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Current Affairs Today – October 29 2015

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Current Affairs Today 29 October 2015INDIAN AFFAIRS

WCD Ministry launches a new initiative to spread awareness about BBBP Scheme

The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a new initiative to spread awareness about the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP-Save the girl child, Educate the girl child) Scheme of the Ministry.

  • The initiative has been launched in partnership with Celltick Mobile Media India Pvt. Ltd. to generate awareness about BBBP Scheme to an estimated 100 million mobile users in India.

There has been a steady decline in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) across India, with 918 females born per 1000 males as per the Census of 2011.

  • WCD Ministry is the nodal ministry for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme being implemented jointly with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development which is targeted at improving the Child Sex Ratio through multi sectoral interventions . (Union Cabinet Minister for WCD – Maneka Gandhi)

Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit garners Rs 1.13 lakh-crore proposals

Corporate magnates expressed business plans for Punjab committing Rs 1.13 lakh crore, bifolding the sum they promised two years ago. S. Sukhbir Singh Badal(Deputy Chief Minister of the state) expeditiously relieved inputs of food processing sector from taxes and promised power at Rs 4.99 per unit, cheapest in the country. Agreements signed in second edition of Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit touched 374.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, YC Deveshwar of ITC Ltd, Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank, Rahul Bajaj of Bajaj group and Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero MotorCorp led the galaxy of investors to take the additory worth to Rs 1.13 lakh crore.

  • Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani have committed an investment over Rs 2,000 crore and announced that Punjab will be the first state in India to have full mobile broadband connectivity from Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Kings College, London, in association with UK Healthcare Ltd is set to invest Rs 1,000 crore in a medical college and hospital in New Chandigarh.
  • ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar launched two new products – Tatkal Shishu and Tatkal Kisan Credit Card and also plan to expand  skill development initiatives through ICICI Academy for Skills by setting up a 30,000 sq ft skilling centre.

MP Government announces 33% quota for women in Govt jobs

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to provide 33 percent reservation to women in government jobs.

  • Decision has been taken during a cabinet meeting presided over by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

In this regard, permission would be sought from the Election Commission as by-polls are slated to be held in two places in the state next month.

Tata Trusts, Harvard University announce collaboration

Tata Trusts and Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) articulated participation on capacity building and knowledge creation for social and economic empowerment in India.

  • The integral part of this project titled ‘Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development’ is the opportunity for shooting up social entrepreneurs and institutions in India to apply for social modernization allocations worth Rs 50 lakh.
  • The goal of the project will be achieved through research with over 150 institutions across 15 states of India, five workshops with 100 participating NGOs, and 20 webinars involving Harvard faculty and subject experts from India.

Key points :

  • Executive trustee (Tata Trusts): R Venkataramanan
  • President of Harvard University: Drew Gilpin Faust


Nepal inks fuel deal with China to ease crisis

Nepal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to import all kinds of fuel in order to ease fuel crisis in the country.

  • It was signed by Nepal Oil Corp (NOC) and China National United Oil Corporation (PetroChina) in Beijing to supply all kind of the petroleum products for Nepal needs.

This is the first time that China is commercially supplying petroleum to Nepal and already had agreed to donate 1.3 million litres of petrol.

  • This oil trade deal with Nepal may end India’s monopoly over fuel supplies.

Archaeologists unearth 3,500-year-old warrior’s grave in Greece

Archaeologists unearth 3,500-year-old warrior’s grave in Greece

Archaeologists unearthed a 3,500-year-old unlooted grave of a warrior in Peloponnese peninsula in the most impressive discovery of prehistoric funerary wealth in Greece in the past 65 years.

  • The excavation led by a team of archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati unearthed about 1,400 artifacts, including gold and silver jewellery, cups, bronze vases, engraved gemstones and an ornate ivory and gilt-hilted sword next to the skeleton of the ancient warrior.
  • Scientists believe that the grave and the treasure could shed light to the rise of the Mycenaean civilization and the fall of the Minoans that flourished in Greece 3,000 years ago.
  • According to early findings, the warrior was buried at around 1,500 BC and died when he was between 30 and 35-year-old.


Exim Bank announced setting up of project development firm KPDC in Africa

India’s EXIM bank announced that it will set up in Africa a development firm KPDC(Kukuza Project Development Company), in collaboration with others, to expedite the infrastructure project from the concept stage to the commissioning stage in the African continent.

Exim Bank’s proposal comes on the occasion of third India- Africa Summit(held in New Delhi, India). The company will be in service from first quarter of 2016. Other investors in the company are the IL&FS Group, the African Development Bank and the State Bank of India.

Key points :

  • Chairman and MD of EXIM Bank: Shri Yaduvendra Mathur
  • Deputy Managing Director of Exim Bank: David Rasquinha



Bidhya Devi Bhandari elected as First Female President of Nepal

Bidhya Devi Bhandari elected as first female President of NepalMs Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who is serving as the vice-chair of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), defeated Kul Bahadur Gurung of the Nepali Congress by securing 327 to 214 votes. With this she become the first female President of Nepal.

  • The results were announced by Nepal Parliament Speaker Onsari Gharti.
  • As per new constitution one-third of the members in Nepal parliament have to be women and either the President or Vice-President must be a woman.

Ms. Bhandari is Nepal’s second President since the nation was turned into a republic. The first President was Ram Baran Yadav who was elected in 2008.

  • Bhandari is an active campaigner for women’s rights in Nepal.
  • Her husband Late Madan Bhandari, who was then leader of the party, was killed in a still unsolved car accident in 1993.
  • She also led many demonstrations against the then King Gyanendra in 2006 that finally ended his authoritarian rule and restored democracy.

Paul Ryan elected as the new Speaker of US House

Paul Ryan elected as the 62nd speaker of the US House of Representatives which is identical to Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament with 236 votes by defeating Florida Congressman Daniel Webster. He will succeed his challenger John Boehner of Ohio.

  • He will be second in line to the presidency only behind the vice-president.
  • As a speaker he will also serves as a presiding officer over the lower chamber of Congress for administrative and business affairs.

Who is Paul Ryan?

Ryan, 45, former vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin(United States) Congressman and was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1999. He has been in the Congress for 17 years now, during which he has held several top positions in the Congress. In 2008 he voted in favor of the India US Civil Nuclear deal. He visited India in 2006 as part of a Congressional delegation led by the then Speaker of House of Representative.

P K Gupta elevated as SBI Managing Director

State Bank of India has designated P K Gupta as MD for period of four years(March 2020) in place of Corporate Banking head P Pradeep Kumar. He was of DMD(Deputy Managing Director) rank, is currently Managing Director of the bank’s investment banking arm SBI Caps.

  • The other three serving MDs at SBI are B Sriram(national banking group), V G Kannan( associates and subsidiaries) and Rajnish Kumar(compliance and risk).
  • About P K Gupta: Mr. Gupta, 55, was the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (DMD & CFO) of the SBI.
  • He joined SBI in 1982 and held important assignments in India and abroad.


SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP) is headquartered in Mumbai, is a wholly owned subsidiary and investment Banking wing of SBI. SBICAP has 8 offices (6 Regional Offices and 2 Branch Offices) across India and a subsidiary in London, SBICAP (UK) LTD.

Najib Shah appointed as Chairman of CBEC

Najib Shah appointed as Chairman of CBECSenior Indian Revenue Service officer Najib Shah appoineted as Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC). He was acting Chairman of the CBEC after Kaushal Srivastava retired.

About Najib Shah:

Shah, a 1979 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has been working as Member in the board was also Director General of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). Presently, Shah’s wife Neerja, VS Krishnan, Vanaja N Sarna, Ram Tirath and Ananya Ray are working as other members of CBEC.


It is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and handles the tasks of formulation of policy pertaining to levy and collection of Customs & Central Excise duties and Service Tax, prevention of smuggling and administration of matters relating to Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and Narcotics to the extent under CBEC’s purview.

Alok Shekhar appointed India’s representative to ICAO

As per the order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Alok Shekhar (Senior IAS officer of Punjab cadre)  has been appointed as India’s representative in the Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation(United Nations body) for three years. He will replace Prashant Narain Sukul, a 1992 batch officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service.

The council consists of 36 states and the members are selected under three headings:

  • States of chief importance in air transport
  • States which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for air navigation
  • States whose designation will ensure that all major areas of the world are represented.

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
HQ : Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Head:Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General


Russia to Launch Manned Moon Mission by 2029

Russia is planning to launch its first manned lunar mission by 2029, Vladimir Solntsev, head of Roscomsos(The Russian Federal Space Agency) Energia consortium, announced. It would build a spacecraft, specifically for lunar missions. So far, only NASA has been able to send a manned mission to the moon when it sent astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins aboard the Apollo 11 space shuttle in 1969. However, the first man-made object to reach the moon was sent by the Russians ten years prior to the Apollo landing.

key facts :

  • The Roscosmos spacecraft is scheduled to make its first test flight in 2021
  • It will dock with the International Space Station in 2023.
  • The Russian space agency Roscosmos is planning to land a Luna-27 robotic lander near the Pole-Atkin crater on the dark side of the moon.


J&K to host South Asian Rugby 7’S Championship in 2016

Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Youth Services and Sports Molvi Imran Raza Ansari announced that the valley will host South Asian Rugby 7’S Championship in 2016.

  • The minister disclosed this while chairing the 131st standing committee meeting of the J&K State Sports Council. The championship will be held at Bakhshi Stadium from June 18 to June 20, 2016.
  • Eight teams comprising 180 participants from various countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and India are likely to participate in the event.
  • The Minister said the government wants such events to be held in the state for the promotion of sports activities at global level.


Star Wars’ sound mixer Bob Minkler dies at 78

Star Wars' sound mixer Bob Minkler dies at 78Academy Award-winning sound engineer Robert Alan (Bob) Minkler,78, died of respiratory failure at home in Oregon with his wife, Patty, at his side. Bob won his Oscar for Best Sound on George Lucas iconic sci-fi movie “Star Wars” in 1978 and worked on more than 50 films also won BAFTA award for best sound.

In his 20 years’ hollywood career, he worked on many movies for which he was Oscar-nominated along with his brother Lee Minkler and his nephew, three-time Oscar winner Michael Minkler. These movies are The Black Stallion, Easy Rider, Bull Durham, Mask, Urban Cowboy, Rocky II, Hair and Tron.

Bob was born in 1937 in Glendale, California, to audio colonizer Lee Darrell Minkler and Lorraine Jones Minkler.

Tommy Hilfiger Model Sam Sarpong dies at 40

British actor and Tommy Hilfiger model Sam Sarpong, 40, has died of an apparent suicide. The TV presenter, who co-hosted MTV’s Yo Momma show alongside Wilmer Valderrama, toppled from the Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

  • Sarpong, who was born in London, moved to LA when he was 11 and in the long run evoked modeling, including a six-year consignment with Tommy Hilfiger, as well as Versace, Gucci, and other big names.
  • Sarpong also had cameos in various TV shows as well as a few film roles, plus a part in 2003’s Love Don’t Cost A Thing. Sarpong currently finished filming American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, which premieres next year.