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Current Affairs Today – October 23 2016

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Three day long Global Conference to Make India the Centre for Arbitration held in New Delhi
i. The first ever Global Conference to Strengthen Arbitration and Enforcement in India held in New Delhi. The three day long conference titled, “National Initiative On Strengthening Arbitration And Enforcement In India” from October 21st to 23rd, 2016 is being launched by the Government and Judiciary as a major initiative to change the face of dispute resolution in India.
ii. For the first time six leading international arbitral institutions (HKIAC, ICC, KLRCA, LCIA, PCA and SIAC) and all major industry associations (FICCI, PHD Chamber, CII and ASSOCHAM) have come together to drive this initiative.
iii. The conference seeks to provide impetus to commercial arbitration in India, which is fast gaining pace across the world, for faster, more efficient dispute resolution outside the court room.
iv. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the conference while Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a valedictory address the conference had Chief Justice of India Justice T S Thakur as its patron-in-chief.

PM Modi launched #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign.
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign through which people can send their Diwali greetings and messages to soldiers guarding the nation’s frontiers to boost their morale.PM Modi launched #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign
ii. The campaign gives every citizen an opportunity to spread happiness among the Indian Armed Forces, who are guarding our nation’s frontiers, far from their loved ones on Diwali.
iii. The Prime Minister shared through social media, a special video featuring his appeal to the people to send messages to our brave armed forces personnel.
iv. People can send messages to soldiers on the Narendra Modi App through, and also through All India Radio. Doordarshan is also going to mount a programme to share people’s emotions with the armed forces.

Tawang festival celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh.
i. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the land of tribes. The festivals here are abound with zest and life – based on aspects related to nature and agriculture. Dance is the soul of all the festivals here; performed with pride and belief.
ii. Losar or The New Year festivalis the most important festival of Tawang District in Arunachal Pradesh. The MonpaTribe celebrated this as the coming of a new year. The Monpas are the major portion of the population in the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh.
iii. The initial celebrations start with people cleaning their homes and discarding all the old items to welcome the festival. This festival mostly falls in the last part of February or early part of March.
iv. The festival generally lasts for eight to fifteen days and is celebrated with loads of fun and festivity. During the festival days, festivities prayers are offered for prosperity and good health.


G-20 Anti Corruption Working Group (ACWG) meeting held in Paris
i. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) held a 6th joint Experts Meeting on Corruption in Paris, France. The meeting was chaired jointly by the FATF President, Mr. Juan Manuel Vega-Serrano (Spain) and the G20 ACWG Co-Chair, Mr. Creon Butler (United Kingdom).
ii. Focus: On transparency and beneficial ownership given the topic’s priority in both the FATF and G20 agendas and its particular interest to the international community overall.
iii. A G-20 Seminar on Corruption & Global Economy was held two days before this meeting. It was organized in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Headquarters.
iv. Participants in this dialogue included 104 delegates from 36 jurisdictions and 16 international organisations.The delegation from India is headed by Joint Secretary (International Cooperation), DoPT, Shri Devesh Chaturvedi.
G20 :
♦ The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
♦ Founded: 1999
♦ Headquarters : ‎Cancún, Mexico
♦ Members : Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States along with the European Union (EU).


NABARD sanctions Rs 19,702 cr for 50 irrigation projects
i. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 19,702 crore loan to National Water Development Agency (NWDA) for 50 irrigation projects.
ii. The loan is sanctioned under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF), announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the Budget 2016-17.
iii. This would help create additional irrigation potential of 39.14 lakh hectares under these projects in 11 states.
iv. NABARD gave the first instalment of Rs 1,500 crore to NWDA, which is an agency of Ministry of Water Resources.Irrigation Project
♦ The initial corpus of NABARD was Rs.100 crores.
♦ Chairperson: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: July 12, 1982, India
♦ Sponsor: Government of India

ICICI, Axis, StanChart got back $2.5 bn of Essar loans.
i. About$2.5 billion were made to the three lenders as part of the first tranche of the repayment schedule. The $13-billion sale of Essar Oil to Russia‘s Roseneft has helped lenders, including  ICICI BankAxis bank and StanChart, recover a combined $2.5 billion in part payment of their exposure to the Essar Group.
ii. The two Indian lenders — which together had an exposure of $1.5 billion will get back nearly half of their money or about $770million in cash.
iii. Out of the total cash component, nearly $350 million was paid in cash to the two Indian banks, which together with interest payout of about $100 million takes their total collection from Essar to about $450 million.
iv. Between the two Indian lenders, ICICI Bank’s share is nearly three-fourths while that of Axis Bank is about one-fourth in the total exposure as well as repayments.


Rajasthan to launch country’s first indigenous olive oil brand.
i. After eight years of harnessing olive saplings brought from Israel, Rajasthan is all set to launch next month its own brand olive oil, which it claims, will be the country’s first indigenously-produced brand.
Ollive Oi lBoardii. The state would be launching its olive oil under the brand ‘Raj Olive Oil’ at the Global Rajasthan Agri-tech Meet (GRAM) was announced by state Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini.
iii. After the product’s launch, the state will work on avenues to market it and seek cooperation from experts to increase its production
iv. Rajasthan’s agreement with olives began in 2008 with 1.12 lakh saplings brought from Israel and grown here. The saplings were planted in 182 hectares of government farms in seven agri- climatic zones – Bassi, Bakalia, Santhu, Barore, Tinkirudi, Lunkaransarand Bsabasina villages.

TRAI imposed Rs.3050cr fine on Airtel, Voda, Idea for denying connectivity to Jio.
i. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended a large sum of  penalty of Rs.3,050 crore on top three telcos – Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, for violating their license agreement and denial of interconnection to new player Reliance Jio.
ii. The regulator has recommended penalty of Rs.50 crores each for 21 of the 22 circles of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone (except J&K).In case of Idea, it has recommended penalty of Rs.50 crores each for 19 circles where the operator provides services.
iii. Jio has accused incumbent operators of providing less than required points of interconnections (PoIs) needed for its users to complete calls to rivals’ network, while operators charged the newcomer of unleashing a “tsunami” of free traffic on their networks.
iv. Interconnection enables mobile users to make calls to customers of other telecom  networks and iscrucial for smooth functioning of mobile services


Air India flies Delhi-San Francisco nonstop over Pacific, and into record books
i. Air India has become the first ever flight to flown over the Pacific Ocean from Delhi to San Fransico (SFO), instead of the Atlantic.  Air India flew non-stop over the Ocean making the record of operating the world’s longest nonstop flight.
ii. The Pacific route is almost 1,400km longer than the Atlantic one, and the flight covered 15,300 kilometres in 14.5 hours. Despite the route being longer, the flight took almost two hours less thanks to tailwinds — winds that blow in the same direction as an aircraft and thus make it go faster.
iii. At 13,900km, the Atlantic route of AI’s Delhi-SFO nonstop flight made it the world’s second-longest after Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland (14,120km).

Karnataka’s Almatti dam awarded by World Bank
i. Almatti dam, one of the largest reservoirs in Karnataka, was chosen for the World Bank’s Award of Excellence for best utilisation of funds for renovation to enhance the strength of the dam.
ii. The World Bank had granted Rs.72 crore to the Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited to prevent seepage which could damage the dam.
About Almatti Dam :
♦ The project was completed in 2000 and water storage began in 2002.
♦  This is the first renovation work started in March this year and it was taken up under the DRIP scheme by the Union government
Dams located in Karnataka :
Krishna Raja Sagara Dam, Tungabhadra Dam,  Bhadra Dam and  Vani Vilasa Sagara Dam


Former Google Search Head Amit Singhal Joins Paytm’s Board Of Directors
Former Google Search Head Amit Singhal Joins Paytm's Board Of Directorsi. Former Google Search Head Amit Singhal(48) Joins Paytm Board of Directors to strengthens its financial and technology management.
ii. He has been instrumental in shaping Google Search and was one of the earliest team members.
iii. Paytm’s board currently consists of its CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, along with SAIF Partners Ravi Adusumalli and Vivek Mathur, AliPay’s Jing Xiandong and Peng Yijie, In-Mobi’s Naveen Tewari, WhatsApp’s Neeraj Arora, Sapphire Ventures’ Jai Das and Tata Gorup’s Ratan Tata.

World free zones body names P.S. Raman as representative for SAARC
i. The World Free Zones Orgànisation (World FZO) has appointed P. S. Raman as its Regional Representative for SAARC countries
ii. He is currently working as the Joint Development Commissioner (Retd), Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone, Special Economic Zone, Mumbai.
World FZO :
♦ The World FZO is an international multilateral organisation registered in Geneva to supporting management and continuous development of Free Zones,
♦ It’s headquartered in Dubai.
It comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


AT&T Agrees to Buy Time Warner for $85.4 Billion
i. Telecommunications giant AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner for about $85.4 billion to expand beyond it’s wireless and Internet service into programming
ii. It is one of the biggest media tie-ups ever. AT&T will pay $107.50 a share a big premium over where Time Warner stock was trading last week. Including Time Warner’s debt, the deal’s value is $109 billion.
iii. Time Warner is the parent of CNN, TNT, HBO, the Warner Bros. studio, and other channels and websites, CNNMoney.


Indian Navy said goodbye to world’s oldest aircraft carrier INS Viraat.  
i. INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier, was accorded a grand send-off from the port city in Kochi, after over five decades of its service to the Navy.
INS Viraat to be developed as tourism centreii. The ship, which underwent a withdrawing refit, is being towed back by three tugs to Mumbai for the decommissioning ceremony, was reported by a Navy official.
iii. The final journey of the carrier began with Navy officials led by the Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Nadkarni bidding farewell to the carrier at Ernakulam Wharf of Cochin Port Trust.
iv. Viraat is expected to be decommissioned by end of this year, after 55 years of service, including 27 years with the Royal Navy (British Navy). The Navy has agreed to hand over INS Viraat to Andhra Pradesh government after its decommissioning.

Oldest known planet-forming disk discovered.
i. Scientists from University of Oklahoma have discovered the oldest known planet-forming disk — a 45 million-year-old ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star, from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.
ii. The team described a newly identified red dwarf star with a warm circumstellar disk, of the kind associated with young planetary systems.
iii. Circumstellar disks around red dwarfs like this one are rare to begin with,
but this star, called AWI0005x3s, appears to have sustained its disk for an exceptionally long time. The findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
iv. This particular red dwarf is a candidate member of the Carina stellar association, which would make it around 45 million years old (like the rest of the stars in that group). It’s the oldest red dwarf system with a disk we’ve seen in one of these associations.


India beat Iran 38-29 to win 2016 Kabaddi World Cup
i. India beat Iran 38-29 in the title clash to lift the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad on October 22 2016.
ii. The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, the third standard-style Kabaddi World Cup, was an international kabaddi tournament governed by the International Kabaddi Federation, contested from 7 to 22 October 2016 in Ahmedabad, India. Twelve countries had competed in the tournament. I
iii. Ahmedabad’s Trans Stadia Arena, which is India’s first convertible stadium.Being Asia’s biggest seven-floor stadium, Arena’s 20, 000 seater transforms into a 4000 seater, pillar-less multipurpose indoor venue at the touch of a button.

North Korea won 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
i. North Korea’s women’s U-17 team has been a powerhouse for nearly a decade and now they are U-17 World Cup champions for the second time. The North Koreans beat Japan in penalty kicks to win the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup capping an undefeated tournament held in JordanFIFA U-17
ii. Rio Kanekatsu was the only player of the ten to miss, blasting her spot kick high and wide, which allowed Kim Pom-ui to slot home the winner and regain a trophy the North Koreans first won eight years ago in New Zealand.
iii. They encountered the last time in the competition in 2010 when the Japanese prevailed over the Koreans with a 2-1 result. The final which was played inside the Amman International Stadium, saw both teams fail to break the deadlock after 90 minutes.
iv. And in the penalty shootout, Rio Kanekatsu missed Japan’s fourth spot kick, while Kim Pom Ui converted North korea’s final kick to secure the win.

Abhijeet Gupta created history at Hoogeveen International.
i. Grandmaster and Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta created history at the Hoogeveen International chess tournament by becoming the first player ever to win the title twice in a row in the FIDE Open that concluded at the Dutch hamlet.
ii. Abhijeet lived up to his top billing, and scored 7.5 points out of a possible nine to win the title solely ahead of second placed Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda.
iii. It was an Indian sweep as the third and fourth places were also bagged by GM M.R. LalithBabu and G.M.M. ShyamSundar respectively.
iv. Among other Indians in the fray, young talent Rakesh KumarJena and Dushyant Sharma were quite impressive and stand to gain over 100 rating points apiece from here


Mehar Mittal, legend of comedy in Punjabi movies passes away
i. Veteran Punjabi comedy actor Mehar Mittal passed away in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. He was 81.
ii. Mittal was a staple for Punjabi movies for decades. He worked in more than 100 movies and ruled the screen for over three decades.
iii. His famous movie was ‘Maa Da Ladla’ in 1969  , other  some notable movies are ‘Sacha Mera Roop Hai’, ‘Qurbani Jatt Di’, ‘Chann Pardesi’, ‘Santo Banto’, ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun’, ‘Putt Jattan De’ and ‘Babul Da Vehra’ .
iv. Later he joined the Brahma Kumaris movement around 10 years ago.

Junko Tabei, first woman to climb Everest, died at 77.
i. The first woman to ascend Everest, Japanese climber Junko Tabei, has died aged 77.Tabei conquered Everest in May 1975, aged 35, before climbing all of the world’s seven highest peaks by 1992.
Junko Tabei, first woman to climb Everest, died at 77.ii. She was diagnosed with abdomen cancer four years ago, and died in hospital in the city of Saitama.Her last ascent was of Mount Fuji in July, alongside high school students affected by the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
iii. Tabei was originally from Fukushima prefecture, that was badly affected by the disaster.JunkoTabei was born on 22 September 1939. She was a Japanese mountaineer.
iv .She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and the first woman to complete the Seven Summits by climbing the tallest peak on every continent.

Marathi actress Ashwini Ekbote dies after collapsing on stage during performance
i. Classical danseuse and Marathi actress Ashwini Ekbote passed away.
ii. Ashwini the 44-year-old, who had also acted in several plays, was performing at the Bharat Natyamandir, Pune died after collapsing on stage during a performance.


Amit Shah releases Jaitley’s ‘Andhere se Ujale ki Aur’
i. BJP President Amit Shah released the book ‘Andhere se Ujale ki Aur‘ authored by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
ii. The book is a compilation of blogs and articles.
Arun Jaitley :
Jaitley is the current Finance Minister, Minister of Corporate Affairs in the Cabinet of India. He is the member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.