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Union Cabinet Approvals – October 13 2016
i. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on General Cooperation with New Development Bank (NDB) through the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism by Government at the level of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs/ Export Import Bank of India
ii. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on April 7, 1999
iii. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Hungary on cooperation in the field of water management.
iv. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the Russian Federation on Expansion of Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation.
v. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of an Indian Institute of Management school in Jammu among other approvals that were cleared.
vi. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the construction of a new link between Sahibganj bypass in Jharkhand to Manihari bypass in Bihar, including a four-lane bridge on river Ganga.
CM Khattar raised ‘Haryana ek Haryanvi ek’ slogan to eradicate casteism
i. Raising the slogan ‘Haryana ek Haryanvi ek’, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar urged people of the state to help eradicate casteism from the society for the development of the state.
ii. He addressed a gathering during the Dussehra festival in Panchkula’s HUDA ground that It was a social evil. We needed to eradicate it, so that our society develops and people can get opportunities on the basis of their qualification and not on the basis of their caste.
iii. The 10-day celebration includes Ramleela which showcases various facets of Lord Ram’s life and people can learn from him. The ideals he followed in life hold equal significance today as well. Corruption is also an evil and government requires support from each of the citizens to eradicate it
iv. Making an appeal to the people to ensure cleanliness in their surroundings and participate in Centre’s Swachh Abhiyan programme, Khattar also laid emphasis on the need to respect women at home as well as in the society.
Maharashtra govt extends fee waiver to students with Rs 6L family
i. Devendra Fadnavis lead Maharashtra government decided to extend fee waiver to students for professional and higher education courses, including medical and engineering.
ii. Before SC/ST students had 100 per cent fee waiver while OBC students had 50 per cent concession. Now it is extended to all students with income limit of Rs 6 lakhs and who have secured more than 60 per cent marks at the time of admission.
iii.Those with income limit upto Rs 2.5 lakhs will have no condition
Other schemes in the line :
♦ Punjabrao Deshmukh scheme – to provide hostel fees to children of marginal farmers and registered labourers.
♦ Pandit Deendayal Upadhay Swayam Yojana – for providing hostel and food facilities to tribal students.
Draft Water Bill suggested basin-level management
i. The Centre has brought final draft of the National Water Framework Bill, 2016, that stresses managing water at basin-level and “right measurement” of State’s contribution to river system to resolve conflicts.
ii. The draft Bill combined for establishing River Basin Authority for each inter-State basin to ensure “optimum and sustainable” development of rivers and valleys.
iii. The comprehensive draft Bill proposed model law for all states. However, water being a State subject under VII Schedule of constitution the law would be not binding on States for adoption.
iv. Every person had a right to sufficient quantity of safe water for life within easy reach of the household regardless of his/her socio-economic factors. All basin states have equitable rights over the use of river water provided such use does not violate the right to water for life of any person in the river basin.
National Seismic Programme(NSP) inaugurated in Odisha
i. Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the National Seismic Programme(NSP) at Taranga in Baleswar district of Odisha.
ii. The NSP aimed to undertake a fresh appraisal in all sedimentary basins across India, especially where no/scanty data is available, to have a better understanding of the hydrocarbon potential of India.
iii. Inaugurating the event, the Union minister ststed that No attempt had been made to explore the natural gas and oilfor last 25 years. This work had begun for which over Rs.5000 cr. would be spent.
iv. While ONGC has been assigned to carry out 2D seismic API of approximately 40,835 Line Kilo Meter (LKM) in onland part of 26 sedimentary basins in 18 states and union territories including Odisha’s Mahanadi basin, OIL has been assigned to carry out 2D seismic API of 7408 LKM in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
v. The 2D seismic survey of unapprised area in Mahanadi Basin (Onland) would establish potential of hydrocarbon resources in the state
BANKING & FINANCE
India now the 12th largest holder of US govt bonds
i. India’s investments in US government bonds reached 123.7 billion dollars, making it the 12 largest holder of American bonds.
ii. While China’s exposure(first) to US bonds stood at 1.22 trillion dollars, and Japan’s exposure(second) stood at 1.15 trillion dollars.
iii. Among the BRICS nations – India has the third highest holdings of US government bonds, after China and Brazil.
iv. Other countries in the top ten are Ireland (3), Cayman Islands (4), Brazil (5), Switzerland (6), Luxembourg (7), the UK (8), Taiwan (9) and Hong Kong (10).
India, Russia ink pact to set up 25 irradiation centers for perishable food
i. India and Russia signed a pact to set up 25 integrated infrastructure centers for irradiation treatment of perishable food items.
ii. At least 7 centers will be set up in Maharashtra.
iii. Perishable items ranging from flowers to fish will be treated there on a commercial scale.
iv. The agreement was signed between Russia’s United Innovation Corporation (UIC), a subsidiary of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and Hindustan Agro Co-op Ltd on the sidelines of the BRICS Business Forum.
Andhra inked pact with Russia’s JSC United Shipping Corp
i. The Economic Development Board of Andhra Pradesh signed a pact with Russia’s JSC United Shipping Corporation for setting up a ship-building unit in the state.
ii. The EDB signed another memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia’s Techno NICOL Corporation for establishing a world-class manufacturing complex in Visakhapatnam district to produce membranes, shingles and other waterproofing and roofing products
iii. The MoUs were signed in the presence of visiting Russian Minister for Trade and Industry Denis Menturov and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
iv. United, the largest ship-building company in Russia, and the EDB would jointly explore the “prospects of potential collaboration” for organisation of cargo and passenger transportation as well as design and construction of civil watercraft
PetroFed signs MoU with TERI to undertake a study on Climate Change Risks
i. An apex society of entities in the Hydrocarbon sector, PetroFed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TERI(The Energy and Resources Institute) to undertake study on “Climate Change Risks: Preparedness for Oil and Gas Sector“.in the presence of Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C), Petroleum & Natural Gas and Sh. K.D. Tripathi, Secretary in New Delhi.
ii. The study will also provide a comprehensive analysis of threats posed by Climate change to Oil & Gas sector and shall provide a way forward to tackle the challenges posed by climate change.
iii. The study will suggest suitable measures for the Oil & Gas sector to achieve Indias INDC target of reducing emission intensity of GDP by 33.35 per cent below the levels in 2005 by 2030.
iv. The share of gas in the Indian energy basket is 6.5 to 7 per cent while the world average is 24 per cent. India aspires to take the share of gas to 15 per cent in the next 3 to 5 years so as to have a new gas based economy.
♦ It is a research institute to conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
♦ Headquarters : New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1974
♦ Director General : Dr. Ajay Mathur
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Renowned songwriter Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature
i. The singer and songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” in the words of the Swedish Academy.
ii. Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation.
iii. Nevertheless, early songs such as “Blow in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changing’“ became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war Leaving behind his initial base in the American folk music revival, his six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone”, recorded in 1965, enlarged the range of popular music.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Antonio Guterres – Next Secretary General for UN
i. The UN General Assembly(UNGA) will appoint Antonio Guterres as next Secretary-General to replace the retiring Ban Ki-moon on 1 January next year.
ii. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres is a Portuguese politician and diplomat who is the designate Secretary-General of the United Nations. Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He also served for a time as President of the Socialist International.
iii. He was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, and in October 2016 the United Nations General Assembly elected him by acclamation to become the next United Nations Secretary-General, succeeding the retiring Ban Ki-moon.
iv. On 29 February 2016, Guterres submitted his nomination as Portugal’s candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection
Bank of Baroda appoints P V Sindhu and K Srikanth as brand ambassadors
i. Vadodara based Bank of Baroda has roped badminton Olympians P V Sindhu and K Srikanth as brand ambassadors of BOB for three years. It was officially announced by Mayank Mehta, executive director of BOB.
ii. They will replace cricketer Rahul Dravid who was appointed as brand ambassador of BOB in 2005.
iii. Previous week P V Sindhu appointed as Brand Ambassador Of Vizag Steel
Other Bank’s ambassador :
♦ Virat Kohli – Brand ambassador of Punjab National Bank
♦ Sachin Tendulkar – Brand ambassador of Royal Bank of Scotland
♦ Shikhar Dhawan – Brand ambassador of Canara Bank
Amrit Lugun concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the State of Eritrea
i. Shri Amrit Lugun has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the State of Eritrea, with residence in Khartoum(Sudan).
ii. She is currently working as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of the Sudan
State of Eritrea
♦ Capital: Asmara
♦ Currency: Eritrean nakfa
♦ President : Isaias Afwerki
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Kolkata researchers used human hair to produce cathodes for solar cells
i. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata had used human hair to produce cost-effective, metal-free cathodes for use in solar cells.
ii. This is the first instance where a bio-waste-derived electrode has been used as cathode in a quantum dot sensitised solar cell device.
iii. IISER researchers have developed graphitic porous carbon cathode by cleaning and drying human hair and treating with sulphuric acid to achieve pre carbonization.
iv. This efficient green cathode achieves highly catalytic graphitic porous carbon stage at
optimum temperature of 850 degrees C.
v. Producing graphitic porous carbon cathode using human hair is simple, quick and inexpensive. It has potential to bring down the cost of solar cells.
Tamim Iqbal 1st Bangladeshi to reach 5,000 ODI runs
i. Opener Tamim Iqbal has become the first Bangladeshi to score 5000 runs in One-Day International cricket.The success came for during his innings against England in the third and final ODI match of the series at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
ii. Notably, Bangladesh have leveled the series by 1-1.When Tamim touched the milestone, his average run rate was 32.49.
iii. A few minutes after his achievement, Tamim was taken out by England legbreak bowler Adil Rashid for 45 runs off 68 balls.The left-handed opener also became the highest century-maker for his country in ODI cricket during the recent Afghanistan seri
iv .Heworked seven centuries and 33 half centuries in this format to hold the record of having most centuries and half centuries among Bangladesh players.
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies, ending reign of world’s longest serving monarch
i. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej – the world’s longest-serving monarch, died at the age of 88, heralding a potential new bout of instability for the politically volatile country and its military rulers.
ii. Bhumibol Adulyadej known as King Bhumibol the Great, was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri Dynasty as Rama IX. Having reigned since 9 June 1946, he was, at the time of his death, the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for 70 years, 126 days.
iii. In 1957, a military coup overthrew the unpopular government of Field MarshalPlaek Phibulsongkram with allegations of lèse majesté, which is an offense against the dignity of the monarch, punishable under Thai law.
iv. This began a new and long-lasting relationship between the monarch and military in governmental matters. Although Bhumibol did invite public criticism in a 2005 speech,the lèse majesté laws have not been revoked by the Thai parliament.
Nobel Prize Winning Italian Playwright Dario Fo Dead
i. Italian satirical dramatist Dario Fo, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1997, died at the age of 90, prompting an outpouring of tributes for a provocative playwright unafraid to clash with authority.
ii. The writer and actor suffered to complications arising from a lung condition he had suffered for several years was reported by his doctor.
iii. His 1974 absurdist play “We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay,” about a group of housewives who sneak groceries from supermarkets unbeknownst to their husbands, caused him to be prosecuted as an accessory to the crime when several Italian women were arrested for doing just that. The prosecutor claimed the play had incited incidents of mass theft. He was acquitted.
iv. His anti-conformist stance and commitment to political and social causes involved him in numerous court cases and controversies with the Italian state, police, censors, television and even the Vatican.
v. Dario Fo was born on 24 March 1926.He was an Italian actor-playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter and political campaigner of the Italian left-wing, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Dayanand Anant Passes Away At 88
i. Renowned writer and litterateur Dayanand Anan passed away in Bhowali, Uttarakhand on October 13 2016. He was 88.
ii. Anan penned two short story books, three novels, five TV dramas and many comics and satires. He also translated many stories from other languages to Hindi.
iii. He worked as Public Relations Officer with the Russian Embassy.
iv. He started a tabloid by the name of ‘Parvatiya Times‘ in 1980 and remained its editor for a decade.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Twinkle Khanna unveiled the title of her new book
i. Twinkle Khanna, who after a stint as an actress, has established herself as an interior designer, author and popular columnist, on Wednesday announced her second book titled “The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad”.
ii. The new book of stories that would hopefully make us laugh a lot and sigh a little. ‘The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad’,” Twinkle tweeted about her book.
iii .Her debut book “Mrs Funny bones” was one of the bestsellers last year.Twinkle also announced that her new book is up for pre-orders on various websites.
iv. The daughter of actress Dimple Kapadia and late superstar Rajesh Khanna was married to Bollywood hero Akshay Kumar. Together, they have two children — son Aarav and daughter Nitara.
World Sight day – October 13 2016
i. World Sight Day is observed every year on the second Thursday of October to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment.
ii. It was originally initiated by the Sight First Campaign of Lions Club International Foundation in 2000.
iii. It has since been integrated into VISION 2020 and is coordinated by IAPB in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
iv. 2016 Theme – “Stronger Together“
International Day for Disaster Reduction – 13 October 2016
i. The International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
ii. 2016 Theme: Live To Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality
iii. The 2016 edition marks the launch of the new “Sendai Seven” campaign by UNISDR, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the first of which is reducing disaster mortality.
iv. The campaign seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world.
♦ United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Head: Robert Glasser
♦ Parent organization: United Nations Secretariat