Current Affair October 2018
1. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has organised a seminar on Gandhian thoughts and Swachhta to make India a Swacch Bharat by 2019 -150 the birthday celebration of Mahatma Gandhi.
2. The GoI has notified the sale of electoral bond by SBI through its 29 authorized branches from 1.11.2018 to 10.11.2018. 29. These SBI branches are in cities like New Delhi, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati. The concept of electoral bond was initiated in Union Budget 2017.Later on Electoral bond scheme 2018 was introduced.
3. The sixth edition of North East festival is being organized till October 28, 2018 in New Delhi and the 15th edition of Indian International Centre festival is to be held from 27-31 October 2018
4. India railways announced its plan to link New Delhi and Ladakh by means of a railway line that will run along the India-China Border. The proposed Bilaspur-Manali-Leh Line would be the world’s highest railway line once launched.
5. The Central Vigilance Commission observes the Vigilance Awareness Week every year during the week in which birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31st October) falls. The 2018 Vigilance Awareness Week is being observed from 29th October to 3rd November, 2018.
6. On October 25, 2018, the Union Ministry of HRD has launched Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) scheme, which aims to improve the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world.
7. On October 25, 2018, the Central Government has announced formal launch Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) scheme to promote research in Social Sciences. The objective of this scheme is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society. The government support would include a total funding of Rs.414 crore on 1500 projects for policy themes in the social sciences at the cost of Rs. 20-25 Lakh per project.
8. QS Asia University Ranking is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Universities are assessed based on the academic reputation, employer reputation, student-faculty ratio, international faculty and students, staff with PhD, papers per faculty and citations per paper, among other parameters.
9. India and China have signed agreement on internal security cooperation. It is first such agreement to be signed between the two countries. The agreement was signed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and China’s State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi in New Delhi.
10. India and Myanmar inked MoU for appointment of private port operator for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal and associated facilities included in Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport Project. The MoU was signed Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on behalf of Government of India (GoI) and by U Win Khant, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Communications on behalf of Myanmar Government.
11. US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla (55) has won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”. Her book was shortlisted by award panel from of other six contestants. It takes readers through four generations of her family at centre and mainly her uncle K G Satyamurthy, a Maoist leader who founded Left-wing guerrilla movement called People’s War Group to overthrow Indian state. It also showcases undramatised lives of poverty, patriarchy, and rebellion, and encounter with subaltern Communism.
12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and dedicated National Police Memorial (NPM) to nation in New Delhi on the occasion of National Police Commemoration Day (Observed on October 21). The memorial has been created to recognise supreme sacrifices made by police personnel since independence.
13. The Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21st to pay homage to police martyrs. The day commemorates supreme sacrifices of ten policemen while defending borders with China in 1959. This year the day was observed in all Police Lines throughout the country to mark memory of these gallant police personnel killed on duty during the year.
14. 75th anniversary of establishment of Azad Hind government observed October 21, 2018. On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted National flag and unveiled plaque at the Red Fort, Delhi.
15. The 19th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The meeting was attended by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R. Patel, SEBI chairman, IRDAI Chairman along with heads and other senior officers of Government and financial sector regulators.
16. India’s longest river bridge with total length of 19.3 kilometers will be built on Brahmaputra river in Assam. This bridge will connect Dhubri of Assam to Fulbarani of Meghalaya. This bridge will reduce the distance between these two places by 203 kms and also travel time. At present, India’s largest river bridge is Dhola-Sadia bridge, its length is 9.15 kilometers.
17. The seventh meeting of education ministers of member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Astana, capital city of Kazakhstan. The meeting was organised with assistance of Kazakhstan Government and its Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rector’s Office of University of SCO (USCO).
18. The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit was held in Brussels, Belgium. The theme of summit was ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’. It was chaired by European Council President Donald Tusk. The summit was attended by heads of state of 51 European and Asian countries, representatives of European Union and Secretary General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). India was represented by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. This edition of summit has prioritised issues related to trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, climate change, terrorism, migration, maritime security and cyberspace.
19. Shahi Litchi from Bihar has received Geographical Indication (GI) tag from Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India. The GI registration was done in name of Muzaffarpur-based Litchi Growers Association of Bihar, which had applied for the tag. Shahi Litchi which famous for its sweet, juicy, unique flavour and aroma is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and adjoining areas of East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai districts of state. Bihar produces 40% of the litchis grown in India on 38% of the area.
20. The North Central Railways (NCR) launched two mobile apps, NCR RASTA (Railway assets Summerised Tracking Application) and Yatri RASTA (Railway Approach to Station Tracking Application) for its employees and passengers, respectively, for locating assets and stations.
21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired sixth meeting of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at New Delhi. In this meeting, he reviewed activities of NDMA to effectively manage and respond to disasters affecting country. He also reviewed ongoing projects undertaken by NDMA. During this meeting, he emphasized on need for better coordination between various stakeholders and undertake more joint exercises to bring about effective response to save life and property. He also stressed upon need to bring in global expertise in the field of disaster management.
22. Former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari passed away in New Delhi. He was 93-year-old. He is only Politician who has served as CM of two states. He was known as Vikas Purush and was instrumental in developing the industrial sector in Uttarakhand.
23. The Union Government launched national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ on occasion of World Food Day (observed on 16 October) to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy. The campaign has been launched in association with states and led by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
24. The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It is observed as day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger and aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around world to take action in fight against hunger. It also shows commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Events organised to celebrate this day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The theme for this year was: ‘Our actions are our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’.
25. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued guidelines for interoperability among prepaid instruments (PPI) such as e-wallets. Inter-operability is technical compatibility that enables payment system to be used in conjunction with other payment systems.
26. Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has launched Youth Road Safety Learners Licence programme in New Delhi today. It is Public–private partnership (PPP) initiative in collaboration with Diageo India and Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
27. Government has allowed foreign tourists to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions. In this regard, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has modified its earlier order which made it mandatory for foreign tourists to register with Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) within 24 hours of their arrival.
28. Delhi government has launched Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme that seeks to attract young leaders across the country to work with it on addressing some of the most pressing urban challenges. It was announced by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
29. Union Government has opened new series of sovereign gold bonds scheme for subscription. Under this scheme, sovereign gold bonds will be issued every month from October 2018 to February 2019. This bond will be sold through Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited, Post Office, Stock Exchange (NSE and BSE).
30. The 46th edition of world’s largest IHGF-Delhi Fair was held at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida from October 14 to 18, 2018. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Textiles Ajay Tamta. It was organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). It saw participation by over 3200 exhibitors and visit of overseas buyers from over 110 countries.
31. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) celebrated Silver Jubilee (25 years) on October 12, 2018. NHRC was set up on October 12, 1993. The silver Jubilee celebrations were held in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the function and appreciated role of NHRC. NHRC also released special silver jubilee logo and commissioned documentary titled ‘NHRC: 25 years, Billion Hopes’ capturing the 25 years of its journey. It also organized ‘Human Rights Mela’ and ‘Human Rights Street Theatre Festival’ in New Delhi.
32. Government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog has inked agreement with Microsoft India to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address challenges in agriculture and healthcare and promote adoption of local language computing among others. This partnership will help NITI Aayog to move beyond pilots and understand how to scale AI implementation in sectors characterized by preponderance of public goods.
33. The 13th Convention of Central Information Commission was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. It was attended by Chief Information Commissioner, Information Commissioners, State Information Commissioners, former information Commissioners, Central Public information officer, NGOs and other stake holders.
34. India and Azerbaijan has signed protocol on trade and economic, science and technology cooperation. It was signed at 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation (IA-IGC) held on 11-12 October, 2018 in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev.
35. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) have reiterated India’s status as polio-free country. This comes in backdrop of some oral polio vaccine vials being found contaminated with the type-2 polio virus.
36. Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued draft ‘National Policy on Electronics 2018’ (NPE 2018) for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector of India. It sets ambitious target of creating $400 billion electronics manufacturing industry by 2025, with mobile phone devices segment accounting for three-fourths of production.
37. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in collaboration with Assam Government has launched new Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) facility connecting Neamati to Manjuli Island in Assam. The Ro-Ro facility will cut down circuitous road route of 423 km that trucks take from Neamati to Majuli Island via Tezpur Road Bridge. It will limit distance between these points to only 12.7 km with use of river route. For this, IWAI has procured new vessel MV Bhupen Hazarika and is also providing needed terminal infrastructure. The vessel is 46.5-metre-long, 13.3-metre-wide and has carrying capacity of eight trucks and 100 passengers. The commencement of Ro-Ro services to Majuli island would be a landmark event towards augmenting connectivity not only in Assam but the entire North Eastern Region.
38. Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Finland on Environmental Cooperation. The MoC will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between two countries in field of environment protection and management of natural resources on basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits. For this it will take into account applicable laws and legal provisions in each country. It is also expected to bring in latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environment protection, better conservation and better management of climate change and wildlife protection and conservation.
39. Union Cabinet chaired has approved establishment of National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET). It will be set up by merging existing regulatory institutions in the skills space – National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA).
40. Union Cabinet has approved establishment and operationalisation of two new permanent campuses of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Behrampur (Odisha). Cabinet also has approved creation of two posts of Registrar, one in each IISER.
41. Union Cabinet has approved the payment of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for financial year 2017-18 for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees. It will be not available to Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel. This decision will benefit about 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees.
42. Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched India for Humanity initiative to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and honour of his service to humanity. It will feature year-long series of artificial limb fitment camps in a number of countries spanning globe.
43. Department of Telecom (DoT) has exempted wireless devices that operate in low frequency range like bluetooth, wireless chargers, internet-of-things (IoT) products, medical devices etc. from licensing requirement. The move aimed at facilitating ease of doing business for adoption of new technologies like IoT, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications both in industrial and consumer applications.
44. Union Government has reconstituted Security Policy Group (SPG) under chairmanship of National Security Advisor to assist National Security Council (NSC) in strategising on matters dealing with external, internal and economic security of the country.
45. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned five new battalions of anti-riot and crowd control Rapid Action Force (RAF). These new battalions will be stationed at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesg), Hajipur (Bihar), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mangalore (Karnataka) and Nuh (Haryana). With these, the total number of RAF battalions in the country has gone up to 15. Varanasi will be fourth base of RAF in Uttar Pradesh- the three others being in Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh.
46. Union Government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis. In this regard, Government has amended provisions of crop insurance scheme in consultation with various stakeholders after review of its working for the last two years. The amended provisions of the scheme have been implemented from October 2018.
47. Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India has granted Alphonso mango from 5 districts of Maharashtra gets Geographical Indication (GI) tag. These five districts Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane and Raigad are from western Konkan coastal region of State. With this recognition, Alphonso has joined list of 325 products from India with GI tag.
48. Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched Closing the Skills Gap Task Force in India in collaboration with World Economic Forum (WEF). It will be co-chaired by Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan along with Salil Parekh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys.
49. Government has inked $110 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade all-weather rural roads in Madhya Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). It is second tranche of $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme for India approved by ADB in December 2017.
50. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently conferred Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018 to top ranked states and districts. Haryana was ranked as best State, Satara District of Maharashtra was ranked as best district. Uttar Pradesh was rewarded for maximum citizens’ participation.
51. Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has released policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called Digi Yatra. The initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It will be operational by end of February, 2019 at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. In later phase, Airports Authority of India (AAI) will roll out this initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada airports by April 2019.
52. The second Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (REINVEST- 2018) was organised by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in Noida from October 3 to 5, 2018. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Secretary General of United Nations Antonio Guterres. 2nd Global RE-INVEST also hosted First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Meeting of the Energy Ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries.
53. The fourth India International Science Festival 2018 (IISF 2018) will be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from October 5 to 8, 2018. It is being organized by Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharati at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, Lucknow. This is for first time ISSF being organized in Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. The theme of this edition of the Science Festival is “Science for Transformation“.
54. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched Udyam Abhilasha (उद्यम अभिलाषा), a national level entrepreneurship awareness campaign. It was launched in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States.
55. The Union Cabinet has remodified its earlier decision to establish of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) in Sehore District (Bhopal-Sehore highway) instead of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation.
56. Government has inked US $150 million loan agreement with multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) for establishing India’s first Global Skills Park park in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. It will have training facilities focusing on skills for manufacturing, service and advanced agricultural jobs, benefitting about 20,000 trainees and trainers.
57. India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $240 million loan agreement for West Bengal Drinking Water Sector Improvement Project to provide safe drinking water to people in three districts of West Bengal. The project aims at providing safe and sustainable drinking water to people in Bankura, North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur affected by arsenic, fluoride and salinity.
58. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi. The same event also marked inauguration of second Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and second Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo). United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was present on the occasion.
59. President Ramnath Kovind has appointed senior judge of Supreme Court Madan Bhimarao Lokur (64) as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA). He was appointed by President in exercise of power conferred under Clause (b) of sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Legal Authorities Act, 1987.
60. Realtors body National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to provide skill training and jobs in construction sector for 2.5 lakh poor people. The partnership will strengthen skill trainings and employment opportunities in construction sector for urban poor under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission.
61. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) aimed at providing sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation. The initiative was launched with PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs i.e. IOC, BPCL and HPCL).
62. India and Uzbekistan have inked 17 agreements including for cooperation in the fields of tourism, national security, training of diplomats, against trafficking and visa free travel for diplomatic passport holders. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in New Delhi.
63. India was ranked 5th among 206 countries in Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report 2018 released by Canadian Cancer Society. The ranking of the countries was in terms of largest pictorial warning on cigarette packs. In India, 85% of both sides of cigarette packets are covered with warnings.
64. President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation during Emergency Situations) Bill, 2016 under Article 200 of Constitution. With this, Karnataka became first state give legal protection to good Samaritans who help accidents victims with emergency medical care within golden hour. This law will ensure that good samaritans are not harassed in any manner and face any criminal or civil liability.
65. Union Finance Ministry has constituted nine-member Competition Law Review Committee to ensure that legislation is in tune with changing business environment. It will be chaired by chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas and includes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) Chairperson M S Sahoo and Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairperson as members. The committee was constituted in pursuance of Government’s objective of ensuring that legislation is in sync with needs of strong economic fundamentals.
66. All India Council for Technical Education will establish country’s first AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academy in Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan. Moreover, tree more ATAL academies will come at Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Guwahati (Assam) and Baroda (Gujarat) by next year.
1. The annual bilateral summit of India –Japan held on 28, 29 October 2018 in Japan. The Indian prime minister visited Japan to attend the summit. The partnership between the two countries has been transformed a lot and it has now become as a ‘special strategic and global partnership’.
2. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe, incumbent prime minister of Sri Lanka and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksha as new Prime Minister.
3. The second edition of India Mobile Congress (IMC-2018) was held New Delhi from October 25-27, 2018. It was organised by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). The theme was “New Digital Horizons. Connect. Create. Innovate”.
4. The United Nations Day is observed every year on 24th October to mark anniversary of entry into force of UN Charter in 1945. With ratification of this founding document by majority of its members, including five permanent members of UN Security Council, United Nations officially came into existence. Since then, 24th October is celebrated as UN Day. On this day all member states of UN contribute finances to its operation to help further its goals.
5. The World Polio Day is observed annually across world on 24 October to create awareness about hazards of the crippling Polio disease. The day was instituted by Rotary International to commemorate birth of Jonas Salk who had led first team of researchers which had developed vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio virus). This development had led to widespread use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequently use of oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin. It also had led to establishment of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which has helped to reduce polio worldwide by 99%.
6. World Development Information Day (WDID) is observed every year on October 24 to draw attention of world to development problems and necessity of strengthening international cooperation to solve them. This day also coincides with United Nations Day (October 24).
7. The second conference on PHC inaugurated on 25 October 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The conference is a collective initiative of Government of Kazakhstan, WHO and UNICEF.
8. China inaugurated Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, world’s longest sea bridge with total length of 55 km. The new sea bridge will connect the east and west sides of Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea, connecting two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhuhai i.e. mainland China.
9. The first trilateral meeting between India, Afghanistan and Iran of Coordination Council of Chabahar Agreement was held in Tehran, capital city of Iran. India, Iran and Afghanistan in May 2016, had signed agreement which entailed establishment of transit and transport corridor among three countries using Chabahar Port as one of regional hubs.
10. The Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 was presented by Asian Development Bank. The report is an annual publication of ADB with a focus on progress in cooperation and migration.
11. United States (US) President Donald Trump has announced that US will unilaterally pull out of three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed with Russia during Cold War.
12. China’s first home-grown amphibious aircraft AG600 (code-named Kunlong) successfully carried out its first take-off and landing on water. It is claimed to be as the world’s largest amphibious aircraft. In this maiden flight, the seaplane took off from Zhanghe Reservoir in Jingmen, Hubei’s province and stayed airborne for about 15 minutes
13. United States has decided to merge its Consulate General with its new embassy in Israel into single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. This decision was taken as part of US’s global efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. It also comes after US under President Donald Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. The consulate general in Jerusalem was top mission of US for Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem for their capital. Post this merger, US will establish new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside embassy in Jerusalem to continue reporting, outreach and programming in West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
14. The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 5th ADMM-Plus was held on October 19 and 20, 2018 Singapore. ADMM and ADMM-Plus serves as key Ministerial-level platforms in regional security architecture for promoting strategic dialogue and practical cooperation between ASEAN and its partners. The conferences were attended by defence ministers from India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and US. India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This was second time Singapore has chaired ADMM since its establishment in 2006 and first time to chair ADMM-Plus since its establishment in 2010.
15. Dravk Nyamrup Tshogpa Party has won the recent general elections held in Bhutan. This party won 30 of the National Assembly’s 47 seats. The National Assembly is the Lower House of Bhutan Parliament. This was overall third general election since democracy was adopted in Bhutan in 2008 and the first general elections held same year itself.
16. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) is observed every year on October 17 to raise people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The 2018 theme was ‘Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity’.
17. The International Day of Rural Women is observed every year on October 15 to recognize the crucial role and contribution of rural women. The 2018 theme of the day was “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
18. The 6th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held in Singapore. The meeting was reviewed after 6th RCEP ministerial meeting held in August 2018. In this meeting, all partner countries agreed to finalize trading deal by the end of this year. From Indian side, Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution C. R. Chaudhary had attended the meeting.
19. India was elected to United Nations’ Human Rights Council’, the main body of UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights for period of three years beginning January 1, 2019. In this secret ballot election held in 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) India secured 188 votes in Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates. Total 18 new members in the five regional categories were elected by absolute majority (i.e. minimum of 97 votes are required to get elected through secret ballot). From Asia-Pacific region category, Fiji with 187 and Bangladesh 178 votes were also elected along with India.
20. International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is observed every year on October 13 to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The observance of day seeks to encourage citizens and governments to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. It also celebrates how people and communities around world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in risks that they face. It also seeks to spread awareness about reining risks of disasters around world and also reduce exposure of people and communities to disasters. The theme of 2018 International Day for Disaster Reduction was ‘Reducing Disaster Economic Losses’. It focuses on
21. Stanford University was named as World’s Most Innovative University by Reuters news agency rankings. No Indian was able to make it to the list. The Reuters’ top 100 World’s Most Innovative University ranking recognises universities from across the world for their work in inventing new technologies, advance science and power new markets and industries. It was first published in 2015, since then there has been no mention of any Indian university in the list.
22. Malaysia’s Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to abolish death penalty for all crimes and halt pending executions. This decision was taken in pursuance of strong domestic opposition to colonial practice for being barbarous and unimaginably cruel which has put terrible stain on the country’s human rights record. It is also in line with move away from capital punishment in the rest of the world.
23. According to United Nations report titled ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’, India has suffered whopping $79.5 billion economic loss due to climate-related disasters in last 20 years. The report was compiled by UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction which highlights impact of extreme weather events on global economy. The report was released ahead of International Day for Disaster Reduction, observed every year on October 13.
24. The World Obesity Day is observed globally every year on 11 October to promote practical solutions to end the global obesity crisis. It also aims to lead and drive global efforts to reduce, prevent and treat obesity. It is organised by World Obesity Federation, a non-profit body which is official relations with World Health Organisation (WHO) and is collaborating body on Lancet Commission on Obesity. The theme for this year is “It’s time to End Weight Stigma!”. Weight stigma is one of last socially accepted forms of discrimination and this year’s aim to change this and end obesity stigma once and for all.
25. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has confirmed 22 positive laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur. It was detected through Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) surveillance system and all suspected cases in defined area and mosquito samples are being tested.
26. The International Day of the Girl Child is observed every year across world on October 11 to recognize girls’ rights and unique challenges faced by girls around the world. Observance of the day seeks to increase awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender and supports more opportunity for girls. This year it was seventh edition of this day after it was observed for first time in 2012. The theme was ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’. It seeks to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.
27. World Post Day is observed every year on October 9 to spread awareness about the postal services and their role in the everyday lives of people and businesses. The day is celebrated to mark anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. The 2018 theme is: “Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?”.
28. Bangladesh’s President Abdul Hamid has given his assent controversial Digital Security Bill, 2018, by enacting it as a law. This new law combines previous colonial-era Official Secrets Act with tough new provisions such as arrests without warrant. Bangladesh Government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh Awami League) has defended the digital law as necessary to combat cyber crime
29. 21 countries in Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) adopted Delhi Declaration on Renewable Energy in Indian Ocean Region. It was adopted at 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting held at 2nd Global Re-Invest India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investor’s Meet & Expo in Greater Noida.
30. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched first global guidelines on sanitation and health. These guidelines summarize evidence on effectiveness of range of sanitation interventions. They also articulate role of health sector in maximizing health impact of sanitation interventions.
31. The International Day of Non-violence is celebrated every year on 2 October throughout world on birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian independence movement and also pioneer of philosophy of non-violence (ahimsa). Observance of this day seeks to promote principles of non-violence through education and public awareness and is observed by all countries of the UN. In India, this day is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti. This year it was 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
32. The World Habitat Day was observed every year on first Monday in October all over the world. This year it was observed on 1 October 2018 with theme ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management’. The purpose of day is to reflect on state of cities and towns and basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind world of its collective responsibility for habitat of future generations.
33. The International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) is observed every year on October 1 to raise awareness about issues affecting elderly and to appreciate contributions that older people make to society. It also seeks to raise awareness about issues affecting elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse.
34. The second International Translation Day was observed by United Nations on 30 September 2018. Observance of this day seeks to recognize contribution of unsung heroes behind international diplomacy who work as language professionals to facilitate dialogue and contribute to development and strengthens world peace and security. It also recognises transposition of literary or scientific work from one language into another language as indispensable to preserve clarity, climate and productiveness in international public communication.
35. The International Coffee Day is observed every year on October 1 to promote and celebrate coffee as beverage. Observance of this day marks global celebration of coffee’s journey from farm to your local shop and opportunity to honour men and women who grow and harvest coffee.
Business, Economy & Banking
1. To double farmers’ income by 2022 the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved creation of FAIDF recently. The proposal for creation of fund was made in budget 2018-19.
2. India will be among the top three aviation market by 2024 according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its 20- year air passenger forecast report. India is currently at seventh position in Global Aviation market.
3. Invest India, the country’s investment promotion body, has won United Nations (UN) Award for excellence in promoting investments in sustainable development. The award was presented by Armenian President Armen Sarkissian to CEO of Invest India Deepak Bagla at the World Investment Forum, Geneva.
4. The 6th edition of India International Silk Fair (IISF) was held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani. The three day event was organised by Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC). Over 108 exhibitors of silk and blended silk products manufactured in different parts of the country displayed their produce during this event. Over 218 buyers from various countries also participated in the fair.
5. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced its new Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India.. The Centre will be based in Maharashtra. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at function held in New Delhi. It will be fourth center in chain-ones as part of WEF’s global network along with San Francisco (US), Tokyo (Japan) and Beijing (China) are already functioning.
6. Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed foreign entities to participate in commodity derivatives market of stock exchanges for hedging their exposures. Prior to this, foreign entities were not permitted to directly participate in Indian commodity derivatives market, even if they imported or exported various commodities from and to India.
7. According to recently released World Economic Forum (WEF) “Future of Work in India” report, companies in India experiencing highest growth prefer hiring men. The study shows that technology-led job growth benefits men more than women and has found that one in three companies preferred hiring men, only one in 10 companies wanted to hire more women.
8. Indian IT industry’s apex body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched its Centre of Excellence for the Internet of Things (CoE – IoT) at Gurugram, Haryana. This centre was launched in collaboration with Haryana government and is part of nationwide collaborative initiative involving the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
9. India was ranked 28th among 73 countries in 2018 Government e-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR). India has jumped by eight positions in this ranking from 36th in 2011 which reinforces country’s progress towards digital transformation. Norway has topped 2018 GEAR list scoring 89.7 points in seven categories.
10. According to Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), manufacturing activity improved in September 2018 on the back of stronger gains in new orders, output, and employment. The monthly PMI grew to 52.1 in September 2018 from 51.7 in August 2018. A reading over 50 on this survey-based index indicates expansion, anything below it reflects contraction.
11. India’s leading bourse Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) became first stock exchange in the country to launch commodity derivative contracts. It has launched contracts in popular commodities like gold (1kg) and silver (30kg). This launch comes after unified exchange regime kicked off from 1 October 2018.
12. As per data released by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the growth of core eight infrastructure sectors slowed down to 4.2% in August 2018 against 4.4% in the year-ago in same month.
13. International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization have collectively launched report “Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth”. In this report all three international organisations have sought liberalisation of global service sector, asserting that barriers to these services trade currently is roughly as high as those to trade in goods about a half century ago.
1. Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aimed to reduce adverse environmental conditions especially pollution in the country after post Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution.
2. The Union Government launched national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ on occasion of World Food Day (observed on 16 October) to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy. The campaign has been launched in association with states and led by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
3. Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has launched Youth Road Safety Learners Licence programme in New Delhi today. It is Public–private partnership (PPP) initiative in collaboration with Diageo India and Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
4. Delhi government has launched Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme that seeks to attract young leaders across the country to work with it on addressing some of the most pressing urban challenges. It was announced by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
5. Union Government has opened new series of sovereign gold bonds scheme for subscription. Under this scheme, sovereign gold bonds will be issued every month from October 2018 to February 2019. This bond will be sold through Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited, Post Office, Stock Exchange (NSE and BSE).
6. Union Government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis. In this regard, Government has amended provisions of crop insurance scheme in consultation with various stakeholders after review of its working for the last two years. The amended provisions of the scheme have been implemented from October 2018.
7. Odisha Government has launched ‘Nirman Kusuma’ programme for providing financial assistance to the children of construction workers for their technical education in the state. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar, state capital.
8. Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has released policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called Digi Yatra. The initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It will be operational by end of February, 2019 at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. In later phase, Airports Authority of India (AAI) will roll out this initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada airports by April 2019.
Awards & Honors
1. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights (UN Human Rights Prize) was announced recently by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly. The winners of 2018 award are:
2. Since 2008, the Global Agriculture Leadership Summit & Awards are organised by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) with support of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare; Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Commerce. The 2018 Global Agriculture Leadership Summit was 11th in this series and it was held in Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi recently in October, 2018.
3. Union Government (Ministry of Culture) has announced winners of Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for year 2014, 2015 and 2016. The awardees were selected by award jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and included Chief Justice of India Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and national vice president of BJP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
4. India has won Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Award, 2018. The award was announced at Annual General Members Meet held at Georgetown, Guyana. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) under Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is institutional member of Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM).
5. Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is the fourteenth recipient of this award. The award will be presented to him by Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at mutually convenient time.
6. Eminent jurist Fali S. Nariman (89) was awarded 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration. He was presented the award by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at a function held in New Delhi.
7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced launch of national award in name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to honour those involved in disaster response operations. It was announced on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Bose’s declaration of formation of Azad Hind Government, India’s first independent government on October 21, 1943.
8. Indian-American Minal Patel Davis was honoured with Presidential Medal for Combating Human Trafficking’. She was presented with award by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for her extraordinary contribution towards combating human trafficking. It is US’s highest honour in the field.
9. Veteran composer, lyricist, writer and national award winning music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, famously known as Khayya was 2018 Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award will be conferred by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai. This year, the award ceremony coincides with81st birthday of Hridaynath Mangeshkar after whom award is named.
10. Sikkim was awarded UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award (Gold Prize) for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state. Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) were joinlty Silver Awards.
11. Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde (81) was awarded New Academy Prize in Literature, an alternative award formed in protest to Nobel Literature Prize. She was selected from 47 authors who were nominated by Swedish librarians and voted on by nearly 33,000 people from around the world.
12. American economists William Nordhaus and Paul Romer were jointly awarded 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences for integrating climate change and technological innovation into macroeconomic analysis. Their findings have significantly broadened scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how market economy interacts with nature and knowledge. Their studies has helped to address some of current time’s most basic and pressing questions about creating long-term sustained and sustainable growth.
13. Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was awarded ISSA (International Social Security Association) ISSA Good Practice Award for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and Pacific held at Kuala Lumpur, capital Malaysia.
14. Norwegian Nobel Committee has selected Dr. Denis Mukwege (63), Nadia Murad (25) jointly awarded 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. They were given award for their efforts to end use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
15. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected US scientists Frances Arnold and George Smith and British researcher Gregory Winter for the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were selected for harnessing power of evolution to develop enzymes and antibodies that have led to new pharmaceuticals and biofuels. Chemistry was third of this year’s Nobel Prizes. Frances Arnold shared the half price and George Smith and Gregory Winter share other half of the prize.
16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with United Nation’s Champions of the Earth Award 2018 by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at ceremony in Delhi. He is among the six winners who received this award. PM Modi was jointly awarded this award along with French President Emmanuel Macron under the ‘Political Leadership’ category for their work in championing International Solar Alliance (ISA) and promoting new areas of cooperation on environmental action. PM Modi is third Indian to receive this award after Tulsi Tanti, Chairman of the Suzlon Group, and Afroz Alam, a lawyer who led clean-up at Mumbai’s Versova beach.
17. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected three scientists Arthur Ashkin (USA), Gerard Mourou (France) and Donna Strickland (Canada) for the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were selected for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics. Arthur Ashkin (91) received the half prize and remaining half was shared equally by Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.
18. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to two immunologists James P. Allison (US) and Tasuku Honjo (Japan) for their discovery of Immune checkpoint therapy i.e. cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. It was announced by Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
1. The 2018 World Wrestling Championships were fifteenth edition of World Wrestling Championships of combined events and were held from October 20 to 28 in Budapest, Hungary. Here are important facts:
2. Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga (15) won India’s maiden gold medal at 2018 Youth Olympic Games being held in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. He won the medal in in the men’s 62 kg category by lifting total of 274 kg (124 kg +150 kg) weight to finish on top. The silver medal was won by Turkey’s Toptas Caner, who lifted 263 kg (122 kg + 141 kg) and bronze medal to Colombia’s Villar Estiven Jose who lifted 260 kg (115 kg + 143 kg). So far this was India’s fourth medal in ongoing2018 Youth Olympic Games, which include three silver medals earlier won by Tushar Mane (10m Air Rifle), Tababi Devi (44kg Judo) and Mehuli Ghosh (10m Air Rifle).
3. Thangjam Tababi Devi (16) became India’s first judo medallist at the Olympic level. She achieved this feat after winning silver medal at ongoing Youth Olympics Games in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. She won the medal after losing to Venezuela’s Maria Giminez in the finals of the women’s 44kg category. Prior to this, India had never won Olympic medal in judo either at senior or youth level. Her silver medal is so far India’s second medal at ongoing games after shooter Tushar Mane had won silver medal (second position) in men’s 10m air rifle competition. Tababi Devi hails from northeastern state of Manipur.