Current Affairs Quick Revision and Reminder (1-15 October 2018)

  • The Election Commission of India is introducing the unique internet based mobile app C-vigil in the upcoming assembly polls. The ‘CVIGIL’, which stands for ‘citizens’ vigil’, will be operationalised for the first time as a pilot project.

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has approved the enhancement of free accident insurance cover for pilgrims visiting the shrine to five lakh rupees. The decision was taken at the 63rd board meeting in Srinagar on October 13, 2018 under the chairmanship of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also the Chairman of the Board.

  • The death toll from Hurricane Michael has risen to at least 17. Eight deaths have been reported in Florida, five in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina.

  • India and China have launched their first joint programme for Afghanistan to train its diplomats. According to a tweet put out by the Indian Embassy in Beijing , Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar hosted 10 Afghan Diplomats who will be travelling to India for the 1st India-China joint training programme for Afghan diplomats under the aegis of the Trilateral Cooperation between India, China and Afghanistan. An understanding to launch a joint programme was reached during an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held in April at China’s Wuhan city.

  • Sikkim has won this year’s UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Future Policy for Gold Award for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state. FAO said that Sikkim was considered for the award for its policies on Agroecology and Sustainable food systems. It won the gold by beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries. Brazil, Denmark and Equador won Silver for their policies. The small Himalayan state of Sikkim was declared fully organic state in 2016 after phasing out chemical fertilisers and pesticides and substituting them with sustainable alternatives.

  • The third edition of Serendipity Arts Festival 2018 is set to commence in Goa from December 15 to 22, with over 90 projects highlighting country’s rich tradition of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft and visual arts exhibitions.

  • The Pune-based National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) is set to become a repository of multidrug-resistant bacteria and fungi from across the country. On September 25, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) authorised the National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR) at NCCS to function as a bio-repository for multidrug-resistant microbes/infective agents. The bio-repository will receive, store, maintain¸ preserve and characterise these microbes.

  • The killing of at least 10 mithuns — the State animal of Arunachal Pradesh — in the last one month has sparked a row with neighbouring Assam.  The mithun or gayal (Bos frontalis), considered a descendant of the Indian Gaur or bison, plays an important role in the socio-economic and cultural life of tribes such as the Nyishi, Apatani, Galo and Adi in Arunachal Pradesh. Reared under free-range conditions in hilly forests, the mithun is known as the ‘cattle of the mountain’.

  • Cyclone Titli and the resultant rains have started to degrade the mass nesting site of olive ridley turtles at the Rushikulya river mouth in Odisha’s Ganjam district. Huge quantities of debris and waste material brought by the flooded river have been deposited on the coast.

  • India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index, with hunger levels in the country categorised as “serious”. India’s ranking has dropped three places from last year, although the Index says its results are not accurately comparable from year to year and instead provides a few reference years for comparable data. The 2018 scores reflect data from 2013-2017.

  • An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on October 12, 2018 after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight. It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013. The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members as it traveled 16,500 km.

  • In Hockey, Great Britain lifted the 2018 Sultan of Johor Cup. In Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Great Britain defeated India 3-2 in the final. The other teams in the tournament were Japan, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

  • Indian Navy today rescued about 130 crew members from Gujarat stranded in cyclonic storm Luban near Oman coast and and shifted them to the safer place. Royal Navy of Oman also participated in the operation.

  • Former India captain and spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was honoured with the Dr. M.A. Chidambaram birth centenary award, instituted by MAC Charities in memory of the former BCCI president.

  • Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi vanished on October 2, after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey to obtain documents ahead of his upcoming marriage.Turkish government has told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings which show how Mr. Khashoggi was “interrogated, tortured and then murdered” inside the consulate before his body was dismembered. His case risks hurting not just fragile Turkish-Saudi relations, but also damaging the image of the kingdom and its ties to the West as powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promotes a reform drive.

  • Renowned Hindustani musician Annapurna Devi passed away on October 13 in Mumbai. She was 91. Annapurna Devi was an Indian Surbahar player of Hindustani classical music and she was the daughter and disciple of Allauddin Khan. She was married to sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.

  • Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent companies identified in 239 cleanups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and six continents, the Break Free From Plastic movement has announced. Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging. Breakfreefromplastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,300 organizations from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.

  • French Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé has been announced as the winner of the New Academy prize in literature, a one-off award intended to fill the void left by the cancellation of this year’s scandal-dogged Nobel prize for literature. The author has written some 20 novels, including Desirada, Segu and Crossing the Mangrove. The New Academy, backed by more than 100 Swedish cultural figures, was set up in response to the scandal that engulfed the prestigious Swedish Academy earlier this year, when it emerged that the husband of one of the academy members had been accused of sexual assault.

  • India was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on October 12, 2018 for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates. The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251. Its first session took place from 19 to 30 June 2006.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on October 11, 2018 signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu on October 11 for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University. The Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Science at CUJ will have facilities for Geospatial Data analysis that will help in sustainable use of natural resources and planning land-use pattern. This is the first of its kind institute coming up in Jammu and Kashmir and the building is proposed in an area of about 1,150 sq. m.

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India organized “World Egg Day” on October 12. International Egg Commission has declared the second Friday of October every year as World Egg Day. This is celebrated in countries all around the world, and is a unique opportunity to help raise awareness of the nutritional benefits of eggs. India is the third highest producer of eggs in the world, but the per capita availability is around 69 eggs per person per year. Egg is a wholesome, nutritious food with high nutrient density. It is a high value protein and provides a wide variety of other nutrients like vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals etc. crucial for growth and good health

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India has started a new Roll on -Roll off facility in collaboration with the Assam government for Majuli Island district on October 11, 2018. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the Ro-Ro Service. He said that it would help the people of Majuli. This Ro-Ro facility would reduce the road route of 423 Kilo Meters that trucks take from Neamati to Majuli via Tezpur Road Bridge, by limiting the distance to only 12.7 KM with the use of river route. 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.

  • Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor (CEC), Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil inaugurated Vajrapani Stupa at Garkone on October 12, 2018.

  • Prince Alois of Liechtenstein called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 12. Welcoming Prince Alois, Mr Kovind said, his visit to India is very special as the two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

  • PM Modi on October 12, 2018 inaugurates Silver Jubilee celebrations of NHRC. In his address, NHRC Chairman Justice HL Dattu said, the commission’s constant endeavor has been to make itself more accessible to people. The NHRC was set up on the 12th October, 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, passed by Parliament.

  • Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on October 11, 2018 launched the Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) service which will ferry people and goods vehicles to provide much needed connectivity to Majuli river island.
  • Over 50 lakh girls of West Bengal have been empowered by the Kanyashree Prakalp scheme, CM Mamata Banerjee said on October 11. She took to Twitter on International Day of Girl Child to state that her government has allocated Rs. 5600+ crore for the scheme.

  • G.D. Agarwal, 86, who was on a fast to save the Ganga, died in Rishikesh on October 11, 2018. Formerly a professor in the civil engineering department at IIT-Kanpur who had adopted the name Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, the environmentalist was vocal on disallowing hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand along the Ganga.

  • Indians born today are likely to be just 44% productive as workers, way below their Asian peers, the World Bank Human capital index report says. Overall, India was ranked 115 among 157 countries. That’s much below its Asian peers, including China ranked 46, Indonesia (87), Malaysia (55). Singapore was ranked number one in the world followed by Japan, Hong Kong and Finland. A child born in India today will be only 44% as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health, according to the report.

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  • The UP Cabinet has approved establishment of a political training institute in Ghaziabad at a cost of Rs.198 crore. It has also made a provision of Rs. 50 crore for the first phase of the institute to be set up on 60 bighas of land.

  • In Malaysia, the cabinet on October 11 decided to abolish the death penalty. Communications and multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said, the government decided to scrap capital punishment following strong domestic opposition to the practice. Capital punishment in Malaysia is currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.

  • The two-day conference on “Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future ” was inaugurated on October 11 in Colombo.

  • International Day of the Girl was observed on October 11, 2018. This day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. The theme this year is With Her: A Skilled Girl Force. Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people, most of them female, are currently neither employed nor in education or training. Of the 600 million adolescent girls that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90 per cent of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.

  • Uttar Pradesh on October 10, 2018 approved proposals to fund fairs held by three religious trusts in the State. These are the Maa Lalita Devi Shaktipeeth Amavasya Mela, Naimisharanya in Sitapur; Maa Pateshwari Shaktipeeth, Devipatan Tulsipur Mela in Balrampur and Maa Vindhyavasini Shaktipeeth Mela in Mirzapur. The government will provide them funds of Rs. 60 lakh, Rs. 48 lakh and Rs. 41.49 lakh respectively. The decisions were passed by the State Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

  • PM Modi on October 11, 2018 launched the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in New Delhi. This is the fourt centre, after San Fracisco, Tokyo and Beijing. He said, Industry 4.0, and the expansion of Artificial Intelligence, will lead to better healthcare, and reduce expenditure on health.
    According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ annual report on road accidents, the total number of accidents dropped 3.3% in 2017 to 4.64 lakh, with the overall number of lives lost in these crashes declining 1.9% to 1.47 lakh, from 1.5 lakh in 2016. Tamil Nadu topped in number of accidents, while U.P. had the most fatalities.


  • A blast at the steel plant of the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in Bhilai killed 9 employees and injured 14 on October 9. The explosion took place in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town, located around 30 km from the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur.

  • China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its “all-weather ally” Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind. Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons. It is roughly equivalent to the American MQ-9 Reaper drone.

  • Senior Advocate Tushar Mehta has been appointed as Solicitor General of India. The Appointment Committee of the cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr Mehta. He will remain in office till 30th of June, 2020 or till further orders. Mr Mehta is currently serving as the Additional Solicitor General.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved establishment and operationalistion of permanent campuses of the two new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Berhampur (Odisha). The total cost likely to be incurred is Rs. 3074.12 crore (Non-Recurring: Rs.2366.48 crore and Recurring: 707.64 crore).

  • Cabinet has decided to set up National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET). Cabinet has approved the merger of the existing regulatory institutions in the skills space, the National Council for Vocational Training and the National Skill Devlopment Agency (NSDA) into NCVET.
  • Jeremy Lalrinnunga has won the first Gold Medal for India at Youth Olympics in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. He won gold in the Men’s 62 kg category.

  • On the occasion of 86th anniversary, the Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’ in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush’. The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.

  • In Madhya Pradesh, the election commission is establishing 500 pink booths in the state for the assembly election. Elections will be held on November 28 and counting will be held on December 11 in state. According to official of election commission, these polling booths will run by only women officers and workers.

  • Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated a three-day Silk Expo and Workshop on Silk Samagra in Imphal on October 9,2018. The Centre has enhanced funding to North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) under which a large number of textile parks and textile units are currently functional in the North East region.

  • Well-known Malayalam poet M N Paloor passed away on October 9 at the age of 86. Paloor received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his autobiography ‘Kathayillathavante Katha’ in 2013. He also won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983 for his collection ‘Kalikalam’.

  • World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. The Posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.

  • In Sri Lanka, the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium built with Indian grant assistance of 30 crore Sri Lankan rupees was dedicated to the people on October 9, 2018. The auditorium, largest in any of the universities in Sri Lanka was dedicated jointly by High Commissioner of India Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Vice Chancellor at the University of Ruhuna, Matara in Southern Province.

  • Nikki Haley, the Indian-American US Ambassador to the United Nations, resigned on October 9. Haley was the senior most Indian-American official in the Trump administration. The former governor of South Carolina was confirmed as UN Ambassador four days after Trump was sworn-in in January 2017.
    India’s personal financial wealth, currently estimated to be about $3 trillion, is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2022 making India the 11th wealthiest nation, according to a report from the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG).


  • According to the report, India is currently the fifth largest Asian market in terms of number of affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals. The total number of such individuals was pegged at 4.13 lakh in 2017.

  • The 2018 Nobel Price in Economic Sciences was jointly shared by William Nordhaus and Paul Romer for integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. William D Nordhaus and Paul M Romer have designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth.

  • According to the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C,’ commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

  • This year Goa International Film Festival from 20th to 28th of November will have Jharkhand as a partner state.

  • Few cases of Zika virus disease have been reported in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The present outbreak in Jaipur, Rajasthan was detected through the ICMR surveillance system.

  • Wildlife experts have confirmed the presence of the Eurasian otter, one of the least-known of India’s three otter species, in the Western Ghats. Ironically, the confirmation came after researchers did a genetic analysis on a roadkill in a rainforest in Tamil Nadu’s Valparai. Researchers at Valparai’s Nature Conservation Foundation came across the otter roadkill two years ago. Based on the dead animal’s photographs (especially of its nose and tail), several small carnivore experts concluded it was neither the small-clawed nor the smooth-coated otter (the commonly sighted otter species in south India) but Eurasian otter.

  • In Yemen, more than 306,000 people, including over 164,000 children under the age of 15, were vaccinated against cholera as part of a joint WHO-UNICEF campaign.

  • The double lane tunnel on national highway 72 A near Dat Kali temple was inaugurated by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in Dehradun on October 6, 2018. With this development, the flow of traffic on this highway linking Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will not be disrupted by jams at this stretch which was notorious for traffic congestion. Named after Bharat Ratna recipient M. Visvesvaraya, the tunnel is 340 metres long, 5.50 metres high and has 1.50 metre wide footpaths on both the sides. It has a 255 metre approach road towards Dehradun and a 205 metre approach road towards Saharanpur.

  • The country’s biggest skill competition, India Skills 2018 has concluded in New Delhi. The 164 winners were awarded yesterday by Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anant Kumar Hegde.

  • The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed that the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for lion deaths in the Gir forest of Gujarat and recommended that the remaining lions be vaccinated to prevent further outbreaks. This goes against recommendations by wildlife biologists that wild animals shouldn’t be vaccinated. The scientists of ICMR-NIV (ICMR-National Institute of Virology) have recommended the existing CDV vaccine, which should work as a protective intervention for Gir lions.

  • India’s cooling energy consumption is expected to grow around 2.2 times in 2027 over the current baseline according to the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE). The report was commissioned by the Indo-German Energy Forum, on behalf of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. This report is a demand analysis for cooling, by sector, in India from 2017 to 2027. According to the report, known interventions can help cut down cooling energy consumption by 17 per cent in the next decade and help avoid the need for around 50 medium-sized power plants dedicated to cooling. The interventions can also help cut down cooling-related carbon emission by 20 per cent in the next decade.

  • The U.S. Senate on October 5, 2018 narrowly approved moving to a final vote on President Donald Trump’s embattled Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh. He has faced allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to his teenage years.

  • Vijay Sankar, deputy chairman, The Sanmar Group, has taken over as president, Indian Chemical Council (ICC). He will hold this office for a two-year term.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated prominent Indian-American nuclear expert Rita Baranwal to head the nuclear energy division at the Department of Energy. If approved by the Senate, Ms. Baranwal will be an Assistant Secretary of Energy, responsible for nuclear technology research and the development and management of the department’s nuclear technology infrastructure

  • Srinivasan K. Swamy, chairman RK Swamy Hansa Group, has taken charge as the chairman and world president of International Advertising Association (IAA) for a period of two years. He is the first Indian to hold this post in the 80-year-old history of the institution that has presence in 76 countries. He took charge from Felix Tataru at a board meeting held in Romania.

  • Teenager Prithvi Shaw became the youngest Indian to make a century on his Test debut on day one of the first Test against West Indies in Rajkot. Shaw, 18, reached his hundred off just 99 balls to surpass the record of Abbas Ali Baig. The opener is also the fourth youngest player of all time to hit a debut ton and the second youngest Indian to make a Test century after Sachin Tendulkar.

  • India has been ranked fifth in the listing of countries that have pictorial health warning on tobacco products, with experts here quick to add that the country is making tremendous progress towards creating public awareness on the health hazards of tobacco abuse. ‘The Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report’ was released recently by the Canadian Cancer Society which documents global progress on plain packaging. East Timor is ranked first with 85% of the front and 100% of the back of the packaging being used for pictorial warnings.

  • The Justice Tarun Aggarwal panel instituted by the National Green Tribunal to look into the charges of environmental degradation due to the Sterlite Copper units in Tuticorin had a public hearing in Chennai on October 5, 2018.

  • Pankaj Sharma has been appointed as the ambassador and India’s permanent representative to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Mr Sharma will replace Amandeep Gill. He is currently the joint secretary (Disarmament and International Security Division) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

  • The President of international police cooperation agency ‘Interpol’ has been reported missing after he travelled to his native country, China, on September 29. He left his home in Interpol’s headquarters Lyon, France, for a visit to his homeland, and then vanished. According to a French judicial official, Interpol’s President, Meng Hongwei boarded a plane and landed in China. His wife, who put out a call yesterday said she has not heard from her 64-year-old husband since the end of September.

  • The Center and Asian Development Bank, ADB, have signed a 110 million dollar loan agreement for the upgradation of 2,800 kilometers all-weather rural roads in Madhya Pradesh. The loan is a part of 500 million dollar Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program, Tranche 2, approved by the ADB Board December last year, under the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program.

  • A four-day India International Science Festival (IISF) 2018 kicked off in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on October 5. The subject of this year’s festival is science for transformation.

  • Chanda Kochhar, the managing director and chief executive officer of private sector lender ICICI Bank, has called it quits. The development comes even as the Srikrishna committee, which is probing charges of conflict of interest against her, is yet to officially submit its findings to the bank’s board. The lender has named Sandeep Bakhshi as the new MD & CEO and handed him a five-year term till October 3, 2023.

  • India and Russia today signed the contract for the supply of the S-400 Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile System to India. Both the countries inked eight agreements on nuclear energy, trade, railways, and MSME sectors.

  • The Centre has decided to effect a cumulative cut of Rs. 2.5 per litre on fuel prices, with the government absorbing Rs.1.5 and the oil marketing companies Rs.1. The Centre levied Rs. 19.48 per litre excise duty on petrol and Rs. 15.33 per litre on diesel before the cut, which will come down to Rs. 17.98 a litre and Rs. 13.83 a litre respectively, once the duty reduction comes into effect.

  • Iraq legislators have elected veteran Kurdish politician Barham Salih as the country’s new president. Salih is a former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government and a former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government.

  • Human rights activist Nadia Murad and Physician Denis Mukwege have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Murad and Mukwege won the award for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Murad, a Yazidi-Kurdish human rights activist, was captured by ISIS militants in 2014 and has spoken out about the abuse she suffered at their hands. In November 2017 she published her story in The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State. Mukwege, a Congolese doctor, has spent his life working with victims of sexual violence in The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Central Government wants to set up island water villas. NITI Aayog, along with other stakeholders, including the Island Development Agency (IDA), which is chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is conducting a technical feasibility study. As part of the plan, the government will issue tenders for four tourism-based hospitality projects — three in Andaman & Nicobar and one in Lakshadweep. These will mainly be eco-cottages, for which private players can bid to build. The projects will add about 700 rooms.

  • The U.S. administration is required under a domestic law, Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, to impose sanctions on any country that has “significant transactions” with Iran, North Korea or Russia.

  • The first State water grid portal was launched here on October 3, 2018 along with the start of fourth phase of the Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan, which is the Rajasthan government’s flagship water conservation project. The campaign has led to construction of about 4 lakh water harvesting structures in over 12,000 villages. The Water Resources Department has developed the portal to monitor the availability and supply of water from different sources.

  • The Supreme Court on October 3, directed status quo in the management of the Mahabaleshwara Temple at Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district. A Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and A.M. Khanwilkar said the Supreme Court’s September 7 direction refusing to stay a Karnataka High Court direction for the appointment of an overseeing committee to manage the temple would continue. The High Court had, on August 10, quashed a 2008 government order handing over the management of the temple to the Sree Ramachandrapura Mutt, Hosanagar.

  • Justice Surya Kant was appointed Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, nearly nine months after the Supreme Court collegium recommended his name for the post.

  • Stunned by the deaths of 23 lions since September 12, the Gujarat government has sprung into action and launched not only rescue efforts but also called experts from outside, including London, and imported a vaccine from the United States. In possibly the worst-ever tragedy in the Gir forest, the only abode of Asiatic lions in the world, apart from the 23 lions that have died since September 12, as many as 36 are battling for their lives as a deadly outbreak of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and tick-borne Babesiosis is killing the great cats famously known as Gujarat’s pride.

  • Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, has acquired the citizenship of Dominica, a Caribbean country, to travel around the world. He is the second most important Tibetan monk after the Dalai Lama.

  • Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party has agreed to nominate its general secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, as president of the Southeast Asian country.

  • Perched on the edge of Libya’s Mediterranean coast, the ancient city of Sabratha remains an awe-inspiring spectacle, the pink columns of its amphitheatre towering above turquoise waters. But the world heritage site is classified as “endangered” by UNESCO, its majestic structures pockmarked by mortar and small arms fire. Today, the site around 70 km from the capital lies eerily abandoned, encircled by parched grass and weeds. Since the toppling and killing of Libya’s dictator Muammar Qadhafi in a 2011 uprising, Sabratha has become a key departure point for illegal migration.

  • A Japanese probe launched a new observation robot towards an asteroid as it pursues a mission to shed light on the origins of the solar system. The Hayabusa2 probe launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, towards the Ryugu asteroid’s surface.

  • A new, full-size Hyperloop capsule designed to carry passengers at 1,000 kilometers per hour (620 mph) was unveiled on October 3, offering a glimpse at what could be the future of travel. Hyperloop is the megafast, cutting edge transport technology first envisaged by controversial business magnate Elon Musk. It’s designed to transport people through low-pressure steel tubes at speeds to match a typical passenger aircraft. This new Hyperloop capsule, named “Quintero One,” is made out of dual-layer smart composite material designed to be extra resilient.

  • Facing enquiry over charges of nepotism and conflict of interest, ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar on October 4 quit the bank. ICICI Bank board elevated Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sandeep Bakhshi as the new managing director and CEO for five years until 3rd October 2023. Following the board’s decision to institute an enquiry by retired Supreme Court Justice B N Srikrishna, Kochhar went on leave in May.

  • State Bank of India has slashed the daily withdrawal limit on its classic debit card from Rs 40,000 to Rs 20,000. There is no change in the daily withdrawal limits on other cards. The new limit will be effective from October 31st this year.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all Rabi crops for 2018-19 to be marketed in 2019-20 season. For wheat the cost of production is Rs 866 per quintal and MSP is Rs 1840 per quintal which gives a return of 112.5 per cent over cost of production.

  • In the United States, half a dozen influential US lawmakers, including four Indian Americans, have moved a resolution in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi in recognition of his promotion of peace and non-violence.

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $150 million Loan Agreement in New Delhi to establish a Global Skills Park (GSP) in Madhya Pradesh, the First Multi-Skills Park in India, to enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education And Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce.

  • Three scientists shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for tapping the power of evolutionary biology to design molecules with a range of practical uses. Those include new drugs, more efficient and less toxic reactions in the manufacture of chemicals and plant-derived fuels to replace oil, gas and coal extracted from the ground. Half of the prize and the accompanying $1 million went to Frances H. Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She is only the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel and the first since 2009. The other half of the prize is shared by George P. Smith, an emeritus professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, and Gregory P. Winter, a biochemist at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in England. Dr. Arnold conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes, proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Dr. Smith developed a method, known as phage display, in which a virus that infects bacteria can be used to evolve new proteins. Dr. Winter has used phage display to produce new pharmaceuticals.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved,in partial modification of the earlier decision taken on 16.05.2018, the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) in Sehore District (Bhopal-Sehore highway) instead of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation. It will serve as an institution of excellence for capacity building in human resource and research in the area of mental health rehabilitation, and also recommending body suggesting models/protocols for effective rehabilitation of persons with mental illness.

  • The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, on October 2, 2018 inaugurated the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance at Vigyan Bhawan. The same event also marked the inauguration of the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo). The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, was present on the occasion.

  • The United Nations highest environmental honour, the UNEP Champions of the Earth award was confered to the Prime Minister Modi on October 3, 2018 in New Delhi. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presented the award to Mr. Modi.
  • On the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (October 02, 2018) Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth. SIDBI will join to contribute to “the transformation mission unleashed for these districts. 

  • Justice Ranjan Gogoi was on October 3, 2018 sworn-in as new Chief Justice of India. President Ram Nath Kovind administered him the oath of office at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan. He has succeeded Justice Dipak Misra who retired as Chief Justice of India yesterday. Justice Gogoi is the 46th Chief Justice of India. Justice Gogoi joined the Bar in 1978 and practised mainly in the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as Permanent Judge of Gauhati High Court in February 2001. He was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2010 and later was appointed as Chief Justice there. He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court in April 2012.

  • The planet’s biggest pillar-less dome, built without a professional architect’s design, housing 54 massive bronze statues of some of the greatest leaders of humanity as a mega monument to world peace, has come up in Pune. It is the outcome of 13 years of sheer dedication and untiring efforts against all odds by a teacher, Dr. Vishwanath Karad, who was deeply inspired by the teachings of apostles, saints, philosophers and scientists down the ages. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu dedicated the Sant Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prayer Hall and Library, or the World Peace Monument to mankind, on October 2, 2018.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation During Emergency Situations) Bill, 2016. The legislation aims to give protection to Good Samaritans, ensure immediate medical assistance for road accident victims within the ‘golden hour’, and encourage people to offer first aid to victims without the fear of legal wrangles.

  • A 40-member team, including 20 women, will undertake a month-long rafting expedition “Mission Ganga” in October, Bachendri Pal, chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) has said. The team would be led by Ms. Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest. The objective of the “Mission Ganga” is to clean river Ganga and spread awareness on waste management, Ms. Pal said at a press conference here on Thursday. The team will assemble in Delhi on October 3.

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U), has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps. This campaign is part of a feature which allows all citizens to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps, Search and the Assistant and also provide feedback on the same. 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.

  • According to the World University Ranking list for 2019, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology, Indore ranked one and two respectively in the best universities in India list. Globally, the top three positions have been retained by Oxford University, University of Cambridge and Stanford University, in the same order. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which had 5th rank earlier and been ranked 4th this year. California Institute of Technology ranks the 5th among top Universities of the world. Among the best Universities in Asia, in which India’s top university IISc ranks in 251-300 band, China’s Tsinghua University ranks first. National University of Singapore has slipped down to the second position among Asia’s best universities.

  • A month-long National Khadi Festival 2018 to promote Khadi products has been inaugurated on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti 2018, by Union Minister for Micro Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Giriraj Singh. The fest is being organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at Gramodaya, 3, Irla Road, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai –56 . Various types of Khadi products of different states would be available at the festival. Khadi clothes, khadi silk sarees, dress material, kurtas, jackets, bedsheets, carpets, chemical-free shampoos, honey and other household items, art and handicraft would be available.

  • The government on September 28 constituted a High Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility-2018 (HLC-2018) under the Chairmanship of Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to review the existing framework, guide and formulate the roadmap for a coherent policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

  • In Madhya Pradesh, the first corn festival of the country was started on September 29 in Chhindwara. The festival is one of a kind international event. Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest corn producing states in India, with Chhindwara being the highest corn producing district.

  • Bangladesh has appointed a female officer as a major general for the first time in the country’s 47 year history. Army chief Aziz Ahmed and Quartermaster General Lt Gen Md Shamsul Haque presented the badge to Dr Susane Giti.  The Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate said in a statement that she is the first woman to be appointed as major general. According to the ISPR, Giti joined the medical wing of the Bangladesh armed forces in 1986 as a captain.

  • The government has appointed Uday Kotak as the chairman of newly constituted IL&FS board. After a report from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs concluded that the affairs of the IL&FS holding company and its group companies were being conducted in a manner that was prejudicial to public interest, the government moved the National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT) for superseding the Board, which was granted with immediate effect.

  • Two barges carrying 1,233 tonnes of bagged fly ash from Bihar reached its destination — Guwahati’s Pandu port — on October 1 morning to rekindle hope for a transport system that had virtually ended with Partition in 1947. This has been one of the biggest voyages in recent history covering 2,085 km from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Guwahati. This is basically to demonstrate that the inland waterways, both National Waterway 1, or Ganga, and National Waterway 2, that is Brahmaputra, are technically feasible for transportation of barges of 1,500-2,000 tonnes through India-Bangladesh Protocol route.

  • Two researchers from the US and Japan have won the Nobel Prize in medicine 2018 for discoveries that have revolutionised cancer care, turning the body’s immune system loose to fight tumours in an approach credited with saving an untold number of lives. James Allison, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre, and Kyoto University’s Tasuku Honjo learned how cancer can put the brakes on the immune system — and how to release those brakes. Their studies were related to T-Cell activation after blocking CTLA-4 and PD-1 . 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2018 inaugurated the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi this evening in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.  The same event also marked the inauguration of the second Indian Ocean Rim Association IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global RE-Invest, Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo.  The 2nd RE-INVEST aims at accelerating the worldwide effort to scale up renewable energy and connect the global investment community with Indian energy stakeholders. 2nd RE-INVEST included a three-day Conference on renewables, cleantech and future energy choices, and an Expo of renewables-related manufacturers, developers, investors and innovators. 

  • The four days long Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention concluded on October 2 in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the convention.The Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention was organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, also coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission. Fifty-three Ministers of Sanitation from around the world and more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries participated in the convention. The international conference brings together Sanitation Ministers and other leaders in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) from around the world.

  • India and Uzbekistan have decided to deepen strategic partnership in various areas, including security, counter-terrorism, trade and investment, science and technology and nuclear energy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held bilateral talks in New Delhi on October 1. 

  • In a first, South African lion cubs conceived artificially. The breakthrough came after 18 months of trials at the University of Pretoria. These are the first ever lion cubs to be born by means of artificial insemination — the first such pair anywhere in the world,” announced the University of Pretoria, whose scientists are researching the reproductive system of female African lions.

  • Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have agreed to pay a total of $40 million and make a series of concessions to settle a government lawsuit, which alleged Mr. Musk duped investors with misleading statements about a proposed buyout of the company.

  • The people of Macedonia voted in a referendum on September 30 on whether to change its name to ‘Republic of North Macedonia’, a move that would have resolved a decades-old dispute with Greece which had blocked its membership bids for the European Union and NATO. However only 36% participated in this exercise against the requirement of 50%. And the refrendum failed. Greece, which has a province called Macedonia, maintains that its northern neighbour’s name represents a claim on its territory. The two governments struck a deal in June based on the proposed new name.

  • International Translation Day 2018 was celebrated on September 30 with he theme of ‘Translation: promoting cultural heritage in changing times.

  • Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on September 30 announced the setting up of a Ministry for cows. The Cow Ministry will replace the existing Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board because it (board) has limitations.

  • Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das recently announced that his government has introduced electric vehicles for official use. While 20 vehicles have been acquired for the first phase, another 30 are expected to be added to the fleet in the coming weeks. It has also been reported that 12 charging stations have been set up in Ranchi so far, and several more are slated to come up.

  • Tourists can soon experience this and a lot more in a beach resort planned at the Muttom Lighthouse in Kanniyakumari district, Tamil Nadu. Tenders will soon be called for the construction of 60 cottages by the Noida-based Directorate of Lighthouses and Lightships. The Directorate has administrative control of the entire national coastline, which is divided into nine districts ranging from Gandhidam to Port Blair.

  • In tatters after a #MeToo scandal, the Swedish Academy has postponed this year’s Nobel Literature Prize, leaving an empty page for 2018 as it attempts to reform the venerable institution. The Swedish Academy has selected the winner of the prestigious literary distinction since it was first awarded in 1901.

  • Legendary harmonium exponent Pandit Tulsidas Borkar passed away in a private hospital on Saturday after a brief illness. He was 83. Borkar was conferred the Padma Shri in 2016 for his contributions to Indian music. He is renowned for designing a new model of the harmonium which involved raising the level of the keyboard.

  • Maoists in Malkangiri district of Odisha are using audio and written messages to communicate with the tribals living in the erstwhile cut-off areas of Balimela reservoir where penetration of security forces has increased because of the recently inaugurated Gurupriya bridge. Through these messages the rebels are trying to keep alive their support base in the region by putting the blame on the government for all the problems of the local population.

  • Senior IPS officer Arun Kumar was appointed Director-General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF). He will succeed Dharmendra Kumar, who retired on September 30. Mr. Kumar, a 1985 batch officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, is serving as Special Director-General of the Border Security Force.

  • The empowered committee for selecting “institutions of eminence” is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami.

  • The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the alliance partner of the ruling BJP, has welcomed the Centre’s move to form a high-level committee to look into the social, economic and linguistic development of the State’s indigenous population. The Centre had on September 27 issued a notification to announce the formation of the thirteen-member committee, with special secretary of internal security, Ministry of Home Affairs, as its chairman. The joint secretaries of ministries of Tribal Affairs, Human Resource Development, Health and Family Welfare and advisers to the NITI Aayog and DoNER were among the nine members who have already been included in the panel.

  • A 14th century hunting lodge, a 19th century fortress and two tombs dedicated to unknown persons from the Lodi and Mughal periods are among the six monuments that have been recently restored by the Delhi government’s Department of Archaeology in collaboration with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage’s (INTACH) Delhi chapter. The conserved monuments include Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, a horse stable and two unknown tombs in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, and an embankment at the Talkatora Gardens.

  • The iconic 17th-century bridge, Oont Kadal, shaped like the hump of a camel and located in the middle of the picturesque Dal Lake in , will be restored through a conservation project with the help of Germany. Going under the bridge — which features in old film hits such as Arzoo, Jab Jab Phool Khilay, Kashmir Ki Kali and Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon — on a shikara treats one to the expanse of the Zabarwan Hills, amid which nestle the famous Mughal-era gardens like the Nishat and Shalimar.

  • Jayant Mammen Mathew, Executive Editor of Malayala Manorama, was elected as the president of the prestigious Indian Newspaper Society, an apex body of the country’s print media industry. He was elected to the top post for the year 2018-19 at the organisation’s general body meeting held here. He succeeds Akila Urankar of Business Standard.

  • In what is certainly the first such experiment in the country, and perhaps the world, the eminent linguist Ganesh Devy plans to set up a Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi) in Pune. It will be located on a one-acre plot on the premises of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). Conceptualised as part of the 84th PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) International Congress that is under way in the city, the park will have about 80 ‘language trees.’

  • Surjit Bhalla High-level advisory group: Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu has approved the constitution of a high-level advisory group (HLAG) to look into the opportunities and ways to address the ongoing challenges in the global trade scenario. The HLAG will be chaired by, among others, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Member Surjit Bhalla, and other members will include S. Jaishankar, Former Foreign Secretary and Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India. The HLAG would meet regularly over the next two months and make specific implementable recommendations in light of the terms of reference, including on each of the areas, to facilitate the formulation of future trade policies.

  • A man has developed the world’s first ever human case of the rat version of the hepatitis E virus, according to new research from one of the city’s leading universities. There had previously been no evidence the disease could jump from rats to humans, the University of Hong Kong said on Friday, warning the discovery had “major public health significance”. “This study conclusively proves for the first time in the world that rat HEV can infect humans to cause clinical infection,” the university added.
    Paul McCartney has written a children’s book titled Hey Grandude!, a name the 76-year-old former member of The Beatles says came from one of his grandchildren.

E-Current Affairs Magazine (October 2018)-Englisih

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