29 October Current Affairs
October 29, 2019
31 October Current Affairs
October 31, 2019
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30 October Current Affairs

INS Baaz

In News:

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh visited INS Baaz, the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces and spent a day with personnel stationed there.


The Indian Naval Ship (INS) ‘Baaz’ was commissioned in July 2012.

It is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces. INS Baaz is located at Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island, the southernmost and largest island of the Nicobar islands, in the UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This island is also the location of the Indira Point.

The primary functions of the INS Baaz include helping build Maritime Domain Awareness by providing information via airborne surveillance using aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Significance: The location has been described as India’s “window into East and Southeast Asia”, and is in close vicinity of the Six Degree Channel, one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping lines, carrying strategic cargo to East Asian countries. It is also close to the Strait of Malacca.

It is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-services formation of the Indian Armed Forces that was started in 2001.

Climbing Uluru

In News:

From October 26, 2019, climbing Uluru, Australia’s famous desert rock, considered sacred by the local Anangu people, has been banned.


Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock.

It is a large sandstone rock formation. It is dominantly composed of coarse-grained arkose (a type of sandstone characterised by an abundance of feldspar) and some conglomerate. Average composition is 50% feldspar, 25–35% quartz and up to 25% rock fragments.

It is located in central Australia.

It is sacred to the Anangu people, the Aboriginal people of the area.

It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is notable for appearing to change colour at different times of the day and year, most notably when it glows red at dawn and sunset.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally “island mountain”. An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region.

The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.


In News:

A court in Hong Kong has issued a temporary order, in effect until November 8, banning the practice of ‘doxxing’.


Doxxing (also spelt as ‘doxing’) means to publicly identify or publish private information about someone, especially with the intention of punishing or taking revenge.

Doxxing first emerged as hacker slang for obtaining and posting private documents about an individual, usually a rival or enemy. To hackers, who prized their anonymity, doxxing was considered a cruel attack.

In Hong Kong, protesters have been releasing information about police officers and their families, thereby opening them up to targeted violence or harassment and abuse, either physically or online.

Doxxing has emerged as one of the major tactics employed by pro-democracy protesters who have been carrying out relentless, sometimes violent, demonstrations that the administration has found impossible to suppress for over four months now.

Tiny Species Of Beetle

In News:

A tiny species of beetle discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.


Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodes gretae to honour the 16-year-old Swedish activist’s “outstanding contribution” in raising global awareness of climate change.

The arthropod, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1mm long and belongs to the Ptiliidae family, which is made up of some of the world’s smallest beetles.

The beetle was first found in 1965 by British naturalist Dr William C Block in Nairobi, Kenya.

Biological names comprise two words, one for the genus and the second for the species. Traditionally, it is the species name that scientists coin to honour a prominent personality.

While the species name gretae derives from Greta, the genus Nelloptodes too is a new genus.


In News:

Indo-French Joint Exercise Shakti-2019 will be conducted from 31 October 2019 to 13 November 2019 at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan.


Series of  ‘Exercise SHAKTI’ between Indian and France commenced in year 2011.

It’s a biennial exercise and  is conducted alternately in India and France.

As part of Exercise SHAKTI – 2019, a contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent Indian Army in this exercise. The French Army delegation will be represented by troops of 21st Marine Infantry Regiment  of 6th Armoured Brigade.

The joint exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate. The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

In News:

On the recommendation of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Central Government has amended the Rules to facilitate the process of postal ballot paper for Absentee voters of essential services, Senior citizens of more than 80 years and marked PwD electors.

Salient features of these amendments are as follows:

A concept of ‘absentee voter’ has been introduced and defined for the elections;

‘Absentee voter’ means a person belonging to such class of persons as may be notified, under clause (c) of section 60 of the Act, and who is employed in essential services as mentioned in the said notification, and includes an elector belonging to the class of senior citizen or persons with disability [rule 27 A (aa)];

‘Person with Disability’ means a person flagged as person with disability in the data base for the electoral roll;

‘Senior Citizen’ for the purpose of this Part means an elector belonging to the class of absentee voters and is above 80 years of age;

In case of an absentee voter, the application shall be made in Form 12D, and shall contain such particulars as specified therein, and shall be duly verified by the Nodal Officer for the absentee voter, other than senior citizen or persons with disability, which shall reach the Returning Officer within five days following the date of notification of election;

In the case of absentee voter, postal ballot paper shall be returned to the centre provided for recording of vote under sub-rule(3) of rule 27F, subject to any direction that may be issued by the Election Commission in this behalf.

New Technology To Capture Carbon Dioxide

In News:

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level.


While most methods of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of gas required higher concentrations such as those found in the flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, the new method could take out the gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.

The device is a large, specialized battery with a stack of electrodes that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air passing over its surface as it was being charged up, and then released the gas as it was being discharged.

A chemical reaction takes place at the surface of each of a stack of electrodes as the battery charges. Electrodes are coated with a compound called polyanthraquinone compounded with carbon nanotubes.

The electrodes have a natural affinity for carbon dioxide and readily reacted with its molecules in the airstream or feed gas. The device operates at room temperature and normal air pressure.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji

In News:

In a unique gesture to mark 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Air India has depicted Sikh religious symbol ‘Ik Onkar’ on the tail of one of its aircraft.


Ik Onkar is the symbol that represents the unity of God in Sikhism, meaning God is One or One God.

It is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. It is the opening phrase of the Mul Mantar and the opening words of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is consequently also part of the Sikh morning prayer, Japji Sahib.

It is found in the Gurmukhi script and is found in all religious scriptures and places such as gurdwaras.

It is a combination of two characters, the numeral ੧, Ikk (one) and the first letter of the word Onkar (Constant taken to mean God).

Pakistan Has Stopped Exchange Of Postal Mails With India

In News:

In a unilateral decision, Pakistan has stopped exchange of postal mails with India since August 27. Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said Pakistan’s decision was taken “without any prior notice” and “in direct contravention of international norms.


Type: The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).

Functions: It coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. It frames rules for international mail exchange, and fixes rates for international postal services. It regulates 6.40 lakh postal outlets worldwide.

Membership: The UPU has 192 member-countries.

Headquarters: Bern, Switzerland.

Timeline: it was established by the Treaty of Bern in India joined the UPU on July 1, 1876 and Pakistan on November 10, 1947.

The UPU has four units: the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB).

Under UPU rules, when a country decides to suspend exchange with a country, it must notify the operator of the other country (in India’s case, India Post) and, if possible, the duration for which services are being stopped. The UPU’s International Bureau too has to be notified.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

In News:

The 19th IORA Council of Ministers meeting will be held on November 7 in Abu Dhabi with the theme of “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.


The meeting is important as two of India’s important partners, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, will take charge as the new chair and vice-chair of one of the largest regional maritime organisations for the duration of 2019-21.

About IORA:

The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region.

Setup in 1997, it Consists of 22 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.

The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.

It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified six priority areas, namely:

  • maritime security,
  • trade and investment facilitation,
  • fisheries management,
  • disaster risk reduction,
  • academic and scientific cooperation and
  • tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.

Significance of IORA:

The existence of IORA is a reminder of the untapped potential of Indian Ocean regionalism.

Nearly five decades ago, in the aftermath of decolonisation, the attempt to bring together the Indian Ocean states faltered amidst deep divisions within the littoral and due to the negative impact of the Cold War.

Today, the IORA underlines the region’s agency in shaping its own future.

Indian Ocean and it’s significance:

As the third largest ocean woven together by trade routes, commands control of major sea-lanes carrying half of the world’s container ships, one third of the world’s bulk cargo traffic and two thirds of the world’s oil shipments, the Indian Ocean remains an important lifeline to international trade and transport.

Home to nearly 2.7 billion people, Member States whose shores are washed by the ocean are rich in cultural diversity and richness in languages, religions, traditions, arts and cuisines.

Sarayu River

In News:

5.50 crore earthen lamps on the banks of Saryu River has helped Uttar Pradesh enter into the Guinness Books of World Records for lightening of record number of diyas on any occasion.

Key facts:

Sarayu flows through Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. This river is of ancient significance, finding mentions in the Vedas and the Ramayana.

The Sarayu originates from Lake Mansarovar in the Himalayas and is also known as the Ghaghra and the Manas Nandini. It merges with the Ganga in Bihar’s Saran district.

It forms at the confluence of the Karnali and Mahakali in Bahraich District.

Ayodhya is situated on the banks of this river.

It flows through the Kumaon himalayas.