Current Affairs Updates-5th October 2017
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Centre approves setting up a turtle sanctuary in Allahabad
- The Centre has approved setting up a turtle sanctuary in Allahabad and a river bio-diversity park at Sangam in the city.
- Idea of this project is to protect rich aquatic biodiversity of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and preserve all those species which act as natural cleaning agents. Turtles, being carnivorous, can help scavenge half-burnt corpses and aid in cleaning the river water.
Modi temple with 100-ft statue to be built in Meerut
- A retired engineer and PM Narendra Modi's supporter has announced the construction of a temple which will have a 100-feet tall metal statue of the leader on the Meerut-Karnal highway in Uttar Pradesh. The foundation stone of the temple, which will also have statues of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi in the sanctum sanctorum, would be laid on October 23.
New Appointments: National
Rajnish Kumar replaces Arundhati Bhattacharya as SBI Chairman
- The government has named Rajnish Kumar as the new Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) for a period of three years as Arundhati Bhattacharya's term comes to an end on October 6. Rajnish Kumar currently holds the post of Managing Director of SBI. Notably, Kumar joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1980 and has worked in various departments.
Rahul likely to take over as Congress president by Oct 31
- Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is likely to be announced the party President by October 31, taking over from his mother Sonia Gandhi who has been at the post for the last 19 years. Congress will announce its presidential election this month, if more than one nomination is filed for the president's post, several reports claimed.
New Appointments: International
ICMR Chief Soumya Swaminathan Appointed WHO Deputy Director General
- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday appointed Soumya Swaminathan one of two deputy directors general, the first time such a post has been ever created within the organisation. The position is also the highest post held by an Indian in the WHO. Dr. Swaminathan is currently the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Cash to GDP ratio falls to 9% from 12% after demonetisation
- PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India's cash to GDP ratio has come down to 9% and that it was 12% before demonetisation. Defending his government on inflation, PM Modi said the inflation has dramatically reduced from 10% in 2014 to 2.5% in 2017. Some people don't get sound sleep if they don't criticise the government, he added.
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%
- The RBI has kept the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, unchanged at 6% during its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy review on Wednesday. The status quo comes after retail inflation hit a 5-month high of 3.36% in August. In the last review policy in August, RBI reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6%.
The state government of Odisha is creating a 1.2 lakh acre land bank across the state for allocation to the industrial sector to avoid a repeat of the Posco fiasco.
- In order to cut red tape and wrangling with local issues in the land acquisition process, the state government is acquiring government land for industrial use and proposes to offer it with all facilities in place.
- “It is a plug-and-play kind of model wherein the facilities related to water, power, roads and all clearances are in place.
Maharashtra tops list of overcharging complaints post-GST
- The Consumer Affairs Ministry data has revealed that Maharashtra reported the most complaints of traders overcharging for packaged foods after the implementation of GST. Receiving 143 complaints between July 1 and September 30, Maharashtra was followed by Odisha with 123 complaints on the list. Further, Jammu and Kashmir was among the seven states where no such complaint was registered.
Naidu to lay foundation stone of NW-4's Krishna river stretch
- Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will on Tuesday lay the foundation stone for development of the Mukhtyala-to-Vijayvada stretch of Krishna River, which is part of National Waterway-4, an official said on Monday.
Narendra Modi Cabinet renames Kandla Port after Deendayal Upadhyay: Take a look at some other decisions
- Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its “ex-post facto approval” to the renaming of Kandla Port in Gujarat as Deendayal Port, after RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. A PIB release justified the renaming of the Kandla Port, saying, “Ports in India are generally named after the city or town in which these are situated. However, the Government, in special cases, after due consideration, have renamed the Ports after great leaders in the past.”
2018 Commonwealth Games Baton arrives in Delhi
- The Queen's Baton for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Australia, arrived in India on Tuesday and a top Indian Olympic Association official received it here.
- The Baton was received by IOA joint secretary Rakesh Gupta and it will travel to Agra on Wednesday. It will then be taken to Nainital in Uttarakhand on October 5.
Hyundai India join hands with FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament as official partner
- Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) on Tuesday announced as an exclusive right to provide transportation of FIFA officials through premium Hyundai cars during the FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament starting 6 October 2017 in India.
Centre launches six-year secure Himalaya project
- The Centre on Monday launched a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India.
- Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.
Odisha government creating land bank for industrial allocation
- The state government of Odisha is creating a 1.2 lakh acre land bank across the state for allocation to the industrial sector to avoid a repeat of the Posco fiasco. In order to cut red tape and wrangling with local issues in the land acquisition process, the state government is acquiring government land for industrial use and proposes to offer it with all facilities in place.
Cabinet approves extradition treaty with Lithuania
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for an extradition treaty between India and Lithuania, said an official.
- The treaty will provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to Lithuania.
First US crude oil shipment arrives in India’s Paradip port
- The first shipment of US crude oil in over four decades reached Indian shores on Monday, reaffirming the energy commitment between the two countries that includes importing American liquefied natural gas (LNG).
US city offers to rename itself as Amazon to secure HQ bid
- Stonecrest, a city in Georgia, US has offered to rename itself as Amazon and give the startup 345 acres of land in order to secure Amazon's second headquarters bid. The city council voted 4 to 2 on Monday for the same purpose. This comes after Amazon last month announced it would build a 5-billion dollar second headquarters in North America.
French Parliament passes new anti-terror law
- The Lower House of French Parliament on Tuesday passed a new anti-terror law that allows police to conduct house raids and searches without a warrant. It also allows police to place restrictions on gatherings and close places of worship, among other measures. The law is aimed at replacing the state of emergency imposed after the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
US resumes premium processing of all H1B visa categories
- The US has resumed premium processing of H1B work visas in all categories, months after it was suspended temporarily to handle the huge rush of applications for the work visas popular among Indian IT professionals.
- Premium processing of H1B visa was suspended in April to handle huge rush of new petitions. In September, the country opened up some categories of the H-1B visas for the fast processing.
Science & Technologies
First-ever satellite launch by Soviet led to NASA's creation
- On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite Sputnik I. Amid the US-Soviet cold war, Sputnik's launch directly led to the foundation of NASA in 1958. Weighing 83.6 kg, the 58-cm-wide spherical satellite transmitted signals to Earth for 21 days, before losing speed and burning up in the atmosphere in 92 days.
Defence & Railway
No service charge on train e-ticket till March 2018: Railways
- Rail passengers will continue to enjoy service charge exemption on tickets booked online till March 2018.
- The government had waived service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking.
- The facility had been extended to June 30 and then September 30. Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.
Application / Portal
NHAI launches new website and app to rate highways, track projects
- In a move towards digitisation, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) launches a mobile application that will allow passengers to rate the national highways across the country.
- The Chairman of NHAI Deepak Kumar launched a world-class, new multilingual website of the organization on October 3. “Within two months it will be possible for the general public to rate National Highways through this website,” Kumar said.
Reliance Commodities launches new trading app
- Reliance Commodities, a group company of Reliance Capital, has launched an advanced intuitive commodity trading application available both on the web as well as on the mobilephones.
- The platform will enable traders analyse commodities based on seasonality by uncovering certain hidden patterns, a release said, adding traders can tap opportunities by analysing spreads between two futures contracts.
Schemes / Programme
India set to sign 4.5 billion dollar LoC deal with Bangladesh
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrived here on Tuesday ahead of India and Bangladesh signing the third line of credit (LoC) agreement involving 4.5 billion dollar to be spent on infrastructure and social sector development.
Karnataka unveils ‘Mathru Purna’ scheme to feed 12 lakh pregnant women
- Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday launched the ‘Mathru Purna’ scheme, which aims to provide nutritious meals to about 12 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state.
- The scheme aims at reducing under-nutrition among women and children, the chief minister said while announcing the launch, serving food to pregnant women in the banquet hall of Vidhan Soudha, the state secretariat.
MobiKwik, IRCTC Rail connect partner for ticket bookings
- Digital payments firm MobiKwik on Tuesday announced its partnership with IRCTC Rail connect app, which will allow customers book railway tickets using the former's payment gateway.
CWC Sign MoU With IIT Roorkee And MNNIT Allahabad To Support Dam Rehabilitation Efforts
- Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed MoUs with IIT Roorkee and MNNIT Allahabad to support dam rehabilitation efforts of various implementing agencies and CWC. Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has taken on board selected premier academic and research institutes, for capacity building in the areas of dam safety through World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
India to help Myanmar upgrade women's police training centre
- India will help Myanmar in upgrading a police training centre for women and strengthen the country's police force as a whole.
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar on upgrading the Women's Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar, an official statement said.
Awards & Honours
2017 Chemistry Nobel awarded for work on cryo-electron microscopy
- The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Switzerland-born Jacques Dubochet, Germany-born Joachim Frank, and UK-born Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy. The technique makes it possible to see biomolecules in 3D after rapidly freezing them around -150 degree Celsius, preserving their natural shape. It has helped scientists view biomolecule structures like that of Zika virus.
Aung San Suu Kyi is to be stripped of the Freedom of Oxford by the city's council for her response to the Rohingya crisis.
- Myanmar's de facto leader was bestowed with the honorary title in 1997 in recognition of her long struggle for democracy and her ties to Oxford where she studied.
- City councilors considered a cross-party motion to withdraw the honor on Monday night and concluded that that it was "no longer appropriate" for her to hold it.
- The council said that it had written to Suu Kyi and asked her to "do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country" but had not received a response.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Golfer plays 2,011-km hole over 80 days, takes 20,094 shots
- Adam Rolston, a 28-year-old ex-rugby player, completed the longest hole in golf history, covering 2,011 km taking 20,094 shots in over 80 days across Mongolia. Rolston and caddie Ron Rutland started in the far-west of Mongolia in late June and finished in the country's only golf course in capital Ulaanbaatar. Rolston used a total of 135 balls over the expedition
India's Pooja Kadian wins its first ever Wushu World Championship gold
- Pooja Kadian on Wednesday became the first ever Indian sportsperson to win a gold medal at the Wushu World Championship. Kadian, who competed in the women's 75kg Sanda category, defeated Russia's Evgeniya Stepanova in the final. Pooja, a head constable in the CRPF, had earlier won gold in the South Asian Games and silver in the 2013 World Championship.
10-yr-old girl Zemyna Lekaviciute scores on debut to set Lithuanian age record
- Lithuania's 10-year-old Zemyna Lekaviciute has become the Baltic state's youngest-ever scorer in a second-division match. Zemyna scored five minutes into her debut for Lithuanian club Zalgiris Vilnius' reserve team, helping them extend their lead over Sesupe to 10-0. Zemyna, who reportedly has a cup and 27 medals from different sports, also aims to compete in a biathlon.
Coca-Cola bottling company's CEO Dimitris Lois passes away
- Coca-Cola HBC, one of the world's largest bottlers for Coca-Cola, has announced the death of its CEO Dimitris Lois. He passed away on Monday, weeks after announcing that he was to take a medical leave of absence to undergo treatment for an unnamed condition. Lois joined the company in 2007 and was appointed as the CEO in 2011.
Former Intel CEO Paul Otellini passes away at 66
- Paul Otellini, the former Chief Executive Officer of Intel, passed away at the age of 66 on Monday, the chipmaker said in a statement. Otellini, who passed away in his sleep, served as Intel's fifth CEO and held the position for eight years. Before becoming Intel's CEO, Otellini held various positions in the organisation including that of Chief Operating Officer.
World's largest nuclear plant at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa gets approval to restart
- Japan has given initial approval to restart two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world's biggest nuclear power plant, which was shut down post the 2011 magnitude-9 earthquake. The reactors would be operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which also operates tsunami-hit and now-defunct Fukushima plant. The move would mark TEPCO's return into nuclear power generation after six years.