Daily Current Affairs - 06th Oct 2020

12th BRICS Summit to be held virtually on November 17

  • The 12th BRICS Summit will be held on 17th November 2020 via video conference. The theme of the Meeting of the Leaders of BRICS countries which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
  • The Summit this year is being held under the Chairmanship of Russia and aims at a multifaceted cooperation between the member countries.

2nd GST Council meeting underway to discuss various issues of GST revenue

  • The 42nd GST Council meeting is underway in New Delhi. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the meeting through video conferencing. Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories are present at the meeting. In the last meeting of GST council, Centre had given two borrowing options to States to meet GST compensation requirement for the current financial year. States can borrow either 97 thousand crore rupees from a special window facilitated by the RBI or two lakh 35 thousand crore rupees from the market.
  • So far, 21 States had opted to borrow 97 thousand crore rupees to meet the GST revenue shortfall in the current fiscal.

Donald Trump's condition continues to improve after Covid-19 diagnosis

  • United States President Donald Trump has continued to improve after his Covid-19 diagnosis and could be discharged from hospital. US President's Covid-19 diagnosis, which he made public in a tweet, has upended his election campaign. A number of people around the President have tested positive, including First Lady Melania Trump.

DRDO successfully tests ASW missile system

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a successful flight test of the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. All mission objectives, including missile flight upto the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, the release of Torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM), were met perfectly in the flight test.
  • SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations for far beyond torpedo range. This launch and demonstration are significant in establishing ASW capabilities.

Foreign Ministers of all four Quad countries- India, US, Japan, Australia to meet in Tokyo

  • Foreign ministers of all four Quad countries will meet in the Japanese capital Tokyo. External Affairs Ministry said, Foreign Ministers will discuss the post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic. Four ministers will also discuss regional issues and collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • The foreign ministers of all four Quad countries - External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will be present for the face to face meeting, a first amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

French Open: Iga Swiatek beats top seed Simona Halep to reach quarter-finals of Women's Singles

  • Polish teenager Iga Swiatek dumped top seed Simona Halep out of the French Open with a crushing 6-1 6-2 victory to make her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. World number 54 Swiatek will play now against Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan who knocked out Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-4.

Google defers Play Store billing move to March ’22

  • Google said it was extending the deadline for developers in India to integrate with the Play Store billing system by six months to March 2022, while adding that it would also be setting up “listening sessions” with leading Indian start-ups to understand their concerns. The development comes after several Indian start-ups voiced their displeasure against Google over the company’s requirement that apps mandatorily use the Play Store’s billing system for in-app purchases of digital goods. Paytm, which competes with Google’s digital payments application GPay, on Sunday introduced its own ‘mini app’ store to support Indian developers.

Indian lab in vaccine test network

  • The Translational Health Science And Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has been chosen by an international non-profit, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), as one of the global network of laboratories for centralised assessment of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The CEPI network will initially involve six labs, one each in Canada, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and India. Under the CEPI Global network, the laboratory will use the same reagents and follow a common set of protocols to measure the immune response of multiple vaccine candidates under development and trial.

IPL: Delhi Capitals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs in Dubai

  • Delhi Capitals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs in an IPL cricket in Dubai. Sent into bat, Delhi Capitals scored 196 for four in their stipulated 20 overs. Marcus Stoinis top-scored for DC with 53 off 26 balls. Chasing a formidable target of 197, RCB were restricted to 137 for nine.

JNPT handles 3,80,384 TEUs cargo in September

  • The country's leading port Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, JNPT has handled 3,80,384 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo in September, which is 95 per cent of the cargo handled in the same month a year ago. As compared to August, the growth in throughput was 7.8 per cent, indicating early signs of recovery which is very significant during the ongoing pandemic that has affected businesses across the country.

Leading Chinese Chipmaker SMIC hit by US export restrictions

  • China’s biggest chip company Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has confirmed that some of its suppliers have been restricted by US export control regulations, and its business may be affected due to ensuing uncertainties in US equipment supplies. The fresh sanctions on SMIC come after the Trump administration-imposed penalties on a broad range of China’s tech companies.
  • SMIC relies heavily on equipment from companies based in the United States and other relevant countries to produce chips for clients.

Nagorno-Karabakh clash: Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of targeting cities far beyond conflict zone

  • The fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continued over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with Azerbaijan accusing Armenia of targeting the country's cities that are far beyond the conflict zone. It stated that Armenia targeted large cities Ganja and Mingachevir with missile strikes.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh was a designated autonomous region within Azerbaijan during the Soviet era. It claimed independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, about three months before the Soviet Union's collapse. A full-scale war that broke out in 1992 killed an estimated 30,000 people.

Pakistan charges former President Zardari

  • A Pakistani court has officially charged the country’s former President Asif Ali Zardari in two corruption cases, escalating the legal challenges facing the now leading opposition lawmaker and widower of assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

PNB to add 4,000 jobs, open 500 branches in FY21, says Rao

  • Public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB), which has set its sights on the South and West for expansion, will open about 500 branches and add about 4,000 jobs during the current fiscal, said its MD and CEO Ch. S.S. Mallikarjuna Rao. The bank, which currently operates 11,000 branches predominantly in the North and East, plans to expand in the South and West.

Road transport revenue may shrink 18-20% in FY21

  • The Indian road freight transportation sector is expected to see revenue contraction of 18-20% in FY21 due to the adverse impact of lockdowns, ICRA Ratings has said. ICRA has maintained its negative outlook for this sector due to expectations of continued pressures on the credit profile of road transportation companies. The rating agency said over the medium term, the sector would witness some consolidation trends, given the rising pressure on viability of small fleet operators.
  • This decline was also corroborated by the generation of e-way bills, which contracted by 49% during the quarter.

SAI asks all its coaches to take fitness tests twice a year

  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) has asked all its coaches to take fitness tests twice a year, the record of which will be maintained in their personal files. The fitness tests will be set on the guidelines of Age Appropriate Fitness Protocol that was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th September 2020, during the Fit India Dialogue. These are the first-ever set of age appropriate fitness tests that have been launched in India

Union Minister Piyush Goyal to announce results of first edition of National Startup Awards on October 6

  • Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal will release the results of the first edition of National Startup Awards today. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has conceived the first ever National Startup Awards to recognize and reward outstanding Startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions.
  • The first edition of the Awards invited applications across 12 sectors which were further sub-classified into a total of 35 categories. These sectors include Agriculture, Education, Enterprise Technology, Energy, Finance, Food, Health, Industry 4.0 and Urban Services.