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Current Affairs Today – October 4 2016

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Jharkhand became first state to implement DBT in Kerosene  
i. Jharkhand became  the first state in the country to implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Kerosene.
ii. The scheme would be   implemented in four identified districts of the state from 1st of October 2017. These districts are Chatra, Hazaribagh, Khunti and Jamtara.
iii. Under the DBTK Scheme, PDS would be sold at non-subsidised price, and, subsidy, as admissible, would be  transferred to consumers directly into their bank accounts.
iv. This initiative of the governments was aimed at structuring  subsidy, based on the approach to cut subsidy leakages but not subsidy per se.
♦ Jharkhand is represented by 14 seats in the Lok Sabha and 6 in the Rajya Sabha.
♦ Jharkhand become the first state to sign MoU with Centre for power scheme UDAY

Naveen inaugurates several new projects in Ganjam district
i. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a number of new projects in Ganjam district, Odisha.
ii. He opened an OPD centre in Sheragada hospital and a panchyat building.He also inaugurated the new urban water supply project for the Hinjili Notified Area Council (NAC) area readied at an estimated cost of Rs 6.14-crore.
iii. He laid foundation stone for six children parks which would cost around Rs 1.50 crore and inaugurated the newly constructed building of the district education office (DEO) in Berhampur
iv. He also inaugurated six new buildings including four hostels, academic block and laboratory complex at MKCG Medical College here at an investment of over Rs 70-crore.
v. Similarly at Markandi, he inaugurated a fish landing centre which costs Rs five crore.

Centre approves a grant of Rs. 515 Crores for the development of Sagar Port Project in West Bengal
i. The Central Government has given in principle approval to a grant of Rs. 515 crores to make the development of the proposed Sagar Port project in West Bengal on September 4 , 2016.Centre approves a grant of Rs. 515 Crores for the development of Sagar Port Project in West Bengal
ii. A Special Purpose Vehicle, Bhor Sagar Port Limited (BSPL) has been incorporated for the implementation of the project, with Kolkata Port Trust holding 74% equity and the Government of West Bengal holding 26% equity
iii. IIT, Madras has been engaged to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the port.
iv. A road-cum-rail bridge is proposed over the river Muriganga to connect the Sagar island to the mainland. The estimated cost of the bridge is Rs.1822 crores.

Shri Gadkari Launched Indian Bridge Management System
i. A major step was taken towards ensuring safety of bridges in the country, when the Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari formally launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) in New Delhi.
ii. IBMS was developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work could be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.
iii. IBMS aimed to fill this gap by preparing a data base of all bridges in the country and detailing their structural condition so that timely action can be taken to repair the structures or build new ones in their place.
iv. IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with database that could exceed 1,50,000 bridge structures.During inventory creation each bridge is assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number,a Bridge Location Number,a Bridge Classification Number, Structural Rating Number andSocio-Economic Bridge Rating Number.

6 Centre accepted pay panel recommendation on promotion
i. The Union government has accepted the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission on Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) for Central  employees which would ensure one minimum promotion for every 10 years till 30 years of service.
ii. An office memorandum by the Department of Personnel said here that there should be three financial upgradations under the assured promotion scheme counted from the direct entry grade on completion of 10, 20 and 30 years services respectively or 10 years of continuous service in the same level in Pay Matrix, whichever is earlier.
iii. The Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme was originally introduced in 2008 following the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission
iv. Government has accepted the memorandum On the recommendation of the Commission on enhancement of benchmark for performance appraisal for promotion and financial upgradation from ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’, the memorandum.


India has highest number of people living below poverty line: World Bank
i. According to World Bank, India accounted for the largest number of people living below international poverty line in 2013, with 30 per cent of its population under the $1.90-a-day poverty measure.
ii. WB’s Report stated that India has the largest number of people living under the international USD 1.90-a-day poverty line, more than 2.5 times as many as the 86 million in Nigeria, which has the second-largest population of the poor worldwide.
iii. Nearly 800 million people lived on less than USD 1.90 a day in 2013.
World Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., US
♦ Founded: December 27, 1945
♦ CEO : Jim Yong Kim

China’s Yuan Just Joined An Elite Club Of International Monetary Fund Reserve Currencies
i. China’s yuan joined the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies in a significant event  for the government’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.
ii. The yuan joined the dollar, euro, yen and pound in the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDR) basket, which determined currencies that countries could receive as part of IMF loans.
iii. It marked the first time a new currency had been added since the euro was launched in 1999.China would use this opportunity to further deepen economic reforms and open up the sector to promote global growth, the central bank added..
iv. Government officials led by Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the People’s Bank of China, Yuansupported long and hard for the renminbi to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights
♦ Headquarters: Washington.
♦ Head: Christine Lagarde.
♦ Founded:1945.


RBI Governor Urjit Patel cuts interest rates, bats for growth in first monetary policy
i. In order to ease the inflation, the Reserve Bank of India cut policy rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points to 6.25% from 6.5%.
ii. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) all members of policy decided for 25 basis point rate cut. 
iii. This was the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy of the RBI. It was first monetary policy statement after Urijit Patel took over as governor on September 04, 2016.
iv. India’s economy grew 1% during April to June, the slowest in 6 quarters, but the RBI and the MPC expect a revival in the coming months boosted by good rains, a pay bonanza for government employees and festive season buying.
v. The RBI retained its earlier  growth projection of 7.6 percent for 2016-17.

IMF revised India’s economic growth upwards to 7.6% for FY17 and 18
i. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised projections for India’s economic growth by 0.2 percentage points to 7.6 per cent for 2016-17 and 2017-18.
ii. The projections came in at a time when the Fund said global economic growth would be subdued this year, following a slowdown in the US and Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.The projections came at a time when it retained global economic growth at 3.1 per cent for 2016 and 3.4 per cent for 2017.
iii. In its World Economic Outlook, IMF also kept gross domestic product (GDP) expansion for China unchanged at 6.6 per cent in 2016 which would decelerate to 6.2 per cent in 2017. India would keep its position of fastest growing large economy that it snatched from China in 2015-16.
iv. It cautioned India that could weak corporate and public-sector banks’balance sheets would restrict private investment in the near-term where the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) continued role to increase lenders’ capacity to give loans would be critical.
v. It highlighted the importance of the goods and services tax, which is targeted to be introduced from April 1, 2017 and elimination of poorly targeted subsidies.

SBI becomes first domestic bank to open branch in Yangon
i. SBI has announced its entry into Myanmar by opening a branch in the Yangon, former capital city of Myanmar.
ii. The Yangon branch is the 54th foreign branch of the SBI.
iii. This branch extends the global presence of SBI in 37 countries through 198 offices.
iv. Bhattacharya, who became the first chairman to get a second term at SBI also donated equipment for recreation of cancer-surviving children to the Yangon Children’s Hospital.SBI
v. Ghanshyam Srivastava has been appointed as the chief executive of SBI Yangon branch
♦ Capital: Naypyidaw
♦ Currency: Burmese kyat
♦ President: Htin Kyaw


2016 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz
The 2016 Nobel prize in physics is awarded to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for their work on exotic states of matter.
i. About David James Thouless:
David James Thouless is a British condensed-matter physicist, Wolf Prize winner and laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize for physics along with  Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
ii. About Duncan Haldane :
Frederick Duncan Michael Haldane is a British physicist who is Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at the physics department of Princeton University in the United States, and a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
iii. About Michael Kosterlitz :
John Michael Kosterlitz is a professor of physics at Brown University and the son of biochemist Hans Kosterlitz. He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics along with David Thouless and Duncan Haldane for work on condensed matter physics.

Elephant researcher Prajna Chowta awarded with Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
i. Film-maker cum elephant researcher and the founder of Aane Mane Foundation, Prajna Chowta has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the National Order of Merit), one of the highest civilian recognitions of the French government.
ii. The 46-year-old Ms. Chowta is the founder of Aane Mane Foundation, which for the past 16 years has been researching and conserving wild Asian elephants.
iii. She has also authored the Elephant Code Book on captive elephant management as well as the French book Enfant d’Elephant (Elephant’s Child) in 2014, which is based on the sketches of tribals and their relationship with elephants.

SJVN honored with “P L Roy Award” by HelpAge India
i. The prestigious “P.L. Roy Award” instituted by HelpAge India has been presented on SJVN for its outstanding contribution in providing free & quality medical care to the communities as one of its many CSR initiatives
ii. Hon’ble Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh presented the award  to Shri R.N. Misra, Chairman and Managing Director, SJVN at a glittering event held at New Delhi . The function was held in commemoration of “International Day of Older Persons” by HelpAge India.
iii. Mr. Misrastated  that SJVN under the guidance  of SJVN Foundation in association with HelpAge India was providing free medicare under the banner of “Satluj Sanjeevini Sewa” to the local communities residing in and around its project areas in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Bihar and Maharashtra covering 9 Districts, 73 Gram Panchayats and 114 Community locations.
iv. SJVN Limited, a Mini Ratna: Category-I and Schedule –‘A’ CPSE under administrative control of Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, was incorporated on May 24, 1988 as
v. It is a joint venture of the Government of India (GOI) and the Government of Himachal Pradesh (GOHP). SJVN is now a listed Company having shareholders pattern of 64.46% with Govt. of India, 25.51% with Govt. of Himachal Pradesh and rest of 10.03% with Public.

Indian-origin Kiara Nirghin wins 2016 Google Science Fair prize 
i. Indian-origin South African Kiara Nirghin won a $50,000 scholarship at the annual Google Science Fair for her project titled ‘No More Thirsty Crops’ which was aimed at tackling the severe drought plaguing South Africa.
Indian-origin Kiara Nirghin wins 2016 Google Science Fair prizeii. She is a Grade 11 student at private school St Martin’s in South Africa.
iii.  After 45 days of experimentation, She creating a low-cost super-absorbent polymer, made out of waste products from the juice manufacturing industry.Her solution to the problem of drought uses orange and avocado fruit peel that is normally discarded.
iv. The Google Science Fair is a programme for budding scientists between the ages of 13 to 18, who are invited to solve the world’s biggest challenges using science and technology.


Yesudas to be brand ambassador of ‘Haritha Keralam’ project
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan appointed eminent Carnatic vocalist and playback singer K J Yesudas as the brand ambassador of ‘Haritha Keralam’ project
Haritha Keralam :
i. It is also known as Green Kerala project – a massive initiative envisaged for a garbage-free and clean state.
ii. First phase:  To clean all public water sources in the state. Ponds and streamlets will be cleaned
iii. Second phase : Rivers, lakes and other water bodies will be cleaned

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar resigns
i. Prasar Bharati Corporation CEO Jawhar Sircar has resigned from his post four months ahead of the end of his tenure announced by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry.
ii. As per rules of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act 1990, the CEO has to inform the administrative authority, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Prasar Bharati :
♦ Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency. It is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio.

Kersti Kaljulaid elected next President of Estonia
i. Kersti Kaljulaid was elected as the country’s first female president by the parliament. Kaljulaid won the opportunity after rounds of voting failed to produce a winner.
ii. She is a former member of the European Court of Auditors, was a non-partisan candidate to run for president.
Kersti Kaljulaid elected next President of Estoniaiii. She won 81 votes in the 101-member parliament.A minimum of or 68 votes, or two-third of the parliamentary seats, was required to become a president.
Estonia :
♦ Capital: Tallinn
♦ Currency: Euro


First ‘artificial pancreas’ approved in US
i. Medtronic Plc would  bring to market the world’s first artificial pancreas, after U.S. regulators cleared the device for diabetics to automatically monitor blood sugar and supply insulin, replicating what a healthy version of the organ does on its own
ii. The FDA approved Medtronic’s product months sooner than investors expected, and without going before a panel of outside advisers that often precedes the introduction of innovative products. The agency also moved faster than European regulators, who are often first to clear medical devices.
iii. The human pancreas naturally supplies a low, continuous rate of insulin, known as basal or background insulin. In patients with diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired.
 ivMini Med 670G hybrid closed looped system, intended to automatically monitor glucose (sugar) and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Baby robot unveiled in Japan by Toyoto
Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a doe-eyed palm-sized robot named ‘Kirobo Mini’ designed as a synthetic baby companion in Japan as number of childless couple grows
‘Kirobo Mini’ :
i. It is equiped with artificial intelligence and a camera so it can recognise the face of the person speaking to it and respond.
ii.It blinks its eyes and speaks with a baby-like high-pitched voice in order to ‘invoke an emotional connection’.It can sing a song.Baby robot unveiled in Japan by Toyoto
iii.Toyota plans to sell Kirobo Mini, for 39,800 yen ($392) in Japan next year.
Japan :
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen
♦ Emperor: Akihito P
♦ Prime minister: Shinzō Abe


5th Asian Beach Games – An Overview
Vietnam has taken the top spot at the fifth Asian Beach Games that concluded in Da Nang, however local experts are more concerned than thrilled as it gave little indication about the development of the country’s high performance sports stars.
Top 3 : Vietnam , Thailand and China
Notable achievements by Indians :
i. Pinky Balhara of India has won bronze medal in women’s 52kg Kurash category. The games were held at Da Nang, Vietnam.
ii. Harish Banghel winning a silver in the men’s middleweight Muay.
iii. India bagged their first gold medal at the 5th Asian Beach Games with the
women’s beach kabaddi team defeat Thailand team winning the title for the record fifth time in succession in Danang, Vietnam.
iv. India’s Deepa Gawale won a silver medal in the women’s single, Long Ho Quyen, Vovinam event


Shri Venkaiah Naidu releases book titled “Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy”
i. Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu along with Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu and Shri Tarun Vijay, Former Member of Parliament released the book  titled “Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy” in New Delhi on October 4, 2016.
ii. The book has been authored by Ambassador Surendra Kumar.
iii. The book outlines the progress and the indelible imprint on the conduct of India’s Foreign Policy by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in the last two and a half years. Collating the 3D advantages of democracy, demography and demand thereby establishing India as the fastest growing economy and the biggest FDI destination in the world.


World Animal Day (WAD) – October 4 2016
i. World Animal Day is observed on October 4 2016 every year to raising the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.
ii. World Animal Day was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog. He organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany.
iii. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

World Space Week –  4 to 10 October 2016
i. The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition
World Space Weekii. World Space Week Association (WSWA) selected the 2016 World Space Week Theme:“Remote sensing: Enabling Our Future”.
iii. “Remote Sensing: Enabling our Future” is an inward looking theme, which celebrates Earth Observation from Space for the betterment of the human race.