Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 13th and 14th October, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains, NIACL AO Mains and BOM PGDBF 2016 Exams.
India, Hungary set to sign MoU on water management
- India and Hungary will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mutual cooperation on a wide range of issues in the field of water management. The proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday.
- The MoU will be signed between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India and the Ministry of Interior, Government of Hungary.
- An official statement said that the ministry is signing the MoU with Hungary with wide-ranging areas on water sector for the first time.
- It will enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of water management, on the basis of equality and mutual benefits. This will encourage the development of bilateral relations between public and private organisations concerning water resources of both the countries, it said.
Standard Chartered Bank ties-up with Uber to offer discounts
- Foreign lender Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) on 10 October 2016 tied-up with Uber under which its credit cardholders will get a cash-back of up to 25 percent for hailing cabs from the app across six countries.
- In India, the cardholders will get a 20 percent cash-back on all Uber rides, subject to a cash—back cap of 600 rupees per month. Additionally, first-time Uber users will get a discount of 50 rupees for the first three rides.
- The offer will be available to all SCB cardholders from October 2016 to 30 September 2017. Apart from India, the partnership was activated in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
- This is the first multi-market partnership for the two companies.
India, Russia sign agreement to set up agro irradiation centres
- India and Russia on 13 October 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres.
- The agreement was signed between the Indian Agricultural Association, Hindustan Agro Co-Op Ltd (HACL) and United Innovation Corporation (UIC), a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia.
- It was signed by Bharat Dhokane Pandurang, Chairman of HACL and Denis Cherednichenko, CEO of UIC.
- It will be implemented through a Joint Venture and aims to set up 25 integrated irradiation centres.
- In the first phase, seven centres will be set up in Maharashtra, which will begin with the upgradation of the current centre at Rahuri in Ahmednagar district.
- The 7 centres are likely to be established in Sindhurg, Satara, Solapur, JNPT, Jalana, Napur and Pune in the first phase.
- UIC will be a technology partner and will help set up the irradiation centres in India.
CCEA approves revision of ethanol prices for supply to Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 13 October 2016 approved the mechanism for revision of ethanol price for supply to Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
- The administered price of ethanol for the Programme will be 39 rupees per litre for the next sugar season from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017.
- Charges will be paid to the ethanol suppliers as per actuals in case of Excise Duty and VAT or GST and transportation charges as decided by the oil marketing companies.
- The prices of ethanol will be reviewed and suitably revised by Government at any time during the ethanol supply period depending upon the prevailing economic situation and other relevant factors.
- The revision in ethanol prices will facilitate Government in providing price stability and remunerative prices for ethanol suppliers.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between EXIM bank and NDB
- Union Cabinet on 13 October 2016 approved MoU between Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on General Cooperation with the BRICS promoted New Development Bank (NDB), along with other Development Financial Institutions of BRICS nations. This will be achieved through the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.
- This approval will help in enhancing trade and economic relations among the BRICS countries and benefit the participating institutions from the BRICS nation. There is no financial implication involved in signing of the MoU.
- The MoU is a non-binding umbrella agreement.
- It aims at establishing a cooperation framework in accordance with the national laws and regulations, besides skills transfer and knowledge sharing amongst the signatories.
- Establishment of the NDB reflects the close relations among the BRICS countries and provides a powerful instrument for increasing their economic cooperation and help India play an enhanced international role.
Dharmendra Pradhan launches National Seismic Programme in Mahanadi Basin
- Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (with Independent charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, on 12 October 2016 launched the National Seismic Programme (NSP) on Mahanadi basin (onshore) in Odisha.
- The Programme was launched to carry out assessment of unappraised areas across the country for potential oil and natural gas reserves.
- The massive 2D seismic survey will cost the government more than 5000 crore rupees.
- ONGC will carry out the National Seismic Programme in most parts of the country.
- Oil India Ltd will undertake the project in north-eastern states.
- NSP will cover an estimated 48243 line kilometre, covering 26 sedimentary basins divided into 11 units.
- The presence of gas has been established about 30 km offshore of Dhamra in a discovery by Reliance in the past.
HIMANSH, India’s remote and high-altitude station opened in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called HIMANSH. The station is situated above 13500 feet at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
- The station was unveiled by M. Rajeevan, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, on 9 October 2016.
- The ongoing initiatives by NCAOR will contribute to the integrated study the glaciers in the upper Indus basin (Chandra basin) in Himachal Pradesh and their contribution to discharge.
Union Cabinet approves setting up of IIM at Jammu
- The Union Cabinet on 13 October 2016 approved the establishment of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Jammu. The institute will from a temporary campus at Old Government College of Engineering and Technology from academic year 2016-17.
- The project will involve a cost of nearly 62 crore rupees for initial four years from 2016 to 2020.
- The student strength intake for this year in the Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDP) in Management is 54 which will progressively go up to cumulative student strength of 120 in the 4th year.
- The detailed project report for the permanent campuses is under preparation and thereafter the process for setting up the campuses will start.
Reports & Indexes –
Global Hunger Index 2016 released: India ranked at 97th position
- The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on 11 October 2016 released the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI).
- It says if hunger declines at the same rate as it has since 1992, more than 45 countries including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan will still have moderate to alarming hunger scores in 2030.
Highlights of the Global Hunger Index
- The Central African Republic, Chad, and Zambia had the highest levels of hunger in the report.
- Seven countries had alarming levels of hunger, while 43 countries including high-population countries like India, Nigeria and Indonesia had serious hunger levels.
- The level of hunger in developing countries has fallen by 29 percent since 2000.
- Twenty countries including Rwanda, Cambodia, and Myanmar have all reduced their GHI scores by over 50 percent each since 2000. And no developing countries were in the extremely alarming category.
India's position in Global Hunger Index 2016
- India is ranked at 97th and Pakistan at 107th. All other Asian neighbours did relatively better- China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90).
- India’s GHI score of 28.5 is worse than the developing country average score of 21.3.
- Although India runs two of the world's biggest children's nutrition programmes, the ICDS for children under 6 years and the mid-day meal programme for school going kids up to the age of 14, still malnutrition continues to haunt India.
WHO releases Global Tuberculosis Report 2016
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 13 October 2016 released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 highlighting that countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect and treat Tuberculosis (TB) in order to meet global targets.
- The report highlights the considerable inequalities among countries in enabling people with TB to access existing cost-effective diagnosis and treatment interventions that can accelerate decline in TB worldwide.
Highlights of the report
- The report signals the need for bold political commitment and increased funding.
- While efforts to respond to TB saved more than 3 million lives in 2015, however TB burden is actually higher than previously estimated, reflecting survey data from India.
- In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide.
- Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
India under-reported TB for 15 years
- Inaccurate estimates of the tuberculosis burden in India between 2000-2015, has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to underestimate the global TB epidemic.
- India had reported only 56 percent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 percent in 2015.
- Since India accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s TB cases and deaths, the revisions in the estimates have had a major impact on global estimates.
- The revised estimates put the incidence of TB in India at 217 per 100000 population in 2015 as against the previously estimated 127 per 100000.
World Sight Day 2016 observed with theme Stronger Together
- The 2016 World Sight Day (WSD) was observed across the world on 13 October 2016.
- The theme for the WSD 2016 is Stronger Together.
- The Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.
- The day was originally initiated by the SightFirstCampaign of Lions Club International Foundation in 2000.
- WSD is co-ordinated by International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in cooperation with the World Health Organization under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative.
International Day for Disaster Reduction observed with theme Live to Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality
- International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) was observed globally on 13 October 2016 with theme Live to Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality. The day encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.
- The 2016 edition marks the launch of the new "Sendai Seven" campaign by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Sendai Seven is centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the first of which is reducing disaster mortality. UNISDR’s campaign seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world.
- The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.
First World Tsunami Awareness Day to be celebrated on November 5
- The First World Tsunami Awareness Day will be celebrated on 5 November 2016 at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.
- The event will be organised with Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champions at the Conference.
- The Conference will be organised from 3 November to 5 November 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by the Government of India in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Renu Pall appointed as Ambassador of India to Austria
- Former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Renu Pall was on 8 October 2016 appointed as the Ambassador of India to Austria. Her appointment was announced by the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
- She will succeed Rajiva Misra in Austria. Currently, Pall is serving as the Ambassador of India to the Czech Republic.
- Austria is a German-speaking country in Central Europe, characterized by mountain villages and baroque architecture.
Portugal’s Antonio Guterres appointed UN Secretary-General
- Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was on 13 October 2016 appointed as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly.
- The 193 member states of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution by acclamation, appointing Guterres as the ninth U.N. Secretary-General.
- Guterres, who succeeds Ban Ki-moon, will assume his new role on 1 January 2017 for a five-year term that can be renewed by member states for an additional five years.
Gurumoorthy Mahalingam appointed as Whole-Time Member of SEBI
- Reserve Bank's Executive Director Gurumoorthy Mahalingam was on 7 October 2016 appointed as a Whole-Time Member of market regulator SEBI. His appointment was approved by the Union Finance Ministry for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- Mahalingam succeeds Prashant Saran as the Whole-Time Member as Saran retired from the post in June 2016.
- Apart from the Chairman, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) can have three Whole-Time Members (WTMs).
Bank of Baroda endorses PV Sindhu, K Srikanth
- Bank of Baroda, the Indian public sector bank, has sealed a 3-year principal sponsorship contract with badminton players PV Sindhu and K Srikanth.
- As part of the deal, Bank of Baroda logo will appear on the centre chest of the two athletes’ playing jersey in international as well as domestic tournaments under the aegis of Badminton World Federation Events (BWF) and Badminton Association of India sanctioned events, respectively.
- Facilitated by Baseline Ventures, the sports marketing and a brand licensing firm that manages both Sindhu and Srikanth, the deal with the two players was agreed in-principle before they represented India on the International stage at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Virat Kohli presented with ICC Test Championship mace
- Virat Kohli on 11 October 2016 was presented with the ICC Test Championship mace for leading his team to the top of the Test Team Rankings. On behalf, of ICC the mace was presented by former India captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar following the conclusion of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Indore.
- The achieved the number-one spot on the ICC Test Rankings after it took a 2-0 lead in Kolkata, but the Test team rankings are only updated at the end of the series. Thus on completion of the series, India formally replaced its arch rival Pakistan at the top of the table at the end pf Indore Test. India won the Indore Test by 321 runs.
- With this, Kohli became only the second India captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and 10th overall to receive the mace, even though it is for the third time since Kohli took over as captain that India has led the rankings table.
Awards & Honors –
Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature
- Bob Dylan on 13 October 2016 won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Dylan was bestowed with the precious award for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.
Books & Authors –
Author Arundahti Roy announces second novel titled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
- Author Arundhati Roy in the first week of October 2016 announced her latest novel titled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
- The novel will be published by Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India. The novel will hit the stands in June 2017.
- It is after 19 years that Roy has announced the release of her next novel after her Booker prize-winning novel The God of Small Things was published.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, passes away
- Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on 13 October 2016 at Bangkok, Thailand. He was 88.
- King Adulyadej was the world’s longest reigning monarch.
- After the demise of the Thai King, 63-year old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is expected to become the new king.