining two brands.
  • The rebranding also comes at a time when Vodafone Idea has seen its user base falling from 408 million at the time of the merger to 280 million at the end of June 2020.
  • With Vodafone focusing on premium urban brand, Idea has been a mass rural-focused brand. Following the merger, the urban-rural appeal of the two brands took a hit.
  • VI is built to be strong, ever-dependable, agile, intuitive and a brand in tune with the needs of the customers in these ever-changing times. It is designed to help customers move ahead in life, for a better today and a brighter tomorrow.

1. DRDO successfully flight tests “Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo”.

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested the “Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo” (SMART) from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • All the mission objectives including missile flight up to the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, the release of the Torpedo, and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) have been met perfectly.
  • SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations for far beyond torpedo range. The technologies required for SMART have been developed by a number of DRDO laboratories, including DRDL, RCI Hyderabad, ADRDE Agra, NSTL Visakhapatnam.

2. DRDO successfully test-fires anti-radiation missile “Rudram”.

  • The DRDO has successfully flight-tested a new generation Anti-Radiation Missile (RUDRAM-1) at the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • The missile was launched from SU-30 Mk1 fighter aircraft.
  • The missile, having a speed of Mach two or twice the speed of sound, is capable of bringing down a wide-range of enemy radar systems, communication networks, and air defense systems within a range of up to 250 kilometers.
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