Factly articles for October 15th,2020

  1. One in every 130 females globally is living in modern slavery: UN report

News: United Nations(UN) has released a report titled “Stacked odds” on the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child,2020.


  • This report has been combined with observations, data and studies conducted by Walk Free, International Labor Organization(ILO) and the International Organization for Migration(IOM).

Key Takeaways from the report:

  • Females across the world account for about 71% of all victims of Modern Slavery.
  • One in every 130 females globally is living in modern slavery.Females account for 99% of all victims of forced sexual exploitation, 84% of all victims of forced marriage, and 58% of all victims of forced labour.

Additional Facts:

  • Modern slavery: It is defined as the systematic removal of a person’s freedom, where one person is exploited by another for personal or financial gain.
  • ILO: It was established in 1919 to promote social and economic justice through setting up of international labour standards.Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • IOM: It is an intergovernmental organization established in 1951.It provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers.
    • In 2016,it became a related organization of the United Nations.
    • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Exercise Suraksha Kavach

News: TheAgnibaaz Division has organized Exercise Suraksha Kavach for both Indian Army and Maharashtra Police at Pune.


  • Aim: To harmonise the drills and procedures of both Army and police for activating anti-terrorist Quick Reaction Teams(QRTs) to counter any terrorist actions in Pune.

Additional Facts:

  • Agnibaaz Division(41 artillery division): It is a formation of Pune headquartered-Southern Command of the Indian Army.

3. Mohali centre develops technology for aquaponic cultivation of plants

News: The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali, has developed the technology for aquaponic cultivation of plants.


  • Aquaponics: It is an emerging technique in which both fish as well as plants complement each other to sustain and grow.The fish waste provides organic food for plants and plants naturally filter the water, which is used to replenish the fish tank.
  • Benefits:
    • Extremely water efficient.
    • Does not require soil.
    • Does not use fertilizers or chemical pesticides.
    • Reduces pressure on land and cuts down operational costs among others.
    • It does not require farmland with fertile soil
    • It provides Food Security and a better source of income for farmers.

Additional Facts:

  • C-DAC: It is the premier Research & Development organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(Meity) for carrying out R&D in IT, Electronics and associated areas.

4. Explained: How Election Commission decides on party symbols

News: During the Bihar Assembly Election, voters can expect to see a myriad of symbols like chapati roller, dolli, bangles, capsicum on the ballots.


  • Election symbols: It is a standardised symbol allocated to a political party.
  • Need of Election Symbols: It helps the several unrecognised parties and independent candidates differentiate themselves from one another and help voters identify the party of their choice.
  • Types of Election Symbols: As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, party symbols are either:
    • Reserved: Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have reserved symbols.
    • Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of nearly 200 “free” symbols that are allotted to the thousands of unrecognised regional parties that pop up before elections.
  • How are symbols allotted to political parties? The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols:
    • A party/candidate has to provide a list of three symbols from the EC’s free symbols list at the time of filing nomination papers. Among them, one symbol is allotted to the party/candidate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
    • When a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission takes the decision on assigning the symbol.For example, when the Samajwadi Party split, the EC allotted the ‘bicycle’ to the Akhilesh Yadav faction.

5. Cabinet approves World Bank aided project STARS

News: Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of the World Bank- aided Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States(STARS) project under the New Education Policy (NEP).


  • Type: The project would be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education(MOE).
  • Aim: To support the states in developing and improving school education outcomes.
  • Coverage: The project covers 6 States namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.

Components: The STARS Project has two major components:

  • At National Level, the project envisages the following interventions which will benefit all states and UTs:
    • To strengthen the national data systems to capture robust and authentic data on retention, transition and completion rates of students.
    • To support in improving states Performance Grading Index(PGI) scores by incentivizing states governance reform agenda through SIG (State Incentive Grants).
    • To support the establishment of the National Assessment Center (PARAKH).
    • It also includes a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) which will help government respond to situations leading to loss of learning such as school closures, inadequate facilities and use technology for facilitating remote learning among others.
  • At State Level, the project envisages:
    • Strengthening Early Childhood Education and Foundational Learning
    • Improving Learning Assessment Systems
    • Strengthening classroom instruction and remediation through teacher development and school leadership
    • Governance and Decentralized Management for Improved Service Delivery among others.
    • Strengthening Vocational education in schools through mainstreaming, career guidance and counselling, internships and coverage of out of school children

6. India joins UK-led campaign against encrypted social media messages

News: India is among seven countries to back a UK-led campaign against end-to-end encryption of messages by social media giants such as Facebook.


  • Which are the seven countries? The UK and India are joined by the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
  • What is the campaign about? The campaign is against the end-to-end encryption of messages by social media giants such as Facebook. The governments have claimed that this feature acts as an obstacle for law enforcement against illegal activities by blocking all access to them.
  • Significance: This campaign marks an expansion of the so-called “Five Eyes” group of nations by including India and Japan.

Additional Facts:

  • Five Eyes (FVEY): It is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
  • End-to-end encryption(E2EE): Itis a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages.
    • In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers including telecom providers, Internet providers and the provider of communication service from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.

7. India’s economy to contract by 10.3%, says International Monetary Fund

News: International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the World Economic Outlook Report,2020 titled “A Long and Difficult Ascent”.


  • The report is published twice a year.
  • Aim: To provide analysis and forecasts of economic developments of member countries and highlights risks and uncertainty.

Key Takeaways:

  • Global growth is projected to be -4.4% (i.e., a contraction in output of 4.4%) for 2020.
  • Indian economy is expected to grow at -10.3 % (i.e., a contraction) in 2020.However, India is expected to rebound in 2021 with 8.8% growth.

Additional Facts:

  • IMF: It is an organization of 189 countries which seeks to ensure the stability of the International monetary system. Headquarters: Washington, US.
    • Reports: a) Global Financial Stability Report and b) Fiscal Monitor (FM).

8. Explained: Why Mars is the brightest this month

News: Mars will outshine Jupiter, becoming the third brightest object (moon and Venus are first and second, respectively) in the night sky during the month of October. This is due to a phenomenon called Opposition.


  • Opposition:
    • Opposition is the event when the sun, Earth and an outer planet (Mars in this case) are lined up, with the Earth in the middle.
    • The time of opposition is the point when the outer planet is typically also at its closest distance to the Earth for a given year, and because it is close, the planet appears brighter in the sky.
    • Opposition is a reference to “opposing the sun” in the sky.
  • When does opposition happen? Earth and Mars orbit the sun at different distances (Mars is farther apart from the sun than Earth and therefore takes longer to complete one lap around the sun).

9 . Gadkari to initiate the first blasting at 14.15 Km Zozila Tunnel tomorrow

News: Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways will initiate the first blasting for Zozila Tunnel in J&K.


  • Zozilla tunnel involves construction of a 14.15 Km long tunnel at an altitude of about 3000 m under Zojila pass.
  • The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh (Ladakh plateau) on NH-1, and will bring about an all-round economic and socio–cultural integration of Jammu & Kashmir.

Additional Information:

  • Zoji La is a high mountain pass in the Himalayas in the Indian union territory of Ladakh.
  • Located in the Drass, the pass connects the Kashmir Valley to its west with the Drass and Suru valleys to its northeast and the Indus valley further east.

10 . PM to release commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO

News: On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16th October 2020, India will release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination.


Food and Agriculture Organization

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • Headquarter: Rome, Italy.
  • Establishment: 16 October 1945.

Additional Information:

  • Indian government also launched 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops.
  • Nutri-Sensitive Agricultural Resources and Innovations (NARI): It is a programme for promoting family farming linking agriculture to nutrition, nutri-smart villages for enhancing nutritional security. It has been launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).