GK Update 5th November 2020

1. Indian Army chief made honorary General of Nepal Army

  • The Chief of Army Staff General, MM Naravane was conferred the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. He was honoured at a special ceremony at the President’s official residence ‘Shital Niwas’ in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other senior officials of both the countries.
  • The practice follows a seven-decade-old tradition of conferring Army Chiefs of each other’s country with the honorary title.
  • Commander-in-Chief General KM Cariappa was the first Indian Army Chief to be decorated with the title in 1950.
  • In January last year, Chief of Nepali Army, General Purna Chandra Thapa, was also made the honorary General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in New Delhi.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime minister of Nepal: KP Sharma Oli; President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
  • Capital of Nepal: Kathmandu; Currency: Nepalese rupee.

2. Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurates “Tourist Facilitation Centre” in Kerala

  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel virtually inaugurated the “Tourist Facilitation Centre” facility at Guruvayur, in Kerala.
  • The facility has been constructed under the project “Development of Guruvayur, Kerala” under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism, at the cost of Rs. 11.57 Crores.
  • The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) were launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15.
  • The objective of PRASHAD scheme is integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  • It includes infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last-mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport, area Lighting and illumination with renewable sources of energy, parking, drinking water, toilets, cloakroom, waiting rooms, first aid centres, craft bazaars /haats/ souvenir shops/ cafeteria, rain shelters, Telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan; Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.

3. Bangladesh and US launch joint naval exercise CARAT Bangladesh 2020

  • Bangladesh and US navies launched the ‘Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh 2020’ to expand relationships and broaden maritime awareness between the two countries.
  • The exercise demonstrates the U.S.’s continuing commitment to work with the Bangladesh military to address shared maritime security concerns in the region and strengthen partnership to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • The sea phase of the exercise will take place in the Bay of Bengal with ships from both countries.
  • The events are designed to enhance interoperability between the two navies. U.S. and Bangladesh will work through coordinated deployment of surface ships, to include tactical manoeuvres among other activities.
  • CARAT 2020 underscores the shared vision of the US and Bangladesh for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and secure Indo-Pacific region.

4. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara wins 3rd term

  • The incumbent President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, has won a third 5-year term in a landslide victory, gaining more than 94 per cent of the votes polled.
  • The 78-year-old, Mr Ouattara was first sworn in as the president in 2010 and then re-elected in 2015. Apart from this, he has also served as the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Ivory Coast Capital: Yamoussoukro.
  • Ivory Coast Currency: West African CFA franc.

5. ADB approves USD 132.8 mn loan to improve power distribution in Meghalaya

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 132.8 million loan to Meghalaya, to improve and upgrade the power distribution network in the state.
  • The fund will help in improving the distribution system & financial sustainability of the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL).
  • The MePDCL has a huge outstanding against the power purchased from central power generating stations and to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). The loan will support in clearing the power outstanding dues.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Meghalaya Chief Minister: Conrad Sangma.
  • Meghalaya Governor: Satya Pal Malik.
  • Meghalaya Capital: Shillong.

6. India successfully test-fires enhanced version of PINAKA rocket system

  • The enhanced version of PINAKA rocket system was successfully flight tested by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • This enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets. While Mk-1 had a range of 40 km, the new variant can hit a target 45 to 60 km away.
  • The design and development of Pinaka were done by DRDO laboratories based in Pune, namely Armament Research and Development Establishment, ARDE and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, HEMRL.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.

7. AK Gupta becomes new MD and CEO of ONGC Videsh

  • AK Gupta, the new Managing Director and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) took charge. Before this, he was Director (Operations) of the company.
  • Gupta was also the Head of New businesses in Marketing in ONGC and Head Business development in ONGC Videsh, both for the domestic and international markets.
  • He has handled commercial negotiations with alliance partners, regulators, customers and National Oil Companies.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ONGC Videsh Limited Founded: 1965.
  • ONGC Videsh Limited Headquarters: New Delhi.

8. ‘Till We Win’: Book on Covid-19 by AIIMS Director

  • A new book titled “Till We Win” by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and two other doctors will give a definitive account of India’s fight against Covid-19 and how to deal with the pandemic in the days to come.
  • The book has been co-written by leading public policy and health systems expert Chandrakant Lahariya and renowned vaccine researcher and virologist Gagandeep Kang.
  • The book deals with the “realization of inner strength and unity” amongst people of all walks of life in a country known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. It will hit the stands this month and published by Penguin Random House India.
  • The book delves into how learnings from Covid-19 pandemic can be used to strengthen the Indian health system, for better, forever. It is up to all of us to convert the challenge posed by pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen health systems.

9. World Tsunami Awareness Day: 5 November

  • World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November. The day is celebrated to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.
  • In 2020, World Tsunami Awareness Day encourages the development of national and community-level, local disaster risk reduction strategies to save more lives against disasters. This year’s observance promotes “Sendai Seven Campaign,” target.
  • In December 2015, the UN General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day, calling on countries, international bodies and civil society to raise tsunami awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction.
  • World Tsunami Awareness Day was the brainchild of Japan, which due to its repeated, bitter experience has over the years built up major expertise in areas such as tsunami early warning, public action and building back better after a disaster to reduce future impacts.
  • UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) facilitates the observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day in collaboration with the rest of the United Nations system.

10. Kannada actor HG Somashekar Rao passes away

  • Veteran Kannada theatre and film actor, HG Somashekar Rao passed away. He had appeared in more than 60 movies during his career spanning about five decades.
  • He made his big-screen debut with 1975 Kannada film Geejagana Goodu. Apart from this, HG Somashekar Rao was also a published author. He has written 25 books, including an autobiography.

11. Bollywood Actor Faraaz Khan passes away

  • Bollywood actor Faraaz Khan passed away. He had acted in several popular Bollywood films in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Some of them include Mehndi (1998), Fareb (1996), Dulhan Banoo Main Teri (1999) and Chand Bujh Gaya (2005) among others.

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