Current Affairs - 23 October 2020


1. World Snow Leopard Day observed on 23 October
  • World Snow Leopard Day is observed globally on 23rd October. The main purpose of this day is to show the importance of snow leopard conservation and raise awareness about this incredible animal.
  • The day also emphasizes the importance of taking measures to stop poaching, as well as consolidating efforts in terms of an environmental organization in the countries of the snow leopard range.
  • The day was initiated by the countries that encompass the snow leopard’s range. They include Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, India, China, Bhutan, and Afganistan.
2. Cabinet approves adaptation of J&K Panchayati Raj Act
  • The Union Cabinet  approved adaptation of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. Briefing media in New Delhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar said, the move will establish three tiers of grass-root level democracy in Jammu and Kashmir like in other parts of the country.
  • He said, more than 30 lakh employees will benefited by the bonus announcement and total financial implication will be Rs. 3,737 crore. The bonus will be given in a single installment before Vijaydashmi. The Cabinet also approved the extension of Market Intervention Scheme, MIS for apple procurement in Jammu and Kashmir for the current season on the same terms and condition as was done during last season.
  • The procurement will be done by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited, NAFED through State Designated Agency, Directorate of Planning and Marketing, and Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Processing and Marketing Corporation directly from apple farmers of Jammu and Kashmir. The payment will be made through Direct Benefit Transfer, into bank accounts of apple farmers.
Foot Notes:
About J&K:
Lieutenant Governor: Manoj Sinha
Capital: Srinagar (Summer); ‎Jammu‎ (Winter)
3. NK Singh's new book “Portraits of Power”  traces origin and growth of the PMO
  • Veteran Economist and bureaucrat N K (Nand Kishore) Singh has released his autobiography titled “Portraits of Power: Half a Century of Being at Ringside”.
  • ‘Portraits of Power’ recalls Singh’s various stints over the decades- starting from 1964 when he joined the IAS, serving at highest echelons of the government of India before taking a political plunge with a RajyaSabha term.
  • He is currently the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission.
4. Hardeep Singh Puri launches ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal’, property plans to be GIS-enabled & online available
  • Union Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri launched the ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal’ on October 21. The portal is said to integrate legacy drawings such as maps and lease plans in the management information system and makes it geographic information system (GIS)-enabled.
  • The portal has been developed by NIC for L&DO. Vishnu Chandra, Deputy Director-General and Head of Group – RS&GIS and Utility Mapping, NIC revealed about the portal in a series of tweets sharing images of the launching by the Union Housing Minister.
  • According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), the Land & Development Office (L&DO) has devised a property certificate incorporating details and the outline map of the property which is available online on the e-Dharti Geo Portal. As per a statement, the Union Minister urged all organisations to undertake efforts to identify more activities that need to be automated and made free of human interface.
5. Punjab farm Bills provides for minimum 3 years imprisonment on sale-purchase below MSP
  • The Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a bunch of  legislation seeking to penalise anyone who compels a farmer to sell wheat and paddy below the minimum support price (MSP) in the state and also entrust itself with powers to levy taxes on all out-of-mandi transactions.
  • The move is aimed at nullifying a portion of the three recently enacted central farm Acts, besides safeguarding the state's financial interests.
  • The Assembly passed the amendments to each of the three central laws to bring them in line with the provisions of the state’s own APMC Act of 1961, thereby establishing its supremacy over the central laws. The House also adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre's new farm laws.
Foot Notes:
About Punjab:
Capital: Chandigarh
Governor: V. P. Singh Badnore
Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh

6. DRDO successfully conducts final trial of Nag anti-tank guided missile in Pokhran range
  • India successfully carried out the final trial of the third generation, anti-tank guided missile ‘NAG’, from the Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan. The Nag anti-tank guided missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in day and night conditions.
  • The successful final user trial of the missile makes the Nag anti-tank missile ready for induction in the Indian Army.
  • It will be manufactured by defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), of DRDO.
Foot Notes:
About DRDO:
Founded: 1958
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chairman: Dr G.Satheesh Reddy
7. Asan Conservation Reserve gets Ramsar site tag — a first for Uttarakhand
  • Asan Conservation Reserve has become Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site, making it a ‘Wetland of International Importance’, announced the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • The Reserve is located on the banks of Yamuna river near Dehradun district in Garhwal region of the Himalayan state.Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty was adopted on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea.
  • The name of the Convention is usually written “Convention on Wetlands’.
  • The Convention on Wetlands came into force for India on February 1, 1982.
  • Those wetlands which are of international importance are declared as Ramsar sites.
Foot Notes:
About Uttarakhand:
Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
Capital: Gairsain (summer); Dehradun (winter)
8. Tamil Nadu Government Launches Smart Black Board Scheme in 80,000 Govt schools
  • The state government of Tamil Nadu has launched the Smart Black Board scheme in 80,000 government schools of the state.
  • The initiative aims to ensure better teaching environment as well as lead towards Digital India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Under this Smart Black Board scheme, audio visual teaching material would be possible, that can even be fed into the computer screens in classes using widely available pen drives.
Foot Notes:
About Tamil Nadu:
Capital: Chennai
Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
9. LG signs Lewis Hamilton as ambassador of LG Signature
  • LG Electronics has named Lewis Hamilton a global ambassador for its home solutions brand, LG Signature. Hamilton, the epitome of skill, style and precision will be seen communicating the brand’s philosophy.
  • In the new campaign, he will share with audiences his thoughts on how to lead a stylish, sophisticated life, and what motivates him to be the best in his field.
Foot Notes:
About LG Electronics:
Chairman: Kwang-Mo Koo.
Vice-Chairman and CEO: Jo Seong-Jin.
Headquarters: South Korea
10. First woman IAF Officer Vijayalakshmi Ramanan (retd) passes away
  • Wing Commander (Retd) Dr Vijayalakshmi Ramanan, the first woman officer to be commissioned in the Indian Air Force, has passed away due to old age ailments. She was 96.
  • Dr Ramanan was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on August 22, 1955 and was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in August 1972. She served as an obstetrician and gynecologist at various Air Force Hospitals.
  • She was honoured with the Vishist Seva Medal five years later. She had retired in February, 1979.
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