Daily Current Affairs Updates–25th October 2016:
World Development Information Day: 24 October
i. In a major boost to road and inland water communication of Assam, the Centre will invest nearly Rs 1 lakh crore to improve connectivity. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari announced this while discussing several issues related to improvement of transport communication with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi yesterday.
ii. An official release said that the Union Minister announced to increase the Central Roads Fund to Rs 800 crore from earlier sanctioned limit of Rs 450 crore. He has also asked the state government to identify 1200 KM of new stretch of road for converting the same into National Highways.
iii. The Union Minister has also sanctioned Rs 30 crore for installation of solar LED Light in the Dhola-Sadia bridge which is to be inaugurated soon. The minister approved the proposal for construction of flyovers at several areas.
i. Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) will meet in New Delhi today. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and education ministers of the states will attend the meeting which is considered the most important educational advisory body of the government.
ii. According to the meeting's agenda, the provision of no detention, compulsory board examination in Class X and mainstreaming of children who drop out of school, joyful learning and co-location of anganwadis near primary schools, rationlisation of posting of teachers in rural areas are, among the issues that the states and the Centre will discuss in the meeting. improvement of learning outcomes. The CABE meeting is especially important as it comes at a time when the government is working on a New Education Policy.
A three day Conference of Naval Commanders will begin today in New Delhi. The top-level leadership of the Navy will review the prevailing as well as emerging operational and functional issues at the conference. It assumes greater significance in the backdrop of recent events that have brought issues related to country's defence under sharper focus. Indian Navy, like the other two Armed Forces, is required to maintain a high degree of operational preparedness to deter any threat aimed at the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha began his six-day visit to Russia on Monday. "The visit is intended to take existing defence cooperation between the Air Forces of the two countries to the next level," an IAF statement said. The visit comes after India and Russia announced deals worth over $12 billion.
India has been ranked amongst the top 100 generous countries in the world as over 40 crore Indians had helped a stranger in 2015, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) report stated. “India has a fabulous tradition and culture of giving,” said a senior CAF official. Furthermore, Myanmar tops the list of most generous nations, followed by the US and Australia
The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications has taken place. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia & Wells Fargo have conducted trade deal to use blockchain. The transaction was a shipment of cotton to China from the US worth $35,000 (23 lakh). Blockchain is a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system whose efficiency could lower costs..
Arun Jaitley launched the SMS alert service for Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) for salaried class. As many as 2.5 crore salaried tax payers will now receive SMS alerts from the Income Tax department regarding their quarterly TDS deductions. The new step is an effort by the I-T department to directly communicate deposit of tax deducted through SMS alerts to salaried tax payers.
Only 57 borrowers have defaulted on bank loans worth 85,000 crore. The Supreme Court said this after perusing a report submitted by the RBI about persons who have taken loan worth over ₹500 crore and defaulted. The Bench said if the bar was lowered below Rs 500 crore, the default amount would cross over Rs 1 lakh crore. The Bench is headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
Bank of America has unveiled a virtual assistant called Erica, that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to learn consumers' personal spending habits and offer financial advice. It will help users understand financial concepts and warn them of imminent risks, among other things, the company added. The bot will reportedly be available in Bank of America smartphone apps next year.
i. The Joint Steering Committee at the official level between India and Bahrain under the agreement of December 2015 are meeting today in Manama to discuss security issues. Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is on a three day visit to Bahrain yesterday held bilateral meeting with Interior Minister of Bahrain Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa in Manama.
ii. Mr Singh said India and Bahrain are vulnerable to the scourge of terrorism and terrorism constitutes the gravest threat to humanity since World War II. He said, terrorism should be dealt in a comprehensive manner. Mr Singh said, segmented and partial approaches as adopted by some of the countries have been unsuccessful in countering terrorism. The Minister also said, India is keen to strengthen trade and investment ties with Bahrain and avail of the strategic location of Bahrain as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has appointed former Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Bilal Nazki as the chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission. Mr. Bilal Nazki headed the committee set up by the Centre to review the functioning of the Haj Committee of India and its state units in 2013.
Actress Deepika Padukone has been chosen to present an award at the upcoming MTV Europe Music Awards, to be held on November 6 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Reacting to the news, Deepika wrote on Instagram, "#cantwait #6thNov #mtvema". Notably, singers Beyoncé and Justin Bieber have received five nominations each for the Awards, followed by Rihanna, Adele and Coldplay with four nominations.
i. Six Indian films have bagged eight major nominations in the 10th edition of Asia Pacific Screen awards this year. Bollywood thriller "Psycho Raman," directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been nominated in three categories including best actor, achievement in cinematography and achievement in directing.
ii. In the best performance by an actor category, Nawazuddin is up against Manoj Bajpayee for "Aligarh," Dev Patel for "Lion," Farhad Aslani for "Daughter''. In the category of best screenplay, two Indian films -- Leena Yadav's "Parched" and Supratik Sen and Gurvinder Singh's "The Fourth Direction"-- are nominated.
The Asia Pacific Screen awards is said to be the region's highest accolade in films which recognizes and promotes cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the region comprising 70 countries. The winners will be announced on November 24th this year in Brisbane.
Almatti dam, one of the largest reservoirs in Karnataka, was chosen for the World Bank’s Award of Excellence for best utilisation of funds for renovation to enhance the strength of the dam. The World Bank had granted Rs.72 crore to the Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited to prevent seepage which could damage the dam.
A team from the Indian Army's Gorkha Rifles has won a gold medal at one of the most gruelling exercises in the world. Team 2/8 Gorkha was awarded a gold medal in Exercise Cambrian Patrol organized by the British Army. The medal went to the 8 men of the 2nd Battalion of 8 Gorkha Rifles. The Cambrian Patrol is an annual international military patrolling exercise in the rugged Cambrian Mountains of Wales. It is regarded as one of the toughest tests modern soldiers can face.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
UK businesses that buy enterprise software or cloud services from Microsoft will see a price hike from January 1. Microsoft said the new prices are to "ensure there is reasonable alignment across the region". On-premise enterprise software prices will rise by 13%, while most enterprise cloud prices in British pounds will increase by 22% to "realign close to euro levels".
G Balakrishna in October 2016 won the Mr Asia title at the 5th Phil-Asia bodybuilding championships in the Philippines. 25-year-old Balakrishna is a Bengaluru-based water tanker driver.
A team of robots developed by the University of Texas on Monday beat the team from Australia's University of New South Wales 7-3 in a game of football during China's 2016 World Robot Conference. Robot football matches have been played since the mid-1990s and the 'RoboCup' used humanoid robots about 23 inches tall developed by French company Aldebaran Robotics.
Karate has been included for the first time in Olympics and promises to throw light on the rich history of the discipline.At the 2020 Tokyo Games, 80 competitors will take part in the karate event.It joins surfing, skateboarding, climbing and baseball-softball as new sports included for the 2020 edition. Judo and Taekwondo are already permanent fixtures.
Guwahati became the fifth Indian city to be ratified as a venue for next year’s Under-17 Football World Cup. It was given nod after a FIFA inspection team gave its thumbs up to the venue’s preparedness and facilities. Earlier, Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Goa & New Delhi had got the FIFA’s nod. The 23-member strong delegation will travel to Kolkata to visit the last venue of its inspection trip.
Former President Jorge Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century has died He sought closer ties and free trade pacts with the United States during his 2000-2005 presidency. His tenure was also marked by one of the country’s worst-ever financial crises. He was elected to the Senate in 1984 general elections for a government to replace the military dictatorship.