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Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in New Delhi
i. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in New Delhi on October 6, 2016. It is organised by TERI with emphasis on the need to limit the rise of climate change.
ii. Theme: “Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress”
iii. WSDS was earlier called as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS),The first DSDS was organised in 2005.
iv. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the ‘Sustainable Development Leadership Award’ by President Pranab Mukherjee in recognition of his leadership in making the northeastern state the first and only organic state in the country.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 100 urban piped drinking water supply projects
i. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 100 urban piped drinking water supply projects, with an objective to provide safe drinking water to every family in Odisha.
ii. The projects dedicated will cater to the needs of around 2 lakh people, the 100 proposed schemes will ensure safe water for lakhs of people in urban areas in the coming days.
iii. He also launched two new systems-Online Smart Water Information Management (OSWIM) and e-Building Pass for ensuring better management of supply of drinking water to the urban households and smoothen the permission process for construction of buildings respectively.
Cabinet approved setting up of country’s first Medipark in TN
i. The Union Cabinet here approved “mini Ratna” public sector undertaking HLL Lifecare to sub-lease its land for setting up the country’s first medical devices manufacturing park.
ii. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to M/s HLL Lifecare Ltd, to sublease 330.10acres of government land at Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, to setup a medical devices manufacturing park (Medipark) through a Special Purpose Vehicle.
iii. The share holding of HLL, which is a PSU under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, would be above 50 per cent.The Medipark project would be the first manufacturing cluster in medical technology sector in the country, envisaged to boost the local manufacturing of hi-end products at a significantly lower cost, resulting in affordable healthcare delivery, particular in diagnostic services to a large section of people.
iv. The proposed Medipark would contribute to the development of medical devices and technology sector and allied disciplines in the country, which was still at a beginning stage besides generating employment and give a boost to the government’s “Make in India” campaign.
Finance Ministry set up debt management cell
i. Union Finance Ministry constituted a Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC). The cell was created to streamline government borrowings and better cash management with the overall objective of deepening bond markets.
ii. The cell which would function from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) premises here would be upgraded to an independent and statutory debt management agency — Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA)
iii.T he interim arrangement would allow separation of debt management functions from RBI to PDMA in a gradual and seamless manner, without causing market disruptions. PDMC would have only advisory functions to avoid any conflict with the statutory functions of RBI.
iv .Its functions would include planning borrowings of the government, management of central liabilities, monitoring cash balances of the government, advise the Finance Ministry on external borrowings, etc
3 agreements between India & Switzerland on Mutual Visa Exemption Return
i. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the visiting Minister for Justice and Police of Swiss Confederation, Ms. Simonetta Sommarug in New Delhi on October 6, 2016.
ii. The two sides signed three agreements including :
1.Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement for Holders of Diplomatic Passports,
2.Technical Arrangements on Identification and Return of Illegal Migrants and Arrangement for Dependent Person of Diplomatic, Consular, Technical and
3.Administrative Staff of Diplomatic and Consular Mission to Perform Gainful Employment.
iii. Rajnath Singh also proposed training facilities for Indian Police Officers in Switzerland Police Academies/other Training Institutes in the fields of Anti-Hijacking and Cyber Forensic etc.
♦ Capital : Bern
♦ Currency: Swiss franc
Arunachal Inks MoU For Skill Development
i. Arunachal Pradesh government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology for skill development of local people in presence of Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu in New Delhi
ii. It will facilitate development of skill to 1,600 people of Arunachal Pradesh in the first of a four year project under a scheme for ‘Skill Development in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector’.
Skill Development in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector:
♦ It was approved by DeitY in November, 2013
♦ The scheme provides for 75 % of training fee as assistance for training courses identified by Electronics Sector Skills Council, Telecom Sector Skills Council and NIELIT
India to host first AMCDRR after Sendai Framework
i. In order to minimise the risk of loss of life and damage to property during natural calamity like earthquake, tsunami and floods, India would be hosting going to host the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) next month in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
ii. This is the first AMCDRR after the advent of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRRR), adopted at the third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015. It would set the direction of Sendai Framework implementation in the region.
iii. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, would inaugurate the Conference that held in New Delhi.The Conference would aim at transforming the commitments of governments and stakeholders during the Sendai Conference into national and local action.
iv. Established in 2005, AMCDRR is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the UNISDR. So far, six AMCDRR conferences had been organised. India had also hosted the second AMCDRR in New Delhi in 2007
Heritage Infrastructure projects worth Rs. 350 cr approved
i. Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development inaugurated a two day conference on Heritage Cities.
ii. The conference is being jointly organised by Ministry of Urban Development and Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN).
iii. According to Mr. Naidu, Heritage Infrastructure projects worth Rs. 350 cr approved.
iv. Now India has 35 World Heritage Sites, both cultural and natural, recognized by UNESCO.
v. India ranks 5th in the world and 2nd in Asia, in terms of number of World Heritage Sites.
vi. In 2013, India received 69 lakh foreign tourists and 114 crore domestic tourist visits, generating revenue of Rs. 2 lakh crore. i.e. 6.6 % of GDP.
Indian mountaineer Arjun Vajpai scaled world’s sixth highest mountain
i. ArjunVajpai, the professional Indian mountaineer, scaled the world’s sixth highest mountain Cho Oyu. The mountain is located on the China-Nepal border at an altitude of 8188 meters above the sea level.
ii. The 23-year-old reached the summit before dawn along with his sherpas and another expedition member after leaving from Camp 3 post midnight.
iii. Arjun completed the summit at about 6.15 am. It was costed on Arjun’s health and his guide’s. The temperature at night was about minus 40 degrees was reported by Sanjeev Vajpai, Arjun’s father.He is the third youngest Indian to scale the Mount Everest at the age of 16 years and 11 months in 2010.
iv. The Mount Cho Oyu 2016 expedition was a personal challenge for the young mountaineer because he had suffered a paralytic attack during his first attempt in 2011 and Arjun had to work his way back to physical fitness to climb again.
v. The mountain was first climbed on 19 October 1954, via the north-west ridge by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jochler and Sherpa PasangDawa Lama of an Austrian expedition.
France became first country to ban plastic cups and plates
i. With the passage of a new law, which was aimed at combating climate change, France has become the first country in the world to completely ban disposable plastic cups, plates and other utensils.
ii. By 2020, all single-use cutleries would have to be made out of biologically-sourced materials that could be composted, under a recently enacted French law. This plastic ban was reportedly “hidden away” in a bill that passed in summer 2015 but came into effect last month.
iii. The Christian Science Monitor reported to Les Echos newspaper that the France threw away more than 4.7 billion plastic cups every year, only 1 percent of which are recycled.
iv. While environmentalists were happy at ban, European leading food-packaging manufacturers censured this measures violate European Union laws on the free movement of goods, CNN reported. Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organisation representing European packaging manufacturers, is asking the European Commission to take action against France.
♦ Capital: Paris
♦ Currencies: Euro, CFP franc
♦ President: François Hollande
BANKING & FINANCE
MasterCard launches its ‘selfie pay’ biometric authentication app in Europe
i. Financial services company MasterCard rolled out Selfie Pay app in Europe .This app will use facial biometrics for payment authentication.
ii. It will supports both selfies and fingerprint biometrics, offering users a choice of authenticating a mobile payment at the point of purchase.
iii. The app will be made available to MasterCard users globally in early 2017.
Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Coca-Cola Co. topped the list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands
i. Silicon Valley is home to the two most valuable brands in the world. For the fourth consecutive year, Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Coca-Cola Co topped the list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands in 2016, while technology and automotive brands dominated the overall rankings, according to a new report from brand consultancy Interbrand.
ii. Microsoft Corp, Toyota Motor Corp, IBM Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Amazon.com Inc, Mercedes-Benz and General Electric Co were also on the Top 10 list, according to Interbrand’s 2016 Best Global Brands report.
iii. The top 10 brands in the list included Microsoft, Toyota, IBM, Samsung, Amazon, Mercedes-Benz and GE.
iv. Hitting the Top 100 for the first time, French fashion brand Dior and Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors Inc at Nos. 89 and 100 respectively. Hugo Boss, Chevrolet and Kleenex dropped off the list.
Oil India signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Houston
i. Oil India (OIL) has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Houston (USA) in presence of Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C), Petroleum & Natural Gas.
ii. The objective of the MoU is to collaborate in the fields of Improved Oil Recovery & Enhanced Oil Recovery for production enhancement from matured fields, seismic interpretation & reservoir characterisation studies, improvement of drilling and well intervention practices and unconventional hydrocarbon studies.
iii. This will also contribute towards national obligation as set by Hon’ble Prime Minister to reduce import dependency of oil and gas by 10% by 2022.
♦ India is third largest energy consuming country in the world
♦ University of Houston is a premier institute located in Texas, US. It is involved in the quest of academic and translational excellence in the field of Oil & Gas through its outstanding faculty and research staff
250 mandis in 10 states linked with e-agri market in 1st phase
i. The BJP-led Centre had integrated 250 mandis in 10 states in the first phase of its ambitious electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM), established to provide transparent and profitable trade facilities to farmers and buyers.
ii .E-NAM is a pan India electronic portal for sale and purchase of agricultural product so that farmers get better prices of their produce. The first phase of the e-NAM was launched on 14th of April this year
iii. More or Less, 1,60,229 farmers, 46,688 traders and 25,970 commission agents had been registered on thee-NAM platform. Quality parameters for 69 agricultural and horticultural commodities, including cereals, pulses, oil seeds, spices, fruits and vegetables had been notified.
iv. A meeting had been convened next week with Bihar and Kerala as these two states do not have the mandi system. Under a reform programme during the UPA government, these states had repealed the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.
v. There are about 2,477 agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) and 4,843 sub-market yards regulated by the respective APMCs in the country.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Indian NGO Swayam Shikshan Prayog bags UN climate award for clean energy project
i. Swayam Shikshan Prayog has bagged the UN climate award 2016 for clean energy project
ii.The NGO trains women to become clean energy entrepreneurs across Maharashtra and Bihar.
iii. It is one of the 13 projects to be recognised at the forthcoming UN climate summit in Marrakesh in November.
iv. The NGO was founded in 1989 in Mumbai. It has received financial support from the Maharashtra government, USAID, Miseorer, Europe, and CSR funds from HSBC
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
J&K Bank appoints Parvez Ahmed as Chairman & CEO
i. Parvez Ahmed was appointed as Chairman and CEO of Jammu and Kashmir Bank for a period of three years on October 6, 2016.
ii. He is the succeedor of Mustaq Ahmad who will be retired on October 5.
Jammu and Kashmir Bank:
♦ Founded : 1938
♦ Headquarters: Srinagar
Sushil Chandra appointed as Chairman of CBDT
i. Indian Revenue Service officer Sushil Chandra has been appointed as the new chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) till May 2017 by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
ii. He will replace Rani Singh Nair, who will retire on October 31.
iii. Now, he is posted as Member of CBDT.
Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) :
♦ The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for administration of the direct tax laws through Income Tax Department.
♦ The CBDT is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
♦ The CBDT is headed by a chairman and can have a maximum of six members.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched from Kourou, Guiana
i. India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched by a heavy duty rocket of Ariane space from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.
ii. Weighing 3404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide Services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in an accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
iii. GSAT-18 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by Ariane-5 VA-231 launch vehicle.
iv. The spacecraft and launch service cost about US$153 million.
New Fish Found In Kerala Waters Named ‘Scomber Indicus’
i. A new species of fish named Scomber Indicus in Kerala waters by a team of CMFRI (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute)scientists led by E M Abdussamad
ii. The black-spotted fish is round in shape and this species is distinctly different, both taxonomically and genetically from the other members of the mackerel family.
iii. The fish is called ‘pulli ayala’ or ‘pulli thiriyan’ by the local fisherm
Typhoon Chaba batters South Korea and heads to Japan
i. At least six people have been killed after Typhoon Chaba battered South Korea with strong winds and heavy rain
ii. The southern cities of Busan and Ulsan were worst affected, as well as the resort island of Jeju.
iii. The typhoon is now heading for Japan, where the meteorological agency issued warnings and flights were cancelled.
Siddharth clinched gold at Asian billiards 2016
i. World No. 3 Siddharth Parikh clinched the gold medal at the inaugural Asian billiards 2016 defeating Aung Htay (Myanmar) 4-2 (26-100, 2-100(90), 100(88)-21, 100-47, 100(63)-60, 100(61)-60) in the final of the billiards held in Al-Fujairah, UAE .
ii. The Indian Railway and P.J. Hindu Gymkhana player, Parikh who had not dropped a single frame till the semi-final round, started poorly losing the first two frames rather tamely against Htay in the summit clash.
iii. He had earlier defeated South Korea’s Hwang Chulho 4-0 (100(62)-15, 100(90)-26, 100(55)-82, 100(78)-24) in the semifinals. Htay overcame India No. 1 Sourav Kothari 4-1 (63-100(65), 100-88(57), 100(100)-22, 100(55)-00, 100(92)-57) in the second semifinal.
iv. The semifinal losers had to settle for bronze. The other Indians among medals at the UAE competition were Kamal Chawla (bronze in 6-Red men), Vidya Pillai (silver, 6-Rd women), AmeeKamani, Arantxa Sanchis (bronze in team snooker), Manan Chandra, Sundeep Gulati and Ishpreet Chadha (bronze in team snooker).
Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban reduced from 2 years
i. Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban has been reduced to 15 months following her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
ii. The five-time Grand Slam winner was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive formeldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
iii. She will be able to return to the tennis court on 26 April, 2017.
iv. Meldonium, a heart disease drug also known as mildronate, became a banned substance on 1 January 2016.
v. She had been taking the drug since 2006 for health problems
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Photo-biography chronicling Gandhi’s life in colour launched
i. The photo-biography on Mahatma Gandhi titled “Mahatma – Gandhi’s Life in Colour” launched by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi.
ii. It contains 692-pages and published by GandhiServe India.
iii. The coffee table book was the first photo- biography on Gandhi.1,281 photographs published in the book .
iv. Another book titled “Untouchability No More” was also released by Mahesh Sharma