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Current Affairs Today – October 21 2016

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CAT OctoberINDIAN AFFAIRS

International conference on voter education Held in New Delhi
The Election Commission of India hold the first ever International Conference on Voter Education in New Delhi. The topic of the Conference is Voter Education for Inclusive, Informed and Ethical Participation.
i. The Conference was organized with an aim to share best practices, policies and initiatives of voter education by election management bodies. 27 countries and 5 international organizations are participating in the three day event which begin from October 19, 2016.
ii. The Conference also aims at achieving a resolution to strengthen inclusive, informed and ethical electoral participation among member countries with the help of voter education and outreach.
iii. This conference represents nearly 40% of the world’s population under a single roof, bears the testimony to the importance of the conference on the world stage.
iv. Giving the motto of “No Voter to be Left Behind”, the focus of the two-day conference will be on people. Deliberations would be held in great detail so as to adopt best practices across the world to ensure Voter Education and maximum Electoral Participation of the People

Civil Aviation Ministry’s Regional Connectivity Scheme “UDAN” Launched
i. The Ministry of Civil Aviation took a major step today towards making flying a reality for the small town common man. The Civil Aviation Minister Shri P Ashok Gajapathi Raju launched the Ministry’s much awaited Regional Connectivity Scheme “ UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)” in New Delhi.
ii. This first-of-its-kind scheme globally will create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
iii. The first flight under the scheme would be able to take off by January next year and the scheme had been prepared after a lot of stakeholder consultation and called for support from all players to make it a success.
iv. The scheme UDAN envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years. 

Krishna water tribunal refuses to relook into allocation
i. In a major set back to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States, the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal on sharing of Krishna waters (Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II) has made it clear that it would not take a relook into allocation of water among the riparian States but would take up distribution of water allocation to combined AP to Telangana and residuary AP States.
ii. The tribunal headed by Justice BrijeshKumar explained that  it would take up the issue of distribution of water allocated to erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh between the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
iii. The tribunal passed the judgement after the two states approached it arguing that Section 89 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 meant that the Krishna water would be redistributed among the four basin states. Maharashtra and Karnataka are the other two riparian states.
iv. The scope of the inquiry into the terms of reference under Section 89 of the Act no 6 of 2014 is confined to only two successor states, namely, states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and not all the four states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Indian  Railways organizes Conference on Heritage Rail Tourism jointly with  Asia Pacific Heritage & Rail Tourism Organisation
i. Heritage Rail Tourism Conference was organized by Indian Railways at National Rail Museum, New Delhi jointly with Asia Pacific Heritage&Rail Tourism Organization (APHRTO).
ii. Participants from many countries including Japan, UK, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, senior officers of Indian Railways and other stakeholders of Heritage Rail Tourism were present in the Conference.Indian Railways organizes Conference on Heritage Rail Tourism jointly with Asia Pacific Heritage & Rail Tourism Organisation
iii. The participants also visited Heritage Transport Museum, Gurgaon, being managed by Heritage Transportation Trust, New Delhi. discuss ideas on developing Rail Heritage Tourism in India.
iv. The Annual General Meetings of APHTRO and WATTRAIN (World Association of Tourist Trams and Trains) had been held as a side event. It was envisaged that this APHTRO Conference will bring ideas and visions for strategizing Rail Heritage Tourism in India.

Indo Italy Scientific and Technological Cooperation Re-Launched
i. The Indo-Italian Joint Committee established under the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement re-launch cooperation in the sectors of science, technology and innovation. The original agreement was signed between Italy and India in 2003.
ii. The Indian delegation led by Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, while the Italian delegation was led by Vincenzo De Luca, Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
iii. Rome hosted a meeting of the Joint Committee which approved several initiatives in bilateral scientific R&D projects of significance with the aim of facilitating the mobility of researchers who would be jointly selected and co-financed within the framework of the 2017-2019 Indo-Italy Executive Programme of Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
iv. The Committee expressed appreciation for the launch of the next phase of cooperation established between Italian and Indian researchers in the India-Trento Programme for Advanced Research (ITPAR).
v. Secretary, DST will also inaugurate two Indian experimental beamlines at the Synchrotron facility in Trieste for the ELETTRA ‘XRD2’ and ‘XPRESS’ accelerators which is funded by DST at a cost of 6 million Euros.

L&T Inks Pact With Maha Govt For Nagpur Smart City Project
Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed MoU with the Maharashtra government for Nagpur smart city project .
Smart City Project :
i. To laying of 1,200 km of optical fibre network backbone
ii. To create 136 city wifi hotspots at key locations, establishing 100 digital interactive kiosks and developing city surveillance systems with 3800 IP-based cameras.
iii. The city also has identified a strip of approximately 6 km from Japanese Garden Square to Orange City Hospital Square to be developed as a ‘Smart Strip‘ with smart ICT interventions & IOT (Internet of Things) solutions like smart lighting, smart transport, smart parking, smart bins, etc.
Maharashtra :
♦ Aga Khan Palace is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is located in Maharashtra
♦ Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Elephanta Caves are located in this state

Irom Sharmila announces formation of political party named Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance
i. Activist Irom Sharmila formed a new political party named People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) ahead of the Assembly polls in Manipur in 2017.
ii. She would contest from two constituencies Thoubal and Khurai. 
iii. She will be the co-convenor of the party, which includes a number of activists and entrepreneurs. Academician Erendro Leichombam is the convenor of the party.
iv. She broke her 16-year-long fast demanding withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special World's longest hunger strike by Irom Shramila comes to an end!Powers Act on August 9.
Manipur :
♦ Manipur is also known as Kangleipak or Sanaleibak
♦ Movie theatres were first introduced in Manipur in 1920.
♦ Capital : Imphal

Supreme Court freezes BCCIs financial powers, appoints independent auditor
i. Supreme Court has appointed an independent auditor to monitor the financial transactions of BCCI and set a threshold beyond which the board will have to take permission from the Lodha Panel.
ii. The auditor and Lodha panel to work together oversee the contracts entered into by the BCCI.
iii. This may impact the Indian Premier League and other major advertising agreements.
iv. The apex court also directed the BCCI to file an affidavit within two weeks on how will the Lodha recommendations be completed.
BCCI:
♦ The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was formed in December 1928 as a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.
♦ President: Anurag Thakur
♦ Secretary: Ajay Shirke
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Sponsor: Star India (formerly STAR TV India)

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan to enforce complete ban on Indian TV, radio contents from 21 October
i. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)  decided to enforce a complete ban on Indian TV and radio contents from October 21, 2016.The ban extends to all Indian content on cable and radio being aired in Pakistan.
ii. The authority also decided to cancel one-sided rights given to Indian media by the government of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf in 2006.
iii. The decision was implemented from October 16 as PEMRA launched crackdown on those channels using foreign contents illegally.
iv. regulator also said that strict action would be taken against the channels airing foreign content more than the prescribed limit and traders selling illegal DTH sets.
Pakistan :
♦ Capital : Islamabad
♦ Currency : Pakistani rupee
♦ Prime Minister : Nawaz Sharif

BANKING & FINANCE

Mumbai among 15 global cities in terms of total wealth
i. According to New World Wealth, India’s financial hub Mumbai has been named among top 15 cities globally in terms of total wealth held, while London topped the list.
ii. Total wealth held worldwide amounts to $185 trillion (as of June 2016). Globally, there are 13,300,000 millionaires and 1,940 billionaires in total .
Top 5 Cities in the World :

Rank City
1  London ($2.7 trillion)
2  New York City ($2.6 trillion)
3  Tokyo ($2.2 trillion)
4 San Francisco($1.9 trillion)
5 Beijing $1.8 trillion)

RBI relaxes norms for foreign investment in startups
i. The RBI relaxed foreign investment norms in financial services firms, startups and in investments by foreign regulated capital investors.Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs) can invest in Indian startups without prior permission of the RBI.
ii. The Reserve Bank of India also allowed banks to approve extension of external commercial borrowings on their own provided the debt is unpaid and has not defaulted before.
RBI decides to allow FDI up to 100% in other financial services
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opened the gates for more overseas investment coming to India by a series of steps liberalising the foreign direct investment rules, even as it braces for a possible $26-billion outflows on account of FCNR-B deposit (foreign currency nonresident-bank) maturities.

BUSINESS

Former HCL CEO Anant Gupta launches Rs100 crore tech fund TECHCELX
Former HCL CEO Anant Gupta launches Rs100 crore tech fund TECHCELXi. Former HCL Technologies Ltd chief executive officer (CEO) Anant Gupta launched a Rs.100 crore investment fund TECHCELX to invest in start-ups focused on digital technologies such as machine learning, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and analytics.
ii. TECHCELX will invest between Rs.50 lakh and Rs.10 crore in disruptive technology ventures and the shareholding will range between 15% and 51%.
iii. Three other key partners from investment banking and technology sectors are backing this fund.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Milan conferred honorary citizenship on Dalai Lama
i. The Milan city council bestowed honorary citizenship on His Holiness the Dalai Lama despite strong objections from Chinese government.
ii. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate accepted the honor inside a theater at the University of Milan-Bicocca campus before an audience of mostly students.
iii.The Chairman of the Council of Milan, Lamberto Bertole, honoured the Dalai Lama with the Milan Honorary Citizenship award at a ceremony held at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, Italy.
iv .Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, which is nominally headed by the Ganden Tripas.
v. From the time of the 5th Dalai Lama to 1959, the central government of Tibet, the Ganden Phodrang, invested the position of Dalai Lama with temporal duties.The Present 14th Dalai Lama was born in Taktser village, Amdo, Tibet.

Gavaskar To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From SJAM
The Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) named cricket legend Sunil Manohar Gavaskar for it’s Lifetime Achievement award . The award will be presented at the golden jubilee celebrations of SJAM on December 11, 2016 in Mumbai
♦ The SJAM’s first Lifetime Achievement award was presented to badminton legend Nandu Natekar in September 2013.
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar :
i. Gavaskar was the former India captain on the fourth day of the fourth Test match between India and England at the Wankhede Stadium.He has completed a memorable 50-year connect with the Indian cricket.
Gavaskar To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From SJAMii. He was a part of the Indian team led by Kapil Dev that won the third Prudential World Cup in 1983. He was the captain of the team that won the Benson and Hedges World Championship tournament in Australia in 1985.
iii. He  played 125 Test matches and scored 10,122 runs with 34 centuries. He also represented India in 108 ODIs tallying over 3,000 runs.
iv. After his retirement from international cricket in 1987, Gavaskar occupied a number of posts such as Chairman of the BCCI’s Technical Committee and ICC Cricket Committee. He has been an ICC Match Referee, Chairman of the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC), batting coach of the Indian team.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, NM takes over as Director General of Naval Operations 
i. Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, NM takes over as Director General of Naval Operations on October 21 , 2016.
ii. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1984.
iii. During his career spanning over 32 years, he has been through a myriad of operational and staff appointments.
iv. He was received Nau Sena Medal in 2007 by the President of India and Commendation by Chief of Naval Staff in 2000.

Japan’s Morinari Watanabe elected President of International Gymnastics Federation
Morinari Watanabe(57) from Japan was elected as the Ninth president of the International Gymnastics Federation at the 81st FIG Congress in Tokyo. He will replace Bruno Grandi.
♦ Nelli Kim was elected vice president of the FIG along with China’s Luo Chaoyi (China) and Vasily Titov (Russia).
Morinari Watanabe :
i. Morinari won 100 of the 119 votes and only 19 votes received by Bruno.
Japan's Morinari Watanabe elected President of International Gymnastics Federationii. He has been the secretary general of the Japan Gymnastics Association since 2010, and was elected to the FIG Executive Committee four years ago.
iii. He ran on a platform of increasing the popularity of the sport of gymnastics around the world.
International Gymnastics Federation :
♦ The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) or International Federation of Gymnastics (IFG), is the governing body of competitive gymnastics.
Headquarters : Lausanne, Switzerland and Founded: July 23, 1881.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Wipro to buy cloud services firm Appirio for $500 million
i. Wipro Ltd will spend $500 million to buy Appirio Inc., an Indianapolis, US-based cloud services firm.
ii. Appirio helps companies move applications to hosted servers offered by Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com.
iii. The privately held company, founded in 2006, has raised more than $110 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, and counts Facebook, Home Depot and IBM as its clients.
iv. Wipro has spent $1.13 billion to buy four companies, including Appirio.

HCL to acquire Butler America Aerospace for $85 million
i. HCL Technologies announced to acquire Butler America Aerospace for USD 85 million to strengthening its position in the aerospace and defence engineering services space.
ii. Butler Aerospace provides engineering, design services and after market engineering services to US aerospace and defence customers.
HCL Tech CEO Anant Gupta quits, C Vijayakumar to succeed
HCL Technologies CEO  Anant Gupta resigned from his post on October 21 2016. Chief Operating Officer C Vijayakumar is appointed as next CEO of HCL Tech.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Coast Guard Ship ICGS Rani Gaidinliu Commissioned
i. Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Rani Gaidinliu was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard in Visakhapatnam by Director-General of Coast Guard Rajendra Singh.The vessel is named after freedom fighter and famous Naga spiritual and political leader Rani Gaidinliu, who belonged to the Heraka cult of Manipur.
ii. Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Gaikhangam Gangamei, former Deputy Chief Minister and former Union minister ThounaojamChaoba Singh and AdmiPamei, who belongs to Rani Gaidnliu’s clan, were present
iii. Recently INS Tihayu, a fast attack craft, was commissioned by Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC). The ship was built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd.

ENVIRONMENT

Protein enriched rice variety developed by IGKV Chattisgarh
i. A protein-enriched rice variety has been developed by the Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalay (IGKV) here and researchers hope it would serve as a boon for malnourished population, especially children, in the tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh.
ii. The new developed rice variety has over 10% protein content, which is 3% morethan what is found in any popular variety and has 30 PPM (parts per million) zinc content.
iii. Rice is the staple food of the state and consumed on a regular basis, the research focused on enhancing its micro-nutrients and protein contents.
iv .Over five lakh childrenin the state are underweight, with tribal districts like
Bastar, Dantewada, Kondagaon and Narayanpur having a comparatively higher rate of malnourishment then other districts.
v. However, the government has been making several efforts with schemes like ‘VazanTyohar’ (weight festival) and nutritious meal week to overcome the malnutrition menace.

SPORTS

Indians finish on Podium at IWF World Weightlifting c’ships
i. India created history at the IWF Youth (Boys & Girls) World Weightlifting Championships at Penang, Malaysia, bagging a silver and a bronze medal in the 56kg weight category
ii. Jeremy Lalrinnunga finished second with a lift of 108kg in snatch and 127kg in clean & jerk for a total effort of 235kgs. Muthupandi Raja clinched the bronze with an overall lift of 233kgs (100+133), according to the Indian Weightlifting Federation release.
iii. In 48kg category, Mohini Chavan finished 6th while JhilliDalabehera stood 9th. Sharabani Das ended on 6th position in the 44kg weigth division.
iv. The World Weightlifting Championships is an event organised by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). The first competition, held in March 1891, was won by Edward Lawrence Levy of England.Athletes compete in a total of 15 weight categories (8 for men and 7 for women)

Sehwag is the only captain in ODI history to score 200
i. Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag is the only captain in ODI history to score a double ton, while leading India against the West Indies in 2011. Sehwag’s 149-ball 219, the then highest individual score in ODI cricket, helped the Men in Blue post their best ever ODI total of 418.SEHWAG
ii. Sehwag played 104 Tests and scored 8,586 runs at an average of 49.34 and a highest score of 319. In 251 One-Day Internationals (ODI), he scored 8,273 runs at an average of 35.05. He ended up with 38 international hundreds.
iii. 219 score is the third highest score in ODIs, after Rohit Sharma (264) and Martin Guptil (237 not out)It was in Tests that Sehwag went on to establish himself as one of the very best in the game.
iv. He is still the only Indian to have a triple century in his name, having done so against Pakistan (309 in Multan) and South Africa (319 in Chennai).One of four batsman in the Test history to score two triple centuries, alongside Don Bradman, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle

BOOKS & AUTHORS

The Sleepwalker’s Dream authored by Dhrubajyoti Borah released
i. Book titled The Sleepwalker’s Dream authored by Dhrubajyoti Borah, President of Asam Sahitya Sabha
ii. The book narrates the journey of a group of militants towards an elusive freedom and an uncertain future.
iii. Borah, a doctor by profession, is a Guwahati-based Assamese writer and novelist and this is his first novel in English.
iv. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Police Commemoration Day – October 21 2016
October -21 2016i. Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21 to honors the memory of Indian police personnel killed by Chinese soldiers in 1959.
ii. The day was officially instituted in 1960 and has been observed at the national level since 2012.
iii. The main parade and wreath-laying ceremony are held at the Police Memorial in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. All Indian police units hold commemoration parades to pay tribute to the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for service to the society and security of the nation.