October 31, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Sardar Patel’s Statue or the Statue of Unity inaugurated on Narmada River in Gujarat.
    • The Statue of Unity is 182 metres. Thus, becoming the World’s Tallest Statue.
    • It is built by Padma Bhushan recipient sculptor Ram V Sutar.
    • Sardar Patel is credited with uniting all 562 princely states in pre-independent India to build the Republic of India — hence the name of the statue.

  1. The foundation stone for India’s largest Dry Dock has been laid at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala.
    • Dry Dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform.
  1. The Ministry of Science & Technology announced development of Less Polluting Firecrackers named SWAS, SAFAL and STAR.
    • These have been developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and these are not only environment-friendly but 15-20 % cheaper than the conventional ones.
  1. India’s first gallery on robotic dinosaurs was opened to the public at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, in Kapurthala, Punjab.

 

 

  1. A students’ organization has advocated statehood for southern Assam’s Barak Valley because of a “sharp division” between linguistic groups created by the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
    • Barak Valley comprising three districts — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — is Bengali-dominated.
  1. Kalantar — Newspaper, the Bengali mouthpiece of Communist Party of India (CPI).
    • The publication of Kalantar as a daily started on October 7, 1966 and during its heydays in the mid-1990s, the eight-page paper sold more than 50,000 copies.
    • From November 1, there will be no publication of Kalantar.
    • Bishnu De coined its name and legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray had designed its masthead.

 

  1. India’s soil biodiversity is in grave peril, according to the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas prepared by the World Wide Fund for Nature.
    • The WWF’s ‘risk index’ for the globe — indicating threats from loss of above-ground diversity, pollution and nutrient over-loading, over-grazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification and climate change — shows India among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk.
    • Soil biodiversity encompasses the presence of micro-organisms, micro-fauna (for example nematodes and tardigrades), and macro-fauna (ants, termites and earthworms).

 


 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. Republic of Seychelles launched the World’s First Sovereign Blue Bond worth US$15 million to finance sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
    • Seychelles is the first nation to pioneer such a financing instrument.
    • Proceeds from the bond will be utilised for the expansion of marine protected areas, improved governance of priority fisheries and the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy.
    • The bond aims to:
      1. Support for the expansion of marine protected areas
      2. Improved governance of priority fisheries
      3. The development of the Seychelles’ blue economy
  1. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe which was launched on August 12, 2018 will get close as 6.16 million km during its mission as it loops around the Sun 24 times over the next seven years.
    • The closest that any man made object got to the sun is 42.73 million km.
    • It was done by Helios – 2, a German – American space probe launched in 1976.
  1. President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order ending the Birthright Citizenship Provision.
    • Birthright citizenship, also referred to as jus soli which is Latin to mean “right of the soil,” is the right of citizenship that one acquires for being born in a particular country regardless of the nationality of their parents.
    • This rule of acquiring citizenship is common in the Americas as compared to the other parts of the world.
    • The concept of Jus Soli (right of the soil) derives from the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1868 after the Civil War, in order to grant legal rights to former slaves.
    • Therefore, individuals born in the U.S., to parents on temporary visas or here without a valid visa, are also U.S. citizens.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. America’s IBM has acquired software company Red Hat in a $34 billion cash and debt deal.
    • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst will join IBM’s senior management team and will report to CEO Ginni Rometty.
  1. Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) and payments solution provider Hitachi Payment Services India has entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for establishing a card acceptance and digital payment platform.
    • SBI will have a majority stake in the proposed joint venture. Hitachi Payment Services India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Group, Japan.
  1. Eleven state-run banks under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework recorded higher interest income but lower asset quality.
    • RBI imposed PCA norms on these banks between February 2014 and January 2018.
    • According to Capitaline data, the 11 banks have Net Interest Incomes (NII) rising as much as high as 114% on a Year-On-Year (Y-O-Y) basis.
    • Net interest income is the difference between the revenue that is generated from a bank’s assets and the expenses associated with paying its liabilities.

 


IMPORTANT DAYS

 

  1. October 31 is celebrated as World Cities Day.

The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life.