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Current Affairs Today – October 21 2015

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Current Affairs Today October 21 2015


Mobile app for CPGRAMS portal to address governance-related grievance

As a part of PM Modi’s vision “ART of Governance” Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh launched mobile application for Centralised Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal which enables general public to register their governance-related grievances through mobile phones.

Aim – To provide citizens with a platform for redressal of their grievances

  • “ART of Governance” – A for Accountability, R – Responsibility and T- Transparency, forming the bedrock of the government.
  • CPGRAMS was launched by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in 2007.

 Govt doubles monthly bonus calculation ceiling to Rs 7,000

Union cabinet has given nod to the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to enhance the monthly bonus calculation ceiling to Rs 7,000 per month from existing Rs. 3,500 w.e.f. April 1, 2015. Last such amendment was carried out in 2007.

  • The Payment of Bonus Act 1965 is applicable to every factory and other establishment in which 20 or more persons are employed on any day during an accounting year.

As per the proposed provisions bill seeks

  • To enhance the eligibility limit for payment of bonus from the salary or wage of an employee from Rs. 10,000 per month to Rs. 21,000.
  • To provides a new proviso in Section 12 which empowers the central government to vary the basis of computing bonus.

This amendment in the Act to increase wage ceiling and bonus calculation ceiling was one of assurances given by the Centre after 10 central trade unions went on one-day strike on September 2. Now the bill will be tabled in Parliament for approval.

Andhra Pradesh announces Rs 15 crore for welfare of police families

Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu announced Rs. 15 crore for the welfare of families of policemen in the state. This is in addition to the Rs. 10 crore announced last year by him for the welfare of kin of the security personnel.

  • The state police have successfully curbed the activities of extremists, political factionists and anti-social elements.
  • On the occasion, rich tributes were paid to 443 police officials who lost their lives across the country, including 14 who died in AP, while on duty in the last one year.


Russia and United States have signed a MoU to avoid mid-air incidents over Syrian skies

Russia and United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to avoid direct clashes between both air forces in the skies over Syria. Its text has been kept secret.

  • It also includes steps to be taken by pilots to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria.
  • It also contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian planes.


RCAM acquires GSAM for Rs 243 crore

Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM) is going to acquire mutual fund business of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) India.

As on 30 September GSAM India has total assets under management (AUMs) of Rs.7, 132 crore . This includes Rs.2,172 crore of AUMs in the CPSE ETFs.

  • With this acquisition Reliance Capital Asset Management Ltd (a part of Anil-Ambani led Reliance Capital) will become the exclusive fund manager for the government’s CPSE ETFs (Central Public Sector Enterprises -Exchange Traded Fund).

Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM), a part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Capital

Airtel completes sale of 8,300 towers in Africa

Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has announced its completion of sale of 8,300 mobile towers in seven African countries for $1.7 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore).It will be used to reduce the company’s debt.

  • Its debt stood at $10.68 billion at the end of June.
  • Bharti Airtel has around 14,000 mobile towers in Africa and has now planning to exit the tower business.

Google Takes Minority Stake in $300 Million China Startup Mobvoi

Google will take a minority stake in Beijing-based artificial intelligence firm Mobvoi as part of a $75 million fundraising round.

  • Mobvoi works on artificial intelligence (AI) voice-controlled software, like that used in Google’s Android products for mobile search, and also develops hardware like smart watches.
  • The Google-led Series C fundraising values Mobvoi at $300 million (roughly Rs. 1,950 crores), with the startup maintaining a controlling stake.
  • Mobvoi previously partnered with Google to provide Chinese-language voice search for the latter’s Android Wear smartwatch operating system.



Justice Reva Khetrapal to be Delhi’s new Lokayukta

Justice Reva Khetrapal to be Delhi’s new Lokayukta

Erstwhile Delhi High Court judge Justice Reva Khetrapal (63) has been designated as the 4th Lokayukta or anti-graft ombudsman of the state which was remained vacant since November 2013. She will succeed Justice Manmohan Sarin.

  • Lokayukta – is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states.

Decision has been taken by the 4 member committee of consisting of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, CM Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini and Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta.

About Justice Reva Khetrapal
Shimla born Justice Reva practiced in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court from 1975 to 1991.

  • In 1991 she was appointed additional district and session’s judge.
  • In 1994 she was designated to the post of special judge (narcotics).
  • In 1999 she was appointed as secretary in Press Council of India.
  • She was elevated to the HC in 2006 and she retired in September 2014.

Justice Vaiphei appointed as acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court

Justice Tinilanthang Vaiphei has been designated as the acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. He will succeed Justice Karanam Sreedhar Rao who bows out from service. Justice Vaiphei is serving as the senior-most judge of Gauhati High Court.

  • The decision has been taken by the President Pranab Mukherjee by exercising the powers conferred by article 223 of the Constitution of India.

Article 223 – Appointment of acting Chief Justice
When the office of Chief Justice of a High Court is vacant then duties shall be performed by one of the other judges and he/she will be appointed by the President.

About Justice Vaiphei
In 1980 He was enrolled in the Bar Council of Assam.
In 2001 he was appointed as the Legal Adviser of the Mizoram Co-operative Apex Bank.
In 2003 he was elevated to the Bench as Additional Judge in Gauhati High Court.
In 2005 he was made Permanent Judge.

AB de Villiers named brand ambassador of MRF

AB de Villiers named brand ambassador of MRF

Tyre manufacturing Madras Rubber Factory Limited (MRF) appointed South African batsman Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (31) as its brand ambassador. He will endorse the company’s products and services for 3 years through advertising campaigns and promotional programmes.

About AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers captain the South Africa ODI team
He is nicknamed as – AB, Abbas, Mr. 360 and Superman
He holds many records which include the record for the most sixes in Cricket World Cup (37 sixes).

About MRF Limited
Chennai headquartered MRF is the Nation’s largest tyres manufacturing private company founded in 1946. MRF also runs the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai and MRF Challenge in motorsport.
Chairman & MD – K.M.Mammen

Tata Chemicals appoints Bhaskar Bhat as AD and John Mull as CFO

Titan’s Managing Director Bhaskar Bhat has been appointed as the Additional Director in the board of Tata Chemicals.

  • Tata Chemicals also appointed John Mulhall as its Chief Financial Officer.

About Bhaskar Bhat
Mr. Bhat was an alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Ahmedabad and started his career with Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co in 1978.He had joined Titan (then Tata Watch Project) in 1983 and dealt with sales and marketing, HR, international business and general managerial assignments.
About John Mulhall
Mr. Mulhall was a Finance Director at Tata Chemicals Europe and also served as Vice President & CFO in Tata Chemicals North America Inc. and then as CFO in Tata Chemicals lnternational Pte Ltd. Singapore.

A Tata chemical is a subsidiary of Tata Group and is headquartered in Mumbai.

Snapdeal hires former Aircel CFO Anup Vikal as finance head

Jasper Infotech, which owns and operates online marketplace is set to hire the current chief financial officer of mobile network operator Aircel Anup Vikal as its new finance head. He will succeed Aakash Moondhra.

  • Snapdeal is in the process of evolving from being an e-commerce company, into one that sells products and services ranging from bill payments to personal loans like Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.


Yuki Bhambri breaks into the top 100 of ATP rankings

Yuki Bhambri breaks into the top 100 of ATP rankings

Yuki Bhambri (23) has entered in the top-100 of ATP rankings by achieving a career-best rank of 99. He is the first Indian player since 2010 to achieve this feat and third Indian in last 20 years.

In his last three ATP Challenger tournaments Yuki has won the Shanghai Challenger, was a runner-up in Taiwan and semifinalist at the Tashkent event.

  • India now has three singles players in top-200 in country’s tennis players after Leander Paes and Somdev Devvarman.
  • Rohan Bopanna is country’s highest ranked player in doubles at number 15, followed by Leander Paes (36) and Purav Raja (96).
  • In the WTA doubles rankings, Sania Mirza continues to be world number one player.


Dreaming Big – My Journey to Connect India – Sam Pitroda

Dreaming Big - My Journey to Connect India - Sam Pitroda

The book Dreaming Big: My Journey to Connect India was launched by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. It is the auto biography of Sam Pitroda written with the help of David Chanoff, an American author.

  • The book describes the journey of father of Indian telecom revolution – Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda.

Event was also attended by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

About Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda (Sam Pitroda)

  • 73 years old was born in Titilagarh village in Orissa is a telecom engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker.
  • Pitroda played a key role in telecom revolution as he launched the Center for the Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and served as Advisor to the Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) on Technology Missions.
  • Mr Pitroda served as the chairman of the National Knowledge Commission under from 2005 to 2009.

His other books include – The March of Mobile Money: The Future of Lifestyle Management and Exploding Freedom: Roots in Technology Education.


Renowned marine biologist Syed Zahoor Qasim passes away

Prominent Indian marine biologist and Padma Shri awardee Syed Zahoor Qasim (88) died on 20 October 2015 in New Delhi.

  • He was known as founder of polar biology in India – “Cyclobacterium qasimii”.

In 1981 Prof. Qasim made his first expedition to the frozen continent Antarctica. After then he successfully organized and guided the next the seven expeditions till 1988. He also made pioneered contributions in Fisheries Biology, estuarine ecology, environmental pollution and Antarctic research.

  • In 1982 he was honoured with Padma Bhushan.
  • He was also the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award of Indian Science Congress and Oceanology International Lifetime Achievement Award of UK.
  • He was a Member of the Planning Commission of India from 1991 to 1996.
  • Based on his research, he also published around 200 original research papers in national and international journals.


Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day observed on 21st October.

Aim – To highlight the consequences of iodine deficiency

           To raise awareness about adequate use of iodine

 Iodine deficiency is the world’s single greatest cause of preventable mental retardation and enlargement of the thyroid. One-third of world’s population is exposed to the risk of iodine deficiency disorders which includes 71 million people in India.