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Current Affairs October 24 2018

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PM Modi inaugurated the 36th Indian Carpets Expo in Varanasi
On October 21, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 36th Indian Carpets Expo at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

i. Since Varanasi, Bhadohi and Mirzapur–cities in Uttar Pradesh– were important centres of the carpet industry, it would augment the efforts of the handicrafts and small and medium industries.
ii. This is also a part of the ‘Made in India’ initiative.
iii. India is today the biggest producer of carpets, and has about 35 per cent of the global market share.
About the expo:
i. The Expo will be held for 5-days from October 21-24th 2018 at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
ii.Manufacturers & Exporters from main carpet producing areas like Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Panipat and Srinagar etc. will be participating in the event showcasing their handmade carpets, rugs and other floor-coverings in the Expo.
iii. It was  started in the year 2000 and is a biannual fair.
Ministry of Textiles:
♦ Union Minister: Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Ajay Tamta.
♦ Secretary: Shri Raghvendra Singh.

“Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign launched by Ministry of Environment
On October 23, 2018, Environment Ministry launched the 2nd edition of Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign.

i. It was initiated in 2017-18 and is aimed at pledging to minimize bursting of crackers.
ii. This edition has been merged with “Green Good Deed” movement for conservation and protection of environment.
iii. It has been extended Pan-India and will last till the 1st week of November.
iv. Earlier in this campaign, children were advised to celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly manner:

  • By gifting plant sapling to their relatives and friends along with sweets,
  • Undertake cleaning of houses, neighbourhoods, schools,
  • Collect old books and unused notebooks gift to needy children,
  • Donate old warm clothing, blankets to night-shelters and other homeless people.
  • The children were encouraged to light up their houses and their schools with candles and diyas.

Environment Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Dr.Harsh Vardhan.
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Mahesh Sharma.

India, Myanmar sign MoU towards Sittwe Port operationalization
On 22nd October 2018, India and Myanmar signed a MoU for the appointment of a private Port Operator for the Operation and Maintenance of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal and associated facilities included in the Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport Project in implementation of India’s Act East Policy.
Key Points:
i. The MoU was signed by Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary, India, and U Win Khant, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Myanmar.
ii. Once operations commence at this port, it will provide new infrastructure for trade between India and Myanmar.
iii. It will enhance job opportunities and development in the entire region, mainly in the Rakhine and Chin States of Myanmar.
iv. Vijay Gokhale also met Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Defence Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
v. They discussed issues related to border security, bilateral cooperation, Myanmar’s peace process and the situation in Northern Rakhine State.
About Myanmar:
♦ Capital – Naypyidaw
♦ Currency – Kyat
♦ Official language – Burmese
♦ President – Win Myint


Overview of Defence Minister’s participation in ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting in Singapore

  • On October 19, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Singapore.
  • On October 19, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 2-day 5th ADMM Plus meet. The theme of this year’s dialogue was‘Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience’.
  • India and Myanmar are the co-chairs for the Expert Working Group for Military Medicine for this cycle and a standalone Field Training Exercise on Military Medicine will be held in Lucknow in March 2019.
  • On the side-lines of the ADMM Plus meeting, she also held constructive bilateral discussions with the Defence Minister of the USA, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines………………………………..Click here to Read more 

“Iron Magic 19”: UAE, US kick off two-week joint military exercise
On 21st October 2018, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US) started a two-week military exercise named“Iron Magic 19” in the Arabian Gulf.
Key Points:
i. Iron Magic 19 will be held till November 1, 2018. It is part of a series of joint military exercises throughout the year between the UAE armed forces and the armed forces of other countries.
ii. This exercise aims to enhance cooperation, joint actions and exchange of expertise in military areas.
iii.  A major part of UAE military hardware, like F-16 fighter jets, Mirage jets and Apache Longbow attack helicopters, are manufactured by companies from the US, Britain and France.
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
♦ Capital – Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency – UAE dirham
♦ Official language – Arabic
♦ President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
♦ Prime Minister – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


NABARD, Ayurvet Research Foundation (AFR) sign MoU for collaborative initiatives in Haryana
Haryana regional office of NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) has signed a MoU with Delhi-based Ayurvet Research Foundation (ARF) to facilitate several collaborative initiatives for integrated agricultural and rural development of Haryana.
Key Points:
i. Major initiatives covered under this MoU will be in the resource-poor districts of Haryana.
ii. This MoU will enable to find practical solutions to the problems and challenges faced in integrated development of some districts of Haryana.
iii. This MoU will be enable planning and implementation of programmes like natural resource management, village development, exploring and creating alternative employment generation opportunities, upscaling micro-finance activities and supporting farmer producer organisations, through joint efforts of NABARD and ARF.
About (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development):
♦ Chairman – Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

BoB-Dena-Vijaya Merged Bank to get growth capital from government
On October 23, 2018, BoB-Dena-Vijaya Merged Bank will get capital infusion from the government to meet certain criteria.
i. It was announced that the merged entity will be receiving a cushion of at least 50-100 basis points above the existing regulatory capital requirements.
ii.  It would be done to have a credit growth of 15%.
iii. According to government data, the proposed combined entity had CAR of 12.25% by the end of June 2018.
iv. Additionally the government would give some support to Dena Bank in this fiscal to help it cope with the shortcomings of regulatory requirements.
About the amalgamation:
The amalgamation will be the first three-way consolidation of banks in India, with a combined business of Rs 14.82 lakh crore.
About Government’s aid:
In 2017, the government had announced a Rs 2.1 lakh crore bank recap plan of which Rs 1.35 lakh crore was to be given through re-capitalisation bonds, and the balance Rs 58,000 crore was to be raised from the market by the banks.

Rs 728-cr capital infusion to Syndicate Bank from government
On October 23, 2018, Public sector Syndicate Bank announced capital infusion of Rs 728 crore from the government in lieu of preferential allotment of shares.
i. The government in its October 17th order issued that it would infuse Rs 728 crore to Syndicate Bank against preferential allotment of equity shares during 2018-19.
ii. On October 22 the bank had received the amount and kept it in Syndicate Bank Share Application Money Account.
Other News:
Central Bank of India will also get Rs 2,354 crore in return to preferential allotment of shares to the government.
i.  As part of PSBs’ recapitalisation, the government in October 2017 had announced a massive Rs 2.1 lakh crore infusion in the course of 2017-18 and 2018-19.
ii. In 2017-18, Rs 88,139 crore was infused into 20 public sector banks (PSBs).
The banks will get capital infusion of Rs 65,000 crore in 2018-19.
iii. Earlier in July 2018, banks including Punjab National Bank, Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank had received a total of Rs 11,336 crore out of the capital infusion plan for this fiscal.

Bank Infusion
PNB Rs 2,816 crore
Allahabad Bank Rs 1,790 crore
Andhra Bank Rs 2,019 crore
Indian Overseas Bank Rs 2,157 crore
and Corporation Bank Rs 2,555 crore.

Indian banks’ profitability weaker than BRICS peers, to improve next fiscal
On October 23, 2018, Moody’s Investors Service in its report stated that profitability of Indian banks is “distinctively weak” compared to the other BRICS nations.
i. In India, the system-wide asset quality is weak due to stressed public sector banks, which dominate the sector.
ii. Indian banks have a tangible common equity ratio of 8.7 per cent at the end of 2017.
iii.  It is unprofitable and has a negative ROA due to high credit costs at dominant state-owned banks.
iv. The profitability will remain under pressure for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2019.
iv. Although it will improve from the next fiscal year as asset quality stabilizes.
Comparing with BRICS:
i. Indian lenders had the second highest non-performing loan at 2017-end, followed by banks in Brazil, South Africa and China.
ii. Russian banks had the highest ratio of 11.8 percent.
iii. Brazilian banks had an NPL ratio of 3.5 per cent at the end of 2017, compared with 2.9 per cent for South African banks and the lowest of 1.5 per cent for Chinese banks.
iv. Furthermore, new non-performing loan (NPL) formation will be moderate in the next 12-18 months and will decline as a result of stressed asset resolution.
Moody’s Corporation:
Headquarters: New York, USA.


Nasscom partnered with Hiroshima for Japan-India IT corridor in Hiroshima
On October 22, 2018, Indian IT industry’s apex body Nasscom has entered into a partnership with the Hiroshima government for co-creating a Japan-India IT Corridor in Hiroshima.

Promoting business-to-business cooperation and talent transfer from India to Japan.
Key Points:
i. The project will be formally initiated by early 2019.
ii.  Through this partnership, Japan would be able to have a cluster of IT and software industry.
iii. India would be getting a gate way to the cutting-edge manufacturing technology of Japan.
iv. Indian companies on the software side can help Japanese manufacturing companies adopt digital transformation and create innovative product and solutions lines.
♦ Capital: Tokyo.
♦ Currency: Japanese yen.
♦ Full Form: National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom)
♦ NASSCOM is the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT-BPM industries in India.
♦  It handles business related to the software development, software services, software products, consulting services, BPO services, e-commerce & web services.
♦  Chairman: Mr. Rishad Premji.
♦  President: Ms. Debjani Ghosh.

Direct Tax Statistics released by CBDT
On October 22, 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) released key statistics relating to direct tax collections and administration in public domain.
i. These consisted of time-series data as updated up to FY 2017-18 and income-distribution data for AY 2016-17 and AY 2017-18.
ii. The important points from this statistics are:

  • Constant growth in direct tax-GDP ratio over last three years,
  • The ratio of 5.98% in FY 2017-18 is the best DT-GDP ratio in last 10 years,
  • Growth of more than 80% in the number of returns filed in the last 4 financial years from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 (base year) to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18,
  • Growth of number of persons filing return of income by about 65% in 4 years from 3.31 crore in FY 2013-14 to 5.44 crore in FY 2017-18.
  • Growth in declaration of gross total income by 67% from Rs.26.92 lakh crore to Rs.44.88 lakh crore for AY 2017-18,
  • 60%  growth in taxpayers (including corporates, firms, HUFs, etc.) showing income of above Rs. 1 crore,
  • 68% growth of the number of individual taxpayers disclosing income above Rs. 1 crore,
  • 26% increase in the average tax paid by individual taxpayers,
  • 37%  increase in the number of salaried taxpayers,
  • 19% increase in average income declared by the salaried taxpayers,
  • Growth of 19%in the number of non-salaried individual taxpayers,
  • Average non-salary income declared has increased by 27%,

iii. Further information is available in:
Chairperson: Shri. Sushil Chandra.
Finance Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Shiv Prasad Shukla, Shri P. Radhakrishnan.
♦ Secretart of Finance:Shri Rajiv Kumar(Finance).


Vice President confers Lal Bahadur Shastri award on Fali Nariman
On 22nd October 2018, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu presented the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence 2018 in Public Administration to senior advocate Fali S Nariman.

i. The award has been institutionalized in the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the 2nd Prime Minister of India and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress political party.

Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti Award conferred on HD Deve Gowda
On 24th October 2018, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda will be conferred with the Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti Award on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti, in Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Key Points:
i. HD Deve Gowda is awarded for his contribution to the welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities. The award will be given by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
ii. HD Deve Gowda will not be available to receive the award as he will be travelling to London.
iii. HD Deve Gowda was born on May 18, 1933. He served as the 11th Prime Minister of India from June 1, 1996 to April 21, 1997.
iv.  He was also the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996.
Some National Parks in Karnataka:
♦ Bannerghatta National Park
♦ Bandipur National Park
♦ Dandeli National Park

Haryana girl Nishtha Dudeja won Miss Deaf Asia 2018 crown
On October 23, 2018, Haryana girl Nishtha Dudeja won the Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title at an international pageant held in Prague.

i.  She is the first Indian to have won any title at the Miss Deaf World Pageant.
ii. Prior to this title, Nishtha had also won the Miss Deaf India title on February 26, 2018 in Jaipur.
iii. She is the brand ambassador for Sivantos India Pvt Ltd. (Formerly Siemens hearing Instruments Pvt Ltd.), the world’s leading brand of hearing aids.
iv.  She had also participated in Deaflympics 2013 (held in Sofia, Bulgaria), World Deaf Tennis Championship 2015 (held in Nottingham, UK) and Deaflympics 2017 (held in Samsun, Turkey).


Paul Biya wins 7th term as President of Cameroon
On 23rd October 2018, Paul Biya, won the 7th term as President of Cameroon.

Paul Biya – President of Cameroon:
i. Paul Biya has been ruling Cameroon since 1982. He is 85 years old.
ii. He had won 71.3 % of the ballot in the presidential election held on October 7, 2018. His rival Maurice Kamto came second with 14.2 % of the vote.
About Cameroon:
♦ Capital – Yaoundé
♦ Currency – Central African CFA franc
♦ Official languages – English, French
♦ Prime Minister – Philémon Yang

Suresh Nambath appointed as the next Editor of ‘The Hindu’
On October 23, 2018, the board of directors of The Hindu Publishing Group appointed senior journalist Suresh Nambath as editor of The Hindu.
i. His appointment with be effective from March 1, 2019.
ii. He will succeed Mukund Padmanabhan, who has been editor since March 2016.
iii. Earlier to this, Nambath has been working as the national editor of The Hindu since October 2015.
iv. He has been working with the newspaper for the last 22 years.
The Hindu:
Headquarters: Chennai.


Indian researchers develop skin gel that will protect farmers from pesticides
Indian researchers have developed a gel when applied on the skin, can inhibit some pesticides from getting absorbed into the body, and would help preventing serious adverse effects and even death.
i. The gel was developed by a team led by Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bengaluru.
ii. Organophosphate-based pesticides, commonly used by farmers in India, penetrate through the skin and affect the nervous system and heart, and cause cognitive dysfunction.
iii.  The researchers have developed a gel for topical application. Active ingredients of the gel are attached to chitosan (a substance found in the hard outer shells of crab and shrimp) so the gel does not penetrate the skin.


Ranji Trophy: Baba Indrajith named as Tamil Nadu captain for 2018-19 season
On 22nd October 2018, all-rounder Baba Indrajith was named the captain of the Tamil Nadu team for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season.
i. Tamil Nadu senior selection committee named Baba Indrajith as captain for the domestic season 2018-2019. The Ranji squad for the season will be selected on October 24, 2018.
ii. Baba Indrajith is 24 years old. He replaces Abhinav Mukund, who led Tamil Nadu last season.
iii. Baba Indrajith has scored 2,662 runs in 42 matches in first-class cricket with a highest score of 200 and 7 centuries.

Athletics Federation of India wins FICCI India Sports Awards 2018
On 25th October 2018, Athletics Federation of India will be awarded the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) India Sports Awards 2018 for the category of Best National Sports Federation (NSF).

Key Points:
i. The award will be presented at the India Sports Awards ceremony, at Federation House, New Delhi.
ii. The Jury for the awards was chaired by Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal.  Pankaj Singh is the sports head of FICCI.
About Athletics Federation of India:
♦ President – Adille Sumariwalla
♦ Location – New Delhi


World Polio Day – October 24
On 24th October 2018, World Polio Day was observed all over the world.
Key Points:
i. World Polio Day was initiated by Rotary International more than a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
ii. Polio or poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by poliovirus. It attacks the nervous system. Children less than 5 years of age are highly vulnerable to this disease.
iii. This day aims to create awareness on polio and efforts taken to eliminate this disease.
iv. India received polio-free certification along with the entire South-East Asia Region of WHO (World Health Organisation) on 27th March 2014 by WHO.
About Rotary International:
♦ President – Barry Rassin
♦ Objective – provides service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace

United Nations Day – 24 October
On 24th October 2018, United Nations (UN) Day 2018 was celebrated all over the world.

Key Points:
i. When: United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 since 1948. In 1971, United Nations General Assembly recommended this day to be observed by Member States as a public holiday.
ii. Why: This day marks the anniversary of UN Charter’s entry into force in 1945. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, the United Nations officially came into force.
iii. 2018 UN Day Concert will be in UN Headquarters in New York, with the theme “Traditions of Peace and Non-violence”.
iv. The “People on the Move” photo exhibition on refugees and migration is displayed in UN Headquarters in New York, from October to November 2018.
About United Nations:
♦ Secretary‑General – António Guterres
♦ Headquarters – New York City, United States

World Development Information Day – 24 October
On 24th October 2018, World Development Information Day was observed all over the world.

Key Points:
i. When: In 1972, United Nations General Assembly declared October 24 as World Development Information Day coinciding with United Nations Day
ii. On 24 October 1970, the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade was adopted.
iii. Why: This day highlights development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

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