October, 2016

Current Events October 2016 – Education

• Kiara Wins at Google Science Fair
A 16-year-old Indian-origin South African high school student, Kiara Nirghin has won the top prize of scholarship worth US $50,000 at the annual Google science fair. She was awarded for using orange peel to develop a cheap super- absorbent material to help soil retain water. Titled ‘No More Thirsty Crops’, her solution to the drought problem uses the peels from orange & avocado fruits..
• NASA Prize for Sample-Retrieving Robot
The West Virginia University Mountaineers of Morgantown bagged the largest prize awarded in the five-year run of NASAs Sample Return Robot Challenge. A team in the US has won a whopping USD 750,000 prize from NASA for designing a robot that can retrieve samples from challenging terrains. It could help the space agency explore surfaces of planets such as Mars in future missions.
• India, Singapore Sign 3 Key Agreements
India & Singapore signed three agreements. One MoU was signed between Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education Education Services & India’s National Skill Development Corporation. Another MoU was signed between the Assam government and ITEES Singapore on collaboration in technical & vocational education & training. A third MoU was signed in the field of industrial property cooperation.
• Yale to Honour First Black Student
Yale University is honouring its first black student by naming a classroom for him. A classroom at Yale Divinity School will be named in honour of James W.C. Pennington. Pennington was Black man who escaped slavery in Maryland in 1828 to become the first African-American to study at Yale. A portrait of Pennington will also grace the classroom wall.
• Shailesh Gandhi Authors E-Book on RTI
Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has authored an e-book in order to lend a better interpretation of the Right To Information legislation for common people. The e-book named ‘RTI Act- Authentic Interpretation of The Statute’. The book is co-authored by Pralhad Kachare. India RTI law has been ranked as the third best in the world in terms of its provisions.
• Edutainment Platform for Primary Schools
The Kerala education dept has introduced New Information Communi-cation Technology (ICT) textbooks through its IT@school project. Students can now enhance their learning ability with the introduction of a new textbook which integrates even games. The new textbook, named ‘Kalipetty’ has been developed in a scientific manner & is expected to simplify mathematics & other subjects.
Doordarshan & IGNOU Signed Agreement
Doordarshan & Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had entered into an agreement for transmission of four Gyan Darshan educational channels. Gyan Darshan ran successfully until June 2, 2014, but was shut down by ISRO to facilitate its migration from INSAT 3C to GSAT-10. IGNOU now needed to apply for a fresh license to start the uplinking of its channels for GSAT-10 satellite.
• ‘Aiyoh’ is Now Word in the Oxford
The words Aiyoh and Aiyah were added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The word ‘aiyoh’ is used as an exclamation term often used to express surprise, disappointment, and fear. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is 150 years old and has up to 600000 entries and its publisher is the Oxford University Press. It is widely regarded as the accepted authority and guide on the English language.
• Driverless Cars Hit British Streets
Driverless vehicles carrying passengers took to Britain’s streets for the first time in a landmark trial which could pave the way for their introduction across the country. It is the first time that a self-driving vehicle has been tested in a public place in Britain. The “Selenium” autonomy software running the vehicle & is developed by Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute.
• SC reserves judgment on Cauvery dispute
SC reserved its judgment on the Cauvery water dispute after it directed the Karnataka govt to release 2000 cusecs per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders. In response, the Karnataka govt has filed a petition in the court asking for larger constitutional bench to be constituted to look into the dispute. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy & AM Khanwilkar are currently hearing the case.
• Protein Enriched Rice Variety Developed
A protein-enriched rice variety has been developed by the Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalay (IGKV). The rice variety will play a crucial role in fighting protein deficiencies. The new developed rice variety has over 10% protein content, which is 3% more than what is found in any popular variety & has30 PPM zinc content. Rice is the staple food of the state and consumed on a regular basis.

Current Events October 2016 – Sports

• NASA spots first-ever gamma-ray binary
NASA has spotted first-ever gamma-ray binary in the neighbour galaxy using Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The gamma-ray binary was the most luminous binary ever seen by the scientists. These rare systems contain either a neutron star or a black hole and radiate most of their energy in the form of gamma rays.
• United States Takes Lead in Ryder Cup
The USA took an unprecedented 4-0 lead after the morning’s foursomes in the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The 41st Ryder Cup Matches is being held in the United States from September 30 to October 2, 2016, in Minnesota, USA.
• Sports Sector Gets the Infra Status
The Union Finance Ministry has decided that sports infrastructure will be included under the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors. This inclusion would make the sports sector eligible for obtaining long-term financial support from banks & other financial institutions. This inclusion would encourage private investment in a public good.
• Tyson Fury ‘Tests Positive’ for Cocaine
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has tested positive for cocaine. Fury’s sample, taken on Sept. 22, tested positive for the substance benzoylecgonine, the central compound of cocaine. The in-competition test was carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. VADA.
He owns the WBA and WBO titles, and it’s probable he will be stripped as result of the test.
• Sania, Barbora Lose Wuhan Open Final
Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Barbora Strycova lost the women’s doubles final of the Wuhan Open. They were beaten in straight sets by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova. The third seeds lost 1-6, 4-6 to the fifth seeded pair in a final. Sania had won the Wuhan Open title last year, partnering Martina Hingis.
• Kvitova Tops Cibulkova,Wins Wuhan Open
Two -time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beats Dominika Cibulkova to win Wuhan Open title. The Czech won 6-1 6-1 to claim her second Wuhan title & her first of the 2016 season. She had beaten world number one Angelique Kerber, Britain’s Johanna Konta & fourth seed Simona Halep on her way to the final. Despite her defeat, Cibulkova will move up to a career-high eighth in the world rankings.
• India Win Silver at Asian Beach Games
India’s Deepa Gawale won a silver medal in the women’s single, Long Ho Quyen, Vovinam event in the fifth Asian Beach Games. Deepa lost to Manik Trisna of Indonesia by scoreline a 267-275 points to settle for a silver. Host Vietnam and Japan secured the third place with 261 points. Vovinam, a Vietnamese art, is a combination of events with and without weapons.
• Ricciardo Wins Malaysian GP
Australia Daniel Ricciardo wins the 2016 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. The Malaysian Grand Prix is a round of Formula One World Championship. It has been held at the Sepang International Circuit since 1999, although FIA-sanctioned racing in Malaysia has existed since the 1960s. Since 2011, the race has been officially known as the Malaysia Grand Prix.
• Gaganjeet Bhullar Wins Korea Open
Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won his sixth Asian Tour title, winning the Korea Open in Incheon at the Shinhan Donghae Open. He scored seven birdies on holes two, six, seven, 10,12,13 & 14 to secure his victory. He won last Asian title came in 2013 & was awarded a cash prize of $196,000 for the win. He is also likely to make major gains in the world rankings where he is currently placed 674th.
• India Reclaim No. 1 Test Ranking
India once again became the number one side in the world, replacing Pakistan at the top of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Rankings. The Virat Kohli-led Indian side thrashed New Zealand by 178 runs in the 2nd Test at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. India now lead the 3-Test series 2-0. India has already won the first Test in Kanpur by 197 runs.
• Roopa Ganguly Nominated to Rajya Sabha
Actress and BJP leader Roopa Ganguly has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. President Pranab Mukherjee has approved her name. She has been nominated on a seat vacated by cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned in July this year. She is well known for her role in TV serial Mahabharat. She has also done several Bengali and Hindi films including Bahar Ane Tak & Saugandh.
• BRICS U-17 Football Tournament Begins
The first edition of the BRICS Under-17 Football tournament begins in Goa. The tournament, featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has been organised on the occasion of the 8th BRICS summit that will be held in Goa on the 15th of this month. The inaugural match will be played between Brazil and China. India will begin its campaign against Russia.
• Maria Sharapova Drugs Ban Reduced
Russian Tennis star Maria Sharapova’s doping ban has been reduced from two years to 15 months. The Court of Arbitration for Sport cut nine months off the suspension imposed on Sharapova. She was tested positive for a banned substance – Meldonium at the Australian Open in January. The latest ruling means that Sharapova can come back in April and return to Grand Slam play at the French Open.
• Rohit, Saha Ascend in ICC Test Rankings
Wriddhiman Saha has gained 18 slots to reach 56th place, while Rohit Sharma has moved up 14 spots to 38th position in the latest ICC player rankings for Test batsmen. The list is headed by Australian captain Steve Smith. In the Test bowlers chart, Ravichandran Ashwin has lost a position to be placed at 3rd spot. South Africa pacer Dale Steyn has retained his number one position as a Test bowler.
• outh Africa Chase Down Australia’s 371
South Africa completed the second-highest run chase in one-day international history as they beat Australia by four wickets in Durban. Australia scored 371-6 in their 50 overs at Kingsmead. But an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 107 by David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo helps SA to win with four balls to spare. Their 372-6 eclipsed India’s score of 362-1 also against Australia in 2013.
• Pakistan Debarred from Kabaddi World Cup
Pakistan has been debarred from the kabaddi world cup 2016. It has been denied entry because of a spike in tensions between the two nations after the Uri attack. Iran will take on newcomers the United States in opening round of the tournament. The US, Canada, UK, Australia, Iran, Poland, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan, Kenya & hosts India, are set to take part in the competition for the top honours.
• Shooter Jitu Rai Bags Silver at WC
Indian shooter Jitu Rai clinched a silver medal in the 50 metre pistol event of the ISSF World Cup Final at Bologna, Italy. Jitu shot a score of 188.8 to finish behind China’s Wei Pang at 190.6. Italy’s Giuseppe Giordano settled for the bronze. Jitu Rai also equalled the national record score in the event. He had earlier won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.
• Sreejesh to Lead India in Asian Trophy
Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will lead an 18-member Indian men’s hockey team in the Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Kuantan, Malaysia. Hockey India selectors have named midfielder Manpreet Singh as the vice-captain of the side. The 2016 Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy is the 4th edition of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy for men. Top Six Asian teams will participate in the tournament.
• Ranji Trophy Kicks Off
The new season of Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic tournament has begun. This is the first time the BCCI has decided to have matches at neutral venues & all teams play each other away from home, all over the country. Reigning champions Mumbai open their season against Tamil Nadu at Lahli. The team will be led by wicketkeeper Aditya Tare, who had led Mumbai to their 41st title last season.
• Russian Loses 2008 Olympic Bronze
Russian high jumper Anna Chicherova was stripped of her bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She won the gold medal at the 2012 London Games was tested positive for turinabol. Another Russian — Yelena Slesarenko — finished fourth in the high jump in Beijing. She stands to move up to the bronze if the IOC decides to reallocate the medals.
• Ian Nepomniachtchi Wins Tal Memorial
Ian Nepomniachtchi emerged as the winner of the 10th Tal Memorial Chess Tournament.
Nepomniachtchi of Russia won the USD 200000 prize money tournament. Anish Giri finished second on 5.5 points, a half point ahead of Aronian and Anand. Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand split the point with Levon Aronian of Armenia and finished joint third.
• S Korea Stun India in Kabaddi WC Opener
Seven-time champions India failed to make a positive start to their campaign in the Kabaddi World Cup. As India were stunned 32-34 by South Korea in the opening match in Ahmedabad. In another match, titled contenders Iran kick off their opening match with a thumping win over United States. Twelve Kabaddi teams from around the world are participating in the event.
• SC Stop BCCI Funds to State Associations
The Supreme Court has barred the Indian cricket board, BCCI, from releasing funds to state associations. A division bench, headed by CJ Tirath Singh Thakur, ruled that the Board of Control for Cricket in India could not disburse funds to state associations. Those that have received money cannot use it until they file a written undertaking to abide by the Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations.
• WADA to Set up New Dope Testing Body
An Olympic summit mandated the World Anti-Doping Agency to set up a new dope testing body in a bid to clean up drug cheating in sport. A new anti-doping testing authority within the framework of WADA is to be established. WADA will remain in control of regulatory & compliance in the anti-doping fight but that the new testing body will have responsibility for testing athletes.
• Sindhu Brand Ambassador of Vizag Steel
Indian professional badminton player P V Sindhu was roped as brand ambassador of Vizag Steel. The company will have its brand logo on Sindhu’s playing jersey in international and domestic tournaments. She is currently amongst the top 10 ranked players in the world.
She is the first Indian female athlete to win an Olympic silver medal at Rio.
• Agnieszka Win China Open Women’s Final
Agnieszka Radwanska won the China Open with a straight-set victory over Johanna Konta in Beijing. The victory is Radwanska’s 20th career title and second in Beijing. Despite the loss, by reaching the final Konta has amassed enough points to break into the top 10. She will the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984.
• Andy Murray Win China Open Men’s Title
Andy Murray has won the China Open for the first time in his career after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 in Beijing. The win in Beijing is the 40th career singles title & fifth of the year of Murray’s remarkable career. Murray has targeted overtaking Novak Djokovic as the world’s top-ranked player. He has triumphed at Wimbledon and the Olympics this year while Djokovic’s form has dipped.
• Ruthvika Shivani Wins Russian Open title
Indian shuttler Ruthvika Shivani Gadde clinched the Russian Open Badminton title after defeating Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in finals of the women’s singles event at the Russian Open Grand Prix. She defeated the Russian 21-10, 21-13 in final match. The mixed doubles duo of N Sikki Reddy & Pranaav Jerry Chopra clinched the Gold. In the men’s singles event, Siril Verma took the Silver.
• Jitu Rai Named Champion of Champions
Indian ace shooter Jitu Rai won the ‘Champion of Champions’ title for pistol shooting in 2016 by the ISSF. Rai had beaten Serbian Damir Mikec 29.6 to 28.3 in the 10 m Air Pistol Champions Trophy final in Bologna, Italy. The Champions Trophy matches were held at the end of the rifle and pistol shooting World Cups. All World Final medalists are eligible to participate in the Champions Trophy.
• Nick Kyrgios Wins Japan Open
Australian Nick Kyrgios has won Japan Open Tennis final. He has defeated David Goffin 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win his third ATP singles title. Kyrgios’s two previous ATP titles came at ATP250 level events, both this year in Marseilles, France and Atlanta, Georgia. He now stands 38-14 for the season, becoming the fifth men’s player to win three or more titles in 2016.
• Italy Withdraws Rome 2024 Olympic Bid
Italy’s Olympic Committee has officially withdrawn its bid to stage the 2024 Games in Rome after the city council voted to oppose the candidacy. It means only Paris, Los Angeles & Budapest are left in the running after Boston and Hamburg also abandoned bids. The International Olympic Committee is due to make a decision next September. Rome also applied to host the 2020 Olympics but pulled out.
• Russian Lysenko Stripped of 2012 Gold
The International Olympic Committee stripped Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko of her London 2012 hammer gold medal. She tested positive for steroids in re-tests of her sample. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ordered the IAAF to modify the results of the event in London. In this Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk finished second behind Lysenko and Germany’s Betty Heidler came third.
• India Presented with ICC Test Mace
India captain Virat Kohli was presented with the ICC Test Championship mace for leading his team to the top of the Test Team Rankings. The mace was presented by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar. India formally replaced Pakistan at the top of the table at the end of the Indore Test. Kohli became only the second India captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and 10th overall to receive the mace.
• India Clean-Sweep 3 Match Test Series
India won the Indore Cricket Test against New Zealand and clean swept the three-match series 3-0. In the third and final test this evening, India wrapped up the New Zealand innings at 153 in 44.5 overs claiming a huge victory by 321 runs. It was one-man show as Ashwin took his series tally to 27 wickets. He was chosen as the man of the match and man of the series.
• Pakistani footballer Shahlyla passed
Pakistan striker Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch passed away in a car accident late on Wednesday night in Karachi. Baloch was sitting in the passenger seat when the accident occurred in Karachi’s DHA Phase VIII area. Baloch, 20, was one of the finest strikers for Pakistan women’s football team. She represented the country at the South Asian Football Federation Women Football Championship 2014.
• India’s Mairaj ends 4th at Shotgun WC
India’s Mairaj Ahmad Khan finished 4th at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final in Rome. Mairaj had qualified for the final after scoring 118 in the qualification round. He won a silver medal at the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.
• Olympic champion to run Half Marathon
Kenyas Rio Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is all set to participate in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, to be held on November 20. Kipchoge has put together a winning streak of seven successive marathons and is unbeaten over the classic distance in the last 3 years. Airtel Delhi half marathon is India’s leading road race over the Half Marathon distance since 2005.
• Gugale, Bawane Set Partnership Record
Swapnil Gugale & Ankit Bawane broke a 70-year-old partnership record for all wickets in the Ranji Trophy championship. They stitched a massive, 594 for Maharashtra against Delhi in a Group B match at the Wankhede Stadium. The broke the previous all-time best fourth wicket partnership record of 577 set by Vijay Hazare & Gul Mohammed for Baroda against Holkar way back in 1946-47 in Baroda.
• Ashwin Regains Number One Spot
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has reclaimed the number one spot in Test rankings for bowlers. He was named man of the series after he finished with 27 wickets in a 3-0 sweep by India. In the rankings for Test batsmen, India’s Ajinkya Rahane has attained a career-best sixth rank. In the all-rounders’ list, India’s Ravindra Jadeja has reached a career-best joint-third rank.
• Mark Webber Announces Retirement
Former-F1 driver Mark Webber will retire from professional racing at the end of the year. He will retire from professional racing at the end of the world endurance season in Bahrain in November. He has been racing in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche. He competed in 215 Formula One races for Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull before leaving in 2013.
• Neeraj Retains Asia Welterweight Title
Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat out-punched Australia’s Ben Kite to retain the WBC welterweight Asia title. He prevailed 120-110,119-109, 115-113 in an unanimous decision for the grueling 12-round contest against his rival. He came into the contest with 7 wins in 11 fights. He is now expected to break into the WBC world rankings which will be a step towards getting him a shot at the world title.
• Brazil Wins Brics U- 17 Tournament
Brazil triumphed in the 1st BRICS U-17 football tournament with a 5-1 demolition of South Africa in the title class at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa. Russia came from behind to down China 2-1 and finish third. The 2016 BRICS U-17 Football Cup was the first edition of the BRICS U-17 Football Cup. The tournament featured the under-17 teams of all five members of BRICS.
• Indian Film Gets World Premiere at LFF
A light-hearted Indian film “Tu Hai Mera Sunday,” had its world premiere at the London Film Festival (LFF). The movie which was screened is based in Mumbai and revolves around amateur footballers. The film stars popular TV actor Barun Sobti and actress Shahana Goswani. The film directed by Milind Dhaimade is inspired by a real life amateur football group called Juhu Beach United.
• Sourabh Verma Wins Men’s Singles Title
Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma clinched the men’s singles title at the Chinese Taipei Open badminton. He defeated Malaysia’s Daren Liew in the summit clash. He emerged victorious after his opponent retired in the third game due to a shoulder injury with the scoreline reading 12-10, 12-10, 3-3 in the Indian’s favour. He had ended runner-up at Belgium & Poland international Challengers.
• Andy Murray Wins Shanghai Masters
Britain’s Andy Murray beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 6-1 in straight sets to win the Shanghai Masters. He now edge closer to Novak Djokovic in the world rankings. It is the third time he has won the Shanghai Masters, which gives him 1,000 ranking points. He is 915 points behind the Djokovic for 2016, increasing his hopes of finishing the year as world number one.
• India Beat New Zealand in 1st ODI
India carried out their dominance over the Kiwis in the first One Day International in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh by defeating the Kiwis by six wickets. Chasing a victory target of 191, India scored 194 for four in 33.1 overs. India Hardik Pandya was chosen man of the match for his 3/31. With this win, India take 1-0 lead over New Zealand in the five match series.
• Yasir Shah 2nd Fastest to 100 Wickets
Pakistan Yasir Shah became the joint second fastest of all time in terms of number of Tests played to reach the milestone of 100 wickets. He got to this record when he clean bowled Miguel Cummins of West Indies. He achieved the feat in 17 matches & joined the likes of Charlie Turner, Sydney Barnes. England seamer George Lohmann still stands on top of the list after having taken only 16 Tests.
• NCC National Games Begins
Officiating Director General of NCC Maj Gen JS Sandhu inaugurated the Opening Ceremony of the NCC National Games 2016 in New Delhi. The aim of the Games is to provide the talented sportspersons amongst the cadets a feel of a major sporting event. Prepare them with requisite match temperament and further their sporting careers. Shera has been adopted as mascot for the Games.
• Serena Withdraws from WTA Finals
US tennis player Serena Williams has withdrawn from the WTA Finals in Singapore. The WTA announced Williams’ withdrawal from the event that starts on October 23. The 22-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of two tournaments in China after exiting from the semi-finals of the US Open. That defeat saw Williams’ 186-week reign atop the world rankings end.
• India Bag 4 Medals at Tifsa World Games
Indian grapplers clinched four medals, including a gold, at the just-concluded sixth edition of the Tifsa World Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dalmiya bagged the yellow metal in 60kg category after outplaying Muhammad Sahan of Azerbaijan 4-1 in the summit clash. Among other Indian wrestlers, experienced Luv Singh claimed a silver, while Naveen Kumar and Josil settled for a bronze medal each.
• Jayasuriya Named as Brand Ambassador
Former Sri Lankan cricket skipper Sanath Jayasuriya was named brand ambassador of the third edition of the STAIRS School Football League (SSFL). STAIRS is a not-for-profit organisation working towards sports, education, health and skill development of children across India. SSFL-3 will begin with league matches at over 15 different venues across four zones in Delhi.
• Djokovic Retained Top Spot
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic retained the top spot in the latest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. He lost 640 points after he was defeated by Spain’s Roberto Bautista in the Shanghai Masters’ semi-final clash. Scotish player Andy Murray garnered 640 points after winning Shanghai Masters to be at second spot. Switzerland Stan Wawrinka is at third spot.
• Saina Appointed IOC Athletes Commission
India star shuttler Saina Nehwal has been appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission. She has received a letter to the effect from the IOC President Thomas Bach. The Athletes’ Commission is chaired by Angela Ruggiero and it comprises nine vice presidents and 10 other members. The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for November 6.
• Kochi first to get the nod for u-17 WC
Kochi was confirmed as a venue for next year’s under-17 football World Cup. Kochi thus became the first city in the country to be confirmed as a venue for next year’s World Cup. A 23-member team, half of them from FIFA and headed by Project Leader Tracy Lu, inspected the Nehru Stadium, the championship’s main venue, and the four training grounds here before making the official announcement.
• Sindhu enters 2nd round at Denmark Open
Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu made a resounding start to her campaign at Denmark Open, defeating China’s He Bingjiao in straight games in the women’s singles competition. Sixth seed Sindhu, who is playing her first event after the Rio Olympics, notched up a 21-14 21-19 victory over Bingjiao in a match. The 21-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on World No. 12 Sayaka Sato of Japan.
• India Rise To Best FIFA Rankings
The Indian football team achieved its best FIFA ranking in over six years when the side jumped 11 places to be 137th in the latest list released. India defeated 114th ranked Puerto Rico in an International Friendly in Mumbai in September, garnered 230 points for the month. In August 2010, India were ranked 137th which stayed India’s best ever FIFA Ranking since then.
• Suarez Handed European Golden Shoe
Luis Suarez received a second European Golden Shoe of his career after becoming the leading scorer in Europe’s top domestic leagues last season. He scored 40 goals in 35 La Liga starts, helping Barca retain the Spanish title. He ended the 2015-16 campaign with 59 goals in 52 appearances for Barca in all competitions. It’s the second time he’s won the prize,having shared it with Cristiano Ronaldo.
• Driven: The Virat Kohli Story Launched
A book penning the life of India`s Test skipper Virat Kohli has been launched. The book, named “Driven: The Virat Kohli Story” has been written by senior journalist Vijay Lokapally. In the book. Lokapally recounts life-altering tales & anecdotes on the journey of Virat`s rapid rise to stardom. The book celebrates the career of Virat Kohli & introduces readers to the man not known to many.
• Gavaskar to Receive Award from SJAM
The Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) will present cricket legend Sunil Manohar Gavaskar with the Lifetime Achievement award. The award will be presented to the former India captain on the fourth day of the 4th Test match between India & England. He has completed a memorable 50-year connect with the cricket. The award was presented to badminton legend Nandu Natekar in Sept 2013.
• SC Curbs BCCI’s Financial Powers
Supreme Court asked BCCI not to release funds to state cricket bodies till BCCI promises to implement Lodha panel recommendations. The apex court directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur to give undertaking to comply with Lodha panel recommendations & court orders. Supreme Court also asked Lodha panel to appoint independent auditors to scrutinize BCCI accounts & all high-value contracts.
• India to Clash with Iran in Kabaddi WC
Seven-time defending champions India crushed hapless Thailand 73-20 to storm into the final of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. India will face rising Asian power Iran in the summit clash of the tournament. Iran had earlier defeated South Korea in a low-scoring thriller. Iran came back from 11-13 down to beat the Koreans by 28-22.
• Goa Given Nod to Host FIFA U-17 WC
Goa joined Kochi & Navi Mumbai as one of the venues to host next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup. It has received the green signal from a high-level delegation of football’s world body. A 13-member Fifa delegation along with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) made an inspection. LOC and Fifa ratified Goa as the third venue to host the event after Kochi and Navi Mumbai.
• India Lifts Kabaddi World Cup 2016
India has lifted the Kabaddi world cup defeating Iran 38-29. This is India’s third Kabaddi world cup title. Kenya were named the emerging team of the tournament as they won a lot of hearts and almost made it to the semi finals. Jang Kun Lee was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Cup. The best referee of the tournament award was given to SMA Mannan from Bangladesh.
• Grandmaster Abhijeet Creates History
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta created history at the Hoogeveen International chess tournament. He becomes the first player ever to win the title twice in a row in the FIDE Open that concluded at the Dutch hamlet. He scored 7.5 points out of a possible nine to win the title solely ahead of second placed Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda. Third place was bagged by GM M R Lalith Babu.
• Kohli Drives India to 2-1 Series Lead
India registered 7 wicket victory over New Zealand in the third One-Day International played at Mohali. In the process, Kohli made his 26th century while Dhoni made 80. Dhoni became the 3rd wicket keeper-batsman to amass 9000 runs, Adam Gilchrist & Kumar Sangakara are the only two ahead of him. He now also holds the Indian record for maximum number of sixes in ODIs.
• IND beat PAK in Asian Champions Trophy
India beat Pakistan 3-2 in the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy hockey in Kuantan, Malaysia. Ramandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh & Pradeep Mor scored one goal each for India. This victory gives India seven points from three outings. India had outplayed Japan 10-2 in their first outing but were held to draw by S. Korea. Top four teams from the round-robin competition will advance to the semifinals.
• Govt to Release Chana via NCDEX
The govt has decided to sell chana from its buffer stock through the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) to cool prices. The decision was taken at a meeting of an inter-ministerial committee on prices under the chairmanship of consumer affairs secretary Hem Pande. Govt is also considering selling subsidised pulses through the outlets of Khadi & Village Industries Corp (KVIC).
• Karate is Now an Olympic Sport
Karate has been included for the first time in Olympics and promises to throw light on the rich history of the discipline. At the 2020 Tokyo Games, 80 competitors will take part in the karate event. It joins surfing, skateboarding, climbing and baseball-softball as new sports included for the 2020 edition. Judo and Taekwondo are already permanent fixtures.
• N.Korea Won 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup.
The North Koreans beat Japan in penalty kicks to win the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. This is North Korea’s second U-17 Women’s World Cup title. North Korea won the first ever U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008, finished fourth in 2010 and were runners up in 2012. The 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was the 5th edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
• Guwahati 5th Venue to Get FIFA Approval
Guwahati became the fifth Indian city to be ratified as a venue for next year’s Under-17 Football World Cup. It was given nod after a FIFA inspection team gave its thumbs up to the venue’s preparedness and facilities. Earlier, Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Goa & New Delhi had got the FIFA’s nod. The 23-member strong delegation will travel to Kolkata to visit the last venue of its inspection trip.
• Paul Beatty Wins Man Booker Prize
Paul Beatty was named as the first American to win the prestigious Man Booker fiction prize, for “The Sellout”. His novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles. It is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language.
• Indo-Sri Lanka Military Exercise Begins
The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI 2016’ is being conducted at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka. The main focus of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability. The Indian contingent is represented by a platoon from the Rajputana Rifles Regiment. The SL Army will be represented by a platoon from the Sinha Regiment.
• Herath Set for Captaincy Debut
Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath is set to become the oldest player to make his Test captaincy debut in 30 years. Herath, 38, retired from limited-overs format in April to focus on the remainder of his Test career. He was named skipper for the two-Test tour of Zimbabwe this month after injuries sidelined regular captain Angelo Mathews and his deputy Dinesh Chandimal.
• US Robots Beat Aus Rivals in Football
An American team of robots defeated an Australian rival in soccer to win the RoboCup Challenge. The University of Texas at Austin’s Austin Villa beat the University of New South Wales’ Runswift 7-3 during China’s 2016 World Robot Conference. RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition founded in 1997. It aims to promote robotics and artifici

al intelligence research.
• Brazilian Football Legend Carlos Dies
Brazilian football legend Carlos Alberto has died. He captained Brazil to World Cup glory in 1970, in which he scored one of the most famous goals in the tournament’s history. He quit international football in 1977. His achievements saw him named in the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998. FIFA included him on its list of the greatest 100 living players in 2004.
• Team India, R Ashwin Head ICC Rankings
The Indian cricket team and its premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin held on to their number one status in the latest ICC Test rankings for teams & bowlers. India led the team’s table with 115 points ahead of arch rivals Pakistan 111 & Australia 108. England were at fourth place followed by South Africa. Australia’s Steve Smith is ranked number-one followed by Pakistan batsman Younus Khan.
• New Zealand Beat India in Fourth ODI
New Zealand defeated India by 19 runs in the fourth Cricket ODI at Ranchi. Chasing a modest target of 261, India were all out for 241 in 48.4 overs. Earlier after electing to bat, the visitors scored 260 for 7 in the stipulated 50 overs. The 5-match ODI series is now levelled 2-2.
The last match of the series will be played in Visakhapatnam.
• Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis to Reunite
Tennis players Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis are reuniting to defend their WTA Finals title in Singapore this week. The Indo-Swiss pair had parted ways in August. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis became the world’s No. 1 doubles team after winning 41 matches on-the-trot. They won three grand Slam titles and 11 WTA titles since teaming up in 2015 at Indian Wells.
• India Ranks Poorly In Commonwealth Index
India has ranked very poorly at 133 in a new Global Youth Development Index. It was compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the countries’ prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres. India ranked 133rd in the index covering 183 nations, below neighbouring countries like Nepal (77), Bhutan (69) and Sri Lanka (31).
• Sports Min Recognises Boxing Federation
Ministry of Sports recognises Boxing Federation of India(BFI) as the National Sports Federation for Boxing. Recognition to BFI will give a big boost to preparation of our boxers for the Tokyo Olympics and other major international competitions. There has been no National Sports Federation for Boxing since 2012. Uttarakhand’s Ajay Singh was elected President of BFI.
• Govt to Provide More Sports Facilities
Govt will provide more sports facilities & stadiums to encourage players with disabilities in the country. Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot has said the Centre will establish 5 National Level Disability Sports Centres in separate zones. Mr. Gehlot extended his support for organizing Paralympics in India. The idea proposed by President of Paralympics of India Rao Inderjit Singh.
• India Beats Pak in Asian Hockey Final
India won into the final of the fourth Asian Champions Trophy Hockey tournament, beating Pakistan in the 3-2 in Kuantan,Malaysia. This is India’s second victory in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy, having won its inaugural edition in 2011 & was runners up to Pakistan in 2012. Pakistan entered the title clash beating Malaysia.
• India Clinch 5 Match ODI Cricket Series
India clinched the five-match ODI Cricket series 3-2 against New Zealand with a thumping 190-run victory in the final game in Visakhapatnam. Chasing a victory target of 270 runs set by India, New Zealand were all out for only 79 runs in 23.1 overs. Amit Mishra was declared man of the match and player of the series. He has claimed 15 wickets in the series.
• Hamilton Wins Mexican Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won the Mexico Grand prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. He has reduced Nico Rosberg’s championship lead to 19 points with two races remaining. Nico Roseberg finished at second position. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was given a five-second time penalty to cost him third place. That pushed Sebastian Vettel into third & Ricciardo, up to fourth.
• B’desh Secure 1st Test Win over England
Mehedi Hasan took six wickets as Bangladesh secured their first ever test win over England with an 108-run victory. Shakib Al Hasan bagged four. England had won all previous nine matches against their South Asian rivals. England had won the first Test at Chittagong by 22 runs. Miraz was adjudged man of the match as well as player of the series.
• Andy Murray Win Erste Bank Open Title
Andy Murray has beaten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the Erste Bank Open. Murray overcame the Frenchman with a 6-3, 7-6 victory. He has also recently won the China Open and Shanghai Rolex Masters. The Scot now closes in on world No.1 Novak Djokovic with the victory. Three times a Grand Slam winner and twice Olympic champion, Murray has never been top of the world rankings.
• Sania Retains No.1 Ranking in Doubles
Sania Mirza will end the season as world’s top doubles Tennis player for the second straight year. Sania finished this season with seven Women’s Tennis Association, WTA titles, a Grand Slam and a semifinal finish in the year ending WTA Finals in Singapore. She was close to being uprooted by Bethanie Mattek-Sands from the top spot, if the American would have taken WTA Finals Doubles title.

Current Events October 2016 – Political

• PM Modi Wishes Nation On Agrasen Jayanti
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted the nation on the occasion of Agrasen Jayanti. Agrasen Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of legendary Hindu king Agrasen Maharaj. It is observed on the fourth day of the Hindu calendar’s Ashwin month.
• Hungary Votes on EU Migrant Plan
People in Hungary are voting in a referendum on accepting mandatory EU quotas for relocating migrants. Prime Minister Viktor Orban opposes plans to relocate a total of 160,000 migrants across the bloc. Under the scheme, announced after last year’s migrant crisis, Hungary would receive 1,294 asylum seekers. Opinion polls suggest strong support for a rejection among those who say they will vote.
• Fiscal Deficit at 76.4 pc of Estimate
The government’s fiscal deficit in the first five months of the current fiscal stood at 4.1 lakh crore rupees. This is 76.4 per cent of the budget estimates for the entire 2016-17 fiscal. The fiscal deficit in the April to August period of the previous year had stood at 66.5 per cent of the budget estimates. The fiscal deficit is the gap between revenue and expenditure.
• Hungary PM Claims Referendum Victory
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has declared victory in a referendum on mandatory EU migrant quotas. The controversial EU plan to relocate 160,000 migrants across the bloc would mean Hungary receiving 1,294 asylum seekers. Nearly 98% of those who took part supported the government’s call to reject the EU plan. But only 43% of the electorate voted, short of the 50% required to be valid.
• Colombia Referendum Rejects Peace Deal
Colombians have rejected a peace deal to end 52 years of war with Farc guerrillas. The verdict on the deal between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc reached after four years of intense negotiations means it cannot now be implemented. Both government & rebels have repeatedly said that the deal was the best they could achieve & a renegotiation would not be possible.
• Yadav, Bhushan Launch Political Outfit
Expelled AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav & Prashant Bhushan announced the formation of a new all-India political party, Swaraj India. After their expulsion from AAP in 2015, the duo & their supporters had floated the non-political Swaraj Abhiyan, an outfit campaigning on “social issues”. Yadav was unanimously elected the party’s first National President & Jha its first national general secretary.
• Bihar Government Re-Imposes Liquor Ban
The Bihar govt has implemented the new stringent Bihar Excise and Prohibition Act by re-imposing ban on sale of alcohol in the state. This decision was taken in a special cabinet meeting which was chaired by CM Nitish Kumar. It may be noted that the Patna High court had struck down the state’s Prohibition of Liquor Act which banned the consumption of Indian Made Foreign Liquor
• Rajeev Takes over as Power Finance CMD
Rajeev Sharma has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of state-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC). He succeeds M K Goel who retired on Sept 30, 2016 on attaining the age of superannuation. Prior to joining PFC, Sharma was the CMD of Rural Electrification Corp. He is considered the architect of Government’s flagship schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana.
• Centre Constitutes Insolvency Board
The Centre has constituted a four-member Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the Chairmanship of MS Sahoo. The oath of office was administered by FM Arun Jaitley. The members of the IBBI are Ajay Tyagi, Amardeep Singh Bhatia,GS Yadav, & Unnikrishnan. The main activity of IBBI would be to regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies.
• Singapore’s PM Arrives in New Delhi
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has arrived in New Delhi. The aim is to deepen bilateral ties in a range of areas including trade and investment. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation which includes key Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior officials. Singapore is India’s second largest investor, especially in the power and port sectors.
• No EPFO Benefits for Workers
The Union cabinet has rejected a proposal to bring all companies with 10 or more workers within the ambit of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The rejection came after the govt realized that, it would have affected the micro,small & medium enterprises sector financially. At the moment, only those companies that deploy 20 or more workers come under the EPF & Miscellaneous Act.
• Kersti Elected Next President of Estonia
Kersti Kaljulaid was elected as president of Estonia by the parliament. She was elected as the country’s first female president by the parliament. She won 81 votes in the 101-member parliament, a minimum of or 68 votes, or 2/3 of the parliamentary seats, was required. She is the Estonian representative to the European Court of Auditors.
• Nitish Kumar Elected JDU President
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has been elected unopposed as JD(U)’s National President for the second consecutive time. Mr Kumar’s election will be ratified at the party’s two-day national council meeting at Rajgir beginning on the 16th of this month. He was nominated JD(U) President for the first time on April 10th this year after the then president Sharad Yadav resigned.
• Portuguese Ex-PM to be the New UN Chief
Former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres is set to be chosen as the new UN Secretary General. None of the five UN Security Council (UNSC) veto-powers voted against his candidacy in a secret ballot. He now needs to be formally recommended to the 193-member General Assembly where his candidacy is likely to be approved. He is poised to replace the current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
• Book on PM Modi Foreign Policy Released
Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu has released a book on PM Narendra Modi titled “Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy” in New Delhi. The book was authored by former Ambassador Surendra Kumar. The book outlines the progress and the indelible imprint on the conduct of India’s Foreign Policy by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in the last two and a half years.
• Pak Passes Anti-Honour Killing Bills
Pakistan Parliament has passed two important bills, one seeking to curb murders in the name of honour & the other to punish rapists by use of DNA testing. Under the existing laws, a close relative murdered a woman in the name of honour & was pardoned by another close family member. Thus the murderer would walk away without any punishment. The legislation passed makes 25 years in jail mandatory.
• Poland Rejects Near-Total Abortion Ban
Poland’s parliament has overwhelmingly rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortions. Poland already has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws. The new proposals would have limited it only to cases where the mother’s life was in direct danger. Under the rejected plan, women and doctors would have faced up to five years in jail for performing an abortion.
• 250 Mandis Linked to National Agri Mkt
The Centre has integrated 250 agricultural mandis across 10 States into the online trading platform for agriculture produce, e-NAM. Commodities worth ` 421 crore have already been traded on the platform. More than 1,60,000 farmers and 46,888 traders have got themselves registered. E-Nam is a pan-India electronic portal for sale & purchase of agricultural produce, launched by PM Modi in April.
• Morocco PJD Wins Parliamentary Polls
Morocco’s Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) has emerged as the winner after the country voted for its 10th parliament since independence in 1956. PJD has been running a coalition government since 2011. PJD has won 125 seats, while the opposition Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) came second with 102 seats. The Istiqlal (Independence) Party came third by winning 46 seats.
• CM Inaugurated Skill Development Centre
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated first Model Skill Development Centre “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra” at Panjabari, Guwahati. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship & National Skill Development Corp. It will give training to the unemployed youths in 13 job roles. It will help in transforming the skill landscape by roping in youth power.
• Navjot Kaur Sidhu Resigns from BJP
BJP MLA from Amritsar (East) constituency, Navjot Kaur Sidhu has resigned from the party. The state BJP president, Vijay Sampla has accepted the resignation of Navjot Kaur Sidhu from the primary membership of the party. Her resignation comes over a month after Sidhu floated the new outfit, Awaaz-e-Punjab. On Sept 14, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the BJP.
• President Inaugurates Military Station
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a new military station in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. The station has been named Baharampore military station. Mukherjee had also laid the foundation stone of the project in 2014. It is being developed as a model military station with the state-of-the-art training and administrative facilities integrated with the existing natural features.
• All Villages to be Electrified by 2017
All the villages in the country would get electricity connection by May 2017 said Union Minister Piyush Goyal. This will a year before the 1000-day deadline set by the govt ends. He also announced soft loans to states for providing electricity connection to every household. All the villages will get electricity connections by May 1, 2017 which is one year before deadline which ends in May 2018.
• Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency
Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency following months of anti-government protests by members of the country’s two largest ethnic groups. The Oromo and the Amhara make up about 60% of the population. They complain that power is held by a tiny Tigrean elite. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has declared the state of emergency & that it will last for six months.
• Complete Works of Pt. Upadhyay Launched
PM Modi has released 15 volume Complete works of Former Jan Sangh Chief Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. The 15-volume work highlights key events in the life of Deendayal Upadhyay, the journey of Jana Sangh and of the country. The volumes have been compiled and edited by former Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Chandra Sharma. He is also the President of Ekatma Manav Darshan Anusandhan Evam Vikas Pratisthan.
• Power Ministers Conference Concludes
The two-day Conference of State Power, New & Renewable Energy & Mines Ministers concluded in Vadodara, Gujarat. The meeting was attended by Ministers & senior Officials from the 20 participating States & 2 UT. Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal informed that consensus was achieved on various important issues without any disagreement.
• Moroccan King Reappoints Abdelilah as PM
Abdelilah Benkirane, leader of Morocco’s Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) has been appointed for another term as the country’s prime minister. The king of Morocco Mohammed VI has made the announcement. Benkirane has been serving as prime minister since November 2011. The PJD has secured 125 seats out of 395 in recently concluded elections up from 107 in 2011.
• Dussehra Celebrations across India
Festival of Dussehra and Vijayadashami being celebrated across the country. Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, celebrates triumph of good over evil. The day also marks the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura. President, Vice President and PM have greeted the people on the eve of Dussehra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the historic Aishbagh Ramlila at Lucknow.
• Ivory Coast Approve Constitution Draft
Ivory Coast’s national assembly has approved the draft of a new constitution by President Alassane Ouattara to ease nationality rules. The new proposals soften the nationality clause that both parents of presidential candidates must be native-born Ivorians. It had been used by Ouattara’s opponents to bar him from elections. The new constitution will now be presented before people in a referendum
• Driverless Cars Hit British Streets
Driverless vehicles carrying passengers took to Britain’s streets for the first time in a landmark trial which could pave the way for their introduction across the country. It is the first time that a self-driving vehicle has been tested in a public place in Britain. The “Selenium” autonomy software running the vehicle & is developed by Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute.
• OPS Allocated Jaya’s Portfolio
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has allocated the portfolios looked after by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam. This arrangement has been made as per advice of the Chief Minister. He will also preside over Cabinet meetings. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo hospital on September 22 and she has been advised longer stay in the hospital for treatment.
• JNU Orders Probe Into Effigy Buring
JNU administration has ordered an inquiry into the incident burning of effigy of PM Modi, projecting him as demon king Ravan. The incident was carried out by members of students’ wing NSUI, on the occasion of Dussehra. NSUI students claimed that it was a protest against the Centre’s “failure” to honour its promises and the continuous attacks on various institutions across the country.
• Army briefs Parliamentary panel
Army briefed members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on the surgical strikes carried out by its men in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. 3 members who attended the meeting said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat briefed the Committee on the September 29 surgical strikes. The strikes were launched as a response to the terror attack that had earlier happened in Uri.
• Wonder Woman to be UN Ambassador
The United Nations is to enlist the super powers of “Wonder Woman” for a new campaign to empower women & girls. The comic & television series heroine will be officially designated as the UN honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls during a ceremony on October 21. The ceremony will launch a year-long campaign on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
• BJP Joins Arunachal Coalition Govt
The BJP in Arunachal Pradesh officially became a part of the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) government with the induction of senior BJP MLA Tamiyo Taga in the council of ministers. Arunachal Pradesh is now the 14th state having a coalition government. PPA government is a constituent partner of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). Governor V Shanmuganathan administered the oath of office.
• PM Inaugurates Shaurya Smarak Memorial
Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated the Shaurya Smarak, a war memorial in Bhopal dedicated to the soldiers of India. The tales of their bravery are on display at this memorial. Shaurya Smarak has been built on a 12.67 acres at a cost of ` 41.00 crore. One of its kinds, the memorial has light and sound display to narrate stories of bravery of valiant soldiers.
• Kuwaiti Parliament Dissolves
Kuwait’s Cabinet has resigned and Parliament has been dissolved. The moves follow disputes between MPs and the government over fuel price increases in the oil-rich country. Kuwait’s government has cut some benefits including fuel subsidies, hiking the cost of petrol by up to 80 per cent. Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, issued a decree for dissolving the Gulf state’s Parliament.
• Aung San Suu Kyi Arrives in New Delhi
Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in New Delhi from the resort state of Goa after attending BRICS & BIMSTEC summits. She was received by Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This is Suu Kyi’s first state visit to India after her National League for Democracy swept elections. The visit will provide an opportunity for the two sides to discuss issues of mutual interest.
• PM Inaugurates Three Mega Hydro Projects
Prime Minster Narendra Modi has inaugurated three hydropower projects in Bilaspur, Shimla and Kullu districts. PM inaugurated NTPC’s 800MW Koldam Hydro Project in Bilaspur district, NHPC’s 540 MW Parbati Stage-III project in Kullu district & Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd’s 412MW Rampur project in Shimla district. This is his maiden visit to the hill state after becoming Prime Minister.
• Prez Orders Probe Against AMU VC
President Pranab Mukherjee has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of financial malfeasance against Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) vice chancellor Zamiruddin Shah. The President is also the Visitor to the University. The main allegation against Shah is financial irregularities amounting to ` 120 crore. He is the seventh Central University vice-chancellor to face the Visitor’s inquiry.
• India, Brazil Ink Agreements
India & Brazil signed four MoUs during a bilateral meeting held in Goa Salcete city. The four MoUs that have been signed are in areas of investment cooperation & facilitation, cattle genomics, pharmaceuticals & agriculture. PM Modi & Brazilian President Michel Temer witnessed the signing of the MoUs. Bilateral relations between India & Brazil have acquired the dimension of a strategic partnership.
• Rwanda’s Kigeli V Dies
The last king of Rwanda has died in the US aged 80 years old. Umwami Kigeli V Ndahindurwa came to power in 1959 but was only king of Rwanda until 1961, when the monarchy was abolished and he was forced into exile. He eventually settled in the US where he set up a charity helping Rwandan refugees and orphans. Rwanda was proclaimed a republic in 1961 & Dominique Mbonyumutwa, was made president.
• Irom Sharmila Launches Party
Human rights activist Irom Sharmila has announced the formation of her political party in Manipur. The party, People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance ( PRJA), will contest the Assembly polls in Manipur in 2017. The announcement of the new political party on October 18 in significant. On the same date in 1948, the first session of Manipur Assembly was held.
• PM Modi Launches SC/ST Hub in Ludhiana
PM Modi has launched the National SC/ST Hub to provide support to entrepreneurs from the community. The Hub was set up with an initial outlay of ` 490 crore. The hub will work towards strengthening market access/linkage, monitoring, capacity building & leveraging financial support schemes. It will also enable central public sector enterprises to fulfill the procurement target set by the govt.
• Rajasthani to soon get official status
Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Wednesday said Rajasthani language would soon be given official recognition under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The long standing demand for official recognition to both Bhojpuri and Rajasthani has heightened in recent years. As of now, the Eighth Schedule has 22 languages recognised under the Constitution.
• Rita Bahuguna Joshi joins BJP
Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief joined the BJP. Rita Bahuguna Joshi joined the BJP in presence of party chief Amit Shah. Her induction in the BJP will undercut Congress’s Brahmin outreach that has seen the party project former Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit as its chief ministerial nominee. Brahmins estimated to constitute around 14% of the electorate in U.P.
• Govt to Launch 6th Tranche of SGB Scheme
The govt will launch the sixth tranche of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) scheme on 24th of Oct in which people can buy securities worth up to 500 grams. SGB is an alternative mode of investment to physical gold, was launched in Nov last year. It provides investors a choice to diversify portfolio without the need to buy the metal in physical form. The govt has come out with five tranches of the SGB.
• Odisha Health Minister Resigns
Odisha Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has submitted his resignation to CM Naveen Patnaik. His resignation came after he admitted lapses in the fire safety measures at the Sum hospital. CM has allotted the health portfolio to Finance Minister Pradeep Amat. Forest Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh was given the additional charge of the Dept of Information & Public Relations (I&PR).
• Mohammed Morsi’s 20-year Prison Sentence
An Egyptian court has upheld a 20 year jail sentence passed against ousted president Mohamed Morsi for his role in the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace. The ruling by the Court of Cessation is the first final verdict against Morsi since his ousting & subsequent detention in July 2013. He has been convicted and sentenced to death & life imprisonment in 3 separate cases.
• Hasina Reelected Awami League Chief
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was re-elected unopposed as the ruling Awami League’s president. The Awami League came to power in December 2008 polls and returned to power in the January 2014 polls for a second successive term. She became the longest serving president of the party founded in 1949. The five-year term of the ruling Awami League will end in 2019.
• Iraq Passes Law to Ban Alcohol
Iraq’s parliament has passed a law forbidding the import, production or selling of alcoholic beverages. The law passed imposes a fine of up to 25 million Iraqi dinars, or $21,000, for anyone violating the ban. Alcohol is rarely offered in restaurants and hotels in Iraq, but consumption is relatively widespread. The country also has some companies producing various types of alcohol.
• President inaugurates Heart Institute
President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated Sardar Patel Hospital & Heart Institute at Ankleshwar, Gujarat. It is the first such multi healthcare facility in Ankleshwar. He also inaugurated revamped Sevashram hospital at Bharuch, Gujarat. He is the second president to visit the hospital whose inaugural ceremony was graced by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, in 1952.
• SP Expels Senior Leader Ramgopal Yadav
Senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav today said his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav has been sacked from the party for conspiring with the BJP. Earlier Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav dropped his uncle Shivpal Yadav and three other ministers from his cabinet. Those who were dropped from cabinet are Shivpal Yadav, Om Parkash Singh, Narad Rai and Shadaab Fatima.
• PM Launches #Sandesh2Soldiers Campaign
PM Modi launched #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign to invite people to send letters & messages to the Indian armed forces. The campaign is expected to generate increased interaction between people & the army. It gives every citizen an opportunity to spread happiness among the Armed Forces on Diwali. The campaign comes in the wake of the backdrop of the surgical strikes carried out by the Army.
• Uruguay’s Ex-President Batlle Dies
Former President Jorge Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century has died. He sought closer ties and free trade pacts with the United States during his 2000-2005 presidency. His tenure was also marked by one of the country’s worst-ever financial crises. He was elected to the Senate in 1984 general elections for a government to replace the military dictatorship.
• Amit Shah Releases Arun Jaitley Book
BJP President Amit Shah released the book ‘Andhere se Ujale ki Aur’. The book is a compilation of blogs and articles written by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley is the current Finance Minister, Minister of Corporate Affairs in the Cabinet of India. He is the member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. From 2009 to 2014 he served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
• Micro Agents to Sell Govt-Sponsored Sch
Micro insurance agents have now been permitted to sell government-sponsored crop insurance products to farmers. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a circular to this effect. It aims to expand the reach of crop insurance schemes. The decision of the regulator came in the wake of requests made by some stakeholders.
• PM Modi Launches Urja Ganga
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched seven schemes at the total cost of ` 5,000 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency. The schemes launched included “Urja Ganga”. It is an ambitious gas pipeline project which will bring piped cooking fuel to residents of this ancient temple town. Among other programs launched was the expansion of Diesel Locomotive Works.
• New Zealand PM Arrives in Delhi
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key arrived in New Delhi for a three-day long state visit. During his stay, he will hold one-to-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed by official delegation level meeting to discuss growing bilateral relations. He will also call upon President Pranab Mukherjee. Prime Minister Key will also be attending a Business Summit.
• PM Inaugurates National Tribal Carnival
PM Modi inaugurated First National Tribal Carnival-2016 in New Delhi. 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. In this carnival around 1,600 tribal artists and around 8,000 tribal delegates from across the country are taking part.
• Govt Recommend Anti-Dumping Duty on Jute
Commerce Ministry arm DGAD has recommended anti-dumping duty of 5-20% on jute and jute products to protect the domestic industry. The recommendations of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties (DGAD) would require Finance Ministry’s nod. Dumping of products was causing huge financial losses to the country’s jute sector. West Bengal is a major player in the jute industry.
• Kyrgyzstan Government Resigns
The Kyrgyz govt of PM Sooronbai Jeenbekov has formally resigned. The SDP, which controls the largest faction in parliament, left because the coalition rejected proposed constitutional reforms on expanded powers for the prime minister. Kyrgyzstan’s current constitution was adopted in June 2010. A clause in the 2010 constitution prohibits making amendments to the text before 2020.
• Judicial Committee on OROP Submit Report
The one-man judicial committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP), set up by the government, has submitted its report to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The Centre had appointed the committee, under the Chairmanship of retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court L Narasimha Reddy. It was formed to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP.
• HR to Observe 2017 as Garib Kalyan Varsh
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said that the state government has decided to observe 2017 as the “Garib Kalyan Varsh”. During the observation period, the government would lay emphasis on welfare of poor people and generating employment opportunities for the youth. The outgoing year was dedicated to Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya & coincided with the Golden Jubilee formation year of the state.
• ECI Unveiled Three IT Based Systems
The Election Commission of India (ECI) unveiled three IT-based systems – Samadhan, Suvidha and Sugam- for Punjab to ensure the election process is conducted smoothly. This includes an online grievance registration & redressal system. The IT-based solutions were launched by chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi along with two election commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat.
• UN Votes to Launch Talks on Nuclear Ban
A UN General Assembly committee has voted to launch negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons. A resolution presented was adopted by a vote of 123 to 38. Four of the five UN Security Council nuclear powers –Britain, France, Russia and the US– voted against the resolution while China abstained. Japan has long campaigned against the use of nuclear weapons voted against it.
• UP Govt to Quash Upper Age Limit
Uttar Pradesh govt is to do away with the upper age limit for widows & divorced women applying for government jobs. CM Akhilsh Yadav announced to quash the upper age limit. This decision is taken keeping in view the problems of those women who have crossed the age limit and desirous to work. He said that the development of women is responsibility of government as well as of society.
• Cabinet Nod for Strategic Sale of PSUs
The Union Cabinet gave nod to Niti Aayog’s proposal for strategic sale of over a dozen public sector undertakings (PSUs). FM Arun Jaitley said the names of PSUs that are up for strategic stake sale would be made public once they are going to be put up for the auction. The strategic sale will involve a management control transfer as the shareholding of the govt would come down. to below 50%.
• Sunil Mittal New Chairman of GSMA
Bharti Enterprises chief Sunil Mittal has been elected chairman of global telecom body GSMA for a two-year term. He will oversee the strategic direction of GSMA, which represents nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators. He will take over from Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who will step down from the GSMA board at the end of 2016. Baksaas was GSMA chairman for three years.
• Rajnath Announces High-Altitude Medal
Border-guarding troops deployed on posts above 9,000 feet will now be decorated with a new ‘high altitude medal’ to recognise their services in the tough terrain and adverse climate areas. This was announced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Singh said a policy decision has been taken to honour the valour and commitment to duty of the men and women of these forces.
• New Benami Act to take effect from November 1
The new law to prohibit benami transactions will come into effect from 1st of next month. Parliament had passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to curb black money. The existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 will be renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions, PBPT, Act, 1988. The PBPT Act defines benami transactions, prohibits them
• Nigeria to Spend $10bn to End Conflict
Nigeria will invest $10bn in its oil-rich south to end an insurgency by militants. The money would be used to build infrastructure. Militant attacks have severely disrupted oil production, fuelling a recession in the West African state. The militants have been demanding that the government spend more of its oil wealth on tackling widespread poverty in a region, known as the Niger Delta.
• Spain PM Rajoy Voted Back to Power
Spain’s Parliament voted conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy back into power. 170 lawmakers voted for Rajoy, 111 voted against him, and 68 abstained from voting. Mr. Rajoy pledged to plough on with economic policies deeply unpopular with the opposition. It blames austerity measures taken in his first term for rising inequality.
• Govt Mandates Indian Language Support
Government has mandated support for Indian languages in all mobile phones to be sold in the country from July 1, 2017 onward. The new standard mandates mobile phone companies to provide message typing facility in English, Hindi and a regional language of their users choice. The notification mandates both smartphones and feature phones to provide language support.
• DoPT Launch Employees Online Application
The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has launched Employees Online (EO) App. The mobile application aims to update on Appointments Committee of the Cabinet appointments and postings on real time basis and to bring transparency. The EO App has been developed keeping in mind the spirit of maximum Governance, minimum Govt.
• Govt Reconstitutes Inter-State Council
The Government has reconstituted the Inter State Council (ISC) and the Standing Committee of the ISC under Clause 2 of the Inter State Council order, 1990. The Inter-State Council is a constitutional body to facilitate coordination between states and the centre. It will be headed by the PM Modi. The Standing Committee of the Inter State Council will be headed by Home Affairs Rajnath Singh.
• Obama Celebrates Diwali
US President Barack Obama celebrated Diwali by lighting the first-ever diya in the Oval Office of the White House. He was the first President to celebrate Diwali personally at the White House in 2009. Obama said that it is a time to renew collective obligation to deepen the bonds, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also on the occasion of Diwali.
• Modi Greets Gujaratis on New Year
Gujarati community all over the world is celebrating their new year i.e. Bestu Varas. Gujarati community celebrates the New Year after Diwali to mark the beginning of a new fiscal year. The Bestu Varas celebration marks with bursting of crackers by children in the morning. The day is of special significance for businessmen as it is marked the beginning of the financial year for them.
• Nation Observes Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is being observed on 31-Oct to mark the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The theme this year is Integration of India. Government had last year decided to observe Sardar Patel Jayanti Day as Ekta Diwas. Various programmes are being organised in his home State Gujarat where his work started and flourished.

Current Events October 2016 – World

• Singapore PM to visit India from 3-7 Oct
PM of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong will pay a five-day visit to India from October 3 with an aim to deepen bilateral ties in a range of areas including trade and investment. During the visit, he will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explore ways to further bolster ties between the two countries. The Singapore PM will also visit Udaipur, Rajasthan on October 5-6.
• US objects to Pakistan’s nuclear threats
US has strongly objected to threats of nuclear warfare made by Pakistan against India. The United States, meanwhile, continued to urge both India and Pakistan to take steps to de-escalate tension following the Uri terror attack. “We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us,” Khwaza Asif, Pakistani defence minister had told a Pakistani news channel in his latest interview.
• China blocks Brahmaputra tributary
China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” hydro project. The Lalho project on Xiabuqu river, a tributary of Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra), in Tibet involves an investment of $740 million. China’s action could cause concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian countries.
• High Court scraps prohibition in Bihar
The Patna high court quashed a notification banning liquor in Bihar. A high-level meeting called by CM Nitish Kumar decided to summon the state cabinet on October 2 to ratify a notification on an amended liquor law that would allow prohibition to continue. The meeting also deliberated the option to approach the Supreme Court against the high court order.
• Thailand confirms first Zika case
Thailand has confirmed the first south-east Asia cases of microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last year in Brazil. Zika has spread extensively in Latin American and the Caribbean since then, and more recently it has been cropping up in south-east Asia.
• Famous Frog Toughie Dies
Toughie, the world’s last Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog and a symbol of the extinction crisis, has died at his home in the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He was estimated to be 12 years old.
Toughie’s species has not been seen in the wild since 2007. The only other Rabbs’ treefrog, which was housed in Zoo Atlanta, died in 2012 of natural causes.
• Mexico’s Colima Volcano Erupts
Mexico’s Colima volcano has erupted, spewing a large plume of ash and thick black smoke into the sky. The volcano is located in western Mexico between the states of Colima and Jalisco, about 500 kilometres from Mexico City. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and Central America. Colima, also known as fuego or fire has had more than 30 periods of eruption since 1585.
• Int Day of Older Persons Observed
The International Day of Older Persons is observed on Oct1 each year. On Dec 14, 1990 the UN General Assembly voted to establish Oct1 as the International Day of Older Persons. The day is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society & raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing. The theme for 2016 is “Take a Stand Against Ageism”.
• Yuan Joins IMF’s Reserve Currency Club
China’s Yuan joins an elite group of reserve currencies created by the International Monetary Fund. The Yuan will become the fifth member of the IMF’Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket of currencies,. Presently SDR basket of currencies included the US dollar, euro, yen &pound. The SDR is an currency reserve created by the IMF in 1969 to promote trade, increase liquidity & supplement member countries.
• UK to Trigger Brexit Process by March
Britain will trigger the formal process for leaving the European Union before the end of March next year. Prime Minister Theresa May said this ahead of her speech on the Brexit at her Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Britain voted in a June referendum to leave the EU, but has not yet invoked the article of the EU treaty that would trigger negotiations.
• Abu Dhabi Crown Prince R-Day Chief Guest
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade next year. The visit is expected to boost bilateral ties in the key areas of trade & security. UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after China & the US. There are also more than 2.6 million Indians live in the UAE & their annual remittance is estimated to be around $14 billion.
• Myntra Appoints Dipanjan Basu as CFO
Online fashion portal Myntra has appointed Dipanjan Basu as the Chief Financial Officer with effective from October 17. He has 15 years of experience in the finance department. Priot to this , he was the Chief Finance & Operating Officer for Wipro’s Digital & Consulting Business. He also had a two year stint with Quatrro Risk Management Services where he was the CFO of the company.
• FPI Inflows Top ` 20,000 cr in Sept
Foreign investors pumped in more than ` 20,000 cr into the capital market in Sept, making it the highest net inflow in 11 months. This also marks the third consecutive month of positive inflows. Net investment by FPIs stood at ` 10,443 cr in equities while for debt was ` 9,789 cr. Sebi has recently decided to offer direct entry to foreign investors for investing in corporate bonds.
• Baby Robot ‘Kirobo Mini’ Unveiled
A palm-sized robot dubbed Kirobo Mini has been unveiled in Japan. It is designed to be a companion for the growing number of women left childless by the country’s aging population crisis. It was created by Toyota’s non-automotive department & is equipped with artificial intelligence and a camera so it can recognise the face & respond. The Kiboro Mini is expected to go on sale from 2017.
• Putin Scraps Plutonium Disposal Deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to suspend an agreement with the United States on the disposing of weapons-grade plutonium. The Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PDMA) was suspended for “a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US. The 2010 agreement, called on each side to dispose of 34 tonnes of plutonium.
• World Habitat Day Observed
World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world. It was officially designated by the United Nations & first celebrated in 1986. The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.
• Myanmar Scraps Stringent Emergency Law
Myanmar has scrapped a stringent law which had been used by the former military leaders to silence opponents. The Emergency Provisions Act was introduced in 1950. It allowed the authorities to detain people without charge and prescribed jail or execution for a wide range of offences considered treason. It allowed punishments of up to seven years for crimes like spreading false news.
• European Parliament Ratifies Paris Deal
The European Union approved the ratification of the Paris climate deal. It paves the way for the landmark pact to come into force globally. The European Parliament voted to endorse the union-level approval of the accord during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France. The Paris accord needs to be ratified by at least 55 parties accounting for 55 percent of global emissions to enter into force.
• Typhoon Chaba Slams South Korea
Typhoon Chaba battered southern parts of South Korea with violent wind & heavy rain.
The southern cities of Busan & Ulsan were worst affected. Work at Hyundai Motor’s two factories in the city of Ulsan was suspended because of inflow of water. The typhoon is now heading for Japan, where the meteorological agency issued warnings & flights were cancelled.
• Paris Deal to Begin in November
The United Nations says the climate change agreement has been ratified by a sufficient number of countries to come into effect next month. The Paris deal has been so far ratified by 73 countries accounting for more than 56 percent of the global green gas emissions. Canada became the latest nation to ratify the landmark Paris climate accord. The accord will formally begin on November 4.
• Arjun Vajpai Scales Mt Cho Oyu
Noida-based 23-year-old professional mountaineer Arjun Vajpai became the youngest in the world to scale the Mount Cho Oyu. Mount Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain peak in the world at 8,188 metres (26,864 ft) above sea level. Cho Oyu stands on the China-Nepal border about 20km west of Mount Everest. This was Vajpai’s second attempt to climb Cho Oyu after he was paralysed midway in 2012.
• Brazil Beat China in BRICS U-17 Opener
Brazil beat China 2-0 in the inaugural match of the first BRICS U-17 football tournament at GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa. Brazil dominated the match with quick passes and scored through Victor Gabriel M de Oliveira and Vitor Eduardo da Silva Matos. Earlier, Sports Minister Vijay Goel inaugurated the tournament. He termed the tournament an endeavour and synergy for unity of the BRICS nations.
• Cabinet Allows ONGC Videsh to Buy Stake
The Cabinet has given its approval to an acquisition by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) for 11% stake in JSC Vankorneft from Rosneft Oil Company (Rosneft), Russia’s national oil company. OVL will be paying $930 million for acquiring 11% stake in Vankorneft. Rosneft operates the Vankor fields with Vankorneft, its wholly-owned subsidiary. It will provide an opportunity to acquire new technologies from Rosneft.
• Samsung Acquires Viv
Samsung Electronics will acquire open artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer Viv. Viv’s AI platform allows third-party developers to use it to build conversational assistants & integrate natural language-based interfaces to existing platforms. It has a natural language understanding & machine learning capabilities. It was founded by AI visionaries Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer & Chris Brigham.
• IMF Warns of Financial Stability Risks
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that risks to financial stability are growing. It warns about what it calls “medium-term” dangers in both emerging & developed economies. It expresses particular concerns about Europe, Japan & China. The comments were included in its latest Global Financial Stability Report released.
• Obama Declares Emergency in Florida
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida as Hurricane Matthew strengthened and headed for the US Southeast. Hurricane Matthew steamed toward heavily populated Florida with terrifying winds of 140 mph. About 2 million people across the Southeast were warned to flee inland. It was the most powerful storm to threaten the US Atlantic coast in more than a decade.
• Prez Inaugurate World Sustainable Summit
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS). It is being organised by TERI with emphasis on the need to limit the rise of climate change. Themed “Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress”. Mukherjee also awarded Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling with Sustainable Development Leadership Award at the event.
• Apple Named World’s Most Valuable Brand
Branding consultancy Interbrand has revealed its list of the Best Global Brands 2016. Apple has secured the top rank in the list of the most valuable brands in the world once again. The brand gained 5% in value since last year, according to Interbrand’s calculations. Google too saw growth, but it ended up at the second spot with 11% growth. Coca-Cola secured third spot & Microsoft at fourth.
• New Termite Species Discovered
A new termite species, Glyptotermes Chiraharitae, has been discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary. The species are named ‘Chiraharitae’, after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where the termite was spotted. The flying adults of this species are approximately 10 mm long, while the soldiers are around 9.5 mm long. The new species are of the damp wood category.
• Japan’s Mount Aso Volcano Erupts
Mount Aso in southern Japan has erupted. Japan Meteorological Agency issued its third-highest alert, warning people not to approach the volcano after it rumbled to life. Mount Aso previously erupted in September last year after being dormant for 19 years. Japan sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where a large proportion of the world’s quakes & volcanic eruptions are recorded.
• First Diamond Block Auctioned in MP
Madhya Pradesh’s Panna-based Hatupur diamond mineral block was successfully auctioned has become the first in the country to be sold off through bidding. Diamond mineral worth ` 106 crore is available in the Hatupur block. Bansal Construction Works Private Limited emerged as the preferred bidder. The block is presently under G3 category and is spread over an area of 133.50 hectare
• BRICS CRA Operational
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) was fully operational. CRA will address any short-term balance of payments pressures the grouping’s member nations face. CRA was established in 2015 by BRICS member nations Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa. It is a framework for the provision of support through liquidity.
• Nico Rosberg Wins Japanese Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg romped to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix to extend his lead over world champion Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One title race. He is now have 33-point lead over his fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with four races to go. This is Rosberg’s ninth victory of the season. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second & Lewis Hamilton at third place.
• Nico Rosberg Wins Japanese Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg romped to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix to extend his lead over world champion Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One title race. He is now have 33-point lead over his fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with four races to go. This is Rosberg’s ninth victory of the season. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second & Lewis Hamilton at third place.
• Russia Vetoes to Stop Bombing of Aleppo
Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution demanding an end to the bombing of Aleppo city in Syria. Franco-Spanish resolution had demanded an end to all aerial bombardment & overflights of Aleppo by Russian & Syrian regime aircraft. It was the fifth time that Moscow used its veto to block the UN action to end the five year war in Syria, which has claimed 300,000 lives.
• Chinese Prez Appoints New Envoy to India
Chinese President Xi Jinping has appointed Luo Zhaohui as China’s new ambassador to India. He was appointed in accordance with a decision from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature. Prior to the Indian assignment Luo, 54, was China’s ambassador to Canada from 2014 to 2016. Former Chinese ambassador to India Le Yucheng left New Delhi in April.
• Apple Win Appeal in Slide to Unlock Case
A US appeals court handed Apple a victory in one of its battles with rival Samsung, reinstating a USD 119.6 million verdict for the iPhone maker for patent infringement. The Federal Circuit Appeals judges ruled 8-3 in a rehearing of the case, reversing a panel of the same court. Apple’s lawsuit contends that Samsung infringed on patents for “slide to unlock” and autocorrection, among others.
• NPPA Caps Prices of 31 Essential Drugs
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the prices of 31 essential medicines. The notification from the Authority has fixed the prices of eight medicines & revised the ceiling price of 23 more. NPPA caps prices of essential medicines listed under the National List of Essential Medicines. The authority has the right to fix prices of the essential medicines.
• Fadnavis Launches Arbitration Centre
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA). It is India’s first international arbitration centre. The setting up of the MCIA can resolve disputes between different companies or individuals. At present, most of the global business disputes involving Indians land in the Singapore or the London arbitration centres.
• 10-Oct: Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 Oct every year. The day is observed every year to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. The theme for this year is – Psychological First Aid. The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to talk about their work & what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for the people.
• 5 Ind-Americans Among the Richest in US
Five Indian-Americans are among the richest in the US, according to a Forbes list of 400 people. The list has been topped by Bill Gates for the 23rd year in a row. Romesh Wadhwani, Bharat Neerja Desai, Rakesh Gangwal, John Kapoor & Kavitark Ram Shriram have featured in Forbes’ ‘The Richest People In America 2016’ list. Wadhwani ranked 222nd on the list with a net worth of $ 3 billion.
• Raid De Himalaya Kicks Off
The 18th edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya, the world’s highest arena rally was flagged off. The rally takes place at an extremely high altitude of upto 17,500 feet with temperatures as low as minus 15°C. The participants will compete in three categories – Cars Extreme, Bikes Extreme and Adventure Trial. It is for the first time that the rally has started from Manali.
• 16 mn Sign up for RJio’s Services
Reliance Jio has notched up 16 million subscribers in the first month of operations. The company had launched its services in September with a welcome offer. Reliance Jio said it has created a world record as it has achieved this growth faster than any other telecom operator or start-up in the world. Jio has introduced Aadhaar-based paper-less Jio SIM activation.
• Zika Highly Likely to Spread in Asia
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Zika infections are “highly likely” to keep spreading in Asia. Hundreds of cases of the virus have been reported in Singapore while two cases of Zika-linked microcephaly have already been confirmed in Thailand. The mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide, at least 19 in the Asia Pacific region.
• 11-Oct: Int Day of the Girl Child
The International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) is observed every year across the world on 11 October. The day is being observed by UN to join global efforts to ensure a world free of discrimination for young women and girls. 2016 Theme: Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls. The day gives opportunity to raise public awareness of the different types of discrimination and abuse.
• Demand for Energy will Peak in 2030
Total energy demand per person is set to peak before 2030 then gradually fall. This is in a sharp reversal which has seen global demand for energy more than double since the 1970s. The report ‘World Energy Scenarios 2016 – Grand Transition’ was launched at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul. It suggests demand growth in terms of energy per capita will halt in the next 15 years.
• Russia and Turkey Sign Gas Deal
Turkey & Russia signed an agreement for the construction of a major undersea gas pipeline. They signed a deal on the TurkStream undersea gas pipeline. It will cut energy supplies via Ukraine, the main route for Russian energy into Europe. The plan for TurkStream emerged after Russia dropped plans to build the South Stream pipeline to Bulgaria due to opposition from the European Union.
• Foreign Trade Data Dashboard Launch
Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a new enhanced Dashboard on Foreign Trade Data. It is part of the initiative of the ministry to provide easy access to the public with regard to India’s export, import& balance of trade data in an analytical format. It is more user friendly and would facilitate an accurate picture on dynamics of foreign trade performance of country.
• Intex Partners with Tata’s mRUPEE
Domestic handset maker Intex has partnered with mRUPEE. The wallet will offer easy and quick integrated payment functionalities & conveniences within the device related to recharge & money transfer. As part of its tie-up, Intex will also launch a white labeled retailer portal, wherein Intex retailers will be able to offer retail-assisted services of recharges & bill payments.
• Centre to Expand Panipat Refinery
The Central govt will invest ` 15,000 cr to increase the capacity of Panipat refinery in Haryana from existing 15 Million Tonnes (MT) to 25 MT. An ethanol plant would also be set up by the IOC in Panipat. It will generate alternative fuel from agricultural residue which would boost agriculture sector. This was announced by Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
• Agmt Signed to Increase Chinese Invest
The govt think-tanks of India & China have signed several initial pacts to increase Chinese investment in India. The pacts aim to increase Chinese investment in India’s proposed coastal manufacturing zones, high speed rail networks & clean energy. The cooperation agreements were signed between NITI Aayog and its Chinese counterpart National Development and Reform Commission.
• Facebook Launches Workplace
Facebook launched a communications tool for businesses, nonprofits & other organizations. Called Workplace, the platform is ad-free & not connected to users’ existing FB accounts. Businesses can sign up as an organization & pay a monthly fee based on the number of users. It’s free for nonprofits and educational institutions. The tool’s aim is to “connect everyone” in all sorts of workplaces.
• Gold Imports’ Decline by 59 per cent
India’s gold imports has declined by 58.96 per cent to 270 tonnes from Jan to Sept from 658 tonnes during the corresponding period of last year. According to the report by the industry body Assocham, gold imports declined due to a prolonged strike by jewelers. India has been among the two biggest gold consumers in the world with average imports of more than 1,000 tonnes per annum.
• Samsung Scraps Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in less than two months after its launch. The decision to scrap the Note 7 came after fresh reports of fires in replacement devices. In September, Samsung has recalled around 2.5 million phones after complaints of exploding batteries. Samsung could suffer a considerable loss of consumer faith.
• PetroFed signs MoU with TERI
PetroFed, signed a MoU with TERI to undertake study on “Climate Change Risks: Preparedness for Oil and Gas Sector”. The MoU was signed in in the presence of Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C) and Sh. K.D. Tripathi, Secretary, M/o Petroleum & Natural Gas. It will provide a missing link between the policy and the practice in the Hydrocarbon sector.
• Goa Tourism launches amphibious bus
A 32 seater amphibious bus was launched in Goa on the auspicious day of Dusshera by Goa Tourism. Called ‘Goa Duck Tours’, the new bus will offer tourists in Goa a ride down the River Mandovi. This is the first time in India, that such a bus service has been launched. This amphibious bus has received sanctions from the transport department and is set to begin full operations from November 2016.
• Pakistan greatest threat to world peace
India told the UN that there was a dangerous correlation between Pakistan’s unchecked development of nuclear weapons and state and jihadi groups. Tehmina Janjua responded this during a reference to J&K during Conference on Disarmament. He said the biggest threat to peace and stability comes from active promotion of terrorism and unbridled expansion of fissile material production.
• 15.2% of Indians are undernourished
India has a “serious” hunger problem with 15.2% of its citizens undernourished and 38.7% of under-five children stunted. This is according to Global Hunger Index report. India, which ranked 97 among 118 developing nations, fares worse than all its neighbours such as China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90), except for Pakistan (107).
• US strikes Yemen in self defence
3 US warships fired cruise missiles at a radar installations in Yemen. The three sites, in Houthi-controlled territory targeted by the US warship were located in remote areas, where there was little risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said, “There was no damage to the ship or its crew. USS Mason will continue its operations.”
• Israel freezes ties with Unesco
Israel has frozen co-operation with the UN’s cultural agency, accusing it of denying Judaism’s connections to the religion’s holiest sites. It comes after the body approved a text which repeatedly used only the Islamic name for a hilltop complex which is also the holiest site in Judaism. The site is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.
• New navigation system to use cellphones
A team of researchers has invented a highly reliable and accurate navigation system that uses existing environmental signals instead of GPS. It can also help in navigation systems that meet the needs of fully autonomous vehicles like driverless cars and unmanned drones. GPS is a very important tool that helps millions of smartphone users reach their final destination.
• China to sign $24b loans to Bangladesh
China is set to sign off on loans worth over $24 billion to Bangladesh during President Xi Jinping’s visit. The loan is said to be Dhaka’s biggest foreign credit line to date that will help it build power plants, a seaport and railways. Xi’s trip is aimed at boosting China’s involvement in infrastructure projects at a time when India is pushing investments of its own in Bangladesh.
• India, Russia sign units at Kudankulam
India and Russia have finalised a general framework agreement and credit protocol for setting up units five and six at the Kudankulam nuclear plant. The announcement of the protocol is likely to be made after bilateral talks between Modi and Putin tomorrow in Goa. The Kudankulam 1 has been jointly built by the NPCI and Russia’s Rosatom and it had started generating electricity in 2013.
• US asks Pak to act against Saeed
The US delivered another harsh message to Islamabad, slamming Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. The fresh statement comes a day after the Obama administration endorsed India’s right to self-defence in the wake of the surgical strikes. The US has designated Saeed a terrorist and declared the Lashkar-e-Taiba that he founded a terrorist group.
• Pakistan accepts soldier in its custody
Pakistan officially confirmed that Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan was in its custody, two weeks after he had crossed the border. Chavan, who belonged to the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had crossed the LoC with a weapon. Pakistan’s military has now conveyed the information to India through the hotline, The Indian Express reported.
• Samsung flags $5.3 billion profit hit
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has said it expected to take a loss of about $3 billion over the next two quarters due to the discontinuation of its Note 7 smartphone. To make up for the lost revenue, Samsung said it would expand sales of other phones and make “significant changes” in its quality assurance processes. The premium device that was meant to compete with Apple’s latest iPhones.
• Brazil Opens 1st Elephant Refuge
The first elephant sanctuary in Latin America has opened in Brazil to provide a home for an estimated 50 circus animals from across the region. Guida and Maia, both over 40 years old, are the first residents. They will be provided with veterinary care and live out their lives in forested areas with pastures. The first phase of the project will host up to six animals.
• US Bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones
The US Department of Transportation has banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on flights. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx said that passengers will not be able to take the phones on flights or in their luggage to and from the US. Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries. The company now says it would stop Galaxy Note 7 production.
• China, Bangladesh Ink 26 Agreements
Bangladesh and China today signed 26 agreements in the key areas of power, road and railway connectivity. The agreements were signed after Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The two leaders simultaneously opened six projects. The visit is the first by any Chinese head of state to Bangladesh in three decades after President Li Xiannian’s visit in March 1986.
• Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dead
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has died after 70 years as head of state. He was seen as a stabilising figure in a country hit by cycles of political turmoil and multiple coups. He was widely respected across Thailand, and thought of by many as semi-divine. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will be the new monarch.
• China Tops US in Numbers of Billionaires
China’s annual rich list has indicated that, once again, the country has more dollar billionaires than the US. Property magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda tops the list of 594 billionaires in the country, ahead of 535 billionaires in the US. Alibaba’s Jack Ma was second, with his wealth having risen 41% from last year. The annual list is compiled by Shanghai publishers Hurun.
• 16-Oct: World Food Day
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October. This day is observed to commemorate the founding of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. This year the theme is ‘Climate is Changing’. It will focus on climate actions for a sustainable future highlighting the close link between climate change, sustainable agriculture & food and nutrition security.
• Maldives Leaves Commonwealth
The Maldives has withdrawn from the Commonwealth, accusing it of interfering in domestic affairs. The Commonwealth had warned the Maldives of possible suspension if it failed to show progress on democracy. It has faced questions over freedom of speech & the detention of opponents. The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organisation that were mostly territories of the former British Empire.
ountries primarily between the China & the rest of Eurasia.
• BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit Begin
India is hosting the eighth BRICS Summit in Goa. During the summit heads of Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa will discuss matters of mutual interest & global challenges. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has especially invited the leaders from BIMSTEC as part of India’s Act East policy. BIMSTEC comprises of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
• Russian State Fund to Co-Invest $1 bln
The state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) will work with an Indian fund to invest $1 billion in India. The RDIF & India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will each invest up to $500 million in the joint fund. It will address around 20 investment proposals. The RDIF is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund with $10 billion of reserved capital under management.
• Uber Inks Pact with Electronics & IT Min
Transportation app Uber has signed an agreement with Ministry of Electronics and IT’s for skilling drivers on its platform. The agreement, is the part of its UberSHAAN initiative.
It will help individuals receive driver training, facilitate license procurement and vehicle financing. Uber plans to start the initiative with an initial pilot phase in and around Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
• China Launches Manned Mission
China has launched two men into orbit in a project designed to develop its ability to explore space. The astronauts took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The plan is for them to dock with & then spend 30 days on board the Tiangong 2 space station testing its ability to support life. China is only the third country after Russia and the US to carry out its own crewed space missions.
• China Launches Manned Mission
China has launched two men into orbit in a project designed to develop its ability to explore space. The astronauts took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The plan is for them to dock with & then spend 30 days on board the Tiangong 2 space station testing its ability to support life. China is only the third country after Russia and the US to carry out its own crewed space missions.
• World’s Oldest Panda in Captivity Dies
A giant panda believed to have been the oldest ever kept in captivity has died at the age of 38. The death of Jia Jia, whose age in human terms was more than 100 years, was announced by the Hong Kong theme park where she lived. The park in Hong Kong held a high-profile celebration for Jia Jia’s 37th birthday at her enclosure in July 2015. Pandas normally live to around 25 in captivity.
• Int Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year since 1993. The UN General Assembly officially declared in December 1992. The day promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide. 2016 Theme is “Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms.”
• BRICS Summit Adopts Goa-Declaration
The BRICS nations adopted the Goa Declaration at the conclusion of the BRICS Summit. In the 109 point Declaration, the leaders called upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism. All five nations reaffirmed the commitment to increase effectiveness of the UN counter terrorism framework. The ninth BRICS Summit will be hosted by China next year.
• Tata Comm Appoints James Parker
Tata Communications announces the appointment of James Parker as President of Global Sales. He is responsible for leading the companys global sales organisation across all customer segments. He has experience in sales, commercial & marketing roles. His stints include working in sales, commercial and marketing roles in companies including CenturyLink, Microsoft and IBM.
• AirAsia bans Samsung Note 7
Malaysian airline AirAsia has prohibited carrying Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones onboard any of its flights. The decision of not allowing the latest Galaxy Note series smartphone comes after a recent ban by US Department of Transport on the device and reports of replacement units catching fire. The prohibition applies to all flights operated by AirAsia Group .
• UP Approves Theme Park in Ayodhya
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved the construction of an International theme park in Ayodhya. The world class theme Park at Ayodhya will be built in the International Ramlila Centre to develop Ayodhya as a top tourist destination. As per the tourism department records, Ayodhya recorded visit of 1.43 crore domestic tourists in 2014 and the footfall of foreign tourists was close to 16,000.
• Japan Bans Galaxy Note 7 on Airplanes
Japan has barred all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from airplanes, mirroring moves by US regulators. Carriers in Australia, Asia and Europe put the phone on a prohibited list. The South Korean electronics giant has recalled all Note 7 phones including replacements, following reports of exploding batteries and fires. Samsung has also stopped producing the flagship handset.
• Chinese Astronauts Arrive at Tiangong 2
China’s Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has successfully docked with China’s Tiangong 2 space lab. China is the third country after the United States and Russia to complete space rendezvous and docking procedures. The astronauts will remain in the space station for 30 days and spend a total of 33 days in space. It marks the longest space mission by Chinese astronauts.
• Pak Nuclear Reactor Chashma 3 Goes Live
Pakistan has connected its new, largely Chinese-built nuclear reactor to the national grid. The facility is located at Chashma, a town in the central province of Punjab, Pakistan. The so-called Chashma-3 project has an installed capacity of 340 megawatts. China has also constructed two other nuclear reactors, known as Chashma-1 and Chashma-2.
• Ecuador Cuts Internet of Julian Assange
Ecuador has cut off Julian Assange’s internet access because of his involvement in releasing hacked emails from Clinton aide John Podesta’s work account. Assange has been encamped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since being granted asylum. If he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy the British police have promised to arrest him. He is editor-in-chief of the organisation WikiLeaks, founded in 2006
• Russia agrees to lease another submarine
Russia has quietly agreed to lease out a second nuclear attack submarine of the Akula class to India in a deal worth around $2 bn. The lease of the first Akula-class submarine that the Indian Navy calls INS Chakra expires in 2021. The attack submarine will arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. This comes after India’s first indigenously built nuclear submarine INS Arihant quietly commissioned.
• Duterte Aligns Philippines with China
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the Philippines’ “separation” from long-standing ally the United States during a visit in Beijing. His comments came after he met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square. The two also pledged to enhance trust and friendship & played down a maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
• Pakistan Not to Air Indian TV Content
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has decided to ban airing of Indian content in Pakistan. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by PEMRA chairman Absar Alam. The regulatory body has directed all Satellite Television channels and Radio stations to follow the code of conduct. It has threatened to cancel licenses, in case of violations.
• South Africa to Exit War Crimes Court
South Africa has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Diplomats have notified the UN of the move, accusing the ICC of bias against African countries. Last year, South Africa refused to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes. He was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg.
• ICGS Rani Gaidinliu Commissioned
The Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Rani Gaidinliu, of the Indian Coast Guard was commissioned at Visakhapatnam. The FPV will primarily focus on surveillance at the sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling operations & protection of fishermen. The vessel is named after freedom fighter and famous Naga spiritual and political leader Rani Gaidinliu, who belonged to the Heraka cult of Manipur.
• Wipro Buys US Cloud Company Appirio
Wipro has agreed to buy a US-based company which helps organisations migrate software applications to the cloud. Wipro will be paying $500 million (` 3,300 crore) to buy Appirio. This is its second-biggest acquisition after data centre provider Infocrossing, for which it paid $600 million in 2007. The acquisition is expected to close at the end of the year.
• Milan Honors Dalai Lama as Citizen
The city of Milan in Italy has conferred upon the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama an honorary citizenship angering China. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate accepted the honor inside a theater at the University of Milan-Bicocca campus. China accuses the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of China. Chinese firms bought 14 Italian companies last year.
• Waris Ahluwalia has Day Named After Him
In a rare honour, New York City declared Oct 19, 2016 as ‘Waris Ahluwalia Day’. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presented Mr. Ahluwalia a proclamation that declared Oct19, 2016 in the city of New York as ‘Waris Ahluwalia Day’. It was in recognition of the Sikh-American actor & designer for his powerful” message of countering ignorance & advocating for religious understanding & tolerance.
• Typhoon Haima Makes Landfall in China
Typhoon Haima made a landfall in south China’s Guangdong Province triggering sudden downpours in several cities. At least five counties and cities in Guangdong experienced heavy rainfall. More than 700 flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled or delayed. China had earlier issued a red alert and closed down offices, businesses and schools in the southern city of Shenzhen.
• Germany Passes New Spy Law
German lawmakers have approved a bill that allows the country’s foreign intelligence agency to spy on European Union institutions & fellow EU member states. The legislation passed is part of a range of measures meant to improve oversight of espionage. A panel of independent judges will have to be informed when the BND spy agency eavesdrops on Germany’s allies.
• First Woman to Climb Mount Everest Dies
The first woman to ascend Everest, Japanese climber Junko Tabei, has died aged 77. She reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain in 1975 at the age of 35. In 1992, she also became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits, reaching the highest peaks of the seven continents. She climbed her first mountain in 1939, when she was led by her elementary school teacher.
• ICGS Aryaman and Atulya Commissioned
Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Aryaman & Atulya, the 18th and 19th in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) were commissioned. They were designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The commissioning was done by Financial Adviser to Defence Services Sunil Kumar Kohli. The indigenous FPVs can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with range of 1500 nautical miles.
• A.P., Singapore Pact in Financial Services
Andhra Pradesh govt has signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote innovation in financial services. Under the Agreement will explore joint innovation projects on technologies such as digital payments & block-chain. They will collaborate on development of education programmes. The agreement was signed in the presence of CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
• Kumar Mangalam Birla New IIM-A Chairman
Kumar Mangalam Birla, the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, has been named the new Chairman of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A). The premier B-school has been without a regular Chairman since January. The IIM chairmanship is normally a non-executive position. The Chairperson also takes up the issues of the institute with the Union government.
• AT&T to Buy Time Warner
The US telecoms giant AT&T has announced that it will buy entertainment group Time Warner for nearly $86bn. AT&T will pay $107.50 for each share, in a combination of cash & stock, worth $85.4bn overall. The deal was agreed at a meeting of the two boards. If the deal is approved by regulators, AT&T would gain control of the HBO and CNN TV networks in addition to the Warner Bros film studio.
• 24-Oct: United Nations Day
United Nations Day is celebrated on 24th October to focus and celebrate the core principles of the UN. The day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. 24th of October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. This year’s UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
• World’s Oldest Aircraft Carrier Retires
INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier, was accorded a grand send-off from the port city Kochi. The ship is being towed back by three tugs to Mumbai for the decommissioning ceremony. Viraat is expected to be decommissioned by end of this year, after 55 years of service, including 27 years with the Royal Navy. It was commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.
• Lewis Hamilton Wins the US Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won his 50th grand prix race after winning the US Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. The result cut Rosberg’s lead in the drivers’ world championship from 33 to 26 points with three races now remaining. Hamilton beat his arch-rival Nico Rosberg into second place. Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo completing the podium in third.
• Gold Bond Scheme Opens
The sixth tranche of the sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme gets open from today, 24 Oct & will remain open till Nov 2. The bonds will be offered at ` 2,957 per gram, the lowest price this year. SGB, an alternative mode of investment to physical gold, was launched in November last year. The government has come out with five tranches of SGB for a total value of ` 3,060 crore.
• CO2 Level Reaches Record High in 2016
The World Meteorological Organization reports the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere has reached a record high this year. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged to new records this year. The growth spurt in CO2 was fuelled by the El Niño event, which started in 2015.
• US Approves USD 75 million Weapon Sale
US, Department of State has approved a 75 million dollars sale of military hardware to the United Arab Emirates. The proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy of the US by improving the UAE’s ability to employ its fighter aircraft in multi-country coalition exercises. The UAE is a US coalition partner in the fight against the IS terrorist group and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
• Repatriation of Myanmar Refugees Begins
In Thailand, the first voluntary repatriation of Myanmar refugees from camps along the Thai-Myanmar border has begun. Myanmar is ready to receive the returnees. United Nations refugee agency, UNHRC said the movement is a milestone and it would not lead to an exodus. There are around 103,000 refugees and internally displaced people living in the nine camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
• Parrot Fossil Unearthed in Siberia
A parrot fossil has been unearthed in Siberia. A single parrot bone was discovered in the Baikal region & dates to between 16 & 18 million years ago. It suggests that the birds, which today mainly inhabit tropical and sub-tropical regions, may once have been widespread in Eurasia. It is also the first time a fossil parrot has been found in Asia.
• Gambia Withdraws from Int Criminal Court
Gambia has announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. It has accused the Hague-based tribunal of “persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans”. The announcement comes after similar decisions earlier this month by South Africa and Burundi to abandon the institution, set up to try the world’s worst crimes. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002.
• Russia Scraps Spain Fuel Stop
Russia has withdrawn a request for three warships to dock at the Spanish port of Ceuta for refuelling, following concern among Nato allies. Spain had been under pressure from Nato allies not to allow the refuelling of the Russian warships bound for Syria. Moscow’s decision comes against a backdrop of increasing tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Syria.
• China Communist Party Elevate Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping of China received a potent boost to his status. Communist Party meeting elevated him to “core” leader, putting him in the same revered ranks as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Xi also heads the party as general-secretary of the CPC, and the military besides the presidency. The concept of core leader was coined by Deng Xiaoping, who led China’s market opening in the 1980s.
• Tagore Memorial Library Inaugurated
The Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Library and Resource Centre was inaugurated at Sri Palee College in Horana, Sri Lanka. It was inaugurated by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Mr. Y.K. Sinha. The library has been renovated by the Government of India at a total cost of 38 million Sri Lankan rupees. The Indian Government has also built an audio-visual lab.
• Largest Marine Protected Area Declared
Delegates from 24 countries and the European Union have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA). The deal was clinched after the meeting of Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia. It will be the world’s largest marine protected area and covers 1.6 million square kilometers.
• 1st National Ayurveda Day
The first National Ayurveda Day was observed on 28 Oct on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti. The theme for the day is Prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda. This day marks birth date of Lord Dhanvantari, which occurs before two days before Diwali. He is considered as the ideal doctor & manifestation of compassion, representing the wisdom of ayurveda in practical application.
• Cabinet Nod to Academic Depository
The Centre has approved the establishment of a National Academic Depository (NAD) for safe deposit, retrieval & verification of the certificates of students. It will be established within next three months with plans to roll out the facility in 2017-18. It is an important decision as it will bring transparency. The depository would be operationalised by the NSDL Database Management &CDSL Ventures.
• WADA Report Highlights Serious Failings
The World Anti-Doping Agency has published a 55-page report. A Wada report has highlighted “serious failings” on the anti-doping methods employed at Rio 2016. The World Anti-Doping Agency said many athletes who had been targeted for testing “simply could not be found”. It suggests that half of all planned tests weren’t carried out as instructed.
• China’s He Bingjiao Defeats PV Sindhu
Indian challenge at the French Open Badminton came to an end with PV Sindhu & HS Prannoy losing their matches in Womens’ & Men singles event. Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu lost to China’s He Bingjiao in the pre-quarter finals. In men’s singles, Pranay lost to Taipei’s Chow Tien Chen in a hard fought tie. Earlier, Ajay Jayaram lost to Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting in the opening round.
• Govt Nod for New Pact with Bhutan
The Cabinet has approved a new Agreement on Trade, Commerce & Transit between India and Bhutan. The agreement provides for a free trade regime between two countries. It will also provide duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries. As per the pact, bilateral trade between will continue to be transacted in Indian Rupees and Bhutanese Ngultrums.
• Russia Voted off UN Human Rights Council
Russia has lost its bid to become a member of the UN’s human rights council. Russia was beaten by Hungary & Croatia in the competition for two seats on the council allotted to eastern European states. It was the first time one of the permanent five members of the security council had failed to get elected. It followed a campaign by human rights groups opposing Russian membership.
• B’desh Introduces Ban on Catching Hilsa
Bangladesh has introduced a temporary ban on catching Hilsa in an effort to save the hugely popular fish. Anyone caught catching Hilsa faces at least a year in jail under a 22-day ban that began on October 12, the start of the breeding season. Armed forces have been deployed to patrol sea declared a breeding sanctuary. Some 60 per cent of the world’s Hilsa are caught in Bangladesh.
• Goa’s First Woman Chief Minister Dies
Goa’s second Chief Minister and the only woman to hold that post so far, Shashikala Kakodkar has passed away. She was popularly referred to as Tai. She was the daughter of Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar. Following her father’s death in 1973, Kakodkar was sworn in as the chief minister and held charge till April 1979, following a split in the party.
• Morgan Stanley COO to Retire
Morgan Stanley chief operating officer Jim Rosenthal will retire at the end of the year. Rosenthal joined the Wall Street firm in 2008 and helped oversee the integration of Morgan Stanley with Smith Barney. Morgan Stanley is an American multinational financial services corporation. Morgan Stanley operates in 24 countries and has more than 1300 offices and 60,000 employees
• Powerful Quake Hits Central Italy
A strong earthquake has struck near Norcia in central Italy, destroying numerous buildings. The quakes come nearly two months after a major earthquake killed almost 300 people and destroyed several towns. Quake was measured magnitude 6.6, larger than August’s quake and aftershocks last week. It is thought to be Italy’s most violent in decades.
• Opec oils Meets Non-Opec Nations
Officials from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC & non-member oil producing countries met in Vienna, Austria. It aims to build support for a plan to reduce output. Russia willing to freeze its output levels, if OPEC agreed to cap its production. The OPEC agreed last month to reduce OPEC oil production to between 32.50 million and 33 million barrels per day.
• Three Senior Tata group Executives Quit
Three top executives of the Tata Group have resigned days after former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry was replaced by Ratan Tata as interim chairman. These include Dr Nirmalya Kumar, Madhu Kannan and Dr NS Rajan, all of whom are members of the Group Executive Committee (GEC). The GEC, formed by Mr Mistry soon after taking over in 2012, was disbanded the day he was removed.
• First Case of Zika Reported in Myanmar
Myanmar has confirmed its first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in a pregnant foreign woman in the country’s largest city of Yangon. Authorities confirmed the infection in the foreign woman following a laboratory test. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947, is spreading across the world and has currently reached 72 countries and territories. There is no vaccine for Zika.
• 31st-Oct: World Cities Day
The World is observing Cities Day with the commitment to work together for a planned & sustainable urban life in the wake of rapid growth of population & problems. The UN General Assembly designated 31 Oct as World Cities Day. This year theme is Inclusive Cities,Shared Development. The theme aims to highlight the role of urbanization as a source of global development & social inclusion.
• Gareth Bale Extends Real Madrid Contract
Gareth Bale has signed a new Real Madrid contract that is worth £18 million a year. The contract takes him to June 2022 & makes him football’s third-highest paid player behind Lionel Messi & Ronaldo. Messi & Ronaldo earn net salaries of around 21 million (£19 million). Bale’s earning puts him ahead of Neymar, whose recently signed deal with Barcelona took him to an estimated 17 million.
• Dhoni Most Valued Athlete Among Indians
In the latest Forbes Fab 40 2016 list of the biggest sports brands in the world, Dhoni is slated at No 10th spot in the top 10 athletes. He remains the most valued Indian athlete in 2016. The list is topped by tennis legend Roger Federer. With a brand value of $36 million, Federer gained two notches from third last year. NBA superstar LeBron James is second in the list.
• India’s Biocon Ranks Among the Top 10
India’s bio-pharma major Biocon Ltd has been ranked among the world’s top 10 employers in the biotechnology industry by an international science magazine. According to a web-based annual survey by the magazine, Biocon moved to ninth this year from 13 last year in the ‘Science 2016 Top Employer’ ranking. Of the top 10 employers, six are based in the US, two in Denmark and one in Switzerland.
• RIL Gets Large Ethane-Carrying Ships
Reliance Industries Ltd has received the delivery of world’s first very large ethane carrying ships that will be used for ferrying the fuel from the US. Reliance had in 2014 ordered building of six Very Large Ethane Carriers. The vessels are the first to feature new membrane technology. With a capacity of 87,000 cubic meters, the two vessels are the largest ethane carriers built to date.
• Panel on Trade Facilitation Hold Meeting
National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) met in New Delhi to discuss ways for developing the roadmap for implementation of WTO’s trade facilitation agreement. This was the first meeting of NCTE. The Cabinet Secretary & Chairman of the NCTF, P K Sinha stressed on the need to continuously move towards higher standards of excellence. So that trade eco-system becomes more growth oriented.

Current Events October 2016 – Awards

• MCX Bags Best Exchange Award
Multi Commodity Exchange has bagged the ‘Best exchange of the year in bullion industry’ at the Ninth International Gold Summit and Excellence Awards. It was jointly organised by Assocham and the World Gold Council. Total turnover of MCXhas increased 9 per cent to ` 56,34,194 crore during FY 2015-16 against ` 51,83,707 crore in FY 2014-15. It had handled delivery of 5,655 kg of gold in 2015-16.
• Indian NGO Bags UN Climate Award
An Indian NGO, Swayam Shikshan Prayog, has bagged the UN climate award this year. The NGO trains women to become clean energy entrepreneurs across Maharashtra & Bihar. It is one of the 13 projects to be recognised at the forthcoming UN climate summit. The UN climate body, has applauded this project for building a network of 1,100 women entrepreneurs facilitating access to clean energy,
• Murga Bag Swachh Bharat Short Film Award
Debutant director Katyayan Shivpuri’s film Murga was adjudged the best film at the Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival. M Venkaiah Naidu awarded Katyayan with a certificate & a cash prize. The film promote the idea of clean India & depict the victims that citizens have made of themselves by not keeping the surroundings clean. The festival is a cinematic presentation of not more than three min.
• KTR Gets Digital Literacy Award
Telangana IT Minister K Tarakarama Rao was recognised with the Global Champion of Digital Literacy Award by Certiport. Certiport recognises government leaders around the world who work tirelessly to help more students become digitally literate & competitive in an ever-competitive job market. KTR has been progressive & created a great amount of buzz around investment in Telangana.
• Yoshinori Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine
The 2016 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine goes to Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan. The professor is currently at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has been awarded for discoveries about autophagy – how the body breaks down and recycles cellular components. His work is important because it helps explain what goes wrong in a range of diseases, from cancer to Parkinson’s.
• British Trio Win Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics are shared by British trio of physicists working in US universities. The prize goes to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz. They all work in the field of condensed matter physics. he three of them discovered totally unexpected behaviours of solid materials – and came up with a mathematical framework to explain these weird properties.
• NMDC’s Bailadila Mine Bags Award
NMDC’s Bailadila iron ore mine at Bacheli Complex in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh has bagged the prestigious ‘FIMI Golden Jubilee Award for Excellence’. The Federation of Indian Mineral Industry (FIMI) has awarded NMDC’s flagship mine One Time Special Award. The award was for having adopted best practices,environment management, social awareness, health & safety.
• Three Win Nobel Chemistry Prize
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, British-born J Fraser Stoddart & Dutch scientist Bernard Feringa won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing molecular machines. They will share the prize for the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale. The Nobel Prizes will be handed out on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.
• Theatre Legend Kanhailal Passes Away
Renowned theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal passed away. Kanhailal was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004 & is the founder-director of Kalakshetra Manipur. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in direction in 1985 & in 2011 he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Award . He was known for plays like Pebet, produced in 1975, Memoirs of Africa, Draupadi & Dakghar.
• Nobel Peace Prize to Colombian President
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with left-wing rebels. The Nobel committee praised him for a peace deal signed with Farc rebels. About 260,000 people have been killed and more than six million internally displaced in Colombia. The award did not include Farc leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko.
• Venezuela Create Hugo Chavez Peace Prize
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of peace prize in honor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez. He was awarding it to Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been an ally of Venezuela. The prize will go annually to global & national personalities who have excelled in the struggle for peace. Chavez has ruled Venezuela for 14 years before giving in to cancer in March 2013.
• Srabani Nanda Wins Ekalavya Award
Sprinter Srabani Nanda has bagged the 24th Ekalavya Award for the year 2016 in recognition of her sporting excellence. She won gold in 200m, silver in 100m and 4x100m relay in 12th South Asian Games. She had also won bronze in 100m and 4x100m relay in Asian Grand Prix Athletics. Ekalavya Award is given every year to young sportspersons of Odisha in recognition of their outstanding performance.
• Polish Film Director Andrzej Wajda Dies
Oscar-winning Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has passed away. He made more than 40 feature films in a career spanning 60 years. Many of his films – including Kanal, Man of Marble, Man of Iron and Katyn were inspired by Poland’s turbulent wartime and communist history. In 2000, Wajda was awarded an honorary Oscar for his contribution to world cinema.
• Event Enters Record Book
The Telangana govt organised the traditional state festival of ‘Bathukamma’ on a grand scale. The event attended by about ten thousand women found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The event with participation of 9,292 women surpassed the Onam dance organised in Kerala in 2015 in which 5,015 women had participated. The Telangana has declared ‘Bathukamma’ as a state festival.
• Ilham Tohti Wins Martin Ennals Award
Imprisoned Uyghur professor Ilham Tohti has won the Martin Ennals Award. He was awarded for his work that brings to light repressive Chinese policies and Uyghur grievances. The Uyghurs are a muslim minority group in China. The Award was created in 1993 to honour & protect individuals who demonstrate exceptional courage in defending and promoting human rights.
• Chandigarh Airports Entity Won IBC Award
The new integrated terminal building of Chandigarh International Airports Limited (CHIAL) has bagged the 2014-15 India Building Congress (IBC) Award for Excellence in Built Environment. The award was presented by Union Urban Development, and Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The new terminal building has been constructed with an investment of ` 939 crore.
• P R Sreejesh Bags Award
Indian Hockey team captain, P R Sreejesh has been selected for the 28th Jimmy George Foundation Award-2016. He was awarded for the best sports person of Kerala, considering his contributions to Hockey field. The award carries a purse of Rs 25,000 and a citation. It would be presented to Sreejesh in December 3 at Peravoor.
• Chandigarh airport building wins award
The new integrated terminal building of Chandigarh International Airports has bagged the 2014-15 IBC Award for Excellence in Built Environment. CHIAL, a joint venture company has been conferred with IBC award and trophy for excellence in built environment in infrastructure projects. The integrated terminal was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year.
• MoU between India and Qatar
The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the MoU signed on April 7, 1999 with Qatar on bilateral cooperation in the field of Youth and Sports signed. This will help in expanding knowledge and expertise in the areas of sports science, sports medicine and coaching techniques. It would be equally applicable to all sportspersons irrespective of their caste, creed, region, religion and gender.
• Former UCLA professor wins Nobel Prize
James Stoddart, a former professor of chemistry and biochemistry, received the Nobel Prize on Oct. 5 for building the world’s smallest machines. Stoddart will officially receive the prize in December in Stockholm, Sweden. Stoddart has formerly served as the professor of Chemistry at UCLA.
• Bob Dylan wins Nobel for Literature
Bob Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, has been rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016. Mr. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901. Half a century ago, Bob Dylan shocked the music world by plugging in an electric guitar and alienating folk purists.
• Steve McQueen Awarded BFI’s Honour
UK director Steve McQueen has received the British Film Institute’s highest honour at the London Film Festival. He was presented with the BFI Fellowship by actor Michael Fassbender . He is the first black director or producer to receive the award. Certain Women, directed by Kelly Reichardt won the prize for best film. Julia Ducournau won the Sutherland Award for best first feature for Raw.
• Mathrubhumi Award for C Radhakrishnan
Eminent writer C Radhakrishnan has been selected for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award in recognition of his contribution to the field of literature. The award carries a cash prize of ` 2 lakh, a citation & a statuette. He was selected by a panel chaired by novelist M Mukundan. The award was instituted in 2001 by leading Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi
• Maharajas’ Express Gets Award
The world’s most luxurious train Maharajas’ Express has received the 2016 Seven Star Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards at Marbella in Spain. This luxurious train is owned and operated by the IRCTC. As part of the award, Maharajas’ Express was presented the “Signum Virtutis”,the seal of Excellence, from the Seven Star Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards.
• Robert De Niro to Receive Chaplin Award
Robert De Niro will receive the 44th annual Chaplin Award. The actor-producer will be honoured by the The Film Society of Lincoln Centre. He is selected for a four-decade acting career that stretches from early work including Mean Streets, Raging Bull & The Godfather Part II to Silver Linings Playbook. He’s also the high-profile co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival.
• Nayan Khanolkar Wins Wildlife Award
Mumbai-based Nayan Khanolkar won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer Award, 2016 by the BBC and Natural History Museum in London. Nayan was awarded the ‘Urban Wildlife category’ award in London. The winning photograph highlights the co-existence between leopards and the Warli tribe. This was the 52nd installment of the award, in which Khanolkar won from 50,000 entries across 90 countries.
• Deccan Odyssey Gets Luxury Train Award
Deccan Odyssey,the luxury train operated and managed by Cox & Kings has won the World Travel Award 2016 in the category of Asia’s Leading Luxury Train. The award ceremony was held at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam. The train offers exclusive trips to royal cities showcasing palaces &traditions. World Travel Award honors the best of travel and tourism in the world.
• Brazilian Club Lifts Subroto Title
Brazilian club Atletico Paraneanse defeated Army Boys 1-0 in the final of Subroto Cup Under-17 tournament at Dr. Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. The single goal was shot on a penalty kick. The Government School boys from Mizoram got the fair play award.
S. Kennedy was voted as the best player, while Dip Majumdar of Army Boys received the most promising player award.
• UP Govt to Present Yash Bharti Awards
Noted film personality Naseeruddin Shah has been selected for the prestigious Yash Bharti Samman, for the year 2016. U.P govt announced the names of 54 eminent personalities for the highest state award. The awards will be given in recognition of their contributions in their respective fields. The awardees will get 11 lakh rupees in cash and a citation.
• AIIMS, Ganga Ram Doctors Chosen for Award
Two doctors, each from AIIMS & Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) in Delhi have been selected for the prestigious Dr. BC Roy Award for excellence in the field of medicine. Randeep Guleria from the AIIMS has been chosen for the award. Chairman of Board of Management at SGRH DS Rana & Arvind Kumar have also been chosen for the coveted award. The Bidhan Chandra Roy Award was instituted in 1976.
• Almatti Dam Gets World Bank Award
Almatti dam was chosen for the World Bank’s Award of Excellence for best utilisation of funds for renovation to enhance the strength of the dam. The World Bank had granted ` 72 crore to the Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited to prevent seepage which could damage the dam.
It is one of the largest reservoirs in Karnataka. The foundation stone of 123 tmc capacity dam was laid in 1964.
• Kidman, Priyanka Get InStyle Award Honors
Priyanka Chopra and Nicole Kidman were among the many members of Hollywood that were honored for their indelible style at the second annual InStyle Awards in Los Angeles. The InStyle Awards took place at The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Kidman was named InStyle’s Style Icon & Chopra with the Breakout Style Icon Award. InStyle is a monthly women’s fashion magazine published by Time Inc.
• G Balakrishna Wins Mr Asia Title
India’s G Balakrishna has won the coveted Mr Asia 2016 title at the 5th Phil-Asia International Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships that took in the Philippines. He hails from Bengaluru & dedicated his win to Indian Army soldiers. Balakrishna works as a water tanker driver, practices for around six hours daily. In July, Rohit Khandelwal became the first Indian to win the Mr World title.
• Kashmiri Singer Raj Begum Dies
Legendary Kashmiri singer and Padma Shri awardee Raj Begum died. Raj Begaum was awarded Padma Shri in 2002 and Sangeet Akademi award in 2013. She was also bestowed with State award by Jammu and Kashmir government in 2009. Starting off as wedding singer, she gradually rose to become one of the most powerful female voices of Kashmir.
• 2 Yazidi Women Receive Sakharov Prize
Nadia Murad & Lamiya Aji Bashar, two young Iraqis who escaped sexual slavery by the Islamic State were honored with the Sakharov Prize. They are among thousands of women and girls from the Yazidi community whom the terrorist group kidnapped, sexually assaulted. It is the European Union’s top human rights award. But both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
• Bob Dylan Accepts Nobel Prize
US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan says, he accepts his Nobel Prize in literature ending a silence since being awarded the prize earlier this month. The award to the star was announced on the 13th of this month for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition. However, his failure to acknowledge it raised eyebrows.
• Indian Documentary Wins Award
Indian Documentary film “Daughters of Mother India” has won at the 6th CAM International Film Festival in Cairo. The film won the first prize in the documentary section of the festival. The festival was organized by theArabic Egyptian Society for Culture, Media and Arts (CMA). Daughters of Mother India” portrays India’s story of resolve, hope and courage in the fight against gender violence.

Current Events October 2016 – Economy

• Infosys Launches Skava Commerce
Infosys has announced the launch of Skava Commerce. It is a modern, mobile-first and modular e-commerce platform that delivers engaging omni-channel experiences. Skava is a Silicon Valley based e-commerce startup which was acquired by Infosys. The platform could help brick-and-mortar retailers to quickly launch new offerings & improve conversion rates of traffic coming from digital channels.
• Mizoram Launches Economic Dev Policy
The Mizoram govt has launched a New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) to boost the state’s agriculture-based economy, develop rural infrastructure & to raise livelihood. The new policy would develop private-public partnerships for adding value to various agricultural, horticultural & other produce. Its main aim was to lead Mizoram from a subsistence based economy to a market-based economy.
• New Simplified Incorporation Procedure
The govt has simplified the process for incorporation of companies to improve ease of doing business. The new Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically (SPICE) is aimed at providing speedy incorporation related services within stipulated time frame. The new proforma will have a standard format of e-Memorandum of Association and e-Articles of Association.
• IMF Revises India’s GDP Forecast to 7.6%
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised projections for India’s economic growth by 0.2 percentage points to 7.6% for 2016-17 & 2017-18. It, however, retained global economic growth at 3.1% for 2016 & 3.4% for 2017. In its World Economic Outlook, IMF also kept GDP expansion for China unchanged at 6.6% in 2016. That way, India would keep its position of the fastest-growing large economy.
• India Economic Summit Begins
The India Economic Summit began in New Delhi,is expected to hold discussions on every aspect of the Indian economy. Visiting PM of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the Opening Plenary session with Commerce & Industry min Nirmala Sitharaman. It will have a special focus on Fostering an Inclusive India through Digital Transformation. The event will take up all key issues &look for solutions.
• Arunachal Inks MoU For Skill Development
Arunachal Pradesh government has signed a MoU with the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology. The MoU will facilitate development of skill to 1,600 people. It is project under a scheme for Skill Development in Electronics System Design & Manufacturing Sector’. It would enhance skill development capacity in ESDM sector for students or unemployed youth.
• US Lifts Economic Sanctions on Myanmar
US President Barack Obama has issued an executive order to lift economic sanctions on Myanmar. The move came after the US was ready to lift sanctions during Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi visit to Washington last month. The sanctions were imposed in 1997 & were meant to isolate the military junta then ruling the country. Myanmar has pursued political reforms over the last five years.
• Andhra Signs Pacts with Chinese Cos
The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) has signed an agreement with three China-based entities for development of minerals & industrial park in the state. It will entail investment of about $1.5 billion. Power China Guizhou Engineering Corp, Aluminium Corp of China Limited & Guizhou Maritime Silk Road International Investment Corp would jointly develop the mines & industrial park.
• Coal Ministry to go Paperless from Oct 16
The Coal Ministry has advanced the date for going “totally digital” from November 1 to October 16. All files & papers will be moved to a digital format. This is in line with the Centre’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ initiative. The government had launched the Digital India Programme last year with an aim to transform the country into a digitally empowered and knowledge economy.
• Two Professors Share Economics Nobel
British-born Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom of Finland won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. They won for their contributions to contract theory, shedding light on how contracts help people deal with conflicting interests. The economics prize is not an original Nobel Prize. It was added to the others in 1968 by Sweden’s central bank.
• MoU between Exim Bank with NDB
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a MoU on General Cooperation with NDB through the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism by Government at the level of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs/ Export Import Bank of India. The proposal will enhance trade and economic relations among the BRICS countries. There is no financial implication involved with signing of the MoU.
• UPI is almost like being on a highway
Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the UIA says India has a unique edge over other countries when it comes to payment systems. His observation comes at a time the NPCI is preparing to launch an upgraded version of the Unified Payments Interface. He said that once some of “the teething issues” are sorted out, the system will be ready to take off in a big way, especially in e-commerce.
• Early childhood development as priority
A recent study by Chunling Lu, the director of the Program in Global Health Economics and Social Change at Harvard Medical School published that China & India have contributed the most to reducing the number of children at risk of poor development. Yet, India continued to have the largest number of children at risk in 2010. This was printed in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.
• Infosys revises salary of CFO Pravin Rao
Country’s second largest IT firm Infosys on Friday said it has revised the pay packages of its top leadership, including Chief Operating Officer UB Pravin Rao. The city-based firm has also inducted CEO of Surya Software DN Prahlad as an independent director. The compensation includes fixed compensation of Rs 4.62 crore p.a. and a variable compensation of up to ` 3.88 crore p.a.
• World Standards Day Observed
World Standards day is celebrated every year on October 14. The theme for World Standards Day 2016 is ‘Standards Build Trust’. Globally, World Standards day for the first time was celebrated on 1970. The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.
• Govt to Use Postal N/w for Pulses Dist.
The Government has decided to use postal network for distribution of subsidized pulses. The decision was taken in the Inter Ministerial Committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary, Hem Pande. The committee suggested that in the absence of government outlets in the states, postal networks should be used for the distribution.
• RCom, Brookfield Ink ` 11,000 cr. Deal
Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) has agreed to sell a 51 per cent stake in its nationwide tower assets to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Group. As per the agreement, the telco will receive an upfront cash payment of ` 11,000 crore from the proposed transaction. As part of the deal, the specified assets would be transferred into a separate SPV, to be owned by Brookfield.
• Internet Shutdowns Cost India USD 968 mn
India suffered a loss of almost a billion dollar over the past year due to temporary Internet shutdowns in the country more that any other country. This was according to a recent study by research firm Brookings. There were 81 disruptions in 19 countries between July 1, 2015 & June 30, 2016. In economic costs of Internet shutdowns, India was followed by Saudi Arabia ($465 million).
• Uber Inks Pact with Electronics & IT Min
Transportation app Uber has signed an agreement with Ministry of Electronics and IT’s for skilling drivers on its platform. The agreement, is the part of its UberSHAAN initiative.
It will help individuals receive driver training, facilitate license procurement and vehicle financing. Uber plans to start the initiative with an initial pilot phase in and around Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
• BRICS to Set up Credit Rating Agency
The five-nation group BRICS agreed to set up an independent rating agency based on market-oriented principles. It was announced during the 8th BRICS summit held in Goa, India. It will assist BRICS and other countries to rate infrastructure and sustainable projects in the emerging economies. Thus, it will further bridge the gap in global financial architecture.
• Tata, GE to Train 10,000 in Healthcare
Tata Trusts and GE Healthcare have entered into an agreement to train 10,000 youth in various technical areas of the healthcare sector in three years. The partnership is aimed at bridging the skills gap among healthcare staff in technical or operating roles. The move aimed at bridging demand-supply gap in the sector; candidates to pay back on landing jobs.
• Super Typhoon Haima batters Philippines
Haima, which brought sustained winds of up to 225km/h (140mph), made landfall over Cagayan in the north. Nearly 100,000 people were evacuated from threatened areas as the storm approached. Experts had feared Haima could prove as destructive as the catastrophic super typhoon Haiyan, which claimed more than 7,350 lives in 2013.
• Foundation of Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan
Shri Piyush Goyal, minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, laid the foundation for Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan. Building is named after Vajpayee, as he laid the foundation stone for Wind Turbine Testing Station at Kayathar, Thoothukudi District, TN in 2000. Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan will be the integrated headquarters building for the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
• Changes in child abduction bill
The 21st Law Commission in its first report recommended a series of changes in the draft Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill-2016. The offenders may include one of the parents or family, relatives and others. The Commission has also recommended 3 months punishment for willful misrepresentation or concealment of fact as regards the location or information about the child.
• Odd-even scheme had little impact
The NGT asked authorities in the national capital to find a solution to growing air pollution in the city. The concern comes after a report that told the odd-even road rationing formula tested this April had little impact. SAFAR recorded 120.8 micrograms of PM2.5 and 248 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre around 5.30pm, which is much more than the safe limits of 60 and 100.
• SIDBI Launches ASPIRE Fund
SIDBI has launched a ` 60 crore ASPIRE fund to promote innovation,rural entrepreneurship & agri-industry. The Rs 60 crore ‘fund of funds’ falls under ‘A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship & agro-industry (ASPIRE)’ for supporting various venture capital funds. The government initiative aims at providing the necessary support environment to unleash the potential of MSME.
• SIDBI Launches ASPIRE Fund
SIDBI has launched a ` 60 crore ASPIRE fund to promote innovation,rural entrepreneurship & agri-industry. The Rs 60 crore ‘fund of funds’ falls under ‘A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship & agro-industry (ASPIRE)’ for supporting various venture capital funds. The government initiative aims at providing the necessary support environment to unleash the potential of MSME.
• 10th Indo-US Trade Forum Began in Delhi
The 10th Indo-US trade forum began in Delhi. Visa, customs cooperation, greater market access for goods and intellectual property rights are the key issues expected to be discussed. The TPF is the premier bilateral forum for discussion & resolution of trade & investment issues. It has five focus groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation & Creativity, Services & Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
• Regional Air Connectivity Scheme Launch
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has launched the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN- Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik. The scheme aims to seek to get more people to fly. Under the scheme, airlines will have complete freedom to enter into code-sharing with larger airlines for connectivity. Airfares will be capped at 2,500 rupees for an hour’s flight for regional flights.
• Nabard Sanctions Loan for NWDA
National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned ` 19,702 cr loan to National Water Development Agency (NWDA) for 50 irrigation projects. The loan is sanctioned under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) that was announced by FM Arun Jaitley during the Budget. This would help create additional irrigation potential of 39.14 lakh hectares under these projects in 11 states.
• Sebi Bars 8 Companies from Market
The Sebi has barred as many as eight “vanishing” companies and 40 directors from accessing the capital market. They have been barred from accessing the capital market for the next five. Vanishing companies are those that failed to file statutory returns with the Registrar of Companies and stock exchanges for two years. These firms failed to comply with the requirements of listing agreement.
• Jio Becomes Biggest Data-Carrier
Reliance Jio has become world’s biggest telecom company in terms of data traffic within 45 days of its launch. Reliance Jio has reported a data traffic of 16,000 TB per day, followed by 12,000 TB carried by China Mobile. The telecom arm of RIL commercially launched mobile services on Sept 12. It had claimed to have created history by adding 16 million customers.
• Power Grid Board Nod to Investments
Power Grid Corp board has approved proposals to invest Rs 1,184.45 crore in power transmission projects. The company’s Board of Directors have accorded approval . The Board has approved the proposal ‘Augmentation of Transformation Capacity in Southern Region. It also approved investment for ‘Sub—station works associated with strengthening of transmission system beyond Vemagiri’.
• Toyota to Recall 5.8 million Cars
Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said it was recalling a total of about 5.8 million cars at home and abroad over potentially faulty air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. The recall includes the Corolla and the Vitz subcompact hatchback model. It affects about 1.16 million vehicles sold in Japan, and also includes about 820,000 cars sold in China and around 1.47 million cars in the European market.
• Panel to Resolve Telco Penalty Row
The Telecom Ministry has formed a committee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a ` 3,050 cr penalty on top three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone & Idea. The committee has been asked to give a report on the recommendations soon. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had earlier this week suggested a hefty penalty on the three incumbents for denial of Interconnection to RJIL.
• Judge Approve $15B Volkswagen Settlement
US District gave final approval on a $14.7 billion settlement in the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions scandal. The German automaker outfitted many of its diesel VWs & Audis with illegal software. It reduced the cars’ emissions in the lab but spewed up to 40 times on the road. The automaker said that with the judge’s approval, it would begin buying back the affected vehicles by mid-Nov.
• Flipkart CFO Sanjay Baweja Quits
Flipkart chief financial officer Sanjay Baweja has put in his papers after a two-year stint. Mr Baweja had joined Flipkart from Tata Communications about two years ago. Flipkart has seen a string of exits in recent months. In April, Flipkart chief product officer Punit Soni and vice president and head of seller ecosystem Manish Maheshwari resigned.
• India 130th in Ease of Doing Business
India rank low at 130th position in terms of ease of doing business. In the World Bank’s latest ‘Doing Business’ report, India’s place remained unchanged from last year’s original ranking of 130 among the 190 economies. The government aims to bring the country in the top 50. The list of countries in the Doing Business 2017 is topped by New Zealand while Singapore is ranked second.
• Tata Inducts Ralf Speth, N Chandrasekaran
Tata Sons board appointed Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth and TCS CEO & MD N Chandrasekaran as additional directors. With the appointments of Speth and Chandrashekharan, Tata Sons board has expanded to 12 members. Krishna Kumar of Indian Hotels Co Ltd and JJ Irani of Tata Steel were notable members of Tata Sons board. Ratan Tata was at the helm of the group before he retired in 2012.
• Biotech-KISAN & Cattle Genomics Launched
The Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched two new schemes Biotech-KISAN and Cattle Genomics in order to apply science to boost rural economy. The intent of these programmes is to form a network to farmers directly with the scientists and experts. Thus they seek to empower farmers, especially women farmers. Its purpose is to connect farmers, scientist and science institution.
• Govt Notifies Revised DTAA with S Korea
The government has notified a new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and South Korea. It was signed by PM Modi during his visit to Seoul in May 2015. The provisions of the new DTAA will have effect in India in respect of income derived in fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2017. The earlier Double Taxation Avoidance Convention was notified on Sept 26, 1986.
• Sun Pharma Buys Ocular Tech
The country’s largest pharma company Sun Pharma acquired 100% equity in the US-based eye care specialist Ocular Technologies Sarl for a front payment of USD 40 million. It was owned by the private equity firm Auven Therapeutics. The transaction is subject to approval of the US Federal Trade Commission as required under Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. It is expected to be completed by end of 2016.
• Govt Launches Mission Madhumeha
The Ministry of AYUSH has launched Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda. The Mission Madhumeha will be implemented throughout the country through a specially designed National Treatment Protocol for effective management of Diabetes through Ayurveda. Ayurveda can play an important role in dealing with the rising cases of diabetes in the country.
• IBM to Acquire Sanovi Technologies
Technology major IBM said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bengaluru-based disaster recovery solution provider Sanovi Technologies. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. It will help the US major to strengthen its offering in cloud recovery, cloud migration and business continuity software category for enterprise data centers and cloud infrastructure.
• Baby Born with Microcephaly due to Zika
The first child in Puerto Rico with Zika-related microcephaly has been born. The foetus’s abnormally small head was not detected until the mother was nearly eight months pregnant. The U.S. territory is facing an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus. Nearly 31,500 cases have been reported, including more than 2,300 pregnant women. The first case of Zika in Puerto Rico was reported last Dec.
• Centre Decides to Fix Minimum Wage
Labour Ministry has decided to fix the minimum wage at ` 350 per day for unskilled agricultural labour in C-class towns in central sphere to be effective from Nov 1, 2016. At present, agriculture workers in the central sphere are paid as per the rates prescribed under the national floor level minimum wage, which is ` 160 per day. The ministry will notify minimum wages on November 1.
• Uber Drivers Deserve Workers’ Rights
Uber should no longer treat its drivers as self-employed, a British tribunal ruled. In a decision which threatens the taxi app’s business model by forcing it to pay the minimum wage and offer holiday entitlement. The decision could also affect thousands of others who work for firms, including meal delivery services in the so-called gig economy.
•Vigilance Awareness Week Commences
Vigilance Awareness Week is being observed from today across the country to promote probity in public life and achieve a corruption free society. The week is observed every year from 31st October. The theme of the week this year is – Public participation in promoting integrity and eradicating Corruption. The observance of week commenced with pledge taking by public servants.
• EU, Canada Sign Landmark CETA Deal
European Union, EU & Canada have signed a landmark trade deal. The deal was signed by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau & top European Union officials in Brussels. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, known as CETA, required all EU member states to endorse it. The CETA removes 99% of customs duties between the two sides, linking the single EU market with the world’s 10th largest economy.

Current Events October 2016 – Bank

• `65,250 Crore Black Money Disclosed
FM Arun Jaitley said that ` 65,250 crore in black money has been disclosed under the centre’s Income Declaration Scheme so far. Mr. Jaitley said the figure will be revised upwards as the tax department is still processing some declarations. Under the scheme, tax evaders were given the opportunity to avoid punishment by paying tax, penalty and cess at 45% of the undisclosed income.
• IOB capital infusion: SEBI exempts govt
SEBI has exempted the Central government from making an open offer to the public shareholders of Indian Overseas Bank. As a part of capital infusion into the public sector lender, the government’s stake in IOB would increase by more than 5%. Under SEBI norms, acquiring more than 5% in a listed entity would trigger the obligation to make an open offer to the public shareholders.
• Kotak Mahindra acquires BSS Microfinance
Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced a share purchase agreement to acquire 99.49 percent of equity shares of BSS Microfinance Private Limited. The acquisition has been approved by the Board of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank and is for an aggregate all-cash consideration of Rs. 139.2 crore. BSS has a commercially established model in the microfinance segment.
• SBI Offers ‘Hope Loans’ at Reduced Rates
SBI has announced the launch of a special financing scheme Hope Loans. Under which customers can avail credit facility at lower rates. SBI said for loan it would disburse between Oct 1 & Dec 31,the bank would make a sizeable monetary contribution to recognised NGOs’. The concept is to give its customers, the confidence of joining hands with a truste brand in being the hope for the under privileged.
• Publish Photos of Wilful Defaulters Only
RBI has said lenders can publish photographs of only those borrowers in newspapers who have been declared wilful defaulters as per the central bank’s guidelines. The banks cannot indiscriminately publish photographs of defaulters. It directed the lending institutions to formulate a policy in this regard. The policy should clearly sets out the criteria based on which the decision will be taken.
• SBI Chairman Gets One Year Extension
State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, who was due to retire on 6 October has received a year’s extension. She is the first woman to be the Chairperson of SBI & in 2016, she was listed as the 25th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. The bank is also in the process of cleaning up ` 98,000 crore of bad loans on its books. Bhattacharya’s term will expire in October 2017.
• RBI Proposes Norms For Overseas Start-Up
The RBI came out with a blueprint framework to facilitate investment in overseas technology funds which deploy money in start-ups abroad. The RBI said such investments do not meet the eligibility norms for making overseas direct investments under the automatic route. The RBI laid down a slew of conditions to be met for the Indian party wishing to invest in the fund.
• Parvez Appointed Chairman of J&K Bank
RBI has approved the appointment of Parvez Ahmad as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jammu & Kashmir Bank for a period of three years. He will assume office with effect from October 6, 2016. He will replace Mushtaq Ahmad & will be the first in-service and second in-house Chairman and CEO of the bank. He has rich experience of almost two decades in banking and financial services.
• Fewer People Living Below Poverty Line
The number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than 100 million across the world. The World Bank said 767 million people were living on less than $1.90 a day in 2013 down from 881 million people the previous year. This was according to WB report “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016”. The findings bring the world closer to meeting the UN goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
• Jharkhand Launches DBT in Kerosene
Jharkhand has become the first state in the country to launch the ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer in Kerosene (DBTK) scheme. The scheme aims at eliminating pilferage & black-marketing & adulteration. Under the scheme, consumers pay the non-subsidized price of kerosene at the time of purchase. Subsequently, the amount of subsidy is directly transferred to the bank account of the beneficiary.
• ADB Signs Risk-Transfer Deal with SIDA
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) & Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have signed a risk-transfer agreement. It will help the ADB to increase its lending capacity by around USD 500 million over the next 10 years. Under the agreements, specified risks from one party are passed to another in return for a fee. This can release capacity for additional operations.
• RBL Picks up stake in Utkarsh Microfin
RBL Bank has acquired 9.99% stake in Utkarsh Microfinance in a bid to reach out to consumers in the unbanked area. RBL has also entered into a MoU to extend its product portfolio to Utkarsh customers. Utkarsh will benefit from RBL Bank’s domain knowledge of the banking & financial sector. Utkarsh is one of the 10 players that were granted an in-principle approval for a small finance bank (SFB).
• ADB to Fund Millions of LED Lights, Pumps
Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend a $200 million loan to India for installation of energy-efficient home & street lights, & water pumps. ADB will provide the funds to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. EESL will use the ADB funds, alongside another $200 million of its own, to finance energy service activities. The entire exercise could save energy to the tune of 3,800 gigawatt-hours per year.
• SBI Opens New Branch in Myanmar
State Bank of India (SBI) became the first Indian bank to open a branch in Myanmar. The branch in Yangon was inaugurated by SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya. This is the 54th foreign branch of India’s largest bank. Earlier this year, SBI was awarded a banking licence to open a branch in Myanmar with the primary objective of extending wholesale banking services to foreign corporates.
• India’s GDP Growth to Remain Strong: WB
In its latest report ‘South Asia Economic Focus’, the World Bank has said, India’s GDP growth will remain strong at 7.6 percent in 2016 and 7.7 percent in 2017. It said India’s economic growth remained robust, and is expected to support continued poverty reduction. However the report said, India faces the challenge of further accelerating the responsiveness of poverty reduction to growth.
• Ducati Inks Pact with YES Bank
Italian superbike maker Ducati has inked a pact with Yes Bank to provide retail finance to prospective customers. As part of the agreement, Yes Bank will offer multiple financial options to Ducati customers. This year the company has launched four new Ducati in India. The company plans to expand its footprint to south and east India in the coming year.
• RBI Cuts Repo Rate by 25 Basis Points
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided at its first policy review to reduce the benchmark repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent. The RBI’s key policy interest rate has now been cut to its lowest level since 2011. All the six members voted in favour of the rate cut decision. The MPC, chaired by Patel & comprising three external members & three RBI representatives.
• Aadhaar Card Must for LPG Subsidy
The govt has made Aadhaar mandatory for availing cooking gas (LPG) subsidies. It has given two months grace period for citizens to get the unique identification number. Govt currently gives 12 cylinders each at subsidised rates per household in a year. The subsidy on every cylinder is transferred in advance directly into bank accounts of individuals, who then buy the cooking fuel at market rates.
• FinMin Sets up Debt Management Cell
Union Finance Ministry has set up a Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC) to streamline government borrowings & better cash management. The arrangement will allow separation of debt management functions from RBI to PDMA. It will have only advisory functions to avoid any conflict with the statutory functions of RBI. PDMC has been tasked to plan government borrowings, including market borrowings.
• MasterCard Launches its Selfie Pay
MasterCard launches its ‘selfie pay’ biometric authentication app in Europe. It will allow European consumers to authenticate their identity without a password, but with a selfie. The app supports both selfies and fingerprint biometrics, offering users a choice of authenticating a mobile payment at the point of purchase. The app will be made available to MasterCard users globally in early 2017.
• RBI Issues Operational Guidelines-2
Small Finance Banks will have to follow norms relating to minimum balance, inoperative accounts, nominations, & cheques/drafts. SFBs may issue passbooks for the deposit accounts, while payments banks need not issue passbooks for the deposit accounts. The capital adequacy framework is same for both type of banks — Minimum Capital Requirement (15 per cent) & Common Equity Tier 1 (6 per cent).
• RBI Issues Operational Guidelines-1
RBI came out with operating guidelines for differentiated banks — payments banks & small finance banks. RBI granted in-principle approvals to 11 entities for setting up payments banks (PBs) in August 2015 & 10 for Small Finance Bank (SFB) in Sept 2015. RBI gave licence for SFBs & PBs to further financial inclusion. As per guidelines PBs cannot lend and will not take deposits above Rs 1 lakh.
• ICICI Bank Unveils Next-Gen Features
ICICI Bank has introduced digital banking on its mobile app ‘Pockets’. The solution would allow anyone, even those who are not customers of ICICI Bank, to download, fund the wallet from any bank account & use it. Pockets is also the world’s first mobile application to integrate the mVISA payment solution. It has,registered over five million downloads & over 75% of them are new to the bank.
• RBI Panel Moots Easing Branch Norms
Bank branches providing min 4 hours of service for 5 days a week should be allowed to be treated as a full-service branch. Any other fixed point unit of the bank not complying with min working period should be considered a part-time banking outlet. It will be counted in for computing requirement of having 25% branches in rural areas. The acceptance of recommendations will reduce costs for a bank. RBI Internal Working Group (IWG) on Rationalisation of Branch Authorisation Policy has proposed easing bank branch norms. It was chaired by Lily Vadera. It has proposed to relax norms that a bank branch has to follow, like a building, number of employees etc to facilitate financial inclusion. Key Recommendations Bank branches include those manned by business correspondents.
• Rajeev Rishi Elected IBA Chief
Rajeev Rishi, CMD of Central Bank of India, was elected Chairman of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for the financial year 2016-17. He was elected to the post by IBA Managing Committee at its meeting. He took charge from Ashwani Kumar, Chairman and Managing director of Dena Bank. IBA was formed on 26 Sept 1946 as a representative body of management of banking in India operating in India.
• Canara, Kotak Bank Cut Lending Rates
State-owned Canara Bank, Indian Bank and private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank cut lending rates by up to 0.1 per cent. Canara Bank has effected downward revision in the base rate by 0.05% to 9.60% from 9.65%. Indian Bank has reduced marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by up to 0.1%. Kotak Mahindra Bank has reduced base rate by 0.1% to 9.40% from 9.50%.
• StanC Forms Tie-up with Uber
Foreign lender Standard Chartered Bank has announced a tie-up with Uber. Under which its credit cardholders, across six countries, will get a cash-back of up to 25 per cent for hailing cabs from the app. In India, the cardholders will get a 20 per cent cash-back on all Uber rides, subject to a cash back cap of Rs. 600 per month. This is the first multi market partnership for the two companies.
• WHO urges countries to tax sugary drinks
All countries are being urged to consider introducing a sugary drinks tax by the WHO in fighting obesity rate. The WHO’s advice comes as more and more countries are considering fiscal measures to dissuade people from buying the soft drinks. It will strengthen the hand of campaigners in countries like Colombia, where drinks industry has succeeded in having an anti-sugar broadcast banned.
• SBI CMD as World Bank MD & COO
India has reportedly nominated State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya as the World Bank managing director and chief operating officer’s position. The selection has to be cleared by the World Bank’s board of directors, which consist of country representatives. Mukesh Nandan Prasad at the bank represents India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the Board of Directors.
• PV Sindhu Signs Deal with BoB
Bank of Baroda (BoB) has announced that it has sealed a Principal Sponsorship contract with badminton Olympians P.V.Sindhu. This by far will be the biggest deal the shuttler has signed. BoB has also signed men’s singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth for a huge sum. BoB logo will now appear on the center chest of the two athletes’ playing jerseys in international and domestic tournaments.
• ICICI Bank Appoints Anup Bagchi
ICICI Bank Board has approved the appointment of Mr. Anup Bagchi as Executive Director to head retail business. He will take over as the Head of Retail Banking effective November 1, 2016. Mr. Bagchi joined ICICI Limited in 1992. Over the last 24 years, he has worked in key positions in the ICICI Group in the areas of retail banking, corporate and investment banking and treasury.
• HDFC Bank Raises ` 500 crore
HDFC has raised another ` 500 crore by issuing rupee-denominated masala bonds to overseas investors. This is the fourth issue of rupee-denominated bonds to overseas investors. The bonds will mature on January 9, 2020. The masala bonds are instruments through which Indian entities can raise funds by accessing overseas capital markets while bond investors hold the currency risk.
• Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Quits
John Stumpf has resigned as chairman & chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co. He has recently come under fire for a scandal in which 2 million credit and debit card accounts were opened by bank employees without the knowledge of customers. Wells Fargo’s chief operating officer, Tim Sloan will succeed Stumpf as CEO. It is an American international banking and financial services holding company.
• ICICI Executes Transaction on Blockchain
ICICI Bank has executed international trade finance transactions & overseas remittances using blockchain technology. This puts ICICI Bank the first bank in India to carry out overseas transactions in a few minutes via blockchain. The usage of blockchain tech simplifies the process & makes it almost instant. This is in contrast to the current process which involves a complex & lengthy paper trail.
• Bank Deposits Cross ` 100 lakh Crore
According to a data released by the RBI shows that India’ banking system reported total deposits of ` 100 lakh crore for the first time ever in September. Demand deposits crosses ` 10 lakh crore & time deposits crossing the ` 90 lakh crore mark. The month saw the highest-ever monthly rise of ` 5.32 lakh crore more than the total deposits in the banking sector 20 years back.
• BRICS Development Bank to Raise Lending
The development bank set up by the BRICS group of emerging economies will ramp up lending to $2.5 billion next year. It has already approved loans totalling $900 million to green projects in each member state. It has also started a borrowing programme, issuing a 3 billion yuan ($450 million) bond. The BRICS countries agreed to create the New Development Bank (NDB) in July 2014.
• GST Council Meeting Begins
The crucial three-day meeting of the GST Council, comprising state finance ministers starts. It will decide on the tax rate & sort out issues like compensation formula for rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1, 2017. The upcoming meeting is significant as it will decide on the most crucial aspect of tax rate that will have a bearing on the common man.
• Survey to Seek Info on Order Books
RBI has launched the survey to seek quantitative information on order books, inventories and capacity utilisation of companies in the manufacturing sector. The quarterly Order Books, Inventories and Capacity Utilisation Survey (OBICUS) is for the reference period July-September 2016-17. In the previous OBICUS survey, 903 manufacturing sector companies had participated the survey.
• PNB Housing IPO to Open on October 25
PNB Housing Finance, a subsidiary of state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), has filed the papers with SEBI for its Rs 3,000 crore initial public offering (IPO). The issue will open on October 25 and close on October 27. PNB Housing was the fifth largest housing finance company (HFC) in India by portfolio size. Housing loans constituted nearly 70 per cent of the company’s total loan portfolio.
• Centre Moots 4 GST Slabs
The Centre has proposed a four-slab rate structure for the Goods & Services Tax, ranging from zero to 26 per cent. The structure proposes the GST at 0% on a host of goods and services, including food, health and education services. And 26% on luxury items, such as fast-moving consumer goods. The GST is proposed to be levied at 6%, 12 % or 18% on the remaining goods & services.
• Bank of Baroda Gets Semi-Naming Rights
In an innovative marketing initiative, Bank of Baroda has acquired the semi-naming rights of Sikanderpur Metro Station in Gurugram. The station will be renamed “Bank of Baroda Sikanderpur Metro Station”. This is the first time that a public sector bank has bagged the (semi) naming right of a metro station. Sikanderpur is an interchanging metro station connects to Gurgaon Rapid Metro.
• Lendingkart Acquires Kount Money
Fintech startup Lendingkart has acquihired KountMoney, an online lending marketplace for personal loans. With this, the entire team of KountMoney will now come on board at Lendingkart Group. The start-up serves borrowers looking for credit in a smooth and hassle-free way. The move will enable Lendingkart Group to boost its technology and data analytics capabilities.
• State Bank of Patiala gets special award
State Bank of Patiala has been conferred “Special Award for Excellence in MSME lending” for its performance in lending to the MSME sector during the year 2013-14 & 2014-15. The price is given for a growth of ` 2597 crore (annualized 23%) and ` 994 crore (annualized 7.10%) respectively. S.A. Ramesh Rangan, MD and Devendra Kumar, GM, State Bank of Patiala received the award on behalf of the Bank.
• SBI blocks over 6 lakh debit cards
In one of the biggest card replacements in Indian banking, State Bank of India has said that it will re-issue around six lakh debit cards to customers. The cards were blocked following a malware-related security breach in a non-SBI ATM network. “It’s a security breach, but not in our banks’ systems. Many other banks also have this breach — right now and since a long time,” Shiv Kumar Bhasin.
• 3.2 million debit cards compromised
Banks in India will either replace or ask users to change the security codes of as many as 3.2 million debit cards in what’s emerging as one of the biggest ever breaches of financial data in India. Several victims especially of SBI have reported unauthorised usage from locations in China. 2.6 million cards are said to be on the Visa and Master-Card platform and 600,000 on the RuPay platform.
• SBI Declares Silchar its 5th Zone in NE
The State Bank of India (SBI) has declared Silchar as its 5th zone in North East after Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh & Jorhat. It will cater to the banking needs of the people of Mizoram, Tripura & Manipur along with the Barak Valley. Earlier, Silchar was under Guwahati zone . It was tough on the part of the bank to address the complaints and issues of the customers with such a difficult terrain.
• RBI Relaxes Norms for Startups
The RBI has said that Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs) can invest in Indian startups irrespective of the sector in which the startup is engaged without prior permission of the apex bank. Sebi-registered FVCIs have also been permitted to invest in unlisted firms. FVCIs can also open a foreign currency account and/or a rupee account for the purpose of making transactions.
• HDFC Raises ` 500 cr via Masala Bonds
HDFC has raised ` 500 crore through rupee-denominated bonds from overseas investors. The corporation has completed the fourth issue of rupee-denominated bonds to overseas investors. HDFC said it has raised a total of ` 5,000 cr through issuance. The rupee-denominated bonds or masala bonds are instruments through which Indian entities can raise funds by accessing overseas capital markets.
• Bank Penalization Framework Issued
The RBI has released guidelines for penalizing payments systems & banks under the Payments and Settlements Systems Act, 2007. According to the framework issued payments systems & banks can be told to fork out penalties between ` 5 lakh & ` 1 cr. Under the Act,no person can operate a payment system without RBI authorization. Only stock exchanges are exempt from obtaining such authorization.
• Former HCL CEO Launches Tech Fund
Former HCL Technologies CEO Anant Gupta started a new company named techcelx under which it will offer ` 100 crore of funds for disruptive technology ventures. The company will invest between ` 50 lakh & ` 10 cr in disruptive technology ventures & the shareholding will range between 15% to 51%. Three other key partners from investment banking and technology sectors are backing this fund.
• India Inks Loan Pact with World Bank
The govt has signed an agreement for a $650 million loan from the World Bank towards the third tranche for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC). It is designed for faster movement of goods between northern and eastern parts of India. EDFC is 1, 840 km long & extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal as a series of projects with three sections.
• Pak Freezes Accounts of Terror Suspects
Authorities in Pakistan have frozen bank accounts with more than Rs 400 million of over 5,100 terror suspects. It included JeM chief Masood Azhar who is under protective custody. Around 1,200 suspects whose accounts were frozen by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were listed in category ‘A’ of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Azhar’s name was listed in category ‘A’ of the 4th Schedule,
• 1st International Blockchain Trade
The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications has taken place. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia & Wells Fargo have conducted trade deal to use blockchain. The transaction was a shipment of cotton to China from the US worth $35,000 (` 23 lakh). Blockchain is a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system whose efficiency could lower costs.
• 57 Borrowers Owe Banks ` 85000 cr
Only 57 borrowers have defaulted on bank loans worth ` 85,000 crore. The Supreme Court said this after perusing a report submitted by the RBI about persons who have taken loan worth over Rs.500 crore and defaulted. The Bench said if the bar was lowered below Rs 500 crore, the default amount would cross over ` 1 lakh crore. The Bench is headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
• Arun Jaitley Launches SMS Alert Service
Arun Jaitley launched the SMS alert service for Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) for salaried class. As many as 2.5 crore salaried tax payers will now receive SMS alerts from the Income Tax department regarding their quarterly TDS deductions. The new step is an effort by the I-T department to directly communicate deposit of tax deducted through SMS alerts to salaried tax payers.
• Axis Bank’s KYC Goes Online
Axis Bank has launched ‘Insta Services’ to enable electronic submission of Form15G/H through its mobile application. The new service will allow customers to click an image or upload the scanned copy of KYC documents. The customers just need to provide important information such as estimated income. Form 15G/H are self-declaration forms required to be furnished by the assessee to the banker.
• Karnataka Bank Chairman Retires
Karnataka Bank bid farewell to Anantha-krishna, non-executive chairman of the bank. He retired from the office as part-time non-executive chairman. He was associated with the bank for over 45 years in various capacities and retired on attaining the age of 70. Bank Managing Director and CEO P. Jayarama Bhat felicitated him.
• ICICI Bank UK Launch Money2India Europe
ICICI Bank UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank, has launched its online money transfer service, ‘Money2India Europe’ in Sweden, Norway & Denmark. Using this service, anyone residing in these countries can initiate money transfer round-the-clock on 365 days from their local bank account to any bank account in India. With this service is now available in 20 countries in Europe.
• World Bank Appoints First LGBTI Adviser
The World Bank has appointed its first adviser tasked with promoting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex (LGBTI) issues in its development work. The bank has named Clifton Cortez to fill the position. The newly created senior position is part of the bank’s efforts to solidify its commitment of researching & curbing discrimination against LGBTI persons across the 136 countries.
• 84,460 More Affordable Houses for Poor
Centre has sanctioned 84 thousand 460 more affordable houses for five States under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Over three thousand crore rupees will be invested for these houses and out of this one thousand 256 crore rupees has been approved. With these approvals, 10 lakh 95 thousand 804 affordable houses have been approved during the last one year under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
• Andhra Bank Enters MoU with MMTC
Andhra Bank commenced the sale of Indian Gold Coins (IGCs) in 5 gm, 10 gm and 20 gm denominations. It had also entered into a memorandum of understanding with MMTC for the sale of these coins. The IGCs are being sold under the government’s gold monetisation scheme. The coins are of 24 karat purity and 999 fineness.
• SBI and ICICI Bank Cut Lending Rates
State Bank of India (SBI) & ICICI Bank announced a cut of 0.15% and 0.10 % in their lending rates respectively. ICICI Bank was the first to announce a cut of 0.10% in its marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) across tenors. The MCLR was introduced as a transparent and effective alternative by the RBI. As banks refused to pass on the benefits of its rate cuts to the borrowers.
• World Bank Appoints Kristalina Georgieva
Kristalina Georgieva has been appointed chief executive of the World Bank. She was a former head of EU humanitarian affairs and vice-president of the European commission. The position is newly created but effectively Georgieva will be replacing the bank’s managing director and chief operating officer Sri Mulyani. Georgieva will report to the bank’s president Jim Yong Kim.
• Himachal Becomes Open Defecation Free
The State of Himachal Pradesh was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), making it the second State in the country (after Sikkim) to achieve the feat. With all 12 out of 12 districts in the State being both, declared as well as verified, as ODF. This status will further entitle Himachal Pradesh to receive World Bank funding under ` 9,000 crore project to sustain sanitation campaign.
• Uber Drivers Deserve Workers’ Rights
Uber should no longer treat its drivers as self-employed, a British tribunal ruled. In a decision which threatens the taxi app’s business model by forcing it to pay the minimum wage and offer holiday entitlement. The decision could also affect thousands of others who work for firms, including meal delivery services in the so-called gig economy.
• Country’s Forex Reserves Rises by $1 b
Country’s Forex Reserves rose by USD 1 billion to USD 367.14 billion for the week ended October 21 on the back of increase in the core currency assets. The Reserve Bank said that Foreign Currency Assets – FCAs, a major component of the overall reserves, increased by USD 1.015 billion to USD 341.923 billion. Gold reserves remained steady at USD 21.406 billion.
• SBI to Allot Shares to Govt
Country’s largest lender State Bank of India said it will issue equity shares on preferential basis to the government for capital infusion of ` 5,681 crore. The central board of directors of the bank decided to offer and issue shares to the government. The bank has also sought approval from government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
• PNB Plans to Raise ` 6,000 cr via Bonds
Punjab National Bank said it plans to raise ` 6,000 crore in tranches from bonds to fund business expansion. The board will be considering issuance of Basel-III compliant debt instruments — Perpetual Additional Tier-I capital bonds worth ` 3,000 crore & Tier-II bonds of up to ` 3,000 crore. Under the Basel-III norms, AT-1 bonds come with loss absorbency features.
• Ashok Chawla New Non-executive Chairman
Former finance secretary and Competition Commission of India Chairman Ashok Chawla has taken charge as Non-Executive Chairman of YES Bank. Chawla took over after non-executive part-time Chairperson Radha Singh completed her tenure as the bank’s director. A former IAS officer, Singh was non-independent director on the bank’s board since April 2008 and was appointed chairperson in 2014.
• CRISIL Downgrades UCO Bank’s Bond Rating
CRISIL has downgraded rating for UCO Bank’s tier-II bonds from “AA-“to “A+” on significantly higher-than-expected deterioration in asset quality. It has impacted the bank’s profitability for quarter ended June. The bank’s asset quality will continue to remain under pressure over the next few quarters. The bank reported a net loss of ` 440 crore for the quarter ended June 30.

Current Events October 2016 – Railway

• Solar Powered Guard Van Flagged Off
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has flagged off the newly manufactured Guard Van of Goods (Freight) Train. It has been equipped for the first time with Solar powered Light, Fan, Mobile Charging Point & Zero discharge Bio Toilet. Guards of freight trains have been working under a difficult condition of absence of basic facilities. The use of Solar energy will help in energy saving.
• IGIA’s T3 Achieves ‘Platinum’ Rating
The national capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport’s (IGIA) Terminal 3 (T3) has achieved “Platinum” rating from Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The recognition has made IGIA’s T3 as the first “Platinum” rated green airport terminal building in India. The announcement was made during the 14th Green Building Congress, 2016 organised by IGBC in Mumbai.
• ITBP canines, Horses to get Medals
For the first time, four-legged soldiers who accompany troops in combat zones for sanitisation exercises and logistical tasks will be decorated with special medals. An ‘Animal Transport’ medal would be given to its workhorse ‘Thunderbolt’ and a ‘K9’ medal to a female dog ‘Sophia’. Sophia is credited with successfully sanitising events attended by VVIP dignitaries ITBP was raised on 24 Oct,1962.
• Railways Get ` 1600 cr for Bio Toilets
Railways has received 1655 crore rupees from the government for the installation of CCTVs & bio-toilets in trains. Railway Board Chairman AK Mital said 1155 crore rupees have been given to the railways for installing bio-toilets in trains under Swachh Bharat Mission. Five hundred crore rupees have been given under Nirbhaya Fund for putting all major stations under CCTV surveillance.
• Railways to Introduce Glass Top Coaches
The Indian Railways will come up with glass top coaches in an attempt to attract tourists. It will be introduced on regular trains in Kashmir Valley & Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam. These coaches, the first of its kind in India were being manufactured at the ICF, Perambur. The coaches will be ultra luxurious with rotatable chairs to provide the passengers an aerial view through partly glass ceiling.
• Chandigarh Airport Rated Best
Mangaluru International Airport has been rated the best in Southern region & third among all the 52 airports in the country. Airports Authority of India (AAI) conducts survey of all the airports once in six months through an external agency. Chandigarh airport has taken the top slot in the survey followed by Raipur. The survey covers areas like achievement of the airport, facilities & customs.
• Tesla to make all new cars self-driving
Electric carmaker Tesla says all cars it now builds will have the hardware needed to drive completely on their own. But despite the cameras, sensors and radars being introduced, it is still expected to be years before the vehicles become fully self-driving. Tesla introduced its Autopilot system last year, allowing some self-drive functions such as auto-braking.
• Advt. on Rajdhani, Shatabdi allowed
Indian Railways has sold rights for vinyl advertisements on 4 trains with an aim to earn over 8 crore in a year. The rights to put up vinyl wrapping advertisements on Mumbai Rajdhani, August Kranti Rajdhani, Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai double-decker trains have been awarded to Media on Track. The contract is for 5 years and can be extended upto another 10 years.
• Two New Green Train Corridors Declared
The Railways has declared the Okha-Kanalus & the Porbandar-Wansjaliya railway sections of Gujarat as Green Train Corridors. All trains passing on these 175-km long lines (141-km-long Okha-Kanalus route & the 34-km-long Porbandar-Wansjaliya route) are now equipped with bio-toilets. On these routes, about 29 trains consisting of nearly 700 coaches have been equipped with bio-toilets.
• IR Wins World Railway Shooting Champ
Indian Railways have won the World Railway Shooting Championship Cup held on Saint Mandrier, France. This is the first time that Railways have won this competition. Indian Railways team won a total 10 medals to bag the Overall Championship at the 15th USIC- International Shooting World Championship. The Western Railways members along with Coach Anuja Tere Jung represented Team India.
• DIAL Raises $522m in 10yr Bonds
GMR Infrastructure’s airport arm Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has raised $522 million through the issue of high-yield 10-year bonds. DIAL is a joint venture between GMR Airports & Germany’s Fraport. High-yield bonds refer to instruments that offer a higher return to compensate for the risk. The long-term bonds will be used to repay DIAL’s domestic debt & some of its foreign borrowing.
• ICGS Aryaman and Atulya Commissioned
Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Aryaman & Atulya, the 18th and 19th in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) were commissioned. They were designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The commissioning was done by Financial Adviser to Defence Services Sunil Kumar Kohli. The indigenous FPVs can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with range of 1500 nautical miles.
• Vadodara Gets India’s 2nd Green Airport
PM Modi inaugurated the new integrated airport terminal here,which is now the country’s second green airport after Kochi. It was designed and built by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a cost of ` 160 cr. The airport is constructed on the principle of green infrastructure using bricks of fly ash. The new international terminal will increase the airport’s passengers handling capacity.
• Govt to Invest Rs 1L crore to Boost Road
The Centre will invest nearly Rs 1 lakh crore to boost road & inland water communication of Assam. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari announced this. The Union Minister announced to increase the Central Roads Fund to Rs 800 cr from earlier sanctioned limit of Rs 450 cr. He has also to identify 1200 KM of new stretch of road for converting the same into NH.
• Railway Min Launches a New Train Service
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched a new train service through video conferencing between Anand Vihar to Ballia in Uttar Pradesh for the convenience of passengers. It will run weekly between these two destinations. It was a long pending demand of the Ballia people to introduce a direct train between Ballia and Delhi. The demand has been fulfilled on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali.
• Swiss Rail Operator SBB to Sell Bitcoins
Switzerland’s national rail service (SBB) plans to start selling the digital currency Bitcoin at stations next month. From 11 November, customers will be able to trade Swiss francs for Bitcoins using ticket machines. They will not be able to buy tickets with the web-based currency, though. The SBB said it had been testing customer demand for Bitcoin across the country.

Current Events October 2016 – Research

• Largest dinosaur’s footprint discovered
Researchers in Mongolia have unearthed world’s largest dinosaur footprint that is nearly a size of a full grown man. The footprint belongs to a species of dinosaur named Titanosaur that lived on Earth nearly 70 million years ago. Newly discovered world’s largest footprint of gigantic dinosaur measures 42 inches long and 77 centimetres wide.
• Hurricane Matthew reaches Category 5
Hurricane Matthew in the southern Caribbean picked up strength and became a powerful Category 5 storm. The center of Matthew was located 80 miles northwest of Punta Gallinas, Colombia, and 440 miles southeast of Kingston Jamaica. The storm is said to be the most powerful since Hurricane Felix in 2007.
• Scientists Design Universal Flu Vaccine
A new generation of universal flu vaccines has been designed, to protect against the future global pandemics that could potentially kill millions of people. The vaccine designed by a team of scientists has the potential to give protection for up to 88 per cent of known flu strains worldwide. The components of this universal flu vaccine would be short flu virus fragments called epitopes.
• World Space Week 2016
World Space Week is an international celebration of space and its impact on our lives. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10. It is meant to honor two seminal events in space exploration. The launching of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, on Oct. 4, 1957 & the Oct. 10, 1967, signing of the Outer Space Treaty.
• Prajna Conferred Knighthood by France
Film-maker & elephant researcher Prajna Chowta has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the National Order of Merit). It is one of the highest civilian recognitions of the French govt. The appointment by the President of the France comes in recognition of a life devoted to caring for wild Asian elephants. She is among the few Indian women to be appointed a Knight.
• ISRO’s GSAT-18 Launched Successfully
India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched by a heavy duty rocket of Arianespace from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. GSAT-18 is built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It aims at providing telecommunications services for the country. Isro has been dependent on Ariane-5 rocket for carrying its heavier satellites.
• Largest Dinosaur in Brazil Discovered
Brazilian scientists have announced the discovery of fossilized remains of the largest dinosaur ever found in the country. The animal dubbed Austro-poseidon magnificus, belonged to the group known as titanosaurs. The titanosaur was about six to eight metres tall & lived in what is now Brazil about 70 million years ago. Titanosaurs lived during the Cretaceous Period in areas in South America & Africa.
• U.R. Rao Inducted into the IAF Hall of Fame
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) inducted renowned space scientist U.R. Rao into its Hall of Fame for his contribution to development of India’s space technology. He is a space scientist and former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976. The IAF is an international space advocacy organisation based in Paris & founded in 1951.
• Israel to Rename Negev Nuclear Site
The Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel will be renamed in honor of the late Shimon Peres. The announcement was made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The facility is currently called the Nuclear Research Center-Negev and will be renamed after Mr. Peres to recognise his role in establishing it. Mr. Peres helped set up the secret nuclear facility at Dimona in the late 1950s & early 1960s.
• Indian Pharma Companies Rank 19th
Indian pharmaceutical companies have ranked low at 19th position with an overall score of 59 out of 100 among in the Bio-pharmaceutical Competitiveness & Investment (BCI) Survey. The survey of 28 countries was commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. It was third edition of survey. US took the lead, with its pharma companies ranking as the most competitive.
• Himansh Research St Opens in Himachal
A high altitude research station in Himalaya called Himansh, has been sent up at a location above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. It will facilitate better study and quantification of the Himalayan glacier responses towards the climate change. The station will also work as a base for undertaking surveys using Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial.
• Obama Vows to Send People to Mars
US President Obama said the United States will partner with private industry to send people to Mars by the 2030s. Mr Obama did not specify which commercial companies would be involved in the effort. California-based SpaceX is also planning to send people to Mars in the coming years. A US mission to send humans into the area of space beyond the Moon,but not as far is Mars is planned for the 2020s.
• Comet strike may have caused warming
A comet struck our home planet a long time ago and it could have triggered the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). PETM is a rapid warming event caused by an accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide 56 million years ago. PETM has become a major point of interest for scientists as it is the best past analog to understand impacts of global climate warming.
• Sensor can Detect Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Scientists have developed a new optical sensor that may quickly detect vitamin B12 deficiency. It is a condition linked to an increased risk of dementia & Alzheimer’s disease. The sensor uses an optical measuring technique called Raman spectroscopy which produces a unique optical fingerprint of a target molecule. The newly developed sensor takes less than a minute & requires minimum preparation.
• Antares Rocket Takes Off to ISS
The US Antares carrier rocket equipped with two Russian RD-181 engines blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Cygnus cargo ship from the Wallops Flight Facility for the first time. The two Russian-made engines worked successfully & the Cygnus spacecraft separated from the US rocket at the estimated time. The Cygnus spacecraft was designed to transport supplies to the ISS.
• Apple Hires Carnegie Mellon AI Academic
Apple has hired a prominent artificial intelligence researcher Russ Salakhutdinov from Carnegie Mellon University. He has published extensively on neural networks, a branch of AI critical for voice & image recognition technology. His research has been funded by Google, Microsoft among others. The iPhone maker has been on an acquisition spree to beef up its artificial intelligence capabilities.
• Scientists Launch Antarctic Mission
The first scientific full circumnavigation of the ice-covered Antarctica was officially launched. The ‘Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition’ will witness the participation of over 50 scientists from 30 countries. The scientists will study Antarctica’s islands including both landmass and ocean in an attempt to study climate change & pollution. Researchers will work on a number of interrelated fields.
• September 2016 Hottest on Record
September 2016 was the warmest Sept in 136 years of record-keeping. This was according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in the US. Sept 2016’s temperature was a razor-thin 0.004 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest Sept in 2014. The record-warm Sept means 11 of the past 12 consecutive months dating back to Oct 2015 have set new monthly high-temperature records.
• MoU Signed by Institute for Cancer
An MoU was signed between the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research & All India Institute of Ayurveda. The main objective of the MoU is to set up a Center of Integrative Oncology at NICPR-Noida for collaboration in the areas of cancer prevention, research & care. Setting up of this Centre is an outcome of the deliberations held in Indo-US Workshop.
• World Statistics Day Observed
The World Statistics Day was observed across the world on 20 October. The theme for this year is “Better Data, Better Lives”. This theme emphasizes the critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making. Noted British statistician Sir David Cox was awarded inaugural recipient of the International Prize in Statistics.
• European Craft Crashed on Mars
A tiny lander dispatched to Mars on a trial run has crashed and possibly exploded on the Red Planet. Schiaparelli was on a test-run for a future rover meant to seek out evidence of life on the Red Planet. European Space Agency (ESA) mission control said, this while confirming Europe’s second failed attempt. The probe is thought to have been travelling at more than 300 km/h when it crashed.
• HCL to Buy Butler America Aerospace
HCL Technologies said it will acquire Butler America Aerospace for USD 85 million in cash. The move aimed at strengthening its position in the aerospace and defence engineering services space. Butler America Aerospace had revenues of USD 85.4 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2015. It has over 900 engineers & seven design centres in the US.
• NASA Establishes Virtual Institute
NASA said it will establish a virtual institute to advance the field of small spacecraft systems at its Ames Research Center in the Silicon Valley early in 2017. The Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI) will leverage the growing small spacecraft community & promote innovation. Small spacecraft are being used for a range of activities such as for earth & space science measurement.
• Govt to Set up Cyber Security R&D Fund
The Centre is setting up a cyber security research & development fund of ` 1,000 crore to be spent over five years. This will be administered by a high-power committee headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. One of the salient features of the proposed scheme is the emphasis on technology for protection of critical infrastructure needed by law enforcement agencies.
• Hitler’s Secret Nazi Base Discovered
Scientists have discovered a secret Nazi base built on direct orders from German dictator Adolf Hitler located 1,000 km from the North Pole. The location of the mysterious site known as ‘Schatzgraber’ or ‘Treasure Hunter’ on Alexandra Land in the Arctic Circle had remained unknown. It is believed to have been constructed on direct orders from Hitler in 1942.
• Saturn’s Weird Hexagon Changes Colour
The mysterious hexagon at Saturn’s northern pole has changed colour from blue to gold, scientists have said. The hexagon is essentially a rotating cloud pattern; its shape may originate as the result of large differences in the speeds of Saturn’s winds. The observation was made by Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft. The change in colour is thought to be the result of seasonal changes on the planet.
• 2 Powerful Earthquakes Rattle Italy
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 rattled a broad swathe of central Italy, including Rome. The first quake carried a magnitude of 5.4, but the aftershock was even stronger, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 according to the German Research Centre for Geosciences. In the past two months, 32 aftershocks of magnitude-4.0 and greater have struck the area.
• Govt Reconstitutes Inter-State Council
The Government has reconstituted the Inter State Council (ISC) and the Standing Committee of the ISC under Clause 2 of the Inter State Council order, 1990. The Inter-State Council is a constitutional body to facilitate coordination between states and the centre. It will be headed by the PM Modi. The Standing Committee of the Inter State Council will be headed by Home Affairs Rajnath Singh.
Delhi’s Air Quality at Season’s Worst
A day before Diwali, Delhi’s air quality recorded severe levels. Low wind speed & moisture in the air has caused pollutants to accumulate very close to the surface. Levels of pollutants in air are likely to go high up due to bursting of firecrackers. Ministry of Earth Sciences’s System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting & Research, SAFAR has advised people to avoid all outdoor activity.

Current Events October 2016 – India

• Indian channels banned in Pakistan
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has announced a ban on all Indian channels there from Saturday, 1 October. A group of Pakistani theatre owners announced that they would be boycotting Indian films until the current bilateral tensions eased. Prior to that, Zee had announced that the network would be pulling all Pakistani shows off air from its Zindagi channel.
• Uri Brigade Commander Shifted
Army has shifted out the commander of Uri Brigade, which was the target of the terror attack on September 18. Brigadier K Somashanker, who was in charge during the September 18 terror attack, has been moved to northern command at Udhampur. The move is aimed at ensuring a free and impartial court of inquiry into the attack.
• Sebi to regulate business in commexes
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is worried that the ratio of business among the three commodity exchanges is not evenly balanced. Currently, out of three commodity exchanges, metals and energy bourse MCX has around 85% market share. The regulator is also planning to revise the spot polling mechanism which is used for the settlement of the futures segment.
• Pakistan Postpones SAARC Summit
Pakistan officially postponed the 19th SAARC Summit to be held in November in Islamabad. Pakistan’s decision to postpone the SAARC meet has come in the wake of five South Asian countries, including India, expressing their inability to participate in the summit. India was the first country to opt out of the SAARC summit.
• India’s largest spectrum auction starts
India’s largest-ever spectrum sale where mobile airwaves worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore are up on the block kicked off today. Leading operators, including Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel, are in the fray for bagging frequencies. The last auction held in March 2015 fetched the government record bids of over Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
• Indian Named Future Leader of Audiology
An Indian-American associate professor at Lamar University in Texas has been named to the 2016 class of the ‘Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology’ by the American Academy of Audiology. Vinaya Manchaiah is one of only a dozen individuals selected nationwide for the honour. Audiology is a branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders.
• Prabhas to Get a Wax Statue at Tussauds
Baahubali star Prabhas will have his wax figure immortalised at Madame Tussauds, Bangkok. He will become the first South Indian actor to have his statue at the prestigious museum. The statue will be unveiled at Bangkok in March 2017. He made his film debut with the 2002 drama film, Eshwar. He became popular across India and in abroad after he starred in 2015 film Baahubali: The Beginning.
• Delhi Police Launches Mobile App
The Delhi Police has launched a mobile application for senior citizens to enable them to reach out to the police quickly in emergency situations. The application ‘Delhi Police Senior Citizen’ was launched by Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma. The mobile application will serve as an aid to the elderly in times of distress or in case of medical emergencies.
• Nation Pays Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi Jayanti, or Mahatma Gandi’s Birthday, is celebrated in India on 2 October. Often called Bapu, Gandhi’s 147th birth anniversary this year. With his ideologies and teachings, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, inspires thousands of individuals all over the globe. He was born in Gujarat in 1869 to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai.
• India Ratifies Paris Climate Agreement
India has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, giving a significant push for the deal to enter into force by the end of this year. Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee, to Santiago Villalpando. By ratifying the landmark Paris climate deal, India has given a major boost to the deal.
• Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar Resigns
Prasar Bharati Corporation CEO Jawhar Sircar has submitted his resignation four months ahead of the end of his tenure. He was appointed as Prasar Bharati CEO in 2012 by the UPA-II government & whose term expires next February. He had served as secretary of the Ministry of Culture for over three years from 2008 to 2012. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.
• Reliance Nippon Name Ashish Vohra as CEO
Ashish Vohra has been appointed as the head of Reliance Nippon Life Insurance. The Board of Directors of Reliance Nippon Life Insurance (RNLI) has announced the appointment. Before this, Vohra spent eight years with Max Life Insurance, serving as Senior Director and Chief Distribution Officer. Nippon Life Insurance is a strategic partner in Reliance Nippon Life Insurance with 49 per cent stake.
• Reliance Ties up with Dassault
Reliance Group has entered into a partnership with Dassault Aviation of France to help the company spend up to $4.51 billion that it must invest in India as part of a recent fighter jet deal. India requires foreign defence companies to invest a percentage of the value of deals. Dassault agreed to invest 50 percent of the $8.7 billion deal it signed to supply 36 of its Rafale fighter jets.
• Noted Kerala Artist Yusuf Arakkal Dies
Kerala-born veteran artist Yusuf Arakkal has passed away. Along with painting, he also wrote poems & made sculptures. He was internationally known and received numerous awards for his work, including the National Award in 1983 & the Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram in 2013. He had recently released a book called Faces of Creativity, which is a comprehensive collection of portraits of fellow artists.
• Sri Lankan PM Arrives in India
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit. He will hold talks with the top leadership including Prime Minister Modi. The Sri Lankan PM will address the opening plenary of the India Economic Summit in New Delhi. World Economic Forum is hosting the annual summit which is expected to be attended by various business and political leaders.
• Indian Bridge Management System Launched
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari has launched the Indian Bridge Management System(IBMS). It aimed at ensuring safety of bridges in the country. IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country & rate their structural condition. So that timely repair& rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.
• HIV and AIDS Bill Amendments Approved
The Cabinet has approved the amendments to the HIV Bill. The Bill prohibits discrimination against people living with HIV in accessing healthcare, acquiring jobs or in education institutions. There are approx 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India.
The Bill will establish a formal mechanism to probe discrimination complaints against those who discriminate against such people.
• UN Releases Stamp Honouring Subbulakshmi
The United Nations has unveiled a postage stamp to honour Carnatic musician MS Subbulakshmi. The stamp valued at USD 1.20 issued by the UN Postal Administration in M.S. Subbu-lakshmi’s honour. In August this year, Indian music composer AR Rahman had performed at the UN while paying tribute to Subbulakshmi. Subbulakshmi was the first Indian to perform at the United Nations on October 23, 1966.
• Facebook, Ficci Join Hands
FICCI & Facebook have announced their partnership to augment the Millennium Alliance (MA) initiative. Facebook has joined hands with FICCI as an Outreach and Knowledge partner. They will aim to support & expand the development of social enterprise innovations in India. The Millennium Alliance is an inclusive platform to leverage Indian creativity & expertise.
• Sushil Chandra to be the next CBDT Chief
The Govt has appointed Indian Revenue Service officer Sushil Chandra as the next chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Sushil Chandra. IIT graduate Chandra’s tenure will last until May next year. He will take over from the current CBDT Chairperson Rani Singh Nair.
• 84th Indian Air Force Day Observed
The Indian Air Force Day 2016 was on 8 October 2016 observed across India. The Air Force Day was officially celebrated for the first time on 8 Oct in the year 1932 as an auxiliary air force of Indian Empire. The Indian Air Force has its prime responsibility of securing the Indian airspace. The day was observed to increase the awareness about the importance of Indian air force.
• India-Pak Border To Be Sealed By Dec 2018
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said the India-Pakistan border will be completely sealed by December 2018. The entire length of the border will be sealed in a time-bound. The home minister also announced the creation of a Border Security Grid, which will serve as a streamlined platform for border-related issues. The government’s decision to seal border comes in the wake of rising tensions.
• Pradhan Launches LPG scheme PMUY in Maha
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Maharashtra. It aims to provide free LPG connections to BPL households. The move will benefit 91 lakh households living below the poverty line in Maharashtra over the next three years. A target of 10 lakh connections has been set under PMUY for Maharashtra in 2016-17.
• Spectrum Auction Concludes
India’s biggest-ever spectrum auction ended with the Centre garnering ` 65,789 crore in revenue. An upfront payment of ` 32,000 to be received by the government in the current year is the highest in four years. Still the figure falls short of the budgetary target of Rs.64,000 crore for the current financial year. The auction ended after five days and 31 rounds of bidding.
• NSE Gets Board Nod to Launch IPO via OFS
Stock exchange NSE has received board approval for an offer for sale (OFS) for its forthcoming initial public offering (IPO). NSE plans to get listed in India as well as abroad. It will file draft IPO papers with market regulator Sebi for the domestic public issue by Jan 2017. The board had also advised the management to file for overseas listing by April 2017.
• IOC Launches Start-up Scheme
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has launched a start-up scheme with a corpus of ` 30 crore. The aim is to promote promising start-ups & nurture an eco-system conducive for innovations in the domestic hydrocarbons sector. The scheme will support projects which involve innovative technology & business process re-engineering ideas. The project owners will be supported with grants of up to ` 2 crore.
• SC Stay Commercial Release of GM Mustard
The Supreme Court has stayed the commercial release of the genetically modified (GM) variety of mustard till October 17. The application was filed in an ongoing case by environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues. Mustard is one of India’s most important winter crops which is sown between mid-October and late November. Right now, only GM cotton is cultivated in the country.
• Bankruptcy Board Holds its First Meeting
The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) held its first meeting, which was addressed by MoS for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal. IBBI has been constituted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The board would have ten members. The Code seeks to amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons,partnership firms & individuals in a time-bound manner.
• India Aims to Become No 2 Steel Producer
Union Minister for Steel Birender Singh said India would become the second biggest steel manufacturer in the world by year-end. Currently, China is the largest steel manufacturing country followed by Japan & produces five times more steel than India. At present, about six lakh tonnes of steel is manufactured across India. Steel industry accounts for just two per cent share in the GDP.
• Telangana to have 21 New Districts
On the day of Vijaya Dasami, People of Telangana woke up to see 21 new districts carved out in their state. Govt has created 21 districts from the existing 10 and the total no. of districts in the state now goes up to 31. CM K Chandrashekar Rao said the reorganization of districts has been taken up for better administration. The administration should have up to date information on the districts.
• India to Supply 500 MW Electricity to SL
In a bid to promote Sri Lanka’s growth, the Indian government plans to supply 500 MW of power to the country. The transmission will take place through a network sub-sea power cables. The cost of putting a cable under water can be lower than burying cables on land. India currently supplies power to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar and imports power from Bhutan.
• India-Indonesia Hold Maritime Exercise
The 28th India & Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) & Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise have commenced at Belawan, Indonesia . The bilateral exercise will see participation by one warship and one maritime patrol aircraft from navies of both countries. India will be represented by INS Karmuk & Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The Exercise seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship.
• BRICS Trade Fair & Exhibition Begins
Ahead of the BRICS summit in Goa, the first BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition begins in Delhi. The fair will be a platform for the BRICS countries to exhibit state-of-the-art technologies. The theme of the trade fair is Building BRICS – Innovation for Collaboration. It will focus on Start-ups, to bring together young entre-preneurs from across BRICS nations on this platform.
• Philanthropist Parmeshwar Godrej dies
Parmeshwar Godrej, renowned philanthropist, socialite and wife of Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej, passed away. She was famous for her philanthropist work. She along with Hollywood actor Richard Gere, had launched the ‘Heroes Project’ in 2004 to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in India. She was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.
• India Holdings of US Bonds Touch $123 bn
India’s holdings of American govt bonds touched a high of $123.7 billion in July making it the 12th largest holder of such securities. India had raised its exposure by little over $6 billion to $123.7 billion in July. China’s exposure stood at $1.22 trillion,followed by Japan with holdings to the tune of $1.15 trillion. The US is the world’s largest economy & is witnessing improved growth.
• BHEL Commissions 660 MW Thermal Unit
BHEL has commissioned 660 MW coal-based supercritical thermal power unit in Uttar Pradesh. The commissioning of the unit will result in significant improvement of electricity availability in the state. The unit has been commissioned at the Prayagraj super thermal power project, located in Bara tehsil in Allahabad. The project is owned by Prayagraj Power Generation Company Ltd (PPGCL).
• Govt Issues Norms Under Bankruptcy Code
The Govt came out with another set of draft rules under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code. As part of implementing the code,the govt has already constituted the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India. The latest set of draft regulations relate to liquidation of insolvent corporate persons & insolvency resolution process for corporate persons. Views of stake-holders have been sought till Oct 31.
• Approval for IIM Jammu
The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment and operationalisation of Indian Institute of Management at Jammu. The project will involve a cost of ` 61.90 crore in temporary campus for the initial four years from 2016 to 2020. The student strength intake for this year in the PGDP in Management is 54 which will progressively go up to a cumulative student strength of 120 in the 4th year.
• 42nd Edition of IHGF-Delhi Fair to open
IHGF-DELHI FAIR AUTUMN 2016 is being held at India Expo Centre & Mart, in NCR Delhi, from 14 – 18 October, 2016. Director, EPCH, Mr. Rakesh Kumar has informed that the 42nd edition of India Handicrafts and Gifts Fair will have more than 2,950 exhibitors from all over the Country. He added that the speciality of this fair is that the products on display are all of good quality & high variety.
• 6th Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers
The 6th meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers was held on 13 October, 2016 in Delhi on the threshold of the 8th BRICS Summit on 15-16 October, 2016 in Goa. The Meeting was preceded by the 13th meeting of the BRICS (CGETI) which was held from 11-12 October, 2016. The Trade Ministers meeting made an assessment of the BRICS economic scenario in relation to areas of cooperation on trade & investment.
• Meeting between India and Brazil.
Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister and her Brazilian counterpart Mr. Marcos Pereira held bilateral talks on 13th October, 2016 in New Delhi. The Investment Facilitation Treaty being initialled between India & Brazil at Goa. Both Ministers expressed the need to strengthen the India-MERCOSUR PTA & expand the items on offer from both sides to at least 2500 from the current 450.
• Inauguration of India Int. Silk Fair
The Indian Silk Export Promotion Council will be inaugurated by the Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, on 15th October. Union Textiles Minister has lauded the efforts of the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council in organizing such a product-specific exhibition. It provides an opportunity to small and medium entrepreneurs in showcasing their unique products.
• Centre can hold Referendum on Talaq
Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Zafaryab Jilani suggested that the government can hold a referendum on the issue of triple talaq. Jilani claimed, “Ninety per cent Muslim women support the Sharia Law.” The centre had opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ & polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.
• Sino-India ties need recalibration
Sino-India relationship, which is under stress, needs to be “recalibrated”. Former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon told this as the 1988 arrangement is no longer an ‘effective tool’ with the changed situation. How do we deal with climate change for instance, energy security and climate change together. These are issues that I think, would more than just continuity,” Menon said.
• Bankruptcy code: Centre issues guideline
To put the recently enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code into practice, the government unveiled three sets of draft rules. The rules have been issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs seeking public comments by October 31. The government has already constituted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India. Chaired by MS Sahoo, the Board held its first meeting on 7th Oct.
• Meeting Of Opposition Parties In Kashmir
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah today called a meeting of opposition parties of Jammu and Kashmir to discuss the prevailing situation in the state. The aim of the meeting was to find a way out of the situation. The unrest has claimed 84 lives, including two policemen, and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces.
• MEA trashes Pakistan paper’s report
India has called, a report in Pakistani media as “concocted and baseless” that New Delhi had admitted that no surgical strikes were conducted by the Indian Army. The report said that India admitted to the German ambassador that it didn’t carry out any surgical strike. The German Ambassador, Martin Ney, was briefed by the foreign secretary on September 29 on the surgical strikes.
• Singur land return process to get faster
The process to return land to the Singur farmers is likely to gather momentum from October 21 as the government has completed 90 per cent of the work for the purpose. The SC, in a historic verdict on August 31 this year, had asked West Bengal government to return land to the Singur farmers within 12 weeks. WB government is supposed to complete the land return process by November 30.
• NSE to auction investment limits
NSE will auction investment limits for overseas investors for purchase of government debt securities worth over ` 9,300 crore. The debt auction quota gives overseas investors right to invest in the debt, up to the limit purchased. To boost inflows of foreign funds into Indian capital markets, SEBI had raised the FPI investment limit in government securities to Rs 1.48 lakh crore.
• UIDAI Launches ‘Challenge Drive’
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched Challenge drive to enroll leftover population for Aadhaar, in 22 States/UTs. The drive will start from 15th Oct to 15th Nov 2016. The drive enrolment scheme will be only for the adult population. The Challenge drive will ensure that nobody is left without an Aadhaar in these States/UTs which statistically have 100% Aadhaar saturation.
• India Set to Host 8th BRICS Summit
India all set to host the two-day 8th BRICS Summit beginning in Goa. Top leaders of eleven countries, including the heads of BRICS nations will take part in the summit. BIMSTEC outreach summit also to take place alongside. Five countries of the world, constituting 43 per cent of the global population would engage in a serious brain-storming for 2 days.
• Nations Agree to Limit Greenhouse Gases
Nearly 200 countries including India have reached a historic agreement to reduce greenhouse gases used in refrigerators & air-conditioners. The agreement, to reduce hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) announced at a climate meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. This will help the planet avoid 0.5 degree Celsius of warming. The agreement is expected to reduce HFC use by 85% by 2045.
• K.S. Valdiya Committee Submits Report
Govt constituted expert committee has said that the Saraswati river was not mythical & it existed. The 7 member committee, headed by Professor K.S.Valdiya submitted the report to the govt. Professor Valdiya, an eminent geologist said this report is based on the study of the land texture of states of North-West India. It has also taken account of the geological changes that had occurred in the past.
• India, Russia Sign 16 Agreements
India and Russia have signed 16 agreements. The agreements include pacts on purchase of four naval frigates, joint production of two hundred Kamov-226T helicopters & procurement of S-400 Air Defence System. The two countries will also conduct a joint study of a gas pipeline from Russia to India. The agreements were signed in the presence of PM Modi & Russian President Vladimir Putin.
• Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav Inaugurated
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 10-day ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in New Delhi. Nearly 2,000 artists from across the country will showcase India’s cultural heritage through performances, arts and cuisines during the cultural extravaganza. It is one of the five such festivals planned in this financial year in different parts of India.
• Govt Launches Surveillance System
Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal today launched a satellite based Mining Surveillance System (MSS) in New Delhi. It will help curb illegal mining activity in the country. The MSS is a public app that checks a region of 500 meter around the existing mining lease area. The app will add to the level of transparency.
• Air India Posts ` 105-cr Operating Profit
Air India has reported an operating profit of ` 105 crore for the year 2015-16 against a loss of ` 2,636 crore reported during the previous year. The financials for 2015-16 were cleared by the airline’s auditors and approved by its Board. The airline reported a seat factor of 75.6 per cent. Air India earns almost 60 per cent of its revenues from international flights.
• India, Hungary Sign Two Agreements
India and Hungary signed two agreements during Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s visit . The first agreement is for cooperation in the field of water resources, including innovations in irrigation technology. Another pact is for promotion of co-operation between Indian Council Of World Affairs and its Hungarian counterpart. The agreements were inked in Budapest.
• FirstCry to Acquire BabyOye
Online baby products seller FirstCry is acquiring offline retailer Mahindra BabyOye for ` 362.1 crore in a primarily stock deal. FirstCry has now been valued at ` 2,000-2,330 crore.
Mahindra’s will get a minority stake in FirstCry as part of the transaction. FirstCry owner Brainbees Solutions will issue shares worth ` 354.6 crore to Mahindra Group & pay ` 7.5 crore in cash.
• New Standards for Fortifying Foods
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released new standards on fortification on food. The guidelines are meant to regulate the fortification of food, especially packaged food, with essential micronutrients to counter rising malnutrition in the country. Fortification refers to the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient.
• Government Grants BP Plc Licence
Government has granted a licence to BP Plc, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, to set up 3,500 petrol pumps in India. It will be the 10th company to enter the lucrative fuel retailing sector. For a licence to retail auto fuels a company should have invested a minimum of ` 2,000 crore in exploration or production of oil and gas. India currently has about 56,190 petrol pumps.
• Amandeep Appointed Ambassador to UN Conf
Amandeep Singh Gill was appointed as the Ambassador of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva. Gill’s diplomatic career includes assignments in Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Iran, and the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Before joining the Indian Foreign Service, Amandeep Gill worked as a telecommunications engineer.
• INS Arihant Commissioned
India has quietly commissioned into service its first indigenous nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant in August this year. With its induction, India has completed the first step towards setting up a nuclear triad. INS Arihant is India’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. The vessel will be armed with the K-15 missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads to a range of 750 km.
• Ashok Leyland Rolls Out Electric Bus
Hinduja Group’s flagship company Ashok Leyland unveiled its ‘Circuit’ series comprising the first 100 per cent electric bus made in India. A zero-emission, non-polluting vehicle created specifically for Indian road & passenger conditions, the bus has a seating capacity ranging from 35 to 65. The new range of buses will be offered on multiple platforms. The bus can travel 120 km on a single charge.
• Nokia Bags $230 mn 4G Network Deal
Telecom gear maker Nokia has bagged a $230-million 4G network deal from Bharti Airtel in nine telecom service areas. The new agreement with Nokia will see Airtel expand the deployment of 4G technology in three new circles in addition to six circles it already serves. This network expansion will provide the capacity, coverage & speed the company needs to meet the next wave of data demand in India.
• Mumbai 39th On Global Power City Index
London has topped the 2016 Global Power City Index for the fifth consecutive year. Mumbai was ranked 39th on the list for business, innovation and culture, according to a report released. The 2016 Global Power City Index (GPCI) report was released by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies. Mumbai, the only Indian city to feature on the index, was ranked 39th.
• INS Tihayu Commissioned
Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) INS Tihayu was commissioned into the Indian Navy by the Flag-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral H.C.S. Bisht. The 315-tonne INS Tahiyu is the sixth WJFAC Car Nicobar Class vessel to be commissioned. It was allotted to the Eastern Fleet of the Navy. The ship will be commanded by Commander Ajay Kashov.
• TRAI Starts Discussion on Norms for M2M
TRAI has sought industry views on regulatory framework, spectrum, and service quality related requirements for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communi-cations. According to some estimates, the number of connected devices in India is projected to touch about 275 million by 2020. M2M communication can include a gas, electricity or water meter communicating information it records such as consumption level.
• Sony forays into education segment
Japanese consumer electronic firm Sony has entered into education space in India by introducing Sony Global Education (SGE) products. As part of this new approach, Sony plans to launch Global Math Challenge (GMC) in India, which is currently available in Japan, US, China and few other countries, said Sony in a statement. SGE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation.
• India-U.S. meet on market access issues
Market access issues on goods & services as well as IPR policy related matters are expected to figure in the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meetings on October 19 and October 20. The meeting will be led by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and commerce & industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Under the TPF there would also be technical-level discussions on October 18.
• India to be 3rd largest aviation market
India will become the third largest aviation market in the world displacing the UK by 2026. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said in its latest passenger forecast. An aviation market is defined by traffic to, from and within the country. At present, India is the ninth largest aviation market in the world.
• India-Myanmar coordinate’s on security
India & Myanmar signed 3 MoUs – one on cooperation in power sector, another on banking supervision and a third on designing an academic & professional building program for the insurance industry of Myanmar. India will develop a varietal development & seed production center in Yezin in Myanmar, Modi said. India had offered to scale up power supply from Moreh in Manipur to Tamu in Myanmar.
• India and China hold joint Army exercise
India & China carried out a joint army exercise in eastern Ladakh in J&K. The move comes amid hectic diplomatic maneuvering between the two countries over a host of issues like Nuclear Suppliers Group & designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the UN. During the exercise on Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief, a fictitious situation of earthquake striking an Indian Border village was painted.
• 21st Oct: Police Commemoration Day
Police Commemoration Day in India is observed on October 21. It honors the memory of Indian police personnel killed by Chinese soldiers in 1959. On October 21, 1959, a group of Indian policemen led by Shri Karam Singh was attacked by the Chinese Army at Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh. The remembrance day was officially instituted in 1960 & has been observed at the national level since 2012.
• Rudy Inaugurates Kaushal Mahotasava
Union Skill development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajeev Pratap Rudy has inaugurated ‘Kaushal Mahotasava’ in Varanasi. Union Minister also lauched a “skillup mobile app”. The app will help the job seekers to search suitable work for themselves & will also help the employer to identify skilled workers. He flagged off placement drive for youths skilled under skill India programme.
• App To Curb Air Pollution Launched
The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has launched a mobile app “Hawa Badlo”. It aims to improve air quality with public participation. The app was Jointly developed by EPCA, Delhi’s municipal corp & concerned dept from U.P, Delhi & Haryana. The app aims at an inclusive participation of citizens in reporting incidences of leaf and garbage burning, building & construction dust.
• Mumbai 14th in Terms of Wealth Held
India’s financial hub Mumbai has been named among top 15 cities globally in terms of total wealth held. According to New World Wealth, the wealthiest cities in the world are London with $2.7 trillion of total wealth. It was followed by New York City ($2.6 trillion) and Tokyo ($2.2 trillion). Mumbai featured on the 14th place in the list with a total wealth held $820 billion.
• TRAI Recommends ` 3,050 crore Penalty
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended an imposition of 3,050 cr rupees penalty on Airtel, Vodafone & Idea cellular. TRAI has found the three companies to be non-compliant with license conditions regarding giving interconnection. It also noted that denial of interconnection by these operators to RJio appears to be with the ulterior motive to stifle competition.
• Punjabi Actor Mehar Mittal Passes Away
Veteran Punjabi film actor Mehar Mittal passed away. He was best known for his comic roles. He had a celebrated three-decade long career in Punjabi film & had worked in more than 100 movies. Prominent among them were Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Putt Jattan De, Babul Da Vehra, Bhulekha, Long Da Lishkara, Peengan Pyar Deeyan & Jeeja Sali.
• India to use DRS for England Tests
India have agreed to use DRS for the upcoming Test series against England on a trial basis to evaluate the improvements made in the system. The technology approved by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It includes introduction of ultramotion cameras with better frame rates for accurate ball tracking & Ultra edge. A sound based technology for determining the frame of impact.
• CGMP Plant Inaugurated
A newly built plant for extraction, formulation, packaging of medicinal plant based phytopharmaceutical drugs under internationally accepted GMP guidelines was inaugurated in Jammu. This is first such national Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) Plant facility established in the public sector in India. It was inaugurated by the Vice President, CSIR & Union Minister for Science & Tech.
• 800 years Old Village Electrified in J&K
In Jammu and Kashmir, over 800 years old village Itchu in Ladakh region has been electrified for the first time using solar micro grids. The village is now powered by six DC Solar micro grids. The electrification of the village – just like a well-electrified town – was done with the help of 156 LED lights powered by these grids. The total cost of the project is 12 lakh rupees.
• Reliance Forays into LPG Retailing
Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest oil-refining complex, has forayed into cooking gas retailing, launching a 4-kg LPG cylinder on pilot basis. 4-kg LPG cylinder was launched in 4 districts on pilot basis. Currently public sector retailers Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum & HP control retail LPG market. The govt had last year permitted RIL to sell up to 1.2 lakh tonnes of LPG.
• Microsoft Opens Cybersecurity Centre
Microsoft has set up a cybersecurity engagement centre (CSEC) in New Delhi to work with partners in identifying and responding to cyber threats in India. It aims to help build a trusted and secure computing environment. It is the seventh such facility centre of Microsoft. Other cybersecurity centres are located in Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Berlin & Washington DC.
• Bilal Appointed as Chairperson of JKHRC
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has been appointed chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission. Justice Nazki retired as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court in November 2009. He was later appointed as the chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Bihar. He also headed the committee set up by the Centre to review the functioning of the Haj Committee of India.
• Adani Petronet Gets Green Nod
Adani Petronet has received green clearance for the third phase expansion of its Dahej port in Bharuch district of Gujarat. It will entail an investment of about ` 464.32 crore. Adani Petronet (Dahej) Port Pvt (APPPL) is a joint venture of Adani Enterprise & Petronet LNG. The third phase expansion will entail raising cargo-handling capacity to 23 mtpa from 11.7 million tonnes per annum.
• India to Head Global Rubber Body
India has been unanimously elected as chairman of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). A Ajith Kumar, Chairman, Rubber Board, took charge from Cambodia in the 39th Assembly Session of ANRPC held at Guwahati recently. The tenure of Chairmanship will be for one year. ANRPC is an inter-governmental organisation established in 1970 and has 11 member countries.
• Cyrus Mistry Ousted as Tata chief
Cyrus Mistry was sacked as Chairman of India’s largest conglomerate Tata Group and replaced by his predecessor Ratan Tata in the interim. Mistry had replaced Tata as chairman in December 2012. No reason was given for removing Mistry who was brought in less than four years back. The board named a five-member search committee, which includes Tata, to choose a successor within four months.
• India up 21 Places in Gender Gap Report
India has climbed 21 spots to rank 87th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016. In 2015, India was ranked 108th. The improvement in ranking, the report says, is driven largely by major improvements in education. Iceland tops the latest rankings followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.
• India-New Zealand Sign Key Agreements
India has signed three agreements with New Zealand. The agreements were on issues pertaining to avoidance of double taxation, cooperation in the field of youth and sport affair & food safety cooperation. The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi & New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. John Key is on a second state visit to India in five years.
• Air India Launches App for Bookings
Air India has announced the deployment of a mobile app to improve customer experience of over 18 million of its passengers. The app intends to simplify booking, check-in and management of passenger journey using mobile device. The launch is a part of the drive by the airline to increase direct consumer booking, domestically as well as internationally.
• India will be Home to 10,500 Start-ups
India has emerged as the third largest startup base and such ventures are poised to grow 2.2 times to reach 10,500 by 2020. India is in the third position just behind US & UK & nearly 1400 new start-ups are expected by end of 2016. This was revealed the Indian Startup Ecosystem Maturing – 2016 report by Nasscom-ZINNOV. The report also finds that Bengaluru, NCR, and Mumbai continue to lead.
• India to have 1bn Mobile Subscribers
India is expected to have one billion unique mobile subscribers by 2020, according to a new study by GSMA. According to the report at the end of June 2016, 616 million unique users had subscribed to mobile services in India. The GSMA counts as unique mobile subscriber an individual, who may be using multiple mobile connections (SIMs). India is now second-largest mobile market globally.
• India, Pakistan Expel Officials
Pakistan declared an Indian High Commission official Surjeet Singh as persona non-grata and asked him to leave the country. The move follows India’s action earlier declaring a Pakistan High Commission staffer in New Delhi as persona non-grata for espionage activities. Persona non grata meaning “an unwelcome person”, is a legal term used in diplomacy.
• India Clears Dalai Lama’s Visit to A.P.
The government of India has cleared Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh early next year. The Dalai Lama was extended an invitation by Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu. The visit is slated for second week of March in 2017. The move assumes significance as China raised objections. India dismissed it by saying it is nothing unusual as Arunachal is an integral part of India.
• Cabinet Approves Agmt b/w India & Estonia
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of an agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons. This agreement shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Estonia or vice-versa for serving remaining part of their sentence. Prior to 2004, there was no domestic legislation under which foreign prisoners could be transferred.
• Amazon to Buy Tata Owned Westland
Amazon said it is acquiring the publishing business of Tata-owned Westland for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will enable authors of Westland to grow their physical and digital book businesses in India. Earlier this year, the online marketplace had acquired a 26% stake in the Tata-owned publishing company. Westland has a history of over 50 years in retail, distribution & publishing.
• UN Lights up for Diwali
Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body’s imposing headquarters in New York lit up on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights. The facade of the U.N. headquarters was lit in bright hues & the words ‘Happy Diwali’, along with the image of a traditional diya. It will be lit up for Diwali for three days from October 29, 2016.
• AP, Telangana Top Ease of Doing Business
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana have topped the list in the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the report on State-wise Ease of Doing Business rankings in New Delhi. The rankings are on the basis of 340-point business reform action plan &their implementation by the States. Gujarat has slipped to third position from the first rank last year..

Current Events October 2016 – Tamilnadu

• All-party meet to decide Cauvery dispute
Karnataka is looking to the BJP and the Centre to bail it out with a political solution to the SC’s order for setting up of the Cauvery Management Board. SC has ordered to release water at the rate of 6,000 cusecs a day from October 1 to 6 from the state’s reservoirs to Tamil Nadu. CM Siddaramaiah has called an all-party meet to take a joint decision on the matter.
• K’taka Decides to Release Cauvery Water
Karnataka has started the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The move in compliance with the Supreme Court order to release water to Tamil Nadu. A resolution was passed at a special legislative session to release water to farmers in the Cauvery basin for irrigation & drinking water. The sharing of waters of the Cauvery river has been the source of a serious conflict between TN & Karnataka.
• Cabinet Approves First Medical Park
The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of a Medical Devices Manufacturing Park (Medipark) at Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu. The Medipark project will be the first manufacturing cluster in the medical technology sector in the country. It envisaged to boost local manufacturing of hi-end products at a significantly lower cost.
• North-East Monsoon Arrives in Tamil Nadu
The much awaited north-east monsoon, normally expected in Oct-Nov, has arrived in Tamil Nadu. It is expected to bring good rains in various parts of the state in the coming days. The arrival of northeast monsoon in TN has brought cheers to delta farmers as they need water till Jan 28 to save samba crops. The met office has forecast that north east monsoon is most likely to be normal.