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Current Affairs Today – October 20 2015

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Current Affairs Today October 20 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Kerala Gender Park to launch “Food on Wheels” to serve safe food

Food on Wheels is an initiative is taken by Gender Park to provide healthy, hygienic and delicious food.

Aim – Food safety & women empowerment

Under the initiative, around 2500 women entrepreneurs will serve high quality food at cheap rates through mobile food units, which will be stationed nearby schools, colleges and government offices.

At night time these mobile units provide “Night Eatery Street’ (NES)” service will provide tasty foods for late diners

  • In 2013 Gender Park launched the “She-Taxi” project owned and operated by women, for transporting women commuters exclusively.
  • Gender Park is an autonomous institution promoted by the Department of Social Justice, Government of Kerala State, India, to resolve the gender inequity in development.
  • CEO – P.T. Mohammed Sunish

UP Govt to give Rs 50,000 in pension to Yash Bharti awardees

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced Rs 50 thousand monthly pensions to Yash Bharti awardees of the state.

  • Yash Bharti Award is the highest state-level awards conferred for excellence in literature, fine arts, classical music, folk music and sports, medicine, journalism and social service.
  • The awards were instituted in 1994 by Mulayam Singh Yadav to honor achievers in different fields.

Union Government increased import duty on wheat to 25% from 10%

Government has increased the import tax on wheat to 25% from 10%. The duty will remain applicable until March 31, 2016

  • The decision has been taken by keeping in view of the continued fall in international prices of wheat and the anticipated adverse impact of increased imports.
  • The increase in custom duty will presumably help protect Indian farmers against cheaper imports.
  • Central excise duty has been exempted on RBD Palm Stearin, Methanol and Sodium Methoxide used in the manufacture of such biodiesel subject to actual user condition for a period up to 31 March 2016.

Govt makes Aadhaar number compulsory to register new business

Government of India has now made it mandatory for new business owner to have Aadhaar Card, without which they can’t register their own business.

  • Last month MSME has issued a new form called Udyog Aadhaar as a simplified process for registering new businesses and currently more than 800 new businesses have been registered on this platform.

As per some of the legal experts Government’s step to make Aadhaar Card mandatory for new businesses is a direct violation of Supreme Court’s order regarding the same.

ASTROSAT spots Crab Nebula, the brightest X-ray source

The first Indian space observatory spotted the Crab Nebula using the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) instrument.

The Crab Nebula – The brightest hard X-ray (highest energy X-ray) source in the sky

ASTROSAT also spotted and viewed Cygnus X-1, a black hole source, for two days.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Moody’s released a report on the Global Green Bonds Market

Moody’s Investors Service released a report on the global green bonds market with an expectation that green bond market will exceed $40bn.

Titled of Report – Third Quarter Issuance Lags, but COP21-Linked Increase Is Likely.

  • As per report, in the third quarter (Q3) of 2015, the global green bond issuance reached 7.5 billion dollar, compared to bond issuance of 27.2 billion dollar in Q3 2014.
  • India has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022.
  • India and China offering sizeable growth potential with an ambitious targets on building out renewable energy capacity

About Green Bonds
Bond is a debt instrument with which an entity raises money from investors. Green bonds are similar to these bonds with a difference that they are being raised to fund “green projects”. It is also known as Climate Bond.

US, Spain ink pact to cleanup nuclear accident site at Palomares

During the US Secretary of State John Kerry visit to Spain, the two nations have signed an agreement for the cleanup and removal of land contaminated with radioactivity from U.S. hydrogen bombs.

  • As per agreement, US will remove the soil contaminated by nuclear radiation at Palomares.
  • Under an earlier accord that ended in 2010, Washington paid (USD 350,000) a year for tests for radioactive contamination and regular blood tests for more than 1,000 Palomares residents.

Background
On Jan. 17, 1966, a U.S. B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear bombs collided with a tanker plane during midair refueling over the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. None of the bombs exploded, although the detonators in two of them broke up, spreading 7 pounds (3 kg) of plutonium over a 200-hectare (490-acre) area near the village of Palomares.

BANKING AND FINANCE

RBI, Central Bank of UAE sign pact on information sharing

Reserve Bank of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of UAE, United Arab Emirates on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.

  • It was signed at the Head Office of Central Bank of UAE at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • The MoU was signed by Assistant Governor for Banking Supervision Affairs of Central Bank of UAE – Saeed Abdulla Al Hamiz and Executive Director of RBI – Meena Hemchandra

RBI has entered into such MoUs, Letters for Supervisory Co-operation and Statements of Co-operation with supervisors of a few countries to promote co-operation and sharing of information.

Adani Group signs deal with India Pulses Grain Association

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the India Pulses and Grains Association to handle pulses import across its ports in the country.

  • The pact is aimed to help develop a dedicated and efficient supply chain for pulses by using strategically located Adani Port’s facilities to all key consumption centres in the country.
  • Despite the government’s steps to boost supply and check prices Price of pulses shot up to Rs 200 per kg.

NABARD sanctions Rs 135-crore loan to Haryana for rural development

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 134.64 crore to the Haryana government under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for 2015-16.

The funds have been sanctioned for “Rehabilitation of JLN feeder system” in three districts of Jhajjar, Rewari and Mahendergarh.
(Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Feeder system was established in 1980)

Objective – Overall growth of southern districts of the state and a higher per capita income for farmers

Proposed work to be done under present project:

  • To replace or rehabilitate aging motors, pumps and switching panels to restore the existing lifting capacity of the pumps.
  • Rehabilitating the channels by lining of channels and strengthening of banks.
  • Provide drinking water facilities and provide assured water to farmers.

With this sanction, the cumulative RIDF assistance sanctioned by NABARD to Haryana has reached Rs 5,038.40 crore.

Recipharm to take majority stake in Nitin Life for Rs 671 crore

Sweden-based drug firm Recipharm has acquired a majority stake of 74% in Nitin Life sciences Ltd, a sterile injectable company for Rs 671.2 crore.

  • After the approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), acquisition is expected to be completed in first quarter of 2016.
  • Recipharm is a CDMO (contract development and manufacturing organisation) offering pharmaceuticals services with an approximate turnover of SEK 3.2 billion.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

Malayalam writer bags O V Vijayan literature award

Malayalam writer Usha Kumari has honoured with O V Vijayan Literature Award for her novel “Chithirapurathe Janaki”. The novel is telling the story of a woman’s life in a remote village in the hills in 21st century Kerala.

  • “Chithirapurathe Janaki” is the second novel of Usha Kumari, who runs a textile shop in a village called Vellathooval in Kerala’s Idukki district.
  • The award will be presented to the writer on November 8 at a function to be organised at NSKK School in Hyderabad.

An award committee comprises of writers N S Madhavan, Dr Azad and Usha Nampoothirippad. The honour is named after eminent novelist and cartoonist O V Vijayan and carries a cash prize of Rs 50,001, a statuette sculptured by noted sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman and a citation.

APPOINTMENTS

Shaktikanta Das to be government nominee on SEBI board

Senior IAS officer Shaktikanta Das (58) has been appointed by the Finance ministry as its nominee on the market regulator’s board.

  • Finance ministry is represented by joint secretary in-charge of capital markets on the board and Shaktikanta Das is at present the secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs.
  • Hasmukh Adhia, a 1981 batch IAS office taken over as the Revenue Secretary

Justin Trudeau elected as the Prime Minister of Canada

Justin Trudeau elected as the Prime Minister of Canada

Justin Trudeau became Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister after his Liberal Party won a majority of Parliament’s 338 seats. He will succeed Stephen Harper, one of the longest serving western leaders (2006-2015).

  • His father Late Pierre Trudeau was the Prime Minister of Canada from 1968–79 and 1980–84.
  • Justin Trudeau (43) became the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history. The earlier youngest prime minister was Joe Clark, a Conservative, who took office in 1979 the day before he turned 40.
  • On April 14, 2013, Trudeau was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
  • He has served as the Liberal Party’s critic for Youth and Multiculturalism, Citizenship and Immigration, and Post-Secondary Education, Youth and Amateur Sport.

S. K. Ashok Warrier appointed as the India’s Ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo

Shri S. K. Ashok Warrier, presently in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

VK Malhotra appointed as head of the All India Council of Sports

VK Malhotra appointed as head of the All India Council of Sports

Veteran sports administrator Vijay Kumar Malhotra has been designated as the head of the All India Council of Sports.

  • He also serves as the President of the General Association of National Sports Federations and the President of the Archery Association of India.
  • He also had a long career in politics; He represented Delhi Sadar in the 9th Lok Sabha and South Delhi in the 14th Lok Sabha.

Council includes the eminent sportspersons – cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and chess wizard Viswanathan Anand PT Usha, Limba Ram, N Kunjarani Devi, IM Vijayan, Bhaichung Bhutia and P Gopichand.

  • All India Council of Sports was constituted in July, 2015 as an advisory body for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for promotion and development of sports and games in the country.

SPORTS

OBITUARY

Veteran film-maker K.S.L. Swamy passes away

Veteran film-maker K.S.L. Swamy passes away

Noted film maker Kikkeri Shamanna Lakshminarayana Swamy (KSL Swamy) died 20 October 2015 due to respiratory problem at Bangalore.

Nickname – Ravee

  • He started his cinematic career as an assistant to legendary filmmakers like G.V. Iyer and M.R. Vittal.
  • In 1966, he made his directorial debut with Kannada film “Thoogudeepa”.
  • His film Jamboo Savari won the National Award for the Best Children Film in 1989.
  • He was honoured with Padma Bhushan and National Award in 2013.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Statistics Day

World Statistics Day was observed on 20 October. On this day statistical community showcase their achievements. Official statistics help decision makers develop informed policies which provides better lives to millions of people.

Theme – Better Data, Better Lives

  • It also reflects the importance of sustainable national statistical capacity to produce reliable and timely statistics and indicators measuring a country’s progress.
  • World Statistics Day was first celebrated on 20 October 2010.