Weekly Current Affairs Pocket : 8 – 12 October 2020

Indian Cotton gets Brand Name; To be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ globally
* On the occasion of the 2nd World Cotton Day, the Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, launched the first ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton on 7th October, 2020 through Video Conferencing.
* It means that from now on, the premium Cotton of India would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton Trade.
* The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness.

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020
* The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”
* Emmanuelle Charpentier is a Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany.
* Jennifer A. Doudna is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

World Bank projects India’s GDP at -9.6% in FY21, 5.4% in FY22
* The World Bank has estimated India’s GDP to contract 9.6% in FY21 (2020-21). Earlier this projection was -3.20% for the same period.
* The Bank released its South Asia Economic Focus report on 8 October 2020. The contraction is mainly due to the impact of the national lockdown against the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the income shock experienced by households and small urban service firms.
* The World Bank, however expects the Indian economy to rebound to 5.4% in 2021-22 (FY22).

RBI keeps key interest rates unchanged; projects GDP to shrink by 9.5% in FY21
* The Reserve Bank of India in its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on October 9, 2020 has decided to:
* keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 4.0 percent.
* Reverse repo rate remains unchanged at 3.35 percent decided to maintain its accommodative stance.
* The MPC has projected the Indian economy to contract 9.5 percent in the current fiscal 2020-21.
The six-member MPC Committee has also proposed the following decisions:
* The RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) system for real time fund transfer will become 24X7 from December 2020.
* The new housing loans risk weights shall be linked to Loan-to-value ratio and also rationalize risk weights for all new housing loans until March 31, 2022.
* Allow banks to increase exposure to retail and small borrowers up to Rs 7.5 crore
* The bank will extend scheme for co-lending to all NBFC, HFC.
* Increased the size of open market operations to Rs. 20,000 crore.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal gets additional charge of Ministry of Consumer Affairs
* The Union Minister Piyush Goyal has been assigned the additional charge of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on 9th October 2020 in addition to his existing portfolios, following the death of union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
* Goyal is currently serving as the Union Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

J Venkatramu appointed as MD & CEO of India Post Payments Bank for 3 years
* Government has appointed J Venkatramu as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).
Venkatramu has been appointed to the post for a period of three years.
* Currently he is the chief digital officer at Equitas Small Finance Bank.
Venkatramu succeeds Suresh Sethi, who had served as founder MD and CEO of the payments banks till March 2020.

Nilesh Shah re-elected as Chairman of AMFI
* Nilesh Shah has been re-elected as the Chairman of the Mutual fund industry body, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
* Shah is the managing director of Kotak Asset Management Company (AMC).
* The decision was taken at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the AMFI on 07 October 2020.
* Shah was earlier elected as the chairman for the financial year 2019–20. He would continue to hold the office till the conclusion of the next AGM.
* Apart from this, Saurabh Nanavati, who is the chief executive officer of Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd, has been re-elected as the vice-chairman of Amfi.

Bishr Al-Khasawneh named new Prime Minister of Jordan
* The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, has designated his chief policy adviser, Bishr al-Khasawneh, as the country’s new Prime Minister on 7 October 2020 and has advised to form his new government.
* The 51-year-old veteran diplomat Bishr Al-Khasawneh will succeed the previous government of Omar Al-Razzaz, which resigned recently amid criticism of it’s handling of the virus pandemic.
* Jordan Capital – Amman, Currency – Jordanian dinar (JOD)

American poet Louise Gluck awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature
* The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 has been awarded to American poet Louise Gluck by The Swedish Academy (Stockholm, Sweden).
* The 77-year-old Gluck has been awarded “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
* Prof. Gluck has previously won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection “The Wild Iris” and the National Book Award for “Faithful and Virtuous Night”, in 2014.

World Food Progamme wins Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for Efforts to Combat Hunger in Conflict Areas
* The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to World Food Programme (WFP) on 9th October 2020.
* The World Food Programme (WFP) has won the prestigious honor “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

Noted Odia Poet Nityananda Nayak Selected for Sarala Puraskar 2020
* Veteran Odia poet Nityananda Nayak has been chosen for the prestigious Sarala Puraskar for the year 2020, for his literary work of poetry ”Setebelaku Nathiba” which was published in 2017.
* This is the 41st edition of the annual Sarala Puraskar, which comprises of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation.

Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Eifel Grand Prix
* Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, held on 11 October 2020 at the Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany.
* This is Hamilton’s 7th win of the season and 91st career race victory, which was till now achieved only by Michael Schumacher.
* The race was the eleventh race in 2020 Formula One World Championship and the first running in history of the Eifel Grand Prix.
* Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) came second followed by Daniel Ricciardo (Renault, Australia) at third position.

Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek wins French Open 2020
* In tennis, Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0,6-2,7-5 to win the men’s 2020 French Open on 11 October 2020. This is his 13th French Open men’s singles title and 20th Grand Slam title.
* In Women’s single, the 19-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland, claimed a historic win, by becoming the youngest women to win the title in the history of the championship in 28 years.
Winners of French Open Tennis 2020:
* Men’s Single – Rafael Nadal (Spain) beat Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
* Women’s Single – Iga Swiatek (Poland) defeated Sofia Kenin (US)
* Men’s Double – Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies of Germany
* Women’s Double – Tímea Babos (Hungary)/ Kristina Mladenovic (France)

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