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Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari inaugurated sea route to Baratang & laid foundation stone for shipping projects in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
On October 5, 2017, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
i. They also laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, extension of wharf in Hope Town and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island.
ii. The new sea route to Baratang, which passes through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve will provide an alternative to the National Highways-4 route that linked Baratang to Port Blair. It will thereby promote tourism without disturbing the tribal areas…………..Click here to view more detail
First Edition of the ASEAN India Music Festival begins in New Delhi
The first ever ASEAN-India Music Festival has begun at Purana Quila in New Delhi on October 6, 2017. It will continue till October 8, 2017.About First Edition of the ASEAN-India Music Festival:
i. First Edition of the ASEAN-India Music Festival has been organised by Union Ministry of External Affairs, in collaboration with Union Ministry of Culture and arts/cultural group Seher.
ii. It has been organised to celebrate 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, which is being commemorated with the theme “Shared Values, Common Destiny”.
iii. 10 music bands from member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam – along with 5 prominent Indian bands will perform at this festival.
Quick Facts about ASEAN
♦ Established in – 1967
♦ Secretariat – Jakarta, Indonesia
♦ Current Secretary General – Le Luong Minh
Prime Minister Modi temple with 100 feet tall statue to be built in Meerut
On 5th October 2017, follower and supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, J.P.Singh, announced that, a temple worth Rs.30 crore is to be built in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
Temple with 100 feet tall statue for Prime Minister Modi:
i. The temple would be built in the Sardhana area of Meerut. A 100 feet statue of Prime Minister Modi would be installed in the temple.
ii. The ‘Bhumi Pujan’ and the stone laying ceremony for the temple would be conducted on 23rdOctober 2017. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah is expected to attend the event.
iii. A retired engineer from the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department, J.P.Singh, announced the construction of this temple. He said that, it would take 2 years for completion.
Other temples built in India for politicians and celebrities:
♦ Temple for Sonia Gandhi – Telengana
♦ Temple for Sachin Tendulkar – Bihar
♦ Temple for Amitabh Bachchan – Kolkata
Meghalaya, UP and Arunachal Sign MoU to Boost Culture and Tourism
On 5th October 2017, a MoU was signed by Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya under the ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme, to boost cultural ties.
MoU between Meghalaya, UP and Arunachal Pradesh:
i. Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary, Secondary and Higher Education, Sanjay Agarwal, Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Secretary, Joram Beda, Meghalaya Education Secretary, W R Lyngdoh signed the MoU.
ii. This MoU under the ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme, aims to enhance cultural relationship between these 3 states.
iii. The ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme, works to boost cultural relationship between different states of India. As per this programme, each year a state and a union territory would be paired with another for interaction between their people and knowing each other’s culture and heritage.
Other recent MoUs of Uttar Pradesh:
1. MoU between Uttar Pradesh and Union Government for 24/7 power supply by October 2018
2. MoU between Uttar Pradesh and Union Government for opening AIIMS in Gorakhpur
14th India-EU summit held in New Delhi
On 6th October 2017, the 14th India – European Union Summit was held, in New Delhi.14th India-EU Summit:
President of the European Council, Donald Franciszek Tusk, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini attended the 14thIndia-EU Summit 2017.
i. This summit aims to deepen the India-EU strategic partnership and advance collaboration for India’s growth and development.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Donald Franciszek Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker.
iii. Sushma Swaraj discussed issues like counter-terrorism and Free Trade Agreement.
About European Union:
♦ European Union – political and economic union of 28 member states in Europe
♦ President of the European Parliament – Antonio Tajani
♦ President of the European Council – Donald Tusk
♦ President of the European Commission – Jean-Claude Juncker
First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held in New Delhi
On 6th October 2017, the First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held in New Delhi.
First meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee:
i. Mr.TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, India and Mr.Stephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General’s Department, Australia led the respective delegations.
ii. This meeting is a follow-up to the MoU on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime between India and Australia.
iii. During this meeting topics like scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization, steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes were discussed.
iv. Also, issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, combating illegal drug trafficking and sharing information between law enforcement agencies were also discussed.
♦ Capital – Canberra
♦ Currency – Australian dollar
♦ National language – English
Sushma Swaraj to lead government delegation to PBD 2018 in Singapore
On 5th October 2017, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore announced that, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead a ministerial delegation to the ASEAN-India ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas’ (PBD) to be held in 2018, in Singapore.Sushma Swaraj to lead delegation to PBD 2018:
i. India’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf made this announcement. Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the ASEAN-India ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas’ 2018.
ii. He also said that, PBD is to be held on 6thand 7thJanuary 2018. The PBD 2018 is an important part of the celebration of 25 years of the ASEAN-India partnership.
iii. Leaders from Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will also speak at PBD 2018. ASEAN consists of 10 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
About Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas:
♦ Meaning – Non-Resident Indian Day
♦ Purpose – to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India
UN ends 13-year military peacekeeping mission in Haiti
On 5th October 2017, the UN soldiers left Haiti finishing their 13 year military peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
End of UN peace keeping mission in Haiti:
i. A UN peacekeeping mission helped to maintain order in Haiti through 13 years of political turmoil and disaster. It has come to an end now.
ii. About 100 UN soldiers would leave Haiti in a few days. Still, the police and justice system are not adequate to ensure security in Haiti.
iii. UN troops reached more than 10,000 in number after the January 2010 earthquake. The mission officially ends on 15th October 2017.
iv. The UN lowered its flag at its headquarters in Port-au-Prince.This will be followed by a smaller UN operation consisting of police and civilians who will support the country’s justice system.
♦ Capital – Port-au-Prince
♦ Currency – Haitian gourde
♦ President – Jovenel Moise
♦ Prime Minister – Jack Guy Lafontant
BANKING & FINANCE
Uday Kotak-led panel on corporate governance wants MD, CEO roles split; 6 independent directors on board
On October 5, 2017, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-appointed panel on Corporate Governance submitted its recommendations.
i. The 25-member panel was set up by SEBI in June 2017.
ii. The panel was led by Uday Kotak, the Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank.It also had bureaucrats, executives, lawyers and academicians as its member………Click here to view more detail
IBBI amends norms for setting up information utilities
On October 5, 2017, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board (IBBI) announced that it has amended the rules for information utilities.
New Norms applicable to Information Utilities:
i. Information Utilities: Unique entities that are governed by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and serve as repositories of information about lending and borrowing activities done by all financial institutions. They play vital role in providing financial and related details during the insolvency resolution process.
ii. Now onwards, a person can, either alone or together with persons acting in concert, have a maximum of 51 per cent stake in an information utility for up to three years from the date of its registration.
iii. Indian company listed in India can hold up to 100 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital or total voting power of an information utility for three years from the date of inception.
iv. More than half of the directors of an information utility should be Indian nationals and residents in India.
v. These amendments have been made effective from September 29, 2017.
IFC invests $76 mn in Fullerton India’s masala bond
World Bank Group member, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it has invested USD 76 million in 5-year unrated masala bond issuances of Fullerton India Credit Company.
More Details about IFC’s investment in Fullerton India’s masala bond:
i. Masala Bonds: Bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian Rupees, rather than the local currency are referred to as Masala Bonds.
ii. IFC’s investment in Fullerton India’s masala bonds will strengthen Fullerton India’s reach in the underserved retail and micro, small, and medium enterprise segment.
iii. IFC is using masala bonds to support companies in diversifying their funding sources, and is thereby providing a new avenue to attract private investment for businesses that are facing funding gap.
iv. It is to be noted that the first Masala bondwas issued by International Financein November 2014, which raised Rs. 1,000 crore for infrastructure projects in India.
India, EIB ink pact for financing Bangalore Metro Rail Project
On 5th October 2017, India and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the finance contract for lending of 300 million euros (about Rs.2,293 crore) for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase-II.
India, EIB financial agreement for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase-II:
i. As per the financial agreement, European Investment Bank (EIB) would lend 300 million euros, as first portion of funds, for phase-II works of Bangalore Metro Rail Project. The project implementation period is 5 years.
ii. Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II would be jointly financed by the EIB (500 million euros) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (300 million euros).
iii. The project works on extension of East-West and North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km and 61 stations with 12 underground stations.
About European Investment Bank (EIB):
♦ Location – Luxembourg
♦ President – Werner Hoyer
FDI proposals of Wockhardt, Coastal Local Area Bank, KPB Holdings approved
On 3rd and 4th October 2017, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under Union Commerce Ministry approved several foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals.
i. Among FDI proposals that have been recently approved, one of them is of KPB Holdings’, a financial services company. Its proposal to issue shares to NRIs (non-resident Indians) has been approved by the DIPP.
ii. Similarly, Coastal Local Area Bank has also got nod for issuance of shares to NRIs…….Click here to view more detail
Adobe invests in Aadhaar-based authentication for its ‘e-signature’ solution
Adobe announced investment on integration of Aadhaar-based authentication in its e-signature solution “Adobe Sign” on 4thOct.2017 .
i. The market for e-signatures in India is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 57 percent, and is expected to cross over a massive 90 million transactions by 2020 as per the Adobe commissioned survey conducted by Forrester Consulting.
ii. “Adobe Sign” is aimed at helping organizations to eliminate their dependency on wet signatures and allow digital validation of users’ legal identity.
♦ Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States.
♦ Adobe is focus on creation of multimedia and creativity software products.It is best known for Photoshop, an image editing software, Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor Adobe Creative Cloud.
♦ Founded in – 1982
♦ Founders – John Warnock,Charles Geschke
Flipkart Unveils MarQ, its New Private Label Brand for Large Appliances
On 5th October 2017, Flipkart announced the launch of MarQ, an in-house brand in the large appliances category.MarQ:
i. MarQ is an in-house brand of Flipkart, that sells large appliances.This has been done in a move expands Flipkart’s self-branded offerings on its marketplace.
ii. For now, the company has launched microwave ovens under the MarQ private label brand.More products including televisions, washing machines, air conditioners, and sound bars would be launched.
iii. Selling self-branded items is in line with Flipkart’s ‘Better. Possible Today.’ vision. Flipkart said that, MarQ products will be more affordable.
iv. Also,Flipkart would offer multiple financing options such as no cost EMI or product exchange for MarQ products. These products will be serviceable in 300 service centres across India.
About Flipkart Private Limited:
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru
♦ Group CEO – Binny Bansal
♦ CEO – Kalyan Krishnamurthy
Maharashtra govt & Tata Trusts tie-up for programs in Chandrapur district
On October 6, 2017, Maharashtra State Government and Tata Trusts entered into a tie-up for social development initiatives in Chandrapur district. The tie-up will focus on livelihood, digital literacy, data driven governance and child protection.
More Details about Maharashtra Govt & Tata Trusts tie-up:
i. Under the tie-up, Tata Trusts will help Chandrapur district administration to advance community development indicators in the district, by improving existing projects and aiding administrators in facilitating multi-sectoral development.
ii. Both the entities will jointly work on a village-level micro planning exercise Data, Evaluation, Learning, Technology and Analysis (DELTA).
iii. By partnering with the Center for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), Tata Trust will work with the Chandrapur administration for district-level budget analysis and streamlining fund flow.
iv. In a bid to improve literacy indicators and make the education programme robust, Maharashtra State Education Department and Tata Trusts will be introducing 10 mobile computer literacy buses through the ‘Palak Mantri Sanganak Prashikshan Prayogshala’ project for a year.
Magicbricks Launches India’s First Online Property Bidding Platform
Magicbricks announced its launch of India’s first online bidding platform for residential and commercial properties.It tied-up with leading developer ‘Magnificence in the Trinity Of Men, Materials & Money'( M3M) for their new inauguration of ‘My Bid, My Home’ .
♦ Magicbricks has been recently awarded the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, making it the country’s only real estate portal eligible for a bidding platform for properties.
‘My Bid, My Home’
i. This scheme will be helpful for customers can bid for ready-to-move-in residential properties ranging from 1355sqft to 7875sqft in Gurugram onOct 7, 2017.
ii. Customers can log on to http://m3mbidding.magicbricks.com/ and bid for properties in M3M Golfestate (Fairway West), M3M Merlin and M3M Woodshire .
iii. The properties available for bidding would have their base price lower than the market price. The developer is also offering customers ranging from PLC wavier, free car park, club membership to one-year free maintenance for some projects, completed kitchen and wardrobes.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Nobel peace prize 2017 awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
On 6th October 2017, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner as International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), in Oslo, Norway.Nobel peace prize 2017:
i. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has honoured ICAN for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and for its efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.
ii. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a non-governmental organisation of over 100 countries all over the world. ICAN had given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, in the past year.
iii. The committee said that the next steps towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear-armed states.
About International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN):
♦ Field – Nuclear disarmament
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Executive director – Beatrice Fihn
Gauri Lankesh posthumously honoured with Anna Politkovskaya Award
On 5th October 2017, Reach All Women (RAW) in War announced Gauri Lankesh as the winner of Anna Politkovskaya Award 2017.
Gauri Lankesh honored with Anna Politkovskaya Award:
i. Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on 5thSeptember 2017. She was a critic of right-wing Hindu extremism, campaigner for women’s rights, rights of Dalits etc.
ii. RAW awards the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award 2017 jointly to Gauri Lankesh posthumously, and to a Pakistani activist Gulalai Ismaial.
iii. Gauri Lankesh is the 12th woman to receive this prestigious award. Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist was killed in 2006 in Moscow for her courage to speak out on the suffering of the civilians in the war in Chechnya.
iv. To mark the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on 7thOctober 2006 and to honour Anna and similar women, RAW in War annually presents the award to a female human rights defender from conflict zone.
About Gauri Lankesh:
♦ Occupation – Journalist-activist
♦ State – Karnataka
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Mongolia names Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh as new PM after ousting previous leader
On 5th October 2017, Mongolia appointed Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh as its new prime minister, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.Mongolia’s New Prime Minister:
i. Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh was a former deputy Prime Minister. He has been selected as the new Prime Minister by the ruling Mongolia People’s Party (MPP).
ii. Few weeks ago, the previous Prime Minister Jargaltulgiin Erdenebat and his cabinet were removed due corruption allegations.
iii. He was accused of granting $328 million in concessions to eight companies related to his cabinet ministers. He was also accused of providing illegal cash allowances to voters.
iv. Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh has come under suspicion of using illegal donations in his campaign. Also, in 2007 he was investigated for receiving stolen funds from a state-owned bank. The charges were later dropped.
♦ Capital – Ulaanbaatar
♦ Currency – Togrog
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO to set up Research Centre in Guwahati
On 5th October 2017, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced the setting up of a research centre for startups, academicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs, in Guwahati, Assam.ISRO Research Centre in Guwahati:
i. The decision of setting up ISRO research centre at Guwahati was taken at a meeting between Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and ISRO Chairman Dr.A.S.Kiran Kumar on 5thOctober 2017.
ii. This is the first time ISRO is setting up an exclusive research facility in Assam. Assam government would provide land to the ISRO free of cost for the research centre.
iii. The research centre would explore the possibility of using geospatial technology, through Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Satellite Remote Sensing for Assam’s development.
iv. This would be used for accurate flood warning system, prevention of soil erosion, land slide etc.
Other ISRO Research Centres:
♦ Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre – Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Physical Research Laboratory – Ahmedabad
♦ Semi-Conductor Laboratory – Chandigarh
Embryo Transfer Technology, a promising revolution in Bovine breeding
Embryo transfer technology (ETT) has revolutionized the breeding strategies in Bovines and is being used as a tool to optimize the genetic improvement in cattle.
‘National Mission on Bovine Productivity’:
i. Under this scheme, Department of Animal husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in co-operation with 12 States has undertaken a Mass Embryo Transfer programme in Indigenous Breeds.
ii. 440 embryo transfers are to be carried out in 12 ETT centres across India from 2nd – 10th October, 2017.
iii. Embryos of Indigenous breeds such as Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Ongole, Deoni and Vechur have been proposed to be transferred under this programme.
iv. Benefits of ETT: Farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in number of offsprings, the calves so born will be of high genetic merit and the offsprings born will be free from diseases.
Governor E S L Narasimhan launches ‘GST Rate Finder’ Telugu Mobile App
On 5th October 2017, Governor for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh E S L Narasimhan launched the first regional language version of ‘GST Rate Finder’ App in Telugu, in Hyderabad.
GST Rate Finder App:
i. Already the English version of the ‘GST Rate Finder’ app was launched in July 2017. Now, telugu version of the app has been launched. This App will be available for Android phones.
ii. E S L Narasimhan said that the Telugu version of the GST Rate Finder mobile app is a much-needed tool and helpful for the common man.
iii. He said that, the new tax regime paved the way for ‘One country, One Tax’ replacing multiplicity of taxes.
iv. According to the Governor, GST will take at least six months to one year to settle down as it is a great shift for the common man.
About GST (Goods & Services Tax):
♦ Launched on – 1 July 2017
♦ Type – indirect tax
Australian fast bowler John Hastings retires from Tests, ODIs
Australian Cricketer John Wayne Hastings confirmed his retirement from Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He plans to focus on T20 cricket.i. The 31 years old John Hastings was the world’s leading ODI pacer after picking up 29 wickets in 15 matches in 2016.
ii. John Wayne Hastings was born on 4th November 1985. He plays for the Melbourne Stars, and the Australian national team and played for Victoria cricket team. He is an all-rounder who combines right-arm fast-medium bowling with strong lower-order batting.
Fomer Union minister Purushottam Lal Kaushik passed away
On 5th October 2017, Former Union minister and socialist leader Purushottam Lal Kaushik died in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund district.
Purushottam Lal Kaushik’s death:
i. Purushottam Lal Kaushik was 87 years old. He died at his residence in Mahasamund town due to age-related ailments.
ii. He was born on September 24, 1930 in Mahasamund. He had obtained his LLB degree from the Nagpur University in 1954.
iii. He had served as tourism and civil aviation minister during 1977- 1979. He headed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry during July 1979-January 1980.
iv. He was elected as an MLA from Mahasamund seat in 1972 to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly and as an MP from Raipur in the year 1977 and from Durg in 1989.
About Purushottam Lal Kaushik:
♦ Occupation – Politician
♦ State – Chattisgarh