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Phase 1 of Bharat Net project to be completed by December 2017
On October 26, 2017, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications announced that first phase of the Bharat Net project (National Optic Fibre Network) will be completed by December 2017, and will thereby provide internet access to 100000 gram panchayats across India.
i. This announcement was made that at the fourth edition of the ‘i-Bharat 2017’ conference held in New Delhi on October 26, 2017.
ii. Theme of ‘i-Bharat 2017’ was ‘ICT Elucidations for Unserved and Unsolved………………………….. Click here to Read more
India, Japan begins three-day anti-submarine drill
In a bid to deepen operational coordination in the strategically important sea lanes, Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) began a three-day anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean region on October 29, 2017.India-Japan anti-submarine drill:
i. On October 29, 2017, Japan’s two P-3C Orion jets, which are anti-submarine warfare aircraft, landed at naval air station Hansa in Goa to take part in the drill.
ii. In this exercise, Indian Navy is represented by two P-8 I long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircrafts.
iii. During this three-day exercise, personnel from both navies will have extensive interaction to evolve a “concept of joint operations”.
iv. This exercise can also be termed as a measure to counter China’s growing presence in the Indo- Pacific region.
Quick Facts about Japan:
♦ Capital – Tokyo
♦ Currency – Japanese yen
♦ Current Prime Minister – Shinzo Abe
Government relaxes Arms Rules to bolster investment in manufacturing
On 30th October 2017, it was announced that, to boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Union home ministry has relaxed the Arms Rules.
Relaxation of Arms Rules:
i .The Arms Rules has been relaxed to encourage investment in the manufacturing of arms, ammunition and weapon systems in the country. This will increase employment opportunities in turn.
ii .The new rules came to effect on 27th October 2017. The new rules will be applicable to licences granted by the home ministry and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
iii. Under the new rules, the licence granted for manufacturing will be valid for life-time of the licensee company. Up to 15 % of the quantity approved under the licence will not require any further approval by the government.
iv. The licence fee has been reduced. Earlier the licence fee was Rs 500 per firearm. The licence fee will now range from Rs 5,000 to the maximum of Rs 50,000.
v. The fee for manufacturing licence will be payable at the time of the grant of license. Single manufacturing licence will be allowed for a multi-unit facility within the same state or in different states within the country.
About Ministry of Home Affairs:
♦ Minister of Home Affairs – Rajnath Singh
♦ Ministers of State for Home Affairs – Kiren Rijiju, Hansraj Ahir
India, UAE second strategic talks held in Abu Dhabi
On October 29, 2017, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held second round of strategic dialogue in Abu Dhabi.More Information about India-UAE Second Strategic Dialogue:
i. India-UAE Second Strategic Dialogue was held with an objective to deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas such as trade and investment.
ii. M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs led the Indian delegation, whereas UAE side was represented by Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
iii. Both Ministers held discussions on a range of bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.
iv. First strategic dialogue between India and UAE was held in January 2017 in New Delhi, India.
v.U AE is India’s third largest trading partner and also one of the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments.
Quick Facts about UAE:
♦ Capital – Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency – UAE dirham
♦ Current President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
BANKING & FINANCE
Transcorp launches pre-paid card in association with Yes Bank
Foreign Exchange and inward remittance service provider company Transcorp International has launched a platinum pre-paid card in association with Yes Bank.
More Details about Transcorp’s Pre-Paid Card in association with Yes Bank:
i. This card can be used for transactions in stores and ATMs across the country.
ii. It can even be used by companies/organisation to disburse wages and salaries to those employees who do not have a bank account.
iii. Transcorp-Yes Bank pre-paid card has been launched in association with RUPAY, powered by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
iv. This card can either be prefunded or money can be loaded in by the employer or by the card holder himself.
v. Maximum limit for KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant cards is Rs. 100000, whereas for non- KYC compliant cards, maximum amount that can be loaded is Rs. 10000.
APAI launches membership cards – Flysecure
On October 25, 2017, Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) launched its unique membership card titled “Flysecure”, which provides insurance cover related to air travel.
Salient Features of APAI ‘Flysecure’:
i. APAI card “Flysecure” is available in three variants – Annual price of Rs. 1500 for Silver, Rs 3000 for Gold and Rs 5000 for Platinum.
ii. Under ‘Flysecure’, passenger can avail insurance cover for every possible loss/damage while travelling, such as medical reimbursement, theft of identity, wallet loss, burglary at home while travelling etc.
iii. All variants of ‘Flysecure’ will cover unlimited flights during the 365 days validity period. Conventional travel insurance plans provide cover only for a specific flight.
iv. Any Indian citizen between the age of 18 and 70 years can buy ‘Flysecure’ during domestic and international travel.
v. APAI has collaborated with TATA-AIG, a renowned name in travel insurance segment and a US based company ‘Refundme’ for designing and launching the membership card.
India sends 1st wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar
On October 29, 2017, India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in Iran.i. The shipment was flagged off from the Kandla port in Gujarat. After reaching Chabahar, it will be transported to Afghanistan viz. land route.
ii. It is the first shipment under the trilateral agreement (between India, Iran and Afghanistan) on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor. The agreement was signed in May 2016 during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran.
iii. This alternative trade route to Afghanistan has been developed as a strategic solution in response to Pakistan’s refusal to permit land transit through its territory.
About Chabahar Port:
♦ Chabahar Port is located in South-Eastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
♦ In 2016, India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement to refurbish and develop certain parts of Chabahar Port.
♦ From Indian perspective, Chabahar port will serve as an alternative trade route between India and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.
Dassault to invest $116 mn in venture with Reliance Aerospace
French Aircarft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation will invest over USD 116 million in a joint venture with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Aerospace to manufacture aircraft components of 36 Rafale fighter jets, which India has agreed to purchase from France.
More Details about Dassault-Reliance Aerospace Joint Venture:
i. As per the offset obligation under the India-France deal for 36 Rafale Fighter Jets signed in 2016, Dassault Aviation is under an obligation to manufacture several components of the fighter jets in collaboration with an Indian company.
ii. Thus, it has entered into a joint venture with Reliance Aerospace and formed an entity named Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) for this purpose.
iii. Foundation stone laying ceremony of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited’s (DRAL’s) manufacturing facility was held on October 28, 2017 at Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park in Mihan Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Nagpur airport, Maharashtra.
iv. It is to be noted that this joint venture is the largest ever foreign direct investment in the defence sector in India.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Anupam Kher receives Parmod Mahajan Smriti Award
On October 29, 2017, veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher received Parmod Mahajan Smriti Award in Pune.i. Anupam Kher is the current Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India.
ii. Saira Banu, who moved Supreme Court seeking a ban on instantaneous ‘Triple Talaq’ among Muslims is the second recipient of Pramod Mahjan Smriti Award.
iii. The awards were presented by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.
iv. BJP MP and daughter of Late Pramod Mahajan, Poonam Mahajan was also present at the award ceremony.
v. The award was instituted by Pune-based organisation ‘Muktachhand’ in memory of Late Pramod Mahajan, who was the leader from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former Union Cabinet Minister.
Venezuela’s opposition awarded European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights
The democratic opposition and political prisoners in Venezuela won the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights on October 26th 2017. The prize amount of this award is 50,000euros ($59,000).
i.The award was created in the name after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov in 1988 to honour individuals or groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.
ii. The European Parliament wished to to reward the courage of students and politicians fighting for freedom in the face of a repressive government.
iii.The two other nominees for the prize were Guatemalan human rights activist Aura Lolita Chavez Izcaquic and journalist Dawit Isaak, imprisoned without trial in Eritrea since 2001.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar assumes charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS)
On 30th October 2017, Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar took charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) from Vice Admiral Karambir Singh at a formal ceremony held at South Block, New Delhi.
Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar – Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS):
i. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh would take charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command in Vishakapatnam. Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar has taken charge as Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS).
ii. Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar is an alumni of the National Defence Academy. He is a specialist in Missiles & Gunnery.
iii. He has done the Naval Higher Command Course. He is also an alumni of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Motto – May the Lord of the Water be auspicious unto us
♦ Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy – President Mr.Ram Nath Kovind
Suresh Raina appointed as brand ambassador of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation
On 29th October 2017, cricketer Suresh Raina was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) at a programme at Ghaziabad.Suresh Raina – brand ambassador of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation:
i. Suresh Raina is a cricketer and a resident of Ghaziabad. He has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC).
ii. Ghaziabad is the only city among 16 municipal corporations in Uttar Pradesh which has been declared open defecation free.
ii. This programme will help the municipal corporation in spreading awareness about sanitation. V.K. Jindal, Joint Secretary and Director of Swachh Bharat Mission, and Ghaziabad Municipal Commissioner C.P. Singh were present during the occasion.
About Suresh Raina:
♦ Role – All-rounder
♦ Batting – Left-handed
♦ Bowling – Right arm off break
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 satellites end operations
On 27th October 2017, NASA’s GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 satellites ended operations after experiencing problems due to failure of several battery cells.
GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 end operations:
i. NASA said that, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, carried out in cooperation with the German space agency DLR, had ended science operations after the retirement of one of its twin spacecraft GRACE-1 and GRACE-2.
ii. The satellites had been experiencing problems due to failure of several battery cells, which caused a loss of contact recently. GRACE-2 is expected to reenter in December 2017 or January 2018.
iii. GRACE-1’s batteries remain healthy. It will reenter in the start of 2018 and operate for the remainder of 2018 to collect calibration data.
iv. NASA and DLR had launched the two GRACE spacecrafts in March 2002 on a five-year mission. Scientists use measurements from these satellites to track motions of water around the Earth.
♦ Full form – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., U.S.
♦ Acting Administrator – Robert M. Lightfoot Jr.
Four Asian vulture species included on highest protection list
On 28th October 2017, several species including four Asian vultures, were awarded the highest protection by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, held in Manila.
Asian vulture species on highest protection list:
i. The Asian vultures that were included on highest protection list are the red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture, Indian vulture and slender-billed vulture.
ii. Approval was provided for protection of 34 species during the convention. The whale shark, which inhabits the Indian Ocean, also got global protection.
iii. Other species that were included on the protection list are: a subspecies of the black noddy, the yellow bunting, the lesser and great grey shrike, blue shark, common guitarfish, Przewalski’s horse, Gobi bear, Caspian seal etc.About Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals:
♦ Purpose – aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian (bird) migratory species
♦ Executive Secretary – Bradnee Chambers
Yonex French Open Badminton 2017 – Overview
Yonex French Open 2017 Badminton tournament was held from 24th – 29th October, 2017 in Paris, France.French Open Badminton Tournament is held annually since 1909 in France………………………………………Click here to Read more
Winners of Yonex French Open Badminton 2017 – Summary:
|Men’s Singles||Kidambi Srikanth (India)||Kenta Nishimoto (Japan)|
|Women’s Singles||Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)||Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)|
|Men’s Doubles||Lee Jhe-Huei & Lee Yang (Chinese Taipei)||Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen (Denmark)|
|Women’s Doubles||Apriyani Rahayu & Greysia Polii (Indonesia)||Lee So Hee & Shin Seung Chan (South Korea)|
|Mixed Doubles||Tontowi Ahmad & Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)||Zheng Siwei & Chen Quingchen (China)|
Saudi to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018
Women in Saudi Arabia have been allowed to attend matches at sports stadiums form 2018.
i. Saudi Arabia is considered as one of the countries having tightest restrictions on women. As per the current rules, women are not allowed in sports stadiums.
ii. This decision is a part of economic and social reforms implemented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
iii. Earlier, Saudi Arabian Royal declaration permitted women to drive, starting from June 2018.
iv. Mohammed bin Salman is implementing reforms under ‘Vision 2030’ plan which seeks to prepare Saudi Arabia for the post-oil era.
v. In order to accommodate families from early 2018, Saudi Arabian authorities have started preparation to set up restaurants, cafes and video screens at three stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman.
Quick Facts about Saudi Arabia:
♦ Capital – Riyadh
♦ Currency – Saudi riyal
Virat Kohli becomes fastest to score 9,000 runs in ODIs
On 29th October 2017, Virat Kohli became the sixth Indian and the fastest to score 9000 runs in ODI, during a match against New Zealand in Kanpur.Virat Kohli – fastest to score 9000 runs in ODIs:
i. Virat Kohli became the fastest player to score 9000 runs in ODI during the 3rd ODI against New Zealand in Kanpur.
ii. It took Virat Kohli 194 innings to achieve this milestone. He has broken the record of South African batsman AB de Villiers as the fastest cricketer to reach this milestone.
iii. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had reached this milestone of 9000 ODI runs in 2016. Other Indians who have achieved this milestone are Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin.
About Virat Kohli:
♦ Role – Batsman
♦ Batting – Right-handed
♦ Bowling – Right-arm medium
Italy top medal tally, Chinese crowned ‘Champion of Champions’
On 29th October 2017, Italy topped the medal count and Chinese were crowned ‘Champion of Champions’, in the ISSF World Cup Final 2017, in New Delhi.
ISSF World Cup Final 2017:
i. Italy topped the medal count by winning 2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze medals. It was followed by China in 2nd position with 2 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
ii. India, which hosted the event, finished in the 7th position overall. It won 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
iii. India’ Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu pair won gold in mixed team 10m air pistol. Sangram Dahiya won silver in men’s double trap. Amanpreet Singh won bronze in men’s 50m pistol.
iv. China’s Mengxue Zhang and Gengcheng Sui were crowned as ‘Champion of Champions’ in pistol and rifle respectively.
About ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup Final 2017:
♦ Host – India
♦ Events – Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun events for men and women
Max Verstappen wins Mexican GP, Lewis Hamilton wins the 2017 Formula One championship title
On 29th October 2017, Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix title and Lewis Hamilton won the 2017 Formula One championship title.Lewis Hamilton won 2017 Formula One championship & Max Verstappen won Mexican GP:
i. On 29th October 2017, Max Verstappen of Red Bull team won the Mexican Grand Prix, at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez race track, in Mexico. This is his third victory in Formula 1.
ii. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finished in the 9th place in the Mexican Grand Prix. He won the Formula One Drivers Championship 2017 title. He has won this title for the fourth time.
iii. The Constructor’s Championship was won by Mercedes team this year. It has retained the Constructors’ Championship for the fourth consecutive year.
About 2017 Formula One championship:
♦ Consists of – 20 Grand Prix events
♦ Drivers’ Champion – Lewis Hamilton
♦ Constructors’ Champion – Mercedes
♦ Pole Trophy – Lewis Hamilton
Former BJP minister Dr Digamber Singh passes away in Jaipur
On 27th October 2017, former BJP minister Dr Digamber Singh passed away due to multiple organ failure, in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Death of Dr Digamber Singh:
i. Dr Digamber Singh, passed away on 27th October 2017 due to multiple organ failure in Jaipur, Rajasthan. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer since three years.
ii. He was taken to Jaipur’s Eternal Heart Care Centre (EHCC) on 18th October 2017 because of chest pain. He died due to multiple organ failure.
iii. He is survived by wife Asha Singh and son Dr Shailesh Singh. His body was cremated with full state honours at Dr Digamber Singh Nursing College. The Rajasthan state government announced state mourning for a day in Bharatpur.
iv. He was 66 years old. He was the vice-chairman of the Twenty Point Programme implementation committee.
v. He was considered as an influential Jat leader from eastern Rajasthan. He was the Health and Industry minister from 2003 to 2008.
About Dr Digamber Singh:
♦ Occupation – Politician
♦ Positions held – Vice-chairman of the Twenty Point Programme implementation committee, Health and Industry minister
Former BCCI GM M.V. Sridhar passes away
On October 30 2017 ,Dr. M.V. Sridhar , 51 a Former Hyderabad Ranji Trophy star and ex-secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association passed away .He was suffering from a massive heart attack.i. He is also serving as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) General Manager from 2013.He also has a great administration skill.
ii. He has the distinction of the third-highest individual score in the history of the Ranji Trophy against Andhra in January 1994.
Gautam Adhikari, co-founder of SAB TV dies at 67
On 27th October 2017, Gautam Adhikari, Chairman and whole time Director of the SAB group, passed away after suffering a heart attack.
Death of Gautam Adhikari:
i. Gautam Adhikari was 67 years old. He died due to heart attack in Mumbai on 27th October 2017. He is survived by his wife Ranjana and two children.
ii. His last rites were performed in Vile Parle suburban area of Mumbai. It was attended by various Bollywood celebrities.
iii. He was the Chairman and whole time Director of the SAB group. The SAB group started as a small venture between Gautam and his brother Markand Adhikari in 1985. It became the first publicly-listed television production company in India in 1995.
About Gautam Adhikari:
♦ Occupation – Producer
♦ Position – Chairman and whole time Director of SAB group