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Current Affairs Today – October 23 2015

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Dear Readers, We cover some important news in Current Affairs Today Section, which are not covered in Daily Detailed News, More Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exam.

Current Affairs Today October 23 2015


Thailand tourism partners Cinema Tourism Summit 2015 to attract Bollywood

 The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in Mumbai has partnered with Cinema Tourism Summit (CTS) 2015 to attract film tourism by showcasing the destination to Bollywood film producers.

  • The production costs remain lower in Thailand as compared to most traditional as well as upcoming film-location destinations.
  • Bollywood movies that were shot in Thailand include – Houseful 2 which was shot in Krabi, Student of the Year was shot in Samui, Bangkok & Krabi.

India is one of Thailand’s fastest growing source-markets. In January-March 2015, 2, 31,012 Indian travelers visited Thailand, an increase of 13.73% over the same period last year. The tourism authority of Thailand expects 1.05 million arrivals from India in 2015.

Odisha gets its First 100% solar-powered village-BARIPATHA

On 2nd October 2015 the tribal Village called Baripatha became the first village in the state to be powered entirely by solar energy.

  • This Rs 7-lakh project, co-funded by ECCO Electronics (a solar products manufacturer) and Jakson Group (a diversified power solutions provider).
  • They provide individual solar units with two lamps in each of the village’s 61 households, along with a central one-kilowatt unit that powers eight street lamps, and an LED television set and a TV set-top box for the community centre.

Government divides Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Areas into two Separate Headquarters

In order to enhance the operational and administrative organizational structure the erstwhile Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area are divided to make two separate headquarters under Flag Officer Maharashtra Area and Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area.

  • The division of the Naval Areas was marked by Rear Admiral Satish Namdeo Ghormade, assuming of charge of Flag Officer Maharashtra Area. Rear Admiral Murlidhar Sadashiv Pawar will officiate as Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area


China’s First High-Resolution Satellite Maps Large Part of World

The Ziyuan III, China’s first high-resolution stereo mapping satellite for civilian use has sent back visual data covering 69.45 million square kilometres of the globe. Its mapping precision is higher than the other nation’s satellites. It was launched in January 2012.

  • The satellite produced images of 190 million square kilometres of fields for mapping, land, mining and water conservancy.
  • The satellite has offered services to aid the country’s land supervision, land sales, forest-resources survey, geological monitoring, water-resources management, emergency response and navigation map.

The Ziyuan III 02 satellite is planned to be launched in 2016 while another stereo mapping satellite Gaofen-7 is expected to be launched in 2018.


RBI’s Raghuram Rajan announced 50 bps rate

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan went with the majority view of external members on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the policy rate to announce the rate cut.

  • RBI, cut its benchmark policy rate- the repo rate by 50 bps to 6.75% to kick start economic activity on September 29.

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC):

  • Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) advise the Department of Commerce on the technical parameters for export controls applicable to dual-use commodities and technology and on the administration of those controls.
  • TAC members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and serve terms of not more than four consecutive years.

RBI Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI: Banks are free to fix Interest Rates on Gold Deposit Scheme

The Reserve Bank of India issued guidelines for the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) that allow banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits.

  • The gold deposit scheme is aimed at mobilising part of an estimated 20,000 tonnes of idle precious metal with households and institutions.

As Per guidelines

  • Banks will be free to set interest rate on such deposit, and principal and interest of the deposit will be denominated in gold.
  • Depositor will get an option on redemption of principal and interest at maturity.
  • The designated banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term (1-3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) as well as Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes.
  • The short term bank deposits will be applicable on cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR).
  • There will be provision for premature withdrawal subject to a minimum lock-in period and penalty to be determined by individual banks.
  • There is no bar for maximum gold deposit but the minimum deposit at one time should be raw gold equivalent to 30 grams of 995 fineness standards.

Banking correspondents exempted from service tax under PMJDY

The Government has exempted the banking correspondents from service tax for account opening, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, obtaining e-life certificates and Aadhaar seeding in the rural area branches of banking companies under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

  • PMJDY, a national mission on financial inclusion, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, with the main objective of covering all households with at least one bank account per household across the country.
  • Deposit in accounts opened under the government’s flagship financial inclusion programme has exceeded Rs. 25,000 crore.

Payments banks to expand reach of banking in rural areas: World Bank

As per World Bank Report 11 new payments banks is expected to expand penetration of the banking sector in vast rural areas of the country.

  • The payments banks would have simplified Know-Your-Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) norms.
  • The payments banks are permitted to provide remittance services, including through mobile telephones, and many of the approved entities are mobile operators.

Yes Bank inks partnership with Snapdeal and Blue Dart to facilitate faster seller payments

Maharashtra headquartered Yes Bank has inked a partnership with Snapdeal and Blue Dart to enhance the “Cash on Delivery” (COD) model by making strategic interventions in the financial supply chains of these companies.

  • The partnership is under Yes Transact (Yes Bank’s banking product suite) and will enable Snapdeal to receive cash-on-delivery proceeds from Blue Dart in a faster and streamlined manner.
  • Yes Bank will act as a collection banker to Blue Dart for its cash handling.

Yes Bank had earlier partnered with Snapdeal to implement industry’s first API banking services enabling Snapdeal to process customer refunds within an hour’s time.

Federal Bank launches local language mobile banking

Kochi headquartered Federal Bank has launched Malayalam and Hindi language versions for its mobile banking application FedMobile.
(Federal Bank tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner)
(Federal Bank CEO – Shyam Srinivasan)

  • Malayalam language version was launched by renowned writer Madathil Thekkepaattu Vasudevan Nair Vasudevan Nair.
  • The bank has become first bank in India to enable multi-lingual capability for mobile banking.

SEBI directs to attach bank, demat accounts of 11 entities

SEBI has ordered attachment of banks and demat accounts of 11 entities to recover dues worth nearly Rs 22 lakh imposed on them for violation of norms.

The firms against which SEBI has passed orders – Hind Developers, Munak Galva Sheets, Navin Chemicals Manufacturing and Trading Company, Cepham Pharmaceuticals, Cepham Organics, Intercraft, Sanjay Agro Industries, Jai Mata Industries, Majestic Overseas, Anmol Drugs and Pharmaceuticals and Ambuja Agro Industries.

  • These entities were found guilty of violating various norms including not resolving investor’s grievances.
  • The pending dues include fines imposed on them along with interest, charges, expenses and other costs.

The market regulator has been given powers to attach properties and bank accounts of persons and entities which have failed to comply with directions involving payment of penalties and other dues.

Japan offers to finance India’s first bullet train

Japan has offered to finance India’s first bullet train with an estimated cost of Rs. 90000 crores at an interest rate of less than 1%. The loan is likely to cover 80% of the project.

  • The loan is on the condition that India buys 30% of equipment including the coaches and locomotives from Japanese firms

As per Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) report travel between 505-kilometre corridors linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad would be reduced to 2 hours from existing 7 hours.

The bullet train is expected to have speeds between 300km/h and 350km/h.

Sanjay Dutt buys team in the Masters Champions League

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has purchased a franchise in the UAE-based Masters Champions League (MCL) for an undisclosed sum.

  • The deal has been signed by the Dutt’s wife, Maanyata, who’s been looking after his business interests in his absence.
  • Sanjay Dutt, serving time until next year for his alleged role in the 1993 Bombay blasts.
  • In 2012, he had set up the Super Fight League, along with Raj Kundra, former co-owner actor of the Rajasthan Royals IPL team and actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband.

About Masters Champions League
MCL is Twenty20 cricket league formed by Zafar Shah (Chairman of GM Sports) will kick off in 2016 and will feature retired international cricketers. The tournament consists of 6 teams with a total of 90 players i.e. 15 members per squad. It was launched in Dubai.


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded 2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China

2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China Award Winner – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Awarded for : His inspirational leadership and service to pan-Africanism and African independence.And also for his efforts to overcome difficulties of all kinds and his commitments for constructing his nation’s political and economic order.

  • This award is dubbed as China’s Nobel peace prize.
  • Previous Recipients of award includes Vladimir Putin (2011), Kofi Annan and Yuan Longping (2012) and Fidel Castro (2014).


Alok Rawat first male member of NCW

Alok Rawat first male member of NCW

Delhi based, the 5 member body, National Commission for Women (NCW) has been appointed Former Water Resources Secretary Alok Rawat as its first male member by filling its 4th seat.

About Alok Rawat

  • He is 1977 batch Sikkim cadre IAS officer,
  • Mr Rawat has served as Director/Joint Secretary in Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Secretary (UPSC), Secretary (Coordination and Public Grievances) in the Cabinet Secretariat and Secretary in Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

About National Commission for Women
The National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body of the GOI established in January 1992 under the provisions of National Commission for Women Act 1990.

  • The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in India and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns.
  • The commission regularly publishes a monthly newsletter Rashtra Mahila.

Dr Sekhar Basu takes charge as Chairman, AEC and Secretary, DAE

Padma Shri awardee Dr. Sekhar Basu appointed as the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy in Mumbai. He will succeed Dr. Ratan Kumar Sinha.

  • Sekhar Basu is a renowned nuclear scientist.
  • Before taking up this position he has been the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
  • Earlier he worked as the Project Director of Nuclear Submarine Programme and later as the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board.
  • He is the recipient of DAE Group Achievement Award, Indian Nuclear Society Award and the DAE Special Achievement Award.

Finance Ministry to nominate Shaktikanta Das to RBI board

Finance Ministry to nominate Shaktikanta Das to RBI board

The finance ministry is going to nominate Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das to the board of Reserve Bank of India which shows an ease in the relationship of RBI and Finmin.

Few months back when Additional Secretary Ajay Tyagi was appointed to the board in place of then Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has raised eyebrows in the relationship between two bodies.

  • The RBI Act mandates that its affairs be governed by a central board of directors and predominantly the senior bureaucrat in the department of economic affairs has been a member of the board.

About Shaktikanta Das
Shri Shaktikanta Das is 1980 cadres IAS officer.
He served revenue secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry.
Prior to this he was Fertilizer Secretary in the Department of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Lupin appoints Fabrice Egros as President of Asia Pacific business

Drug major Lupin has appointed Fabrice Egros as President, Asia Pacific and Japan. He will be based in Tokyo and will be responsible for Lupin’s growth and development across Japan, Australia, the Philippines, South East Asia and ASEAN region.

About Fabrice Egros
Fabrice holds a Degree in Pharmacy, a MS in clinical pharmacology and a Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Paris (School of Medicine and Pharmacy) and completed Advanced Management Program from Harvard University.

  • Fabrice has over 25 years of experience within the global pharmaceutical industry.
  • Prior to joining Lupin, Fabrice was with NovaMedica where he was the Deputy CEO/ COO.

About Lupin Limited
Headquartered in Mumbai, Lupin is 6th largest generics player in the US and the 3rd largest Indian pharmaceutical company.

  • It is an innovation led transnational pharmaceutical company producing and developing a wide range of branded & generic formulations, biotechnology products and APIs globally.


IOC honorary member Ashwini Kumar passes away

IOC honorary member Ashwini Kumar passes away

Former member of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ashwini Kumar has passed away. He was 94.

  • Kumar joined the IOC in 1973 and became an Honorary Member in 2000. He was a Member of the Executive Board (1980-1987, 1992-1996), Vice-President of the IOC (1983- 1987)
  • Ashwini served the police force for 36 years and retired as the Director General of the Border Security Force in 1978.
  • He was the President of Indian Hockey Federation for 16 years and Vice-President of International Hockey Federation (FIH) for more than 15 years.
  • He also headed the Indian hockey delegation at the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968.
  • He also served as the President of the Indian Basketball Federation and President of the Punjab Olympic Association for 12 years.

Kumar left his mark at Commonwealth Games Federation and Asian Games Federation and was elected Life President of the Indian Olympic Association.

Singer Labh Janjua Found Dead

Singer Labh Janjua Found Dead in Mumbai Apartment

A popular Punjabi singer from Khanna near Ludhiana, Punjab Labh Janjua (57) was found dead at his residence in Goregaon, Mumbai. He was a bhangra and hip hop singer and song writer.

Police is investigating the cause of his death.

  • He was the voice behind the popular bollywood songs London Thumakda from Queen, Mundian to Bach Ke, Jee Karda, and Dance Pe Chance from Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi etc.