Current Affairs Summary: October News Bits:

October NEWS: Important Topics:

Hriday

  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth Rs.114 crore under HRIDAY scheme for improving infrastructure facilities around core heritage sites in five cities.
  • These five cities are: Varnasi (Uttar Pradesh), Amritsar (Punjab), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Odisha) and Warangal (Telangana).
  • Read About Hriday: Hriday

RBI

  • Payment Banks new regulations: RBI has notified entities been granted a payments bank (PB) licence will need to take specific approval for products they would be offering to customers.
  • Read More: Payment Banks

LIGO Project:

  • Maharashtra Government has allocated 40.68 hectare land to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to build LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) India Project at Dudhala village in Hingoli district.
  • Read more about LIGO project: LIGO

GSAT-18 launched:

  •  India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. GSAT-18 will provide services like television, telecommunication, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering.

Indian Bridge Management System:

  • Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS).
  • It will create an inventory of all bridges in country and rate structural condition of the bridges.
  • The rating will help for their timely repair and carrying rehabilitation work based on the criticality of the structure.
  • Each bridge will be assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number (NIN) based on the state, RTO zone or located on National Highway, State Highway.

Ease of Doing Business:

  • India has been placed at 130th position among the 190 countries in the recently released World Bank’s ease of doing business index for the year 2017.
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Gender Gap Index

  • India has been ranked 87th out of 144 countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016.
  • India has climbed 21 spots from 108th position in 2015.
  • The report measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four areas
    • (i) Educational attainment,
    • (ii) Health and survival,
    • (iii) Economic opportunity,
    • (iv) Political empowerment.

Global Hunger Index:

India has been ranked low 97th among the 118 countries surveyed in 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI). In 2016 GHI, India scored low score of 28.5 on a 0-100 point scale of the index. The Index describes India’s hunger situation as “serious. The index was released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

World Sustainable Development Summit

  • President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • The summit was organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  • Theme:- Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress.

Pubic Debt Management Cell:

  • Union Finance Ministry has set up a Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC) with the objective of deepening bond markets in the country.
  • Debt Management Cell will take up Debt Management of Union government from RBI.

Arbitration Center:

  • The first International Arbitration Centre of India was inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra to provide an arbitration platform for Indian business houses to negotiate commercial disputes.

High-efficiency Solar cell:

  • For the first time, Indian researcher has successfully produced a stable, high-efficiency, all-inorganic perovskite nanocrystal solar cells. It was produced by Abhishek Swarnkar, a research scholar from the Department of Chemistry at Pune’s Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)
  • In another NEWS, Researchers from Kolkata based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) have produced cost-effective, metal-free cathodes using human hair for use in solar cells. Significance: This is the first instance where a bio-waste-derived electrode (in this case human hair) has been used as cathode in a quantum dot sensitised solar cell device.

Himansh

  • A high altitude glaciological research station in Himalaya called Himansh (meaning a slice of ice) began functioning above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

United Group:

  • Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has recognized a group of 22 MPs belonging to smaller parties and certain Independents as a consolidated bloc — the United Group.
  • With this recognition the United Group, will be the third largest group of MPs in the Rajya Sabha, after the Congress and the BJP.

PM Visits Himachal Pradesh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydro-electric projects (HEPs) with a generating capacity of 1,732 MW in Himachal Pradesh. These three hydro-electric projects are
    • Koldam HEP: It is 4×200 MW capacity project executed by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
    • Parbati HEP: It is Stage-III project with a capacity of 530 MW of National Hydropower Corporation (NHPC).
    • Rampur HEP: It is 412 MW capacity project of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN).

 

October: Person In NEWS:

  • Union Government has appointed Senior IPS officer Karnal Singh as the Director of Enforcement Directorate (E
  • The Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal was appointed as Chairman of GSM Association (GSMA).
  • GSMA:
    • The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. It unites nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
    • The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives from world’s largest operator groups as well as smaller, independent operators.
  • Renowned Manipuri theatre legend Heisnam Kanhailal passed away. He was 75. He was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1985), Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow (2011), META Life Time Achievement Award (2015) and Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2016).
  • Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was honoured with prestigious Sustainable Development Leadership Award of the The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  • The Union Government has appointed senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Sushil Chandra as the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • Former ISRO Chairman and space scientist Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao became the first Indian to be inducted in the Hall of Fame of International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
  • History writer Nayanjot Lahiri has won the prestigious 2016 John F. Richards Prize for her book Ashoka in Ancient India.
  • Union Finance Ministry has constituted four-member Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) with Financial markets expert MS Sahoo as its Chairman. IBBI has been tasked to regulate functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.
  • Film-maker and elephant researcher Prajna Chowta (46) has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the National Order of Merit) by the French government.
  • Crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the chief guest for the 68th Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2017.
  • Ace Indian Shooter Jitu Rai has won the 2016 Champion of Champions pistol Award of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) for pistol shooting. In the 10 m Air Pistol Champions Trophy final Jitu Rail defeated Damir Mikec of Serbia by 29.6 to 28.3 points. Olympic champion Anna Korakaki finished third in this event.
  • United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has formally elected Antonio Guterres (67) as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • IAS officer Ajay Kumar Bhalla has been appointed as new Director General of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • Eminent writer C Radhakrishnan was selected for the prestigious Mathrubhumi Literary Award for the year 2016.
  • FS officer Amandeep Singh Gill was appointed as the India’s Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva.
  • Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has been appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission. It is rare honour for an Indian sportsperson.
  • Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar have been selected for European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for year 2016.

Cyrus Mistry:

  • Tata Sons Ltd has removed Cyrus Pallonji Mistry (48) as Chairman.
  • However he will remain a director of the individual companies.
  • The board has replaced him with his predecessor Ratan Tata as interim chairman for four months.

Paul Betty

  • Paul Beatty won the 2016 Man Booker Prize.
  • He won this award for is award for his racial satirical novel ‘The Sellout’ .

Vinay Manchaiah

  • Indian-American associate professor from US Vinaya Manchaiah has been named as the Future Leader of Audiology.
  • He was inducted into the 2016 class of the ‘Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology’ by the American Academy of Audiology.

Nanaji Deshmukh:

  • Union Government is going to commemorate the birth centenary of social activist and former RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh from October 11, 2016 to October 11, 2017.
  • About Nanaji Deshmkh
    • He was a social activist, who worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance, and has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
    • He was a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
    • He was inspired by Lokamanya Tilak and his nationalist ideology. He was associated with Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, founding Sarsanghachalak of the RSS.

Other NEWS:

  • Union Cabinet approved establishment and operations of a National Academic Depository (NAD). Under it all academic degrees, certificates and awards in the country will be made digitally available for verification on single spot.
  • Union Agricultural Ministry has constituted a High-Level Committee to monitor the bird flu situation and help state governments take steps to contain the disease.
  • The State of Himachal Pradesh has been officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).  This means that every individual household in the state has functional toilet. Sikkim was the first state to achieve the feat.
  • The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as the National Sports Federation (NSF) for Boxing.
  • Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to formation of the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) at Berhampur in Odisha.
  • Andhra Pradesh government has signed a FinTech Cooperation agreement with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote innovation financial services in their respective markets.
  • Microsoft has launched its first full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Center (CSEC) in Delhi. It is first-of-its-kind Cybersecurity Centre in India and overall 7th in the world including in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, Berlin and Washington DC.
  • Union Government has launched Mining Surveillance System (MSS), a pan-India surveillance network to check illegal mining using latest satellite technology.
  • Union Government has launched National Seismic Programme (NSP) to trace hydrocarbon resources like oil and natural gas in Mahanadi basin. It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Petroleum and Natural Gas at Taranga village under Soro block in Balasore district of Odisha.
  • Union Government has decided to utilize the vast network of post offices across the country to sell subsidised pulses.
  • ASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has developed a new high-tech electroactive bandage that uses electricity to significantly promote healing of injured wounds. The high-tech bandage creates an electric charge to promote the healing process of wounds in space especially in conditions of non-Earth gravity.
  • Telangana Government in its the biggest administrative reform has created 21 new districts. With this reorganisation, the total number of districts in the State went up to 31 from 10.
  • Union Government has decided to invest 15,000 crore rupees to increase the capacity of Panipat refinery in Haryana to 25 Million Tonnes from existing 15 Million Tonnes.
  • Indian pharmaceutical companies have ranked low at 19th position with an overall score of 59 out of 100 among in the Biopharmaceutical Competitiveness & Investment (BCI) Survey.
  • All Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected historical monuments and archaeological sites have declared polythene-free zones. Union Ministry of Culture has issued an advisory to all State Governments/UTs to support ASI in keeping monuments polythene free up to 300 meters from protected boundaries.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved ONGC Videsh Limited’s proposal to buy 11% stake in JSC Vankorneft. OVL will buy this stake in JSC Vankorneft from Rosneft, the National Oil Company of Russia which operates Vankor oil fields.
  • Union Government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for availing cooking gas (LPG) subsidies after November 2016.
  • Jharkhand has become the first state in the country to implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Kerosene Scheme. The scheme is being implemented in four identified districts of the state from 1st of October 2016. These districts are Chatra, Hazaribagh, Khunti and Jamtara.
  • The Union Urban Development Ministry has declared urban areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh open defecation free (ODF). These are the first states to become open defecation free in urban areas.
  • SBI became the first domestic bank of India to open a branch in Myanmar.
  • Anil Ambani led Reliance Group and French aerospace giant Dassault Aviation have signed deal to set up a joint venture called Dassault Reliance Aerospace.
  • Scientists have discovered a new species of Pika, a mammal belonging to the rabbit and hare family in the Himalayas in Sikkim.
  • Delhi Police has launched a mobile application “Delhi Police Senior Citizen” for senior citizens to provide immediate assistance to them in distress.The application has an SOS button integrated with a dedicated existing helpline for Senior Citizen – 1291.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has received total disclosure of Rs. 65,250 crore black money in the form of cash and other assets under the Income Disclosure Scheme, 2016.The undisclosed income or black money and assets declared was liable to total 45% tax of the undisclosed income.
  • “Murga Movie” won the first prize at the Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival (SBSFF). The short film was directed by young filmmaker Katyayan Shivpuri from Maharashtra.The festival was the cinematic presentation of short films of not more than 3 minutes duration, dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission initiative of Central Government.
  • Rajasthan has become the first state in India to adopt Central Government’s Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) in all its urban local bodies (ULB). Under this programme, around 5 lakh conventional street lights were replaced with LED street lights across the state.
  • The National Mission on Bioeconomy was launched in Shillong, Meghalaya by the Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD). The purpose of the mission is to boost rural economy by utilizing bio-resources. Besides, it can be optimally utilized can create a large number of jobs at village level.
  • India’s second largest software services major Infosys has launched “Skava Commerce” a new standard for modern, mobile-first and modular e-commerce platform for retailers.
  • Union Telecom Ministry has formed a committee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a Rs. 3,050 crore penalty on top three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.
  • Earlier TRAI had recommended Department of Telecom to impose penalty on these three incumbents telecom companies for denying interconnection points to Reliance Jio. Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks. According to TRAI, their actions also have stifled the competition and are seen as anti-consumer and against public interest. 
  • Uttarakhand High Court ordered state government to completely ban on the sale of whitener in the state following the death of a teenager from sniffing an excess of it.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first National Tribal Carnival in New Delhi to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals. The main purpose of this four-day carnival is to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals. It will also showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale.
  • According to the recent publication released by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Tamil Nadu accounts for the highest number flowering plants in the country.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has collaborated with social networking giant Facebook to register young voters in 5 states, which are going to polls in 2017. These five states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
  • The 28th India and Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) and Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise was held at Belawan, Indonesia in the Andaman Sea.
  • Union Finance Ministry has constituted a high-level committee to consolidate the regulation of pension products that is currently being done by three different watchdogs including insurance and stock market regulators. The committee would have representatives from all financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA.
  • Union Cabinet has approved the establishment and operations of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Jammu.
  • India has received the first parcel of crude oil from Iran to partly fill the strategic storage in southern India as part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs) storage.
  • Brazil has won the inaugural BRICS U-17 Football Tournament 2016 held at Goa on the occasion of the 8th BRICS hosted in India.
  • Japanese Encephalitis has claimed 54 lives in Odisha’s backward Malkangiri district in just a more than a month.
  • China has successfully launched longest-ever manned mission by taking two astronauts Jing Haipeng (50) and Chen Dong (37) into the orbit. They were launched on board of Shenzhou-11 (heavenly vessel) spacecraft from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre near the Gobi Desert in northwest China. The spacecraft was put into orbit by a Long March-2F carrier rocket.
  • Antartica’s Ross Sea was declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem. It was declared after landmark international agreement among 24 countries and European Union in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, Australia.
  • The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI 2016’ began at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka.
  • India won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup by defeating Iran by 38-29 score in the final match played in Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
  • Smooth-coated otter was sighted for the first time in the mangrove forest near the Krishna wildlife sanctuary (KWS) in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is going to declare the Kashmiri Red Stag (also known as Hangul) as a Critically Endangered species.
  • The Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) has launched CYSVAX, world’s first vaccine to fight against Taenia solium Tapeworms in pigs. The vaccine has significant potential benefit to reduce the incidence of epilepsy in humans.
  • Researchers from Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV),Chattisgarh have developed a protein-enriched rice variety.
  • Union Government has signed $650 million loan agreement with the World Bank for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project.
  • Maharashtra government has launched ‘Kaushalya Setu’, a skill development programme for students.Students of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education who failed to clear Class X or SSC exam, will be accommodated in skill development courses.
  • India and China have conducted second joint military exercise “Sino India Cooperation 2016” in Ladakh region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Jammu and Kashmir. This exercise compliments Hand in Hand series of India-China joint military exercises that aims to enhance cooperation and maintain peace and tranquility along border areas of both countries.

MOU’s In October

  • Union Cabinet has approved MOU between India and European Union in the field of water resources.
  • Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Hungary on cooperation in the field of water management.
  • Union Cabinet gave its approval to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) for capacity building programmes in the field of rural development.
  • India and Singapore have signed three MOU’s:
    • MoU in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation was signed between Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Intellectual Property Office (IPO), Singapore
    • MoU on collaboration in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training was signed between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and ITEES Singapore.
    • Another MoU on collaboration in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training was signed between Government of Assam and ITEES Singapore.
  • India and New Zealand signed three agreements in the areas of double taxation avoidance (DTA), sports and food security to carry forward the ties between both sides.
  • Signed agreements include:
    • MoU on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports. It was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and Sport New Zealand.
    • Arrangement between the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand regarding Food Safety Cooperation and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
    • Protocol to the convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  • Union Cabinet approved  signing of a MoU on General Cooperation with New Development Bank (NDB) or BRICS Bank and Export Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank). The MoU will be through the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.
  • India has signed agreement with Russia to lease second Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine (SSN). The deal is believed to be worth about $2 billion.
  • India and Myanmar have signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) to boost bilateral relations between two neighbouring nations.
  • Signed MoUs include:
    • MoU on Banking Supervision. It was signed between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of Myanmar.
    • MoU for designing an academic and professional building programme for insurance industry of Myanmar.
    • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Power Sector. Under it India has offered to enhance power supply from Moreh in Manipur to Tamu in Myanmar.