Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 October 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 17 Oct 2020 22:26 PM IST

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1. SBI can issue and encash Electoral Bonds from 19 October to 28 October.

  • In the 14th phase of the sale, SBI has been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds from 19 October to 28 October.
  • The Electoral Bonds will be issued and encashed through the 29 Authorised branches of SBI.


About Electoral Bonds:

  • The Electoral Bond Scheme was notified by the Government of India in 2018.
  • These are financial instruments through which donations can be made to political parties

Who can purchase Electoral bonds?

  • A person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
  • An individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
  • Name of the donor is not mentioned on the bonds.

Who are eligible to receive Electoral bonds?

Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last General Election to the Lok Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly.

How can Electoral bonds be encashed?

  • An eligible Political Party shall encash the Electoral Bonds only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
  • Electoral bonds deposited by an eligible political party will be credited to its account on the same day.

Validity of Electoral Bonds

  • These are valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.
  • No payment is made to any payee political party if the bond is deposited after the expiry of 15 days.


  • State Bank of India:
    • It is a nationalized public sector bank and the largest lender of India.
    • In 2017, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Indore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and Bharatiya Mahila Bank were merged with State Bank of India.
    • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the largest non-promoter shareholder in SBI.
    • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
    • Tagline: The Banker to Every Indian

2. Vice Chief of Army Staff to visit US to enhance military cooperation between the two armies.

  • Vice Chief of the Army Staff, S.K. Saini, will visit the USA from 17 to 20 October 2020.
  • The aim of the visit is to increase military cooperation between both the Armies.
  • He will visit the US Army Pacific Command (USARPRAC), the Army component of Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and exchange ideas with the military leadership and also witness equipment capabilities of US Army.
  • He will discuss on various aspects of military cooperation and furthering military to military engagement, including procurements, training, joint exercises and capability building.
  • India will participate in joint exercises- Yudh Abhyas in February 2021 and Vajra Prahar in March 2021 with the US.

3. Extension of concessional rate on cargo movement between India and Iranian Port.

  • The concessional rate of 40% discount on cargo movement between India and Chabahar Port (Iran) has been extended by the Government of India.
  • The concessional rate has been extended for a period of one year.
  • The discount will apply for the cargo movement and vessel-related charges, being handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port to Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar.
  • The extension of the discount period will promote trade through the Iranian Port and boost the coastal movement of cargo.
  • The charges shall be levied proportionately, subject to vessel loading at least 5000 tonnes cargo to Shahid Beheshti Port.
  • A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be developed by the Ports and Indian Ports Global Limited so that discounts are given to cargo actually discharged or loaded at Shahid Beheshti Terminal.

4. UP government launches ‘Mission Shakti’ programme.

  • Uttar Pradesh government has launched the women empowerment programme ‘Mission Shakti’.
  • It is a 6-month long programme to raise awareness and tackle crime against women in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (additional charge) Anandiben Patel launched the campaign in Lucknow.
  • Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath started the programme in Balrampur.
  • Ministers and other people’s representatives launched the campaign in other districts.
  • The programme has two phases- ‘Mission Shakti’ and ‘Operation Shakti.


Mission Shakti

Awareness campaigns related to women’s safety- gender-based sensitisation, training, corporate activity, voice messages, interviews, programmes in Durga Puja and other cultural pandals

A weeklong campaign will be organized every month to sensitise people.

Government-appointed women nodal officers for the execution and monitoring of the campaign will try to create awareness about the helplines - 1090, 181, 1076, 108 and 102.

Operation Shakti

It is the enforcement drive in which the police will register persons who have come out of jail after serving punishment for crimes against women to monitor them.


5. First India-Chile joint commission meeting held virtually.

  • India and Chile held their first joint commission meeting via videoconferencing.
  • Both countries agreed upon cooperation in various fields, including trade and commerce, agriculture, health and social security, Defence and space.
  • The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chilean counterpart Andres Allamand Zavala.
  • Joint Commission has played a significant role in the development of India and Chile relations. It is the first institutionalized dialogue between the two countries at the level of Foreign Ministers.
  • Chile has designated India as a priority country in its foreign policy, and it will open its Consulate General in Mumbai.
  • India has invited Chile to take advantage of India’s new economic capacities and growing market.
  • Chile:
    • It is located in western South America. It is a narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
    • The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest place on the Earth.
    • Santiago is the capital and the Chilean peso is the currency of Chile.
    • Sebastian Piñera is the current President of Chile.

6. Greece, Cyprus seeks for tougher EU response to Turkey’s natural gas exploration.

  • At the EU Summit, Greece and Cyprus seek an effective European Union response to the natural gas exploration being conducted by Turkey in the Mediterranean sea.
  • This conflict started when Turkey restarted operations of a survey ship that it withdrew last month.
  • France and Germany stated that Turkey must revise its stand and stop the explorations in the contested waters.
  • Even after two weeks of the last summit, the EU has failed to stop Turkey from natural gas explorations in disputed waters.
  • As per the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1994, the continental shelf is 200 nautical miles from the shore of the coastal state. It may also be beyond 200 nautical miles up to the limit of 350 nautical miles in some cases.
  • Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. It shares a boundary with Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Greece and the Palestinian region of the Gaza Strip. Its capital is Nicosia, and the currency is Euro.
  • Greece is a country in Southeast Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Its capital is Athens, and the currency is the Euro.
  • Turkey is a country located in Eurasia. Its capital is Ankara and the currency is Turkish Lira. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is its President.

7. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: 17 October

  • Every year on 17 October, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated.
  • On 22 December 1992, UN General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • The day also marks the anniversary of the call to action by Father Joseph Wresinski, which led to the celebration of the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty on 17 October.
  • 2020 Theme: “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”
  • Poverty is not only an economic issue but is a multidimensional phenomenon. It comes with a lack of both income and the basic capabilities to live in dignity.
  • The General Assembly proclaimed the Third UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018-2027) in its resolution 72/233.
  • The first UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty was from 1997 to 2006, while the second UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty was from 2008 to 2017.
  • Related facts:
    • 736 million people lived below the international poverty line of US $ 1.90 a day in 2015.
    • In 2018, around 8% of the world’s workers and their families lived on less than US $1.90 per person per day.
    • Most people living below poverty line live in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
    • People living in poverty experience many deprivations due to which they are unable to realize their rights and could not come out of poverty. These include:
      • Dangerous work conditions
      • Unsafe housing
      • Lack of nutritious food
      • Unequal access to Justice
      • Lack of political power
      • Limited access to health care

8. Ministry of Culture issued guidelines for holding cultural events in Virtual mode under ‘Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana’ (KSVY).

  • The Covid outbreak has impacted the Performing Arts & Cultural sector, as many events were cancelled or postponed.
  • The Ministry of Culture has provided alternative ways to hold exhibitions, events, and performances through digital platforms.
  • Ministry of Culture has implemented many schemes under Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana (KSVY) for holding programs/activities which involve a large audience.
  • Under Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana (KSVY), the Ministry of Culture has formulated guidelines to conduct events in virtual mode.
  • It will help in the revival of Performing Arts & Cultural sector of India.
  • Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana (KSVY):
    • It is an umbrella scheme under the Ministry of Culture to promote art and culture in the country.
    • Under it, grants are provided for holding programmes/activities which involved a large audience.
    • It has sub-schemes for providing financial assistance to cultural organizations:
      • Scheme of Financial Assistance for Promotion of Art and Culture
      • Scheme of Financial Assistance for Creation of Cultural Infrastructure
      • Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage

9. Union Education Minister addressed students selected for the ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme (APFP).

  • Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed virtually the students who have been selected for the ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme (APFP).
  • APFP will strengthen ties between India and ASEAN members in the field of technology and research.
  • ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme (APFP):
    • It was announced on 25 January 2018 at the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Summit in New Delhi.
    • It provides an opportunity for the ASEAN scholars to apply for their PhD fellowship from IITs.
    • It is funded by the Government of India.
    • It will provide 1000 fellowships exclusively to the students of ASEAN countries.
    • It is the largest capacity development programme undertaken by the Government of India for foreign beneficiaries.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN):
    • It is a regional intergovernmental organization, which promotes intergovernmental and economic cooperation.
    • It includes 10 countries in Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos.
    • It is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
    • It was established on 8 August 1967.
    • 2020 Chair: Vietnam

10. 14th Agro & Food Tech: India’s first International Food & Agri Week from 16th - 22nd October.

  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries & Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, has been organizing Agro & Food Tech, India’s first international food & Agriculture week from October 16 - 22, 2020.  
  • It has been inaugurated by the Union Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.
  • Indian food processing sector accounts for 32% of India’s food market.
  • The use of technology in the food and agriculture sector will help in increasing the income of farmers.
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Food Processing Industries:
    • PM Formalisation of Micro food Enterprises scheme: It will provide the credit-linked subsidy to 2 lakh micro food processing units and it will support SHGs, FPOs and cottage industry.
    • PM Kisan Sampada Scheme: It will provide modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farmers to retail outlets.
    • Operation greens scheme: Its aim to stabilize the supply of tomatoes, onions and potato crops in the country. It will provide 50% subsidy for transportation and hiring of storage facilities of tomatoes, onions and potato crops.

11. Virtual meet of Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation members has been hosted by India.

  • India has hosted the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States on 16 October 2020.
  • It urged the member’s state for exchange of ideas, practices and experiences of legal services.
  • A joint statement has been adopted by the member states, which include implementation of the agreement on cooperation between the Ministries of Justice of the SCO Member States, work on the implementation of the Action Plans of the working groups of experts on forensic activities and legal services for 2018-2020 and to develop an online platform for the exchange of legal information.
  • Initiatives by the Ministry of Law and Justice of India:
    • India has started Pro Bono legal service for providing free legal aid to marginalized sections of the society.
    • It initiated the Tele-Law service in 2017 for providing free legal consultations to poor people through video conferencing.
    • E- Court with the facility of Video-Conferencing and Virtual court has been started by the Indian Judicial system.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
    • Its creation was announced in 2001 by leaders of six nations.
    • Currently, it has eight members as India and Pakistan joined it in June 2017.
    • The other six members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • It is headquartered in Beijing, China.

12. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports addresses Y20 Global Summit.

  • Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, addressed and represented India in Y20 Global Summit.
  • Saudi Arabia is the host country for Y20 Global Summit held on 15 October 2020. Japan was the host nation for Y20 Global Summit in 2019.
  • The aim of Y20 Global Summit is the exchange of ideas and dialogues between nations to empower the youth across the world.
  • During Y20 Global Summit, young leaders from G20 countries discuss the G20 Leaders’ agenda. Y20 Global Summit is held before the G20 Leaders Summit.
  • At the end of Y20 Global Summit, Y20 Communiqué is drafted. It is later presented to G20 leaders.
  • G20 was formed in 1999. It consists of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). The names of countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and US.

13. Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) sanctions money for JKPCL.

  • Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) has sanctioned Rs 2790 crore to Jammu Kashmir Power Corporation ltd (JKPCL).
  • PFC and JKPCL have also signed an agreement for the Liquidity Infusion Scheme under “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” for UT of J&K.
  • The money will be used to clear outstanding dues of CPSU, GENCOs & TRANSCOs, IPPs and RE Generators.
  • In May, the government has announced Rs 90,000 crore liquidity infusion for discoms. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) would provide loans to discoms under the announced liquidity infusion.
  • The government increased liquidity infusion from Rs 90,000 crore to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.
  • Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) was formed in 1986. It is a Navratna PSU. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is its subsidiary. 

14. PM Modi shows gratitude and respect to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Ji.

  • PM Modi has shown gratitude and respect to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on his 350th Jayanti.
  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was born as Lachman Das. He was a disciple of Guru Govind Singh. Guru Govind Singh named him as Banda Bahadur.
  • He fought against the Mughal Empire. He established Khalsa rule in Punjab and abolished the Zamindari system.
  • He was born in 1670 and died in 1716. He is also known as Banda Bairagi. He defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Samana in 1709.







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