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India unveils third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031
On October 2, 2017, Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled India’s third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031, which outlines the future road map for wildlife conservation across the country. The plan was unveiled on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference in New Delhi, which is jointly hosted by India, World Bank and United Nations Development Programme.
i. Approach: A “landscape approach” will be adopted to conserve all wildlife that have an ecological value to the ecosystem and to mankind, irrespective of its place of occurrence.
ii. Action for recovery of threatened species: The plan lays special emphasis on recovery of threatened species of wildlife while conserving their habitats.……………Click here to view more detail
Odisha government creating land bank for industrial allocation
Odisha State Government is creating a 1.2 lakh acre land bank across the state which will be allocated for industrial use and purposes.
i. The land bank is being created to cut red tape and pre-emptively settle local issues related to the land acquisition process.
ii. So far the size of the land bank has reached 57,655 acres. Odisha State Government has also identified other areas across the state which will be brought under this land bank. Another 122,428 acres of land is being considered to be brought under the land bank…………..Click here to view more detail
1st community toilet for third gender inaugurated in Bhopal
On 2nd October 2017, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr.Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated a community toilet for third gender, in the Mangalwara area, Bhopal.
1st community toilet for third gender:
i. This is the first community toilet for exclusive third gender usage in India.
ii. This toilet was constructed by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC).
iii. It was built at a cost of Rs.35 lakh. It also has a change/make-up room.
iv. Different signs for men, women, handicapped and transgender people are put on the doors of the toilet.
v. Transgender people live in large numbers in the Mangalwara area.
vi. Mr.Shivraj Singh Chauhan also said that, the state government would provide an additional assistance of Rs.1.5 lakh to the third gender community, for constructing houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Bhopal
♦ Chief Minister – Mr.Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦Governor – Mr.Om Prakash Kohli
NHAI launches 50 Free Eye Check-up camps on National Highways
On 2nd October 2017, The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Mr.Nitin Gadkari launched the countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign at Panjari Toll Plaza, Nagpur Bypass, Nagpur, in Maharashtra.
Free Eye Check-up Camps:
i.This free eye checkup camp will be conducted for five days till 6th October 2017. 50 free eye check-up camps have been set up on identified national highways.
ii. This initiative is aimed to provide clear vision and safe travel for truck drivers. Also, free spectacles up to a certain power as prescribed by the eye specialist are distributed.
iii. The cleaners can also avail this facility on producing a valid driving license. Defects like cataract will be identified and medicines will be prescribed.
iv. This would reduce the number of accidents involving trucks in national highways.
♦ Full form – National Highways Authority of India
♦ Chairman – Deepak Kumar
Karnataka launches ‘Mathru Purna’ scheme for pregnant women
On 2nd October 2017, Karnataka Chief Minister Mr.Siddaramaiah launched ‘Mathru Poorna’ scheme, for nutritional wellness of pregnant and lactating women in rural areas, at Vidhan Soudha, in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
i. The ‘Mathru Purna’ scheme, aims at providing pregnant and lactating poor women in rural areas with one nutritious meal daily, for 25 days in a month.
ii. A full meal, of rice, dal with vegetables or sambar, one boiled egg and 200ml of milk, will be given to pregnant women, through anganwadis. Two varieties of sprouts will be provided to vegetarians instead of egg.
iii. This will meet 40-45% of the daily nutrition requirement of pregnant and lactating mothers. Each meal would cost around Rs.20.
iv. Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets will be provided and gestational weight will be monitored for pregnant women.
v. This would benefit around 12 lakh women.The food will be provided for 15 months, from start of pregnancy to six months after delivery.
Other recently launched schemes of Karnataka Government:
♦ Spoorthy Self Help Groups – Caters to the needs of illiterate and semiliterate persons with disabilities
♦ Rural Rehabilitation Project for Disabled persons – Delivers all Government services at the doorstep of disabled persons
India, Bangladesh to hold border talks on Rohingyas, other issues
On 3rd – 5th October 2017, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), led by Director General Maj Gen. Abul Hossain conducts talks with Border Security Force (BSF) of India, led by its chief KK Sharma, at New Delhi.
India, Bangladesh border talks:
i. A 24-member delegation of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is led by its Director General Maj Gen. Abul Hossain to India.
ii. This is the 45thbi-annual talk between the two sides. This is held at a BSF camp in New Delhi.
iii. Main issues that would be discussed at the biannual talks are the movement of Rohingya refugees, smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and narcotics.
iv. The progress of the single-row fence erected to protect 250 villages along the International Border, shared by India and Bangladesh, will also be discussed.
♦ Capital – Dhaka
♦ Currency – Taka
♦ President – Abdul Hamid
♦ Prime Minister – Sheikh Hasina
CWC sign MoU with IIT Roorkee and MNNIT Allahabad to support capacity building in dam
Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed MoUs with IIT Roorkee and Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) Allahabad to support dam rehabilitation efforts of various implementing agencies and CWC.
About Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP):
i. The signing of these MoUs by CWC is a part of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
ii. Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is a World Bank – assisted project through which Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has taken on board selected premier academic and research institutes, for capacity building in the areas of dam safety.
iii. Scope of DRIP includes strengthening the testing laboratories, enhancing analytical capabilities, exposure visits to best global institutions and on ground exposure to dam safety concerns to the faculty of these institutions.
PM Modi lays foundation stone of AIIMS, IIIT in Himachal Pradesh
On October 3, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bilaspur and International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Una in Himachal Pradesh.
Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s Visit to Himachal Pradesh:
i. AIIMS at Bilaspur will be a 750-bed hospital and will be built at a cost of about Rs 1350 crore.
ii. Besides healthcare services, it will also provide medical education at the under-graduate and post-graduate level.
iii. During his visit to Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi also inaugurated a Steel Processing Unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), at Kandrori in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
Vice President lays foundation stone for inland waterway in AP
On October 3, 2017, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for the development of an inland waterway in the Krishna River between Muktyala and Vijayawada in the Andhra Pradesh. Besides, he dedicated seven national highway projects in Andhra Pradesh to the nation and also laid the foundation stone for six new projects.
Specification of inland waterway between Muktyala and Vijayawada:
i. 82-km inland waterway between Muktyala and Vijayawada is the Phase-1 of the National Waterway-4 under the Sagar Mala Project.
ii. It will not only be used for transportation of cement and construction material for the new capital city Amaravati but will also provide connectivity to important tourist and pilgrimage spots by the river.
iii. In Phase-2, canal navigation will be developed between Vijayawada and Kakinada.
iv. Both the phases will have a combined length of 315 km and will be built at a cost of Rs. 7,015 crore.
CM Sarbananda Sonowal Lays foundation for Country’s First ITI for Differently Abled in Dibrugarh
On October 3, 2017, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone for the first ever Industrial Training Institute (ITI) exclusively for the Dibyangans (Differently Abled) at ITI Complex in Dibrugarh.
More Details about Industrial Training Institute (ITI) exclusively for the Dibyangans (Differently Abled):
i. First phase of the construction will be carried out at an expenditure of Rs. 5.5 crore.
ii. As per the guidelines of National Council for Vocational Training, the ITI will have sixty seats for three different trades with 20 seats per trade.
iii. The three different trades included in the curriculum are Computer Operator and Programming Assistant, Cutting and Sewing Technology and Hair & Skin Care.
iv. The institute will also have separate hostel facilities for girls and boys.
U.P. comes first in active gun licences
As per statistics released by the Union Home Ministry, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of active gun licences among all states and union territories of India. 12.77 lakh people in Uttar Pradesh are authorised to carry weapons.
Data on Active Gun Licences in India:
i. There were 33,69,444 active gun licences across India as on December 31, 2016.
ii. Uttar Pradesh is followed by Jammu and Kashmir with 3.69 lakh people in the state possessing gun licences.
iii. Union Territories such as Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have lowest number of gun licences.
Active Gun Licences – Top 5 States
|State||Active Gun Licences|
|Uttar Pradesh||12.77 lakh|
|Jammu & Kashmir||3.69 lakh|
|Madhya Pradesh||2.47 lakh|
Sumitra Mahajan attended special parliamentary session in Sri Lanka Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan attended a special parliamentary session in Sri Lanka that is being convened to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Sri Lankan Parliament.
Eighth conference of the association of (SAARC) Speakers and Parliamentarians:
i. Ms Sumitra Mahajan will also attend eighth conference o the association of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Speakers and Parliamentarians, which will be hosted by Sri Lanka in Colombo between 4th and 8th October 2017.
ii. This conference will be attended by Speakers and delegates from the SAARC countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
iii. Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians is a platform for the parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for “Sustainable Development”.
Quick Facts about Sri Lanka:
♦ Capital: Colombo
♦ Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
♦ Current President: Maithripala Sirisena
Mahatma Gandhi’s statue unveiled in Wales
On 2nd October 2017, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled to mark his 148th birth anniversary, in Cardiff, Wales.
Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Wales:
i. The Mahatma Gandhi statue weighs 300 kg. It is 6 feet tall. It is made of Indian bronze.
ii. It depicts Mahatma Gandhi holding a stick in one hand and the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ in the other.
iii. It is situated at Lloyd George Avenue in Cardiff. It was designed and created by Indian sculptors Ram Sutar and his son Anil Sutar.
iv. The statue was unveiled by Indian high commissioner to the UK, YK Sinha.The event was attended by Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones and Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson, Satish Kumar Dhupelia.
v. Funds of 65,000 pounds for constructing the statue was raised in 3 years by the Hindu Council of Wales (HCW).
♦ Capital – Cardiff
♦ Currency – Pound sterling
Nepal, India to conduct first joint tiger count through camera tapping
On 2nd October 2017, Nepal and India planned to conduct a joint head count of tigers in Nepal and areas in India adjoining Nepal using same technology.
First India-Nepal joint tiger count using same technology:
i. Nepal and India will conduct a joint head count of tigers in the national parks, forests and sanctuaries in Nepal and those in India adjoining Nepal using the same camera tapping method.
ii. Cameras would be installed in various locations in the tiger habitats and their roaming areas. Images would be captured and animals’ footsteps would be accessed.
iii. Use of same technology reduces the chance of counting the same tiger again. The counting starts from second week of November 2017.
iv. Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve, in Nepal, are adjacent to Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, India.
v. Also, Bardia National Park of Nepal is close to India’s Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. Shuklaphant National Park in Nepal is adjoint to India’s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
Some of the Tiger Reserves in India:
♦ Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Sariska Tiger Reserve – Rajasthan
♦ Corbett Tiger Reserve – Uttarahkand
BANKING & FINANCE
Fitch lowers India’s 2017-18 growth forecast to 6.9%
Credit Rating Agency Fitch Ratings has lowered India’s economic growth forecast for Financial Year 2017-18 to 6.9 % from 7.4% after the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was lower than expected in the April-June 2017 quarter (at 5.7% vs. 6.1% in previous quarter).
Highlights of Fitch Ratings’ latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO):
i. As per the report, economic activity in April-June 2017 quarter may have been disrupted due to inventory de-stocking by firms ahead of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017.
ii. Fitch Ratings expects the economic activity in India to pick up in the second half of FY 2017-18 as the impact of demonetisation in November 2016 and GST rollout in July 2017 will wane out eventually.
iii. The report outlined that non-performing assets in banking sector could restrict credit growth and business investment.
iv. As per Fitch Ratings, global economy has improved considerably in 2017 and is on course to recording its fastest expansion since 2010.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Ministry of Health awarded as the best department in ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’
On 2nd October 2017, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was awarded as the best department for its contribution during ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’, in New Delhi.
Best Department during ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’:
i. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was awarded as the best department during ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ on 2nd October, 2017, on the 3rd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.
ii. C.K.Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, received the award.
iii. Swachhta Pakhwada is an inter-Ministry initiative of Swachh Bharat Mission of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
iv. It was observed by the Health Ministry from 1stFebruary, 2017 to 15th February, 2017. Activities including cleaning of corridors of Nirman Bhawan and various rooms and areas of the Ministry were done.
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare:
♦ Minister of Health – Jagat Prakash Nadda
♦ Ministers of State for Health – Faggan Singh Kulaste, Anupriya Patel
Gravitational wave scientists win 2017 Nobel Physics Prize
On October 3, 2017, US scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne won the 2017 Nobel Prize in the field of Physics for their pioneering role in the detection of gravitational waves at Stockholm, Sweden.
i. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced the winners of the 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) award.
ii. Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young of America were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine on 2ndOctober 2017.
Facts about Noble Prize:
♦ The Noble prize has been distributed for outstanding contributions for humanity in chemistry, economics, literature, peace, physics, or physiology or medicine. The Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895.
♦ Country – Sweden (all prizes except the Peace Prize) , Norway (Peace Prize only)
♦ First awarded – 1901
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Government forms Committee for 5G rollout by 2020
On 26th September 2017, the government formed a committee to achieve the target of rolling out 5G technology in India by 2020.
Committee for 5G rollout:
i. The ‘5G 2020’ committee consists of secretaries of the ministries of Communications, Information Technology and Science and Technology, representatives from industry and academics.
ii. This committee would analyse and approve plans for 5G rollout in India by 2020. This is aimed to have Indian participation in defining global standards for 5G technology.
iii. This committee will also strengthen domestic telecommunication equipment manufacturing. So that, local manufacturers could capture 50% of Indian market and 10% of global market in the next 5 to 7 years.
iv. The Central Government has allocated funds of Rs.500 crore for research and development of 5G. Under 5G technology, the government aims to deliver 10 Gbps in urban areas and 1 Gbps in rural areas.
About Ministry of Communications:
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Minister of state (Independent charge) – Manoj Sinha
Brenda Hale appointed as UK Supreme Court’s first female president
Brenda Hale has been appointed as the first female president of the UK Supreme Court. Hale, 72, was born in Yorkshire who has been a consistent champion of judicial diversity.
i. She was born in Yorkshire in 1945, she went to Girton College, Cambridge, where she read law and graduated In 1989. She was appointed as Queen’s counsel and in 1994 she became a high court judge.
ii. Jill Black becomes the second female justice in the UK’s highest court. Two other appeal judges, David Lloyd Jones and Michael Briggs, were also appointed to the Supreme Court on the same day.
President appoints Commission under Justice G.Rohini to Examine Sub Categorization of OBCs
On 2nd October 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed a five member Commission under Delhi High Court’s former Chief Justice G Rohini to examine sub categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs)
Commission to examine Sub Categorization of OBCs:
i. The head of the Commission is Delhi High Court’s former Chief Justice G Rohini. It consists of 5 members.
ii. The Commission would examine sub categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) under Article 340 of the Constitution.
iii. This has been done to make sure that the more backward among the OBC communities avail the benefits of reservation.
iv. This decision has been taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the communities included in the broad category of OBCs.
About Justice G Rohini:
♦ State – Andhra Pradesh
♦ Chief justice of Delhi High Court – 2014 -2017
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Russia launches ‘world’s biggest & most powerful’ nuclear icebreaker Ship In a bid to reinforce its leadership in the Arctic, Russia has launched world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ship named Sibir (Siberia). It was launched into the water at the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg.
About icebreaker ship ‘Sibir’:
i. Sibir has been developed by the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to open up crucial shipping lanes in the icy Northern Sea Route.
ii. It is powered by two nuclear reactors and will be able to break ice fields up to three metres thick. Its task is to clear the path for Russian ships delivering gas to Asia.
iii. Sibir’s displacement (a term for measuring a ship’s size), is 33,500 tons and is 173 metres long.
iv. It is Russia’s one of three nuclear-powered icebreakers along with the Arktika and the Ural.
New breast cancer test Oncotype DX may spare patients from chemotherapy
On 2nd October 2017, Researchers announced that, they have developed a new test ‘Oncotype DX’, that predicts the return of cancer, thus sparing breast cancer patients from unnecessary chemotherapy, in London.
Oncotype DX Test:
i. The Oncotype DX test, analyses the samples of tumour that is removed during surgery. It provides a score between 1 and 100 on the chances of the cancer returning.
ii. This helps to prevent breast cancer patients from undergoing unwanted chemotherapy.
iii. This test is suitable for women, who have a hormone-driven breast cancer type known as Oestrogen receptor positive HER2 negative, the most common type.
iv. Professor Nigel Bundred, breast cancer surgeon, University Hospital of South Manchester, England, lead the trial regarding this test.
About Breast Cancer:
♦ Definition – cancer that develops from breast tissue
♦ Treatments – Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy
Australia announces new space agency
On 25th September 2017, Australia announced that it will establish a national space agency, as a part of long term plan to develop Australia’s domestic space industry, in Australia.
Australia’s new space agency:
i. Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham announced the setting of National Space Agency, at the International Astronautical Congress.
ii. The International Astronautical Congress is a five day event held in Adelaide, Australia. More than 4,000 space professionals, including astronauts, engineers, scientists and innovators, from all over the world participated in this congress.
iii. The National Space Agency would be the anchor for domestic co-ordination and the front door for international engagement with the world’s space industries.
iv. It was not mentioned where the agency would be located.
♦ Capital – Canberra
♦ Currency – Australian dollar
♦ Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull
Hyundai India Join Hands With FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament As Official Partners
Hyundai India has announced that it will be official transportation partner for the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament which starts from October 6, 2017 in India.
i. Hyundai India will be offering a fleet of 63 premium cars, which includes the recently launched Verna, Tucson and the Elite i20.
ii. It will also provide additional coaches across 6 cities namely, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Kochi, Goa and Guwahati.
iii. The cars will be used for the movement of the players and the FIFA management during the sports event.
Quick facts about Hyundai Motor Company:
♦ Founded in: 1967
♦ Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
♦ Current Chairman and CEO: Chung Mong-koo
Anand finishes joint 2nd at Isle of Man Chess Meet
On 1st October 2017, Viswanathan Anand finished joint second at the Isle of Man Chess Championship, in Douglas, Isle of Man.
Anand finished joint 2nd:
i. Viswanathan Anand is a five-time world chess champion. He finished joint second at the Isle of Man Chess Championship.
ii. He defeated Chinese grandmaster Hou Yifan and shared the second spot with Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. He accumulated seven points from nine round of games.
iii. The title was won by Norway’s world champion Magnus Carlsen, who secured 7.5 points.
iv. Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli won against German IM Evgeny Degtiarev. Harika finished in 56thposition.
About Isle of Man Chess Championship:
♦ Tournament Organisers – Alan Ormsby, Brian Woodard
♦ Venue – Douglas, Isle of Man
About Viswanathan Anand:
♦ Title – Grandmaster
♦ World Chess Federation (FIDE) Ranking – 2794
Team Europe wins Laver Cup 2017
On 26th September 2017, Team Europe defeated Team World by 15-9 and won the first Laver Cup 2017, in Prague, Czech Republic.
Team Europe wins Laver Cup 2017:
i. Laver Cup 2017 is the first edition of Laver Cup tennis tournament. Laver Cup is an international indoor hard court men’s tennis tournament.
ii. It is a men’s tennis tournament between teams from Europe and the rest of the world.Two teams namely Team Europe and Team World participated in the tournament.
iii. Roger Federer of Team Europe defeated Nick Kyrgios of Team World by 4-6, 7-6, 11-9. Roger lost the opening set to his opponent. But battled a comeback in the following sets and won the match.
iv. This lead to the winning of Laver Cup 2017 by Team Europe with 15-9 points.
About Laver Cup:
♦ Venue – Prague, Czech Republic
♦ Date – 22–24 September 2017
♦ Surface – Hard indoor
Veteran writer HM Marathe passes away in Pune On 2nd October 2017, famous Marathi writer and journalist Hanumant Moreshwar Marathe passed away due to prolonged illness, in Pune, Maharashtra.
HM Marathe’s death:
i. HM Marathe was popularly known as ‘Ha Mo’. He was 77 years old.
ii. He was admitted at Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital. He was undergoing heart-related treatment and had difficulty in breathing.
iii. He died on 2nd October 2017, at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital, in Pune, Maharashtra.
iv. He was born on 2nd March 1940. He has written many books. ‘Nishparna Vrukshavar Bhar Dupari’ is his most popular book.
v. He started his career teaching at a college, in Kolhapur. He also worked in Tarun Bharat and Kirloskar magazine.
About HM Marathe:
♦ Occupation – Writer, Journalist
♦ Language – Marathi