Daily GK Updates: 18th October 2020

“Aishwarya Sridhar becomes first Indian woman to win at Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.”

  • Aishwarya Sridhar’s photo titled ‘Lights of Passion’ has won the ‘Highly Commended’ award at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020. The 23-year-old has become the first Indian to win the coveted award.
  • The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 were announced on October 13.
  • Sridhar’s photo is a picture of a tree illuminated with fireflies. The fireflies and stars in the sky form a surreal galaxy around the tree. It won under the Behaviour-Invertebrates category.

Source: Times Now

“New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wins second term in landslide election with ‘be strong, be kind’ mantra.”

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned speaking from the heart and smiling through adversity into a winning formula for blowout re-election as New Zealand`s leader.
  • Now Ardern, who made a name for herself by crushing COVID-19 in the country and healing the nation after a massacre of Muslims by a white supremacist, faces a challenge to show her leadership extends beyond crisis management and kindness.
  • Her Labour Party won a landslide victory in the general election, a resounding mandate that ushers in New Zealand`s first purely left-leaning government in decades and may allow her to form a single-party government.
  • The win is also the reward for Ardern`s leadership through a series of extraordinary events that shaped her first three-year term: the gunman`s massacre of 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques and the eruption of the White Island volcano, which killed 21.
  • “Be strong, be kind,” said New Zealand`s youngest prime minister in more than a century repeated through these dramatic events, her empathetic leadership and crisis management skills often masking her government`s shortcomings.

Source: Zee News

“Rohan Jaitley unanimously elected DDCA president.”

  • Advocate Rohan Jaitley, son of late Union Minister Arun Jaitley, was on Saturday elected unopposed president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) after the lone candidate who had filed his nomination against him withdrew his candidature.
  • The final list of candidates was declared by the Election Returning Officer, after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature for candidates expired on Saturday. Elections for six posts are to be held between November 5 and 8.

Source: Indian Express

“Prithvi-2 missile, capable of carrying nukes, blasts off from Odisha in user trial.”

  • India on Friday successfully conducted another night trial of its nuclear-capable Prithvi-2 missile as part of a user trial for the armed forces from a test range in Odisha coast.
  • The liquid-propelled Prithvi-2 has a range of 250 km and can carry a 1 tone warhead. The 9-metre tall missile is the first to have been developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
  • It is India’s first indigenous surface-to-surface strategic missile.
  • This is the second night trial of Prithvi-2 in less than three weeks. The DRDO had quietly carried out another round of night trial of the nuclear missile on 27 September.
  • “The night trial was successful,” the official said.

Source: Hindustan Times

“Umar Gul retires from Cricket: End of an era.”

  • Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul announced his retirement from all formats of cricket, bringing an end to a glorious international career which lasted nearly 13 years.
  • Gul made his debut for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in an ODI match at Sharjah in April 2003 and went on to play 47 Tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20Is till September 2016 which was the last time he turned up for the national team.
  • Gul picked 163 wickets in Tests at an average of just over 34 with 4 five-wicket hauls while he ODIs he bagged 179 wickets at 29.34 with 2 five-for and managed 85 T20I scalps at 16.97.
  • He is 13th on the list of most wickets in the longest format for Pakistan and 10th highest in ODIs.

Source: India Today 

“Bengali Elocutionist Pradip Ghosh Passes Away.”


  • Veteran Bengali elocutionist Pradip Ghosh who gave a new dimension to the recitation of famous poet Rabindranath Tagore died at the age of 78 at his residence in Kolkata.
  • He was a pioneer in popularising the recitation of poetry in public. This spurred the general people to buy tickets to listen to Bengali poetry recitation and buy records by elocutionists like him.
  • The 78-year-old artist was a well-known name at cultural programs organised by expatriate Bengalis in the USA, Australia, and the UK.
  • Ghosh was the recipient of Kazi Sabyasachi Puraskar in 2017. Ghosh, known for his inimitable style, had to his credit scores of CDs and cassettes.

Source: Republic World

“Mission Shakti’: Special awareness campaign for women safety launched by UP CM Yogi Adityanath.”

  • The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh launched ‘Mission Shakti’, a campaign which intends to create awareness about women empowerment in the state.
  • The Chief Minister held the program through video conferencing, in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • During the campaign, CM Adityanath said that ‘Mission Shakti’ was launched by the state government and the work under the campaign is being carried out in full swing.

Source: Times Now   

“India to handover submarine to Myanmar, aimed to counter China’s influence.”

  • Myanmar will get its first submarine as India will handover the INS Sindhuvir for use the of Myanmar Navy, a decision aimed at boosting military cooperation between the two countries and counter China’s influence in the neighborhood.
  • The announcement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs comes soon after the visit of Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and Army Chief Gen MM Naravane to Myanmar.
  • This is in accordance with our vision of SAGAR Security and Growth for All in the Region, and also inline with our commitment to build capacities and self reliance in all our neighboring countries, the MEA said.
  • The INS Sindhuvir was refurbished by the Hindustan Shipyard Limited was handed over to the Indian Navy undergoing upgrades earlier this year. It is one the 10 Kilo class submarines in the Indian Navy’s fleet. INS Sindurakshak was destroyed in an explosion triggered by a fire in 2013.

Source: India Today

“RBI to conduct first OMO for state bonds worth Rs 10,000 cr on Oct 22.”

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will conduct first Open Market Operations (OMOs) to buy State Developments Loans (SDLs) aggregating Rs 10,000 crore through auction on October 22, 2020 to improve liquidity and pricing for these
  • The size may be enhanced in the subsequent auctions, depending on market response, RBI said in the statement.
  • On October 9, RBI had announced intent in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies OMOs to purchase state government
  • The central bank said it will buy bonds maturing between January 2029 and March 2031. It is offering to purchase bonds issued by 15 states including Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Source: Business Standard

“Bihar Minister Kapil Deo Kamat dies due to COVID-19.”

  • Senior Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Panchayati Raj Minister Kapil Deo Kamat succumbed to coronavirus infection on Friday. He was 69.
  • The Minister was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, and was undergoing treatment for the past few days.
  • “He was a skilled administrator and a popular politician. I am personally saddened by his death. His death has caused irreparable damage in political and social fields,” Nitish Kumar(Bihar Chief Minister) said in a statement.

Source: Hindustan Times