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Current Affairs October 29 2018

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Governors’ panel submitted report on doubling farm income; gave 21 recommendations
On October 27, 2018, panel of governors constituted by President Ram Nath Kovind submitted its report ‘Approach to Agriculture : A Holistic Overview’ on approach to agriculture for doubling farmer’s income.

i. The committee was headed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
ii. It made 21 major recommendations. Some of them being:

  • Establishment of a KRISHAK SHIKAYAR NIVARAN CELLor farmer’s grievances addressal system in every district,
  • Development of climate-resilient and input-efficient varieties,

Incentive grant to set up special agricultural zones and

  • Regional hubs for region-specific crops.
  • Slashing of premium rates of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana from 5 to 2.5percent for big sowing area,
  • Linking of the rural employment guarantee scheme MNREGA with productive agricultural activities,
  • Encouraging women into agricultural activitiessince male counterparts are migrating,
  • The pattern of assistance under centrally sponsored schemes such as the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) of 60:40 may be reverted to the old pattern of 90:10.

In an informal meeting of Governors held in June, a Group of Governors was constituted for formulation of recommendations on ‘Approach to Agriculture : A Holistic Overview’.

British Council, Arunachal Pradesh signed MoU on educational collaboration
On October 28, 2018, the British Council and the Arunachal Pradesh government inked an MoU to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation between the state and the UK at Tawang in the sidelines of the Tawang Festival.

i. It was signed, in presence of CM Pema Khandu, by:

  • British Council Director Alan Gemmell and
  • Arunachal Pradesh Higher and Technical Education Director Dr Tayek Talom.

ii. According to the MOU:

  • 70 Years of relationship between the 2 will be celebrated,
  • 50 faculty members from government higher education institutions of the state would be trained by the British Council every year, starting in December 2018,
  • Further,50 students of higher and technical education institutes would be trained annually by the British Council in english language skills,
  • Developing capacity-building initiatives in the state,
  • Supporting improvements in the teaching of mathematics and science.

iii. Of the 50 faculty members:

  • 30 would be from government colleges,
  • 10 from government polytechnic institutes,
  • 8 from central institutions established in the state and
  • 2 from officers of the higher education administration.

It recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the North Eastern Council (NEC), to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation in all eight states of the region.
Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Pema Khandu.
♦ Governor: B.D. Mishra.
♦ Capital: Itanagar.
♦ National Parks: Namdapha National Park, Mouling National Park.


UN decided to launch project on creating India’s intangible heritage inventory
On October 28, 2018, United Nations (UN) announced launch of a project on creating an “inventory” on intangible legacy of India.
Also the UN house has been dedicated for preserving the Indian Heritage and Culture.
About the Project:
i. This project dubbed- A snapshot inventory of intangible cultural heritage, will be launched to protect the disappearing intangible cultural heritage  of India.
ii. This will include art forms, craftsmanship and other intangible cultural heritage of the country.
iii. The “Wiki-styled project” would be executed through “crowd-sourcing”.
iv. The project would be documenting the sounds, sights, techniques, styles, though photographs or other audio-visual medium for a span of 1 year.
v. For the implementation of the project, UN with its own agencies like UNESCO and UNDP, will also collaborate with several ministries, such as the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Textiles.
i. A total of 13 intangible cultural heritage elements from India have been inscribed till date on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
ii.  Prior to this, on October 24, 2018, United Nations had dedicated its iconic campus in New Delhi. The UN House has been designed by noted American architect Joseph Allen Stein in Lodhi Estate area.
♦ Headquarters: New York.
♦ Founded: 24, October 1945

India donated USD 300,000 for UN Peacekeeping training on Issues of Conduct, Discipline
On October 28, 2018, India donated $300,000 to a training programme of commanders for UN peacekeeping.
i. This was announced by Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
ii. India’s contribution will be used with a specific focus on issues of conduct and discipline.
iii. The name of the programme is: “Pipeline to Peacekeeping Command Programme”  and it is 3 years training programme.
iv. It will be the first of its kind with a focus on issues of conduct and sexual exploitation and abuse.
v. The amount was handed over by India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin to Atul Khare, the Under Secretary-General for Field Support.
Other News:
i. India is also noted as the first contributor to the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
ii. It is also a signatory to the Voluntary Compact on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and a member of the Circle of Leadership of the Secretary-General on the prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse.


RBI to inject Rs 40,000 cr into banking system via OMO in November 2018
On October 27, 2018, the Reserve Bank of India decided to inject Rs 40,000 crore in the banking system on November 2018.

i. This will done through purchase of government securities under open market operations for an aggregate amount of Rs. 400 billion in the month of November 2018.
ii.  This will help ease cash shortage in the system and stabilise debt market rates.
iii. Recently in October , RBI had announced to conduct Rs 36,000 crore worth of OMO purchase.
The daily liquidity deficit has been hovering between Rs 87,500 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore, according to data from India Ratings.
♦ Founded: 1st April 1935.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ 24th Governor: Dr. Urjit Patel.


Microsoft overtook Amazon as world’s 2nd most valuable company
On October 26, 2018,Microsoft overtook Amazon and regained its spot as the world’s second most valuable company after Apple Inc.i. It surpassed, that lost $65 billion of market cap and is at the 3rd position, for the first time since April.
ii. Microsoft has a m-cap of $823 billion whereas, has a worth of $805 billion.
iii. Apple Inc tops the list at over $1 trillion after crossing that threshold in September.


Clara Sosa won Miss Grand International 2018 in Yangon, Myanmar
On 25th October 2018, Miss Paraguay Clara Sosa won the Miss Grand International 2018 title at the 6th edition of the beauty pageant in Yangon, Myanmar.

Key Points:
i. Clara Sosa succeeds Miss Grand International 2017 Maria Jose Lora of Peru. India’s, fbb Colors Femina Miss Grand India 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary was named 1st runner up.
ii. Miss Grand Indonesia Nadia Purwoko was the 2nd runner up. Miss Grand Puerto Rico Nicole Colon was named 3rd runner up, and Miss Grand Japan Haruka Oda was adjudged 4th runner up.
iii. Other title winners are:

  • Best Swimsuit – Miss Grand Cuba Gladys Carredeguas
  • Miss Popular Vote – Miss Grand Vietnam Nga Phuong Bui
  • Best National Costume – Miss Grand Peru Andrea Moberg
  • Best Social Media – Miss Grand Indonesia Nadia Purwoko
  • Best Evening Gown – Miss Grand Thailand Moss Namoey Chanaphan


Scientists develop web-based tool to monitor fake news on Facebook, Twitter
Researchers at the University of Michigan in the United States, have developed a web-based tool to monitor fake news on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Key Points:
i. The tool uses a Platform Health Metric called the Iffy Quotient, which draws data from 2 external entities: NewsWhip and Media Bias/Fact Checker.
ii. NewsWhip is a social media engagement tracking firm. It collects URLs on various sites every day and then gathers information on which sites have engagements on Facebook and Twitter.
iii. Iffy Quotient queries NewsWhip for the top 5,000 most popular URLs on Facebook and Twitter.
iv. Then the tool checks to see if those domain names have been flagged by Media Bias/Fact Check, an independent site that classifies various sources based on their reliability and bias.

US military successfully tested ballistic missile intercept system
On October 28, 2018, the US military aboard the USS John Finn successfully detected, tracked and targeted and a medium-range ballistic missile off the west coast of Hawaii.
i. It was done by an SM-3 Block IIA missile and is the 3rd attempt so far.
ii. Previously, the US military had two failed intercept tests, in June 2017 and January 2018.
iii. The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is a part of the US-Japan Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system.

First indigenously overhauled Sukhoi-30 MKI handed over to IAF by 11 BRD, Ojhar
On October 28, 2018, the first indigenously overhauled Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet was handed over to the IAF.
i. It was built by the 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the Indian Air Force at Ojhar in Maharashtra’s Nashik district.
ii. It will be deployed with the Air Force base in Pune.
iii. It was handed over at a ceremony held at the Air Force Station Ojhar, about 200km from Mumbai:
By Air Marshal Hemant Sharma, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Maintenance Command
To Air Marshal H S Arora, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command.
About the Sukhoi-30 MKI:
♦ Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a twin-jet multi-role air superiority aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
♦ The first Su-30MKI overhauled by 11 BRD took off on April 24.
About The 11 BRD:
♦ Established : 1974.

Vikram: lander for soft landing on the Moon successfully tested by ISRO
On October 26, 2018, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted crucial tests for smooth and precise landing ofVikram, the lander aboard Chandrayaan 2.
i. The Lander Actuator Performance Test (LAPT)  aimed to assess the performance of the navigational system onboard the lander.
ii. For conducting the tests, the mass had been reduced to 1/6th the actual lander.
ISRO intends to launch Chandrayaan-2 sometime in January 2019. The Mission will have an orbiter, lander and a rover.
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ Chairman: Dr. K. Sivan.


Simona Halep becomes first recipient of Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy
On 26th October 2018, world number one Simona Halep has become the first recipient of the Chris Evert Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) World No.1 Trophy.

Key Points:
i. 27-year-old Simona Halep, has won the Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy, following her first Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros and the WTA Year-End world number one singles award for the second consecutive year.
ii. The Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy has been named after WTA’s first-ever world number one Chris Evert.
iii. Chris Evert became the first ever WTA World No.1 on November 3, 1975 and stayed on the top spot for 260 weeks.
iv. She was also the first player to hold the distinction of WTA Year-End World No.1.
v. The Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy has a silver star-map tennis ball that represents the tennis universe. All-time world number ones are illustrated by a diamond in the sky.

Belgium occupies Top Spot in FIFA Rankings, India Stays at 97
Belgium has secured number one spot in the latest FIFA’s world rankings released on 25th October 2018.
i. Belgium and France were tied at the top spot in September 2018. Belgium, with 1,733 points, moved forward by a single point and has secured the top spot.
ii. Brazil remains in third position, followed by Croatia and England. India remains at 97th place.
iii. Gibraltar, which only became FIFA member in 2016, has reached its best ranking of 190.

2018 Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary
From 20th to 28th October 2018, 2018 Senior World Wrestling Championships, was held in Budapest, Hungary.

Key Points:
i. It was the 15th edition of World Wrestling Championships of combined events.
ii. A 30-member Indian team led by Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medalist Bajrang Punia represented India.
iii. Jagminder Singh was the chief coach of freestyle team and Kuldeep Malik was in charge of women’s squad. India won 2 medals: 1 bronze medal and 1 silver medal.
iv. India’s 24-year-old Pooja Dhanda from Haryana defeated Grace Jacob Bhullen of Norway 10-7 and won bronze medal in the 57kg category.
v. She has become the 4th Indian woman wrestler to have won a medal (all bronze) at the World Championships.
vi. India’s Bajrang Punia, won a silver medal in the 65kg freestyle division. He lost to Japanese Takuto Otoguro in the final.
vii. Russia topped the Men’s Freestyle and Men’s Greco-Roman category. Japan topped the Women’s Freestyle category.

Khalin Joshi wins Panasonic Open India for his maiden Asian Tour title
On 28th October 2018, Indian golfer Khalin Joshi won the Panasonic Open India title at the Delhi Golf Club, in New Delhi.
Key Points:
i. Khalin Joshi, the 26-year-old golfer, secured a record-equalling winning score of 17-under 271 in the final. He won a cash prize of $72,000.
ii. This is his first Asian Tour title. He also became the 7th Indian to win the Panasonic Open India title in the last 8 editions of the tournament.
iii. Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman finished second with a par on the 18th and won a cash prize of $44,000.
iv. India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu, and Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai shot a 70 and a 69 and shared the third spot. They received a cash prize of $22,600 each.
v. Total prize money of the Panasonic Open was $400,000.


TMC founder member Pankaj Bandyopadhyay passes away
On 26th October 2018, Pankaj Bandyopadhyay, a founding member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), died following a long term illness, in Kolkata.
i. He was 72 years old.  He was also former leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly.
ii. He joined the Congress during late 1960s. He became an MLA from Tollygunge constituency in 1972 and 1996.
iii. He joined TMC when it was formed in 1998. He was the chairman of TMC’s policy-making body. He retired from active politics in 2006.

Veteran BJP leader and former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana passes away
On 27th October 2018, former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana passed away following a long term illness, in New Delhi.

Key Points:
i. Madan Lal Khurana was 82 years old. He belonged to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) party.
ii. He was the chief minister of Delhi from 1993 to 1996. He was the governor of Rajasthan in 2004.
Some museums in Delhi:
♦ Ghalib Museum
♦ National Rail Museum
♦ Children’s Museum, Siri Fort

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