Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 October 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 23 Oct 2020 16:02 PM IST

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1. The New book will incorporate final thoughts and unreleased materials of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • The University of California will publish a book Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union which include some final thoughts and unreleased materials of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader.
  • This book will provide a unique lens to readers for understanding how, and for what, Justice Ginsburg would like to be remembered.
  • The California press will also publish “Paving the Way: The First American Women Law Professors” written by Herma Hill Kay.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020):
    • She was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    • She was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve the United States Supreme Court.
    • In her legal career, she had won many arguments for gender equality and women’s rights.
    • She died at the age of 87 on 18 September 2020. 

(Source: Indian Express)

2. Israel to begin human trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘Brilife’.

  • Israel will start the human trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘Brilife’ by October-end.
  • The vaccine is developed by the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR).
  • The vaccine has a trade name “Brilife”, ‘Bri’ for health, ‘il’ for the state of Israel, and ‘life’.
  • Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR):
    • It was established in 1952 as part of the Israel Defence Forces’ Science Corps.
    • It is an Israeli research and development laboratory under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office.
    • Israel has devoted this institute for the development of COVID-19 vaccine.



Middle East (on Mediterranean Sea)




Israeli shekel

Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu


Reuven Rivlin


(Source: US Food and Drug Administration)


3. According to a study, 76% of rural Indians can’t afford a nutritious diet.

  • According to a recently published paper in the journal Food Policy, three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a nutritious diet.
  • This paper is titled as “Affordability of nutritious diets in rural India”.
  • It is written by International Food Policy Research Institute economist Kalyani Raghunathan.
  • It says that even if the rural Indians spend their entire income on food, 63.3% of the rural population or more than 52 crore Indians would not be able to afford the nutritious meal defined by government Institutions.
  • Data in the study is based on the food price and wage information from the National Sample Survey’s 2011 dataset.
  • Global Hunger Index 2020 has also shown that India is once again the worst performer in child wasting rates, which reflects the acute undernutrition.
  • National Institute for Nutrition’s guidelines: An adult woman should take 330 gm of cereals and 75 gm of pulses a day along with 300 gm of dairy, 100 gm of fruit, and 300 gm of vegetables, including 100 gm of dark green leafy vegetables.
  • According to this study, a day’s meal would cost day’s ₹45 for adult women and ₹51 for an adult man.
  • In India, food prices are determined based on the consumer price indices.
  • National Institute for Nutrition:
    • It was founded in 1918 by Sir Robert McCarrison.
    • It is located in Hyderabad.
    • It is an Indian Public health, Nutrition and Translational research center.

4. Government increases maximum expenditure limit for candidates contesting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

  • Government has increased maximum expenditure limit for candidates contesting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in bigger states from 70 lakh to 77 lakh rupees.
  • Law Ministry has issued a notification to increase the limit for Lok Sabha elections in bigger states by 10% from 70 lakh to 77 lakh and for assembly elections in bigger states from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 30.80 lakh.
  • Election Commission has recommended a 10% increase in expenditure limit for campaigning as candidates face difficulties due to restrictions caused by COVID 19.
  • Earlier, the expenditure limit was increased before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 70 lakh.
  • The legislative department of the Ministry of Law and Justice deals with election laws.  Expenditure limits for bigger states and smaller states are different.   
  • Expenditure limits for Lok Sabha elections in the case of other states and union territories have been increased from Rs 54 lakh to Rs 59.4 lakh.
  • Expenditure limits for Assembly elections in the case of other states and union territories have been increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 22 lakh.
  • Assembly polls will be held in Bihar and some other states will have bypolls to assembly seats. Byelection to one LokSabha seats will be held in Bihar.

5. DRDO successfully test fires Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) Missile.   

  • DRDO has successfully tested Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) Missile from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha.
  • SANT Missile is indigenously developed and has before and after launch ‘lock-on’ capabilities.
  • Before and after launch ‘lock-on’ capabilities mean that the missile can follow the target before and after launch from a carrier vehicle.
  • The missile has been developed by DRDO. It is a fourth-generation upgraded version of HELINA (Helicopter-launched Nag) Missile.
  • In September 2020, DRDO has successfully flight-tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV).


6. 14 States record decline in intestinal worm infection ‘Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases’.

  • Health Ministry informed that 14 States had reported a reduction in the prevalence of parasitic intestinal worm infection, also known as Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH).
  • Nine states, which include Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, have shown a reduction in worm prevalence in the STH.
  • Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases is a significant public health concern in the low-income group. It can cause anaemia, under-nutrition, and can affect children’s physical growth.
  • National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is the nodal agency to coordinate and conduct nationwide baseline STH mapping.
  • Data shows that prevalence varied from 12.5% in Madhya Pradesh to 85% in Tamil Nadu.
  • National Deworming Day:
    • It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015.
    • Its main objective is to deworm all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years through the platform of schools and Anganwadi Centers.
    • Under it, Albendazole tablet is used for the treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents.
  • Soil-transmitted helminths:
    • It is a type of helminth infection caused by different species of roundworms.
    • It is one of the most common infection that is transmitted through contaminated soil.
    • It is more prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical countries due to lack of adequate sanitary facilities, inappropriate waste disposal systems and lack of safe water supply.
    • It can be prevented by-
      • Avoiding open defecation
      • Hand-wash, before eating and after using toilets
      • Washing fruits and vegetables in safe and clean water
      • Eating properly cooked food

7. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of first-ever multi-modal logistic park in Assam.

  • Union minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of India’s first multi-modal logistic park in Assam.
  • It will be developed under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Government of India.
  • It will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity to the people of Assam and other parts of North East.
  • It will create 20 lakh job opportunities in the region.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 693 crore and the fund would be spent on three components - road and railway connectivity as well as building and infrastructure work.
  • An MoU will be signed to implement this project.
  • Bharatmala Pariyojana:
    • It was launched in 2015 under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
    • It is an umbrella program for the highways sector.
    • Its objective is to optimize the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps.
  • Assam:
    • The state capital is Dispur. The largest city is Guwahati.
    • State Dance: Bihu, State Bird: White-winged wood duck
    • The State Governor is Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister is Sarbananda Sonowal.
    • Lok Sabha seats: 14, Rajya Sabha Seats: 7

8. India-Vietnam Business Forum held virtually.

  • The India – Vietnam Business Forum has been organized virtually.
  • India and Vietnam trade has grown steadily and presently stands at 12.34 billion dollars in 2019-20. 
  • India export bovine meat, fishery products, corn, steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton, and machinery to Vietnam.
  • The main items which were exported to India from Vietnam include mobile phones and components, machinery, computer technology, natural rubber, chemicals, and coffee.
  • India stated that bilateral trade has to be broadened to achieve the full potential of trade relations.
  • India is now among the top ten trading partners of Vietnam.
  • Vietnam:
    • It is a South-East Asian country.
    • It shares a boundary with China, Laos and Cambodia.
    • It is known for its beaches, rivers and Buddhist pagodas.
    • Its capital is Hanoi and the currency is Vietnamese dong.

(Source: Britannica)

9. Government developing Indigenous Software solution for VTS and VTMS.

  • Government is developing an Indigenous Software solution for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS).
  • Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Mansukh Mandaviya has e-launched the development of an Indigenous Software solution for them.
  • Currently, Traffic Managements of the Indian Ports depends on high costing foreign-made software solutions.
  • VTS and VTMS are the software used to determine positions of vessels, other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings and manage traffic within a port or waterway.
  • IMO Convention SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) makes VTMS mandatory.
  • Rs. 10 Crore has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Shipping to IIT, Chennai for the development of indigenous VTS software.
  • Indigenously developed VTS software will make the implementation of the National Maritime Domain Awareness programme of the Indian Navy feasible at low cost.

10. NITI Aayog to establish Frontier Technologies CIC with AWS.

  • NITI Aayog has announced the establishment of Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • CIC is a part of AWS CIC Global Programme. Under the AWS CIC programme, government agencies can partner with other public sector organizations and access technology expertise of AWS.
  • NITI Aayog Frontier Technologies CIC will help budding innovators and start-ups.
  • Earlier, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has collaborated with CGI India to promote innovation across the schools.
  • Amazon’s subsidiary, Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to governments. AWS also provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals and companies.

11. PM Modi congratulates Mohun Bagan for becoming I-League Champions.

  • PM Modi has congratulated Kolkata based Mohun Bagan Athletic Club for becoming I-League Champions and winning I-League 2019-20 trophy.
  • Dipanda Dicka was the top goal scorer in I-League 2019-20. The remaining matches of the league were cancelled after 14 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • I-League Champions get an opportunity to take part in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
  • I-League 2019-20 was I-League’s 13th season. The organizing body for I-League 2019-20 was the All India Football Federation.
  • I-League is a premier football league in India. It was earlier called National Football League). Indian Super League is another premier football league in India.

12. Maharashtra becomes first state to put a limit on prices of masks. 

  • Maharashtra has become the first state to put a limit on prices of masks as Maharashtra government fixed price range for N95 and three-layer masks.
  • Announced maximum selling price limits will be applied to all mask manufacturing companies / distributors / retailers in Maharashtra.
  • All mask manufacturing companies / distributors / retailers in Maharashtra will display quality of masks and maximum selling price announced by the government.
  • The rate of masks being provided by Government and private hospitals / nursing homes / Covid care centers / dedicated covid hospitals etc. in Maharashtra should be at 70% of the announced maximum selling price limit.
  • Private hospitals cannot charge above 110% of the purchase price.
  • Maharashtra:
    • In terms of area, Maharashtra is India’s third largest state. In terms of population, it is second most populous state.
    • Its boundary is covered by 6 states. Karnataka and Goa are located to its south. Telangana is located to its southeast. Chhattisgarh is located to its east. Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are located to its north.
    • Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackery, Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari







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