Railways to upgrade all non-AC sleeper coaches to AC for high-speed trains
• Indian Railways has decided to upgrade all non-AC sleeper coaches to AC ones for high-speed trains. The Railways will upgrade all its trains capable of running at a maximum speed of 130 km per hour and beyond with special air-conditioned coaches.
• The Ministry of Railway said that the decision will only impact high-speed trains. The existing mail and express trains with a maximum speed of up to 110 km per hour will continue to ply with sleeper coaches.
• The Railways is working on a massive plan to upgrade the railway network to high-speed potential. The tracks on golden quadrilateral and diagonals are being upgraded to cater to speeds of 130 km - 160 km per hour.
Bangladesh cabinet approves capital punishment for rape
• Bangladesh Cabinet on October 12, 2020 approved a draft law to include the death penalty as the highest punishment for rape. The law amends the Prevention of Women and Children Repression Act-2000.
• The decision to amend the 2000 law was announced after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.
• The ordinance will be issued after getting approval of the President as Parliament is not in session. The highest punishment for rape in the nation presently is life imprisonment.
Bangladesh has been witnessing widespread protests over the last several days against the gang rape of a woman in Noakhali, which came to light on October 4, 2020.
IIT Madras develops antimicrobial food wrapping material
• The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has developed an antimicrobial food wrapping material.
• The material is biodegradable and can prevent the contamination of packaged food by bacteria during storage.
• The anti-bacterial wrapping material will help reduce plastic waste when disposing of the wrappers. It will also not cause any toxicity to the food material.
• The material is made of starch, polyvinyl alcohol and other safe polymers. The anti-bacterial wrapper when disposed degrades four to 98 percent within 21 days, depending on the moisture in the environment.
International Girl Child Day 2020 observed
• The International Girl Child Day was celebrated on October 11, 2020. The day is observed every year to empower women, especially in areas where they have been neglected.
• The International Girl Child Day was an initiative taken up by Plan International, a non-governmental organisation that operates across the world.
• The day’s theme this year is "My voice, our equal future." The day is celebrated to raise awareness about girls being equal in society.
• The UN has also addressed the need to pay attention to the challenges girls face and fulfilling their basic human rights.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu tests negative for COVID-19
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu tested negative for COVID-19 on October 12, 2020. He had been under home-quarantine after was he was diagnosed COVID-19 positive on September 29, 2020.
The result of the latest RT-PCR test conducted by an AIIMS medical team came negative for Vice President and his wife Usha Naidu.
The Vice President is currently in good health and is expected to resume normal activities soon as per doctor's advice.