Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 October 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 13:58 PM IST

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1. 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature announced.

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 2020 has been announced.
  • The winner for the year 2020 is Louise Glück. 
  • She has been awarded for “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
  • Louise Glück is an American poet and an adjunct professor at Yale University.
  • Prior to this, she has received major literary awards like Pulitzer Prize (1993), Bollingen Prize (2001), National Book Award (2014), National Humanities Medal (2015).
  • Some of her notable works are Faithful and Virtuous Night, The Wild Iris, Vita Nova, The Seven Ages, etc.
  • The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine have been announced already.
  • The 2018 Nobel prize in Literature was postponed as the husband of an academy member was accused and convicted of rape.
  • In 2019, Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke were awarded the Nobel Prizes in Literature for the year 2018 and 2019 respectively.

2. A petition filed for removal of the objection provision under Special Marriage Act.

  • A petition has been filed in Delhi High Court by an inter-faith couple to remove the provision of inviting objection from the public applying for marriage registration under the Special Marriage Act (SMA).
  • Under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), there is a provision that all marriages done under the SMA require publication of the names of the couple for inviting objections from the public for 30 days.
  • In this duration, anyone can object to the marriage on the grounds specified in section 4 of the Special Marriage Act.
  • The petition urged the court to declare objection provision under Section 6 and 7 of the act as “illegal, null, void and unconstitutional”.
  • The petition contends that objection under section 4 of the Act can be approved based on the certificates issued from a government hospital or any prescribed authority.
  • The Special Marriage Act was enacted in 1954 to provide a special form of marriage for the people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of the religion or faith followed by either party.
  • Section 4: It provides Conditions relating to the solemnization of special marriages. The conditions are –
    • Neither party has a spouse living
    • Neither party has a mental disorder or unsoundness of mind.
    • The male has completed the age of twenty-one years and the female has completed the age of eighteen years

3. More restrictions on H-1B visas by Trump administration.

  • US announced a new restriction on the H-1B visa to protect American workers, restoring integrity and better guaranteeing that H-1B petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” by closing the overbroad definition.
  • Many technology companies hire employees from India and China through this Visa.
  • It will adversely affect thousands of Indian IT professionals.
  • According to the US Department of Labour, it will strengthen the wage protections and address abuses in these visa programmes.
  • Data reveals that more than half-million H-1B non-immigrants have displaced the US workers, leading to a reduction and stagnation of wages in certain occupations.
  • It will help in protecting job opportunities and wages for American workers by removing economic incentives to hire foreign workers.
  • H1B visa:
    • It is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate-level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
    • It is given under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990.

4. Dinesh Kumar Khara took over as new Chairman of SBI.

  • Dinesh Kumar Khara has taken over as the new Chairman of State Bank of India.
  • He will be the 26th Chairman of SBI.
  • He replaced Rajnish Kumar, whose three-year term ended on 6th October. Rajnish Kumar served as the 25th Chairman of SBI. 
  • Prior to this, he served as the chief executive of SBI Funds Management Pvt Limited (SBIMF).
  • Last year, he served as the chairman of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
  • Dinesh Kumar Khara has been appointed as Chairman of SBI for three years.
  • State Bank of India (SBI):
    • It is a nationalized public sector bank and 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


new Chairman of SBI

(Source: News on AIR)

5. Union Cabinet approves ratification of 7 chemicals listed under Stockholm Convention.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the ratification of seven chemicals listed under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
  • Union Minister of External Affairs and Union Minister of Environment have also been given powers to ratify the chemicals under the Stockholm Convention.
  • These seven chemicals are:
    • Chlordecone
    • Hexabromobiphenyl
    • Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenyl ether
    • Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether  
    • Pentachlorobenzene
    • Hexabromocyclododecane
    • Hexachlorobutadiene
  • India had ratified the Stockholm Convention on 13 January 2006.
  • The ratification process would enable India to access Global Environment Facility (GEF) financial resources in updating the National Implementation Plan (NIP).
  • Global Environment Facility was established in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit. It provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities.
  • GEF projects address six designated focal areas: Biodiversity, Climate Change, International Waters, Ozone Depletion, Land Degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had notified the Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants Rules, on 5 March 2018 under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • The regulation prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export of seven chemicals listed as POPs under the Stockholm Convention.
  • The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from POPs.
  • POPs are chemical substances that remain in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/ environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport (LRET).
  • POPs can cause cancer, damage to central nervous systems, immune system diseases, reproductive disorders, etc.

6. Air Force Day 2020: 8 October

  • Indian Air force has been celebrating its 88th anniversary this year.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) Day is celebrated every year on 8 October.
  • On this occasion, a scintillating air display by various aircraft will be the hallmark of the Air Force Day Parade-cum-Investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan, Ghaziabad.
  • The air display will begin with flag bearing skydivers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies.
  • In the flypast, Tejas LCA, Mig-29 and 21, Sukhoi-30, and Rafale along with helicopters like the Mi17V5, Chinook, Mi-35, ALH Rudra and transport aircraft like C-17 Globemaster, C-130, and IL-76 Gajraj will be included.
  • Indian Air Force:
    • It was established on 8 October 1932 and hence, Air Force Day is celebrated every year on 8 October.
    • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Air Force.
    • The Chief of the Air Staff is Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
    • 1st Chief of the Air Staff is Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst.

Indian Air force celebrating  88th anniversary

7. World Cotton Day 2020: India launched its First-ever Brand & Logo for its cotton.

  • On the occasion of Second World Cotton Day (7 October), Union Minister of Textile, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched the ‘Kasturi Cotton’ first-ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton. 
  • The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness. 
  • According to the data, India is the second-largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world.
  • India produces about 23% of the world’s cotton every year and 51% of the total organic cotton production in the world.
  • A certification system for organic cotton will be introduced in phases through APEDA.
  • A mobile app Cott-Ally has been developed by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) for providing the latest news regarding weather condition, crop situation and best farm practices of cotton.
  • A webinar was also organized by TEXPROCIL and CITI on the theme of “NEW-LOOK COTTON” to facilitate the exchange of ideas on the emerging scenarios in cotton usage and application.
  • Ministry of Textiles:
    • It is responsible for policy formulation, planning, development, export promotion and trade regulation of the Textile Industry.
    • Minister of Textiles: Smriti Zubin Irani
    • Statutory Bodies under the Ministry of Textiles are:
      • Jute Manufacturers Development Council
      • Central Silk Board
      • Textile Committee
      • Commissioner of Payments

8. India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Cybersecurity.

  • A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) has been signed between India and Japan in the field of cybersecurity.
  • It will increase cooperation in the capacity building area of cyberspace, protection of critical infrastructure, emerging technologies, sharing information on cybersecurity threats/incidents and malicious cyber activities, as well as best prac­tices to counter them.
  • Both countries have agreed for an open, interoperable, free, fair, secure and reli­able cyberspace environment that will promote the Internet as an engine of innova­tion, economic growth, and trade and commerce.
  • Both countries committed cooperation in the field of
    • Discussing and sharing strategies and best prac­tices to promote the integrity of the supply chain of ICT products
    • Strengthening the security of ICT infrastructure through Government-to-Government and Business-to-Business cooperation
    • Continuing dialogue and engagement in Internet governance fora and participation of stakeholders from both the countries in these fora.
  • Japan:
    • It is an island country located in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
    • It shares its border with the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk, and East China Sea.
    • Capital: Tokyo
    • Currency: Japanese Yen

9. Cabinet approves MoU between Zoological Survey of India and International Barcode of Life.

  • An MoU between the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and International Barcode of Life has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and International Barcode of Life (iBOL) have come together for DNA barcoding of species.
  • DNA barcoding is a species identification method by sequencing a short segment of a species’ DNA and comparing individual sequences to a reference database.
  • It will enable ZSI to participate at the Global level programmes like Bioscan and Planetary Biodiversity Mission.
  • International Barcode of Life (iBOL):
    • It is a Canadian not-for-profit corporation that was established in 2008.
    • It is a research alliance of nations that aims to transform biodiversity science by building the DNA barcode reference libraries, the sequencing facilities, the informatics platforms, etc.
    • Its first program, “BARCODE 500K,” has barcoded 5,00,000 species.
  • Zoological Survey of India:
    • It was established on 1 July 1916.
    • It is the premier taxonomic research organization in India.
    • It works under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    • Headquarters: Kolkata
    • Director: Dr. Kailash Chandra

10. India – Australia organized an International Conference on ‘Mental Health – Looking beyond COVID 19’.

  • An International Conference on ‘Mental Health – Looking beyond COVID 19’ has been organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) in collaboration with the University of Melbourne.
  • The conference has been organized under the MoU that was signed between the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Govt. of Australia for the cooperation in the disability sector in November 2019.
  • It was inaugurated by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Thaawarchand Gehlot and Prof. Craig Jeffrey, Director, Australia-India Institute.
  • There were discussions on various issues related to mental health rehabilitation, specifically in the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Experts also discussed issues such as stress management for frontline non-health workers; multicultural mental health; maintaining mental health: working from home; suicide and associated media reporting in India; Mental Health and Human Rights in India and Australia; etc.
  • Australia:
    • It is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and other smaller islands.
    • It shares maritime borders with East Timor, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of New Caledonia.
    • It is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of area.
    • Scott John Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia.
    • Currency: Australian dollar

India-Australia organized an International Conference

11. Three MoUs signed between NABARD and SBI to provide credit support for various projects.

  • NABARD has signed three Memoranda of Understanding with State Bank of India to extend credit support for various projects in Gujarat.
  • It is signed for financing joint liability groups and Self-Help Groups-support.
  • It will provide credit support to Farmer Producers’ Organizations and watershed development project.
    • It is an apex development finance institution that provides credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas.
    • It is fully owned by the Government of India.
    • It was formed on 12 July 1982.
    • Chairman: Shri Govinda Rajulu Chinthala
    • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra







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