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Current Affairs October 13 2018

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NITI Aayog & ICC(ICA) held Workshop on Best Practices in International Arbitration
On October 10, 2018, the NITI Aayog and ICC International Court of Arbitration organized a workshop on Best Practices in International Arbitration in New Delhi.

i. It was inaugurated by the chief guest, Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, Judge, Supreme Court.
ii. It was presided over by MoS for Law and Justice P P Chaudhary.
iii. It would help in institutionalising and streamlining dispute resolution to make India a hub for doing business.
iv. Also, the key priority of this being moving towards a ‘New India’ by 2022.
v. It was an inaugural Training-cum-Brainstorming Workshop which emphasizes in ‘Make in India’ vision &  ‘Resolve in India’ which encourage the Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living in India.
vi. The workshop covered basic concepts of international arbitration, selection of arbitrators, enforcement of arbitral awards and the role of courts before, during and after the arbitration.
vii. These concepts were delivered by world class faculty from United Kingdom, Singapore, Paris and India with over 200 participants.
i. Earlier, in 2016, NITI Aayog had held two-day conference on international arbitration presided by President of India and Prime Minister of India with participation of the Chief Justices of all SAARC countries.
ii. In 2017, NITI Aayo again organized the two-day National Law Day Conference with the Law Commission of India which discussed on a multitude of legal aspects, including dispute resolution.
NITI Aayog:
♦ Chairperson: PM Narendra Modi.
♦ Vice-Chairperson: Dr. Rajiv Kumar.
♦ CEO: Amitabh Kant.

The National Electronics Policy 2018’ states $400 billion manufacturing ecosystem turnover by 2025
On October 12, 2018, a draft electronics policy named ‘The National Electronics Policy 2018’ was released by the government that aims a turnover of $400 billion in domestic electronics manufacturing by 2025.
i. The policy targets to double the manufacturing to 1 billion mobile handsets by 2025 worth $190 billion including export of 600 million mobile handsets valued at $110 billion.
ii. It has also proposed creation of 200 electronic manufacturing clusters (EMC) by 2020.
iii. Under this, 20 greenfield EMCs and three brownfield EMC projects have been sanctioned with outlay of Rs 3,898 crore, including Rs. 1,577 crore from the Government of India.
iv.It also aims to:

  • Promote domestic manufacturing in the entire value-chain of ESDM (electronic system design and manufacturing) for economic development to achieve a turnover of USD 400 billion by 2025,
  • Push ease of doing business,
  • Encouraging industry-led research and development and innovation in all sub-sectors of electronics,
  • Pushing startup ecosystems in technology such as 5G, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning,
  • Implementation of these technologies in varied fields such as defence, agriculture, health, smart cities and automation,
  • Replacing the M-SIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) with easier schemes.

v. The measures proposed in the draft include:

  • Promotion of manufacturing of electronic goods covered under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-1) of the World Trade Organization,
  • Provision of suitable direct tax benefits for setting up of a new manufacturing unit or expansion of an existing unit.

i. The first National Policy on Electronics, rolled out in 2012, offered incentives to companies setting up manufacturing units in the country.
ii. Under M-SIPS, proposed investment of Rs 40,922 crore have been approved for 188 applicants and Rs 8,335 crore has been made by 139 applicants.
♦ Minister of Meity: Ravi Shankar Prasad.
♦ Minister of State for Meity: Mr.Alphons Kannanthanam.

Special Central Government Package for Footwear and Leather Sector
Central Government has approved a special package for generation of employment in leather and footwear sector.

Key Points:
i. The package consist of implementation of Central Sector Scheme – Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) with approved expenditure of Rs. 2600 Crore for 2017-20.
ii. This scheme aims to develop infrastructure and address environmental issues related to leather sector, help with additional investments, generate employment and increase production.
iii. Under IFLADP 4 projects worth 107.33 crore have been approved in Tamil Nadu by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). They are:

  • upgradation of Tala Trichy Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at Trichy
  • Pallavaram CETP at Nagalkeni Chrompet
  • SIDCO Phase-I CEPT at Ranipet
  • Perundurai leather industries Eco Security Pvt. Ltd. at Erode.

iv. DIPP has also approved mega leather cluster at Bantala in West Bengal. This will attract an investment of Rs. 400 to 500 crore.
v. Leather Technology, Innovation and Environmental Issues sub-scheme under IFLADP offers financial support at 70% of the project cost to leather clusters to manage pollution control discharge norms.

Government sanctions 5 new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF)
Five new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were sanctioned by the central government in January 2018 and their new bases have been sanctioned now.
Key Points:
i. The 5 new Rapid Action Force (RAF) battalions will be based in:

  • Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
  • Jaipur in Rajasthan
  • Mangalore in Karnataka
  • Hajipur in Bihar
  • Nuh in Haryana

ii. With the new additions, the total number of RAF battalions in India will increase to 15.
iii. Varanasi will be the 4th base of RAF in Uttar Pradesh. Three other bases are in Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh.
iv. Land acquisition for the new bases are in process. The existing battalions will start functioning from their permanent locations soon.
About Rapid Action Force (RAF):
♦ Part of the Central Reserve Police Force
♦ Raised and made fully operational in – October 1992

Home Ministry exempts Sikh women from wearing helmet in Chandigarh
On 11th October 2018, Home Ministry issued an advisory asking the Chandigarh administration to exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers.

Key Points:
i. This decision has been made following the representation of Sikh bodies, led by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
ii. Home Ministry has directed Chandigarh administration to follow Delhi government’s notification, with an exemption to Sikh women from wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers in Chandigarh.
iii. Delhi government’s transport department notified on June 4, 1999, to carry out the amendment in Rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicle Act 1993, which makes it optional for women whether riding on pillion or driving motorcycle to wear a helmet.
iv. The rule has been further amended through a notification on August 28, 2014, in which the word “women” has been replaced by “Sikh women”.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Chandigarh:
♦ Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Parrot Bird Sanctuary Chandigarh

Provisions of the Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act 1951
On October 12, 2018, as per the provisions given in Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Election Commission of India (ECI) can fill casual vacancies.
i. As per the norm, it can fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye elections within six months of occurrence of vacancy.
ii.This can only be allowed when the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
iii. In the present scenario, the term of sixteenth Lok Sabha is upto 3rd June, 2019.
iv. Accordingly, the vacancies occurred in Karnataka have occurred more than one year before the expiration of the term of House which is why bye elections are required to be held under Section 151A of R. P. Act 1951.
v. Vacancies have occurred from 9-Bellary(ST), 14-Shimoga and 20-Mandya Parliamentary Constituencies of Karnataka on 18th May, 18th May and 21st May, 2018
vi. In case of Andhra Pradesh, there is no need to hold bye elections as the remaining term of the Lok Sabha is less than one year as they have occurred on 20th June, 2018.
♦ Chief Minister: H D Kumaraswamy.
♦ Governor: Shri Vajubhai Vala.
♦ National parks: Anshi National Park, Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Kudremukh National Park, Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarhole) National park.
Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: N Chandrababu Naidu.
♦ Governor: E.S.L Narasimha.
♦ Capital: Amravati.
♦ National Parks: Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.

2nd Japan-India Act East Forum held in New Delhi
On October 8, 2018, India and Japan held their 2nd edition of ‘Japan-India Act East Forum’ in New Delhi.

i. The meeting was co-chaired by Japan’s Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
ii. In the meeting, both sides agreed to boost cooperation on connectivity projects in the northeast including connectivity to people-to-people exchanges and concrete projects.
iii. The projects include:

  • Road and bridge connectivity projects,
  • Forest management projects in states of Tripura and Meghalaya,
  • A new initiative to utilise bamboo,
  • To enhance people-to-people exchanges.

About the Forum:
i. It aims to identify specific projects for economic modernization of India’s North-East region.
ii. It provides a platform for India-Japan collaboration under India’s “Act East Policy” and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”.
iii. It comprises of :

  • Embassy of Japan and other government-affiliated Japanese organizations based in New Delhi from Japan’s side and
  • Ministry of External Affairs and State governments of the north eastern region and Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Home Affairs from India’s side.

A MoU was inked in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi  and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sept 2017 at the end of the annual summit had agreed to establish the India-Japan Act East Forum.
♦ Capital: Tokyo.
♦ Currency: Japanese yen.
♦ Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe.

13th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission inaugurated by President
On October 12, 2018, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 13th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) in New Delhi.

Measures to improve the transparency and accountability of information for better governance.
Key Points:
i. It consisted of the Annual Convention on the topic “Data privacy and Right to information, Amendment in the RTI Act and Implementation of the RTI Act”

  1. The Convention will have three specific subjects:
  • “Data privacy and Right to Information”,
  • “Amendment in the RTI Act” and
  • “Implementation of the RTI Act.”

ii. The convention focused on discussions of free flow and availability of information to the citizens.
iii. For this reason, the Government is committed to strengthening the RTI Act and Institutions.
iv. Also, the government has already initiated the process of selection of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioner (ICs).
Central Information Commission (CIC):
Current CIC: Shri RK Mathur.

Maharashtra government approved Rs 1,610 cr for Tarli irrigation project
On October 9, 2018, the Maharashtra government approved financial assistance of Rs 1,610 crore for the Tarli Irrigation Project in the Satara district of the state.
i. This the 4th administrative approval given by the state government to the project.
ii. The project consists of:

  • lift irrigation schemes on the Tarli river,
  • Bringing 6,507 hectares in the Tarli Valley and 8,876 hectares in the Maan and Khatav talukas of Satar district under irrigation.

iii. The project is yet to get Central Water Commissions’ approval.
Other News:
i. The state government decided to set up an education fund to train personnel of cooperative institutions.
ii. It also decided to levy penalties on pharma manufacturersretailers and accredited laboratories for violating rules.
♦ Capital: Mumbai.
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
♦ Governor:  C. Vidyasagar Rao.
♦ National Parks: Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve, Chandoli National Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Navegaon National Park.

Central University of Jammu signs MoU with ISRO to set up Space Applications Center
On October 11, 2018, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu to set up Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science, a Space Applications Centre in the University campus.

i. It is the first of its kind institute coming up in Jammu and Kashmir and the building is proposed in an area of about 1,150 sq. m.
ii. This will help in various fields like disaster management, health, education, communication, weather forecasting, land use planning, etc.
iii. Considering the recurring natural calamities, the area can be  easily monitored from space through remote sensing.
iv. The centre will have facilities for:

  • Geospatial Data analysis that will help in sustainable use of natural resources and planning land-use pattern.
  • Ground-based observations for Atmospheric Studies,
  • Research lab for astrophysics,
  • Atmospheric Sensing and Glacier studies Lab for better use of large quantity of water stored in the form of seasonal snow, ice and glaciers in the rivers of North India.

v. Further a Disaster Management Center will also be set up to research in the area of different disasters like flood, Landslides, forest fires, drought and climate change.
vi. Also, a Materials Sciences Lab for space applications will be set up where synthesize and designing of new sensors and materials for space applications will take place.
As part of outreach, Research and Development, awareness creation, training and skill development, ISRO has also started many other activities like setting up of Regional Academic Centers (RAC), Space Technology Incubation Centers (S-TIC), setting up of ISRO Chairs and Space Technology Cells in various parts of the country.
Chairman: Dr.  K. Sivan.
Jammu & Kashmir:
Lakes: Mansar Lake, Dal lake, Anchar Lake, Khushal lake, Tarsar Lake.
National Parks in Jammu and Kashmir:
Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park, Salim Ali National Park.

IWAI launches Ro-Ro service from Neamati to Manjuli Island in Assam
On October 11, 2018, Inland Water Authority of India (IWAI) launched a Roll-on-Roll-off (RO-RO) service from Neamati to Manjuli island in Assam.
i. It will reduce the road route distance of 423 km  to 12.7 km via river route.
ii. For the commenment of the service a new vessel MV Bhupen Hazarika has been procured at a cost of Rs. 9.46 crore.
iii.The vessel is 46.5-metre-long, 13.3-metre-wide and has the carrying  capacity of trucks and 100 passengers.
iv. The IWAI is also planning to procure more such Ro-Ro vessels for use on river Brahmaputra.
v. Earlier, IWAI had started a similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari with 190 km of reduced distance.
vi. Further, Floating terminals have also been constructed at 11 locations along the length of the Brahmaputra waterway. These are:
Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogighopa, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neamati, Sengajan, Bogibeel, Dibugarh/ Oakland and Oriumghat.
vii. This will enable connectivity not only to Assam but also to many parts of North-east.
♦ Capital: Dispur.
♦ Chief Minister:  Sarbananda Sonowal.
♦ Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.
♦ National Parks: Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park (UNESCO Natural World Herigate Site), Orang National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
♦ Airports: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Dibrugarh Airport, Jorhat Airport, Tezpur Airport, Silchar Airport.
♦ Majuli is one of the biggest riverine islands in the world located on river Brahmaputra. It has 144 villages with total population of over 1.5 lakh.
♦ Headquarters: Noida, UP.
♦ Under Ministry of Shipping.

Deep Depressions: cyclone ’TITLI’ over Odisha & Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, ‘LUBAN’ over west central Arabian Sea move
On October 12, 2018, the Deep Depression over Odisha moved east-northeastwards advancing towards West Bengal with speed of 8 kmph.
i. The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘LUBAN’ over west central Arabian Sea moved slightly northward  about 450 km east-southeast of Salalah (Oman), 460 km east-northeast of Socotra Islands (Yemen) and 610 km east-southeast of Al-Ghaidah (Yemen).
ii. It is estimated to advance west-northwestwards towards and cross Yemen & adjoining South Oman Coasts as a severe cyclonic storm.

Gujarat Government starts vaccination of Gir lions against deadly Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
On 7th October 2018, Gujarat Forest Department started the vaccination of lions in the Gir Forest National Park to protect them from deadly Canine Distemper Virus (CDV).
Key Points:
i .Nearly 23 lions have died in the Gir sanctuary in less than a month. Most of them died due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and protozoa infections.
ii. Asiatic lions are an endangered species. They are vaccinated under intensive veterinary care complying with standard protocol.
iii. CDV is a dangerous virus. It has destroyed 30% of the African lions in East African forests.
iv. CDV is largely found in wild dogs, jackals and wolves. It can spread to lions through the infected animals they eat.
Some National Parks in Gujarat:
♦ Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar
♦ Vansda National Park
♦ Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch

General election of 2018 Legislative Assemblies to commence; Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.
On October 12, 2018, the schedule for holding 2018 general election to the Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana, was announced.
i. The EC stated the Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which prohibits displaying any election matter by means of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency.
ii. The detailed provisions stated in the Act are as follows:

  • Prohibition of display of content related to election matters during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll,
  • Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment up to a period of two years, or with fine or both.
  • “Election matter” has been defined as promotion of any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants for gain of any individual party and that may affect the result of an election.
  • It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.
  • Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules.
  • Publishing of false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate is to be refrained.
  • The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/government in power.
  • All paid content should be clearly marked as “Paid Advertisement” or “Paid Content” in compliance with the “Norms & Guidelines on Paid News”.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the broadcasts made by news broadcasters from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results.
♦ Chief Election Commissioner: Shri. Om Prakash Rawat.
♦ Election Commissioner: Shri. Sunil Arora, Shri. Ashok Lavasa.


Indian Naval Ship & Aircraft reach Belawan Indonesia for 32nd India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (CORPAT)
On October 11, 2018, Indian navy ship and aircraft joined in for the 16-day 32nd  edition of India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) held from 11 – 27 Oct 2018 in Belawan harbour,Indonesia.

i. The Indian side is represented by:
Indian Naval Ship Kulish, a Kora class missile corvette, commanded by Commander Deepak Bali and
Indian Dornier (naval maritime time patrol aircraft) from Andaman and Nicobar command.
ii. The Indian delegation is led by Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command.
iii. Under CORPAT, both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary Line.
iv. It would be conducted in three phases:
From 14 – 24 Oct 2018 followed by a closing ceremony at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Island, scheduled from 25 – 26 Oct 2018.
v. It is a part of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
The Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the IOR with EEZ Surveillance, Search and Rescue, other capacity -building and capability-enhancement activities.
♦ Capital: Jakarta.
♦ Currency:  Indonesian rupiah.
♦ President: Joko Widodo.

Bangladesh enacts Digital Security Bill, 2018
On 8th October 2018, Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid signed Digital Security Bill, 2018 and enacted it as a law.
Key Points:
i. Digital Security Bill, 2018 has been passed by the Parliament to handle cybercrimes, which includes hurting religious sentiment, negative propaganda against 1971 Liberation War and Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman), and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data.
ii. As per this law, illegal access and destruction of any important information related to state affairs will be punished with a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, and a minimum fine of Taka 25 lakh and a maximum of Taka 1 crore, or both.
iii.The law was opposed by journalists and rights campaigners stating that it would affect the freedom of speech.
About Bangladesh:
♦ Capital – Dhaka
♦ Currency – Taka
♦ Official language – Bengali
♦ President – Abdul Hamid
♦ Prime Minister – Sheikh Hasina

Idiocracy among 1,400 new words in Oxford dictionary
“Idiocracy” is among 1,400 new words, senses, and phrases added in the latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Key Points:
i. Idiocracy means a government formed of people considered ignorant or idiotic. The word is first attested in 1967. But it reached prominence due to the title of the 2006 film named Idiocracy.
ii. This quarterly update of Oxford English Dictionary has also added the following words:

  • ‘Trapo’ – this term in Philippine English describes a politician perceived as belonging to a conventional and corrupt ruling class. It is an abbreviation of the English phrase ‘traditional politician’.
  • ‘Bongga’ – adjective from Philippine English which means extravagant, flamboyant, impressive, stylish, or excellent.
  • ‘Bedunged’ – which means soiled with or covered in dung. This word was first recorded in the 15th century.


Mahindra Rural Bharat and Consumption Yojana’: a new rural fund launched by Mahindra Mutual Fund
On October 12, 2018, Mahindra Mutual Fund, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL), launched new open ended equity scheme called ‘Mahindra Rural Bharat and Consumption Yojana’.
i. It aims to seek investments in the equity and equity related instruments of entities related to benefits of consumption in rural India.
ii. The New Fund Offer will open on October 19 and close on November 2
iii. This will  provide investors an opportunity to participate in India growth story predominantly in Rural India.
Mahindra Mutual Fund:
MD and CEO: Ashutosh Bishnoi.


Jailed Chechen activist Oyub Titiev won European rights award Vaclav Havel prize
On October 8, 2018, a human rights activist Oyub Titiev won the Council of Europe’s Vaclav Havel prize.

i. The prize consists of 60,000-euro ($67,000) prize as a recognition to his struggle defending human rights in the troubled Russian Caucusus republic. Titiev is the prize’s 6th recipient.
ii. He heads the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Chechnya.
iii. The chairman of Memorial’s board accepted the award on Titiev’s behalf.
iv. The Memorial was set up in 1989 and is the oldest existing Russian non-governmental organisation for human rights.
v. In 2016, Yazidi women’s advocate Nadia Murad, a co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize won this award.
Memorial Human Rights Centre:
♦ Headquarter: Moscow, Russia.
♦ Chairman: Jan Rachinsky.


Bank of Baroda’s MD and CEO P S Jayakumar gets one-year extension
On October 12, 2018, Bank of Baroda’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, PS Jayakumar got a one-year extension on his role by the government.
i. This is effective from October 12, 2018.
ii. This was due to the amalgamation between Bank of Baroda (BoB), Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, where the government wants to keep the top management intact.
iii. BoB is the largest of the three banks that are getting consolidated.
iv. Prior to this, he was the MD & CEO of VBHC Value Home Pvt Ltd till August 2015.
As of June-end 2018, the three public sector banks collectively had a business of Rs.14,82,422 crore.
Bank Of Baroda:
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat.
♦ CEO: P.S. Jayakumar.
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank.
♦ Headquarters : Mumbai.
♦ CEO: Shri Karnam Sekar.
♦ Tagline : Trusted Family Bank
Vijaya Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ CEO: R. A. Sankara Narayana.
♦ Tagline: A Friend you can Bank upon

AirAsia India names Sunil Bhaskaran as MD and CEO
AirAsia India has appointed Sunil Bhaskaran as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 15th November 2018.
i. AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad.
ii. At present, Sunil Bhaskaran is vice president of corporate services at Tata Steel. He has vast experience in manufacturing, export and commercial operations with the Tata group.


Assamese singer Kishour Giri passes away
On 7th October 2018, Assamese singer and music director Kishour Giri, died following a heart attack, at his home in, Kharghuli, Assam.
i. He was 63 years old. He played various musical instruments like guitar, violin and mandolin. He composed music for some Assamese films and television serials.
ii. He also raised his voice against social injustices.

Activist GD Agrawal dies on 112th day of fast to clean Ganga
On 11th October 2018, environmentalist GD Agrawal, died due to heart attack in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, after a 111-day hunger strike demanding the government to clean river Ganga.
Death of GD Agrawal:
i. G D Agrawal who was 86 years old, was on ‘fast unto death’ since June 22, 2018, demanding the government to stop hydel projects on the tributaries of Ganga in Uttarakhand, and to pass a law protecting the river.
ii. At the initial stages of his protest he had taken honey with water. Recently, he stopped taking any fluid.
iii. He had written three letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding this issue and all the three letters were unanswered.
About GD Agrawal:

  • He was an environmental engineer, religious leader, monk, former professor of Indian Institute of Technology.
  • In 2011, he became a ‘sanyasi’ and adopted the name Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand.
  • He was the Patron of an NGO named Ganga Mahasabha.
  • He had undertaken several fasts to stop projects on River Ganga. In 2009 his fast led to stop a dam construction on Bhagirathi River


Shashi Tharoor introduces his book “The Paradoxical Prime Minister” & 29-letter word “Floccinaucinihilipilification”
On 10th October 2018, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor introduced his new book “The Paradoxical Prime Minister” and a 29-letter word “floccinaucinihilipilification”.

Key Points:
i. Shashi Tharoor has described his new book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “more than just a 400-page exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification”.
ii. Oxford dictionary states the meaning of floccinaucinihilipilification as “the action or habit of estimating something as worthless”.
iii. The cover of the book shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi examining a wax figure of himself at Madame Tussauds museum. The book is available on Amazon for pre-order.
iv. Shashi Tharoor is a second-term parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram constituency. He has served as Under-Secretary General in the United Nations.


World Sight Day – October 11
On 11th October 2018, World Sight Day 2018 was observed throughout the world.
World Sight Day:
i.  When: World Sight Day was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000. It is observed on the second Thursday of October every year. It is coordinated by IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness).
ii. Why: This day highlights issues of blindness and vision impairment and efforts needed to support affected people.
iii. Theme: for World Sight Day 2018 is “Eye Care Everywhere”.
About International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB):
President and Chairman – Bob McMullan
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

World Arthritis Day – October 12
On 12th October 2018, World Arthritis Day was observed all over the world.
Key Points:
i. When: World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI). It is observed on 12th October every year.
ii. Why: This day creates awareness on issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Arthritis is an inflammatory condition causing pain and stiffness in joints.
iii. European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)’s campaign for World Arthritis Day 2018 is “Don’t Delay, Connect Today Campaign”.
About European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR):
♦ President – Prof. Johannes W.J. Bijlsma
♦ Location – Kilchberg, Zurich, Switzerland

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