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Union Minister Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated Gujarat’s first Mega Food Park in Surat
On October 29, 2018, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first Mega Food Park- The Gujarat Agro Mega Food Park, in Surat, Gujarat.
ii. This has been set up in 70.15 acre of land at a cost of Rs. 117.87 crore.
iii. Various facilities in the Food Park include:
- Multi Chamber Cold Store of 3,500 MT (1,500 MT Frozen & 2,000 MT MA),
- Warehouse of 5,000 MT,
- IQF of 2 TPH,
- Pulping Line,
- QC Laboratory etc.
iv. It also has 4 PPCs at Bharuch, Padra (Vadodara), Valsad and Navsari having facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms.
v. It will leverage an additional investment of about Rs. 250 crores in 25-30 food processing units in the park.
vi. It is also expected to generate a turnover of about Rs. 450-500 crore annually.
vii. It will benefit the the people of Surat District and Districts of Navsari, Tapi, Narmada & Bharuch and provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and 25,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC.
viii. Additionally, a 2nd Mega Food Park has been sanctioned by the Ministry in Mehsana District of Gujarat.
To reduce food wastage, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country. Primary processing and storage is created in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs).
Under the Scheme, Government of India provides financial assistance upto Rs. 50.00 Crore per Mega Food Park project.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries:
♦ Union Minister: Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
♦ Minister of State: Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
♦ Secretary: Smt. Pushpa Subrahmanyam.
Train 18: India’s first engineless semi-high speed train set for trials
On October 29, 2018, India released its first semi-high speed train called- Train 18.
ii.It was developed by the city-based Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in 18 months as part of the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
iii.It cost nearly Rs 100 crore and will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi.
iv.The ICF will make six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches.
About the Train:
i.It will have the following amenities:
GPS-based passenger information system,
zero discharge bio-vaccum toilets.
i.With the roll out of the Train 18, the railways next project will be introducing the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains called: Train20.
ii.This train type will replace Rajdhani Express and will be rolled out by 2020.
About Integral Coach Factory:
General Manager: Shri. Sudhanshu Mani.
Conference on Innovation in Cyberspace, Cyber Security Challenges & Innovations organized by DRDO
On October 29, 2018, Defence Research and Development Organization, DRDO organized a day-long conference on Innovation in Cyberspace, Cyber Security – Challenges and Innovations,held in DRDO Bhawan,NewDelhi.
i. Secretary, Department of Defence, Research and Development, and Chairman, DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy stressed on work on the cyberspace area.
3-day India Mobile Congress held at Aerocity, New Delhi
On October 27, 2018, the 3-day long 2nd edition of India Mobile Congress concluded at Aerocity, New Delhi.
i. It was inaugurated by Shri Manoj Sinha,Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications.
ii. It was organized by the Department of Telecommunications, GOI and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
iii. The theme for this year was: “ New Digital Horizons. Connect. Create. Innovate.” .
iv. More than 5,000 delegates, delegations from 20 countries and more than 300 companies participated in the event.
v. Also, delegations from several BIMSTEC and ASEAN countries such as Ministers from the European Commission, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Lao PDR led their respective delegations.
vi. Among the companies, Samsung, Intel, Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, NEC, Accenture, KPMG, E&Y, Facebook, Huawei, Sterlite, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, Airtel, and BSNL were present. Also 200 start-ups participated in this event.
vii. The exhibition covered a variety of topics like:
5G, Internet of Things, Augmented and Virtual Reality,Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Smart City Solutions, Fintech, Health-Tech, Autonomous Cars, and Cyber Security, amongst others.
Announcements in the Event:
i. Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurated release of 250 start-up applications at the IMC 2018.
ii. The Government of India announced the commitment of the industry to rollout One Million WiFi Hotspots in the Country by December 2019.
iii. The National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) 2018 was also unveiled. This would free up a total of 605 MHz spectrum in the 5-GHz band for Wi-Fi services.
iv. Several spectrum bands for Short Range Devices and Ultra Wide Band Devices were madelicense exempt.
v. These were all part of Centre’s recently released National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018.
Shri. Sinha also participated in the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in early 2018.
Department of Telecommunications:
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Manoj Sinha.
♦ Secretarty (and Chairman, Telecom Commission, Government of India): Ms. Aruna Sundararajan.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI):
♦ Headquarters: Delhi.
♦ Chairman: Sunil Sood.
♦ Founded: 1995.
India’s first container movement on inland waterways to move 16 PEPSICO containers from Kolkata to Varanasi
On October 29, 2018, as part of the country’s first container movement on inland vessel post-independence in the Inland Waterways sector, the IWAI would transport a PepsiCo India cargo from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).
i. PepsiCo (India) will move 16 containers – equivalent to 16 truckloads in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will reach Varanasi in 9-10 days.
ii. MV RN Tagore will make its return journey with fertilizers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad.
iii. The vessel will be flagged off by Secretary (Shipping), Govt. of India, Shri Gopal Krishna along with Chairman, IWAI, Shri Pravir Pandey.
iv. Additionally, IWAI would hand over the operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to M/s Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd. (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model.
i. The government is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the help of World Bank at a cost of Rs 5369 crore.
ii. This would provide commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.
Ministry for Shipping:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Pon Radhakrishnan, Shri. Mansukh L. Mandaviya.
Inland Waterway Authority of India:
♦ Headquarters: Noida, UP.
♦ Chairman: Shri. Pravir Pandey.
Gujarat CM Rupani launched Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Pax service
On October 27, 2018, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the “Ro-Pax” (roll on/off-passenger) ferry service connecting Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej in south Gujarat.
i. The inaugural vessel- Voyage Symphony was flagged off from the RORO terminal at Ghogha, Bhavnagar and will pass through the Gulf of Cambay.
ii. It will cut the distance between Ghogha and Dahej via sea route to just 30 kilometres from 300 kms and reduce the time from 10-12 hours to 1.5 hours.
iii. The ferry can carry around 60 trucks, five to seven buses, 35-40 cars and an equal number of bikes in addition to 525 passengers.
iv. The service would be operated by Surat-based Indigo Seaways Pvt Ltd (ISPL) and Gujarat Maritime Board under the public-private partnership model.
v. Furthermore, the passenger service will be made operational between Hazira and Ghogha and will be extended till Mumbai.
In October 2017, PM Narendra Modi launched passenger ferry — Island Jade between Ghogha (Bhavnagar district) and Dahej (Bharuch district).
♦ Capital: Gandhinagar.
♦ Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani.
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli.
♦ Ahmedabad: India’s First world heritage city, Manchester of India, Boston of India.
♦ Baroda(Vadodara): Banyan City, Power Hub of India, Cultural capital of Gujarat.
Punjab, Centre joined hands in war against stubble burning
On October 29, 2018, Punjab and central government joined hands to stop stubble burning and took up responsibilities educate farmers against it through various departments.
i. Goods and Services Tax (GST) Commissionerate in Ludhiana purchased 2 seeder machines and given them to Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Samrala.
ii. Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) deputed their officials to talk to farmers.
iii. CII in collabration with ReNew Power, an independent power producer, took up a project, ‘Clean air better life’ to make 5,000 acres stubble-burning free.
iv. They also took up the task to educate 500 big farmers.
World’s largest airport ‘under one roof’ opened in Istanbul, Turkey
On October 29, 2018, the world’s largest airport terminal under one roof with a capacity to serve 90 million passengers was opened in Istanbul, Turkey.
ii. It has been constructed by – IGA and the first phase costed 7.5 billion Euro.
iii. It has five pier blocks as well as 77 boarding gates and 143 aero-bridges.
iv. The airport has been envisioned to have a total capacity of up to 200 million passengers, once all four phases are completed in the next 10 years.
♦ Capital: Ankara.
♦ Currency: Turkish lira.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI, Hitachi Payments formed joint venture for digital payment platform
On October 29, 2018, State Bank of India (SBI) and payments solution provider Hitachi Payment Services India entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for establishing a card acceptance and digital payment platform .
i. According to the joint venture (JV), Hitachi will pick up 26 per cent stake in SBI Payment Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI.
ii. The JV will have:
- Various payment options to customers and merchants,
- Rollout of a nationwide card acceptance infrastructure,
- Quick response (QR) code acceptance,
- Unified Payment Interface (UPI),
- Helping the mass transit sector and e-commerce businesses.
At 2,500 point of sale (PoS) per million people, the penetration of payment acceptance infrastructure is still low.
Hitachi Payment Services India:
♦ Headquarters: Chennai.
♦ MD: Bharat Kaushal.
♦ It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Group, Japan.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India topped as Asia’s most investment savvy economy: Standard Chartered
On October 29, 2018, according to a new Standard Chartered study-‘The Emerging Affluent Study 2018– Climbing the Prosperity Ladder’, India is Asia’s most investment savvy economy.
The survey markets were: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE.
i. It examined the views of 11,000 emerging affluent consumers from 11 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
ii. More than half (59%) of emerging affluent consumers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East are experiencing upward social mobility.
iii. Of these, 7% are enjoying ‘supercharged’ social mobility, not just relative to the previous generation, but compared to the rest of the socially mobile.
iv. Overall, the socially mobile class had an earnings growth, with over a third (35%) enjoying a salary increase of 10% or more in the past year and 28% seeing their earnings jump by 50% or more in the past five years.
v. Of the markets in the research, China and India lead the way, with 67% being socially mobile.
vi. ’Investment products’ refers to fixed income investments, stocks, equities, mutual funds, unit trusts, investment-linked insurance, self-invested pension funds, Real Estate Investment Trust (REITS) and real estate property funds.
i. More than two-thirds of the country’s affluent class prefer to use various investment products to achieve their financial goals.
ii. 67 per cent of Indian people belonging to this segment are using investment products to achieve their financial goals, as compared to an average figure of 52 per cent.
iii. Overall, in India,
- ‘supercharged’ social mobility amounted to 11%,
- Social Mobility amounted to 56% and
- The rest (33%) were not socially mobile.
Standard Chartered Bank:
♦ Headquarters: London.
♦ Chairman: Jose Vinals.
♦ CEO: Bill Winters.
WhatsApp, CII collaborated to train SMEs, entrepreneurs in India
On October 29, 2018, Whatsapp partnered with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to train small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs on using the messaging platform.
To help connect and grow the SMe businesses through the social messaging platform.
i. This will be done through CII’s SME Technology Facilitation Centre that was set up in November 2016.
ii. This will consist of on-ground training around the country to explain the features and best practices on the WhatsApp Business app that was launched in January 2018.
iii. The training material will be available on the CII SME website.
Over three million people are already using the WhatsApp Business app globally.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ President: Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Michael D Higgins re-elected as Irish president for second term
On October 28, 2018, Michael D Higgins was re-elected as Irish president for the 2nd term.
ii. Businessman Peter Casey came second with 23.1%.
♦ Capital: Dublin.
♦ Currency: Euro.
♦ Prime Minister: Leo Varadkar.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
IBM acquired software company Red Hat for $34 billion
On October 29, 2018, IBM had agreed to acquire U.S. software company Red Hat Inc for $34 billion, including debt.
To become the #1 hybrid cloud provider.
i. It will be by far IBM’s biggest acquisition.
ii. This MOU would diversify its technology hardware and consulting business into higher-margin products and services.
iii. The deal between IBM and Red Hat is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
iv. Also, Red Hat would continue to be led by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team.
v. Red Hat specializes in Linux operating systems, the most popular type of open-source software and would operate as a distinct unit within IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team.
♦ Founded: 1993.
♦ Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina.
♦ Founded: 1911.
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA.
♦ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer: Ginni Rometty.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Rocket carrying 1st UAE-made satellite launched from Japan
On October 29, 2018, a Japanese rocket lifted off the United Arab Emirates’ first locally made satellite, the KhalifaSat Earth observation satellite, into orbit.
i. The launch was done by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from the Tanegashima Space Center.
ii. The rocket named: H-2A, also carried an Ibuki-2 greenhouse gas observation satellite for Japan.
i. UAE aims to send its first two astronauts to the International Space Station in 2019.
ii. It also aims to send a probe on its way to Mars in 2020 and to build a science city there by 2117.
China, France launch satellite to study climate change
On 29th October 2018, the first Franco-Chinese satellite was launched into orbit to study ocean surface winds and waves, aboard a Long March 2C carrier rocket, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gobi Desert, China.
i. This satellite will predict cyclones better and improve scientists’ understanding of climate change and interactions between oceans and the atmosphere.
ii. The satellite entered orbit 520 kilometres (323 miles) above the Earth. The satellite weighs 650-kilogram (1,430 pound).
iii. This is the first satellite jointly built by China and France. This satellite is fitted with 2 radars: the French-made SWIM, which will measure the direction and the wavelength of waves, and China’s SCAT, which will analyse the force and direction of winds.
iv. The data will be collected and analysed in both China and France.
♦ Capital – Paris
♦ Currency – Euro, CFP franc
♦ Official language – French
♦ President – Emmanuel Macron
♦ Prime Minister – Édouard Philippe
World’s first bio-brick grown from human urine
Researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa have developed the world’s first bio-brick grown from human urine.
i. The bio-bricks are created through a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation.
ii. This finding is the result of waste recycling and upcycling. Loose sand is colonised with bacteria that produce urease enzyme which breaks down the urea in urine and produces calcium carbonate through a complex chemical reaction.
iii. This cements the sand into any shape. This process is environment friendly as bio-bricks are made in moulds at room temperature.
iv. The strength of bio-bricks will be based on client needs. The bio-brick process produces nitrogen and potassium as by-products, which are important components of commercial fertilisers.
v. The overall process would result in zero waste, as urine is converted into three useful products (bio brick, nitrogen and potassium).
Roger Federer wins 9th Swiss Indoors title for 99th ATP title
On 28th October 2018, Roger Federer won his 99th career ATP Tour title in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel, Switzerland.
i. Roger Federer defeated Marius Copil 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the final. This is his 9th Swiss Indoors title.
ii. He is now only 10 titles short of the all-time record. The all-time singles titles list is topped by Jimmy Connors with 109 titles.
Asian Hockey Champions Trophy (Men’s Hockey): India & Pakistan declared joint winners,Akashdeep Singh best player of the tournament
On 28th October 2018, India and Pakistan jointly won the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy title in Muscat, Oman.India’s Akashdeep Singh was adjudged player of the tournament.
i. The start of the final match was delayed due to heavy rain. As the turf was completely waterlogged the teams couldn’t play.
ii. Both India and Pakistan were declared joint winners of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy.
iii. India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament after winning over: Oman (11-0), Pakistan (3-1), Japan (9-0) and South Korea (4-1) and a game with Malaysia ended in a goalless draw.
iv. Pakistan was defeated only by India. It had won over: South Korea (3-1), Oman (1-8), Malaysia (1-0) and a game against Japan ended in a 1-1 tie.
v. Earlier, India had won the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in 2011 and 2016.
2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan, Belgium
From 23 to 27 October 2018, 2018 (ITTF) International Table Tennis Federation Challenge Belgium Open, was held in De Haan, Belgium.
i. India’s Ayhika Mukherjee won silver medal in the under-21 women’s singles category. She lost 1-3 to Korea’s Youjin Kim in the final.
ii. India’s Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty won bronze medal in the men’s doubles.
Kenyan distance runner Abraham Kiptum wins Valencia race
On 28th October 2018, Kenyan distance runner Abraham Kiptum won the men’s race at the Valencia Half Marathon in Spain with a new world best time of 58 mins 18 sec for the half-marathon.
i. The previous record was by Ethiopia’s Zersenay Tadesse who finished the Lisbon half-marathon in 58 minutes and 23 seconds in March 2010.
ii. Abraham Kiptum is 29 years old. He has a personal best time of 2 hrs 5 minutes 26 seconds for a marathon set at Amsterdam in October 2017.
iii. Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer finished in the second place with a timing of 58:33 and another Ethiopian Abadi Hadis came third in 58:44.
iv. In the women’s race Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka came first in 1:06:11, United Arab Emiartes’ Alia Mohammed Saeed came second in 1:06:13 and Kenya’s Edith Chelimo finished 3rd in 1:06:18.
Maverick Vinales Wins Australian MotoGP
On 28th October 2018, Spanish rider Maverick Viñales won the Australian MotoGP in Australia.
i. This is Maverick Viñales’s (Yamaha) first title of the season, who finished in 40mins 51.081 secs.
ii. Italy’s Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) came second in 40:52,624. Third position was occupied by Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) in 40:52.913.
Urdu writer Qazi Abdussattar passes away
On 29th October 2018, Professor and Urdu writer Qazi Abdussattar, died following a long term illness, in Delhi.
i. Qazi Abdussattar was 85 years old. He was the former head of Aligarh Muslim University’s Urdu department.
ii. He had won Padma Shri in 1974. He was the first recipient of Ghalib Academy Award in 1978.
iii. He was born in Machretta village of Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh in 1933. In 1954, he joined the Aligarh Muslim University as a researcher.
iv. He wrote short stories and historical novels. Some of his important works are: “Peetal Ka Ghanta”, “Darashiko”, “Khalidbinwalid” and “Ghalib”.
Naveen Patnaik launches EWDS system to inform people of impending calamities on Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day
On 29th October 2018, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) and the mass message system to inform people in advance of upcoming calamities on the occasion of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day.
i. The EWDS system is the first of its kind automatic public address system in India to alert the people about the possible cyclone, tsunami, etc.
ii. EWDS will help to warn the people living along the coast of Odisha from the state headquarters through alert siren system from towers installed at 122 locations.
iii. Towers have been installed at a distance of 1.5 km approximately from the coastline.
iv. Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day is observed every year on October 29, the day on which Super Cyclone hit Odisha in 1999 and killed more than 10,000 people.
v.It is a part of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project and covers 6 coastal districts namely– Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam. It has a State emergency centre in Bhubaneswar.
Some National Parks in Odisha:
♦ Bhitarkanika National Park
♦ Simlipal National Park
Vigilance Awareness Week 2018 commenced
On October 29, 2018, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) started observing the annual Vigilance Awareness Week which will continue till 3rd November, 2018.
ii. The theme for 2018 Vigilance Awareness Week is: “Eradicate Corruption-Build a New India “.
iii. The following happens during the week:
- Establishment of ‘Integrity Clubs’ in schools and colleges to cultivate ethical values,
- “Awareness Gram Sabhas” are organized for awareness about the ill-effects of corruption,
- Outreach events are also organized involving the private sector, professional associations, trade unions and associations.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Central Vigilance Commissioner: Shri. K. V. Chowdary.
♦ Vigilance Commissioner: Dr. Tejendra Mohan Bhasin, Shri. Sharad Kumar.
72nd Infantry Day Celebrations in India
On 27th October 2018, 72nd Infantry Day was celebrated in India.
i. Infantry Day is celebrated to commemorate the selfless dedication to duty by Indian Army’s Infantrymen.
ii. A wreath laying ceremony was organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, in New Delhi. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, and other senior officers, laid wreaths.
iii. Sepoy Boota Singh, a recipient of Vir Chakra in 1971 War represented the veterans.
iv. Also, Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw Memorial Lecture was organised at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment.
v. Infantry Day is celebrated on 27 October every year in India to commemorate the first Infantry action after independence.
vi. On 27 October 1947, elements of the Indian Army from 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment air landed at Srinagar and fought the raiders aided by Pakistan Army.