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Assam approved new IT policy
On October 17, 2017, Assam State Government approved a new Information Technology (IT) Policy.
More Details about Assam Govt’s ne IT Policy:
i. Under the new IT policy, companies involved in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), companies engaged in software development and firms carrying out research will be provided financial support.
ii. Call centres will receive one-time incentive of Rs. 1.20 lakh per employee, with minimum intake of 100 employees.
iii. Companies engaged in software development will receive one-time support of Rs 1.50 lakh per employee.
iv. For firms carrying out research and development work and having minimum 50 seats, Rs 2.5 lakh as one-time support per employee will be provided.
v. These companies will also get the benefit of land and power supply at subsidised rates.
Quick Facts about Assam:
Capital – Dispur
Current Chief Minister – Sarbananda Sonowal
Current Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu lays foundation stone for TU142M aircraft museum
On 17th October 2017, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation stone for the TU142M aircraft museum in Visakhapatnam.TU142M Aircraft museum:
i. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Eastern naval command Chief Vice Admiral H.C.S.Bisht laid the foundation stone of the TU142M aircraft museum. This is being built at the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.
ii. The Russian aircraft TU142M was decommissioned at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu after 29 years. It was brought to Visakhapatnam on 8th April 2017 to be converted into a Museum.
iii. The TU142M aircraft museum will be inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in December 2017.
Aerospace museums in India:
♦ HAL Aerospace Museum – Bangalore
♦ Indian Air Force Museum – Palam
♦ Naval Aviation Museum – Dabolim
Chhattisgarh government reduces interest on loan under Saksham Yojna
Chhattisgarh State Government has reduced the rate of interest on loan given to women and their self help groups (SHGs) under ‘Saksham Yojna’ from 6.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
i. This decision was taken by Chhattisgarh Women and Child Development Minister Ramsheela Sahu while chairing a meeting of ‘Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh’ (CMK)’.
ii. Through various schemes, ‘Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh’ (CMK) disburses easy term loans to women and SHGs in Chhattisgarh.
iii. Saksham Yojana too is operated by Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh, under which loans to the tune of Rs 72 lakh had been distributed to about 111 SHGs during current fiscal year 2017-18.
iv. In the previous fiscal – 2016-17, Rs 2.44 crore loans were sanctioned to 407 SHGs under Saksham Yojana.
Quick Facts about Chhattisgarh:
♦ Capital – Naya Raipur
♦ Current Chief Minister – Raman Singh
♦ Current Governor – Balram Das Tandon
Dharmendra Pradhan’s two day visit to Japan
An Indian delegation led by Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Tokyo, Japan from 17th – 18th October, 2017 to participate in LNG Producer- Consumer Conference 2017.
i. Besides attending LNG Producer- Consumer Conference 2017, Pradhan also met Hiroshige Seko, the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan. Both the ministers discussed issues of bilateral engagement in the hydrocarbon sector.
ii. On the sidelines of LNG Producer–Consumer Conference 2017, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan met Energy Minister of Mozambique, Leticia Klemens to discuss the development of the gas fields in Mozambique…………Click here to view more detail
IIT Bombay top ranked Indian institute in QS Asia University Rankings 2018
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) has emerged as top-ranked Indian institute in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings 2018. Highlights of QS Asia University Rankings 2018:
i. IIT Bombay has ranked 34th and is the only Indian institute to better its performance among the top 100 universities in QS Asia University Rankings 2018.
ii. It is to be noted that IIT Bombay was ranked 179th in the latest edition of QS World University Rankings.
iii. IIT Delhi (41st rank), IIT Madras (48th rank), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore (51st rank), IIT Kanpur (59th rank), IIT Kharagpur (62nd rank), University of Delhi (72nd rank), IIT Roorkee (93rd rank) and IIT Guwahati (98th rank) are other Indian institutes which have featured in QS Asia University Rankings 2018.
iv. Singapore’s Nanyang Technology University has topped QS Asia University Rankings 2018.
v. The rankings have been compiled on the basis of several parameters including academic reputation, faculty-student ratio and international faculty.
Gandhi museum inaugurated in Durban on land owned by Mahatma Gandhi
On 18th October 2017, Gandhi museum was inaugurated on a small piece of land once owned by Mahatma Gandhi in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.
Gandhi Museum in Durban:
i. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh inaugurated the museum. The museum will reflect the life and universal influence of Mahatma Gandhi.
ii. Mahatma Gandhi owned the land in 1897 and used to hold public meetings there. When Gandhi left Durban in 1914, he transferred the ownership of the land to the Natal Indian Congress, which had planned to erect a new building in 1964.
iii. But the plans were stopped by the apartheid-era laws prohibiting this. Hence the site was used as a car park in the 1980’s. The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust (MGMT) has constructed this museum.
iv. An exhibition titled ‘Gandhi in Durban’ has been set up at the museum by the Durban Local History Museum.
Other museums for Mahatma Gandhi:
♦ Gandhi Memorial Museum – Madurai
♦ National Gandhi Museum – New Delhi
♦ Gandhi Sangrahalaya – Patna
India, Brazil, South Africa sign IBSA Trust Fund agreement
On October 18, 2017, India, Brazil and South Africa signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to combat poverty in developing countries.i. On behalf of Indian Government, the agreement was signed by Minister of State for External Affairs, V K Singh, who led the Indian side at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban, South Africa.
ii. The meeting was also attended by Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and South African Foreign Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane.
iii. The IBSA Fund was created in 2004 with an aim at to support viable and replicable projects that contribute to the national priorities of other developing countries.
iv. Each country (India, Brazil and South Africa – IBSA) contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund.
v. The fund is managed by the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.
BANKING & FINANCE
North East Small Finance Bank starts operations: RBI
North East Small Finance Bank Limited has commenced operations as a small finance bank from October 1, 2017.
i. Guwahati-based RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited, was one of the 10 applicants which got Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) in-principle approval for setting up a small finance bank in September 2015.
ii. In April 2017, it received the final licence from RBI under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of small finance bank in India.
iii. Capital Small Finance Bank, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank, Suryoday Small Finance Bank, and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank are the other entities which have already commenced operations as Small Finance Bank.
iv. Small finance banks are a type of niche banks that have been set up with an objective to further financial inclusion. Small Finance Banks can provide basic banking service of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved sections.
Yes Bank commits Rs 156 cr for Namami Gange project
On October 16, 2017, Yes Bank announced that it has committed Rs 156 crore to fund first Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to be constructed at Varanasi under Namami Gange Project.More Details:
i. Yes Bank has signed a deal with Essel Infraprojects for the above mentioned STP which will be constructed under Hybrid Annuity-Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model.
ii. Management of Yes Bank has stated that they are committed to sustainable projects such as STPs which have significant social and ecological impact.
iii. ‘Namami Gange Programme’ is Union Government’s Integrated Conservation Mission, which was launched to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
iv.Setting up sewage treatment infrastructure is one of the main pillars of Namami Gange Programme.
Quick Facts about Yes Bank:
♦ Founded in – 2004
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Current CEO – Rana Kapoor
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
US author George Saunders wins 2017 Man Booker Prize
US author George Saunders has won 2017 Man Booker Prize for his novel ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’.
i. George Saunders has become second American author to win this award. In 2016, Paul Beatty became the first American to win this award for his novel ‘The Sellout’.
ii. British writers Ali Smith and Fiona Mozley, American writers Auster and Emily Fridlund, and British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid were the other shortlisted writers for this year’s Booker Prize……………….Click here to view more detail
Javed Akhtar to be honoured with Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award
Veteran writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar is to be honoured with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award on 26thOctober 2017.Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award to Javed Akhtar:
i. Javed Akhtar will be awarded Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award on the 28th anniversary of Hridayesh Arts and the 80thbirthday of veteran music composer Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Javed Akhtar will receive Rs.1,00,000 along with a memento.
ii. The programme is being presented to celebrate the 75 year old music career of singer Lata Mangeshkar. Hridayesh Arts, in association with Jay Satya Charitable Trust, is organising a music programme titled ‘Amrut Hriday Swar Lata’, presented by Annu Kapoor Films Pvt Ltd.
iii. The event is to be held at Shanmukhanand Hall, Kings Circle in Mumabi. It will be directed and anchored by actor Annu Kapoor.
About Javed Akhtar:
♦ Occupation – Poet, lyricist, scriptwriter
♦ Awards – Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, the Sahitya Akademi Award & 5 National Film Awards
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas conferred with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award
On 2nd October 2017, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) was awarded Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award in Swachh Bharat National Award ceremony on Gandhi Jayanti, in New Delhi.
Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award:
i. The Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award was given by Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation S.S.Ahluwalia to MoPNG. The award was received by Senior Adviser (PNG).
ii. The award in the inter-Ministerial category was presented to MoPNG on the basis of the activities undertaken in the past three years.
iii. The event was organized to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Swachh Bharat Diwas, and the conclusion of Swachhata Hi Seva fortnight.
iv. The focus of MoPNG has been not only to improve peoples’ involvement but also to bring behavioural change through Swachh Bharat Mission.
About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas:
♦ Purpose – exploration, production, refining, distribution, marketing, import, export, and conservation of petroleum, natural gas, petroleum products, and liquefied natural gas in India
♦ Cabinet Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan
CSS Corp Wins NASSCOM Customer Service Excellence Award 2017
CSS Corp, a US-headquartered IT services and technology support company, has won the Customer Service Excellence Award 2017 by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).NASSCOM’s Customer Service Excellence Award 2017:
i. CSS Corp was selected for this award in the transformation category for creating additional revenue generation opportunities for clients globally by leveraging its proprietary tech support and analytics platforms.
ii. CSS Corp’s REAP (Revenue Enablement and Profitability) Framework has created opportunities for faster customer acquisition and has generated new recurring revenue streams for global clients in various sectors including Retail and Telecommunication.
iii. NASSCOM Customer Service Excellence Awards – 2017 were given out on October 12, 2017 at their prestigious Business Process Management (BPM) Summit 2017 in Bengaluru.
Quick Facts about NASSCOM:
♦ Founded in – 1988
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Chairman – Raman Roy
ACI ranks Hyderabad airport No. 1 in 5 to 15 million category
Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has ranked No. 1 in the Airports Council International’s (ACI) service quality survey in the category of 5 to 15 million passengers per annum.
i. On a scale of 1 to 5, Hyderabad airport’s score improved from 4.4 in 2009 to 4.9 in 2016.
ii. RGIA was opened in year 2008 and is operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL).
iii. A trophy for this accomplishment for the year 2016 was handed over to GHIAL CEO, S G K Kishore during the 27th ACI Africa/world annual general assembly at Port Louis in Mauritius on October 18, 2017.
iv. Mr. Kishore received the trophy from ACI’s Director General Angela Gittens and CEO of Airports Company South Africa, Bongani Maseko.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Naresh Kumar Gupta appointed as Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta
On 16th October 2017, the Madhya Pradesh government appointed Naresh Kumar Gupta as the Lokayukta (Ombudsman) of the state.
Naresh Gupta – Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta:
i. Naresh Kumar Gupta was appointed as Lokayukta of Madhya Pradesh. He is a retired judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court. The post of Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta had been vacant since June 2016 after the retirement of PP Naolekar, former Justice of Supreme Court.
ii. UC Maheshwari, former judge of MP High Court, who is six years senior to Naresh Kumar Gupta, was looking after the work of Lokayukta since June 2016. Maheshwari was appointed as Madhya Pradesh Deputy Lokayukta in 2016.
iii. Appointment of Naresh Kumar Gupta as Lokayukta, who is six years junior to UC Maheshwari has faced a lot of criticism.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Bhopal
♦ Chief Minister – Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦ Governor – Om Prakash Kohli
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
US to provide EMALS technology to India for aircraft carriers
Trump Government has promised to provide the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS) technology to India for aircraft carriers.i. When Obama was the President, India had earlier expressed its interest to acquire EMALS.
ii. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be visiting India soon and before his visit Trump administration has informed of its decision to give EMALS to India.
iii. EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter.
iv. This EMAL will help to launch heavy combat planes from the short runway of an aircraft carrier using electromagnetic force, instead of the old steam-powered catapults.
v. The US has agreed to release this technology for the Indian Navy’s under development future aircraft carrier, INS Vishal.
♦ The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS), is a type of aircraft launching system currently under development by the General Atomicsfor United States Navy.
♦ Its main advantage is that it accelerates aircraft more smoothly, putting less stress on their airframes
Odisha unveils portal for easy access to government data
On 17th October 2017, Odisha government unveiled the State Open Government Data Platform namedwww.odisha.data.gov.in.
Portal for easy access to government data:
i. Odisha’s Chief Secretary A P Padhi inaugurated the portal www.odisha.data.gov.in. He asked the data officers of all departments to upload information of their respective departments on the website within a week.
ii. This Government data Portal has been launched with the main objective of sharing data with people. Various service delivery departments like health & family welfare, education, women & child development were asked to upload their data on the platform.
iii .Each department was asked to upload at least 10 data faces within the coming seven days in the portal and go on adding to that regularly.
♦ Capital – Bhubaneswar
♦ Governor – S.C. Jamir
♦ Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik
Income Tax department launches ‘online chat’ to answer taxpayers queries
The Income Tax Department has launched an ‘online chat’ service for taxpayers to seek answers to their basic queries and doubts relating to direct tax issues.
Online chat option by Income tax department:
i. A window has been hosted on the main page of the income tax department’s website —www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ — with an icon stating ‘Live Chat Online – ask your query.’
ii. A team of experts from the department and independent tax practitioners have been assigned to answer the general queries of a taxpayer.
iii. An option has been provided to the taxpayer for emailing the entire chat to their ids for future reference. More features would be added based on the feedback from users.
iv. A precautionary note at the beginning of the chat, states: “The replies are based on the opinion of the expert and in no manner it should be interpreted as the clarification by the Income-tax Department on any matter.”
About Income Tax department:
♦ Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes – Sushil Chandra
♦ Minister responsible – Arun Jaitley
Kerala High Court restores life ban on Sreesanth
On 17th October 2017, the Kerala High Court restored life ban imposed on cricketer S.Sreesanth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Life ban on Sreesanth restored:
i. The order came on an appeal filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri against a single-judge verdict cancelling the life ban imposed on Sreesanth over allegation of IPL spot-fixing scandal.
ii. Sreesanth was imposed a life ban by the BCCI in 2015. He was charged with spot-fixing while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
iii. The Kerala high court delivered its verdict that, for the time being, Sreesanth cannot play for the Kerala Ranji team and also cannot participate in practice sessions at any place that comes under the control of the BCCI or any State cricket association.
♦ Role – Bowler
♦ Batting – Right-handed
♦ Bowling – Right-arm fast-medium
Richard Wilbur, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Winner, Dies at 96
On 14th October 2017, Richard Wilbur, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and translator died in Belmont, Massachusetts, US. Death of Richard Wilbur:
i. Richard Wilbur was 96 years old. He was born in New York in 1921. As a teenager, his poem about a nightingale was published in John Martin’s Magazine.
ii. His first book, “The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems,” came out in 1947. He also wrote children’s books and translated many European poets. In 2004, his “Collected Poems, 1943-2004” was published. He was also known for his translations.
iii. He received numerous literary honors, including the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, for “Things of This World,” and “New and Collected Poems”.
iv. Wilbur married Charlee Ward in 1942. They had four children. Charlee Ward Wilbur died in 2007.
About Richard Wilbur:
♦ Occupation – poet, literary translator
♦ Nationality – American
Congress MLA Ram Singh Yadav passes away
Mr. Ram Singh Yadav, Congress MLA of Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh) passed away on 18thoct 2017 after a sudden heart attack.
i. The 74 years old, was living with his wife and two children.
ii. He was also popularly known as “Dadaji” among his supporters, was also holding the post of Shivpuri District Congress president.
iii. He suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital in Gwalior, around 40km from his native, where he breathed last.
iv. He was elected from Kolaras vidhan sabha seat in the 2013 assembly elections in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Beyond the Dream Girl – Hema Malini’s Biography launched
On 16th October 2017, Deepika Padukone launched the biography of veteran actress Hema Malini named ‘Beyond the Dream Girl’ in Mumbai. Beyond the Dream Girl:
i. The biography of Bollwood actress Hema Malini titled ‘Beyond The Dream Girl’, is written by Ram Kamal Mukherjee. It was unveiled on Hema Malini’s 69th birthday by Bollwood actress Deepika Padukone.
ii. The biography’s foreword has been written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hema Malini’s daughters Esha and Ahana Deol were also present at the launch.
iii. Hema Malini is currently a BJP MP from Mathura constituency. Hema Malini debuted in 1968 with Raj Kapoor’s Sapno Ka Saudagar. She has acted in films like Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Dream Girl and Satte Pe Satta. She is also an accomplished classical dancer.
About Hema Malini:
♦ Occupation – actress, producer, politician
♦ Political party- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)