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National Current Affairs
Birsa Munda Tribal University inaugurated in Narmada district
On October 14, 2017, Gujarat Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Shabdasharan Tadvi inaugurated the Birsa Munda Tribal University in Rajpipla, a tribal-dominated town in Narmada district of Gujarat.
- Campus of this University will come up on 25 acres of land at Jitnagar village on the outskirts of Rajpipla. Till then, the University will function from the premises of Adarsh Nivasi Shala.
- Bill to set up this University was passed by Gujarat State assembly in March 2017.
- Birsa Munda Tribal University would offer graduation, post- graduation, diploma and certificate courses on subjects of Arts, Commerce and Science steam. Courses on traditional art and skill, Herbal Medicine and Sanskrit will also be offered at this University.
- It is expected that around 90 lakh tribals in Gujarat will get access to university education through Birsa Munda Tribal University.
Rajasthan Assembly becomes first in India to call motions online
Rajasthan State assembly has become the first in India to call attention and adjournment motions and proposals online from legislators.
- The new online system was inaugurated by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Speaker Kailash Meghwal by sending a call for an attention motion to the state government with a click of mouse.
- Besides saving time, labour and use of paper in the functioning of the assembly, the online system will also help legislators in bringing attention to urgent public issues.
- The new online system will facilitate smooth exchange of information and reports among respective departments.
- National Informatics Centre has set up a help desk at the secretariat to provide assistance to state government staff in getting used to the new system.
International Current Affairs
Pakistan gets its first Metro Train
The first metro train to Pakistan has arrived from China as a gift to the country and rolled into Lahore and it is set to be launched in December 2017.
- This metro train service is Called as “The Orange Line Metro Train service”, and this is the Pakistan’s first mass transit system. It’s fully automated and driverless system.
- The metro train comes with 20 years instalment plan with grace period of seven years. Pakistan need not pay anything for this grace period, seven years. This all happened due to the growing cooperation with China under CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), the controversial project of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
- Each train’s capacity is to carry 1,000 passengers. Together all, the Orange Line trains would facilitate the transport for up to 250,000 passengers daily which will be raised upto 500,000 in coming years.
- One of the best features in the train is its energy-saving Air-Conditioning system and the facility to handle the unstable voltage in Lahore.
Banking & Finance
Vanuatu becomes first nation to accept Bitcoin in Exchange for citizenship
South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has become the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin in exchange for citizenship.
- Currently, the citizenship programme of Vanuatu costs USD 200000. With Bitcoin price hovering around USD 6000, Vanuatu citizenship can be availed at a price of nearly 35 Bitcoins.
- However, in addition to the payment in Bitcoin, the grant of citizenship will be subject to routine due diligence and probity checks.
- Christian Nesheim, an investment migration specialist stated that this decision will give Bitcoin investors an opportunity to convert their cryptocurrency into tangible asset and the Vanuatu Government will gain a competitive edge in the citizenship market.
- The investment immigration/citizenship industry is estimated to be worth more than $2 billion USD annually.
Airports need $45 billion investment to improve capacity by 2030
India must invest around $45 billion to generate an additional capacity of handling 500- 600 million passengers at its airports by 2030.
- By the next five years the passenger capacity is possible to increase as per a study by an aviation think-tank.
- As per the estimation of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) the country’s top 17 airports current capacity is 298-316.5 million passengers per annum approximately.
- It might be possible to increase 431-463 million when the existing airport sites are completely built. Its need to be allocate 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 acres of land for 55 new airports by 2030.
- The ten airports namely Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Lucknow, Dehradun, Agartala, Guwahati, Kozhikode, Mangalore, and Trichy are managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), are already operating “beyond their design capacity”.
Awards & Recognition
Singer T M Krishna wins Indira Gandhi National Integration
Singer T M Krishna has won 30th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2015 and 2016.
- Krishna is a pre-eminent vocalist in the Carnatic tradition of Indian classical music and has been an activist who has worked to break down caste-barriers in the society.
- He is also a columnist who has written and talked on a wide range of socio-political issues.
- Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration was instituted in year 1985 by Congress party.
- The award is conferred for promoting national integration and strengthening nation’s sense of solidarity.
12-year-old girl from city bags sub-title at ‘Little Miss World’ pageant
12-year old Indian girl Poorvi G B has been awarded the ‘best performer’ subtitle at the ‘Little Miss World 2017’ pageant held in Greece.
With this award, Poorvi G B has become the first Indian kid to win the title in the international beauty pageant and talent competition.
- At the event, Poorvi G B gave a Kathak dance performance and also showcased the rich culture of Karnataka in the national costume round by dressing up as a Hoyasala sculpture.
- Over 65 participants from 30 countries took part in the ‘Little Miss World 2017’ event, wherein the contestants were judged on various aspects including confidence, intelligence, physical features and involvement for social causes.
Appointments & Resigns
Two more Top Executives resign from Infosys
A top executive at Infosys Ltd’s products, Abdul Razack - senior vice-president, and Pervinder Johar - CEO of Edge Verve, the wholly owned products and platforms subsidiary, have resigned from Infosys. This is the fourth senior-level exit in last 40 days.
- Abdul Razack was among the executives who had quit SAP to join Infosys.
- Sources from TOI says that Razack put has put his papers of resignation, a month ago.
- Johar has resigned less than eight months of joining the company . He came to EdgeVerve from Steelwedge Software, where he served as the president and CEO.
Shakib Al Hasan becomes first Bangladeshi to be inducted in MCC World Cricket Committee
On 13th October 2017, all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan became the first cricketer from Bangladesh to be inducted in the MCC World Cricket Committee.
- Shakib Al Hasan is regarded as one of Bangladesh’s finest players. He has played 51 Test matches and 177 one-day internationals.
- He also has vast global experience of domestic cricket, particularly in the T20 format. The committee has also included Suzie Bates, Ian Bishop and Kumar Dharmasena.
- Also, former England and Middlesex captain, Mike Gatting has become the new chairman of the MCC World Cricket Committee. He succeeds Mike Brearley, former England captain, as the chairman.
Maria Sharapova wins Tianjin Open
On October 15, 2017, Maria Sharapova of Russia beat Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus by 7-5 7-6 (10-8) in the final match of Tianjin Open tennis tournament.
- The match against Aryna Sabalenka was hotly contested. Sharapova broke Sabalenka’s serve six times, and the extra break in the first set proved to be decisive.
- This was Sharpova’s first title victory since May 2015 and seventh event since she returned in April 2017 from a 15-month drug ban.
Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters
On October 15, 2017, Roger Federer of Switzerland beat Rafael Nadal of Spain by 6-4 6-3 to win the final match of Shanghai Masters tennis tournament.
- This is Roger Federer’s 94th career title and has equalled Ivan Lendl’s record in terms of Open era titles. Top spot is held by American player Jimmy Connors with 109 career titles.
- Earlier, Federer had defeated Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the semi final.
- It is to be noted that Rafael Nadal recently won China Open and US Open and currently hold No.1 rank in men’s tennis.
- This victory is Federer’s fourth win of the year against Nadal.
- Shanghai Masters, also known as Shanghai Rolex Masters is played on outdoor hard courts. It is held annually in early October Shanghai, China.
Richard Wilbur, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Winner, Dies at 96
On 14th October 2017, Richard Wilbur, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and translator died in Belmont, Massachusetts.
- As a teenager, his poem about a nightingale was published in John Martin’s Magazine.
- His first book, “The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems,” came out in 1947. He also wrote children’s books and translated many European poets. In 2004, his “Collected Poems, 1943-2004” was published. He was also known for his translations.
- He received numerous literary honors, including the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, for “Things of This World,” and “New and Collected Poems”.
Book & Authors
The Coalition Years 1996-2012: Pranab Mukherjee’s political autobiography
On October 14, 2017, former president Pranab Mukherjee released ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012’, the third part of his memoir in New Delhi.
- While releasing the memoir, Pranab Mukherjee stated that he is a party activist and has tried to not bring his personal, family life into the narrative.
- In this latest part of his memoir, Pranab Mukherjee has revealed that he was under the impression that Congress may project Manmohan Singh as its presidential candidate, leaving him to be the party’s prime ministerial nominee for the 2014 general election.
- First part of Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir is ‘The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years’. The title of the second part is ‘The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996’.
International Day of Rural Women – October 15, 2017
On 15th October 2017, International Day of Rural Women is celebrated all over the world.
- The theme for 2017 International Day of Rural Women is “Challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
- The 1st International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15th October 2008. This day was established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution on 18th December 2007.
- This day recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
- To mark the International Day of Rural Women, Indian government celebrated the first ever ‘Mahila Kisan Divas’. It was organised by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. It highlighted the silent and invisible contribution of women farmers.
World Students Day – October 15, 2017
On 15th October 2017, World Students Day is celebrated all over the world.
- The United Nations declared former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday (October 15) as ‘World Student’s Day’ in 2010.
- APJ Abdul Kalam was an aerospace scientist. He has made India proud with his missile defence programme.
- His favourite job was teaching. His sudden death on 27th July, 2015 was a shock. But Kalam died while teaching, which he loved the most.
- He was delivering a lecture to the students of IIM Shillong, when he fell down the stage, suffering a stroke and passed away. His birth anniversary is marked as World Students Day.
- Also, Switzerland declared May 26 as ‘Science Day’ after Abdul Kalam visited Switzerland, as a mark of respect and honour of his visit.
World Standards Day – October 14
On 14th October 2017, World Standards Day was observed all over the world.
- The World Standards Day is celebrated every year, to honour the contributions of all those who develop the technical agreements that are published as international standards.
- This is mainly celebrated by the members of organisations like IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) and ITU (International Teleommunication Union).
- World Standards Day theme for 2017 is “Standards make cities smarter”. A poster contest and a video contest were conducted by IEC, ISO and ITU on this theme. Reza Rahimian from Iran and Gabriel Hernandez from Mexico have won the poster and video contest respectively