Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the Important Current Affairs from 20th to 24th of October, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO VI Mains, IBPS Clerk VI Mains, IBPS RRB Mains and NICL and IPPB Mains 2016.
BMW, Ola sign pact for on demand luxury cab services
- Luxury car maker BMW and taxi hailing app Ola have signed an MoU to provide on demand luxury cab services in India.
- While BMW wants to expand the luxury car market in the country, which is less than one per cent at present, for Ola it is just another extension to its luxury segment "Ola Lux" that it had launched in June this year and is present in just three cities.
- The Bengaluru-based company plans to extend the same to other markets soon. Ola targets to double its revenues from this segment this year at a mere two per cent, said its COO, Pranay Jivrajka. Currently the fleet size is 100.
- Meanwhile, several global as well as domestic auto majors across the world are re-thinking their strategies as they witness decline in auto sales due to the growth of on-demand economy globally.
- Frank Schloeder, President (Acting), BMW Group India, said that India is a very small market with only 35,000 cars and the young generation is not looking at buying cars and homes anymore but believe in shared economy.
RBI eases norms for foreign investment in startups
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 October 2016 notified the amended norms for foreign investment in startups. For this, the bank amended the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident Outside India) Regulations, 2000.
- Investment in India by Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCI), registered with SEBI, is governed by the provisions of Schedule 6 of the aforesaid Regulations.
Highlights of the Notifications
- Any FVCI, registered with market regulator SEBI, will not require any approval from Reserve Bank of India and can invest in unlisted Indian companies.
- FVCI can invest in following sectors- Biotechnology, IT, Nanotechnology, Seed research and development, pharmaceutical sector, Dairy industry, Poultry industry, Production of bio-fuels, Hotel-cum-convention centres and Infrastructure sector.
- FVCIs can also invest in Equity or equity linked instrument or debt instrument issued by an Indian startup irrespective of the sector in which the startup is engaged.
- FVCIs can invest in units of a Venture Capital Fund (VCF) registered under the SEBI or units of a Scheme or of a fund set up by a VCF or by a Category I Alternative Investment Fund (Cat-I AIF).
- The downstream investments by a VCF or a Cat-I AIF, which has received investment from FVCI, shall have to comply with the provisions for downstream investment as laid down in Schedule 11 of the Principal Regulations.
India, World Bank sign $650 Million agreement for Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor
- India on 21 October 2016 signed a 650-million US dollar loan agreement with the World Bank for the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor-III (EDFC-III) Project. The project will benefit industries of Northern and Eastern India, which rely on railway network for transportation of material inputs and exports.
- These industries also depend on railway network for transportation for the distribution of bulk processed and semi-processed commodities and consumer goods. Railway passengers will also be benefitted through decongestion of the existing passenger lines.
- The project is being developed by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd. (DFCCIL). It would also help in creating jobs in the northern and eastern regions of the country.
- The EDFC-III Project is to augment rail transport capacity, improve service quality and enhance freight carriage throughput on the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor
- It seeks to develop institutional capacity of DFCCIL to build, maintain and operate the entire DFC network.
- The third loan agreement that the World Bank has signed for the Eastern Corridor, which is about 1840 km long and extends from Ludhiana to Kolkata. EDFC is going to be a broad gauge corridor. This will have double line and will be electrified. The corridor will also pass through Dadri (The origin point of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor) which will serve as a junction.
AT&T Inc agrees to buy Time Warner Inc for 85.4 billion US dollars
- AT&T Inc on 22 October 2016 agreed to buy Time Warner Inc for 85.4 billion US dollars in a deal that will transform the phone company into a media giant.
- AT&T agreed to pay 107.50 US dollars a share, evenly split between cash and stock. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.
Highlights of the Deal
- The new company will be headed by AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson.
- Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes will stay for an interim period following the close of the deal.
- AT&T will tap 40 billion US dollars in bridge loans with 25 billion US dollars coming from JP Morgan Chase & Co and 15 billion US dollars from Bank of America Corp.
- Time Warner agreed to pay a 1.7 billion US dollars breakup fee if another company outbids AT&T’s offer. AT&T, meanwhile, would pay 500 million US dollars if the deal gets blocked.
- Once the deal is completed, AT&T will rely on its entertainment business for more than 40 percent of its revenue, based on second-quarter financial results.
Union Government launched UDAN for Regional Air Connectivity
- Union Government on 21 October 2016 unveiled the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik), which seeks to get more people to fly in the smaller towns. The Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju who launched the scheme in New Delhi said the scheme is expected to be rolled out by January 2017.
- The scheme UDAN envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation took a major step today towards making flying a reality for the small town common man.
TRAI recommends Rs 3050 crore penalty on Airtel, Vodafone & Idea
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in October 2016 recommended imposition of 3050 crore rupees penalty on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular. The penalty was imposed for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.
- TRAI, in its recommendation to the Department of Telecom, said it has found the three companies to be non-compliant with licence conditions regarding giving interconnection to Reliance Jio customers.
- Airtel: Penalty amounts to 1050 crore rupees for 21 service areas (all, except Jammu and Kashmir)
- Vodafone: Penalty amounts to 1050 crore rupees for 21 service areas (all, except Jammu and Kashmir)
- Idea: Penalty amounts to 950 crore rupees for 19 service areas (all, except Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and North-eastern States).
SBI declares Silchar as its 5th zone in North East India
- The State Bank of India (SBI) on 20 October 2016 declared Silchar as its 5th zone in North-East India. This zone will cater to the banking needs of the people of Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur along with the Barak Valley.
- The other four zones of SBI in region are located in Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh and Jorhat.
- Earlier, Silchar was under Guwahati zone and it was tough on the part of the bank to address the complaints and issues of the customers with such a difficult terrain. The bank has 736 branches across North East together with 3000 ATMs and 3000 customer service points for customer facilitation.
- Besides, SBI also opened its administrative office at Silchar. This office will facilitate banking issues for the customers of the region.
Union Government directs car makers to declare emission details of every vehicle
- The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways made it mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution details for every vehicle they produce. The new pollution norms will be made applicable from April 2017.
- The step will help to keep a check on whether the newly bought vehicle is emitting according to what the manufacturer claims. The Union Government approved testing agencies will give the approval for individual engine model after checking the emission levels.
- The ministry has notified the amendment of Form 22 under the Central Motor Vehicles Act. It is used to provide the initial certification of compliance with pollution and safety standards at the time of sale to buyers.
Key highlights of amended Form 22
- From 1 April 2017, the vehicle manufacturers will have to provide emission details for each vehicle in the revised Form 22 .
- The Form will include the brand, chassis number, engine number (motor number, in case of battery operated vehicles) and emission norms, Bharat Stage - IV / VI /Bharat (Trem) Stage-III/III etc of the vehicle.
- The Form will also ask the manufacturer to specify the levels of each pollutant like carbon monoxide, hydro carbon, non-methane HC, NOx, HC + NOx, PM for petrol and diesel vehicles and also sound level for horn and pass by noise values.
Union Government funds Ro Pax Ferry Service in Gulf of Cambay under Sagarmala Programme
- The Union Ministry of Shipping on 17 October 2016 sanctioned the Capital Dredging Project for Ro Pax Ferry Services between Gogha & Dahej, in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat.
- The step was taken as a part of promoting coastal shipping in the country under Sagarmala programme. It is one of the flagship projects under Sagarmala which aims to increase share of waterways transportation in modal mix to 10% from present level of 7% by year 2025.
- The Ministry released 58.50 crore rupees as first instalment of grant-in–aid to Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).
- The total project cost is estimated to be 234 crore rupees of which 50% will be funded by Union Government under the Sagarmala programme.
- The project will result in reduction in motorable distance of 231 kilometres between Gogha and Dahej to mere 31 kilometres and reduce the travel time from 7 hours to 1 hour only by crossing the Gulf in Cambay in 17 Nautical Miles.
- The initiative will also result in savings in fuel, reduction in CO2 emission and reduction in road congestion.
- The project is first of its kinds in India as it will be executed in the area of world’s second highest tidal range.
Maharashtra launches Kaushalya SETU initiative
- Maharashtra Government on 19 October 2016 launched Kaushalya SETU (Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation) initiative. The initiative, which is a skill development programme for students, is likely to generate employment for as many as 7.5 lakh people in state.
- For the purpose of employing skilled people, the state also signed 22 MoUs with various industries. The best part of the initiative is that it would help in bridging the gap between education and employment.
Highlights of Kaushalya Setu initiative
- Students of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education, who fail to clear Class X or SSC exam, would be accommodated in the skill development courses. This will help in ensuring that these students do not lose a year.
- The launch will play a leading role in fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India Mission-2020
- It is a mechanism launched by the Union Government under NITI Aayog to support all aspects of start up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas. SETU is a Techno-Financial, Incubation and Facilitation Programme.
ICGS Aryaman and Atulya commissioned into Indian Coast Guard
- The Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Aryaman and Atulya were commissioned on 21 October 2016 at Kochi by Sunil Kumar Kohli, Financial Advisor to Defence Services.
- The ICGS Aryaman and Atulya are the eighteenth and nineteenth respectively in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs). They are designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.
Key highlights of Aryaman and Atulya
- The ships have been christened ICGS Aryaman and Atulya.
- Aryaman literally means Possessor of Greatness. It will be based at Kochi under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West).
- Atulya means Unrivalled. It will be based at Visakhapatnam under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).
Indo-Italy Scientific and Technological Cooperation re-launched
- The Indo-Italian Joint Committee established under the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement on 21 October 2016 re-launched the cooperation in the sectors of science, technology and innovation. The original agreement was signed between Italy and India in 2003.
- The Indian delegation was led by Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology while the Italian delegation was led by Vincenzo De Luca, Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Highlights of the Indo-Italy Scientific and Technological Cooperation
- The Joint Committee approved several initiatives in bilateral scientific R&D projects of significance with the aim of facilitating the mobility of researchers who will be jointly selected within the framework of the 2017-2019 Indo-Italy Executive Programme of Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
- IT, energy, environment and sustainable agriculture, health care, biotechnology, nanotechnology, physics and cultural and natural heritage are the areas for joint projects.
- A new scientific and technological cooperation programme on applied science was launched aiming at developing technologies and processes to be applied in industry.
Union Government holds tripartite talks with Manipur government, KNO, UPF
- The Union Government held tripartite talks with Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People's Front (UPF) of Manipur to find an amicable solution to their long standing demand.
- The second round of the tripartite talks was held on 19 October 2016 in New Delhi. During the dialogue the KNO and the UPF indicated their demands in the presence of senior representative of Manipur government. The first meeting was held in June 2016.
- The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and the next round of dialogue will be held in consultation with Manipur government, KNO and UPF.
- To find a permanent solution to their demand for homeland and political future, the Home Ministry in June 2016 had decided to hold tripartite talks with government of Manipur, KNO and UPF of Manipur.
India and China conduct Sino India Cooperation 2016 in Ladakh
- The Indian and Chinese armies on 19 October 2016 held second joint exercise Sino India Cooperation 2016 in Ladakh. The exercise was held as a part of the ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China, under the provisions of Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, 2013.
- The Exercise was held as a sequel to the first Joint Exercise held on 6 February 2016 in the area of Border Personnel Meeting Hut at Chushul Garrison of Eastern Ladakh, along with Chinese troops of Moldo Garrison.
Key highlights of the exercise
- During the day long exercise on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR), a fictitious situation of earthquake striking an Indian Border village was painted. Thereafter, joint teams carried out rescue operations, evacuation and rendering of medical assistance.
- The Indian Team was led by Brigadier RS Raman.
- The Chinese Team was led by Senior Col Fan Jun.
Union Government to establish Krishi Vigyan Kendra in each district
- Union Government in October 2016 decided to establish at least one Krishi Vigyan Kendra in each of the districts in country. These Kendra’s will be developed to provide technical assistance to farmers.
- The decision was announced by the Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh while interacting via video conference with all the Krishi Vigyan Kendra experts, district level officers associated with agriculture development and progressive farmers of 12 States.
- Besides, Singh also called upon the farmers to use the residual husk after paddy farming to make organic fertilizer, in paper making and card-board industry and as animal feed. The Minister said this will prevent the adverse effect of husk burning on the environment.
Cyrus Mistry removed as Tata group chief, Ratan Tata returns
- In a dramatic development, Tata Sons, the holding company of the $103-billion (around Rs 6.88 lakh crore) Tata group, said its board has removed Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, 48, as chairman of the conglomerate and named Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts, the largest shareholder in Tata Sons, as interim chairman for four months.
- In a letter to Tata group employees, Tata said the board has requested him to perform the role of chairman and he has agreed to do so "in the interest of stability of and reassurance to the Tata group”.
- However, a brief statement by Tata Sons did not give any reasons for Mistry’s ouster, though sources close to the development said it was because of “performance” issues and the issue has been brewing for some time. The turnover of India’s largest conglomerate dropped to $103 billion in 2015-2016 from $108 billion the previous year. Net debt rose to $24.5 billion (about Rs 1.63 lakh crore) in March 2016 from $23.4 billion a year ago.
- Sources close to the developments said Tata has been expressing his displeasure to Mistry about the way the group is being run.
- The board has constituted a selection committee to choose the new chairman. Apart from Ratan Tata himself, the committee comprises TVS Chairman Venu Srinivasan, Bain Capital's Amit Chandra, former diplomat Ronen Sen and Kumar Bhattacharyya of Warwick. All of them, except Bhattacharyya, are on the board of Tata Sons.
Vice Admiral SV Bhokare assumes office as the Commandant of Indian Naval Academy
- Vice Admiral S V Bhokare on 20 October 2016 assumed office as the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala in Kerala.
- With this, Bhokare became the first officer from the submarine arm of the Indian Navy to take over the charge of the Indian Naval Academy.
Japan's Morinari Watanabe elected President of International Gymnastics Federation
- Japan's Morinari Watanabe on 20 October 2016 was elected the new President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
- Watanabe emerged victorious in the election after defeating rival candidate Georges Guelzec of France by a huge margin in a vote at the governing body's Congress.
- Watanabe, who is the secretary-general of Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA), won 100 of the 119 votes. Guelzec, the head of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG), received a mere 19 votes.
Sunil Mishra appointed as Odisha's CIC
- Retired bureaucrat Sunil Kumar Mishra was on 19 October 2016 appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Odisha. Governor Dr. S C Jamir approved the name of Mishra, an official release said.
- Earlier on 6 October 2016, a selection committee chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recommended Mishra’s name to the Governor for appointment as the CIC.
- Former director general of income tax Mishra will succeed former chief secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra. The post of CIC was vacant since February 2015. TK Mishra had resigned six months before his scheduled retirement on personal ground.
Awards & Honors –
Doctors from AIIMS and SGRH chosen for Dr BC Roy Award
- Two doctors each from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) in the third week of October 2016 were selected for the prestigious Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy Award for excellence in the field of medicine.
- Randeep Guleria, Head of Pulmonology, and CS Yadav of Department of Orthopaedics from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences were selected for the award.
- Chairman of Board of Management at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital D S Rana and Arvind Kumar were also chosen for the coveted award.
- The awards will be presented by the President in July 2017.
Milan confers honorary citizenship on Dalai Lama
- The Milan city council on 20 October 2016 bestowed honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama. However, China has strongly opposed another award given to him.
- Lamberto Bertole, Chairman of the Council of Milan, honoured the Dalai Lama with the Milan Honorary Citizenship award at a ceremony held at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, Italy.
International Prize in Statistics awarded to Sir David Cox
- Noted British statistician Sir David Cox on 19 October 2016 was named the inaugural recipient of the International Prize in Statistics. He is honoured for Survival Analysis Model Applied in Medicine, Science, and Engineering.
- The International Prize in Statistics Foundation is recognizing Cox specifically for his 1972 paper in which he developed the proportional hazards model that today bears his name.
India wins 2016 Kabaddi World Cup
- India on 22 October 2016 lifted the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Team India, under the captaincy of Anup Kumar, defeated Iran 38-29 in the final held at the Arena By TransStadia in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
- This was India's 3rd World Cup in the Standard Style version of Kabaddi.
Indian football team achieves highest FIFA ranking in six years
- The Indian football team on 20 October 2016 achieved its best FIFA ranking in over six years. The team jumped 11 placed to be 137th in the latest list.
- India, who defeated 114th ranked Puerto Rico in an International Friendly in Mumbai in September 2016, garnered 230 points for the month.
- In August 2010, India were ranked 137th which stayed India’s best ever FIFA Ranking since then.
- The Indian team was ranked 171st in February 2015 and slipped to 173rd in March 2015.
- At present, Argentina tops the FIFA World Rankings, followed by Germany and Brazil.
Kochi becomes first Indian city to host FIFA U-17 World Cup
- Kochi on 19 October 2016 became the first Indian city to be officially declared as one of the venues for hosting the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The tournament will be hosted in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium of the city.
- A 23-member high-level delegation comprising experts from FIFA and Local Organising Committee (LOC) ratified Kochi as the venue for next year's mega event. Earlier, the delegation visited the Jawarharlal Nehru International Stadium.
- With this, the event also became the first FIFA event to be held in the subcontinent.
- Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi said that besides Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the team also visited the prospective training grounds in Kochi -- Parade Ground, Fort Kochi Veli Football Ground, Maharajas College Ground and Government Boys High School Panampilly Nagar.
United Nations Day 2016 observed across the world
- The United Nations Day 2016 was observed across the world on 24 October 2016. The day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter (the founding document of UNO) in 1945.
- In 2016, UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
- On this day, the UN also organise a concert to celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations through the universal language of music. This year, Korean Traditional Music Orchestra, Lang Lang, world famous Harlem Gospel Choir, the Hungarian State Opera with performances by soprano Andrea Rost and other notable artists will be organised at the UN General Assembly Hall. In 2016, the theme of the concert is Freedom First.
Police Commemoration Day observed across India
- The Police Commemoration Day was observed on 21 October 2016 across India. The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending the borders with China in 1959.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh laid wreath and paid homage to the police martyrs at Police Memorial Ground, Chanakyapuri in Delhi.
- On 21 October 1959, Chinese Army personnel opened fire and threw grenades at the police party of 20 personnel.
Books & Authors –
The Adivasi Will Not Dance authored by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
- The book titled The Adivasi Will Not Dance, penned by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, was in news in the second week of October 2016.
- The book was recently shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2016.
- The characters of the book are set in the fecund, mineral-rich hinterland and the ever-expanding, squalid towns of Jharkhand.
- The book, a collection of stories, offers the glimpse in the lives of troupe-master Mangal Murmu, who refuses to perform for the President of India and is beaten down; Suren and Gita, a love-blind couple, who wait with quiet desperation outside a neonatal ward; Panmuni and Biram Soren, who move to Vadodara in the autumn of their lives, only to find that they must stop eating meat to be accepted as citizens, and several other characters.
The Sleepwalker's Dream authored by Dhrubajyoti Borah released
- Book titled The Sleepwalker's Dream authored by Dhrubajyoti Borah released. The book authored by Borah, President of Asam Sahitya Sabha, narrates the journey of a group of militants towards an elusive freedom and an uncertain future.
- The Sleepwalker's Dream is about June, Ron and several other rebels fleeing their hideout in Bhutan after an army attack. With them is their injured, unconscious leader, who is unlikely to survive the ordeal of their journey towards the Assam border.
- Through this book, the author has tried to give life to their journey to be an insurgent and the memories that hunts them. June is the only woman in the group who is strangulated in memories of her long-lost family, her village, her innocent childhood and the tragic circumstances under which she had become an insurgent.