Daily Current Affairs Updates–24th October 2016:
United Nations Day 24 October
24 October is celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. The day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. This year's UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Indo Tibetan Border Police, ITBP is celebrating its 55th raising day today. The force was raised on 24th October in 1962. It is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 kilometer of India-China Border manning Border Outposts on altitudes raging from 9000 feet to 18700 feet in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the Border.
PM to launch several schemes including gas pipeline project in Varanasi today
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation of several schemes this evening in Varanasi. These includes the City Gas Distribution (C.G.D) project of Rs 1,000 crore. The project will be executed by Gas Authority Of India Limited.
ii. The City Gas Distribution Project (C.G.D) is expected to connect 50,000 households with Piped Natural Gas and supply Compressed Natural Gas (C.N.G.) through twenty C.N.G. stations.
Natural Gas will be brought to Varanasi through the 2540 kilometres Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamara Natural Gas Pipeline Project known as “Urja Ganga Project”. The pipeline project is being taken up with an investment of Rs 12,940 crore. The Union Government will bear forty percent of the cost.
iii. Other schemes likely to be launched by the Prime Minister include doubling and electrification of Varanasi - Allahabad railway line which will cost Rs 588 crore. He will dedicate expansion projects of Diesel Locomotive Works phase one to the nation.
i. Union Environment and Forest Minister Anil Madhav Dave has said that the government is looking to reduce the time by half to 50-60 days for granting forest and environment clearances to industrial projects.
Speaking at the Global Investors Summit in Indore, Mr Dave said, earlier it used to take 300 days to pass a file related with these clearances and people used to talk about imposing different taxes.
ii. Now, it is taking 120 days and he would like to reduce it to 50-60 days. The minister also assured the industry of all support from his ministry, even as he urged them to protect the environment and also focus on R&D activities.
i. Government is planning to fast-track four projects in Indus river basin to increase irrigation area in Jammu and Kashmir by nearly 2.05 lakh acres. Of these four projects, three --Tral Irrigation Project in Pulwama, Prakachik Khows Canal in Kargil and restoration and modernisation of main Ravi Canal in Jammu's Sambha and Kathua-- are expected to be completed by this fiscal.
ii. The fourth project of Rajpora Lift Irrigation is planned to be completed by December 2019. While the first three projects will help irrigate around 1.45 lakh acres of land, the Rajpora Lift Irrigation is expected to help irrigat around 59,305 acres of land.
iii. All these works are expected to cost Rs 117 crore for which money will be raised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The move comes weeks after India decided to exploit to the maximum the water of Indus basin rivers including Jhelum.
i. Chhattisgarh government has reiterated its call to Maoists for a dialogue within the democratic and constitutional framework. In a statement, state's Home Minister Ramsevak Paikra said, if Maoists leave their arms and violence, then the government will surely offer them opportunity to join mainstream and an amicable settlement.
He said, the government's intention and policy is always clear for a peaceful and permanent solution to the Naxal problem. Mr. Paikra's statement comes in the wake of reports that the Supreme court on Friday had asked Chhattisgarh government to initiate peace talks with Maoists.
i. Noted film personality Naseeruddin Shah has been selected for the prestigious Yash Bharti Samman, for the year 2016. U.P govt announced the names of 54 eminent personalities for the highest state award. The awards will be given in recognition of their contributions in their respective fields. The awardees will get 11 lakh rupees in cash and a citation.
i. Indian government is hosting the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), scheduled to be held from November 3-5 in New Delhi. Notably, it is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda and is aimed at identifying targets and priority action areas towards reducing disaster risk in the Asian region caused by natural hazards like earthquakes.
President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated Sardar Patel Hospital & Heart Institute at Ankleshwar, Gujarat.It is the first such multi healthcare facility in Ankleshwar. He also inaugurated revamped Sevashram hospital at Bharuch, Gujarat.He is the second president to visit the hospital whose inaugural ceremony was graced by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, in 1952.
i. Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key will arrive in Mumbai this evening on a four day visit to India.Mr Key will be accompanied by a high level business and education delegation. He will deliver a key note address at an event organised by Bombay Stock Exchange. Mr Key will also attend an innovation showcase event to celebrate innovation in New Zealand-India business partnerships.
ii. In Delhi, the visiting dignitary will hold meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss growing bilateral relations. He will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee during his stay in Delhi. He will also attend a Business Summit.
On the last day of visit, Prime Minister Key will leave for Kochi where he will undertake a short tour of the new Cochin International Terminal and the work undertaken by the New Zealand company, Glidepath.
i. China's experimental space lab Tiangong-2 orbiting the Earth with two astronauts on board has successfully launched a micro-satellite, roughly the size of a desktop printer.
ii. Weighing 47 kilogrammes, the micro satellite has a series of visible light cameras, including a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers. Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong II and the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which docked with the lab on Wednesday.
iii. The Tiangong II space laboratory released its companion satellite, Banxing-2 yesterday. The satellite, which the media has nicknamed "Selfie Stick", also has an infrared camera that is temperature - sensitive.
iv. With three solar panels, the satellite can also generate enough power to adjust its orbit to shoot pictures of the lab and spacecraft. The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft carried two astronauts into space on the 17th of this month. It docked with Tiangong-2 two days later.
i. The 53rd Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly and Associated Meetings (ABU) are underway at Bali, Indonesia. The nine-day events hosted by the Radio Republic Indonesia will conclude on Wednesday.
ii. The theme for this year is "Media for the Future". Professionals from the broadcasting industry are attending the meetings and the conferences held on the occasion. On Wednesday, the World Broadcasting Unions will gather for a one-day conference to discuss the role of public service media in the digital age.
iii. The ABU has 280 members large and small in 69 countries. Established in 1964 as a non-profit, non-government, professional association to assist the development of broadcasting in the region, the ABU promotes the collective interests of broadcasters and encourages regional and international co-operation.
i. The Sebi has barred as many as eight “vanishing” companies and 40 directors from accessing the capital marketThey have been barred from accessing the capital market for the next five Vanishing companies are those that failed to file statutory returns with the Registrar of Companies and stock exchanges for two years. These firms failed to comply with the requirements of listing agreement.
i. The sixth tranche of the sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme gets open from today, 24 Oct & will remain open till Nov 2.The bonds will be offered at Rs 2,957 per gram, the lowest price this year. SGB, an alternative mode of investment to physical gold, was launched in November last year. The government has come out with five tranches of SGB for a total value of Rs. 3,060 crore.
i. Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest oil-refining complex, has forayed into cooking gas retailing, launching a 4-kg LPG cylinder on pilot basis. 4-kg LPG cylinder was launched in 4 districts on pilot basis. Currently public sector retailers Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum & HP control retail LPG market. The govt had last year permitted RIL to sell up to 1.2 lakh tonnes of LPG.
AGREEMENTS & MoUs
Andhra Pradesh govt has signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote innovation in financial services. Under the Agreement will explore joint innovation projects on technologies such as digital payments & block-chain,They will collaborate on development of education programmes. The agreement was signed in the presence of CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
The govt has signed an agreement for a $650 million loan from the World Bank towards the third tranche for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC). It is designed for faster movement of goods between northern and eastern parts of India. EDFC is 1, 840 km long & extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal as a series of projects with three sections.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, has been named the new Chairman of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A). premier B-school has been without a regular Chairman since January. The IIM chairmanship is normally a non-executive position. The Chairperson also takes up the issues of the institute with the Union government.
Tata Sons today announced that its Board has replaced Cyrus Mistry as Chairman of Tata Sons. The company's Board has named Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata as the Interim Chairman. The Board has constituted a five-member selection committee to choose a new Chairman within a span of four months.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was re-elected unopposed as the ruling Awami League’s president The Awami League came to power in December 2008 polls and returned to power in the January 2014 polls for a second successive term. She became the longest serving president of the party founded in 1949 The five-year term of the ruling Awami League will end in 2019.
i. Two doctors each from the AIIMS and the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) here have been selected for the prestigious Dr B C Roy Award for excellence in the field of medicine. Randeep Guleria, Head of Pulmonology, and C S Yadav of department of orthopaedics, from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have been chosen for the award.
ii. Chairman of Board of Management at SGRH D S Rana and Arvind Kumar have also been chosen for the coveted award. "Dr Rana in the category of recognising the best talents in encouraging the development of specialities in different branches in medicine and Dr Kumar for the 'Eminent Medical Person' category," a senior official of SGRH said today.
Bayern Munich and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches has been named 2016’s European Golden Boy, ahead of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who finished in second place. The trophy will be presented to the 19-year-old at a ceremony in Monte Carlo on Monday. Sanches is the first Portuguese player to win the award after Cristiano Ronaldo's runner-up finish in 2004.
Deccan Odyssey,the luxury train operated and managed by Cox & Kings has won the World Travel Award 2016 in the category of Asia’s Leading Luxury Train. The award ceremony was held at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam. The train offers exclusive trips to royal cities showcasing palaces &traditions. World Travel Award honors the best of travel and tourism in the world.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Microsoft has launched its first cybersecurity engagement center in India in the heart of Delhi, which will help the government and the private sector organisations to deal with cyber attacks. An initiative like this is especially important at a time when India is dealing with large-scale cyber attacks on four leading banks' debit cards that have affected as many as 3.2 million customers.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (England) has won the 2016 United States Grand Prix. The race was held at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States. Nico Rosberg (German) finished second while Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer’s Daniel Ricciardo finished third in the race.
The FIFA delegation along with the Local Organising Committee members has confirmed Guwahati as the fifth venue for next year's FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Goa and New Delhi are the other four venues confirmed for the tournament. The 23-member delegation will now travel to Kolkata to visit the last venue of its inspection trip.
The former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani has died at the age of 84. A three days mourning has been declared across the Kingdom. Sheikh Khalifa ruled Qatar from 1972 to 1995, until he was deposed by his son Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in a bloodless coup.
Tom Hayden, a 1960s anti-war activist and one of the era's most prominent, counter-culture radicals who went on to serve in the California state assembly and senate, has died aged 76. Hayden died in Santa Monica, California, after a long illness.
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