Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 and 19 October 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 19 Oct 2020 22:44 PM IST

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1. BrahMos successfully test-fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai.

  • The supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, was successfully test-fired from the Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai.
  • BRAHMOS will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges.
    • It is a medium-range ramjet supersonic missile that can be fired from land, water, and air.
    • It is developed by the joint venture of India (DRDO) and Russia (NPOM).
    • The name BrahMos is taken from the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers.
    • It operates on the principle of ‘Fire and Forget’.
    • It is already operational with the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
    • It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.

2. 8th edition of bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX to be held from 19 to 21 October 2020.

  • The eighth edition of SLINEX, an annual bilateral maritime exercise, will be held off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, from 19 to 21 October 2020.
  • SLN Ships Sayura and Gajabahu will participate from the SriLankan Navy.
  • Indigenously built ASW corvettes INS Kamorta and INS Kiltan will represent the Indian Navy. Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Chetak helicopters and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft will participate.
  • The 7th edition of SLINEX was held off Visakhapatnam in September 2019.
  • This exercise aims to increase inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices between both navies.
  • SLINEX series of exercises began in 2005.
  • Such exercises between the SriLankan Navy and Indian Navy have increased significantly in line with India’s Neighbourhood First policy and Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR) vision.

3. Kairavi Bharat Ram writes a book titled as C is for Cat and D is for Depression.

  • Author of Ramayana in Rhyme and Krishna in Rhyme, Kairavi Bharat Ram has written a book titled as C is for Cat and D is for Depression.
  • Her latest book titled as C is for Cat and D is for Depression has been published by Scholastic India.
  • The book deals with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The book contains illustrations by Priya Kuriyan.
  • Kairavi Bharat Ram has co-authored Ramayana in Rhyme and Krishna in Rhyme with Ananya Mittal.

(Source: The Hindu)

4. Webinar held on the occasion of 44th death anniversary of Viswanadha Satyanarayana.

  • The webinar was held on the occasion of the 44th death anniversary of Jnanpith Awardee Telugu writer Viswanadha Satyanarayana.
  • During the event, Kinnerasani Paatalu, a book written by Satyanarayana was released online.
  • He has won Jnanpith Award for ‘Ramayana Kalpavruksham’ and Kendra Sahitya Academy Puraskaram for ‘Veyipadagalu’. He has also won the Padma Bhushan.
  • He was the first Telugu writer, who received Jnanpith Award. He was also called Kavisaamrat.

5. PM Narendra Modi addressed Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM).

  • Prime Minister virtually addressed the inaugural function of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM) 2020.
  • It has been co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Indian Council of Medical Research and NITI Aayog, along with the Grand Challenges Canada, the United States Agency for International Development and Wellcome.
  • GCAM 2020 will bring policymakers and Scientist leader on a single platform for solving the global health problems with more focus on COVID-19.
  • This three-day program will include panel discussions and virtual informal conversations on various topics such as
    • Scientific interventions for fighting the pandemic.
    • Management of pandemic and accelerating the development.
    • Implementation of global solutions to combat present pandemic and prevent future one.
  • Global Grand Challenges:
    • It was founded in 2003 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • It is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems.
  • Grand Challenges India: It was set up in 2012 as a partnership between the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome. The 1st Grand Challenges India (GCI) meeting was held in 2017.

6.  Asian king vultures sighted in Sigur plateau.

  • A pair of Asian king vultures have been sighted in Sigur plateau in Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu.
  • The population of Asian king vultures has declined over the last five decades in India. 
  • It is believed that 12-14 Asian king vultures live in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), which borders Sigur plateau and Moyar valley.
  • Nearly five decades ago, Asian king vultures used to be seen across Tamil Nadu, up to Kanyakumari.
  • The nesting sites of vultures were lost because trees such as Terminalia arjuna died during the drought in Nilgiri district in 2016. Vultures depend on trees such as Terminalia arjuna for nesting.
  • As per IUCN Red List, Asian king vultures are critically endangered. They are also known as red-headed vulture or Indian black vulture.

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Israel and Bahrain formally establish diplomatic ties.

  • Israel and Bahrain have formally established diplomatic ties after reaching an agreement with the help of US.
  • To establish diplomatic ties, Israel and Bahrain have signed the deal in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.
  • They signed eight bilateral agreements and a joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • Bahrain has now become the fourth Arab country in the Middle East to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
  • UAE, Egypt and Jordan have earlier established diplomatic relations with Israel and recognized it. 
  • Israel and Bahrain:





Middle East (on Mediterranean Sea)

A country in the Persian Gulf





Israeli shekel

Bahraini Dinar

Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu

Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa


Reuven Rivlin



8. Nozomi Okuhara wins Women’s Singles title at Denmark Open 2020.

  • Nozomi Okuhara has won the Women’s Singles title at Denmark Open 2020 by defeating three-time world champion, Carolina Marin.
  • Nozomi Okuhara is a former World Champion in Badminton and from Japan. Carolina Marin is Olympic gold medallist and from Spain. Current world champion PV Sindhu of India has chosen to sit out of the event.   
  • Anders Antonsen of Denmark defeated Rasmus Gemke in men’s singles final and moved up to second in World Rankings.
  • Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich became the first German mixed doubles players to win a Super Series event. They defeated Chris and Gabby Adcock of England.
  • Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota defeated Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara in an all-Japan women’s doubles final.
  • Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England defeated Valdimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Russia. They became the first England pair to win the title of men’s doubles in Denmark Open for 45 years.
  • Denmark Open (earlier Danish Open) is an annual badminton tournament. It is held in Denmark. Denmark Open 2020 was held from 13 October 2020 to 18 October 2020 at Odense Sports Park.

Winners and Runner ups of Denmark Open 2020, an annual Badminton tournament




Women’s Singles

Nozomi Okuhara of Japan

Carolina Marin of Spain

Men’s Singles

Anders Antonsen of Denmark

Rasmus Gemke of Denmark

Mixed Doubles

Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich of Germany

Chris and Gabby Adcock of England

Women’s Doubles

Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota of Japan

Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan

Men’s Doubles

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England

Valdimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Russia

9. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan passed away.

  • Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, the spiritual head of the Marthoma Christian community, has passed away.
  • He will be remembered for his remarkable personality who served humanity.
  • He had devoted his entire life to the lives of the poor and oppressed.
  • He was the 21st Marthoma Metropolitan and primate of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Kerala.
  • He was ordained as a deacon of the Mar Thoma Church on 29 June 1957, and priest on 18 October 1957.
  • The Marthoma Christian community members believe that they are the descendants of St. Thomas, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles.

10. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern will start his second term after Historic Election win.

  • PM Jacinda Ardern centre-left Labour Party has won New Zealand’s general election.
  • This mandate has given her the chance to form the first single-party government in decades.
  • New Zealand had adopted the proportional voting system in 1996.
  • Political system of New Zealand:
    • It has an unwritten constitution and is a constitutional monarchy.
    • It has three branches of government:
      • Legislature (Parliament)
      • Executive branch (Elected Government)
      • Judiciary 
    • Parliament is made up of the House of Representatives and the Governor-General.
    • The members of the House are elected for three years using the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system.
  • MMP in New Zealand:
    • A total of 120 MPs have to be elected in the Parliament.
    • Out of which voters elect 72 in individual electorates around the country and 48 are elected from the party list.
    • In this proportional system, the proportion of votes a political party gets will reflect its number of Parliament seats.
  • New Zealand:
    • It is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
    • The main landmasses are North Island and South Island.
    • Capital: Wellington
    • Currency: Dollar
    • Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister.

11. India ranked 94 out of 107 countries in Global Hunger Index 2020.

  • In the Global Hunger Index 2020, India has ranked 94 among the 107 countries.
  • The 2020 edition is the 15th edition of the GHI.
  • In 2019 Global Hunger Index India rank was 102 out of 117 countries.
  • India is under the “Serious” hunger category.
  • Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka are ranked higher than India in the 2020 Index.
  • Countries like Belarus, Brazil, China, Costa Rice, Kuwait, Montenegro, Turkey, etc. have been placed in 1-17 rank category. These countries have not been assigned individual ranks as the difference between their scores was minimal.
  • Hunger is highest in the regions of Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia.
  • South Asia has the largest number of undernourished people and highest rate of child wasting in the world.
  • India has improved in child stunting, undernourishment and child mortality parameters.
  • The world is not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal by 2030.
  • SDG 2: It aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, and double agricultural productivity in the next 15 years.

(Source: GHI)

  • Global Hunger Index:
    • It is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
    • Who publishes GHI? - The report is jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
    • When was the first GHI published? - The Global Hunger Index was first published in 2006. It is published every October.
    • It determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
    • What are the indicators of GHI? - It is based on four Indicators:
      • Undernourishment – Lack of sufficient calorie intake
      • Child wasting – Children under age five with low height for their age which indicates that such children are suffering from chronic undernutrition.
      • Child stunting - Children under age five with low weight for their height which indicates acute undernutrition.
      • Child mortality – Mortality rate of children under age five.
    • What are the sources of Data for GHI? - Sources of Data for GHI are:
      • Undernourishment data - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
      • Child mortality data - United Nations Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME)
      • Child wasting and child stunting data - Joint database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, as well as from WHO’s continuously updated Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, the most recent reports of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), and statistical tables from UNICEF.
    • Based on the score each country is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.

GHI Score

GHI Severity



10.0 – 19.9







Extremely alarming







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