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PM Narendra Modi’s two day visit to Gujarat in October 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit to Gujarat on 7th and 8th October 2017, during which he inaugurated several development projects.
i. He has laid the foundation stone for second airport in Rajkot.
ii. He also inaugurated the six-laning of Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway and four-laning of Rajkot-Morbi State Highway.
iii. During his Gujarat visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan Scheme aimed at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas……………………Click here to Read more
Haj Committee presents report on New Haj policy 2018-22
Committee to review the existing Haj Policy of Indian Government for 2013-17 and to suggest framework for new Haj policy 2018-22, has presented its report to Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.
i. The committee has recommended distributing quota between Haj Committee of India (HCOI), and registered Private Tour Operators (PTOs) in the ratio of 70:30 for the next 5 years.
ii. Special quota for Jammu & Kashmir is to be increased from 1500 to 2000………..Click here to Read more
Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated Saudi Aramco India Office
On 8th October 2017,In Gurugram Saudi Aramcos ARAMCO ASIA INDIA office has been inaugurated by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan along with Mr Amin H Al-Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco.i. The office is located at Two Horizon Tower, Gurugram. In 2016 Saudi Aramco established its formal business in India through its subsidiary ARAMCO Asia India (AAI).
ii. AAI focus on crude oil and LPG marketing, engineering & technical services, and other business development activities.
iii. ARAMCO India will be expected its operation by introducing hydrocarbon sector services functions, including engineering services, IT operations & security and also R&D centre.
iv. Saudi Aramco intends to partner with Indian companies and set up integrated business ventures in the hydrocarbon value chain in India including to boost “Make in India” activities.
v. Saudi Arabia is considered to be the second largest supplier of about 19% of our crude oil imports and also 29% of LPG imports to India after Iraq.During 2016-17, India imported about 39.5 MMT of crude from Saudi Arabia.
About Saudi Arabia
♦ Capital – Riyadh
♦ Currency – Saudi Riyal
♦ Official Language – Arabic
♦ King – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Manipur government hosts Northeast labour ministers’ meeting
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has addressed a regional conference of north east labour ministers and officials to take a sincere effort to end the alienation of people from the north east on 6th Oct. 2017.
♦ The conference was held at the Hotel Classic Grande in Imphal. He added that to show our responsibility to initiate a unity among the citizens of the country.
Discussion run over on Conference:-
i. CM has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call of “Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas”, Centre has given priority to welfare of the people and to inclusive development.
ii. Union Minister of State for Labour and EmploymentSantosh Gangwar and Manipur’s Minister of Labour and Employment Th. Radheshyam Singh also addressed in that conference and noted the Centre is focused on development of the north east to bring an inclusive growth and development in the country.
iii. During the conference, presentations were made on child labour, the plight of plantation workers, social security schemes and matters relating to the welfare of unorganised workers by experts.
vi. Assam Labour and Employment Minister Pallab Lochan Das, Nagaland’s Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs, Labour and Employment Dr. Neiphrezo Keditsu, Union Labour and Employment Secretary M. Sathiyavathy, Financial Advisor and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment Arun Goel and officials from the north east states participated in the conference.
Parks & Sanctuaries in Manipur
♦ Keibul Lamjao National Park
♦ Manipur Zoological Garden
♦ Khongjaingamba Ching Wild Life Sanctuary
♦ Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wild Life Sanctuary
Manipur celebrated its traditional Mera Houchongba festival
Manipur’s traditional Mera Houchongba festival symbolizes brotherhood and unity among indigenous communities settled in both hill and valley of State.It was celebrated at the Manipur Royal palace (Sana Konung) in Imphal in the presence of King of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba as the main host.♦ This is the first time Manipur Government and Royal Council of Manipur King jointly organised the Mera Houchongba festival under the name of State Level Mera Huchongba Committee.
About Mera Houchongba:-
i. This festival has begun from the time of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba in the first Century C.E. Before 1891, this festival was performed at the ground, Lampak.
ii. Every year, in the month of Mera, which falls in September/October, Hou Chongba festival is celebrated, in which all the village Chiefs or Khullakpas and peoples from the surrounding hill areas fully take part.
iii.The main function of Mera Hou Chongba festival is the exchange of gifts between the King and village Chiefs and performance of cultural show and sports.
iv. Exchange of gifts such as traditional fabrics, vegetables and fruits among the hill and valley people, cultural dances marked the festival.
v. The festival is ended by a grand feast; food consists of curry of dried fish, cows, buffaloes, dogs, etc. The hill men are allowed to take meat as they like and enjoy the drink of their choice. The festival is one of the greatest in Manipur which is attended by all the hill tribes of Manipur.
♦ Capital – Imphal
♦ Chief Minister – N. Biren Singh
♦ Official languages – Manipuri
US lifts economic sanctions against Sudan
On October 6, 2017, US State Department announced its decision to ease the penalising economic and trade sanctions against Sudan which have been in place since 1997.
i. This decision of US is in response to Sudanese Govt’s efforts to end hostilities in conflict areas, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the United States in regional conflicts to tackle the threat of terrorism.
ii. Sudanese Govt has welcomed this decision and has asked US to take Sudan off its blacklist of state terror sponsors.
iii. This decision of US administration is a result of 16-month diplomatic effort which started during the tenure of previous US President Barak Obama.
Quick Facts about Sudan:
♦ Capital – Khartoum
♦ Currency – Sudanese Pound
♦ Current President – Omar al-Bashir
BRICS-themed subway train debuts in China
A BRICS-themed subway train with carriages representing the five member nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has started test operations in China’s south-eastern Xiamen city on October 6, 2017.About BRICS-themed subway train:
i. The subway train has six carriages, five of which represents different cultures of the BRICS countries.
ii. The Chinese carriage is red and displays icons such as the Great Wall and Tian’anmen Square while Russian carriage shows off the country’s ballet and matryoshka dolls.
iii .Brazilian carriage is green and decorated with images of footballs and football stars while South African carriage displays pictures of diamonds.
iv. The Indian carriage depicts elephants and yoga.
v. It is to be noted that the 2017 BRICS Summit was held in Xiamen from 4th – 5th September, 2017.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI imposes banking business restrictions on Oriental Bank of Commerce
On October 5, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed certain restriction on banking activities of Oriental Bank of Commerce.
Details about Prompt Corrective Action on Oriental Bank of Commerce:
i. RBI initiated prompt corrective action (PCA) against OBC in view of high non-performing assets.
ii. Owing to PCA, OBC will face restrictions in terms of opening new branches, hiring staff and lending to sub-investment grade companies.
iii. However, it has been permitted to continue accepting deposits and give small ticket loans.
iv. It is to be noted that, since March 2017, RBI has placed similar restrictions on six other banks which include Dena Bank, Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and UCO Bank.
Quick Facts about Oriental Bank of Commerce:
♦ Founded in – 1943
♦ Headquarters – Gurugram
♦ Current CEO & MD – Mukesh Kumar Jain
AU Small Finance Bank partners Aditya Birla Health Insurance
AU Small Finance Bank has entered into a corporate agency tie-up agreement to sell health insurance products of Aditya Birla Health Insurance. More Details about AU Small Finance Bank – Aditya Birla Health Insurance tie-up:
i. AU Small Finance Bank was initially a non-banking finance company (NBFC) which got licence of Small Finance bank from Reserve Bank (RBI) in December 2016.
ii. Aditya Birla Health Insurance is the health insurance arm Aditya Birla Financial Services Group(ABFSG). It is a joint venture between the Aditya Birla Group and MMI Holdings Ltd (MMI), a diversified financial services company in South Africa.
iii. Both the entities believe that tie-up will be mutually beneficial in terms of business, market penetration as well as reach.
Quick Facts about AU Small Finance Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Jaipur
♦ Current Managing Director and CEOL Sanjay Agarwal
Govt raises stake in IDBI Bank to 77.79%
On 7th Oct. 2017, IDBI Bank informed that its promoter the government of India, has increased its stake in the company to 77.79% by acquiring 3.81% shares through preferential allotment.
i. In previous, government had 73.98% stake in IDBI Bank.
ii. The government of India has acquired 3.81% shares carrying voting rights in the company due to preferential allotment of equity shares.
About IDBI Bank
Industrial Development Bank of India is an Indian government-owned financial service company.
♦ Founded In – 1 July 1964
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Managing Director & CEO – Mahesh Kumar Jain
NBCC partners Finland company for EV charging infrastructure
On Oct. 5 2017, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) has signed a MoU with Finlands Fortum Oyj for developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in upcoming development projects in India.i. This MoU has been made only for co- operative institutional relationship and does not involve any joint venture or financial implication.
NBCC is a Central Public Sector undertaking which trades publicly in the market and is largely owned by Government of India.
♦ Founded In – 1960
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi, India
♦ Chairman – Dr. Anoop Kumar Mittal
CBDT signs two more APAs with taxpayers
On October 6, 2017, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said it has signed two more advance pricing agreements (APAs) in September 2017 with Indian taxpayers.
Details about APAs signed by CBDT:
i. These two latest APAs pertain to automobile and healthcare consulting sectors.
ii. Including these two agreements, CBDT has so far entered into 177 APAs, out of which 164 are unilateral and 13 are bilateral.
iii. Objective of APA scheme is to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and thereby reducing litigation.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
SEBI chief Ajay Tyagi named among worlds top 10 regulators
SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi has been named among the world’s top 10 regulators in the Market structure. He has placed seventh position among the top 10 regulators worldwide.i. The Exchange Invest 1000 (EI1000) , the rankings are part of the World’s Most Influential People in Market Structure was launched by Patrick Young & Exchange Invest.
ii. The list of 6 regulators is topped by
1.European Unions Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
2.ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) Chairman Steven Maijoor
3.SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) Chairman Jay Clayton (3rd),
4.CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Chairman J Christopher Giancarlo (4th)
5.China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Shiyu Liu (5th)
6.Financial Conduct Authority UK CEO Andrew Bailey (6th).
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Axis Bank acquires Freecharge, appoints Sangram Singh as CEO
Private Sector bank, Axis Bank has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Freecharge.
More Details about Axis Bank’s acquisition of Freecharge:
i. Axis Bank has completed the acquisition of Freecharge for a cash consideration of 373.27 crore.
ii. It has also announced appointment of Sangram Singh as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Private Ltd.
iii. Through this acquisition, Axis Bank will get access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well as its staff strength of about 150 to 200 professionals.
iv. Management of Axis Bank believes that this acquisition will double its customer base and will fast track its digital journey by multiple years.
Quick Facts about Axis Bank
♦ Founded in – 1993
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Current MD & CEO – Shikha Sharma
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Scientists identify bacterium that could be source of antibiotics
Scientists have identified a new bacterium from a lime quarry in Karnataka and it will be expecting as a source of antibiotics for several diseases including malaria.i. It named as Allostreptomyces indica YIM 75704T, the bacterium belonged to Streptomycetaceae, a family of bacteria.
ii. They are largely found in soil and decaying vegetation. Most of them produce chains of spores and some are noted for their distinct ‘earthy’ odor that results from production of a volatile metabolite called geosmin.
iii. The new bacterium was isolated from an open pit limestone mine in the Gulbarga region of Karnataka. The area is known for its limestone mines and crushers.
vi. The study was conducted in collaboration with Gulbarga University, Northern Border University of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. The other members of the team are Amit Kumar Sahu, Syed Raziuddin Quadri, Dayanand Agasar, Jamal Al Ruwaili, and Wen Jun-Li.
Prasar Bharati launches online application system for AIR
On October 7 2017,Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash has launched an online application system for music auditions for the All India Radio (AIR) due to the occasion of 64th Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan.
i. Prasar Bharati CEO Sashi Sekhar Vampati and AIR Director General F Sheheryar are also participated on this occasion.
ii. AIR expected to arrange the auditions in different genres of music like classical, light, folk, tribal and western.
About All India Radio
All India Radio (AIR) is the national public radio broadcaster of India and a division of Prasar Bharati.
♦ Established in – 1930
♦ Headquarters – Sansad Marg, New Delhi
Olympic Committee suspends Brazilian arm after chief’s arrest
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended its Brazilian arm amid an investigation into corruption allegations.
i. It also suspended the head of Brazil’s Olympic committee, Carlos Nuzman, as an honorary member, and has frozen all its payments to the body.Mr Nuzman was arrested and is being investigated as part of a cash-for-votes probe linked to the bid for the 2016 Rio Games.
ii. The Brazilian committee’s director general Leonardo Gryner was also get arrested.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
IOC is a non-profit independent international organization.
♦ Formed In – 23 June 1894
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ Honorary President – Dr. Jacques Rogge Belgium
♦ President – Dr. Thomas Bach
India bag 37 gold medals, finish second in 20th Asia Masters meet
India finished second in 20th Asia Masters Athletics Championship held in Rugao, China. and bagged 146 medals, including 37 golds, 43 silvers and 66 bronze.China was topped.Indians best performances in Asia Masters meet 2017
i. 70-year-old PN Mishra of Gorakhpur won gold in hammer throw
ii. Saifai’s 35-year-old Siddharth Krishna bagged a bronze in 5000 meter walk
iii. 35-year-old Lal Bahadur Yadav of Kanpur won a gold in Hammer throw
iv. Former flying officer of Indian Air Force, 76-year-old Shivnath brought four bronze medals in 2000 meter hurdles, 80 meters hurdles, 4×100 meters relay and 4×400 meters relay race
v. The 20 countries were participated in the meet held between September 24 and September 28,2017.
Ajeetesh Sandhu Wins First-ever Asian Tour Title in Taipei
On 8th October 2017, Indian golfer 28-year-old Ajeetesh Sandhu won Asian Tour title at the USD 500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) at Taipei.
i. Sandhu had a score of two-under 70 and a total score of 11-under 277 which consisted of three birdies and one bogey. He beat America’s Johannes Veerman by one shot.
ii. The Yeangder Tournament Players Championship is a golf tournament on the Asian Tour. It was played for the first time in September 2010 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club in Taipei, Taiwan.
Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese Grand Prix, extends lead at top
On October 8, 2017, Formula One motorist Lewis Hamilton won Japanese Grand Prix.i. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finished the race 1.2 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
ii. Another motorist from Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo finished third.
iii. With this win, Lewis Hamilton has reached closer to Formula One world championship title, as his closest rival Sebastian Vettel had to retire in the fourth lap of this race due to engine problems.
Congress leader Prabhakarpant Ojharkar no more
Congress leader Prabhakarpant Ojharkar passed away on October 7, 2017 in Nashik, Maharashtra.
i. Prabhakarpant Ojharkar was 88. He passed away due to heart attack.
ii. He had been vice-president of Devlali Cantonment Board for 22 years.
iii. His funeral on October 7, 2017, was attended by a large number of people.
Indian Air-force day – October 8On October 8 2017, The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary. The celebrations were marked by a stellar show in the skies by various aircraft at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad
i. The air display started at 8 AM with flag bearing skydivers of famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies.
ii. IAF’s popular Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) also performed on that special day. The SKAT belongs to the number 52 Squadron. The primary role of the team was air defence, whereas its secondary role was ground attack.
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the airforces of the world.
♦ Founded In – 8 October 1932
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh