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National Current Affairs
Odisha Government launched ‘Sampurna Yojana’
Odisha Government launched SAMPURNA Yojana or Sishu Abond Matru Mrityuhara Purna Nirakaran Abhijan Scheme for pregnant women in the state.
- Under the Scheme expected mothers will get Rs.1000 for transportation to hospital in case of delivery.
- The SAMPURNA Yojana in Odisha will help women from the inaccessible or remote areas to get cost of transport.
- It will cover around 7853 villages across 30 districts of Odisha.
- It will reduce the IMR and MMR rate in Odisha State.
- The amount will be transferred directly in to beneficiaries account through DBT.
- Around 60,000 pregnant women would be benefited annually.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates “Hunar Haat” in Puducherry
Shri Naqvi and Puducherry Chief Minister Shri V. Narayanasamy today inaugurated “Hunar Haat”, being organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs at Puducherry.
- “Hunar Haat” is being organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs from 24th to 30th September, 2017.
- It provides a platform to master artisans and craftsmen to display as well sell their products.
- Master artisans from 16 states are showcasing their traditional talent in “Hunar Haat”.
- Artisans will display and sale, a wide variety of traditional and rare Handicraft and Handloom items which include Hyderabad Pearl, Wrought Iron & Wood Carving, wooden and sandalwood items, hand-made jewellery, Hand Embroidery, handmade painting, wooden-toys/gift Items, printed dresses and Maheshwari Saree etc.
- Ministry of Minority Affairs has prepared an E-Portal to provide national as well as international markers to artisans and craftsmen from across the country.
Google Doodle Celebrates Renowned Organic Chemist Asima Chatterjee
Search engine giant Google paid tributes to Indian scientist Asima Chatterjee with a special doodle, on her 100th birth anniversary.
- Chatterjee, arguably the second Indian woman to earn a Ph.D., is the first woman to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress, a premier institution that oversees scientific research.
- Chatterjee’s notable contributions in the field of medicinal chemistry include research on Vinca alkaloids used in chemotherapy and development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs. Chatterjee has published numerous scholarly articles on medicinal plants.
- She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1975 and the Sir C. V. Raman Award in 1982.
V-409: Indian Coast Guard’s interceptor boat launched
Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) new interceptor boat V-409 was launched in Mangaluru, Karnataka by Bharathi Defence and Infrastructure Limited (BDIL).
- The vessel will be inducted into service by mid-October 2017 to give boost to coastal security and national security.
- The V-409 interceptor boat has length of 28 meters, beam of 6 meters and draught of 1.2 meters. It has aluminium hull.
- It has Articulate Surface Piercing Propulsion, also called as Arneson Surface Drives (ASD) which is powered by twin MTU Caterpillar marine diesel engines having a capacity of 1630 kW each. These engines enable boat to attain a maximum speed of more than 35 knots.
- The vessel has the capability of attaining a very high speed in a very short duration and can operate in shallow waters.
- The vessels can perform high-speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, search-and-rescue (SAR) and surveillance.
- The boat has complement of one officer and 12 sailors.
State Bank Of India Launches Management Institute In Kolkata
The country's largest lender, State Bank of India unveiled its sixth apex management training facility in Kolkata today.
- Named as State Bank Institute of Management (SBIM), the facility was launched by SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.
- SBIM has been established with the primary objective to build an institution of global standards that is an epitome of excellence in banking & finance, with focus on high-caliber action-based research and critical capacity building.
- The focus of the Institute will be to provide training, education, mobilize intellectual resource materials to drive result-oriented research, knowledge management and talent spotting.
- SBIM will cater to needs of leadership amongst bankers and go beyond just strategy and soft skills.
- SBIM will combine training and development needs such as banking, management strategy and soft skills.
- Other areas of focus would be advanced levels of research in credit, investment banking, and treasury.
7th ASEM Economic Minister’s Meeting held in Seoul, South Korea
The 7th ASEM (Asia–Europe Meeting) Economic Ministers’ Meeting was held in Seoul, South Korea.
- Theme for this year’s meeting was ‘Innovative Partnership for Inclusive Prosperity’.
- The meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea.
- 51 member countries signed a Joint Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trade System.
- Commerce Minister Mr.Suresh Prabhu represented India.
Etihad Airways launches ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ scheme
The UAE's flag carrier Etihad Airways has launched a 'fly now and pay later' scheme which provides people an option of paying the ticket fare in monthly instalments.
- The initiative is designed to allow families to book flights with convenience as payment plans have been tailored to meet their requirements.
- To participate, travellers need to select the 'Pay by Instalment' option, choose their bank they have a credit card with and their payment period while making an online payment on the airline's website.
- The instalments can be paid within three to 60 months, with 17 participating banks.
- Etihad Airways is the first in the Gulf region to offer fully automated online instalment plans after partnering with PayFort.
Dabur India, Amazon tie up to launch ayurveda e-marketplace
FMCG major Dabur India has tied up with e-commerce major Amazon for an online ayurveda marketplace which will house all ayurvedic brands and products available in the country.
- The company will also offer consumers an insight into various ayurvedic medicines for treating a variety of ailments.
- The idea is to service all health and personal care related needs of patients.
- Consumers can search basis companies, brands and ailments and will gain access to all ayurveda solutions available in the country
Banking & Finance
Irdai panel to help move to risk-based capital norms in 3 years
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has formed a ten-member steering committee to help implement by March 2021 the new risk-based capital (RBC) regime that will also enhance protection to policyholders.
- The RBC committee headed by Dilip C Chakraborty in its report to Irdai suggested that the industry should move ahead with RBC to ensure that capital held by a company will take into account its overall risk profile.
- Moving to RBC would also lead to enhanced protection to policyholders where it becomes possible to understand the level of confidence provided by the capital for a given level of risk.
- The ten-member steering committee is tasked to ensure smooth and timely implementation of RBC regime from existing solvency capital regime and ensure completion of the project as per target.
- The committee will be headed by Irdai member (actuary), Pournima Gupte. Other nine members of the committee include four Irdai officials; chairman of RBC committee; chairman of life-sub-committee of RBC committee; chairman general-sub-committee of RBC committee, one senior external actuarial advisor and one representative from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Awards & Recognition
Rajkummar Rao bags GQ Actor of the Year Award
National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao was awarded the GQ Actor of the Year Award, in Mumbai. GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine conducted the GQ Men of the Year Awards for 2017, in Mumbai.
- Woman of the Year: Anushka Sharma.
- Excellence in Direction and Acting: Konkona Sen Sharma
- Excellence in Acting: Sridevi Kapoor
- Entertainer of the Year: Ranveer Singh
- Agent of Social Change: Rahul Bose
- Most Stylish: Sidharth Malhotra
- Designer of the Year: Manish Malhotra
- Outstanding Achievement: Irrfan Khan
- Legend: Bhaichung Bhutia
- Creative Maverick: Aamir Khan
- Producer of the Year: Karan Johar
Appointments & Resigns
Rajiv Mehrishi sworn in as CAG of India
Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was sworn in as new Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India. He was administered oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind. He succeeded Shashi Kant Sharma.
- Rajiv Mehrishi has worked for both Union and State governments at top positions and his bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years. Before retirement from service, he had served as Home Secretary.
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
CAG is constitutional office under article 148. He is appointed by President of India by warrant under his hand for period of 6 years or up to age of 65 years, whichever earlier. Removal of CAG is similar to removal of a Supreme Court Judge. CAG is not eligible for any office under GOI post-retirement. CAG suggests account keeping of union and state with approval of president. It exercises power in relation to account of union and state or any other enterprise funded by GOI as may be prescribed by law made by parliament.
Arvind Subramanian to stay on as Chief Economic Advisor
Dr. Arvind Subramanian will continue for one more year after the completion of his three-year tenure on 16th October, 2017.
- Subramanian was a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics before he took over as India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) in October 2014.
- Subramanian’s term as CEA has been marked by dynamic suggestions and analysis to do with the economy — including coining the term ‘JAM trinity’ (for Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile), mooting the idea of a ‘bad bank’ to deal with the persistent problem of non-performing assets (NPAs) afflicting the balance sheets of banks and corporates, and proposing the concept of a Universal Basic Income.
West Bengal govt revives Gorkha Territorial Administration with Binay Tamang as chairman
The West Bengal government appointed Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Binay Tamang as the chairman of a new board of administrators to run the Darjeeling hills. The board chaired by Binay Tamang will govern the area that falls under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
Lalawmpuii Chawngthu is Mizoram's First Woman Minister
38 year old Lalawmpuii Chawngthu has become the second woman in Mizoram to be inducted in the state's council of ministers after a gap of 30 years.
- She is the second woman in Mizoram to hold ministerial post after Lalhlimpuii Hmar, who was made a minister in 1987.
- Chawngthu will hold the rank of Minister of State in Lal Thanhawla’s government. With Chawngthu, Mizoram now has 12 ministers.
Rajnikant Mishra appointed new SSB chief
Rajni Kant Mishra appointed new DG of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Mishra, who was posted as Special Director General in Border Security Force (BSF) since 2012 will succeed Archana Ramasundaram who is set to retire on September 30.
Science & Technology
Osiris-Rex: NASA’s asteroid-bound spacecraft swings by Earth
NASA’s asteroid-chasing spacecraft Osiris-Rex successfully swung by Earth to put it on desired trajectory towards near earth asteroid Bennu using Earth’s gravity. It passed within 17,237 kilometres from Earth above Antarctica.
During closest flyby, Osiris-Rex’s science instruments were tested by scanning Earth and moon as a practice for its operations at Bennu.
- The OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) mission was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid. It is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission. Japan already has visited an asteroid and returned some specks.
- The spacecraft will reach small, roundish asteroid in 2018 and return to Earth after collecting some of its gravels by 2023.
- It will capture 2 ounces of dust on asteroid using its robotic arm without landing i.e. by hovering like a hummingbird stirred up by nitrogen gas thruster and then begun its return trip to earth.
- 101955 Bennu is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group. It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR Project.
Scientists discover jellyfish to be first brainless animals to sleep
Scientists have found that jellyfish go into a sleep-like state, making them the first animals without a brain or central nervous system to do so.
- Researchers studied Cassiopea, a mostly stationary jellyfish native to mudflats, mangrove swamps, and other warm, shallow waters.
- Cassiopea do not look like typical jellyfish - they are silver dollar-sized, splotched with black pigment, and rest upside-down on the sea floor.
- With tentacles curled above bell-shaped bodies, the jellies resemble miniature heads of cauliflower. However, they pulse like other jellyfish, contracting and relaxing in a steady rhythm.
- During the day, Cassiopea will quickly pulse their bells and swim down to rest. However, at night, it takes them about three times longer to start pulsing.
Mary Kom 1st Indian to represent world boxing at IOC forum
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist MC Mary Kom has become the first Indian to be picked as International Boxing Association's (AIBA) representative for the 8th International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Forum in Lausanne from November 11th to 13th.
- The forum is held once every two years, bringing together athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement.
- The forum conducts discussions to make future plans and strategies for sports persons participating in the Olympic Games.
ICC launches anti-corruption probe into Sri Lanka cricket
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an anti-corruption investigation in Sri Lanka.
The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and this includes conducting investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that 40 of its contracted players called for an immediate inquiry into certain “shocking” allegations made by former player and selector, Pramodya Wickramasinghe, insinuating unnatural and mysterious match patterns.
Sasi Kumar Mukund clinches his fifth Futures title
Top seed Sasi Kumar Mukund worked his way to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Arjun Kadhe in the final of the $15,000 LMW-ITF Futures tournament at the Perks Tennis Centre.
- Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Arjun Kadhe 6-3, 6-4.
- Mukund is ranked 501 in the ATP list currently.
- Mukund and Khade had teamed up for the doubles but lost in the final to Chandril and Lakshit Sood.