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Current Affairs 23 October 2020

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 23 October 2020, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2020 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 23 October 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

14 States reported reduction in prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH): MoHFW14 States report reduction in prevalence of parasitic intestinal worm infection

i.In accordance with the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare (MoHFW) Fourteen states have reported a reduction in parasitic intestinal worm infection or Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH) which has a harmful effect on children’s physical growth and can cause anaemia and under-nutrition.
ii.This feat has been achieved due to the regular deworming through Albendazole tablet as advised and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents (1-19 years) living in areas with high STH burden. It is a part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes globally. 
iii.Notably, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh (HP), Meghalaya, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have shown substantial reduction in worm prevalence.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister– Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Constituency- Chandni Chowk, Delhi)
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey
<<Read Full News>>

Cabinet approvals on October 21, 2020Cabinet approvals on October 21, 2020

i.On October 21, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following proposals which were detailed by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Keshav Javadekar during a press conference.

  • Cabinet approved Productivity Linked Bonus and non-Productivity Linked Bonus for 2019-2020
  • Cabinet approved extension of Market Intervention Scheme for procurement of apples in J&K  for 2020-21
  • Union Cabinet approved adoption of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act

About National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation ltd. (NAFED)
Managing Director (MD)– Sanjeev Kumar Chadha
Headquarter– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on October 21, 2020 Cabinet approvals with foreign countries

i.On October 21, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following proposals which were detailed by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Keshav Javadekar during a press conference.

  • Cabinet approves MoU between ICAI, India and CPA, Papua New Guinea
  • Cabinet approves Mutual Recognition Agreement between ICAI, India and MICPA, Malaysia
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Nigeria on Cooperation in the Exploration and uses of outer space 

About Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
It is a statutory body established under “The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949” to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountants in India.
President– CA. Atul Kumar Gupta
Headquarter– New Delhi
About Malaysia:
Capital– Kuala Lumpur
Currency– Malaysian ringgit
Prime Minister– Muhyiddin Yassin
<<Read Full News>>

AAI plans to develop 100 Airports, Waterdromes, Heliports under UDAN Scheme by 2024Airports Authority plans to develop 100 airports, waterdromes, heliports under UDAN by 2024

Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to develop at least 100 Airports, Waterdromes, and Heliports by 2024 under UDAN (“Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik”)-Regional Air Connectivity Scheme. 
i.The Fourth Anniversary of the UDAN Scheme was observed on 21st October, 2020.
ii.A video conference was organized to commemorate the anniversary, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Civil Aviation Secretary, Arvind Singh, Chairman of AAI participated in the virtual conference. 
About Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA):
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri 
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

Third Phase of National Supercomputing Mission to commence from January, 2021Third phase of National Supercomputing Mission to start in Jan next year

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), under the Ministry of Science and Technology has stated that the Third Phase of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) will commence from January, 2021. This phase will take the computing speed to 45 Petaflops (PF)
The works on Phase Three will include Three systems of 3 PF each and one system of 20 PF as a national facility. 
About Ministry of Science and Technology:
Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan
Departments under the ministry– Department of Science & Technology(DST), Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Department of Scientific & Industrial Research(DSIR)
<<Read Full News>>

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

 Andorra Joins International Monetary Fund as 190th MemberAndorra becomes IMF's 190th member as coronavirus pandemic hits tourist entries

On October 16, 2020, Andorra formally joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as 190th Member as Ambassador of Andorra, Elisenda Vives Balmana signed IMF’s Articles of Agreement at IMF Headquarters in Washington D.C., USA (United States of America). 
Andorra had applied for membership to the IMF in January 2020. 
Key Points:
i.Andorra’s Initial Quota in the IMF is SDR (Special Drawing Right) 82.5 Million or About USD 116.4 Million.
ii.The Initial Quota will determine its capital subscription, voting power, access to IMF financing, and allocation of SDRs.
iii.The membership will allow Andorra to benefit from IMF policy advice, get Annual Review or “health check” of its economy by IMF and access to IMF lending if needed.
Principality of Andorra:
i.Andorra is the Sixth Smallest Nation in Europe, and the Largest MicroState in Europe.
ii.Trade, Tourism and Banking are the main industries in Andorra. 
iii.According to the IMF, Trade and Tourism comprise close to 40% of Andorra’s economic output. 
iv.According to World Bank Data, Andorra had a population of 77, 142 in 2019 and a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) output of USD 3.15 Billion, qualifying it as a “High-Income” Country. 
About Principality of Andorra:
Prime Minister – Xavier Espot Zamora
Capital – Andorra la Vella 
Currency – Euro (It is not a member of European Union)
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

Dr Harsh Vardhan Virtually Addressed World Bank- IMF annual meeting 2020Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually addresses World Bank- IMF annual meeting 2020

i.On October 21, 2020, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually addressed the World Bank (WB)- IMF (International Monetary Fund) annual meeting from New Delhi which was held on the themes of “Unleashing the South Asian Century through Human Capital for All” and “Investing in Covid-19 Vaccines and Primary Healthcare Delivery System”.
ii.The Minister highlighted that India used the “Whole of Society, Whole of Government” approach to manage the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
About World Bank:
President– David Robert Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
Motto– Working for a World Free of Poverty
About International Monetary Fund:
Managing Director (MD)–  Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova
Economic Counsellor and Research Department Director–  Gita Gopinath
Headquarter– Washington, DC, United States (US)
<<Read Full News>>

ICG/IOTWMS Conducts ‘IOWave20’ – Mock Tsunami Drills INCOIS, Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning Centre conduct mock tsunami drills

UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) conducted an Indian Ocean-wide mock Tsunami Drill – ‘IOWave20’ (Indian Ocean Wave2020) on October 6, 13 and 20, 2020. 
Considering the Pandemic, the exercise was limited to test communication channels instead of full-scale exercise which will involve public evacuations.
About ESSO-INCOIS (Earth System Science Organization-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services):
Director – Tummala Srinivasa Kumar
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

USAID Announced 5 Million USD to Support COVID-19 Initiatives of IndiaUSAID announces 5 m to support India's Initiatives

On 21st October 2020, the United States(US) Agency for International Development (USAID) announced two new awards of total 5 Million USD (around Rs.36.8 crore) to Catalyst Management Service’s COVID Action Collaborative (CAC) and the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI). These two new awards are also a part of the continuous support of the US government to the COVID-19 initiatives of India.
Note:
The total financial assistance of USAID for India’s COVID-19 response is around 13 million USD (around Rs.95.75 crore).
About the 5 million USD funding:
i.The 3 million USD (around Rs.22.1 crore) partnership with CAC for two years will be used to strengthen the capacity of 100 local organizations, 10 local governments and 15 associations of healthcare providers, small retailers, and street vendors, and will link them with government and private sector resources by which the 10 million disregarded and endangered individuals who were affected by COVID-19.
ii.The 2 million USD awarded to the Wadhwani AI, a nonprofit research institute will be used to develop tools to forecast the disease pattern of COVID-19, estimate the required resources and intervention plans.
iii.These tools will be developed using mathematical modeling techniques and digital technologies like AI and machine learning.
Benefits:
i.CAC will provide a platform to combine the efforts of the industry and development partners to support the control and prevention efforts against COVID-19 in India.
ii.The platform will also be used to coordinate the ongoing USAID activities which are against the impacts of the global pandemic and reaching the vulnerable populations.
About United States(US) Agency for International Development (USAID):
Acting Administrator
– John Barsa
Headquarters– Washington, D.C, United States of America

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

India-Assisted Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan Won the 2020 Brunel Medal for Excellence in Civil Engineering at Annual ICE Awards 2020assisted-Mangdechhu-hydroelectric-project-in-Bhutan-wins-prestigious-Brunel-Medal

i.India-Assisted Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project, a Bhutan-India Friendship project in Bhutan won the 2020 Brunel Medal for Excellence in Civil Engineering at the Annual Institution of Civil Engineers(ICE) Awards 2020 organised by the United Kingdom (UK) based ICE.
ii.India funded the Mangdechhu power plant of cost Rs.4500 crore through a 70% loan and 30% grant.
iii.The annual ICE awards recognises the achievements of civil engineering and the contribution to the profession of engineering and the ICE.
About Bhutan:
Prime Minister– Lotay Tshering
Capital– Thimphu
Currency– Bhutanese Ngultrum
<<Read Full News>>

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

ECI Constitutes Committee to Examine Issues on Expenditure Limits of CandidatesECI constitutes committee to examine issues concerning expenditure limits

On 21st October 2020, Election Commission of India(ECI) constituted a committee to examine the issues regarding the limits of expenditure for a candidate. The committee comprises Harish Kumar, former Indian Revenue Service IRS officer and Director General (Investigation) and Umesh Sinha, Secretary General of ECI and DG (Expenditure).
Role of the Members:
i.Umesh Sinha and Harish Kumar will examine the expenditure limits of the candidates of the election in the view of increasing number of electors and rise in the cost inflation index and other factors.
ii.The committee will submit the report within 120 days.
Term of reference of the committee:
i.To assess the change in number of electors across the states and Union Territories and its expenditure.
ii.To assess the change in Cost Inflation Index and its pattern of expenditure by candidates in recent elections.
iii.To get inputs and views from political parties and other stakeholders.
iv.To access the factors that affect the expenditure and other related issues.
Expenditure Limit for candidates:
i.On 19th October 2020, In the wake of COVID-19 the Ministry of Law & Justice notified the amendment in Rule 90 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 and enhanced the current expenditure limit by 10% with immediate effect in ongoing elections.
ii.The limit was last revised on 28th February 2014 and for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana it was revised on 10th October 2018.
Key Points:
i.The expenditure limit was not increased in the past 6 years in spite of the increase in electorate from 834 million to 910 million in 2019 to 921 million in 2020.
ii.The cost inflation index has increased from 220 to 280 in 2019 to 301 in 2020.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Hardeep Singh Puri , MoS for Housing and Urban Affairs launched “e-Dharti Geo Portal”Union minister Puri launches e Dharti Geo portal

On 21st October 2020, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(MoS) (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Launched “e-Dharti Geo Portal” which will integrate the legacy drawings like maps and lease plans in Management Information System(MIS) named as e-Dharti and enable it with Geographic Information System(GIS). The Land and Development Office(L&DO) of MoHUA deals with around 60000 properties which includes commercial, residential, industrial and institutional properties.
Key People:
Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary of MoHUA, Amit Kataria, Land & Development officer and other senior officials of the ministry were present at the online launch event.
Key Points:
i.The L&DO has come up with a property certificate which contains the details and outline map of the property which will be made available on the portal.
ii.The certificate will include details such as land type, property type, date of allotment, property status, sub-type, plot area, date of execution of lease deed, property address, details about present lessee and litigation status among others.
iii.This certificate with all data can be availed by paying Rs.1000.
iv.This can be accessed by the general public through the L&DO website – http://www.ldo.gov.in/

Indigenously-Built Stealth Corvette ‘INS Kavaratti’ commissioned into Indian Navy in VisakhapatnamIndian Navy's indigenously-built stealth corvette INS Kavaratti commissioned

On October 22, 2020, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane commissioned the Anti-Submarine Warfare stealth corvette “INS Kavaratti” into Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.  
i.INS Kavaratti is the last of four indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes under Project 28 (Kamorta Class).
ii.The ship has completed sea trials for all the Latest equipment inside the vessel, and has been commissioned as a fully combat-ready platform to the Indian Navy.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff – Admiral Karambir Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

India Successfully Completes Final Trial of Nag Missile; Missile ready for Induction into ArmyFinal trial of Nag Missile successful

On October 22, 2020 India successfully carried out the 10th and Final User Trial of Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) at Pokhran Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan. With the successful trial, the missile is now ready for induction into the Indian Army
The Nag missile was fired from a Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA).
The Missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be essential for stopping the advance of enemy tanks
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

OBITUARY

B Venkataraman, Former IAS Officer & Author of Chola History Books Passed AwayFormer-IAS-officer-and-author-of-Chola-History-books-B

On 20th October 2020, Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and the Authority of Chola History and Architecture Dr. B Venkataraman, passed away at the age of 95 at a private hospital in Delhi.
His wife Leela Venkataraman was a renowned dance critic.
About B Venkataraman:
i.B Venkataraman was a 1950 batch IAS officer of Odisha Cadre who served as the chief secretary of Oshisha.
ii.He served as the Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
iii.He wrote doctoral thesis on the contributions of the Chola Queen Sembiyan Mahadevi.
iv.He renovated the Museum and Manuscripts Library at Bhubaneswar and he also renovated the structural temples like Lakhmanesvar and Bharateswar temples in Orissa.
v.He was the architect of the Puri-Konark Marine drive.
Books:
i.Along with his Father S.R. Balasubrahmanyam he co-authored the book titled “Later Chola Temples”.
ii.Some of his books include “Laddigam: A Later Chola Temples”, “Temple Art under the Chola queens” and “Rajarajeswaram-the pinnacle of Chola art” on the Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Stuttering Awareness Day 2020 – October 22 International stuttering awareness day

i.The International Stuttering Awareness Day(ISAD) is annually observed across the globe on 22nd October to create awareness about Stuttering, a speech disorder which is also known as stammering and how the condition affects the fluency of speech. 
ii.The first International Stuttering Awareness Day was observed on 22nd October 1998.
iii.The theme of 2020 ISAD is “Journey of Words – Resilience and Bouncing Back”.
iv.The International Stuttering Association has organised the 23rd ISAD Online conference which started on 1st October 2020 and concludes on 22nd October 2020.
<<Read Full News>>

STATE NEWS

AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy Launched “YSR Bima” Scheme for Families of Accident Victims to Get Rs.10000 AidJagan Reddy launches YSR Bima scheme

On 21st October 2020, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister(CM) of Andhra Pradesh(AP) launched the “YSR Bima” scheme to provide insurance cover for death or permanent disability of any family member of the beneficiary. The scheme provides an immediate financial aid of Rs.10000 for the families of the victims. 
The immediate assistance will be provided through the Village and Ward Secretariats.
About Andhra Pradesh:
Wildlife Sanctuaries–  Kolleru wildlife sanctuary, Coringa Wildlife sanctuary, Sri Lankamalleswara WildLife Sanctuary, Krishna Wildlife sanctuary, Kaundinya WildLife Sanctuary, Penusila Narasimhaswamy wildlife sanctuary, Kambalakonda WildLife Sanctuary
Dams- Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Srisailam Dam, Mylavaram Dam
<<Read Full News>>

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat Inaugurates Integrated Model Agricultural Village SchemeUttarakhand CM inaugurated Integrated Model Agricultural Village scheme

On October 21, 2020 Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurated the Integrated Model Agricultural Village Scheme (Ekikrit Adarsh Krishi Gram Yojana) in partnership with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) in the state at Doiwala in Dehradun. 
The scheme will help in strengthening the economy of farmers and in the doubling of their incomes. 
About Uttarakhand:
Folk Dances – Barada Nati, Langvir Nritya, Pandav Nritya, Chhopati, Basanti, Mangal.
Festivals – Kanvad Yatra, Kangdali Festival, Devidhura Festival, Kumbh Mela at Haridwar.
<<Read Full News>>

Sarbananda Sonowal Laid foundation stone for India’s 1st Assam Agar International Trade Centre at DabidubiSarbananda Sonowal lays foundation stone for Assam Agar International Trade

i.On October 21, 2020, the Chief Minister (CM) of Assam laid the foundation stone of Assam Agar International Trade Centre, a first-of-its-kind in India at Dabidubi in Golaghat district of Assam.
ii.This initiative is on the lines of doubling the farmer’s income in the state by 2022.
iii.This project will promote the business of the farmers as well as the entrepreneurs associated with agarwood plantation and trade in Assam which results in boosting Assam’s economy.
About Assam:
Governor– Jagadish Mukhi
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Sites – Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park
<<Read Full News>>

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma launched “micro ATM” in ShillongMeghalaya provides micro ATM to business correspondent agents

On October 21, 2020, the Chief Minister (CM) of Meghalaya, Conrad Kongkal Sangma, launched “micro automated teller machine (ATM)” and distributed the same to the Business Correspondent Agents (BCAs) during an  event, organised at Yojana Bhavan in Main Secretariat, Shillong.

  • Micro ATM is a hand-held device, which will be operated by the BCA in rural areas to enable access to banking services, particularly withdrawals.
  • The initiative is promoted by the Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society (MSRLS) in partnership with Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

About Meghalaya:
Governor – Satya Pal Malik
Capital – Shillong
National Parks– Nokrek National Park, Balpakram National Park

AC GAZE

ICMR Approved “COVIRAP” – COVID-19 Testing Kit Developed by IIT Kharagpur

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved the “COVIRAP”, low cost portable COVID-19 test kit developed by the Researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur. The device delivers high quality and accurate results within an hour. The device reduced the testing cost to around Rs.500 which can be further reduced by the government’s intervention. With a minimum infrastructure the cost for developing this device is around Rs.5000.

IMF cuts Asia’s Growth Forecast

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its Economic Forecast for Asia. The IMF expects Asia’s Economy to contract 2.2% in 2020, the decline is 0.6 of a percentage point larger than its forecast in June. The decline in economic growth is due to sharp slumps in countries like India, Philippines and Malaysia. Asia’s economy is expected to grow 6.9% in 2021 due to boost from strong recoveries in China, United States and European region.

Delhi Airport Emerges as Second Safest Aerodrome Globally based on Covid-19-related safety protocols: DIAL

The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi operated by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), a consortium led by GMR with a score of 4.6 out of 5 has been certified as the Second Safest Aerodrome Globally for effective implementation of Coronavirus-related health and safety protocols. The safe travel score is an initiative by Safe Travel Barometer, it has assessed more than 200 airports. Singapore’s Changi Airport secured the first place with a score of 4.7 out of 5. 

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S.no Current Affairs 23 October 2020
1 14 States reported reduction in prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH): MoHFW
2 Cabinet approvals on October 21, 2020
3 Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on October 21, 2020
4 AAI plans to develop 100 Airports, Waterdroms, Heliports under UDAN Scheme by 2024
5 Third Phase of National Supercomputing Mission to commence from January, 2020
6 Principality of Andorra Joins IMF as 190th Member
7 Dr Harsh Vardhan Virtually Addressed World Bank- IMF annual meeting 2020
8 ICG/IOTWMS Conducts ‘IOWave20’ – Mock Tsunami Drills
9 USAID Announced 5 Million USD to Support COVID-19 Initiatives of India
10 India-Assisted Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan Won the 2020 Brunel Medal for Excellence in Civil Engineering at Annual ICE Awards 2020
11 ECI Constitutes Committee to Examine Issues on Expenditure Limits of Candidates
12 Hardeep Singh Puri , MoS for Housing and Urban Affairs launched “e-Dharti Geo Portal”
13 Indigenously-Built Stealth Corvette ‘INS Kavaratti’ commissioned into Indian Navy
14 India Successfully Completes Final Trial of Nag Missile; Missile ready for Induction into Army
15 B Venkataraman, Former IAS Officer & Author of Chola History Books Passed Away
16 International Stuttering Awareness Day 2020 – October 22
17 AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy Launched “YSR Bima” Scheme for Families of Accident Victims to Get Rs.10000 Aid
18 Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat Inaugurates Integrated Model Agricultural Village Scheme
19 Sarbananda Sonowal Laid foundation stone for India’s 1st Assam Agar International Trade Centre at Dabidubi
20 Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma launched “micro ATM” in Shillong
21 ICMR Approved “COVIRAP” – COVID-19 Testing Kit Developed by IIT Kharagpur
22 IMF cuts Asia’s Growth Forecast
23 Delhi Airport Emerges as Second Safest Aerodrome Globally based on Covid-19-related safety protocols: DIAL