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Current Affairs Today – October 28 2015

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Current Affairs Today 28 October 2015INDIAN AFFAIRS

India Becomes Biggest Gold Consumer by Surpassing China

According to survey, India moved up at top position as the biggest overall consumer of gold in the first nine months of 2015 with total consumption of 642 tonnes while China was recorded with 579 tonnes of consumption.

In accordance with the Thomson Reuters report

  • Jewellery consumption increased 5% year-on-year to an estimated 193 tonnes in the third quarter of 2015, the highest quarterly consumption since 2011 and the highest third quarter demand since 2008
  • Retail investment rose 30% year-on-year to 55 tonnes, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • The total official gold imports to India in the third quarter increased by 23% to 263 tonnes, which is the highest quarterly volume year-to-date.

The increase in demand in the third quarter is attributed to the fall in local gold prices due to official depreciation of the yuan, was the lowest since August 2011.

ITBP to post women at border posts along China

Border guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will deploy women personnel for the first time in combat duties at its high-altitude posts along the Indo-China border.
(ITBP Director General – Krishna Chaudhary)

  • Aim – women work shoulder-to-shoulder with men in this force

The first deployment of this maiden women squad will be made in the Ladakh sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • 500 female constables are getting trained for the task and are expected to take position at the border by early 2016.
  • The force has already sent a request to induct women officers in the entry-rank of Assistant Commandants (ACs) to the UPSC.

Guarding the India-China border, majority of the ITBP personnel are deployed in the high reaches of the Himalayas at more than 17,000 feet with temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius.

SC directed to scrap quota in higher education

In a bid to remove to remove all forms of reservations in institutions of higher education, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant directed the Centre and all state governments to ensure speciality medical courses are kept “unreserved, open and free”.

  • This observation was made by the Bench while delivering a judgment on petitions against states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for entrance exams.
  • This went against constitutional provisions like Articles 14 (equality before law) and 16 (equality of opportunity in public employment, education, etc.).

France to introduce biometric visas to Indians

To facilitate travel throughout the Schengen Area and help issue long-term visas more easily, France will introduce biometric visas to Indian nationals from November 2 keeping.

  • On the sidelines of this the French Embassy in India will offer a large number of 3 or 5 year circulation visas to frequent visitors of France.

All visa applicants will now be asked to come in person at any listed VFS centre of their choice to register their biometric data.

  • Children under the age of 12 years are exempted from this procedure.
  • The recorded biometric data will be stored for a period of 59 months (almost 5 years), obviating the need for applicants to come in person again for renewing their visa.
  • The biometric data recorded by France will be valid during this period for all Schengen Area countries.


BRICS –Science and Technology Ministers Meet in Russia

BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) was held in Moscow, Russia on 27-28 October, 2015 for Strengthening Mutual Cooperation.

  • The Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan was led an Indian delegation.

Matters discussed during conference

  • Sharing and exchange of information on STI polices & strategies.
  • Issues relating to formulation of joint long term problem- focused programmes and central modalities for cooperation will come up during the two day meeting.
  • Work Plan for next three years (2015-2018) on STI

Earlier each BRICS country was given leadership in thematic areas
Brazil                Climate change
Russia              Water resources and pollution
India                 Geospatial technologies
China                 New and renewable energy
South Africa      Astronomy

Each country has given a brief report on activities like India proposed geospatial technologies envisages development of Geo-spatial Technologies and Applications for operationalizing, maintaining and utilising National Level Geographical Information Systems.

US Senate passes Cyber Security Legislation

The United States Senate passed a bill to improve cyber security by encouraging private companies and the government to share information about hacking threats.

  • Despite of privacy and transparency concerns from companies like Apple and Yelp, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed by a vote of 74-21.

Key points of CISA

  • No new mandatory information sharing requirements as it creates a voluntary information sharing program run by the federal government
  • Duty to protect information and remove certain personal information under section 104(d).
  • CISA provides a number of liability protections to entities regardless of whether they choose to share information with the federal government under section 106 (a), (b) & (c)
  • As per Section 104(b) an entity can take defensive measures to protect the rights or property of the entity.



Angry Indian Goddesses bagged People’s Choice Award at Rome Film Festival

Director Pan Nalin’s film “Angry Indian Goddesses” bagged BNL People’s Choice Award at the 10th Rome Film Festival.

  • The award was presented by the BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas.

Movie cast – Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral.

About story
“Angry Indian Goddesses” follows the stories of seven girls. It narrates the tale of how Frieda, essayed by actress Sarah-Jane Dias, invites her closest girlfriends to Goa to announce her wedding, and it all turns into a wild bachelorette party.

Indo-American farmer Anita Adalja to be honoured for agriculture work

Indo-American farmer Anita Adalja to be honoured for agriculture workAnita Adalja who is a social worker then merged her career with farming is among 12 individuals who will be recognised as White House Champions of Change for sustainable and climate-smart agriculture at an event in the US.

  • Currently, she is working as a manager at the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.
  • While working with formerly homeless, mentally ill adults in a supportive housing facility, Anita co-founded a rooftop farm on top of the building.
  • Under her management, Arcadia Farm grows thousands of pounds of naturally grown produce that is sold in low-or no-food access areas in Washington, through its mobile farmers market programme.
  • A social worker by training, Adalja has previously farmed at One Woman Farm in Gibsonia, Pa, and was the farm manager for Common Good City Farm in Washington.

The Champions have helped implement agricultural practices that promote soil health and energy efficiency, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Samiran Chakraborty appointed as Chief Economist of Citibank India

Samiran Chakraborty appointed as Chief Economist of Citibank IndiaGlobal banking major Citibank has designated Samiran Chakraborty as chief economist for India.

  • Before joining Citi, Samiran Chakraborty was Managing Director and Head of Macro Research for South Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.
  • He also served ICICI Bank as Chief Economist and Delhi School of Economics as faculty for mathematical Economics and open-economy macroeconomics.

Mumbai headquartered Citibank is a subsidiary of Citigroup, a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in South Dakota, United States.

  • It was established in 1902 in Calcutta (Kolkata).
  • Citibank slogan – Citi never sleeps

Sylvie Lucas appointed as Chair of IGN of UNSC Reforms

Luxembourg ambassador to the United Nations, Sylvie Lucas has been designated as the Chair of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on UN Security Council (UNSC) reforms by 70th UN General Assembly session President Morgens Lykketoft. She will succeed Jamaican Ambassador to UN Courtenay Rattray.

  • She started her career with Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she worked from 1990 to 1995.
  • She served as the deputy permanent representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations from 1995 to 2000.
  • On 25 August 2008, she became the United Nations permanent representative from Luxembourg.
  • She served as the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2009-10.

Govt appoints BJP’s Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu on EPFO board

The government has appointed the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) legal cell and the secretary of the BJP parliamentary party Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu on the board of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) as an industry representative.

  • He will succeed Ram Tarneja.
  • Kamarsu is a Supreme Court advocate and his appointment has raised a few eyebrows as he has not been nominated by any industry body or the Employers Federation of India (EFI).

The 43-member EPFO board comprises 15 state government representatives, 8 central government representatives and 10 members each representing employee unions and industry bodies like CII, FICCI, Assocham and the Employers Federation of India or EFI which had two out of the 10 industry seats on the board.

  • The fund’s operations and regulatory role over 3,000-odd Company managed PF trusts are overseen by its Central Board of Trustees chaired by the Labour and employment minister Bandaru Dattatreya.



Coordination committee for boxing to conduct National meets

Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the ad-hoc committee governing the sport in the country have formed a coordination committee to conduct domestic events which will pick probables for next year’s Asian Olympic Qualifiers.

  • Coordination committee Head – Veteran administrator Asit Banerjee
  • It will consist of 8 zonal representatives

Tasks of committee

  • To conduct an All India Men’s Tournament which is planned from November 16 to 21 in Pedem in North Goa.
  • To conduct National women’s championship in Tamil Nadu at a later date.
  • To conduct National junior championships for men and women, will be held at Kolkata in February
  • To ensure that there is no indiscipline and every process is streamlined.
  • It will be responsible for the conduct of domestic tournaments.

The Domestic events will help identify boxers for the Olympic qualifying events next year
The ad-hoc committee will take care of international tournaments.


Mumbai born Britain’s Curry King Lord Gulam Noon passes away

Mumbai born Britain’s Curry King Lord Gulam Noon passes awayIndian-origin peers and “curry king” of the UK Lord Gulam Noon passed away at the age of 79 due to liver cancer.

Mumbai-born Lord Noon founded the 200-million pounds Noon Products business which is credited with Britain developing a taste for “chicken tikka masala“.

  • Noon founded and operated a number of food product companies in Southall, London specialising in Indian cuisine established in September 1987.
  • In 2005, Noon Products was taken over by Irish food conglomerate Kerry Group.
  • Lord Noon also served as Chancellor of the University of East London.
  • He was a huge cricket fan and his London office was adorned with a vast selection of cricket memorabilia.
  • Lord Noon was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Britain’s Opposition party (labour party) in February 2016.


First copy of book “Indian family business mantras” presented to President

Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has presented President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee with the first copy of a book “Indian Family Business Mantras” at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • Authors of Book – Mr. Peter Leach and Mr. Tatwamasi Dixit
  • Family business contributes to 60-70% of the GDP of our country and 40-50% of the employment.

Authors have explicitly detailed the nuances in the life cycle of a family business with real life examples. It weaves the Indian philosophy with the western context to bring out a whole new dimension to managing the family business.


International Animation Day

October 28 was observed as the International Animation Day. The event has been observed in more than 50 different countries with more than 1000 events.

  • IAD was initiated by ASIFA*, a member of UNESCO in 2002 as the main global event to celebrate the art of animation.
  • It commemorates the first public performance of Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris in 1892.

*International Animated Film Association (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation)