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Current Affairs Today – October 16 2015

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Current Affairs Today Oct 16 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Railways launch ‘Vikalp’ scheme for waitlisted passengers

To make the rail sector passenger friendly, Ministry of Railways is coming with their back to back to apps and programmes which also serves as the part of Swachh Bharat and Digital India.

Now railway Ministry has launched a scheme dubbed as Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme – VIKALP by which waitlisted passengers can access for confirmed berths in alternative trains on the same route.

  • It will be instigated as a pilot project for 6 months from 01.11.2015 only for the tickets booked through internet in two sectors i.e. Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Lucknow sectors.
  • The scheme is subject to availability of seats will not ensure confirmed berth.
  • The allotment of berth in an alternative train will be available within 12 hours from the scheduled departure of train.
  • No extra charges will levy nor any refund will be provided.
  • The allotment of berth would be informed through SMS and can be checked from the enquiry counters or by dialing 139.

This scheme aimed to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation.

Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka

Bus service linking Kolkata and Agartala via Dhaka has been flagged off carrying 18 passengers for Kolkata via Dhaka. This service is available six days a week (except Sundays)

  • The buses are scheduled twice a week by each transporter and a fare ranging between Rs.1,800 and Rs.2,000.
  • The distance between Kolkata and Agartala is about 1,650 km if one skirts Bangladesh. But the distance falls to 515 km if the buses go through Dhaka.
  • The Kolkata-Dhaka bus link began in June 1999. And a separate Agartala-Dhaka service started in September 2003.

Former cricketer Laxman joins PETA campaign

Former cricketer Laxman joins PETA campaign

During Vegetarian Awareness Month (October) the former India batsman Vangipurapu Venkata Sai (VVS) Laxman will act in a new for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

  • The ad has been shot by ace photographer YSN Murthy and Laxman’s hair and make-up was done by Mask Raju.

Performance-linked payments for CIL officers

Govt gives consent to the payment of performance related pay (PRP) for Coal India executives and non-unionized supervisors to boost up the morale and equity of employees working in loss-making CPSEs and CPMDIL.

As per the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries Govt also approved the of 2007 pay revision implemented by CIL w.e.f January 1, 2007 in the loss-making subsidiaries of the company

  • Now all executives in CIL’s subsidiaries are considered to be employees of the holding company CIL
  • A move of productivity-linked reward will benefit about 44,000 workers and officers

PM to inaugurate Annual Convention-2015 of CIC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two days 10th annual convention of the Central Information Commission in New Delhi which aimed at the importance of Right to Information Act and importance of transparency in governance.

THEME: “RTI: Outlook for the future – Trust through Transparency”

Main topics of the sessions and discussions were
Translating RTI into Citizen Welfare – the expanding horizons in Digital India
Rationalizing the nature and scope of the Act
Implications for use and misuse, the RTI Act seeks a “practical regime” and Making RTI better

Voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes approved

Addition have been made to LPG and PDS schemes as SC authorizes the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes of MGNREGA, all pension schemes and provident fund aimed at reaching to the door steps of the “poorest of the poor”.

  • Decision has been taken by the 5 judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court which was headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, comprised of Justices M Y Eqbal, C Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy.

Application was filed by the Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand for modification in August.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

China-Indonesia sign USD5.5bn high-speed rail pact

 China has finally clinched its first overseas bullet train project entirely using Chinese technology. State-owned companies of China and Indonesia inked an USD 5.5 billion deal to build the first high-speed railway.

Construction will set to start in 2016 and the line to begin operating in 2019.

  • As a JV Indonesia is having 60% stake while China is having remaining 40%
  • The line will connect the Indonesian capital Jakarta with the mountain- city of Bandung
  • Train will travel at around 250 kilometers (150 miles) an hour

The deal is part of the two Nations cooperation in 21st century Maritime Silk Road and “World’s Maritime Axis”.

Myanmar inks peace pact with ethnic rebels

The Myanmar government has inked a peace accord with eight ethnic armed groups to end the country’s long running conflicts.

  • India was represented by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoy for northeast R N Ravi also attended the ceremony.
  • Other international representation was from China, Japan, Thailand, the United Nations and the European Union.

Nations List 12 Vulture Species to Tackle Population Decline in Africa

During the international meeting of government representatives and experts in Trondheim, Norway Countries agree to list the vulture species to Annex 1 of the agreement as a response to the current African Vulture Crisis.

  • Raptor MOU was signed under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as a special instrument to address threats to these species.
  • Nations will list 12 vulture species that will include Hooded Vulture, White-rumped Vulture and the Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Vultures are suffering serious declines caused by illegal take and trade, and poisoning with toxic chemicals.

Some days before Tamil Nadu Govt also banned Ketoprofen drug to save vulture population.

US launched anti-bullying campaign in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu

To tackle with the issue of the bullying of the Asian-American students White house has instigated its annual anti-bullying campaign in three South Asian languages – Hindu, Urdu and Punjabi.

  • As per the study one in five students is being bullied during the school year and it occurs in every seven minutes. Anti-bullying campaign is also launched in Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese on during National Bullying Prevention Month.

WHITE HOUSE PARTNERS IN CAMPAIGN
Sikh Coalition
Coalition of Asian Pacific in Entertainment (CAPE)

CAMPAIN NAME“Act To Change”

This campaign aims to empower AAPI* youth, educators, and communities with information and tools to address and prevent bullying.

*Asian American and Pacific Islander

BANKING AND FINANCE

Reliance Capital announces Rs 150 crore ESOP scheme

As a part of Reliance Capital’s Rewards Programme, Employee Stock Option (ESOP) Scheme with value of Rs.150 crore has been announced by the Anil Ambani led Reliance Capital to 250 employees across its various units to encourage employees for their contribution in growth and profitability of the Company.

  • Under the Scheme the eligible employees will get options on RCL listed stock and/or phantom shares of its businesses.
  • Scheme will be applicable to employees of Reliance Capital, Reliance Capital Asset Management, Reliance Commercial Finance, Reliance Life Insurance, Reliance Securities and Reliance General Insurance. The options vest over a period of 5 years, with customary lock-in period.

Tata Housing ties up with Facebook to sell leisure homes in Goa

Tata housing is again back with its new idea of selling house by joining hands with Facebook which allow buyers to do registration through Facebook.

After getting registered they will receive their unique invite code which will allow them to login on October 26 to book limited homes on first come first basis.

Project codename: Goa Paradise

  • Project is a premium resort across 5 acres offering residential sector extending from a 1BHK to a 3BHK starting Rs.29 lakh and is marketed as leisure home.
  • In 2013 Tata Housing started its concept of online home buying in India while partnered with The Great Online Shopping Festival by Google.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

Shah Rukh Khan receives honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University

Shah Rukh Khan receives honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University

King Khan of bollywood Shah Rukh Khan (49) has been bestowed with an honorary degree from the University Of Edinburgh, Scotland for his contribution to film and his philanthropic work.

Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa was presented by University Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal.

  • He always remained as a helping hand either its bringing solar power to rural villages in India or creating a children’s ward at a Mumbai hospital and supporting relief funds to assist areas devastated by tsunamis.

APPOINTMENTS

Kundhavi Kadiresan designated as Assistant Director of FAO

Kundhavi Kadiresan designated as Assistant Director of FAO

 Kundhavi Kadiresan has been appointed as the Assistant Director-General of UN FAO and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. She will succeed Hiroyuki Konuma who bowed out this year.

  • She holds Ph.D. in Economics and an MBA in International Business.
  • She is having more than 25 years of experience in development in both developed and developing countries.
  • She has spent her professional career in serving the World Bank group in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

M K Surana appointed new HPCL Chairman

Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has been designated M K Surana as its new Chairman and Managing Director who is currently serving Prize Petroleum Co Ltd as its CEO. He will succeed Nishi Vasudeva.

  • Surana has been selected by Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) through interview round.
  • From 2012 he working as Executive Director with HPCL after which he has been posted as Chief Executive Officer at Prize Petroleum.
  • He had served as the General Manager of Projects for Vishaka Refinery of HPCL

After getting CVC and CBI clearance his candidature will be scrutinized by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister.

Riva Ganguly Das appointed as the next ambassador of India to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Moldova

Currently serving on the post of Indian Ambassador to Romania Ms. Riva Ganguly Das has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Moldova, with residence in Bucharest (Romania).

Suchitra Durai appointed as the India’s Ambassador to State of Eritrea

Currently serving as the High Commissioner of lndia to the Republic of Kenya Ms. Suchitra Durai has been accredited as the next Ambassador of lndia to the State of Eritrea. She will take up her new position shortly.

SPORTS

OBITUARY

Former Maharashtra Minister Madan Patil passes away

55 years old Former Maharashtra Minister and senior Congress leader Madan Vishwanath Patil passed away during his liver transplant.

  • He was the grandson of Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister late Vasantdada Patil.
  • He was a Member of Parliament twice from Sangli Lok Sabha constituency.
  • He had also been an MLA from Sangli Assembly seat and had served as a minister in the earlier Congress-led state government.

IMPORTANT DAYS

16 Oct – World Food Day observed

World food is celebrated annually on 16 October as a concern for food security and to eradicate hunger globally. It is also considers as Food Engineers Day in India.

This year 35th World Food Day observed which also commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of FAO (16th Oct 1945)

THEMESocial Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty

  • World Food Day was established in November 1979 by the member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
  • It also aimed at incorporating social protection programmes into national development strategies and policies as without social protection poor communities are at constant risk of hunger and poverty.