Current Affairs 18th October 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Sonam Kapoor was honoured with ET Panache's 'Trendsetter Awards 2016'. With her impeccable style sense and unconventional career choices, the 31-year-old actress was announced one of the winners of this year's ET Panache Trendsetting Award, reports Pinkvilla. Donning a Delpozo-style black attire teamed with a neat hairdo and large earrings, the 'Aisha' star received the award. Sonam's performance in 'Neerja', her social endeavors and positive presence on social media was lauded through this recognition. ET Panache's Trendsetter Awards recognizes the efforts of entrepreneurs, innovators, newsmakers and athletes, whose stories "inspire millions and whose services transform lives." The winners of each are harbingers of change, driven by "professional passion, personal elan and a commitment to quality." Sonam will be next seen in her sister Rhea Kapoor's 'Veere Di Wedding' alongside Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur is now officially a part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) powerful Finance and Commercial Affairs committee after completion of the global cricket body's board meeting in Cape Town. BCCI had raised objections about not having its representative in the F&CA committee and senior officials in the board termed it as a humiliation with Shashank Manohar being chairman of global body. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is the national governing body for cricket in India. The board was formed in December 1928 as a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydro-electric projects (HEPs) with a generating capacity of 1,732 MW in Himachal Pradesh. All the three power projects are equipped with generating equipment supplied and commissioned by state owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). Three hydro-electric projects are Koldam HEP: It is 4×200 MW capacity project executed by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).  Parbati HEP: It is Stage-III project with a capacity of 530 MW of National Hydropower Corporation (NHPC).  Rampur HEP: It is 412 MW capacity project of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN). Significance of hydro-projects  : Hydropower generated by hydro-projects is renewable source of energy as it uses and not consumes the water for generation of electricity. It does not emit greenhouse gas emission and helps in achieving a low carbon path. India has hydropower potential of around 1,45,000 MW and at 60% load factor, it can meet the demand of around 85, 000 MW. So far, around 26% of Hydropower potential has been exploited in India.

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission. Saina received a letter to the effect from the IOC President Thomas Bach on 17 October 2016. The letter read it is great pleasure to appoint you in consultation with the Chair, as Member of the Athletes’ Commission. This member can be termed as a rare honour for the Indian sportsperson. The Athletes' Commission is chaired by Angela Ruggiero and it comprises nine vice presidents and 10 other members. Saina's appointment to the prestigious panel has come just when she is set to resume practice after recovering from a knee injury. International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission : The IOC Athletes' Commission is a body maintained by the International Olympic Committee for the purpose of representing athletes. It was established in 1981 by the then-President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and its creation was subsequently codified by the IOC in Rule 21 of the Olympic Charter. The Commission is a consultative body whose function is to act as "the link between active athletes and the IOC". It makes recommendations to the IOC's executive bodies, and its chair serves as a member of the IOC Executive Board. The Commission meets once or twice a year, and organises an Athletes' Forum once every two years. It works in liaison with similar athletes' commissions of the Continental Associations, individual National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations.

Ashok Leyland Ltd has unveiled its Circuit Series electric bus. They are India’s first such indigenously made vehicle on 17 October 2016. The buses are designed and engineered in India. They are specifically developed for Indian road conditions. The zero-emission vehicle will be offered on multiple platforms and enjoys a subsidy under the government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME)scheme. It can travel 150 km on a single charge. FAME-India scheme : The Union Government had launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme on 1 April 2015. The scheme was launched with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility. The scheme envisages providing 795 crore rupees support till 2020 for the manufacturing and sale of electric and hybrid vehicles.

India has completed its nuclear triad by inducting country's first indigenously-constructed nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service. INS Arihant was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in August 2016. INS Arihant : INS Arihant is the lead ship of India's Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. The 6000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in the port city of Visakhapatnam.It was launched on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. After fitting out and extensive sea trials, on 23 February 2016, Arihant was confirmed as ready for operations, and was quietly commissioned in August 2016.  It first of the expected five in the class of submarines designed and constructed as a part of the Indian Navy's secretive ATV project. A nuclear triad refers to the nuclear weapons delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal which consists of three components: strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).The purpose of having a three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation's nuclear forces in a first-strike attack.The triad also ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation's nuclear deterrence.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center in the second week of October 2016 announced Robert De Niro as the recipient of the 44th Chaplin Award. De Niro will be presented with the award at an award gala on 8 May 2017. Robert De Niro : Robert Anthony De Niro is an Italian-American actor and producer.  He has starred in over 100 films. He was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake La Motta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2003 and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2010. Film Society of Lincoln Center : The Film Society of Lincoln Center is one of the world's most prominent film presentation organizations.It was founded in 1969 by three Lincoln Center executives: William F. May, Martin E. Segal and Schuyler G. Chapin. The film society highlights American Independent cinema and World Cinema, and recognizes and supports new filmmakers.  Each year the organization presents its annual Gala Tribute, known as Chaplin Award Gala, honouring legendary stars and industry leaders.In 2016, the award was won by Morgan Freeman.

R. A. Mashelkar, former Director-General of CSIR, has been conferred the V Krishnamurthy Award for excellence by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Organisation Development. The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Governor of Tamil Nadu, K Rosaiah, presented the award at a function in Hyderabad. The award was instituted in 2000 to recognise excellence in management. V Krishnamurthy had contributed enormously to the public sector, BHEL and SAIL  

Tata Communications has appointed James Parker as president of global sales. Parker will be responsible for leading the company's global sales organisation across all customer segments. His stints include working in sales, commercial and marketing roles in companies including CenturyLink, Microsoft and IBM.  James brings proven leadership and a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise from his 25 years in industry. I know that this appointment will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our global business with a focus on helping our customers get ahead and stay ahead in this digital age .

Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) has been rated the best in Southern region and third among all the 52 airports in the country.  Airports Authority of India (AAI) conducts survey of all the airports once in six months through an external agency. The performances of all the airports are rated on the basis of overall customer satisfaction.  In the latest survey pertaining to the half year ended December last year, MIA secured 4.72 points out of 5.  Airport Director J T Radhakrishna said in a release here that the rating reflects giant strides made by MIA in the segments of passenger handling and customer satisfaction.  Chandigarh airport has taken the top slot in the survey, followed by Raipur, with the third position being shared by Mangaluru and Udaipur airports.  The survey covers areas like achievement of the airport, performance of staff, facilities, customs and immigration facilities and safety .

Celebrated on the last day of the Ashwin month, the Kumar Purnima festivals the occasion to observe the birthday of Lord Kartikeswara, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special nature. They also play a kind of game known as Puchi. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games. Odisha spirit shows its best in its delicacies prepared during their festival. Highly spritual and pious towards local traditions, every festival is an occasion to celebrate and rejoice with friends, relatives and different social groups. This cultural bond is also extended to the relationship with God. No food is considered eaten unless offered to God. Young girls of Odisha are gearing up to look their best and seek blessings of the Moon God on Kumar Purnima festival that is on 18th October 2016.It is believed that unmarried girls get a good life partner if they perform these rituals.

The US Navy has commissioned its largest, most expensive and technologically advanced destroyer, prompting a top admiral to say, "If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt".  The Zumwalt, costing nearly USD 4.4 billion, is striking in appearance, with sharp angles and weaponry concealed behind flat surfaces, a design that makes it many times more difficult to spot on radar than conventional destroyers.  The 610-foot-long ship, commissioned in Baltimore yesterday, also has an advanced power plant and weapon systems that can move the Navy into the future, said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.  The ship is named after Adm. Elmo R "Bud" Zumwalt, a Bronze Star winner from World War II who went on to serve in the Korean and Vietnam wars and as chief of naval operations from 1970 to 1974.  A larger flight deck that enables operations with new F-35 fighters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft . Larger vertical launch missile tubes that can fire larger and more advanced land attack and anti-ship missiles . An electrical power system that generates almost as much electricity as the nuclear power plants on aircraft carriers.  The ship can operate all of its systems and still generate enough electricity to power a small town . It has the ability, with that extra power, to accommodate weapons of the future, such as electronic rail guns and laser.   

Amandeep Singh Gill was appointed as the Ambassador of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva on 15 October 2016. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Gill is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1992 batch. Amandeep Singh Gill : Gill’s diplomatic career includes assignments in Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Iran, and the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.  His professional areas of interest focus on international relations, disarmament, regional security in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia, and human security issues.   In 2007-2008, he represented India on the UN Secretary General’s Panel on Missiles.He was a member of the Indian delegation to the Conference on Disarmament during the negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Before joining the Indian Foreign Service, Amandeep Gill worked as a telecommunications engineer.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to organise the first ever ICC Women's World T20 event in 2020. A decision to this effect was taken at the ICC Board meetings which concluded in Cape Town. Cricket Australia, hosts for the men's and women's ICC World Twenty20 in 2020, proposed holding the women's tournament as a stand-alone event six months ahead of the men's edition. The ICC Board approved this request considering it a big step forward for the women's game in a market where there is a clear appetite for women's cricket given the success of the WBBL.

The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries have expressed commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In this regard, seven nations of BIMSTEC countries have issues Leaders Retreat Outcome Document emphasising that there can be no justification for acts of terror. Highlights of document  : BIMSTEC countries strongly condemned the recent terror attacks in the region. The states who encourage and support provide sanctuary to terrorists should be identified and held accountable. Strong measures against such states must be taken.  They recognised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. They renewed their commitment to the early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Area negotiations, and direct the Trade Negotiating Committee and Working Groups to expedite the finalization of its constituent Agreements. They agreed to expedite the signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.  They also called for early ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. They also stressed the necessity of pursuing sustainable development and of the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  They also recognized that cooperation in sustainable development of fisheries in Bay of Bengal region for ensuring food security and improving livelihoods of people. BIMSTEC  : BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. They are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka (from South Asia) and Myanmar, Thailand (from South East Asia).

Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, on 16 October 2016 inaugurated National Summit on Fortification of Food in New Delhi. The Summit was inaugurated to address interventions in combating micronutrient malnutrition in the country. The two day summit was co-hosted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in partnership with related union ministries/departments and development partners. During the Summit, Patel also released the standards on fortification of foods and launched the food fortification logo. Food Fortification : Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients to food.It may be a purely commercial choice to provide extra nutrients in a food. Other times, it is a public health policy which aims to reduce the number of people with dietary deficiencies within a population. Sometimes the staple foods of a region can lack particular nutrients, due to the soil of the region or because of the inherent inadequacy of the normal diet. Addition of micronutrients to staples and condiments can prevent large-scale deficiency diseases in these cases. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), fortification refers to "the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, ie. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food irrespective of whether the nutrients were originally in the food before processing or not, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and to provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health."Food fortification was identified as the second strategy of four by the WHO and FAO to begin decreasing the incidence of nutrient deficiencies at the global level.

Indian grapplers clinched four medals, including a gold medal, at the  sixth edition of the TAFISA World Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Wrestler Dalmiya bagged the yellow metal in 60kg category after outplaying Muhammad Sahan of Azerbaijan 4-1 in the summit clash. Other Winner list :  Luv Singh  : He clinched silver medal in the 80 kg category. In the summit clash, Luv Singh faced a 1-5 defeat by Muhammad Alim of Azerbaijan. Naveen Kumar : He clinched bronze medal in 90 Kg category. He defeated Oleg of Lithuania 5-2 to claim the bronze medal. Josil  : He clinched bronze medal in the in the super heavyweight section. He defeated Mustafa Sultani of Afghanistan 3-1 to win the bronze medal for the country. Few other medals won by India are Three gold medals were won by three women martial arts players from Thane. Aarti Chaudhari (29), Vishruti Waghmare (16) and Siddhi Jadhav (10) won the gold medals in Jeet Kune-do, a form of martial arts. Aarti Chaudhari won her second gold in Kabaddi, while Vishruti Waghmare bagged a bronze in the same event. TAFISA : The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) is the leading international Sport for All organisation. Its vision and mission is to achieve an Active World by globally promoting and facilitating access for every person to Sport for All and physical activity. 6th TAFISA World Sport for All Games : The 6th TAFISA World Games Sports for All, Jakarta, Indonesia was held from 6-12 October 2016. The Games were held under the patronage of the IOC, UNESCO and ICSSPE and bore the motto “Unity in Diversity”, standing for the inherent diversity of the Indonesian people throughout the several hundreds of different cultures and languages that coexist within the same country. Some 84 participating countries joined the games and performed traditional sports and games from their homeland in the various demonstrations, festivals and championships, bringing together over 12000 participants to Ancol in North Jakarta.  

BRICS nations namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on 16 October inked three agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation. The agreements were inked in Goa, India during the eighth BRICS summit. The eight BRICS summit was held from 15 to 16 October under the theme Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions. List of MoUs signed by BRICS Countries include MoU for Establishment of BRICS Agricultural Research Platform MoU on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies Regulations on Customs Cooperation Committee of the BRICS BRICS :  BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. All five are G-20 members. Originally the first four were grouped as BRIC, before the induction of South Africa in 2010The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs. As of 2015, the five BRICS countries represent over 3.6 billion people (about half of the world population). All five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10.

Bangladesh and China has signed 26 agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The agreements and MoU include boosting cooperation in counter-terrorism, infrastructure development and energy cooperation. MoUs signed MoU on One Belt One Road- Bangladesh formally joined China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.  MoU to establish institutional cooperation in areas of maritime issues and counter-terrorism. MoU to get a 1320 MW power plant constructed in Bangladesh by China. China's TBEA signed a power grid deal worth 1.6 billion US dollars with Dhaka Power. Agreement to enhance high-level exchanges, maintain frequent contacts between leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of multilateral foray. Framework Agreement for Developing Cooperation on Production Capacity between Bangladesh and China. Agreement to continue their cooperation on river management, including dredging with land reclamation. Agreement to start feasibility studies on the establishment of China-Bangladesh Free Trade Area. Agreement in which Beijing will train 500 Chinese-language teachers for Bangladesh, train 100 Bangladeshi cultural professionals and invite 600 Bangladeshi students to visit China from 2016 to 2020. They also jointly unveiled six projects, including multi-lane tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong. Apart from this, both the sides also signed various agreements of cooperation in areas of industrial capacity building, power and energy, information technology, investment, disaster management and culture. Both the countries also announced the year 2017 as the Year of Friendship and Exchanges between China and Bangladesh.

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