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Current Affairs October 17 2018

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Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates two-day Agri-startup and Entrepreneurship event in New Delhi
On 16th October 2018, on the occasion of World Food Day, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated a two-day Agri-startup and Entrepreneurship event, in New Delhi.
Key Points:
i. The theme of the event was Unleashing potentials in agriculture for young agri-preneurs. More than 100 agri-preneurs participated in the event.
ii. Several issues faced by young agri-preneurs in production of seasonal crops were discussed in the conclave.
iii. Radha Mohan Singh announced that 45 models on integrated farming for 15 different climate zone in India have been developed.
iv. These models would help in increasing agricultural production and farmer’s income in spite of adversity of climate change.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare:
♦ Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister – Radha Mohan Singh
♦ Ministers of State – Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Parshottam Rupala, Krishna Raj

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched Air Quality early warning system for Delhi to combat worsening air pollution
On October 15, 2018, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the air quality early warning system for Delhi.

i. It has been designed with the help of American and Finnish models to predict extreme air pollution levels.
ii.. A 41 member-team  constituted by the Central Pollution Control Board has been deployed in Delhi and NCR cities of Ghaziabad, NOIDA, Gurugram and Faridabad to monitor and supervise dust mitigation and other air pollution.
iii. It is a part of the new Central Sector Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 1151.80 crore.
iv. Additionally, for the promotion of agricultural mechanization for in-situ management of crop residue, the Centre has already released Rs. 591.65 crore to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi.
v. The number of mechanized road sweeping machines in Delhi will be increased from 52 to 64 by the end of November 2018.
i. The number of Good, Satisfactory And Moderate days is 157 in 2018 (Up to October 13) compared to 150 in 2017 and 107 in 2016.
ii. The number of  Poor, Very Poor and Severe days have come down from 167 in 2016 to 136 in 2017 to 129 in 2018 (Up to 13th October).
iii. There is a reduction of 46% in the PM10 levels in Sept 2018 and 28 % in the PM2.5 levels in Sept 2018.
iv.  The number of fire detection are 75% lower than last year in Punjab and 40% lower in case of Haryana.
v. Also, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway has been operational since last week of May 2018 to diversify non- destined trucks entering Delhi.
vi. Badarpur thermal power plant is being closed from October 15, 2018.
Central Pollution Control Board:
♦ Chairman: Shri. S. P. Singh Parihar.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:
♦ Union Minister: Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Mahesh Sharma.
♦ Secretary: Shri C.K  Mishra.

Over 30 per cent funds under various schemes allocated to bring women in agriculture sector
On October 15, 2018, Minister for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Radha Mohan Singh announced that 30% government’s policies have been formulated to enhance women participation in the agriculture sector.
i. Speaking at the Mahila Kisan Diwas programme in New Delhi, he said that the involvement of women in the sector has risen to 18% according to a NSSO ( National Sample Survey Office) report.
ii. Additionally, women have taken lead roles in horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, beekeeping and other allied sectors.
iii. By the latest data of the research done by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research:

  • participation of women is 75 per cent in the production of major crops,
  • National Gender Resource Centre in Agriculture, under Department of Agriculture has developed a women sensitization module to bring changes in the mindset,
  • in 2017-18, Ministry’s institutions have trained over 5600 people through 222 programmes,
  • more than 98 lakh women farmers have been trained so far under the ATMA scheme,

iv. He highlighted the following measures to be taken by the ministry:

  • Focusing on women self-help groups (SHGs) and to connect them to micro—credit,
  • It decided to celebrate October 15 of every year as Women Farmer’s Day,

v. Furthermore, special importance is being given to the role of women in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
About Mahila Kisan Diwas:
i. The theme of the event was: ‘Securing Rights of Women Farmers: Developing a Roadmap for Action’.
ii. It was organized here by the National Women Commission in association with UN Women and Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM).
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Radha Mohan Singh.
♦ Minister of State:  Shri. Purushottam R., Smt. Krishna Raj, Shri. Gajendra S.S.

India to set up a special desk UAE PLUS to facilitate investments from UAE : 6th UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force meeting
On October 16, 2018, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu announced setting up of a special UAE desk to facilitate investments and resolve any business issues between the two nations.

i. The name of the UAE-desk is ‘UAE PLUS’.
ii. It would be established in Invest India, the National Investment Promotion Agency of India.
iii .In connection to this, a Fast Track Mechanism at the level of Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India and Ambassador of UAE to India, would also be established to continuously monitor and resolve issues.
About 6th meeting of UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force:
i. It was announced at the 6th meeting of UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force on Investments in Mumbai.
ii. It was co-chaired by Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan along with the Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu.
iii. It reviewed the progrees made based on the agreed actions of the previous meeting held in Abu Dhabi in January 2018.
Other proposals and discussions in the meeting:
i. Cooperationa and investment in both countries were decided on. In India, the following sectors were focused:

  • The Highways sector; Infrastructure Corridor projects;
  • New Greenfield Airports.
  • Logistics sector: Proposal of Logistics and Warehouse in Itarsi; Fruits & Vegetables Hub in Nashikand Warehousing Hub in Bhiwandi
  • Sagar Mala projects and Special Economic Zones and development of Cruise Terminals.
  • Etihad Rail,the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway would partner with Indian Railways.
  • In the Hydro carbon sector, UAE side welcomed the proposal of UAE’s participation in Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility,
  • Import of Urea & Sulphur,
  • UAE welcomed Indian suggestion to increase short-term and  long-term capital flows into India,
  • India-UAE Food Partnership Programme and proposal for Mega Food City in Kutch; Food City in Pawarkheda; Mega Food City in Aurangabad; Deep Sea Fishing Harbor in Mangrol,

v. The meeting also deliberated on India-UAE Agro exports potential and Projects in Food Processing Sector.
i. The bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 49.88 billion in 2017-18, as against USD 52.7 billion in the previous fiscal.
ii.The UAE is the tenth largest investor in India. In 2017-18, India received USD 1.05 billion foreign direct investment from that country.
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi.
♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham.

Punjab CM laid foundation stones for 5 projects in Amritsar
On October 15, 2018, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stones for five infrastructural projects, worth Rs 127.86 crore, in Amritsar.
i. Out of the total Rs 127.86 crore, Rs 111.56 crore would be borne by the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT), with the Railways contributing Rs 16.30 Crore.
Details of the 5 projects are as follows:
i. The projects for which the foundation stones were laid included:

  • ROBs at Vallah Phatak on Amritsar-Delhi Railway line and on Amritsar-Attari section at Khajana Gate,
  • RUB at Jaura Phatak on Amritsar-Delhi section and Amritsar-Pathankot section, and of
  • Fflyover at Sant Singh Sukha Singh (SSSS Chowk) on Majitha Road, besides
  • Extension of the existing Bhandari Bridge by constructing a parallel additional bridge.

ii. The ROB to be built at Vallah Phatak would cost Rs 34 crore and the ROB to be built at Khajana Gate would cost Rs 25 crores.
iii. Construction of RUB at Jaura Phatak would be competed at a cost of Rs 28.70 crore.
iv. Construction of flyover at 4S Chowk on Majitha Road would cost Rs 18.16 crore.
v. The extension of Bhandari Bridge would be completed at a cost of Rs 22 crore.
Other News:
i. An additional Rs 50 crore for tubewells was also announced for the seamless supply of clean water in the holy city and to provide canal water to these four cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala.
ii. For tourism development projects, total cost would be  Rs 187.47 crore. This would include:

  • Rs 8crore for VR/light and sound show at Jallianwala Bagh,
  • Remaining conservation, landscaping works of the historic Gobindgarh Fort,
  • Rs 8 crore to be spent on the conservation and setting up of a museum on the life of the legendary Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Summer Palace by September 2019.
  • Rs.5.28 crore on the conservation of the historic Town Hall building as Food Street,
  • Rs. 10 crore for the beautification of the road in front of holy Sri Durgiana Temple,
  • Rs.33.55 crore on Facade Improvement and its illumination at four Heritage Walk Streets under the smart city scheme,
  • Rs.30 crore for the widening and beautification of chowk & road at the historic Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Ji,
  • Rs.3.75 crore for conservation work at Heritage Walk in Quila Ahluwalia and
  • Rs. 9 crore for public conveniences, interpretation centre, bird hides, viewing deck and watching towers at Harike Wetland.

iii. Out of the Rs. 187.47 crore projects, Rs 37.46 crore worth tourism projects are underway and Rs 110.01 crore worth projects are in the pipeline.
♦ Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh.
♦ Governor: V.P Singh Badnore.
♦ National Parks: Abohar WLS, Bir Aishvan WLS, Bir Bunerheri WLS, Bir Bhadson WLS, Bir Dosanjh WLS, Bir Gurdialpura WLS, Bir Mehaswala WLS, Bir Motibagh WLS, Harike Lake WLS, Jhajjar Bacholi WLS, Kathlaur Kushlian WLS, Takhni-Rehampur WLS, Nangal WLS.

Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018 inaugurated by Chief of Naval Staff
On October 16, 2018, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba inaugurated The Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018, the second edition of the Goa Maritime Symposium (GSM) at INS Mandovi at Goa.

To promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Key Points:
i. The theme of the seminar was “Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in IOR”.
ii. Discussions focused on:

  • Capacity building among IOR Navies to tackle emerging maritime threats,
  • Discussing cooperative strategies for enhancing interoperability,

iii.  The international seminar was attended by delegates from many countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius, Sri-Lanka, Singapore, Thailand etc.
Releases in the meet:
The “Naval War College Journal”, an academic compendium with ideas and papers from writers and thinkers on maritime strategy and security was released.
♦ The GMS was first held in Nov 2016.
♦ Aimed at establishing academic excellence and sharing ideas among navies and maritime agencies in the IOR.

Khadya Sathi: Food Security Scheme launched by West Bengal
On October 16, 2018, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on the occasion of World Food Day, launched ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme.

i.  This would ensure food security to more than 8.5 crore people of the state.
ii. Special assistance will be given to:
The people of Jangalmahal and Hill areas besides Aila-affected areas and farmers of Singur, tea garden workers as well as the Toto tribe.
About World Food Day:
i. It is celebrated worldwide on 16th October to celebrate founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945.
ii. It is a day of action dedicated to tackle global hunger.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO):
♦ Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
♦ Director-General: José Graziano da Silva.

Bharosa:  women’s centre for victims of violence inaugurated in Hyderabad
On October 15, 2018, ‘Bharosa’, a 24 hour state-of-the-art centre to support women and children afflicted by violence was inaugurated by Hyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar.
i. The centre would help these women along with dealing in POCSO cases.
ii. It has been set up on the instructions of the DGP, Telangana.
iii.  It would ensure speedy justice to women in distress and has facilities to record statements of children in POCSO cases.

UP cabinet renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj
On October 15, 2018, Uttar Pradesh cabinet decided to change the name of Allahabad city to Prayagraj.  
i. It was announced by the state Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh.
ii. It was renamed after proposal to do so ahead of 2019 Kumbh Mela during Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s trip to Allahabad.


Indo-Australian Collaboration for Enhancing Community Media
On October 15, 2018, India and Australia announced to have enhanced citizen media avenues irrespective of the platforms in collaboration with Australian University.
i. The Mou has been signed by the Deakin University, Australia.
ii. This will allow implementing parallel initiatives in India and Australia, where citizens and students will receive media production training.
iii. Through this they would be able to report significant socio-economic issues in their respective communities, be it through community radio and/or online community media sites.
About the project:
iDr. Usha M. Rodrigues, Senior Lecturer in Communication at Deakin University, Australia is the project head.
ii. The project’s aim is to have 6-10 citizens to be part of the project at each community media site, with a total manpower between 25-30 journalists.
iii. Each of these citizen will report community stories in the 9-month period between August 2018 and April 2019.
iv. The project team will submit a report to the Australia India Council, Australia, and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in India with a view to influence government policy setting for community media sector.
v. Media partners of this project include:

  • Radio Active 90.4MHz at Jain University ,
  • Geelong FM 94.7 The Pulse,
  • Gippsland FM 104.7.

Other News:
i. For this purpose, Dr. Rodrigues and a team from Australian partners were in Bengaluru during the last week of September,2018 to conduct their first international visit as part of this project.
ii. Titled ‘Sambhashane: The Bengaluru Dialogues on Citizens & Community Media’, this was a symposium for media stakeholders to connect and collaborate.
Deakin University: 
Established: 1974.
♦ Capital: Canberra.
♦ Currency: Australian dollar.

6th RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting attended by C. R. Chaudhary in Singapore
On October 13, 2018, the 2-day 6th RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting (IMM) concluded in Singapore.
i. It was Ministers from 16 RCEP countries including the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution C. R. Chaudhary, on behalf of India, attended the meeting.
ii. Here, comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among ASEAN and ASEAN’s FTA partners was discussed.
iii. The Ministers reviewed developments since the 6th RCEP Ministerial Meeting held on 30-31st August, 2018 in Singapore. It was attended by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu from India.
iv. Singapore sought India’s help in early conclusion of RCEP negotiations.
v. Next round meeting of Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) is scheduled to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2018.
Other News:
i. R. Chaudhary held bilateral meetings, on the side lines of 6th RCEP IMM, with

  • Trade Minister of Singapore,
  • Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment of Australia,
  • Minister of Trade & Export Growth of New Zealand and
  • Vice Minister of China, Wang Shouwen.

♦  Capital:Singapore.
♦ Currency: Singapore dollar.

India, France to make logistics pact operational after US, to explore tri-service exercise with the 3rd country
On October 16, 2018, India and France agreed to resolve and operationalize their bilateral military logistics as per the MOU in March 2018.
i .According to the pact:

  • Provision of refueling, repair and berthing facilities to each other’s warships and aircraft will be available,
  • This will allow Indian warships access to French bases at the Reunion Islands near Madagascar and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

ii. The 2 countries will be holding a joint tri-Service exercise sometime in 2019-2020. This will be the 3rd such tri-lateral agreement after Russia and US.
iii. India already participated in a tri-service exercise with Russia which happened in October 2017.
iv. Recently, India inked a reciprocal agreement after the first one called ‘The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)’ was inked with the US.
Other News:
The LEMOA with the US gives India access to American bases in Djibouti, Diego Garcia, Guam and Subic Bay. 
This came up during defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to France on October 11-12 for the first annual defence dialogue with her French counterpart Florence Parly, who also handed over a letter from President Emmanuel Macron for PM Narendra Modi to reaffirm the expanding bilateral strategic partnership.
♦ Capital: Paris.
♦ Currency: Euro.

8-10 member ‘Break Into India Strategy Committee’ to strategize for investment in India: Sri Lanka
On October 16, 2018, Sri Lanka constituted a 8-10 member ‘Break Into India Strategy Committee’ to formulate strategy to help Sri Lankan businesses invest more into the Indian market.
i. This was constituted by the Ministry of Development strategies and International trade of Sri Lanka.
ii. It would be led by Export Development Board (EDB) Chairperson Indira Malwatte and Former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Suresh Shah.
iii.  The committee is mandated with preparing an interim report and a market entry strategy by 2018.
iv. This will work on issues and initiative as per ongoing negotiations for Economic and Technological cooperation agreement (ETCA). 
Both countries recently held 11th round of talks on Economic and Technological cooperation agreement meant to expand free trade agreement beyond goods, to cover services, investment, etc.
Sri Lanka:

  • Capital: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.

Data breach in India second highest after US in first half of 2018: Gemalto
On October 15, 2018, according to a report called Breach Level Index by digital security firm Gemalto, data breach incidences in India were the second highest globally.
i. It is due to compromises in the Aadhaar database.
ii .India is second to the US which represents more than 57 per cent of global breaches.
iii. 945 data breaches led to 4.5 billion data records being compromised worldwide in the first half of 2018.
iv. Out of this, India accounted for over 1 billion data during the first six months of 2018.
v. Europe saw 36 per cent fewer incidents but a 28 per cent increase in the number of records breached with UK being the most breached of them all in the region.
vi. Data breach of over 2 billion users on social media platform Facebook was ranked as top incidence globally.
vii. It was followed by Aadhaar record compromise where an anonymous service allowed anyone with Rs 500 to access all 1.2 billion Indian citizens’ personal information.

  • Headquarters: Netherlands.

India is the world’s most depressed country, closely followed by China and the US: WHO
On October 16, 2018, according to a World Health Organization report, India is the world’s most depressed country, closely followed by China and the US.
i. Also according to the 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) implemented by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, every sixth person in India needs mental health help.
ii. At least 6.5 per cent of the Indian population suffer from some form of the serious mental disorder.

  • World Mental Health day: 10thOctober .


RBI laid down norms for operationalization of CCPs
On October 16, 2018, RBI laid down norms for the efficient functioning of Central Counterparties (CCPs).
i. These norms provide framework for guaranteed settlement services in the markets offered by them and lessen counterparty risks.
ii. An applicant seeking authorisation/recognition as a CCP should have a minimum networth of Rs 300 crore at the time of submitting its application.
iii. This would be reviewed by RBI from time to time  and at times RBI may increase the net worth.
iv. It must maintain effective written organisational and administrative arrangements so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest between itself and its members.
About CCPs:
RBI defined CCPs as: ‘a system provider, who by way of novation interposes between system participants in the transactions admitted for settlement, thereby becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer, for the purpose of effecting settlement of their transactions’.


ICFRE signed 2 MOUs with Navoday Vidyalaya Samiti and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for promotion of conservation
On October 15, 2018, 2 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, with Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS). 
The MOUs are for a period of 10 years.
i.  The aim of the MOUs is to launch the programme “PRAKRITI” :

  • To promote awareness about forests and environment,
  • To stimulate interest among the students of NVS and KVS in maintaining balanced environment,
  • To provide a platform to school children to learn practical skills to practically use our resources.
  • To mobilize a cadre of youth for raising awareness to conserve environment and forests.

ii. Exchanges of visits of students/teachers of NVS and KVS schools will be arranged and field/experiments of ICFRE institutes will be conducted.
iii. This will be conducted by ICFRE, through its nine Institutes and five Centres located across the country.
About ICFRE:
♦ ICFRE is an autonomous Council under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
♦ Established in 1987.
♦ Headquarters: Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
♦ Director General: Dr. S. C. Gairola.

Railivery : a Food Delivery Fleet Brand launched by RailRestro
On October 15, 2018, RailRestro in partnership with Yescom Global Kart Pvt Ltd, launched their very own food delivery fleet brand named Railivery.

i. Railivery is a brand of Patna-based parent firm, Yescom Global Kart Pvt Ltd.
ii. This will ensure proper food deliveries to people who order food online in trains via e-catering service modes.
iii. Initially, it would launch on a pilot run for 20 cities and has been running in 4 locations namely Mughalsarai, H. Nizamuddin, Raipur and Patna.
iv. Further, investment up to INR 20 million has been planned to be made in it to help deliver meals across 50 stations by March 2019.
Other News:
i. To promote e-catering, RailRestro entered into partnerships with multiple brands like service aggregator named ‘ Global Garner’ .
ii. It would offer  its very own cash back model for every purchase made to promote trying on e-catering services while traveling in trains.
Yescom Global Kart Pvt Ltd
Headquarters: Patna, Bihar.
♦ It is an authorized e-catering partner of IRCTC.
♦ Headquarters: Patna, Bihar.


H M Pernal gets Vishwa Konkani book award
On October 16, 2018, World Konkani Centre announced that writer, journalist and critic, H M Pernal bagged the prestigious ‘Vimala V Pai Vishwa’ Konkani best book award for the year 2018.
i. He was conferred this award for ‘Beeg Ani Beegath’, a collection of short stories in Konkani.
ii. Other awardees are:

  • Konkani poet Sharathchandra Shenoyfrom Kochi won the Vishwa Konkani best poetry award for his book ‘Idam Na Mama,’
  • Vishwanath M Shet from Uttara Kannada bagged the Vishwa Konkani lifetime achievement award.

iii. Each award carries a purse of Rs one lakh each, a certificate, memento and shawl.
iv. The awards will be presented at a function on November 18.
About the author:
i. H M Pernal is the pen name of Henry M Mendonca, a native of Pernal in Udupi district, who currently lives in Mangaluru.
ii.  ‘Beeg Ani Beegath’ is his second short story collection after ‘Devak Sodullo Pado’ published in 2002.
iii. He has also published three collections of poetry and written several articles and critiques.
World Konkani Centre:
♦ Headquarters: Mangalore, Karnataka.
♦ Founder & President: Shri Basti Vaman Shenoy.
♦ Founded: 2009.


BankBazaar appoints former RBI deputy governor SS Mundra as advisor
On 15th October 2018, BankBazaar appointed former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S S Mundra as an advisor.

Key Points:
i. S S Mundra will help BankBazaar achieve 100 per cent paperless and presence-less financing in India.
ii. He was a deputy governor at the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for three years till July 2017.
About BankBazaar:
♦ Type – online financial services marketplace
♦ CEO – Adhil Shetty

Nokia appoints Alia Bhatt as brand ambassador in India
On 15th October 2018, HMD Global, which designs and sells phones under the Nokia brand, appointed actress Alia Bhatt as the‘face of Nokia phones’ in India.

i. As part of the partnership, a print campaign featuring Alia Bhatt has already started to mark the festive season

Narayan Prasad takes over as Director General Naval Projects at Visakhapatnam
On 15th October 2018, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad took charge as Director General Naval Projects (DGNP) atVisakhapatnam.
i. Earlier, he worked as the Assistant Chief of Material (Nuclear Systems Maintenance) at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) at New Delhi; Admiral Superintendent of Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam and Chief Staff Officer (Technical), ENC.
ii. He has received Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Nausena Medal.


Ewire Softtech Private Limited acquires Cashier Prepaid Cards
Ewire Softtech Private Limited announced that it has acquired Cashier Prepaid Cards, a financial technology services company based in Bangalore.
i. Amount involved in the deal was not revealed. Through this acquisition Ewire Softtech will gain access to 100,000 Prepaid Card users in India and various corporate groups and establishments for payments and other financial services.
ii. Ewire is a digital app that acts as a complete virtual bank. Ewire’s user-friendly application powered by Cashier Cards will attract a large number of customers.


NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope shuts down in orbit
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that its Chandra X-ray Observatory went into safe mode on 10th October 2018, possibly due to a gyroscope problem.
Key Points:
i. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope also went offline on 5th October 2018 due to a gyroscope failure. Flight controllers are trying to bring back both to operation.
ii. Hubble and Chandra were launched by space shuttles in the 1990s. They are part of NASA’s Great Observatories series.
iii. Both the orbiting observatories are old and are in well-extended missions. Hubble is 28 and Chandra is 19 years old.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
♦ Administrator – Jim Bridenstine
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., US

China launches twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites to speed up GPS-style system
On 15th October 2018, China successfully launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space from a Long March-3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province of China.
Key Points:
i. The satellites were launched to strengthen China’s satellite navigation network which aims to surpass the US’ Global Positioning System (GPS).
ii. The satellites entered their planned orbit after flying for more than 3 hours. They will work with the 14 BeiDou-3 satellites that are already in orbit.
iii. These satellites are the 39th and 40th of the BeiDou navigation system, and the 15th and 16th of the BeiDou-3 family.
iv. These satellites and rocket were developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, respectively.
v. This launch was the 287th mission of the Long March rocket series. China plans to send three more BeiDou-3 satellites into space by the end of 2018.
vi. The name BeiDou was given after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper. BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.


2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia

  • From 6th to 13th October 2018, 2018 Asian Para Games was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 302 members participated from India. Rio Paralympic gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu was the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent.
  • China topped the medal tally with 319 medals including 172 gold medals. Second place was occupied by Korea with 144 medals and third position by Iran with 136 medals.
  • India occupied 9th Place by winning a total of 72 medals with: 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze medals……………………..Click here to Read more


Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist Paul Allen dies at 65
On 15th October 2018, billionaire philanthropist Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, passed away after suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma in United States.

Key Points:
i. Paul G. Allen was 65 years old. He was born on January 21, 1953, in Seattle, Washington, US.
ii. Paul G. Allen and Bill Gates established Microsoft in 1975. They founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
iii. Paul G. Allen served as Microsoft’s executive vice president of research and new product development till 1983.
iv. In 1986, along with his sister Jody Allen, he founded an investment firm named “Vulcan”.
v. He founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the aerospace firm Stratolaunch.
vi. He has invested in conservation, space travel, arts and culture and professional sports. He has backed research in nuclear-fusion power. In 2011, he released his memoir named “Idea Man.”


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 17 October
On 17th October 2018, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed all over the world.

Key Points:
i. When: In 1992, United Nations General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
ii. In 17 October 1987, more than a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.
iii. 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
iv. Why: This day acknowledges the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty and provides an opportunity to listen to their issues.
v. Theme for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2018 is “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity”.

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