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Current Affairs Today – October 22 2016

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CAT OctoberINDIAN AFFAIRS

Mahesh Varma chaired the first meeting of reconstituted CABC
i. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism chaired the “First Meeting of the Re-constituted Central Advisory Board on Culture (CABC).
ii. When addressing on the occasion, he stressed on the need to evolve a participative process of decision making in the field of Culture, and invited suggestions from the eminent members on the way forward.
iii. The members of the CABC were requested to highlight priority areas in the fields of art, music, dance and literature.
iv. The Minister assured the members of all possible help from the Ministry of Culture in this brain-storming session. The next CABC meeting has been scheduled for 21st November, 2016 at Varanasi wherein these priority areas highlighted by the artists would be taken forward.

PM Modi inaugurates international terminal at Harni airport
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vadodara to inaugurate the international terminal at Harni airport on October 22 016.Harni is only the second “green building” airport in country.
PM Modi inaugurates international terminal at Harni airportii. He would also attend a programme to distribute man-made limbs and other implements to more than 8000 ‘Divyangs’ (disabled persons) in the city.
iii .The state-of-the-art terminal, built at the cost of Rs.160 crore, is spread over 18,120 sqmt and can handle 700 passengers (domestic plus international) per hour. It will have 18 check-in counters. The airport is located in Harni area on the outskirts of Vadodara.
iv.The event has been jointly organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Kanpur-based Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), and Vadodara district administration.

Triple talaq a highly misused custom: NCW  
i. The triple talaq was a “highly misused” custom and it should be scrapped to protect the rights of Muslim women said by Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW).
ii. Triple talaq is an effort to protect the rights of Muslim women. It cannot be linked to the Uniform Civil Code.
iii. There is a concern about how triple talaq is unilaterally applied, leaving women and children in bad shape.
iv. It is a highly misused custom that has to be done away with. Several Islamic countries have banned it
National Commission of Women (NCW) :
♦ The National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body of the Government of India.
♦ It is concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women.
♦ It was established in January 1992 under the provisions of the Indian Constitution.

Centre forms committee to keep vigil on bird flu situation
i. The Centre formed a three-member committee headed by Munialappa, Joint Commissioner in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries (DADF) Munialappa to keep a close watch on the bird flu situation which has so far killed 24 birds in New Delhi on October 22, 2016.It was announced by Union Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave.
India Declares itself Free from Avian Influenza (H5N1)ii. Constant vigil being observed by Government agencies in & around National Zoological Park to monitor & contain H5 Avian Influenza in co ordination with State level Agencies.
Current bird flu situation :
♦ 24 birds have died , including 11 ducks at the Deer Park since October 14.
♦ A new bird flu virus subtype H5N8 was confirmed in samples from Gandhi Zoological Park, Gwalior
About Bird Flu :
Avian influenza (AI) or bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans. However some virus such as A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan warned India against breaching  Indus Water Treaty
i. Pakistan warned “appropriate action” if India violated the Indus Water Treaty and it was closely monitoring the situation, amid reports that New Delhi might revisit the key water sharing accord.
ii. Appropriate action would be taken in line with the Treaty in case of any violation by India was announced by Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria the weekly briefing.
iii. Pakistan was keeping a close eye on the situation, Radio Pakistan quoted him Mr. Zakaria’s remarks come amid reports that India may review the 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty.
iv. He also termed the Indian treatment to Pakistani artistes “very disappointing and highly regrettable” as he deplored India’s decision to “use SAARC for its political ambition.

BANKING & FINANCE

Andhra Pradesh, Singapore’s MAS pact for financial services
i. Andhra Pradesh government signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote innovation in financial services in their respective markets.
ii. Under the FinTech Cooperation Agreement, MAS and the state government will explore joint innovation projects on technologies such as digital payments and block-chain, collaborate on development of education programmes and curricula on fintech (financial technologies).
iii. This agreement will pave way for greater FinTech collaboration between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh. We are looking to create a market place in India for FinTech solutions developed in Singapore.

India inked loan pact with world bank for eastern Freight Corridor
i. The Union Government has signed $650 million loan agreement with the World Bank for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project.
ii. The objective of the EDFC-III Project is to augment rail transport capacity, improve service quality and enhance freight carriage throughput on the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor
iii. It is also to develop institutional capacity of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. to build, maintain and operate the entire DFC network.
iv. EDFC is 1,840 km long and extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal as a series of projects with three sections.
v. It is also going to help to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, as trains complying on this dedicated freight corridor will operate entirely on electricity.

Finance Ministry announces sixth tranche of gold bonds
i. The Finance Ministry announced the sixth tranche of sovereign gold bonds.
ii. Applications for the bonds will be accepted from October 24 to November 2 and the bonds will be issued on November 17Finance Ministry announces sixth tranche of gold bonds
iii. The price of the gold bonds will be Rs.50 per gram less than the nominal value and it will be be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India, designated post offices and stock exchanges.
iv. The tenure of the bond will be for a period of eight years with exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
v. Minimum investment of one gram will be allowed while the maximum will be 500 gram per person per fiscal year

HDFC raised Rs.500 crore via masala bonds
i. Mortgage lender HDFC has raised Rs.500 crore through rupee-denominated bonds from overseas investors.
ii. With reference to the earlier letter dated October 12, 2016, informing about the opening of the fourth issue of rupee-denominated bonds to overseas investors, aggregating an amount up to Rs.500 crore.
iii .In this connection, Housing Development Finance Corporation has now informed BSE that the corporation has closed the said issue on October 14, 2016.” The issue carries a coupon rate of 7.25 per cent per annum payable semi-annually. The bonds will mature on January 9, 2020.
iv. The masala bonds are instruments through which Indian entities can raise funds by accessing overseas capital markets while bond investors hold the currency risk
HDFC  :
♦ CEO: Aditya Puri
♦  Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: August 1994, Indi

BUSINESS

Microsoft launches cybersecurity engagement centre in India
i. US based Microsoft has set up a cybersecurity engagement centre (CSEC) in New Delhi to work with partners in identifying and responding to cyber threats in India.
Microsoft launches cybersecurity engagement centre in Indiaii. Mission: To help build a trusted and secure computing environment, a critical enabler for India’s digital transformation.
iii. It is the seventh such facility centre of Microsoft and other cybersecurity centres operated by Microsoft are located in Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Berlin and Washington DC.
iv. It will function as a satellite to Microsoft’s Redmond Digital Crimes Unit (DCU).
Microsoft :
♦ Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft or MS) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington.
♦ It was the world’s largest software maker by revenue and one of the world’s most valuable companies

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Luis Suarez receives 2nd European Golden Shoe of his career
i. Luis Suarez was awarded with the European Golden Shoe after scoring 40 goals for Barcelona last season and It is the second time he’s won the prize, having shared it with Cristiano Ronaldo two years ago.
ii. The European Golden Shoe, formerly known as the European Golden Boot, is an association football award presented each season to the leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Wonder Woman named honorary UN ambassador, staffers protest ‘sexualised cartoon character’
i. The United Nations (UN) has celebrated Wonder Woman’s 75th birthday by naming the comic book character as its new honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls, despite frustration from both inside and outside the world organisation that the spot should go to a real and less-sexualised woman.
ii. The ceremony, at the Economic and Social Council chamber, was marred by some 50 UN staffers who silently turned their back to the stage, some with their fists in the air.
iii. The super heroine’s image will be used by the UN on social media platforms to promote women’s empowerment, including on gender-based violence and the fuller participation of women in public life, using the hashtag #WithWonderWoman.

D. Bala Venkatesh Varma appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Spain  
i. Former IFS officer D. Bala Venkatesh Varma has been appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to the kingdom of Spain.
ii. This was announced by Ministry of External Affairs.
Spain :
♦ Capital : Madrid
♦ Currency :Euro
♦ Prime Minister : Mariano Rajoy

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Mahindra & Mahindra acquires 100% stake in BSA for Rs 28 crore 
Mahindra & Mahindra has acquired UK-based two-wheeler maker BSA Company for Rs 28 crore.Mahindra & Mahindra acquires 100% stake in BSA for Rs 28 crore
i. This acquisition will enable CLPL acquire/obtain license of brand and utilise the same for selling, marketing, distributing motorcycles globally
ii. M&M had completed the acquisition of 51 per cent stake in Peugeot Motocycles (PMTC), a part of the euro 54 billion France-based PSA Group in 2015
BSA :
♦ The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) was a major British industrial company.It is manufacturing military and sporting firearms, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses and bodies
♦ It was the largest motorcycle producer in the world

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Hyderabad firm develops pig tapeworm vaccine
i. Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has unveiled a vaccine to fight against tapeworms in pigs. It is the first in the world to fight tapeworms in pigs
ii. The vaccine is called CYSVAX. IIL has obtained the license to manufacture and market the vaccine after conducting extensive field trials in India and many other countries such as Spain, Peru etc.
iii. The vaccine was developed in collaboration with Dr.Marshall Lightowlers, University of Melbourne, Australia and GALVmed (Global Alliance for Veterinary medicine).

Coast Guard Ships  Aryaman and Atulya commissioned
i. The Indian Coast Guard Ships ‘Aryaman’ and ‘Atulya’, the eighteenth and nineteenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, were commissioned at Kochi by Financial Advisor to Defence Services Shri Sunil Kumar Kohli.
Coast Guard Ships Aryaman and Atulya commissionedii. The ships have been christened ICGS ‘Aryaman’ and ‘Atulya’. Aryaman literally meaning is ‘Possessor of Greatness’ and Atulya meaning is ‘Unrivalled
iii. Both FPVs are 50m long and have displace of 317 tonnes of water. They can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with range of 1500 nautical miles.They are equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, advanced communication and navigational equipment.
iv.Aryaman will be based at Kochi under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West).Atulya will be based at Visakhapatnam under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).

Mobile App HawaBadlo to fight against air pollution in delhi
i. The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), a Supreme Court-appointed pollution watchdog, launched a mobile app “HawaBadlo”, aiming to improve air quality with public participation.
ii.T he app provides a public platform to report the incidents causing air pollution. The complaints will be forwarded by EPCA to the concerned officials.
iii. It was developed by EPCA, Delhi’s municipal corporations and concerned departments from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana.
iv. The app aims at an inclusive participation of citizens in reporting incidences of leaf and garbage burning, building and construction dust and unpaved road dust, and thereby makes them part of the city’s fight to curb toxic air pollution.

ENVIRONMENT

Smooth-coated otter was sighted for the first time in krishna sanctuary
i.Smooth-coated otter was sighted for the first timein the mangrove forest near the Krishna wildlife sanctuary (KWS) in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.
ii.In all, seven otters including a family of four, were found in a playful mood and the rest were photographed while preying on the fish in the brackish waters.
iii. A.Venkata Appa Rao have documented the presence of the Smooth-coated otter in the mangrove forests and brackish water channels in Eelachetladibba and Lankevennedibba and other areas outside the KWS.
iv. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), conservation status of the Smooth-coasted Otter, distributed throughout South Asia and South East Asia is, ‘vulnerable.

Typhoon Haima makes landfall in South China
i. Typhoon Haima made a landfall in south China’s Guangdong Province triggering sudden downpours in several cities.
ii. At least five counties and cities in Guangdong experienced heavy rain fall on October 22, 2016
iii. The water level at most of the province’s dam were at dangerous levels and the ground especially on mountain slopes, was still saturated from the last typhoon.

SPORTS

Goa given green light to host FIFA U-17 World Cup India
i. Goa joined Kochi and Navi Mumbai as one of the venues to host next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup after it received the green signal from a high-level delegation of football’s world body.
ii. A 13-member FIFA delegation along with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) made an inspection to ascertain the readiness of Goa to host matches and training sessions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.
iii. Following the visit, LOC and FIFA experts expressed their satisfaction with the work which has been put in at the venue and ratified Goa as the third venue to host the event after Kochi and Navi Mumbai.
iv. FIFA team to head to New Delhi to inspect Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Russia choses wolf as 2016 world cup mascot
i. A wolf named Zabivaka has been chosen as the official mascot of the upcoming FIFA football World Cup which will be held in Russia in 2018, gaining more than 53 percent of a nationwide voteRussia choses wolf as 2016 world cup mascot
ii. The vote was held across Russia over the course of a month, with a wolf, a cat, and a tiger comprising the candidates. In the end, Zabivaka proved to be a runaway winner, attracting more than half of a whopping one million plus votes cast.
iii. The mascot will make his debut at the 2017 Confederations Cup, which will also be held in Russia in four different cities: Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan.
iv. Mutko, who is also the head of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and a member of FIFA’s executive committee reported that the mascot included inspiring supporters, while expressing confidence that Zabivaka would be more than up to the task.

OBITUARY

Eminent Assamese journalist Tilak Hazarika passes away
i. Veteran Assamese journalist Tilak Hazarika has died in Guwahati, Assam. He was 96
ii. Hazarika was serving till his death as the Editor of the Assamese weekly Sadin and as an advisor of the vernacular daily Dainik Pratidin.