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Bihar Cabinet approves reservation for ‘Divyangs’ in Govt Jobs
On Oct 11th 2017 , The Bihar state cabinet has approved reservations for persons with disabilities in government jobs and educational institutions.The approval was given during a meeting presided by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Cabinet Secretariat Department Special Secretary Upendra Nath Pandey.
i. This provision was made in accordance with the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
ii. The cabinet also approved the establishment of a state advisory board for the empowerment of ‘Divyangjan’ as envisaged in the Act.
Secretaries of various departments, Representatives from districts, 2 members from the state legislative Assembly and 1 member from the state legislative Council
♦ The cabinet also decided to pay allowances to the state government employees as per the revised rates. The decision will be confirmed after a week from Diwali festival.
♦ Emoluments like family planning allowance and special pay for secretariat employees, except those involved in engineering and research activities, have been scrapped.
Kolkata to host international puppet festival
On 26th – 31st October 2017, Kolkata is to host an international Puppet festival named ‘PUN (Puppets Unite Neighbours) International Puppet Festival’ at Mohorkunj, Kolkata.PUN International Puppet Festival:
i. West Bengal principal secretary Tourism and Home Affairs Atri Bhattacharya would inaugurate the International puppet festival. The festival will be conducted for 6 days.
ii. Artists from the UK, Germany, Peru, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore and India would participate in the festival.
iii. This is the first time Kolkata would host such a festival. The puppet festival is aimed at regenerating the emotions attached to puppetry.
iv. This event is organized by RGV Events and Gems Akademia. They have been carrying out the preparations since 6 months for this festival.
♦ Puppetry – a form of performance that involves the manipulation of puppets
♦ World Puppetry Day – 21 March
Committee formed to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
On 12th October 2017, the Ministry of Culture announced that, a government committee has been formed to coordinate year-long celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary from 2nd October, 2019.
Committee to coordinate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary celebrations:
i. The government committee will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The committee includes the chief ministers of all the states, representatives from political sector, Gandhians, thinkers, and important persons from different fields.
ii. The Committee will guide and approve policies, programmes, activities for the celebrations. It will also supervise implementation of the decisions taken by the committee.
iii. The event would be celebrated at both national and international levels. The focus would be, to propagate the message of Mahatma Gandhi.
About Ministry of Culture:
♦ Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Mahesh Sharma
♦ Purpose – preservation and promotion of art and culture
Department of Post launches Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana
On 13th October 2017, the Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha launched the Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana and an initiative for expansion of clientele base of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).SBG Plan & for expansion of clientele base of PLI:
i. Under Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each of the revenue districts India.
ii. All households of that identified village will be covered with a minimum of one RPLI (Rural Postal Life Insurance) policy each.
iii. Under the expansion of clientele base of PLI, benefits of PLI will not be confined to Government and semi-Government employees anymore.
iv. It will also be available to Doctors, Engineers, Management Consultants, Charted Accountants, Architects, Lawyers, Bankers, employees of listed companies.
About Department of Posts:
♦ Services – Letter post, parcel service, EMS, delivery, freight forwarding, third-party logistics, deposit account
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Union Textiles Minister inaugurates world’s largest B2B handicraft & gifts fair
On October 12, 2017, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair (IHGF) 2017 at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
More Details about 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair (IHGF) 2017:
i. The exhibition started on October 12, 2017 and will continue till October 16, 2017.
ii. Nearly 2980 exhibitors will be showcasing their products and buyers from around 100 countries including China, Australia, the US and the UK are expected to visit this exhibition.
iii. Over 2000 products under 14 categories have been put for sale.
iv. Reputed retail and online brands such as Fab India, Westside, Trends, The Wishing Chair, Furniture Walla, Good Earth will be placing bulk purchase orders at this exhibition.
v. It is to be noted that IHGF-Delhi Fair has been recognised by Limca Book of World Records as world’s largest congregation of handicrafts exhibitors under one roof.
Dilli seminar on India & southeast Asia maritime trade begins in Kerala
The annual Dilli seminar on ‘India and Southeast Asia – Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’ began on October 13, 2017 at the Indian Naval Academy (INA) in Kerala.
More Information about Dilli seminar on ‘India and Southeast Asia – Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’:
i. Delegation of serving senior naval and coast guard officers, academicians, representatives from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and cadets of INA are taking part in this two-day seminar.
ii. Five papers, providing a detailed insight on the multifaceted impact of historic maritime trade that existed between India and Southeast Asian countries were presented on the inaugural day.
iii. On October 14, 2017, Prof Ajay Pratap Singh, HoD, History and Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), would deliberate on the ‘Economic background to India’s early maritime trade.
iv. A paper on ‘Look East to Act East policy of India Vision and Prospectus’ too will be delivered by Kailash Negi, Deputy Inspector General, Indian Coast Guard.
The Economist Intelligence Unit announces the Safe Cities Index 2017 – Tokyo 1st, Delhi ranked 43rd
i. Japan’s capital Tokyo has topped Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2017 of 60 cities. Indian cities Delhi and Mumbai have ranked 43rd and 45th respectively
ii. Top 3 Cities:
3.Osaka, Japan………………………Click here to view more detail
G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting held in Washington D.C
On 13th October 2017, the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting was held in Washington D.C., US, in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley participated. G-20 FMCBG Meeting:
i. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley participated in the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting.
ii. The discussion focused on the agenda items like Global Economy and Framework for Growth, Compact with Africa and International Financial Architecture.
iii .As co-chairs of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG), India took the lead during the Second Round of the Session on ‘’Global Economy and Framework for Growth’, which discussed the IMF’s G-20 Report on ‘Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth(SSBG)’.
♦ Purpose – Bringing together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy
♦ Chairperson – Angela Merkel
US and Israel withdraw from UNESCO
On 12th October 2017, the US and Israel announced that, they quit from the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO, after US accused UNESCO of “anti-Israeli bias”.
US and Israel quit from UNESCO:
i. The US withdrew from the UNESCO, accusing UNESCO of “anti-Israel bias”. Following US, Israel has also quit from UNESCO.
ii. The withdrawal of the US, which is supposed to provide one fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a great blow for UNESCO. As per UNESCO rules, the US and Israel withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018.
iii. US had already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member. The US and Israel were among just 14 of 194 members that voted against admitting the Palestinians.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization):
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France
♦ Director-General of UNESCO – Irina Bokova
Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation
On 12th October 2017, Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in, Cairo, Egypt.
Reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah:
i. Reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah has been signed in an effort to end a decade-long rift. Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) assembled in Cairo to implement a unity agreement that was signed in 2011, but not put into action.
ii. Head of the PA delegation Azzam al-Ahmad said that, the two sides agreed that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be operated by the presidential guards of PA President Mahmoud Abbas by 1st November 2017.
iii. The agreement states that legislative, presidential and national council elections should be conducted within one year of its signing. Details of the reconciliation deal have not yet been made public.
♦ Capital – Jerusalem
♦ Official language – Arabic
♦ President – Mahmoud Abbas
India rules out joining NPT as non-nuclear weapon state
On October 13, 2017, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Amandeep Singh Gill told the UN General Assembly that there is no possibility of India joining Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear weapon state.India’s Stand on NPT:
i. As per NPT, those countries that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before January 1, 1967 have been defined as nuclear-weapon states, whereas those countries which agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and in return get the benefits of peaceful use of nuclear technology from nuclear-weapon states are referred to as non-nuclear weapon states.
ii .Although India has ruled out the possibility of joining NPT as non-nuclear weapon state, it has reiterated its commitment to a unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.
iii. In context of use of nuclear weapons, India advocates maintaining a credible minimum deterrence based on a No-First Use policy. India has also committed to not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI Introduces Strict KYC Norms to Keep E-Wallets Safe
Through its latest set of guidelines for E-Wallets, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced strict know your customer (KYC) norms which has evoked mixed response from digital wallet companies.
i. E-Wallet firms have been instructed to ensure KYC compliance of existing users by December 31, 2017.
ii. Users who do not have stipulated KYC in place, will be allowed to keep only up to Rs 10,000 in wallets post the deadline.No credit facility will be provided to such users, if KYC is not completed within next 12 months……………………..Click here to view more detail
HDFC Bank launches SmartUp zones to nurture, collaborate with start-ups
In a bid to become preferred banker for the start-up community in India, HDFC Bank has announced the launch of SmartUp zones in its branches across India.
About HDFC Bank’s SmartUp Zones:
i. An exclusive area inside the branch premises of HDFC Bank (to be referred as SmartUp Zones) will be dedicated to start-ups.
ii. Specially trained HDFC bank staff will be present in these Smartup Zones, who will offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs.
iii. To start with, SmartUp zones will be launched in over 65 HDFC Bank branches in 30 cities including Tier-2 and-3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.
iv. In the context of this news, it is important to know that HDFC Bank has added a number of value-added services like SmartUp portal, advanced legal advisories, and industry-academia interaction, among others to its existing product called ‘SmartUp’ which was launched in 2016.
Quick Facts about HDFC Bank
♦ Founded in – 1994
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Current Managing Director – Aditya Puri
HPCL becomes first Indian oil company to trade lubricants in Myanmar
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), a public sector oil company has started selling lubricants in Myanmar. HPCL’s venture in Myanmar:
i. With this move, HPCL has become first oil company of India to start marketing lubricants in Myanmar.
ii. HPCL has started operations in Myanmar’s commercial hubs of Yangon and Mandalay.
iii .Post lifting of international sanctions on Myanmar, there has been a rapid surge in consumption of fuel and its government is exploring options to tie up with foreign companies for catering to fuel and infrastructure requirements.
iv. Other public sector oil companies of India such as Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are evaluating opportunities of fuel retailing in Myanmar.
Quick Facts about HPCL:
♦ Founded in – 1974
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Current Chairman and Managing Director – M K Surana
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
M K Sanu chosen for Mathrubhumi Literary Award
On 12th October 2017, Mathrubhumi Managing Director M P Veerendra Kumar announced that, famous critic, biographer and orator M K Sanu has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for 2016.
M K Sanu to receive Mathrubhumi Literary Award:
i. M K Sanu has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for 2016 to honour his contribution to the Malayalam literature.
ii. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs.2 lakh, a citation and a statuette. A jury headed by eminent poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri has selected Sanu for the award.
iii. Sanu is 89 years old. He is a recipient of several awards including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award, Padmaprabha Award, Kendra Sahitya Adademi Award and Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.
iv. His important works are “Changampuzha Krishnapilla”, “Nakshtrangalude Snehabhajanam”, “Narayanaguru Swami”, “Mruthyunjayam” “Kavyajeevitham”, “Viswasathilek Veendum American Sahityam” and “Prabhatha Darshanam”.About Mathrubhumi Literary Award:
♦ Instituted by – leading Malayalam daily ‘Mathrubhumi’
♦ Honours – writer’s overall contribution to the Malayalam literature
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun resigns
On 13th October 2017, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd announced that, its Vice Chairman and CEO, Oh-Hyun Kwon, had decided to step down from management.
Kwon Oh-hyun resigns:
i. Kwon Oh-hyun announced his resignation after Samsung announced its expected record operating profits of about 14.5 trillion Korean won ($12.8 billion) for the quarter ending in September 2017.
ii. The company has said that, Kwon will not opt for re-election to the Samsung’s board, once his current term ends in March, 2018. He will also resign as CEO of Samsung Display, a position he held since 2016.
iii. Kwon told Samsung employees in a letter that, the time was right for him to step down, and that it was in the best interest of the company. He joined Samsung in 1985 as a researcher and was made CEO in 2012.
About Samsung Electronics Co Ltd:
♦ South Korean multinational electronics company
♦ President & CEO – JK Shin
Rukaiya Rangwala appointed as head of MobiKwik Payment Gateway
On 13th October 2017, MobiKwik, mobile wallet service and payment gateway provider, announced the appointment of Rukaiya Rangwala as the Business Head of ‘MobiKwik Payment Gateway’.Rukaiya Rangwala – Business Head of ‘MobiKwik Payment Gateway’:
i. MobiKwik had recently re-launched its Payment Gateway. Rukaiya Rangwala would lead the Payment Gateway business of MobiKwik.
ii. Rukaiya has 15 years of experience in the technology and e-commerce industry. Prior to joining MobiKwik, she spent two years working on entrepreneurial ventures.
iii. She has worked in the US, Singapore, Japan and India. She spent eight years at Dell, prior to coming to India.
iv. She has worked with Rocket Internet. She helped to establish the Rocket Internet’s services in India.
v. She was also responsible for the Marketplace division at Jabong. She helped to make it the fastest growing and most profitable division at Jabong.
♦ Headquarters – Gurgaon
♦ Founder – Bipin Preet Singh, Upasana Taku
Bambawale appointed as next Indian ambassador to China
On 12th October 2017, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Gautam H. Bambawale was appointed as next ambassador to People’s Republic of China.
Gautam H. Bambawale – Indian Ambassador to China:
i. Gautam H. Bambawale is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of batch 1984. He is presently the High Commissioner of India to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
ii. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China. This was announced by the External Affairs Ministry. Bambawale is believed to be an expert on China.
iii. Bambawale will replace Vijay Gokhale in China as ambassador. He would take up the assignment shortly.
About Gautam H. Bambawale:
♦ Previous positions held – Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian embassy China, Ambassador to Bhutan
Highlights of People’s Republic of China:
♦ World’s most populous country
♦ World’s second-largest country by land area
Government clears appointment of Leslie Thng as Vistara CEO
On October 11th 2017, Tata-SIA joint venture airline named Vistara pads up for the launch of international operations 2018, announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer Leslie Thng who takes charge in the month October, 2017. The former CEO Phee Teik Yeoh will return to Singapore International Airlines.i. The Tata SIA Airlines Limited, operating as Vistara, is an Indian domestic airline based in Gurgaon with its hub at Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport.
ii. The two promoters of the company are Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.A joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, commenced operations on 9 January 2015 with its inaugural flight between Delhi and Mumbai.
♦ Vistara was the first airline to introduce premium economy seats on domestic routes in India.
♦ On 15 April 2014, Vistara chose Mr Phee Teik Yeoh as the chief executive officer (CEO) and Mr Giam Ming Toh as the chief commercial officer (CCO), both from Singapore Airlines.
♦ The airline, which was established in January 2015, is a 15 aircraft airline now.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
INS Satpura, Kadmatt to participate in PASSEX with Japan
Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmatt are visiting Sasebo, Japan from 12th to 15th October 2017. The visit of these ships is in line with India’s Act East Policy and reiterating of India’s commitment to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific Region.
i. During this visit, INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt will engage with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in formal calls, as well as social and sporting interactions.
ii. The two Indian naval ships will also take part in Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Murusame Class destroyer, JS Kirisame……………………..Click here to view more detail
Experimental Ebola vaccines found safe & effective in human trial
On 12th October 2017, two experimental vaccines against the Ebola virus proved safe and efficient to produce an immune response that would last for at least one year, through a clinical trial in Liberia.Experimental Ebola vaccines prove safe:
i. The results of the clinical trial were, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. They are based on a study of 1,500 adults, that began during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
ii. The trial included men and women aged 18 and older with no reported history of Ebola virus disease at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Three groups of 500 volunteers received one of the vaccine candidates or a placebo (saline injection).
iii. Participants provided blood samples before vaccination and again at one week, one month, six months and one year post-vaccination.
iv. Investigators then tested each of these samples for antibodies to the Ebola virus. By one month, 71 % of cAd3-EBOZ recipients and 84 % of rVSV-ZEBOV recipients developed an antibody response compared to 3 % of placebo recipients.
v. At one year, antibody responses were largely maintained in both groups: 64 % of cAd3-EBOZ recipients and 80 % of rVSV-ZEBOV recipients had an antibody response compared to 7 % of placebo recipients.
About Ebola virus disease:
♦ Type – Infectious disease
♦ Causes – Ebola viruses spread by direct contact
♦ Symptoms – Fever, sore throat, muscular pain, headaches, diarrhea, bleeding
Indian Air Force launched mobile health App ‘MedWatch’
On 12th October 2017, the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’ on the occasion of its 85th anniversary.
MedWatch – a mobile health App by IAF:
i. The concept and content of the App were developed by the Directorate General of Medical Services (Air). It was developed in-house without any financial support by the Directorate of Information Technology (DIT).
ii. ‘MedWatch’ is available on the IAF’s AFCEL (Air Force Cellular) network. It consists of features that will provide authentic health information to all IAF personnel.
iii. A Reminder Tool to enable timely immunization for the children of all Air Warriors is incorporated in the App. This will directly enable ‘Mission Indradhanush’ of the Government of India.
About the Indian Air Force (IAF):
♦ Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
♦ Motto – Touch the Sky with Glory
India beat Macau to qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup
i. On 11th Oct. 2017, India won against Macau at the Sree Kanteerava stadium and secured the path into the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
ii. India played in this tournament in 2011 in previous when they qualified after winning the AFC Challenge Cup. This is India’s fourth qualification after 1964, 1984 and 2011.
Staubli to become first female referee to officiate at U-17 World Cup
Switzerland’s Esther Staubli is set to become the first female football referee to officiate a match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup when Japan takes on New Caledonia in the final round group E match on October 14, 2017 at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. More Details:
i. 38-year-old Esther Staubli has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2006.
ii. She is one of seven women referees invited by FIFA’s Referees Committee to U-17 World Cup tournament in India.
ii. This decision of inviting female referees is a part of education programme that FIFA’s Refereeing Department started in 2016. It will also help to develop and promote women’s football.
iv. Moreover, it will give an opportunity to women referees to gain more experience and enhance their preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
Test championship & ODI league approved by International Cricket Council
On Oct.13 2017, International Cricket Council approved to conduct Test championship and one-day international league.
i. Nine teams will be participated and will play six series of Test matches over a two-year period .This will be three series at home and three series away in a world Test championship final.
ii. The ODI league will be conducted with 13- team , contested by the 12 Full Members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship.
iii. It will be used to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup and this expected to start from 2021 after the World Cup in 2019.
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ President – Zaheer Abbas
♦ CEO – David Richardson
International Day for Disaster Reduction – October 13
On 13th October 2017, International Day for Disaster Reduction was observed all over the world.
International Day for Disaster Reduction:
i. The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989. The United Nations General Assembly decided to declare a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
ii. This day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of preventing the risks they face.
iii. ‘Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement’ is the slogan for International Day for Disaster Reduction 2017.
iv. The 2017 campaign aims to raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, to save homes and livelihoods.
♦ Types – Geological disasters, Hydrological disasters, Meteorological disasters, Space disasters, etc.
♦ Examples – Tsunami, Floods, Earthquakes etc.