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Current Affairs Today – October 17 2016

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2016 SAARC Sufi festival held in Jaipur
i. The Jaipur Sufi festiva held at the Diggi palace in Jaipur from October 14-16, 2016.
It is organised annually by the Foundation of SAARC Writers And Literature (FOSWAL), in association with the Rajasthan government.
ii. Nearly 400 participants participated from SAARC nations
iii. After India’s decision to skip the SAARC Summit in Islamabad, Pakistani artists and authors have backed out of the SAARC Sufi Music Festival
♦ Members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
♦ Headquarters : Kathmandu, Nepal

5th India International Silk Fair held in New Delhi
i. The Indian Silk Export Promotion Council  organized 5th India International Silk Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The Fair showcased the world renowned Indian silk products like scarves, shawls, carpets, home furnishings, etc. in different patterns of designs and colours.
ii. India is the only country which produces all commercial varieties of silk like Tassar, Muga, Eri and Mulberry.A networking evening, fashion show followed by dinner werebeing organized to bring together Indian manufacturers and International buyers and present the best silk products that India can offer.5th India International Silk Fair
iii. The promotional effort of “5th India International Silk Fair,2016” would get active support and cooperation from Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The “5th India International Silk Fair,2016” is recognised as a well-established global fair.
iv. The Indian Silk is unique not only because it has distinguished and distinct characters when compared to silk from other countries but also due to the fact that the processes and technologies used are different and varied from cluster to cluster.

Number Of Deaths Due To Encephalitis Rises To 54 In Odisha
i. The Japanese Encephalitis has killed over 150 children and taken epidemic proportions in Malkangiri district due to negligence.
ii. two-year-old girl from Padia block died while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the district headquarters hospital in Odisha , taking the toll to 54.
iii. At present, 29 children, afflicted with the disease are undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital and four of them are in the ICU in a serious condition.105 out of the 184 children admitted to the district headquarters hospital in Odisha with JE have been discharged after being cured.
iv. The deadly disease, which originates from pigs and spreads to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes, had surfaced in the district around 38 days ago.
v. Japanese encephalitis virus JEV is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. It is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, and belongs to the same genus as dengue. The disease is predominantly found in rural and periurban settings, where humans live in closer proximity to these vertebrate hosts.

New standards for fortifying foods released
i. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released new standards on fortification on food. The guidelines are meant to regulate the fortification of food, especially packaged food, with essential micronutrients to counter risingmal nutrition in the country.
ii. Changing food patterns are seen as one of the leading causes of micronutrient deficiency in the country.Ashish Bahuguna, the Chairman of FSSAI reported that the Fortification of food was seen as an efficient and economical way of reducing deficiency and counter rising malnutrition in the country.
iii. Agarwal, however, admitted that the large-scale production, processing and packaging of some of the food products, especially wheat flour and rice, by the unorganized sector would make implementation a challenge. The standards are expected to see minor changes following stakeholder consultation.

Swacch Bharat Swacch Vidyalaya campaign launched
i. The City Corporation has launched the Swacch Bharat Swacch Vidyalaya campaign in 60 elementary and middle schools.
ii. The initiative Swacch Bharat Swacch Vidyalaya-Smart School-Healthy Child was the continuation of world hand washing day event being held every year and will focus on personal hygiene among children, segregaton of waste maintenance of toilets and also awareness on sanitation.
iii. Being carried out in association with Arc Foundation, an NGO, the program covered 60 elementary and middle schools run by the corporation and will be conducted in all the 83 corporation schools during the month.


UN historic deal to cut HFC greenhouse gases signed in Kigali
i. Negotiators from nearly 200 nations have clinched a historic deal to phase down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners and refrigerators. The agreement is a major expansion of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which eliminated the use of the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons  was finalized during a United Nations meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
ii. The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol to cut the use of potent warming greenhouse gases used in fridges and air conditioning has been described as the single most important step that the world can take to limit global warming.
iii. The deal, received with a round of applause in the early hours of Saturday, has delivered on most of the promises made by the member countries last week, getting the world on track to avoid almost 0.5C warming by 2100.

Brazil opens Latin America’s 1st elephant sanctuary
i. Brazil has opened the first sanctuary with Guida and Maia in in the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso for elephants to provide a home for an estimated 50 circus animals from across the region.The first phase of the project will host up to six animals.
ii. Guida and Maia elephants are thought to have come from Thailand, where they were illegally taken to be used in circus.Elepahnt
iii. The sanctuary was founded by the US-based non-profit organization Global Sanctuary for Elephants.It bought the land of 2,800 acres, for $1m (£820,000) to be paid over five years.
Brazil :
♦ Capital: Brasília
♦  Currency: Brazilian real
♦  President: Michel Temer


Market capitalization : Infosys loses fifth spot to ONGC
i. TCS is India’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of Rs.4.66 trillion, followed by Reliance Industries Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd and ITC Ltd at Rs.3.49 trillion, Rs.3.21 trillion and Rs.2.90 trillion.
ii. Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) beat India’s second largest software exporter, Infosys Ltd to become the fifth most valuable company in India by market capitalization.
iii. ONGC had a market capitalization of Rs2.37 trillion.

Govt granted BP Plc licence to set up petrol pumps in India
i. Government has formally granted a licence to BP, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, to set up 3,500 petrol pumps in India.It is a UK-based firm.BP granted licence to market Motor Spirit (petrol) and High Speed Diesel (diesel) – another milestone for BP in India
BP PLCii. For a licence to retail auto fuels – petrol, diesel and ATF, a company should have invested a minimum of Rs.2,000 crore in exploration or production of oil and gas, oil refining, gas or product pipeline or terminals leading to additionally to the existing assets or creation of new assets in the eligible activities. Petrochemicals Ltd, was given approval by the Oil Ministry to retail petrol and diesel.
iii. BP, which had in 2011 bought 30 per cent interest in 21 exploration blocks of Reliance Industries for $7.2 billion, had cited investment of nearly $500 million in oil and gas exploration and production for gaining the licence.
iv. India currently has about 56,190 petrol pumps, with public sector firms operating a majority of them.Private sector operators are limited to Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, who between them have some 3,500 petrol pumps.
v. Royal Dutch Shell operates 82 petrol stations.State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) owns 25,363 petrol pumps, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) 13,802 stations and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) 13,439 outlets.


Roopa Ganguly, Ganeshan take oath as Rajya Sabha MPs
i. Roopa Ganguly and Ganeshan two newly elected and nominated Members of Rajya Sabha have taken oath in the presence of Rajya Sabha Chairman Md. Hamid Ansari in the Parliament House.
ii. Senior BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, L. Ganesan, who will now represent the state of Madhya Pradesh and nominated member Roopa Ganguly of West Bengal, took oath and affirmation.
iii. The oath ceremony was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, P J Kurien, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu along with other leaders.

Sanjay Singh Appointed Member Secretary, Law Commission
President Pranab Mukherjee appointed former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh as Member Secretary, Law Commission of India for a period upto August 31, 2018.Sanjay Singh
♦ He is a retired officer of Indian Legal Service, was in August 2014, appointed as legislative secretary.
Twenty-first Law Commission :
i. The Law Commission of India is mandated to identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed.
ii. The tenure of Twenty-first Law Commission was constituted on September 1, 2015 is till August 31, 2018.
iii. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years.
iv. Chairman‎: ‎Justice B. S. Chauhan

BCCI President Anurag Thakur take charge as board member of ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs committee
i. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur taken charge as the member of the ICC’s powerful Finance and Commercial Affairs committee after completion of the global cricket body’s board meeting in Cape Town.
ii. He was elected as the 34th president of the Board of Control for Cricket on May 2016
iii. The F&CA wing is one of the most powerful decision making sub-committees of the ICC as all the revenue related financial aspects are passed through this committee.

India appoints Navdeep Singh Suri new envoy to UAE
i. Senior diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri was appointed Ambassador to United Arab Emirates on October 18 2016 by the External Affairs Ministry
ii. He is currently working as Indian High Commissioner in Canberra. 
iii. He had served in India’s diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg.
iv. He has also headed the West Africa and Public Diplomacy divisions at the Ministry of External Affairs. He was India’s Ambassador to Egypt prior to his posting to Canberra.
♦ Capital: Abu
♦ Currency: Dirham


China launches longest-ever manned space mission
i. China successfully launched a spacecraft carrying two astronauts, in its longest-ever manned space mission.This team would later join its experimental space lab orbiting the Earth as the country moved a step closer to establish its permanent space station by 2022.
ii. The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-11, carrying two astronauts who will remain in space for 33 days, the longest manned mission in its space program to date.
iii. Shenzhou-11, China’s sixth manned spacecraft, will dock with space lab Tiangong-2, marking a step closer to the country’s space ambitions.
iv. The Shenzhou-11 was put into orbit by a Long March-2F carrier rocket. It will dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 in two days and the astronauts will stay in the lab for 30 days

IIT-Kharagpur students developing fully indigenous drones
i. A group of students from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur is developing drones using indigenous hardware and software.
Dronesii. The drones being developed under the institute’s Aerial Robotics Kharagpur (ARK) initiative and funded by the Sponsored Research & Industrial Consultancy (SRIC) facility of the Institute.
iii. The ARK was the only team from India, which participated in the competition at the Asia-Pacific venue.
iv. Team members : Soumyadeep Mukherjee, Aditya Agarwal, Gaurav Gardi, Kumar Ankit, Kumar Krishna Agarwal, Manash Pratim Das, Sai Ram and Vishnu Sharma.

Skill development digital platform UNO Learn launched
i. PositiveShift International launched the skill development digital platform “UNO Learn” to offer skill development courses from industry experts and universities.It will offer 500+ courses now.
ii. UNO Learn has signed up with five global institutes – Massachusetts Institute of Tech (MIT), Open University UK, Saylor Academy USA, Future Learn (UK), ZTE University (Taiwan) in addition to 11 domain expert instructors with strong followers on other platforms
iii. It will focus on courses – Design, Technology, Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Big Data, Digital Marketing, Spoken English, Accounting, Web development, CCNA, CCNP, A+, Networking and Business planning


North America Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake
i. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake situated in North America. Fresh water is naturally occurring water on Earth’s surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids.
ii. The lake is shared by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north, the US state of Minnesota to the west, and Wisconsin and Michigan to the south. It is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.
iii. It is the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume and the largest by volume in North America.
iv. Lake Superior empties into Lake Huronvia the  Marys River and the Soo Locks. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world in area.

Kashmiri Red Stag to be declared as ‘Critically Endangered’
i. The magnificent Kashmiri Red Stag or Hangul could finally get some protection with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) all set to declare it a ‘critically endangered’ species
ii. Hangul has been hunted over centuries and its habitat destroyed, leading to its population in the wild plunging to a mere 150. Even then, IUCN – the biggest international body assessing threat levels to flora and fauna – categorized it as that of ‘Least Concern’ by clubbing with European and other ‘red deer’ species of the world.Deer
iii. A scientific journal brought by the IUCN, ‘DSG (Deer Specialist Group) Newsletter,’ has recently emphasized on the essentiality of doing this. Its May 2016 edition quotes Sarah Brook, IUCN Deer Red List Authority,
iv. Critically endangered’ status to the Hangul will most likely be completed by December 2016.It is listed under Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and J&K Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978 and has also been listed among the top 15 species of high conservation priority by the Government of India.
v. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources  (IUCN) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. IUCN’s mission is to “influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

Typhoon Sarika Battered the Philippines
i. Typhoon Sarika battered wide areas of the country’s main island of Luzon, killed at least two people and  isolated hundreds of villages due to floods, cutting off communication lines, felling down trees and electric posts as well as inflicting heavy damage on farms was reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)
ii. The storm, known locally as Karen, is expected to make landfall in Luzon around 18:00 G MT, which is 2 am local time.The outer boundary of the storm are already covering much of the central Philippines, with many places seeing rain.
iii. Daet in Camarines Norte has reported 224mm of rain in the last 24 hours and rain was still falling. A little further south, the city of Legaspi reported 139mm of rain in the same period.
iv. The typhoon is creeping along at only 13 kilometres per hour and is still strengthening. By the time it makes landfall in the Aurora province, the sustained winds are forecast to be 185km/h.
v. The storm surge could be as much as seven metres above normal tide levels, which would cause a major coastal inundation.The storm will then set its sights on Hainan and Vietnam, where it is forecast to hit in three or four days’ time.


India became first team to play 900 ODIs
i. India’s ODI against New Zealand at Dharamshala is the team’s 900th making it the world first side to achieve a milestone
ii. India played its first ever ODI in 1974 against England at Leeds which ended in a victory for the hosts. The match was part of a series that would be famously known as the ‘Summer of  42.
iii. Based on the number of runs India managed to score in the second of a three match Test series preceding the ODIs. Ajit Wadekar was the man who led the Indian side.
iv. India have won two World Cups in 1983 and 2011 and have topped the ICC ODI Rankings multiple times. India are currently ranked fourth and need a 4-1 victory against New Zealand to move up to third in the rankings.
v. Out of the 899 ODI’s, India has won 454, lost 399 tied seven, while 39 have abandoned.
Keys :
♦ India – 899
♦ Australia – 888
♦ Pakistan – 866


Rwanda’s Last King, Kigeli V, Died At Age 80
i.T he last king of Rwanda, Kigeli V, who ruled the east African nation for less than a year before being forced into exile, finally settling in the United States, died  at the age of 80.
ii. Born Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa, King Kigeli V came to power in 1959 but was only king of Rwanda until 1961, when the monarchy was abolished and he was forced into exile.
Rwanda's Last King, Kigeli V, Died At Age 80iii. He eventually settled in the US where he set up a charity helping Rwandan refugees and orphans.A 2013 profile in Washingtonian magazine found him living off food stamps in subsidized housing.
iv. King Kigeli was the last in a line of monarchs from the minority Tutsi ethnic group, which had dominated Rwandan for many years, but the Belgian former colonial power favored the majority Hutus and backed a coup.
v. Rwanda was proclaimed a republic in 1961, and a Hutu, Dominique Mbonyumutwa, was made president.Tens of thousands of Tutsis were forced into exile including King Kigeli, who lived the rest of his life outside Rwanda.


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2016
i. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty   was observed on the October 17th of every year. The 2016 Theme: Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms.
ii. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people living in poverty
iii. This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being — such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multiple dimensions.
iv. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an international observance celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world. It was officially recognised by the United Nations.
v. The first commemoration of the event took place in ParisFrance, in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear