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Govt permitted import of pet coke by the graphite electrode industry
On October 1, 2018, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) anounced that the government allowed imports of pet coke, used for fuel purpose, by graphite electrode industry.
i. The imports were allowed only four industries so far- cement, lime klin, calcium carbide, and gasification industries.
ii. The graphite electrode industry has been added in to the list as the 5th industry.
Directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT):
♦ Shri Alok Chaturvedi .
♦ Under Commerce Ministry.
Niwari inducted as the 52nd district of Madhya Pradesh
On September 30, 2018, the state Cabinet of Madhya Pradesh approved the proposal of induction of Niwari district in the state.
i. It became the 52nd district of the state.
ii. IAS officer Akshay Kumar Singh has been appointed as the first interim District Collector of the district.
♦ Capital: Bhopal.
♦ Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel.
National Parks in Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhav National Park, Panna National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park.
UPSC to allow facility of withdrawal of applications by candidates
On October 1, 2018, the Chairman of UPSC Shri Arvind Saxena announced that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will allow the facility of withdrawal of applications by candidates.
This was announced on the occasion of the 92nd Foundation Day Celebrations in New Delhi.
i. This will be implemented beginning with Engineering Services Examination, 2019.
ii. The process of conduction of examination would also shift from a “pen and paper” mode of examination to a computer-based mode.
iii. The Commission will also disclose the scores and ranking of the non-recommended candidates in some examinations on its website
iv. Further, the details of the students who was not selected would be linked with the “National Career Services” portal of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Headquarters: New Delhi
Wage Compensation scheme for Pregnant Women in tea gardens of state of Assam launched in Guwahati, Assam
On October 1, 2018, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched Wage Compensation scheme for Pregnant Women in tea gardens of the state in Guwahati.
To reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in the tea growing areas.
i. For the implementation of this scheme, An amount of over Rs 55 crore has been allotted in the state’s 2018-19 health Budget.
ii. According to the scheme, the pregnant woman would receive an amount of Rs. 12,000 given in 4 installments.
iii. The disbursement will be in the following manner:
- The first installment of Rs 2,000 will be provided during the Ante-Natal Check-up (ANC) registration within the first trimester,
- Second installment of Rs 4000 during the sixth month of the pregnancy,
- The third installment of Rs 3000 during delivery at a government-approved health institution and
- The fourth installment of Rs 3,000 during the sixth week post-delivery.
iv. Over 60,000 women are likely to be benefited with 48,000 pregnant women every year.
v. Additionally, at least 500 girls from the tea community will be given free training on nursing in the coming year.
♦ 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.
Odisha launched its State Food Security Scheme covering 25 lakh poor people on Gandhi Jayanti
On October 2, 2018, the Odisha government launched its own State Food Security Scheme (SFSS).
i. Under this scheme, 18.32 lakh poor and eligible people will receive 5 kg of rice at the rate of Rupee 1 per kg.
ii. These people were not covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
iii. Additionally, 6.68 lakh people will be added in the list by October 10, 2018.
iv. This is in response to the failure of the central government’s approval against the state’s request to include 25 lakh people under the NFSA.
A total of 3,26,41,800 beneficiaries were included in the NFSA as per the 2011 census. The government also claimed that the state’s population has been increased over eight years.
♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
♦ Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.
♦ Festivals: Kalinga Mahotsav, Chandan Yatra, Durga Puja, Konark Dance Festival, Rath Yatra, Deepabali, Kumar Purnima.
Overview of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s two-day visit to India
On September 30, 2018 , Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev started his 2-day visit to India till October 1, 2018. He was received, on the second leg of his two-day visit to India, in New Delhi.
i. This is the first visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to India.
ii. The Uzbek President was conferred with a Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
iii. He visited Agra and Raj Ghat and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
Meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj:
On October 1, 2018, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
They constructive discussion on cooperation in various field like trade and investment, development cooperation, education, renewable energy, connectivity and tourism.
Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
On October 1, 2018, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held delegation level talks with PM Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
i. Here, India and Uzbekistan signed 17 MoUs in various fields. They are:
Agriculture, Tourism, combating illicit trafficking, health and medical science and pharmaceuticals.
ii. Also, both the nations agreed to strengthen trade and investment ties and have set a bilateral trade target of $1 billion by 2020.
iii. India has decided to extend a line of credit (LoC) of $200 million to Uzbekistan through Exim Bank for housing and other social infrastructure projects under Uzbekistan’s proposal of $800 million line of credit.
iv. India would also provide assistance in the areas of space, human resource development and Information Technology.
i. Apart from this, the Uzbek President held talks with President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
ii. Uzbekistan has shown support for India becoming a member of the Ashgabat Agreement, which seeks to establish an international transport and transit corridor between Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
iii. Uzbekistan has agreed to be a part of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
♦ Capital: Tashkent.
♦ Currency: Uzbekistani som.
India ranked 5th in pictorial warnings on cigarette packets: Canadian Cancer Society
On October 2, 2018, according to a report released by the Canadian Cancer Society named Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report 2018, India ranked 5th among 206 countries.
This was released in Geneva at the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
i. India shared the rank with Thailanad and Hongkong, covering 85% of both sides of the packet.
ii. Other countries in the top five are: Timor-Leste with 92.5 per cent on front and back coverage, Nepal (90%) ranking 2nd and Vanuatu (90%) tied for second ranking and New Zealand ranking 4th in the list with 87.5 per cent.
iii. In the previous 2016 report, Nepal and Vanuatu were first and second and India had ranked 3rd.
iv. 118 countries and territories now require pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages, up from 100 in 2016.
v. There are now 55 countries/jurisdictions that require at least 65 per cent (on average) of the package, front and back, be covered with warning.
vi. The report supports the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which was ratified by 181 countries.
i. A total of 107 countries require warnings to cover at least 50 per cent of the package, both front and back (on average), up from 94 in 2016 and 24 in 2008.
ii. In India the move came into effect from April 2016 after direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently Supreme Court.
iii. In 2001, Canada became the first country to make picture health warnings mandatory.
Canadian Cancer Society:
Headquarters: Toronto , Canada.
IMF, World Bank and WTO launched Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth Report
On September 30, 2018, A report — ‘Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth’ — was released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF),World Bank and World Trade Organization.
i. This report seeks to identify areas where trade has the potential of contributing productivity for economic growth.
ii According to the report, full services trade liberalisation could raise manufacturing productivity by an average of 22 per cent across a sample of 57 countries.
iii. Better access and reliability of the manufacturing sector brought investment in new opportunities and technologies and helped in enhancing business services and coordination with customers.
iv. The digital economy revolution is opening new opportunities for cross-border trade and investment.
v. India’s contribution in reforms to openness in services contributes to long run growth performance.
This comes at a time when US President Donald Trump took a tough stand on the H-1B visas issue, a move which has badly hit Indian IT companies and skilled professionals.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Paytm tops UPI payments with over 33% market share
On October 2, 2018, Alibaba and SoftBank-backed Paytm became the leading contributor to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments with over 33% of overall market share.
i. In September 2018, it registered over 137 million UPI transactions.
ii. It also enabled BHIM UPI for offline payments where 5 million offline merchants accept Paytm UPI.
iii. More than 20 per cent of all payments on Paytm are made using BHIM UPI for mobile recharge and payments, electricity and water bills and DTH recharges.
iv. It also launched its Spam-proof “SMS Inbox” as part of its “Paytm Inbox”.
♦ Founded: 2010.
♦ Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
♦ Parent Company: One97 Communiations.
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
BSE, the first exchange to launch of gold, silver contracts
On October 1, 2018, BSE became the first stock exchange in the country to launch the commodity derivative contracts in gold and silver.
It also aims to be price setter for 10 commodity products in India.
i. Till date only 2 commodity contracts are available – on MCX and NCDEX.
ii. It has also applied for launching of crude oil and copper contracts with Sebi.
iii. Thus, the launch of various commodity derivatives platform on BSE will help efficient price discovery, reduce timelines and make it cost effective.
iv. It has already registered 150 trading members and 27 clearing members for its commodity derivatives segment.
Out of the total exchange-traded derivatives across the globe, the size of commodity derivatives is only 22 per cent, out of which India has a negligible share of 5-6 per cent.
♦ MD & CEO: Ashishkumar Chauhan.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Nobel Medicine Prize 2018 and Noble Prize for Physics 2018 was awarded
Nobel Medicine Prize 2018:-
On October 2, 2018, Nobel Prize committee presented the Nobel Medicine Prize 2018 award to 2 joint winners – James P Allison of US and Tasaku Honjo of Japan.
i. They received this prestigious award for their discovery of cancer therapy by “inhibition of negative immune regulation”.
ii. The discovery puts to use the immune system’ ability to attack cancer cells by releasing the brakes on immune cells.
iii. Both of them studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system with different mechanisms.
iv. James Allison received his PhD in 1973 at the University of Texas, Austin and is affiliated with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
v. He is currently chairing the Department of Immunology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center .
vi.T asuku Honjo is a research fellow in USA at Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore and at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
vii. He received his PhD in 1975 at Kyoto University.
2018 Nobel Prize for Physics :-
i. The 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their groundbreaking discoveries in ‘laser physics’.
ii. Donna Strickland became the third female Nobel laureate in physics after Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963 and Marie Curie in 1903.
iii. Ashkin was honoured for his invention of “optical tweezers”.
iv. Mourou and Strickland won for generating ultra-short optical pulses, the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind.
v. The winners will be awarded with nine million kronor (£770,000) which has been decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
About the nobel committee:
i. The Nobel Assembly, consisting of 50 professors at Karolinska Institutet, awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Its Nobel Committee evaluates the nominations.
ii. Instituted : 1901.
Mahatma Gandhi to be posthumously awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal
US lawmakers have moved a resolution in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi for his contribution towards promotion of peace and non-violence.
i. Out of the 6 US lawmakers, four were Indian Americans. The resolution (H R 6916) was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from New York on 23rd September 2018.
ii. The resolution is co-sponsored by four Indian American lawmakers Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal.
iii. Tulsi Gabbard is the current co-chair of the House Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and also one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.
iv. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honour given by the US Congress. Very few foreigners have received this award.
Haryana’s Maharashi Dayanand University declared cleanest government university by HRD Ministry
On 30th September 2018, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the “Swachh Campus rankings” under various categories.
“Swachh Campus rankings” under various categories are listed below:
Cleanest Government universities:
1.Maharashi Dayanand University, Haryana
2.Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab
3.Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), New Delhi
4.Algappa University in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
5.Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Cleanest residential campuses of private universities:
1.Symbiosis International University, Pune
2.OP Jindal Global University in Sonipat
3.KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research in Belagavi
4.Manipal University in Jaipur
Cleanest non-residential campuses of private universities:
1.ITM University, Raipur
2.Northcap University in Gurugram
3.Dr CV Raman University in Bilaspur
Cleanest technical institutions:
1.Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Coimbatore
3.Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University in Bhubhaneshwar
4.Indian Institute of Information Technology in New Delhi.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Ravi Venkatesan appointed UNICEF’s special representative
On October 2, 2018, UNICEF has appointed Ravi Venkatesan has its special representative of young people.
i. He will provide strategic guidance and support UNICEF globally.
ii. Prior to this, he was chairman of the Bank of Baroda between 2015-18.
iii. He was also the chairman of Microsoft India and served as the chairman of Cummins India and co-Chairman of Infosys Ltd.
♦ Full Form: United Nations Internationals Children’s Emergency Fund.
♦ Executive Director: Henrietta H. Fore.
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA.
♦ Member: 190 countries.
India-born Harvard professor Gita Gopinath was appointed the chief economist of IMF
On October 1, 2018, International Monetary fund appointed Gita Gopinath as its chief economist.
i. She succeeded Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld.
ii. She is currently working as John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.
iii. She is co-editor of the American Economic Review and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
iv. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning a B.A. from the University of Delhi and M.A. degrees from both the Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.
♦ MD: Christine Lagarde.
Rangachari Sridharan named chairperson of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)
On 28th September 2018, Rangachari Sridharan was appointed the first chairperson of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).
i. Rangachari Sridharan is a retired IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer of the 1983 batch of Karnataka cadre.
ii. He has been appointed as chairperson of NFRA for 3 years or till he attains 65 years of age.
iii. Also, Prasenjit Mukherjee has been appointed as full-time member of NFRA for 3 years. He is a 1980 batch (retired) officer of Indian Audit and Accounts Service.
About National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA):
i. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the establishment of NFRA had on 1st March 2018.
ii. NFRA will act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession. It will enable better regulation of financial audit of large companies.
iii. NFRA will comprise one chairperson, three full-time members and one Secretary.
OPPI re-elected A Vaidheesh as President for 2nd term
On October 2, 2018, the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) re-elected A Vaidheesh as President for the second consecutive term.
i. He is working as Vice President, South Asia & Managing Director, in GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.
Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI):
♦ Established in 1965.
♦ It represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies in India.
Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora appointed as new SWAC chief
On October 1, 2018, Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora took over as the new Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the South Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gandhinagar .
i. He replaced Retired Air Marshal RK Dhir.
ii. He was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot in December 1981 and has commanded a MIG-21 Bison squadron.
iii. Earlier, he was Air Defence Commander at Headquarters of Western Air Command as well as Eastern Air Command.
iv. He was Defence Attache in the Embassy of India, Bangkok, Thailand from 2006 to 2009.
v. He had also received ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ by the President of India on 26 Jan 2011.
Chief Of Air Staff: Air chief Marshall Birender Singh Dhanoa.
Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Chief of Army Staff: General Bipin Rawat.
BCCI covered under RTI Act, rules Central Information Commission
On 1st October 2018, Central Information Commission ruled that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is covered under the RTI Act and is answerable to the people of India.
i. Central Information Commission has ruled that the status, nature and functional characteristics of BCCI fulfil necessary conditions to be covered under the RTI (Right to Information) Act.
ii. This move has been made following the orders of Supreme Court, Law Commission of India report and submissions of Central Public Information Officer in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
iii. Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has directed the President, Secretary and Committee of Administrators to designate officers as central public information officers, central assistant public information officers and first appellate authorities as per the RTI law.
iv. He also directed BCCI to implement online and offline mechanisms to receive applications for information under the RTI Act within 15 days.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ President – C K Khanna
♦ CEO – Rahul Johri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Yuvraj Wadhwani lifts 25th Asian junior individual squash championship title in Chennai
On 29th September 2018, Yuvraj Wadhwani won the 25th Asian junior individual squash championship title in Chennai.
i. Yuvraj Wadhwani defeated Pakistan’s Anas Ali Shah 13-11, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10 in the final and won gold medal.
ii. Yuvraj Wadhwani has become the second Indian to win the Under-13 title after Veer Chotrani, who had won the title in Iran in 2014.
iii. In the Under-15 category, Arnav Sareen won silver medal. He lost to Pakistan’s Mohammad Hamza Khan in the final.
iv. India won 1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals in total. The bronze medals were won by: Kavya Bansal, Tiana Parasrampuria, Sanya Vats and Tushar Shahani.
Rohit Sharma climbs to 2nd spot, Shikhar Dhawan to 5th in ICC ODI batsmen rankings
Rohit Sharma has improved two places and reached 2nd spot and Shikhar Dhawan has secured 5th position in the latest ICC (International Cricket Council) ODI Rankings for Batsmen.
i. The improvement in ranks is seen following India’s victory in the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
ii. Also, India’s spinner Kuldeep Yadav, jumped 3 places and reached a career-best 3rd position in the Bowlers’ rankings.
iii. Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan topped the All-rounders’ list replacing former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.
iv .In the Team Rankings, India has obtained one point, but remains unmoved in the second place. England tops the team rankings. New Zealand is in third position.
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ CEO – David Richardson
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Australian midfielder Mile Jedinak announces retirement from international football
On 1st October 2018, Australian midfielder Mile Jedinak announced his retirement from international football.
Retirement of Mile Jedinak:
i. Mile Jedinak is 34 years old. He has won 79 caps for Australia. He has represented Australia in 3 World Cups, two times as captain.
ii. He led Australia to win the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. He also led Australia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and 2018 World Cup in Russia. He also played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
♦ Capital – Canberra
♦ Currency – Australian dollar
♦ Prime Minister – Scott Morrison
Russia’s World Cup hero Igor Akinfeev retires from international football
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has announced his retirement from international football.
Retirement of Igor Akinfeev:
i. Igor Akinfeev is 32 years old. He played for CSKA Moscow club. He has earned 112 caps for Russia. He made his debut in 2004.
ii. He captained the Russian national team to World Cup 2018 quarter-finals in Russia. He had played a major role in helping his team reach the quarter-finals.
♦ Capital – Moscow
♦ Currency – Russian ruble
♦ Official language – Russian
♦ President – Vladimir Putin
♦ Prime Minister – Dmitry Medvedev
International Coffee Day – October 1
On 1st October 2018, International Coffee Day was celebrated throughout the world.
International Coffee Day:
i. When: In 2015, International Coffee Organization (ICO) launched the first official International Coffee Day.
ii. Why: This day celebrates the journey of the coffee bean from farm to mug. It also encourages coffee as a beverage.
iii. Theme: for International Coffee Day 2018 is “Women in Coffee”.
About International Coffee Organization (ICO):
♦ Executive Director – José Dauster Sette
♦ Location – London, England
International Day of Non-Violence – October 2
On 2nd October 2018, International Day of Non-Violence was observed throughout the world.
i. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 2 as International Day of Non-Violence.
ii. October 2 is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of non-violence.
iii. This day aims to propagate non-violence through education and public awareness.
iv.On this day, the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) issued three definitive stamps featuring images of ‘The Knotted Gun – Non Violence’, to spread the message of non-violence.
v.‘The Knotted Gun – Non Violence’ is a popular sculpture for peace and non-violence. It was created in 1980 by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd.
Gandhi Jayanti – October 2
On 2nd October 2018, Gandhi Jayanti was observed all over India, commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s 149th birth anniversary.
i.Every year, Gandhi Jayanti is observed on 2nd October to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
ii.He was born in 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. He was fondly called Bapu. He was a freedom fighter and a pioneer of non-violence. He led India’s independence movement against the British rule.
iii.October 2 is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence by United Nations. This day also marks the anniversary of the government cleanliness drive “Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan”.
iv.On Gandhi Jayanti, India released commemorative stamps in Russia, Japanand Netherlands.
v.Indian government has announced a two-year celebration to mark the 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
vi.Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal dedicated India’s 3rd tallest national flag to Assam in Guwahati. The flag pole is 319.5 feet high and it is the highest in India.
vii.Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated ‘World Peace Monument’ dome, the world’s largest dome at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus at Loni Kalbhor, Maharashtra.
viii.It took 13 years to build the dome. It is 160 feet in diameter and 263 feet tall. It is the brainchild of Dr. Vishwanath Karad, founder-president of the MIT World Peace University.