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On the sidelines of meeting held on October 19, 2015 Foreign Investment Proposal Board (FIPB), headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has approved 4 FDI proposals amounting to Rs 384.45 crore.
- With the approval of 4 proposals, FIPB has also rejected 5 proposals and 4 proposals have been deferred.
In the recent Bihar Assembly elections, the Grand Alliance of Nitish Kumar surpassed the BJP led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in all regions of Bihar with vote share of 41.9% and become the Chief Minister of Bihar for the third time. NDA had its vote share at 34.2%.
Grand alliance – 178
NDA – 58
Others – 7
As per interim economic outlook report of Paris based Think Tank Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.2% this fiscal.
- It will be followed by 7.3% in 2016-17 and 7.4% in 2017-18 periods.
- The latest figures are slightly lower than the projection of 7.3% in 2015-16 and 7.4 % growth in 2016-17 made by OECD in June 2015.
$273 million loan agreement has been inked between Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India (GOI) for the improvement of rural roads in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
- The loan is a part of $800 million Rural Connectivity Investment Program supports the government’s objectives under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
- The loan represents the third and last tranche of RCIP.
Centre approves Rs 2100 crore for Karnataka, Gujarat under NDRF
The Centre on Monday approved Rs. 2,100 crore funds under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for Karnataka and Gujarat, which recently faced drought and floods respectively.
The high-level meeting for Central assistance to states affected by natural disasters was chaired by Rajnath Singh(Home Minister)
- Arun Jaitley (Finance Minister)
- Arvind Panagariya (NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman)
- Sanjeev Balyan (Agriculture Minister) and other officials.
The approval of the assistance from the NDRF with reference to Karnataka of Rs.1,540 crore and for Gujarat of Rs.562 crore.
International Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 startes in Shillong
Theme song: Ko Mei Ramew
International Terra Madre or Slow Food festival(One of India’s biggest food festival) bringing in food of indigenous tribes from nearly 60 countries inaugurated at the Convocation Hall of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, Meghalaya. It is a 5-day long unique event. Prof Krishna Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, NEHU greeted the representatives.
- It is the collaboration between Slow Food, the Indigenous Partnership for Agro biodiversity and Food Sovereignty and the North East Slow Food and Agro biodiversity Society (NESFAS).
There were some almighty performances from a combined cultural group of Khasi, Jaintia, Garo and Rabha artistes. Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma addressed that his government wished to make Meghalaya as the most favoured and most talked about destination.
- Founder of the Slow Food movement: Carlo Petrini(Italian)
- The coffee table book ‘Meghalaya: Sifting Through the Clouds’ was released by the chief minister and Phrang Roy. A video clip of scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan was also presented.
As per the Global Property Consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) latest Asia-Pacific City Investment Intensity Index, Bengaluru was among the top-20 destinations globally.
- New Delhi was ranked at 34th and Mumbai at 42nd
- This index from JLL determines the real estate market liquidity and acts as a barometer of a city’s overall attractiveness to investors in the last three years.
India re-elected to UNCITRAL for 6 years term
India has maintained its robust record of winning elections as it has been re-elected to the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the 6 years term from 2016-2022.
- As a member, India has been playing an active role in the UN legal bodies which include International Court of Justice (ICJ), International law Commission (ILC), International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and UNCITRAL.
- The Assembly elected 23 members to UNICTRAL for six-year terms including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Turkey, the US and Venezuela.
UNCITRAL is recognised as the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law for over 40 years.
UNESCO Rejects Kosovo Membership
The United Nations cultural agency(UNESCO) rejected Kosovo’s proposal for membership after Kosovo failed to receive the support of two-thirds of the body’s member nations.
Polling: Out of 142 votes, 92 were in favor of Kosovo’s UNESCO membership 50 countries voted ‘no’ , 22 withdrawn from voting.
- Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.
Kosovo has won membership in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It had promised that if it became a UNESCO member, it would protect the cultural heritage of Serbia, despite tensions that have stick around since the war.
- UNESCO(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization): specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) to add to peace and security by promoting international cooperation through education, science, and culture.
- HQ: Paris, France
- Head: Irina Bokova
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Iran has appointed its first woman ambassador Marzieh Afkham since the 1979 Islamic revolution announced by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced at a ceremony in Tehran.She will be replaced the ministry Jaber Ansari.
About Marzieh Afkham:
- Marzieh Afkham is an Iranian diplomat who is the former spokeswoman and head of the Center for Public and Media Diplomacy in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Marzieh Afkham was currently working as a foreign ministry spokesperson to head its embassy in Malaysia. Afkham was the first woman in the Islamic republic to serve as foreign ministry spokeswoman.
Indian-American appointed to key university position in Texas
Indian-American Ashok Mago(Padma Shri awardee) has been appointed as a member of Board of Regents of the University of North Texas in the US by Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a six-year term ending on May 22, 2021.
Ashok Mago: He is the founding chairman of the Greater Dallas Indo American Chamber(now US-INDIA Chamber) and board member of the Primary Care Clinic of North Texas, advisory board member of BBVA Compass Bank in Dallas.
- He was awarded Padma Shri in 2014.
RBI Governor appointed Vice Chairman on BIS Board
Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, was appointed as the Vice-Chairman, the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), at its meeting in Basel for three years from November 10, 2015.
- He joined the BIS Board of Directors in December 2013. He will work with BIS chairman Jens Weidmann, who is also president of Germany’s Bundesbank.
About Raghuram Rajan:
He is 23rd Governor of Reserve Bank of India(RBI). Rajan served as chief economic adviser to India’s Ministry of Finance and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2007.
- 2003- Fischer Black Prize awarded by the American Finance Association
- 2013- Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics
- 2014- Best Central Bank Governor award by Euromoney Magazine.
- 2014- Governor of the Year Award from London-based financial journal Central Banking.
Justice AP Shah appointed as the Ethics Officer (Ombudsman) at BCCI
The former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah has been designated as the ethics officer (ombudsman) at Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 1 year tenure during Board’s 86th Annual General Meeting.
- He will act as sole decision maker on all conflict of interest issues plaguing Indian cricket.
- He was the Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India
- He was also the Chairman of the Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Finance in May 2015 to look into Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).
Also, to avoid conflicts AGM had made amendment in the board that any member who is an employee of the board can’t be part of any committees in the BCCI.
Jayant Krishna appointed as interim CEO of NSDC
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been designated principal consultant at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Jayant Krishna as its interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
- He will succeed Dilip Chenoy and will assume this charge until the selection and appointment of the new MD & CEO.
He was appointed by three-member committee comprised Rohit Nandan (secretary, ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship) Lakshmi Narayan of Cognizant and R V Kanoria (FICCI representative on the NSDC board).
- NSDC has been facing allegations against its functioning on Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) aims to offer skill training to 2.4 million youth.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
A puncture-proof tyre technology invented by Sameer Panda from Odisha state bag Nasa award for finding solution to tyre bursts.
- Event Name : Create the Future Design Contest- 2015
- Organiser : Nasa and Society of Automobile Engineers,International
- Venue : New York
- Participants : Thousands of young scientists from 60 countries.
- Winners : Eight teams received the awards and 32 inventions found a place in Nasa’s official publication in the special issue of November.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Indian astronomers discover rare giant radio galaxy
A team of astronomers working at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) has discovered an extremely rare galaxy of gigantic size by using the world’s largest radio telescope operating at low frequencies.
- The newly discovered galaxy “J021659-044920” is situated at nine billion light years away which emits powerful radio waves.
- It has been caught in its dying phase where the giant radio lobes have started fading due to the loss of energy during radio wave emission.
The team was led by a Prathamesh Tamhane, a final year BSMS student of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER-Pune) working under the supervision of Dr Yogesh Wadadekar at NCRA, used the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to detect the galaxy.
- The GMRT is an array of 30 fully steerable, 45 metre diameter antennas, spread out over a 30 km region in a town in Pune.
- The GMRT was built and is operated by NCRA and has been in operation since 2002.
India stay at second spot in ODI rankings
After ODI loss to South Africa in the five-match series, India retained the second spot in the latest ICC rankings.
- Pakistan resume their one-day rivalry against sixth-placed England with a four match series are lying at the eight spot.
- In the T20 list, India are placed at the sixth spot with Sri Lanka leading the race with 126 points.
Odisha’s Barabati stadium excluded from BCCI’s new Test venues
The Board of Control for Cricket in India excluded Barabati stadium in Cuttack from the list of newly declared Test venues announced at the Board’s 86th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai.
Test venues : Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Indore, Pune, Dharamsala and Rajkot
Reason behind this :
India’s batting display in the 2nd T20 International against South Africa last month, fans had hurled plastic bottles onto the ground forcing the match referees to stop the match for some time.
Key points :
- BCCI Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashthtra
- BCCI President : Shashank Manohar
Choudhry Harpal Singh – Former BKU general secretary passes away
Former general secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Choudhry Harpal Singh(80) passed away at his native village of Sadruddin Nagar in the district.
- Singh was participated in the BKU-led agitations at Meerut in 1988 and in Bhopa in 1989.
About of Bhartiya Kisan Union :
- Bharatiya Kisan Sangh(BKS) is an Indian farmers’ representative organisation affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
- It is one of the well-knownSangh Parivar organization formed for the first time Bhartiya Kisan Sangh in Madhya Pradesh in 1978.
World Science Day for Peace and Development
World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November every year.
- Purpose : To demonstrate to the wider public why science is relevant to their daily lives and to engage them in debate on related issues.
- Organization : UNESCO, World Conference on Science.
- Theme : Science for a Sustainable Future.
Every year intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific research institutions, professional associations, universities, municipalities, the media, science teachers, schools and others are encouraged to organize their own celebration of World Science Day.