October 15 and October 16, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The number of farms in India has more than doubled from 71 million in 1970-71 to 145 million in 2015-16 while the average farm size more than halved from 2.28 hectares (ha) to 1.08 ha.

 

  • With an average size of 5ha, Nagaland is home to India’s largest farms.
  • Punjab and Haryana, two states known for their agricultural output, also have larger farm sizes (3.6ha in Punjab and 2.2ha in Haryana).

 

  1. An independent Payments Regulatory Board (PRB) needs to be established to regulate the payment sector aimed at fostering competition, consumer protection, systemic stability and resilience in the payments sector as per the draft of Payment and Settlement System Bill, 2018.
    • The committee on digital payments will be headed by Ratan P. Watal.
  1. An emergency action plan will be implemented in New Delhi to combat air pollution known as Graded Response Action Plan.
    • It will include category-wise steps like ban on diesel power generator sets and construction activity in Delhi, impounding of polluting vehicles, mechanised sweeping of roads or even roll out of odd-even scheme if condition worsens.
  1. The Uttar Pradesh has been proposed to change name of Allahabad to Prayagraj.
    • Allahabad, a historic city with a deep association with the freedom struggle, features the confluence of the rivers Ganga Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
Old NameLocated InNew NameYear of Change
SuryapurGujaratSurat1520
GauhatiAssamGuwahati1983
MadrasTamil NaduChennai1996
GurgaonHaryanaGurugram2016
Mughalsarai JunctionUttar PradeshPt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction2018

 

  1. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has approved enhancement of free accident insurance cover for pilgrims visiting the shrine from ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh besides free treatment to trauma victims from nearby areas.
  1. The Kerala government has sanctioned four days of Special Casual Leave for government employees for donation of blood components like red cells, plasma and platelets through apheresis.
    • The employees will be eligible for a maximum of four days leave in a calendar year.
  1. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited has launched AskDisha, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, to troubleshoot customers’ travel-related queries.
    • AskDisha will support several regional languages and will be voice-enabled.
  1. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the victim or her family who has suffered the crime should have an equal say in the punishment of the perpetrator.
    • It is necessary to seriously consider giving a hearing to the victim.
  1. Tamil Nadu has come up with Tamil Nadu Victim Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes, 2018.
    • Under the scheme, a rape survivor will get a minimum compensation of ₹4 lakh.
    • In the case of a survivor of gang rape, the compensation would be ₹5 lakh.
    • If the woman has lost her life, her dependant would be entitled to a compensation of ₹7 lakh.
    • The maximum compensation that could be granted in cases of loss of life as well as gang rape is ₹10 lakh and the maximum compensation for rape could be ₹7 lakh.
  1. The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise is likely to include special forces to take place in 2019 in India.
    • Armies participate in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas.
    • Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India.
    • Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar involving Japan.
    • The Indian Army has Para SF, the Navy has Marcos and the Air Force has the Garud as their respective special forces.
  1. The country’s first India-Israel Innovation Centre (IIIC), an entrepreneurial technology hub, was launched in Bengaluru.
    • The IIIC is a significant step towards facilitating penetration of Israeli companies in India and aims to forge local partnerships and joint ventures between companies from the two countries.
  1. Haryana launched first-of-its-kind National Autism Intervention Research Centre at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in 

 

  1. India’s first agri and food business online learning platform was launched at the SR Innovation Exchange (SRiX) CampusWarangal in Telangana.
    • The name of the platform is: SRiX Agri-Business Academy.
  1. The Delhi government announced Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme.
    • Under this, a total of 30young professionals, under 35 years age, have been invited with #DelhiGovernanceRevolution.
    • According to the scheme, the selected candidates will work with Ministers or Senior Officials of Education, Health, Water, Environment, Transport, etc.
    • The remuneration for:
      1. Fellowswill be Rs. 1,25,000per month and
      2. Associate Fellowswill be Rs. 75,000 p.m.
  1. The Commerce ministry announced formulation of a National Logistics Policy for development of multimodal logistics parks to enable easy movement of goods and domestic and global trade purposes.
    • Each park is supposed to have a plot of 50 acres with each costing  200-300 crore for development.
    • 35 such parks have been proposed by different ministries including railways.
    • This policy would help in:
      1. Seamless movement of goods across the country,
      2. Reduce transaction costs of traders,
      3. Increase the warehousing capacity
  1. Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has launched Youth Road Safety Learners Licence programme in New Delhi.
    • It is first-of-its-kind training programme in the country.
    • It attempts to bring formal and structured training program for young, first-time drivers as they apply for learner’s license.
  1. The 6th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held in Singapore.
    • All partner countries agreed to finalize trading deal by the end of this year.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. In Malaysia, the cabinet decided to abolish the death penalty.
    • Capital punishment in Malaysia is currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.
  1. India and China jointly launched a training programme for Afghan diplomats.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. OYO announced its partnership with payments platform PhonePe.
    • PhonePe users can book a room at any OYO hotel in India by paying a token amount of Rs 99, and the remaining amount can be paid later at the hotel.
  1. Kreditech has been licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) with the first-of-its-kind licence in Indian financial history for digital lending business and app-based financing.
    • Kreditech is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Nimesh Shah was elected as the Chairperson of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
  2. Priyank Kanoongo has been appointed the Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  3. Shekhar Mande has been appointed as the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Research (DSIR).

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. October 15 is observed as International Day of Rural Women by the United Nations, and National Women’s Farmer’s Day (Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas) in India.
    • The Agriculture Census (2010-11) shows that out of an estimated 7 million cultivators, 30.3% were females.
    • Out of an estimated 3 million agricultural labourers, 42.6% were females.
    • Theme: for International Day of Rural Women 2018 is“Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
  1. On 15th October 2018, World Student Day was celebrated all over the world.
    • This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Late APJ Abdul Kalam, a scientist and the former President of India.
  1. On 16th October 2018, World Food Day was celebrated all over the world.
    • The theme for 2018 is  “Our actions are our future. A #zero hunger world by 2030 is possible”.

 

AWARDS

  1. Prema Gopalan was presented the 8th Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (SEOY) 2018.

 

SPORTS

  1. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has stated that any shooter below 12 years of age would not be allowed to compete in the 62nd National Shooting Championships in Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur.
    • In order to discourage children from handling dangerous weapons, the NRAI has brought the age stipulation, equally for rifle, pistol and shotgun.
  1. The Indian Under-18 Men’s and Women’s Hockey team finished their 2018 Youth Olympic Games campaign with silver medals.
    • Argentina’s Women Hockey team won the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and Malaysia’s Under 18 Men’s team won the gold medal.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

  1. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu released the Biography of late Industrialist, Dr. Anumolu Ramakrishna titled ‘Building a Legacy’written by Chartered Accountant  Pattabhi Ram and R. Mohan.