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Current Affairs 17 November 2020

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 17 November 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar in UP Added to Ramsar sitesLonar-lake-in-Maharashtra-and-Keetham-lake-in-UP-added-to-Ramsar-sites

i.On November 15, 2020 Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced that Sur Sarovar also known as Keetham Lake in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and Lonar Lake in Maharashtra,  the only crater lake of Country has been added to the ‘Ramsar Sites’.
ii.These 2 wetlands have been included in the ‘List of Wetlands of International Importance’ established by Article 2.1 of the convention.
iii.With the inclusion of these 2 wetlands, the total number of Ramsar Sites in India is 41, the highest in South Asia.
<<Read Full News>>

MNRE expands scope of PM-KUSUM Scheme to enable greater solar energy generation in farm sectorMNRE-expands-scope-of-PM-KUSUM-Scheme-to-enable-greater-solar-energy-generation-in-farm-sector

On November 13, 2020, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has amended Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) scheme based on learnings from implementation of the scheme during the first year (2019-2020). It has been amended to encourage greater solar energy generation in the farm sector.
PM-KUSUM Scheme:
i.MNRE launched the PM KUSUM Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in India. 
ii.It was also approved with an objective of providing financial and water security.
About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
Minister of State (MoS), (Independent Charge) – Raj Kumar Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

MoHFW Launches 3-Month accelerated SAANS Campaign to Reduce Childhood Pneumonia DeathsMoHFW-launches-three-month-scheme-to-reduce-childhood-pneumonia-deaths

i.On November 12, 2020 The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched a 3 month accelerated SAANS (Social Action and Awareness to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully) campaign to reduce childhood pneumonia deaths.
ii.The scheme focuses to raise awareness regarding childhood pneumonia and its early intervention, enabling the caregivers across the country to identify critical symptoms at early stages and immediate care-seeking with qualified providers.
iii.Target of the Initiative– To reduce less than 5 pneumonia deaths, per a 1000 live births, to less than 3 deaths by 2025 through the accelerated SAANS (Social Action and Awareness to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully) initiative.
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan(Constituency- Chandni Chowk,New Delhi)
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey
<<Read Full News>>

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

15 Asia-Pacific Nations sign World’s Biggest Free Trade Pact ‘RCEP’ in 37th ASEAN virtual Summit 2020 hosted by Vietnam; India keeps out15-Asia-Pacific-nations-including-China,-sign-world’s-biggest-trade-pact-India-keeps-out

On 15th November, 2020, 15 Asia-Pacific countries including 10 members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and their 5  Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia signed the World’s largest regional free-trade agreement “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – RCEP” on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN virtual Summit 2020 hosted by Vietnam. India had pulled out of RCEP in 2019 over concerns on Imports.
Members who have signed the RCEP pact  account for 2.2 Billion People with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 26.2 Trillion.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – RCEP:
i.RCEP is an agreement between member states of ASEAN and its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners.
ii.It aims to create an integrated market with 15 countries, making it easier for products and services of each of the signatory countries to be available across the region.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
Chairman (2020) – Vietnam
Secretary General – Dato Lim Jock Hoi (Brunei) 
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia
<<Read Full News>>

Russia Chaired the 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting Virtually 8th-BRICS-STI-Ministerial-Meeting-held-Virtually

i.On 13th November 2020, the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education organised the virtual meeting of the 8th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting. The S&T cooperation among the member countries was discussed in the meeting.
ii.The BRICS STI Declaration 2020 was unanimously adopted at the meeting. The Russian Federation is the chair of the 12th BRICS Summit.
iii.Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare represented India in the virtual STI Ministerial meeting.
iv.The theme of Russian Presidency (2020) is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
About BRICS:
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Chairmanship (2020)– Russia (India will assume the Chairmanship of BRICS in 2021)
<<Read Full News>>

Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam chaired the 15th East Asia Summit 2020; EAM S. Jaishankar represented India15th-east-asia-summit-chaired-by-the-Prime-Minister-of-Vietnam-H.E

On November 14, 2020, External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar represented India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) 2020 held virtually Under Viet Nam’s 2020 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Chairmanship. It was chaired by Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc in his capacity as ASEAN Chair.
The 15th EAS summit was held on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit.
Member States of East Asia Summit (EAS):
The members are India, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.
About Ministry of External Affairs:
Union Minister– Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar(Elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat)
Minister of State– V. Muraleedharan
About Vietnam:
Capital – Hanoi
Currency – Vietnamese Dong
Prime MinisterNguyen Xuan Phuc 
<<Read Full News>>

nOPV2 vaccine for Polio becomes the 1st Ever Vaccine to be listed under WHO’s EULWHO-Approves-Indonesian-Polio-Vaccine-for-Emergency-Use

The World Health Organization (WHO) listed nOPV2 (novel Oral Polio Taccine type 2) Polio vaccine produced by Indonesia’s Bio Farma PT for Emergency Use Listing (EUL), this is the first approval by WHO of its kind amidst several outbreaks in several parts of the world. 
i.The nOPV2 vaccine is aimed at containing outbreaks of circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus (cVDPVs)  in African Countries, Meditarranean countries as well as Western Pacific and Southeast Asian Region. 
ii.VDPVs are caused by the virus strains used in the polio vaccines regaining their ability to cause polio.
Emergency Use Listing (EUL):
The main objective behind EUL is to make the medicines, vaccines and diagnostics available faster to address the emergency (Public Health Emergency of International Concern).
About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

SBM Bank India Partnered with PayNearby to Launch a Neo Banking PlatformSBM-Bank-India-set-to-launch-a-neo-banking-platform

i.SBM Bank (India) Limited (SBM Bank India), the wholly-owned subsidiary of State Bank of Mauritius has partnered with Fintech PayNearby to launch a neo banking platform.
ii.The bank is also looking at collaborative banking in other segments and where companies may have access to a large number of customers but does not have a banking license.
About SBM Bank (India) Limited (SBM Bank India):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director(MD) and Chief executive Officer(CEO)– Sidharth Rath
Commenced Operations– 1st December 2018
About Nearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd
PayNearby belongs to Nearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founder, MD& CEO– Anand Kumar Bajaj
<<Read Full News>>

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Stashfin Partners with Visa to Launch Co-branded Prepaid Cards with Credit LinesStashfin partners Visa to launch co-branded cards with credit lines

i.On November 16, 2020 Stashfin has partnered with Visa to launch co-branded prepaid cards with credit lines. The credit line card can be used at physical merchant locations and ATMs(Automated Teller Machines) as well as in Visa-accepted  online modes.
ii.Targeted Customer– Millennials who are just beginning their careers or are still in the early stages and prefer not to deal with hindrances of borrowing from a traditional banking institution.
iii.The pay as you go card act as a personal overdraft facility, that allows customers to take loans with amounts ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 3 lakh, depending on their credit profile.
About Stashfin:
Founder and CEO– Tushar Aggarwal
HeadQuarters– New Delhi, India
About Visa
Headquarters– California, United States
Chairman and CEO– Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.
<<Read Full News>>

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh Won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2020 for his work to Combat CyberbullyingBangladeshi-teen-wins-children's-peace-prize-for-anti-cyberbullying-app

i.On November 13, 2020 17 year old Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2020 for his involvement in setting up his social organization and creating  mobile application ‘Cyber Teens’ to end cyberbullying.
ii.Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai presented the award to Sadat Rahman, during a ceremony in the Netherlands.
About KidsRights Foundation:
HeadQuarters– Lijnden, Netherlands
Founder & Chairman– Marc Dullaert
<<Read Full News>>

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO successfully test-fires Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile System at Chandipur, OdishaDRDO-successfully-test-fires-Quick-Reaction-Surface-to-Air-Missile-system

On November 13, 2020, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) System at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha. The missile successfully hit its target during the test.
i.QRSAM has been designed to protect moving armoured vehicles from aerial attacks.
ii.It has a range of 25 to 30 Kms. It is an indigenous Missile System developed by DRDO in association with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
iii.QRSAM is set to be inducted into the Indian army by 2021
<<Read Full News>>

ENVIRONMENT

Researchers from IISc & CES discover 5 new species of Vine SnakesIISc researchers discover 5 new species of vine snakes

On November 13, 2020, Researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) discovered five new species of vine snakes of which four species are from Western Ghat alone and one was discovered from lower and drier part of peninsular India.
i.The research team was headed by Ashok Kumar Mallik.Achyuthan N Srikanthan, Saunak P Pal, Princia Margaret D’Souza, Kartik Shanker and Sumaithangi Rajagopalan Ganesh were the members of the research team.
ii.It has been published in the journal Zootaxa, carried out in collaboration with researcher’s S R Ganesh from Chennai Snake Park, Saunak Pal from Bombay Natural History Society and Princia D’Souza from IISc.
iii.The researchers carried out studies collecting morphological data, tissue samples and specimens to understand the patterns of distribution and diversification of species.
iv.The team discovered that the common green vine snake (Ahaetulla Nasuta) was a complex of several species.
v.The team has delineated the Travancore vine snake (Ahaetulla Travancorica), separated by morphology and a geographic barrier from Gunther’s vine snake (Ahaetulla dispar). There are now six species of vine snakes’ endemic to the Western Ghats.
vi.Long-nosed vine snake (Ahaetulla oxyrhyncha) was the only species to be discovered from drier and lower parts of Peninsular India.

Name of the Species Scientific Name Reference for the Name
Northern Western Ghats Vine Snake Ahaetulla borealis Named based on region from where they have been discovered
Farnsworth Vine Snake Ahaetulla farnsworthi Named after mad scientist Dr Hubert Farnsworth from Futurama (a popular animated television series)
Malabar Vine Snake Ahaetula Malabarica Named based on region from where they have been discovered
Wall’s Vine Snake Ahaetulla isabellina Named based on region from where they have been discovered
Long-nosed vine snake Ahaetulla oxyrhyncha Named based on region from where they have been discovered

(Peninsular India)

SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020;Secures Record Equalling 7th Driver’s Championship Title Turkish Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton takes seventh Formula One title in style

On November 15, 2020 British Driver Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) won the Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020 held at Intercity Istanbul Park, Turkey.  With this victory, Lewis Hamilton clinched the 2020 Driver’s Championship Title and secured his 7th F1 World Driver’s Championship, equalling Michael Schumacher’s (Germany) World Record of 7 Titles.
The Championships are organized by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Key Points:
i.Mexico’s Sergio Perez (Racing Point-BWT Mercedes) finished Second, while Germany’s Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) finished Third in the race.
ii.With this win Hamilton holds the following records: most pole positions (97), most podium finishes (163) and most consecutive points finishes (47).
iii.Lewis has taken the 2020 Driver’s Championship Title with three more races remaining.
iv.Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship consecutively since 2017, Germany’s Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) won the F1 Drivers’ Championship in 2016.
Note: –
Lewis Hamilton’s Driving team Mercedes had won the 7th successive Formula One Constructors title following Hamilton’s win at 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on November 1, 2020.
Lewis Hamilton:
i.Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is now the most successful driver of all time with 7 F1 Championships (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).
ii.Hamilton equalled Schumacher’s record of 91 wins with a victory at Eifel Grand Prix 2020 on October 12, 2020.
About Turkey:
President – Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Capital – Ankara
Currency – Turkish Lira (TRY)

OBITUARY

Legendary Bengali Actor and Padma Bhushan Awardee Soumitra Chatterjee Passed Away at 85Actor Soumitra Chatterjee passes away at 85

On 15th November 2020, Soumitra Chatterjee, veteran Bengali actor and Padma Bhushan awardee passed away at the age of 85 in a private hospital at Kolkata, West Bengal. He died due to COVID-19. He was born on 19th January, 1935 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency (British India).
About  Soumitra Chatterjee:
i.Soumitra Chatterjee debuted as an actor in the film “Apur Sansar” (3rd part of Apu Trilogy) directed by  Satyajit Ray in 1959.
ii.He worked with Satyajit Ray in 14 films including Abhijan, Charulata, Kapurush, Aranyer Din Ratri and Sonar Kella.
iii.He also worked with Bengali directors like Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha and contemporary filmmakers like Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen, Anjan Das and Rituparno Ghosh among others.
Awards:
i.Soumitra Chatterjee received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Academy for the performing arts, government of India.
ii.He became the first Indian film personality to receive the Officier des Arts et Métiers, the highest award for arts given by the French government in 1999 and he also received a lifetime achievement award from Italy.
iii.Soumitra Chatterjee received the Padma Bhushan for arts in 2004(he turned down the Padma Shri award in 1970’s).
iv.He received the 2011 Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his lifetime contribution to the film industry in 2012.
v.In 2018, French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler presented the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award, to Chatterjee.
vi.He received the National Film awards for Podokkhep(2006), Dekha(2000)  and Antardhan(1991).

“Paatal Lok” Actor Asif Basra Passed Away at 53Noted actor Asif Basra found dead

On 12th November 2020, the 53-year-old actor Asif Basra, committed suicide and found dead in a private complex in Mcleodganj, Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh. He was well known for his role as a senior executive in “Paatal Lok” series. He was born on 27th July 1967 in Maharashtra.
About Asif Basra:
i.He started his career in the film industry with Woh in 1998.
ii.He last appeared in the 2nd season of Disney+ Hotstar series “Hostages”.
iii.He starred in the films like, Jab We Met, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Krrish 3, Ek Villain, Black Friday and Parzania etc.
iv.He made appearances in Michael O. Sajbeland’s One Night with the King, as well as Quicksand and Outsourced.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Diabetes Day 2020 – November 14World Diabetes Day

i.United Nations(UN)’s World Diabetes Day is annually observed across the globe on 14th November to recognise the need to undertake multilateral efforts to promote and improve the health of the humans and to provide access to treatment and healthcare education.
ii.The theme of the World Diabetes Day 2020 is “The Nurse and Diabetes”, which focuses on the vital role of the nurses in supporting the lives of the diabetic patients.
iii.As a part of the World Diabetes day, WHO has announced the Global Diabetes Compact, a comprehensive and inclusive approach to support the member nations to implement programmes to prevent and manage diabetes.
About International Diabetes Foundation (IDF):
President- Prof Andrew Boulton (United Kingdom)
Headquarters– Brussels, Belgium
<<Read Full News>>

Children’s Day in India 2020: November 14 Children's Day in India

i.Children’s Day in India, also known as ‘Bal Diwas’ is celebrated annually across India on November 14 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who is fondly called ‘Chacha Nehru’(Uncle Nehru) by childrens.
ii.This year(2020) marks the 131st birth anniversary of Chacha Nehru.
iii.Aim of the day- To increase the  awareness of the rights, care and education of children.
<<Read Full News>>

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020 – November 15World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

i.United Nations (UN)’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims(WDoR) is annually observed across the globe on the third Sunday of November. The day provides an opportunity to remember the victims who were killed or injured in road accidents.
The day aims to spread awareness for the global efforts to reduce the casualties of road accidents.
ii.The WDoR 2020 falls on 15th November 2020.
iii.According to the World Health Organisation(WHO)’s regional office for Europe the theme of the 2020 WDoR is “First Responders”, with a focus to recognise the men and women who rescue and support the victims of road trauma.
iv.The 2020 WDoR marks the 25th anniversary of the WDoR observation and the 15th anniversary of the World Day being adopted by the UN.
About United Nations:
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, United States
<<Read Full News>>

International Day for Tolerance 2020 – November 16International Day for Tolerance

i.The United Nations(UN)’s International Day for Tolerance is annually observed across the globe on 16th November with a goal to get the educational institutes and general public to see tolerance as a crucial element of the society.
ii.Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) from the Democratic Republic in Congo received the 2020 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for its efforts to defend human rights and its commitment to rescue the child soldiers from militia groups and rehabilitation and reintegration into their home communities.
iii.UNESCO in partnership with New Delhi Office, released an illustrative book titled A Day With Gandhi authored by Aarya Chavda to pay tribute to the values of peace, non-violence and equality.
About UNESCO:
UNESCO-  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
<<Read Full News>>

National Press Day 2020: November 16National Press Day

i.National Press Day is celebrated annually on November 16 across India to commemorate the establishment of the Press Council of India(PCI) in 1966. 
ii.The day aims to raise public awareness of the role of a free, pluralistic and independent news media in the development of the democratic society. The day is the symbol of a free and responsible press in India.
Press Council of India:
Current Chairman– Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad(appointed for a 2nd term, succeeds Justice Markandey Katju)
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
<<Read Full News>>

AC GAZE

SpaceX launches 4 astronauts into space

On 15th November, 2020, SpaceX launched Four Astronauts (3 Americans, 1 Japanese) to the International Space Station on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) by a private company. They were launched by Falcon Rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. The capsule has been named as “Resilience”.  The crew was led by Commander Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover (First Black Astronaut on a long-term space station) mission and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi (First person in 40 years to launch on three types of spacecraft).

CSIR-CDRI Scientist Dr Susanta Kar Honoured with Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award-2020

Dr Susanta Kar, Senior Scientist, Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh was honoured with “Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award 2020” by Society of Biological Chemists(India) or SBC(I), Bengaluru for his contribution towards defining the survival tactics of Leishmania donovani. Leishmania donovani is a protozoan parasite that infects the macrophages and the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (Kala Azar).

One Rank One Pension Scheme completes five years

The year 2020 marked the Fifth Anniversary of the Government’s decision to implement ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) for Defence Forces Personnel, the decision to implement OROP was taken in November, 2015. OROP is aimed at ensuring uniform pensions for veterans retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of when they retire. According to the Government, over INR 10, 795.4 Crore has been distributed among 20.60 Lakh ex-servicemen and their family pensioners as arrears with a yearly recurring expenditure of about INR 7, 123.338 Crore.

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S.no Current Affairs 17 November 2020
1 Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar in UP Added to Ramsar sites
2 MNRE expands scope of PM-KUSUM Scheme to enable greater solar energy generation in farm sector
3 MoHFW Launches 3-Month Campaign to Reduce Childhood Pneumonia Deaths
4 15 Asia-Pacific Nations sign World’s Biggest Free Trade Pact ‘RCEP’; India keeps out
5 Russia Chaired the 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting Virtually
6 EAM Jaishankar represents India at the 15th East Asia Summit held virtually
7 nOPV2 vaccine for Polio becomes the 1st Ever Vaccine to be listed under WHO Emergency use
8 SBM Bank India Partnered with PayNearby to Launch a Neo Banking Platform
9 Stashfin Partners with Visa to Launch Co-branded Prepaid Cards with Credit Lines
10 Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh Won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2020 for his work to Combat Cyberbullying
11 DRDO successfully test-fires Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile System at Chandipur, Odisha
12 Researchers from IISc discover 5 new species of Vine Snakes
13 Lewis Hamilton wins F1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020;Wins Record Equalling 7th Driver’s Championship Title
14 Legendary Bengali Actor and Padma Bhushan Awardee Soumitra Chatterjee Passed Away at 85
15 “Paatal Lok” Actor Asif Basra Passed Away at 53
16 World Diabetes Day 2020 – November 14
17 Children’s Day in India 2020: November 14
18 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020 – November 15
19 International Day for Tolerance 2020 – November 16
20 National Press Day 2020: November 16
21 SpaceX launches 4 astronauts into space
22 CSIR-CDRI Scientist Dr Susanta Kar Honoured with Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award-2020
23 One Rank One Pension Scheme completes five years