Current Affairs Pocket: 19-21 October 2020

8th India-Sri Lanka Maritime Exercise SLINEX-20 to begin in Trincomalee from October 19
* The eighth edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 is scheduled be held off Trincomalee in Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 October 2020.
* The Indian Navy will be represented by the indigenously built ASW corvettes Kamorta and Kiltan.
* The Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLN Ships Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu (Training Ship).
* The SLINEX-20 will enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.
* The exercise is being conducted in a non-contact ‘at-sea-only’ format in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

India successfully test fires BrahMos cruise missile from INS Chennai
* India successfully test fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 18 October 2020, from the Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai.
* The missile hit the target in the Arabian Sea successfully with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres.
* The highly versatile BrahMos has been jointly designed, developed and produced by India and Russia under the joint venture, BrahMos Aerospace.
* The supersonic cruise missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, and land platforms.

Centre Extends Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s tenure till 22 August, 2021
* The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension of the tenure of Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla till August 22, 2021.
* Bhalla, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, was appointed as Home Secretary in August 2019.

Nozomi Okuhara and Anders Antonsen clinches Denmark Open (Badminton)
* In Badminton, former World Champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan clinched the Denmark Open 2020 title beating three-time world champion Carolina Marin in women’s singles.
* In the men’s singles final, world number seven Anders Antonsen of Denmark defeated his compatriot Rasmus Gemke.

ISA Solar Awards Conferred for the first time
* For the first time, since the inception of the framework agreement of ISA, the Solar Awards were presented during the third Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 14 October 2020 to the countries of the region as well as institutions working for solar.
Winners:
* Visvesvaraya award – Japan for the Asia Pacific region and the Netherlands for Europe and Others region.
* Kalpana Chawla awards – Dr.Bhim Singh from IIT Delhi (India) and Dr. Aaesha Alnuaimi from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (United Arab Emirates.
* Diwakar award – Arpan Institute (Haryana) and Arushi Society.

Australia to Join Malabar-2020 Naval Exercise with India, US & Japan in November
* India has invited Australia to participate in its trilateral naval exercise “Malabar-2020” which is scheduled to be held in November 2020, in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
* The Malabar series of naval exercises began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between Indian Navy-US Navy. Later, Japan joined the Naval exercise in 2015.
* In 2020, the exercise will be held in a ‘non-contact – at sea’ format.
It aims to increase cooperation and enhance safety and security in the maritime security domain.
* It must be remembered that US-India-Japan and Australia are already the part of the “Quad” alliance.

India successfully test-fires Stand-Off Anti-Tank (SANT) Missile off Odisha coast
* India successfully flight tested its indigenously developed Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast on 19 October 2020. The missile was test fired from a roof-top launcher of the ground-based platform.
* SANT is a air-to-surface missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Air Force.
* It is an upgraded version of anti-tank missile, Helicopter Launched Nag (HeliNa).
* The SANT missile has both lock-on before launch and lock-on after launch capability and can destroy targets 15 km to 20 km away.

UP Governor Anandiben Patel launches women’s safety campaign ‘Safe City Project’ in Lucknow
* The Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel inaugurated the ‘Safe City Project’ on 19 October 2020 in Lucknow.
* Under this 180-day-long campaign, the women police personnel will work towards strengthening security of women in public places and inculcate a feeling of pride and safety among women in the city.
* The Governor also flagged off 100 pink scooties and 10 four-wheeler police vehicles. These vehicles have first-aid kit, flashlights and other facilities.
* For this programme, the central government has approved a total cost of Rs 194 crore.

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