current and corporate news 21 OCTOBER 2020
current and corporate news 21 OCTOBER 2020



Number of COVID-19 cases crosses 40.11 million worldwide: WHO: According to WHO data, the number of infected cases has crossed 40.11 million worldwide. WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has said that 184 countries have now joined the COVAX facility. While addressing the media in Geneva yesterday, he said, this facility aims to finance COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed fairly to both rich and poor countries.

PM Modi urges people not to lower guard till there is vaccine for Coronavirus : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a fervent appeal to all the citizens to not let their guard down and become complacent, in the country’s ongoing fight against the Covid Pandemic. In his seventh address to the nation in last seven months, the Prime Minister said, in the fight against corona, people of India have come a long way from Janta curfew till today. Mr. Modi said, despite the lockdown having been lifted it does not mean that the Corona Virus is wiped out. Mr Modi said country’s mortality is low and recovery rate is good. He also said effort will be to ensure Covid vaccine reaches all. The Prime Minister also appealed to media to spread awareness.


Govt launches development of indigenous software solution for VTS and VTMS: Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya e-launched the development of Indigenous Software solution for Vessel traffic services and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems in New Delhi today. In the inaugural address, Mr Mandaviya laid emphasis on the development of indigenous
system as per the requirement of the country instead of relying on high costing foreign made software solutions for Traffic Managements of the Indian Ports.

Defence Minister approves new DRDO Procurement Manual-2020: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a new DRDO Procurement Manual-2020. Defence Minister’s Office said, in a tweet, that this will encourage more participation of the Indian Industry including start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Research and Development activity and also to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence. The Defence
Minister said, the new DRDO Procurement Manual will facilitate the indigenous Defence Industry by simplifying the processes and ensuring their participation in design and development activities.

Dharmendra Pradhan congratulates DRDO on successful test-firing of stand-off Anti-Tank SANT Missile: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has congratulated Defence Research and Development Organization on successful test-firing of indigenously developed stand-off Anti-Tank SANT
Missile off the coast of Odisha.

Enforcement Directorate questions NC Chief Farooq Abdullah in JKCA scam case: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah in connection with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam. Ten office-bearers of the JKCA, including Mr Abdullah, are accused of turning the sports body into a lending agency
and operating several bogus accounts between 2005 and 2012 when the scam was unearthed. Mr Abdullah was questioned by at the ED’s Srinagar office yesterday in connection with its probe into the multi-crore scam. The scam came to light in March 2012 when JKCA treasurer Manzoor Wazir filed a police complaint against former general secretary Mohammad
Saleem Khan and former treasurer Ahsan Mirza. Soon, a list with around 50 names linked to the financial scandal was out. Mr Abdullah lost the post of JKCA president later after holding it for more than three decades. ED has attached assets worth 2.6 crore rupees in a money laundering case related to the alleged embezzlement of funds of JKCA.

NITI Aayog to establish Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre with Amazon Web Services: In order to address societal challenges through digital innovation, NITI Aayog today announced the establishment of a Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre, CIC with Amazon Web
Services, AWS. It is the first of its kind in India. This CIC is part of the AWS CIC Global Programme which provides an opportunity for government agencies, non-profits and educational institutions, to come together on pressing challenges, apply design thinking, test new ideas, and access the technology expertise of AWS. Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission, AIM R. Ramanan said, NITI Aayog is delighted to collaborate with AWS in this endeavour. He said, the NITI Aayog Frontier Technologies CIC will be a great enabler to budding innovators and start-ups and help in piloting state-of-the-art, cloud-centric digital innovations by leveraging emerging technologies such as AI, IOT and robotics, blockchain.


UAE delegation reaches Israel for first time in history: In an historic first visit by a Gulf Arab nation, a United Arab Emirates delegation reached Israel today. It was accompanied by top US officials to cement the normalisation of ties between the two nations. As part of the US-brokered deal, four agreements were signed relating to investment, scientific cooperation, civil aviation and visa exemptions, during the visit.
Washington has said the deals would foster regional peace and stability.

India participates in 18th meeting of Prosecutors General of SCO: India today participated in 18th meeting of Prosecutors General of SCO via video conference. Representing India, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said India has zero tolerance to corruption and black money.Today’s meeting of Prosecutors, agreed to strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, mutual legal assistance and exchange of regulatory legal
acts. India will host the next meeting of Prosecutors General in 2021. SCO Law ministers met last week and SCO Trade Ministers will meet next week. The eight member bloc will meet for this year’s SCO Council of Heads of Govt on 30th Nov which will be hosted by India. The SCO Summit will be held in early November.

Early voting for US Presidential election begins in crucial state of Florida: Early voting for the November 3 US presidential election has begun in the crucial battleground state of Florida, as a record 28 million Americans have already cast ballots with barely two weeks remaining in the campaign. Florida is widely seen as a must-win for President Donald Trump, whose path to victory becomes razor-thin if he loses the southern state. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Trump would be debating for a final time on Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee.


India, Vietnam Business Forum held virtually: The India Vietnam Business Forum was organised virtually today. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary (East), External Affairs Ministry, Riva Ganguly Das reaffirmed the
growing bilateral trade and investment ties between India and Vietnam. She said, trade between India and Vietnam has grown steadily and presently stands at 12.34 billion dollars in 2019-20. Export basket from India to Vietnam includes bovine meat, fishery products, corn, steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton, machinery while imports from Vietnam include mobile phones, electrical machinery and equipment, computers, electronic
hardware, natural rubber, chemicals, and coffee. The Secretary said, the bilateral trade turnover is still not commensurate with the levels of economic development and more needs to be done to broaden and intensify the trade relations to achieve its full potential.


World Statistics Day celebrated across globe on 20th October: The World Statistics Day is being celebrated around the globe today, with the theme “Connecting the world with data we can trust”. This theme reflects on the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation and the public good in national statistical systems. On the occasion, UN Chief Antonio Guterres said that current and reliable data are key to understanding our changing world. He said, COVID19 has elevated the importance of data to save lives and recover better.


Surbhi Saxena edits the daily Current Affairs News.
The author is qualified member of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).