Daily Current Affairs Updates–21st October 2016:
i. The World Statistics Day was observed across the world on 20 October. The theme for this year is “Better Data, Better Lives”. This theme emphasizes the critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making. Noted British statistician Sir David Cox was awarded inaugural recipient of the International Prize in Statistics.
i. Police Commemoration Day in India is observed on October 21.It honors the memory of Indian police personnel killed by Chinese soldiers in 1959.On October 21, 1959, a group of Indian policemen led by Shri Karam Singh was attacked by the Chinese Army at Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh. The remembrance day was officially instituted in 1960 & has been observed at the national level since 2012
i. Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti released the first installment of Rs. 1500 crore to the states as central assistance for 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP).
ii. This amount has been released for 50 projects in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana
Total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at Rs.77595 crore (Rs.48546 crore for project works and Rs.29049 crore for CAD works) with estimated CA of Rs.31342 crore.
i. The first ever global conference to strengthen Arbitration and Enforcement in India will begin in New Delhi today. The three-day conference titled - National Initiative On Strengthening Arbitration And Enforcement is being held to change the face of dispute resolution in India. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the Conference, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the valedictory address on Sunday.
ii. For the first time six leading international arbitral institutions and all major industry associations will come together to drive this initiative. The Conference seeks to provide impetus to commercial arbitration in the country, which is fast gaining pace across the world, for faster and efficient dispute resolution outside the court room.
i. Centre will establish at least one Krishi Vigyan Kendra in each of the districts in country to provide technical assistance to farmers. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh announced this while interacting via video conference with all the Krishi Vigyan Kendra experts, district level officers associated with agriculture development and progressive farmers of 12 States.
ii. He called upon the farmers to use the residual husk after paddy farming to make organic fertilizer, in paper making and card-board industry and as animal feed. The Minister said, this will prevent the adverse effect of husk burning on the environment.
i. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar attended the ongoing Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in New Delhi yesterday. He expressed his appreciation for excellent efforts taken by the Ministry of Culture which successfully fructified in the form of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav.
ii. He mentioned that such an event is unique both in terms of diversity and impact and effectively takes the message of unity and diversity for the nation and especially for the country’s youth. Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma was present on the occasion.
i. Union Government funds Ro Pax Ferry Service in Gulf of Cambay under Sagarmala ProgrammeAs a part of promoting coastal shipping in the country under Sagarmala programme, the Union Ministry of Shipping sanctioned the Capital Dredging Project for Ro Pax Ferry Services between Gogha & Dahej, in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat.
ii. Ministry released Rs 58.50 Crore as first installment of grant-in–aid to Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).The total project cost is estimated to be 234 crore, of which 50 per cent will be funded by the Centre under the Sagarmala programme.
i. The Railways has declared the Okha-Kanalus& the Porbandar-Wansjaliya railway sections of Gujarat as Green Train Corridors. All trains passing on these 175-km long lines (141-km-long Okha-Kanalus route & the 34-km-long Porbandar-Wansjaliya route) are now equipped with bio-toilets. On these routes, about 29 trains consisting of nearly 700 coaches have been equipped with bio-toilets .
i. The 10th Indo-US trade forum began in Delhi. Visa, customs cooperation, greater market access for goods and intellectual property rights are the key issues expected to be discussed.
ii. The TPF is the premier bilateral forum for discussion & resolution of trade & investment issues. It has five focus groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation &Creativity , Services& Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
i. Shri Piyush Goyal, minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, laid the foundation for Atal Akshay UrjaBhawan. Building is named after Vajpayee, as he laid the foundation stone for Wind Turbine Testing Station at Kayathar, Thoothukudi District, TN in 2000.AtalAkshayUrjaBhawan will be the integrated headquarters building for the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
i. Government today launched the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN- UdeDeshka Aamnaagrik, which seeks to get more people to fly in the smaller towns. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju while launching the scheme in New Delhi said the scheme is expected to be rolled out by January.
ii. He said cabinet had taken a decision on civil aviation policy four months back and regional connectivity was a major component of it. Mr Raju said growth rate in civil aviation is encouraging.
i. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that a petrochemical complex would be set up in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs.35,000 crore during this financial year. The Centre has taken the decision to set up the complex in the region between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada, the minister added.
i. India has signed agreement with Russia to lease second Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine (SSN). The deal is believed to be worth about $2 billion. The lease to transfer a multipurpose Project 971 nuclear submarine to India from the Russian Navy was signed in Goa on the sidelines of 8th BRICS Summit.
ii. Akula-class submarines of Project 97 (NATO name Akula-II) weigh around 8,140 tonnes and expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. They are considered one of the most silent SSNs in service and are capable of sailing at speeds up to 35 knots.
Currency: Russian ruble
President: Vladimir Putin
Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev
i. South Africa has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Media reports said, diplomats have notified the UN of the move, accusing the ICC of bias against African countries.
ii. Last year, South Africa refused to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes. He was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg. Mr Bashir denied allegations he committed atrocities in Sudan's western Darfur region.
i. The RBI has said that Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs) can invest in Indian startups irrespective of the sector in which the startup is engaged without prior permission of the apex bank. Sebi-registered FVCIs have also been permitted to invest in unlisted firms.
ii. FVCIs can also open a foreign currency account and/or a rupee account for the purpose of making transactions.
i. SIDBI has launched a Rs 60 crore ASPIRE fund to promote innovation,rural entrepreneurship &agri-industry. The Rs 60 crore ‘fund of funds’ falls under ‘A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship & agro-industry (ASPIRE)’ for supporting various venture capital funds. The government initiative aims at providing the necessary support environment to unleash the potential of MSME
Capital Markets Regulator, SEBI has re-constituted its committee which advises the regulator on issues related to disclosure requirements and accounting practices for various entities in the securities market.
The 17-member Committee on Disclosures and Accounting Standards will continue to be chaired by Tata Sons Director (Finance) Ishaat Hussain.
Other members on the panel include Wipro CFO and Executive Director Suresh Senapaty, NSE Managing Director and CEO Chitra Ramkrishna, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Director General AB K P Sasidharan and ICAIs P Vijay Kumar
i. The Finance Ministry announced the sixth tranche of sovereign gold bonds. The duration of the bond will be for a period of eight years with exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
iii. The tenor of the bond will be for a period of eight years with exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates. Minimum investment of one gram will be allowed while the maximum will be 500 gram per person per fiscal year.
i. In one of the biggest card replacements in Indian banking, State Bank of India has said that it will re-issue around six lakh debit cards to customers.The cards were blocked following a malware-related security breach in a non-SBI ATM network.
ii. “It’s a security breach, but not in our banks’ systems. Many other banks also have this breach — right now and since a long time,” Shiv Kumar Bhasin.
AGREEMENTS & MoUs
i. State-run carrier Air India is in talks with telecom operator BSNL to install Wi-Fi facility on its aircraft. In this regard, it also started talks with international onboard Internet providers. Air India is interested in installing Internet on board as it operates the longest flights out of India and the facility is offered by other airlines, Chairman AshwaniLohani said.
i. India’s plan for a joint venture arrangement with Algeria for a multi-billion dollar fertilizer plant located in the North African country seemed to have been initiated on following a meeting between Algerian Minister for Industry and Mining and the Indian Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh L. Mandavia.
ii. India’s bilateral trade with Algeria currently stands at $1.5 billion a year with the trade balance in Algeria's favour given India's import of oil and gas. India seeks 49 per cent share in Algerian phosphate block having 6-billion tonne capacity
i. Vice Admiral SN Ghormade assumed the charge of Director General Naval Operations.The Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1984.
He is a graduate of National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune, United States Naval Staff College at Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and the Naval War College, Mumbai.
ii. In addition to a specialisation in Navigation and Direction within the Navy, the Admiral holds a M Phil in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Mumbai, MSc Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras and Master Degree in Personnel Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (University of Pune).
i. Retired bureaucrat Sunil Kumar Mishra was on 19 October 2016 appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Odisha. Governor Dr. S C Jamir approved the name of Mishra, an official release said.
ii. Earlier on 6 October 2016, a selection committee chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recommended Mishra’s name to the Governor for appointment as the CIC.
iii. Former director general of income tax Mishra will succeed former chief secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra. The post of CIC was vacant since February 2015. TK Mishra had resigned six months before his scheduled retirement on personal ground.
i. Japan's Morinari Watanabe on 20 October 2016 was elected the new President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).Watanabe emerged victorious in the election after defeating rival candidate Georges Guelzec of France by a huge margin in a vote at the governing body's Congress.
ii. Watanabe, who is the secretary-general of Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA), won 100 of the 119 votes. Guelzec, the head of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG), received a mere 19 votes. With this, Watanabe became the ninth President of the FIG since it was established in 1881. He will succeed Bruno Grandi, who had held the position for 20 years.
i. Former head of Google Search Amit Singhal has joined the board of online payments and e-commerce startup Paytm, confirmed Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma through a tweet. The 48-year-old, who worked at Google for 15 years, will be the 11th member on the board of the startup. He also founded 'Singhal Foundation' to provide education to under-privileged children in India
i. State Bank of Patiala has been conferred “Special Award for Excellence in MSME lending” for its performance in lending to the MSME sector during the year 2013-14 & 2014-15.
ii. The price is given for a growth of Rs 2597 crore (annualized 23%) and Rs 994 crore (annualized 7.10%) respectively. S A Ramesh Rangan, MD and Devendra Kumar, GM, State Bank of Patiala received the award on behalf of the Bank.
i. Mumbai-based Nayan Khanolkar won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer Award, 2016 by the BBC and Natural History Museum in London. Nayan was awarded the ‘Urban Wildlife category’ award in London.
ii. The winning photograph highlights the co-existence between leopards and the Warli tribe.This was the 52nd installment of the award, in which Khanolkar won from 50,000 entries across 90 countries.
i. Kakkathuruthu, a tiny island in Kerala, has been listed as a travel-worthy destination by National Geographic in its 'Around the World in 24 Hours' photographic tour. Kakkathuruthu, also known as the 'Island of crows,' can be reached only by boat. National Geographic has also described the sunset in Kerala, while listing Hawaii and Paris among other travel-worthy destinations.
i. The Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Rani Gaidinliu, of the Indian Coast Guard was commissioned at Visakhapatnam. The FPV will primarily focus on surveillance at the sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling operations & protection of fishermen.
ii. The vessel is named after freedom fighter and famous Naga spiritual and political leader Rani Gaidinliu, who belonged to the Heraka cult of Manipur.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
i. India is all set to test-fire Brah Mos from IAF’s Sukhoi-30 MKI in the Bay of Bengal this December, officials in Brah Mos Aerospace have reportedly said. This is the first time that the Brah Mos missile will be tested from an aircraft platform. "Anywhere in the world, such a heavy missile hasn't been integrated with a platform like the Sukhoi," officials stated.
Book titled The Sleepwalker's Dream authored by Dhrubajyoti Borah released. The book authored by Borah, President of Asam Sahitya Sabha, narrates the journey of a group of militants towards an elusive freedom and an uncertain future.
i. Luis Suarez received a second European Golden Shoe of his career after becoming the leading scorer in Europe’s top domestic leagues last season.He scored 40 goals in 35 La Liga starts, helping Barca retain the Spanish title.
He ended the 2015-16 campaign with 59 goals in 52 appearances for Barca in all competitions.It’s the second time he’s won the prize,having shared it with Cristiano Ronaldo.
i. Senior Congressman and leader of opposition in Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly SatydevKatare passed away in Mumbai.
ii. Mr. Katare was MLA from Ater legislative assembly of Bhind district.Congress had nominated senior party MLA and former Minister BalaBachchan as the acting Leader of Opposition.
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