Daily GK Update: 20th September 2020

“What is this thing that has happened to us?: Arundhati Roy reads an essay from her upcoming novel”.


  • Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy’s new book is all set to release in September 2020. Titled ‘Freedom. Fascism. Fiction.’, the book will be published by Haymarket Books.
  • ‘Freedom. Fascism. Fiction.’ is a collection of essays that reflect on the true meaning of freedom.
  • “The chant of Azadi! — Urdu for “Freedom!”—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically it has also become the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism.

Source: Times of India

 “India seeks Blue Flag eco-label for its eight beaches, launches its own tag ‘BEAMS’ for clean beach”.

  • A national jury, composed of environmentalists and scientists, has recommended India’s eight beaches for consideration by international jury for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue Flag Certification.
  • The Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world.
  • The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The international jury is likely to take its call for certification next month.
  • Total 4664 beaches, marinas and boats from 46 countries have, so far, got the Blue Flag certification by international jury. Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag tagged sites. There is none from India.
  • The BEAMS was launched by e-hoisting the flag, carrying a message “IAMSAVINGMYBEACH” simultaneously at eight beaches, recommended by the Indian jury for consideration for the Blue Flag.
  • “The objective of BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources, and seriously challenge local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations. This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.,” said the ministry.

Source: Times of India


  • The ITF has announced that Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, has been renamed the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas.
  • It is the first time a major global team competition has been named after a woman, ushering in a new era for the historic tournament and representing a landmark moment for sport.
  • A champion on the court and a pioneer off it, Billie Jean King is a global campaigner for equality who has dedicated her life to fighting discrimination in all its forms. The values she represents epitomise  the ethos of a tournament that has evolved to become the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 116 nations entered in 2020.
  • The rename also follows the introduction of a new finals format that will bring the 12 best nations together over one week in Budapest to compete to become world champions. From 2021, under its new name, the Billie Jean King Cup Finals will award the biggest annual prize fund in women’s team sports – equivalent to that offered to the men playing Davis Cup Finals.

Source: Tennis

“Vettaikaaran director Babu Sivan passes away”.

  • Tamil director Babu Sivan passed away at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, following multiple organ failure. He was 54.
  • Babu Sivan began his career by assisting director Dharani, who helmed films like Ghilli and Kurvi with Vijay.
  • Later, he made his directorial debut with Vettaikaaran in 2009. The Vijay-starrer became a huge hit at the box office.
  • However, the success of the film did not help Sivan’s career. He struggled to find work. And later, he took over the responsibility of directing daily soap opera Rasaathi.

Source: Indian Express

 “Canara Bank introduces i-Lead 2.0 to boost customer services”.

  • Public sector lender Canara Bank has launched lead management system (LMS) – i-Lead 2.0 (Inspiring Leads System version 2.0).
  • The system has been launched to provide its services to customers irrespective of where they reside.
  • Through lead management system (LMS), customers can enquire and get services rendered through simple modes such as internet banking, mobile banking, call centre, SMS and missed call.
  • This new initiative is being introduced with the motive of building and sustaining business relationships with both new customers to bank and existing customers to bank.

Source: Dailyhunt

“Barack Obama memoir ‘A Promised Land’ to be released after US Election”.    


  • The first volume of former US President Barack Obama’s long-awaited memoir will be released in November after the US Election.
  • He announced that the book titled “A Promised Land,” will be available on November 17, two weeks after Election Day.
  • “There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one. In A Promised Land, I try to provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody,” Obama said.

Source: Business Today

“Dayton Literary Peace Prize: Canadian writer Margaret Atwood wins this year’s lifetime achievement award”.

  • Margaret Atwood, whose sweeping body of work includes “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a depiction of a nightmarish totalitarian future for the United States, is this year’s winner of a lifetime achievement award that celebrates literature’s power to foster peace, social justice and global understanding.
  • The Canadian writer and teacher has earned the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, officials of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize officials.
  • The award is named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnian peace accords reached in the Ohio city.
  • Atwood — a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, comic books and, as of late, tweets — in recent years has drawn a new round of acclaim for her bestselling 1985 novel of a dystopian future in which women are subjugated after an overthrow of the U.S. government.

Source: Hindustan Times

“United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87”.

  • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg  who has been regarded as an iconic champion of women’s rights and history-making jurist passed away at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington DC.
  • Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the bench, developed a rock star status during her career and was dubbed the ‘Notorious RBG’, CNN reported.
  • She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton  and in recent years served as the most senior member of the court liberal wing, consistently delivering progressive votes on the most divisive social issues of the day, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action.

Source: Economic Times

“KVGB launches new gold loan scheme”.

  • The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) has launched a special gold loan scheme — Vikas Laghu Suvarna — with a reduced interest rate of 7.25 per cent.
  • Quoting P Gopi Krishna, Chairman of the bank, a press release said on Friday that the bank has reduced the rate of interest to provide easy and affordable credit to needy customers at a cheaper cost considering the pandemic situation in the country.
  • Under this scheme, the bank is giving 80 per cent of the market value of the gold subject to a maximum of ₹,3200 a gram. A maximum loan of up to ₹15 lakh will be provided. The loan is repayable within six months, he said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line 

“PM Modi to inaugurate VAIBHAV Summit on 2nd October 2020”.

  • Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Vaishwik  Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit on 2nd October’2020 through video conferencing.
  • The month-long Summit will provide a platform to leverage the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for solving emerging challenges and create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.
  • The VAIBHAV Summit is a joint initiative of all S&T and Academic Organisations of India (working in Research, Academic and Scientific fields) to enable deliberations on thought processes, practices and R&D culture with a problem-solving approach for well-defined objectives.

Source: Dailyhunt