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October 2018 Daily News Current Affairs

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  1. Oct 31, 2018
    1. Oct 31 - World Cities Day. 2018 Sub-theme is Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities.
    2. Oct 31 - Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
      1. It was introduced by Government of India in 2014, marking Birth Anniversary of Legendary Leader and 1st Deputy PM of India, Sardar Valabh Bhai Patel.
      2. On this occasion, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's memorial in Gujarat's Narmada district. Called the Statue of Unity, the bronze sculpture is the world's tallest statue measuring 600 feet (182m). It has overtook China's Spring Temple Buddha (153m) and USA's Statue of Liberty (93m). It was constructed in 33 months at 2,989 crores.
      3. On this occasion, Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off ‘Run for Unity’ from Major Dhyan Chand Stadium (New Delhi). PM Narendra Modi also unveiled the ‘Wall of Unity’, a wall created with the earth samples collected from various states across country.
    3. Government observed Vigilance Awareness Week from 29th Oct-3rd Nov 2018, with 2018 Theme Eradicate Corruption-Build a New India.
    4. India hosted 24th edition of Technology Summit with Italy as partner country, in New Delhi.
    5. Visits from India (Oct 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons attended 109th session of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama (Bahrain). India will be the chair of Programme and Budget Committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021.
      2. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj viisted Qatar and Kuwait.
        1. India and Qatar established a joint commission to review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.
      3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Japan -
        1. Attended 13th annual bilateral summit of India –Japan -
          1. Agreed for a 2+2 dialogue between our foreign ministers and defence ministers to further work towards world peace.
          2. India-Japan Business Platform will be established to enhance the development of industrial corridors and industrial network in the region.
          3. 6 MOUs were signed -
            1. Food Safety
            2. MoU between Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India and NEXI, Japan
            3. MoU between CSIR India with Hiroshima University and University of Tokyo (Japan) for Research Partnership.
            4. MoU between National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) India, and Shizuoka University (Japan) for Academic and Research exchanges.
            5. MoU between Sports Authority of India (SAI) India and University of Tsukuba (Japan) for academic exchanges and sports cooperation.
          4. Other Important Agreements -
            1. Joint Venture Agreement between State Bank of India (SBI) and SBI Payment Services Pvt. Ltd and Hitachi Payment Services Pvt Ltd.
        2. India and Japan signied an agreement for $75-billion bilateral currency swap, representing increase of 50 % percent over last currency swap arrangement between the two countries. This will enable agreed amount of foreign capital being available to India for use as and when need arises.
        3. Japan announced joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA), submitting instrument of ratification. As of now, 70 countries have signed ISA Framework Agreement (ISA FA) and 47 countries that have ratified it.
      4. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Indonesia.
      5. Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, C. R. Chaudhary Visited Czech Republic for attending 11th session of India – Czech Republic Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC).
    6. Visits to India (Oct 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. Andrus Ansip (European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission) Visited India. .
      2. Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte Visited India. He attended India-Italy Technology Summit at New Delhi.
      3. Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India, as his fifth official visit to India since taking office in 2015.
      4. Rajiv Gauba (Home Secretary) Visited Myanmar, to attend 22nd National Level Meeting between India and Myanmar.
      5. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Croatia Marija Pejcinovic Burić Visited India, with 2 agreements signed to strengthen cultural and diplomatic cooperation.
      6. China’s State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi Visited India. India and China have signed agreement on internal security cooperation, as first such agreement to be signed between the two countries.
    7. China and Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) started off their first joint maritime exercises in Zhanjiang (China), to ease regional tensions linked to rival claims in South China Sea.
    8. General Conferences (Oct 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. 4th World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM-2019) will be organised in Mumbai in January - February 2019, to be organised jointly by Government of Maharashtra, Disaster Management Initiatives and Convergence Society (DMICS), IIT Bombay & TISS Mumbai. WCDM 2019 will be largest assembly on disaster management outside UN system.
      2. 5th National Summit on “Good & Replicable Practices & Innovations in Public Health Care Systems in India” held at Kaziranga (Assam).
      3. 10th Edition of BIOFACH INDIA, the largest show on the “Organic Sector” in India, held at Pragati Maidan (New Delhi), with theme Enhancing export of organic products trade from India – strategies and synergies.
      4. 6th North East festival and 15th edition of Indian International Centre festival organized in New Delhi.
      5. 20th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2018 held at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Dubai (UAE).
      6. 5th Edition of ‘Women of India National Organic Festival’ held in New Delhi.
      7. Krishi Kumbh 2018 held in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), to pave way for new technology to be imbibed and better opportunities to created in the agriculture sector.
      8. 36th Indian Carpets Expo held at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), to augment efforts of the handicrafts and small and medium industries.
      9. 3-day Sagar Discourse 2 conference held in Panaji  (Goa), organized by Forum for Integrated National Security.
      10. Conclave on Capital Goods for Steel Sector, manufacture in India, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bhubaneswar (Odisha). 38 pacts worth $5 billion were signed among 20 technology providers, to boost manufacturing of capital goods for iron and steel industry.
      11. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aimed to reduce adverse environmental conditions after Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers. It is merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment.
      12. First trilateral meeting among India, Afghanistan and Iran of Coordination Council of Chabahar Agreement took place in Tehran (Iran). Indian delegation was led by Secretary (Economic Relations) TS Tirumurti.
      13. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated International Arya Mahasammelan 2018 in Delhi.
      14. NITI Aayog organized 4th NITI Lecture Series at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, with theme AI for ALL: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Inclusive Growth.
      15. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation organised a seminar on Gandhian thoughts and Swachhta to make India a Swacch Bharat by 2019 - 150 the birthday celebration of M K Gandhi.
      16. 2nd Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF 2018) began in Assam, with theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ Focus region of GIFF 2018 is the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region.
      17. Childrens Film Bonanza concluded at Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh), organized by Children’s Film Society of India (Ministry of Information & Broadcasting).
    9. Obituaries (October 2018) -
      1. Otis Rush - Noted Chicago blues guitarist (USA).
      2. Balabhaskar - Noted violinist.
      3. Thampi Kannanthanam - Noted Veteran Malayalam film personality.
      4. Will Vinton - Oscar-winning American animator.
      5. Natwar Thakkar - Noted Eminent Gandhian social worker from Nagaland.
      6. Montserrat Caballé - Noted Spanish Opera singer.
      7. Pradip Chowdhury - Noted journalist and former News Editor of Press Trust of India (PTI).
      8. M N Paloor - Noted Malayalam poet.
      9. G.D. Agarwal - Environmentalist. He was on a fast for last 111 days demanding a clean Ganga.
      10. Annapurna Devi - Noted musician. She was daughter and disciple of Noted sarod player Allauddin Khan, and married to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
      11. Kishour Giri - Assamese singer and music director.
      12. Paul Allen - co-founder of Microsoft.
      13. N D Tiwari - Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
      14. Osamu Shimomura - Japanese-born Marine biologist. He won Chemistry Nobel Prize in 2008, for discovery of a jellyfish protein that contributed to cancer studies.
      15. Madan Lal Khurana - Former Delhi Chief Minister
      16. Qazi Abdus Sattar - Urdu writer. He won Padma Shri in 1974 and was first recipient of Ghalib Academy Award in 1978.
      17. Yeshwant Deo - Noted Marathi musician.
    10. Industrial Awards (October 2018) -
      1. Tapan Kumar Chand, (CMD of NALCO) has been conferred with NIPM Ratna Award in 37th NIPM Annual National Conference NATCON-2018 at Pune.
      2. Entrepreneur from Gujrat, Chiranjiv Patel won BW 40 under 40 award in BW Business World's 2nd edition of 40 Under 40 Summit and awards held in Gurugram.
      3. Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) won ISSA Good Practice Award for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at “Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific” held at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
        1. ESIC was honored in recognition of its measures taken for extension of coverage Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees (SPREE), reduced rate of contribution rates for 24 months in newly implemented areas and raising wage limit for coverage under ESI Act, etc.
      4. PSU Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) received Top Challengers Award 2018 for excellent performance during 2017-18 and Best Seller in Crawler Equipment- Dozers and Rigid Dump Truck segment for mining sectors.
    11. Persons Resigned / Retired (October 2018) -
      1. Igor Akinfeev - Russian footballer.
      2. Mile Jedinak - Australian footballer.
      3. Nick Compton - England Cricketer Retires.
      4. John Terry - England Footballer.
      5. Meng Hongwei - resigned as President of International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
      6. Indian American Nikki Haley resigned as United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN).
      7. Abdur Rehman - Pakistani Cricketer.
      8. Praveen Kumar - Indian Cricketer.
      9. MJ Akbar - resigned as Union minister of state for external affairs. He is facing allegations of sexual harassment.
      10. Rangana Herath - Sri Lankan Cricketer.
      11. Dwayne Bravo - West Indies Cricketer (Trinidad).
      12. Anupam Kher - Chairan of Film & Television Institute of India Pune.
    12. Misc. Sporting Events (October 2018) -
      1. Prithvi Shaw became youngest Indian to score a century on Test debut (aged 18 years), scoring against Windies in Rajkot. He also became youngest Indian to win the Man of the Series award in Test cricket history.
      2. Virat Kohli became quickest batsman to reach 24 Test cricket centuries after great Australian Sir Donald Bradman.
      3. India’s Keerthana Pandian won girls’ title in IBSF World Under-16 Snooker Championships, in St Petersburg (Russia).
      4. India’s Squash player Vikram Malhotra won in Texas Open Squash Championship (USA), defeating Daniel Mekbib of Czech Republic.
      5. Indian pair of Meghana Reddy and Tasnim Mir won Under-15 girls doubles title in Badminton Asia Junior Under-17 and Under-15 championships, at Mandalay (Myanmar). India won total 5 medals in championships - 1 gold and 4 bronze.
      6. Deborah Herold won gold in elite women’s 40 kilometre competition at Saksham Pedal Delhi, India’s Premier Cyclothon. Shreedhar Savanur won gold medal in men’s 50 kilometres.
      7. Bajrang Punia became first Indian wrestler to get seeded at the World Championship that will be held in Budapest (Hungary). In 65kg category of men’s freestyle event, Bajrang Punia has been seeded third.
      8. Purtugal's Cristiano Ronaldo became first player to score 400 goals across the top-five European football leagues.
      9. Marc Marquez (Spain) won his 7th World Title and fifth Premier Class Title, after he won Japanese Moto Grand Prix.
      10. Virat Kohli became Fastest Cricketer to score 10000 ODI Runs, taking just 205 innings. Previous best was Sachin Tendulkar (259 Innings).
      11. Indian Navy won 14th PMC Bank all-India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup hockey tournament, in Mumbai.
      12. Wheelchair Badminton Player Sanjeev Kumar won two gold medals and a bronze medal at the Denmark Open in Odense.
      13. India’s Sourav Kothari defeated Peter Gilchrist of Singapore to win 2018 WBL World Billiards Championship title.
      14. Indian golfer Khalin Joshi won Panasonic Open India title, becaming 7th Indian to win Panasonic Open India title in its last 8 editions.
      15. Indian table tennis player Ayhika Mukherjee won a silver medal in under-21 women’s singles category of the ITTF Challenge Belgium Open. Also, India’s Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty won bronze medal in men’s doubles.
      16. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) enhanced prize money for the women’s World Cup with 2019 tournament in France in June - July. Overall contribution will be $50 million for the 24 participating nations. It Includes doubling prize money from $15 to $30 million.
      17. Kenyan distance runner Abraham Kiptum has set new new world best time of 58 mins 18 sec for half-marathon, at Valencia Half Marathon in Spain.
      18. India’s Vishal Rajveer Shah won gold and Raegan Alburquerque won silver in 2018 Egypt Junior & Cadet Open table tennis tournament.
    13. Misc. Appointments (October 2018) -
      1. HDFC Bank appointed Vinay Razdan as its chief human resources officer (CHRO).
      2. Global Direct Selling Firm Amway appointed Milind Pant as its First Global CEO.
      3. Former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya Joined private equity firm ChrysCapital Advisors LLP as an advisor. It Firm Wipro also appointed Arundhati Bhattacharya as an independent director.
      4. Government granted a year’s extension to Bank of Baroda’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, PS Jayakumar.
      5. Suchitra Durai - New Indian Ambassador to Kingdom of Thailand.
      6. Nimesh Shah elected as chairperson of industry body Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
      7. Paris Sain-Germain striker Neymar has been appointed as the permanent captain of Brazil’s national team. Brazil’s head coach Tite scrapped captaincy rotation policy of the team to give Neymar the permanent position.
      8. Amit Dev - Director General Air (OPS). 
      9. VR Chaudhari - Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.
      10. Raghunath Nambiar - Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command.
      11. Harjit Singh Arora - Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command.
      12. Sunil Bhaskaran - MD & CEO of AirAsia India (Joint venture of Tata Sons and Malaysia’s AirAsia Group).
      13. Financial Firm BankBazaar appointed former RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra as an advisor.
      14. Suresh Nambath has been appoinetd as Editor of The Hindu
      15. Satish Kumar Gupta - Paytm Payments Bank MD & CEO.
      16. Saurabh Kumar - India’s ambassador to Myanmar.
      17. Cricket Australia (CA) re-appointed David Peever as Chairman.
      18. Rohini Bopanna - Appointed as Global Hockey Regulator FIH International's Technical Official.
      19. RBI approved re-appointment of Aditya Puri as Managing Director and CEO of HDFC Bank for two years.
  2. Oct 30, 2018 -
    1. Disarmament Week observed across Globe from Oct 24 - 30, 2018.
    2. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first locally made satellite KhalifaSat into orbit. The Japanese rocket also carried an IBUKI-2 greenhouse gas observation satellite for Japan.
    3. World’s first robot citizen Sophia has been granted world’s first robot visa for a world tour on behalf of her Hong Kong-based developer Hanson Robotics. She was issued electronic visa upon her arrival at Azerbaijan Baku International Airport. Sofia is in Azerbaijan for a tech conference, where she is a keynote speaker.
    4. As per World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report 2018, Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians between 1970 and 2014. Vast consumption of food and resources by global population is destroying the web of life.
    5. A Panel of governors constituted by President Ram Nath Kovind submitted its report named Approach to Agriculture : A Holistic Overview, on approach to agriculture for doubling farmer’s income. It was headed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
    6. UN will launch a project on creating an "inventory" of art forms, craftsmanship and other intangible cultural heritage of the country. A total of 13 intangible cultural heritage elements from India have been inscribed till date on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
    7. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has set sail a container cargo belonging to food and beverage giant PepsiCo (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga (National Waterway-1). It is India's first container movement on inland vessel post-independence.
    8. According to Standard Chartered study-‘The Emerging Affluent Study 2018– Climbing the Prosperity Ladder’, India is Asia’s most investment savvy economy.
    9. First Franco-Chinese satellite launched into orbit to study ocean surface winds and waves, aboard a Long March 2C carrier rocket.
    10. World Trade Organization has set up a panel to look into the India-US export-subsidy dispute, on request of the US to examine the allegations on India’s export incentive measures.
      1. US has challenged India’s export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme in the WTO, stating that these initiatives were harming its companies.
      2. According to US, all WTO members, including India, are required to provide subsidies consistent with provisions of WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
    11. Minister of State (IC) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh laid foundation stone of new Science Centre, the “Technology Facility Centre” (TFC) in Jorhat (Assam), in premises of CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology (NERIST).
    12. India’s first gallery on robotic dinosaurs was opened to the public at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, in Kapurthala (Punjab).
    13. 1st North East Olympic Games 2018 held at Main Stadium Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal (Manipur) -
      1. Games included 12 disciplines: Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Football, Judo, Karate-Do, Shooting, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wushu.
      2. Manipur crowned as the overall champions, with 159 medals (80 Gold, 48 Silver and 31 Bronze). Assam came second with 140 medals. Arunachal Pradesh finished third with 76 medals.
      3. 2nd edition of North East Olympic Games will be held in Arunachal Pradesh in 2019.
  3. Oct 29, 2018
    1. Kingdom of Netherlands will be Partner Country in 25th DST – CII Technology Summit to be organized in 2019.
    2. Government appointed S. S. Deswal as Director General in Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He will also hold additional charge of post of DG, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
    3. NSDL Payments Bank started operations as 7th payments bank, since RBI gave approval to 11 applicants in August 2015. Vodafone m-Pesa Ltd is the only applicant left to set up its payments bank, while 3 entities have surrendered their licenses.
    4. CSIR has developed Less Polluting Firecrackers named – safe water releaser (SWAS), safe minimal aluminium (SAFAL) and safe thermite cracker (STAR), which are environment friendly and are 15-20 % cheaper than conventional ones.E-crackers also being developed with products like E-Ladi, E-Anar, E-cracker.
    5. Ministry of Defence awarded contract for construction of 4 Survey Vessels for Indian Navy to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited Kolkata, with order value of 2435 crores.
      1. First ship is to be delivered within 36 months and remaining within an interval of six months for each vessel.
      2. These Survey Vessels (Large) shall be 110 metre long with deep displacement of 3,300 tonnes.
    6. A web-based tool to monitor spread of fake news on social media platforms has been developed by Researchers from University of Michigan (USA). It uses a Platform Health Metric called the Iffy Quotient and will supposedly draw data from two external entities namely NewsWhip and Media Bias/Fact Check.
    7. Odisha Government launched an automatic public address system to warn citizens about cyclone and tsunami, as first such technology in field of Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) in India. It has been implemented under the assistance of World Bank with a cost of 82 crores.
      1. 122 towers have been installed along 480 km long coastline, to produce sirens during emergency. Sound from towers can be heard in communities within 1.5 km. Button will be pressed from state emergency centre in Bhubaneswar during an emergency situation.
      2. Six coastal districts named Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam have been covered under the system.
    8. NASA has retired Kepler space telescope after it ran out of fuel needed for further science operations, bringing end of 9.5 year mission of Kepler space telescope in which it had discovered over 2,600 intriguing exoplanets from outside our solar system some.
      1. It was launched in 2009 on 3.5-year mission, but operated for 9 years. It was NASA’s first planet-hunting mission. It was named after German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.
    9. According to Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), India faces grave danger to soil biodiversity -
      1. Atlas was released as part of WWF’s biennial Living Planet Report (LPR) 2018. The key aspect of this year’s report was threat to soil biodiversity and pollinators, the two key drivers of biodiversity.
      2. Soil Biodiversity -
        1. Soil biodiversity is total community from genes to species, and varies depending on environment. The immense diversity in soil allows for great variety of ecosystem services that benefit species that inhabit it.
        2. India was coloured red on atlas and is among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk
      3. Pollinators -
        1. 150 million bee colonies were needed to meet pollination requirements of about 50 million hectares of agricultural land in India, only 1.2 million colonies were present. Pollination is process by which plant pollen is transferred from male reproductive organs to female reproductive organs to form seeds.
    10. Government notified sale of electoral bond by SBI through its 29 authorized branches from 1-11-2018 to 10-11-2018.
      1. Electoral Bond is just like a promissory note that will be payable to bearer on demand and free of interest, aimed at Transparent political funding.
        1. A party registered under the Representation of People’s act, 1951 and securing not less than one percent of the votes polled in the preceding election is entitled to receive the electoral bonds.
        2. Electoral Bonds are valid for fifteen calendar days from date of issue.
        3. Bonds are issued in multiples of 1000, 10000, 1 lakh, 10 lakh, 1 crore. Cash donation has been capped at Rs. 2000 and beyond that donations are via electoral bonds.
    11. Supreme Court prohibited plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR, to deal with critical air pollution situation in Delhi-NCR.
    12. Foundation stone for India's largest Dry Dock laid at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala, aimed at raising India’s share in global shipbuilding to 2 % (.66 % currently).
      1. Currently, Cochin Shipyard has two dry docks. New Dry Dock is being constructed at a cost of 1799 crores. It will be 310 m long, 75m wide, with a depth of 13 m and drought of 9.5m.
    13. Seychelles (East Africa) launched world’s first Sovereign Blue Bond, a financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects. It raised USD 15 million and demonstrates potential to harness capital markets for financing sustainable use of marine resources.
    14. 17.86 KM long Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake to Shiv Vihar section of Delhi Metro Pink Line has been flagged off, taking Delhi Metro to league of top metro networks with operational length over 300 km (like London, Beijing, Shanghai and New York). Delhi Metro Network has now become 314 kilometres long with 229 metro stations.
    15. WhatsApp partnered with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to train small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs on using WhatsApp to connect with customers and growing their businesses.
    16. State Bank of India (SBI) and Hitachi Payment Services India signed agreement to form a joint venture for establishing a card acceptance and digital payment platform.
    17. USA based IT Firm IBM acquired software Firm Red Hat in a $34 billion cash and debt deal, as IBM's biggest ever acquisition so far. It will become a unit of IBM's Hybrid Cloud division.
    18. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she will step down as Chancellor in 2021. She would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union( CDU).
    19. Pakistani Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai will be honored by Harvard University's 2018 Gleitsman Award award for her work in promoting girls' education. It provides 125,000 US dollars for activism that has improved quality of life around world.
    20. India's first engine-less train, "Train 18", developed by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has been unveiled. It is first long-distance train, without a separate locomotive (engine). It is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph.
  4. Oct 28, 2018
    1. Oct 28 - International Animation Day.
    2. 2018 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest (Hungary)
      1. Medal Table -
        1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
          1  Russia 10 1 2 13
          2  Japan 5 1 4 10
          3  United States 4 3 5 12
          4  Turkey 1 4 4 9
          5  Azerbaijan 1 2 2 5
      2. India at 2018 Wrestling World Championships -
        1. Ranked 19 (Jointly with Uzbekistan), India could Manage 2 Medals (1 Silver and 1 Bronze).
        2. Pooja Dhanda won a bronze medal in women’s freestyle 57kg weight. Bajrang Punia won silver after he went down against Japan’s Takuto Otoguro in 65kg final.
    3. Govind Mathur appointed as the acting chief justice of Allahabad High Court.
    4. Punjab government banned sale of weedicide glyphosatem which is cancer causing, According to Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh. Systemic herbicide is a group 2A cancer causing material and has potential to damage the human DNA. Punjab is 4th State after Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra to regulate sale of herbicide.
    5. European Union selected Department of European Studies (DES) of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) for prestigious Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (CoE) Award.
      1. It became only Centre of Excellence in European Studies in India.
      2. It grants close to one lakh euros for various activities planned for 3 years.
      3. Earlier, MAHE had been titled as an Institute of Eminence by Government of India.
    6. Haryana Government introduced Pashu Sanjeevni Sewa scheme to provide free of cost health care services to livestock in the state through mobile veterinary clinics. Livestock farmers would be able to avail service 24×7 after giving a call on toll free No.1962.
    7. USA based MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) scientists have developed a method to mass produce robots the size of a cell named “Syncells” (synthetic cells), to be used to monitor interior of an oil or gas pipeline, or to detect disease in bloodstream. A process called “autoperforation” directs the fracture lines to produce miniscule pockets of a predictable size and shape.
    8. India’s non-life insurance penetration risen marginally to 0.9 % of GDP ($ 27 billion), but still remains among highest underinsurance levels globally, as per a report by Lloyd’s. It was .7 % for India in 2012.
      1. India’s insurance gap accounts for 17 % of the total global insurance gap ($162.5 billion).
      2. Globally, India has seventh-largest insurance gap, with top spot held by Bangladesh (in Terms of % of GDP). In absolute terms, China has biggest insurance gap of $ 76.4 billion.
      3. Netherlands remains the country with the highest insurance penetration at 7.7 per cent, followed by South Korea (5 %).
    9. Malayalam author Benyamin’s novel Jasmine Days won JCB Prize for Literature, consisting a trophy and 25 lakhs as prize money. Benyamin, earlier won Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Aadujeevitham.
    10. India and UK will collaborate for research on different aspects of Ganga delta region and Bay of Bengal, announced duuring a programme launched by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
    11. European Parliament awarded Sakharov human rights prize to jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov (with 50,000 euro cash), for an “exceptional contribution” to human rights around world.
    12. Tamil Nadu created a national record by opening over 16 lakh postal savings accounts under Sukanya Samridhi Yojana. Also, over 1500 post offices out of total 6717 in Tamil Nadu have migrated to Digital Advancement of Rural Post Offices in New India (Darpan) system.
    13. According to Teen Age Girls (TAG) Report, which compares the performance of each State based on the status of their teenage girls -
      1. Kerala topped the charts, followed by Mizoram, Sikkim, Manipur and Himachal Pradesh. Top three cities - Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
      2. This is India’s first report on what it means to be a teenage girl in India, Compiled by Naandi Foundation with support from Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
    14. As per a Report named Humanity at Risk – Global Terror Threat Indicant (GTTI) by Oxford University and Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) -
      1. Pakistan registered highest number of terrorist bases and safe havens, possesses three times more threat to humanity than Syria.
      2. Among Terror Groups , Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Afghan Taliban pose maximum threat to the international security.
    15. Red Bull's Racer Max Verstappen (Netherlands) won F1 Mexican Grand Prix -
      1. With this, Mercedes's Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won his 5th F1 world title.
      2. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar -
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
  5. Oct 27, 2018
    1. Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service inaugurated in Gujarat, under Sagarmala programme of Ministry of Shipping.
      1. In a successful trial run, 12 loaded trucks were transported by Ro- Pax ferry from Dahej to Goghaacross the Gulf of Cambay, via sea route.
      2. Land route is a 294 km or 8 hour drive, while Ro-Pax service reduces this to just 31 km through sea route by crossing Gulf in Cambay,taking just 1.5 hours.
      3. This is an important development for diamond and textiles traders & workers in Surat to travel via coastal shipping and save the travel time by almost half.
      4. Fully operational Ro Pax service with carrying capacity of 100 vehicles and 500passengers is now opened
      5. Total cost of project is estimated to be 615 Crores, of which 117 Crore is funded by Central Government under Sagarmala programme.
      6. Pictorial Representation -
    2. Oct 27- World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. 2018 theme is “Your Story is Moving”.
    3. 2nd India-Indonesia coordinated patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) Joint Naval Exercise held in Belawan (Indonesia). Ships and aircraft from both countries undertook patrolling on respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary Line.
    4. Ashis Mukherjee, faculty member in Tezpur University won Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Teachers Award (2018), for his consistent high level of inspiring students to take up careers in Science and Technology.
    5. Russia successfully launched a Soyuz-2.1B rocket for first time since failure of a similar rocket aborted a manned take-off to the International Space Station (ISS), on Oct 11.
    6. Trident Juncture 18 (TRJE18) NATO-led military exercise to be held in Norway in October and November 2018, as largest of its kind in Norway since 1980s. 50,000 participants from 31 nations will take part, including 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels.
    7. ICGS Varuna (Indigenously-designed training vessel built by Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited) launched for service in Indian Coast Guard.
    8. Punjab government signed four MoUs with Israeli institutions to address issues of farmers and depleting groundwater level in state.
    9. India and Bangladesh several agreements for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity, Including an agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India. An addendum to ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between two countries' has also been signed for the inclusion of Dhubri in India and Pangaon in Bangladesh as new Ports.
    10. First indigenously overhauled Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet to Indian Air Force, by 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) in Nashik (Maharashtra). Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a twin-jet multi-role air superiority aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi.
    11. Roopam Sharma, a 23-year old Indian scientist, won World Health Summit Startup award 2018 for invention of Manovue, world’s first intelligent personal assisting system for visually impaired.
    12. India and Pakistan declared joint winners of Men's Asian Hockey Champions Trophy at Muscat in Oman, after summit clash was called off due to heavy rain.
    13. RBI will inject 40000 crores into system in November 2018, through open market operation (OMO), amid festive season demand for funds.
    14. Romanian Female tennis player Simona Halep became first recipient of the Chris Evert Women's Tennis Association (WTA) World No.1 Trophy, named after WTA's first-ever world number one, Chris Evert.
    15. Miss Paraguay Clara Sosa won Miss Grand International 2018 title at 6th edition of the beauty pageant in Yangon (Myanmar). Femina Miss Grand India 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary named 1st runner-up.
    16. Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil's presidential elections, securing over 55 % votes.
    17. Michael D Higgins re-elected as President of Ireland for his 2nd term, receiving 56 % of votes.
    18. India donated 3 lakh Dollars for a peacekeeping initiative at UN, under ‘Pipeline to Peacekeeping Command Programme’.
    19. State government of Arunachal Pradesh signed an MoU with the British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation, to support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of state.
    20. Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Gujarat, located at Village Shah and Vasravi, Taluka Mangrol, District Surat. State's 2nd mega food park is sanctioned in Mehsana.
  6. Oct 26, 2018
    1. 2nd India Mobile Congress (IMC-2018) held in New Delhi, organised by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Theme was “New Digital Horizons. Connect. Create. Innovate”.
    2. Adel Abdul Mahdi Appointed as new Prime Minister of Iraq.
    3. As per International Air Transport Association (IATA), India will become world’s 3rd largest aviation market by 2024. India is presently at 7th place.
    4. IDFC bank will change its name to ‘IDFC First Bank Ltd’, after amalgamation with non-banking financial company Capital First.
    5. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena removed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister of Sri Lanka, amid Political Turmoil because of Differences between President Sirisena and PM Vikramasinghe. Mahinda Rajapaksha is appointed as new Prime Minister.
    6. World’s largest airport terminal under one roof with a capacity to serve 90 million passengers will be opened in Istanbul (Turkey), Dubbed as phase-1A of project Istanbul New Airport. It will have a capacity to handle 90 million passenger per year, making it largest such facility in world.
    7. UN 2018 UN Human Rights Prize -
      1. Rebeca Gyumi – activist for the rights of women and girls (Tanzania)
      2. Asma Jahangir (posthumously) – human rights lawyer (Pakistan).
      3. Joênia Wapichana (Joênia Batista de Carvalho) – activist for the rights of indigenous communities (Brazil)
      4. Front Line Defenders – organization advocating and working for the protection of human rights defenders (Ireland)
    8. Government appointed Sanjay Kumar Mishra as Interim Director of the financial probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) for three months.
    9. As per Mercom Communications India - second largest solar market with installed capacity of 4.9 GW of solar power. China is at top of list.
    10. Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) will issue masala bonds worth Rs. 5,000 crore to mobilise funds for various development works, with appointment of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings for rating its masala bonds issue. The bonds will be listed in London and Singapore stock exchanges.
      1. Masala bonds are rupee-denominated bonds through which Indian entities can raise money from foreign markets in rupee and not in foreign currency. It is debt instruments used by corporates to raise money from foreign investors in local currency.
    11. Mammals of India (MaOI) model of repository on Indian mammals, by National Centers for Biological Sciences (NCBS) Bangalore -
      1. It is a first of its kind repository of Mammals in India, as an online portal that aim is to develop individual pages for all Indian mammals covering all related information.
      2. The website mammalsofindia.org provides facility for common citizen to upload photographic observations about mammals.
      3. MaOI is an initiative under Biodiversity Atlas project (a species-based bioinformatics platform).
      4. There are about 426 species of mammals known from India, which is about 8.86% of the world species.
    12. Swiss tennis Player Roger Federer won his 99th career title after winning the Basel Open. Federer is now 10 titles short of all-time record holder Jimmy Connors, who leads with 109 titles.
    13. UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Facebook a maximum amount of around $645,000 allowed under country’s law, over Cambridge Analytica scandal. ICO said the data of around 1 million UK users had been put at risk by Facebook.
      1. UK government also allowed Women to apply for all roles in military services.
    14. Indian American Neil Chatterjee is appointed as chairman of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
    15. Government will build a stadium of international standard for differently-abled persons in Meghalaya, expected to be completed by 2022, at an estimated cost of over 200 crores.
      1. Meghalaya Govt also launched flagship scheme “Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries”, to enable self-sufficiency in fish production.
    16. Pakistan will launch its first manned mission in 2022, same year that India has planned to launch its own manned space mission Gaganyaan. It will be attempted by Pakistan with China's help.
  7. Oct 25, 2018
    1. Tea Board of India will launch an app aimed at guiding small growers, whose share in total tea production is increasing. Name of the app is Chai Sahay (tea help). It aims to establish two-way communication between manufacturer and customers.
    2. China's first private research university officially inaugurated in Zhejiang Province's Hangzhou city. Autonomy for top educational institutions has been a long-standing demand of Chinese academic community, as china's higher education bodies are mostly govt owned.
      1. Chinese Govt also announced to scrap setting population target in future, and give people more freedom with respect to childbirth. China wants to ease restrictions on family planning to combat ageing population.
    3. Sanjay Leela Bhansali Directed Padmaavat has been officially selected for Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2018.
    4. Philips selected 19 start-up companies for its first global start-up collaboration programme named ‘AI in Healthcare for Radiology, Ultrasound and Oncology’. It will be conducted at Philips’ innovation hubs in Bengaluru, Cambridge (US), Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Shanghai (China).
    5. NABARD signed MoU with Delhi-based Ayurvet Research Foundation (ARF) to facilitate several collaborative initiatives for integrated agricultural and rural development of Haryana.
    6. Moody’s Investors Service stated that profitability of Indian banks is “distinctively weak” compared to other BRICS nations.
      1. In India, asset quality is weak due to stressed public sector banks, which dominate the sector. Indian banks have a tangible common equity ratio of 8.7 % at the end of 2017. Although profitability will improve from the next fiscal year as asset quality stabilizes.
      2. Comparing to BRICS, Indian lenders had 2nd highest NPA stats at 2017-end, followed by banks in Brazil (3.5 %), South Africa (2.9 %) and China (1.5 %). Russian banks had the highest NPA ratio of 11.8 %.
    7. Indian IT industry apex body Nasscom partnershiped with Hiroshima government for co-creating a Japan-India IT Corridor in Hiroshima. Through this partnership, India would be getting a gate way to the cutting-edge manufacturing technology of Japan. Indian companies on software side can help Japanese manufacturing companies adopt digital transformation and create innovative product and solutions lines.
    8. Saudi Arabia agreed to provide $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s balance of payment crisis. It also agreed to provide a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, worth up to $3 billion.
    9. Athletics Federation of India will be awarded FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) India Sports Awards 2018, in category of Best National Sports Federation (NSF).
    10. Indian Fertiliser major IFFCO ranked as the biggest cooperative in world by ‘World Cooperative Monitor’ report 2018, by International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).
      1. IFFCO has nearly 36,000 member co-operatives and a turnover of nearly USD 3 billion (FY 2017-18). It has retained this position from 2016.
  8. Oct 24, 2018
    1. Oct 24 - 2nd World Diplomats Day. It began in 2017.
    2. Oct 24 - United Nations Day. It marks enactment of UN Charter on this day in 1945. 2018 theme is Traditions of Peace and Non-violence. It is also observed as World Development Information Day, established in 1972.
      1. 2018 UN Day Concert held at UN Headquarters in New York (US). Theme of this year’s concert, which is sponsored by Permanent Mission of India to UN, is Traditions of Peace and Non-violence.
      2. Oct 24 is also observed as World Polio Day.
    3. Cabinet Approvals (Oct 24, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved setting up of Indian Institute of Skills(IISs) across the country in Public Private Partnership (PPP), to augment global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy by providing high quality skill training and applied research education.
        2. Approved appointment of Adjudicating Authority and establishment of Appellate Tribunal under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act (PBPT) 1988. It is aimed at better administration of cases referred to Adjudicating Authority and speedy disposal of appeals filed against order of the Adjudicating Authority before Appellate Tribunal.
        3. Approved constitution of a High Level Steering Committeefor periodically reviewing and refining the National Indicator Framework (NIF) for monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with associated targets. It will be chaired by Chief Statistician of India and Secretary in Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI, Currently Pravin Srivastava.
          1. SDGs with 17 Goals and 169 Targets intend for promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.
          2. NIF will help in outcome-based monitoring & reportingon progress on SDGs at National level.
        4. Creation of 1 post of Director in basic pay of Rs. 2,25,000/- (fixed) plus NPA (under 237500) each for new AIIMS at Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Bathinda (Punjab), Guwahati (Assam), Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) and Deoghar (Jharkhand).
      2. MOUs -
        1. Approved signing and ratification of Extradition Treaty with Malawi (East Africa).
        2. MoU among BRICS Nations for Cooperation in Social and Labour Sphere, Environment.
        3. MoU with Singapore on constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on FinTech.
        4. MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Certified Professional Accountants Afghanistan (CPA Afghanistan) 
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Creation of special  Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF), with size 7522 crores, comprising 5,266 crores to be raised by Nodal Loaning Entities (NLEs), 1316 crores beneficiaries contribution and 939 crores budgetary support from Government.  NABARD, National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC) and Banks shall be NLEs.
          1. It aims to achieve fish production of 15 million tonnes by 2020 and 20 million tonnes by 2022-23, up from current production of 11.4 million tonnes.
        2. Increase in supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitators from 250 per visit to 300 per visit for 2018-2019 to 2019- 2020. ASHA Facilitator will undertake about 20 supervisory visits per month.
        3. New Railway Between Bahraich and Khalilabad in Uttar Pradesh, to serve 5 districts of Uttar Pradesh including 4 aspirational districts (Bahraich, Balrampur, Shravasti and Siddharth Nagar) and Sant Kabirnagar. It will cost approx 4939 crores and will be completed by 2024-25.
    4. International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) held at Bangaram Island in Lakshadweep, with theme Reef for Life.
    5. Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 presented by Asian Development Bank, with focus on progress in cooperation and migration.
      1. India hosts highest number of outward international migrants in 2017, followed by China and Bangladesh. About one third of international migrants were from Asia in 2017.
      2. FDI in Asian region remain stable with 517.5 billion in 2017.
      3. This year in the report there was a special chapter “Toward Optimal Provision of Regional Public Goods in Asia and the Pacific”. It stressed on that optimal provision of Regional public goods can be a solution for development challenges in era of economic interdependence.
    6. QS Asia University Ranking 2018 -
      1. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay) has topped the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings from India followed by IIT Delhi and IIT Madras.
      2. Eight Indian universities have figured among the top 100 in the list of Asia’s top 50 universities.
      3. There are 75 universities from India in the top 500 Asia list.
      4. National University of Singapore is ranked as Asia’s best university, followed by University of Hong Kong, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Tsinghua University (China) and Peking University (China).
    7. Central Government launch Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) scheme to promote research in Social Sciences.
      1. Government support would be funding of 414 crore on 1500 projects for policy themes in the social sciences at cost of 20-25 Lakh per project.
      2. 11 Thematic Areas - State and Democracy Urban transformation, Media, Culture and Society Employment, Skills and Rural transformation Governance, Innovation and Public Policy Growth, Macro-trade and Economic Policy Agriculture and Rural Development Health and Environment Science and Education Social Media and Technology Politics, Law and Economics.
      3. Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.
    8. Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved US $43.4 million for enhancing climate resilience for millions of people living in India’s coastal communities. This project will focus on selected vulnerable areas of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha states. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions – over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be absorbed through restored ecosystems.
      1. It is part of Green Climate Fund (GCF)'s recently approved over $1 billion new investments for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change, during a meeting in Manama (Bahrain).
    9. Sahle-Work Zewde is appointed as first-ever female President of Ethiopia (East Africa).
    10. Supreme Court ruled that no Bharat Stage-IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020. Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020.
      1. Bharat stage emission standards were instituted by Government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. BS-IV norms were in force across country since April 2017
      2. In 2016, Government decided to switch over to BS-VI grade fuel directly from BS-IV skipping BS-V.
    11. Ongoing CBI Controversy -
      1. Government on October 23, 2018 removed CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana from their posts. Government and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) cited that Verma was not cooperating with CVC’s inquiry into allegations made by Asthana against him.
      2. Alok Verma approached Supreme Court after his removal from post of CBI Director, claiming that it was in violation of Section 4B of Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act 1946, which grants CBI Director a secure term of 2 years. SC will now examine the issue. Meanwhile, M Nageshwar Rao is appointed as CBI Director by Govt.
      3. Rakesh Asthana Removal -
        1. On October 15, CBI booked Asthana for alleged corruption following the FIR registered against him for alleged extortion of over 3 crores from Sathish Babu Sana in a case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is accused of taking money from several people for getting favours from senior government functionaries.
      4. Timeline -
        1. August 24 - CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana writes to Cabinet Secretary, informing him that Alok Verma took Rs 2 crore bribe from businessman Sathish Babu Sana
        2. September 14 - Asthana informs CBI that Verma has issued orders to remove him from IRCTC and INX Media cases
        3. September 20 - Special Investigation Team headed by Aasthana proposes to interrogate Sathish Babu Sana
        4. October 3 - Sana appears before CBI
        5. October 15 - CBI booked Asthana and Sana for alleged corruption. Alok Verma filed a case against Rakesh Asthana, accusing him of taking Rs 3 crore as bribe from Sana. Sana accepted that he agreed to pay Rs 5 crore to Asthana as bribe to give clean chit to Moin Qureshi.
        6. October 19 - Asthana removed from Special Investigation Team
        7. October 21 - PM Modi summons Alok Verma
        8. October 22 - CBI raids its own office and arrests DSP Devender Kumar in connection with allegations against Asthana
        9. October 23 - Central Vigilance Commission divested Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana of their CBI posts
        10. October 23 - Asthana approached Delhi High Court to get CBI's FIR against him quashed
        11. October 24 - Alok Verma moved SC against his removal and pressed for an urgent hearing
    12. Environment Ministry launched Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign, which was initiated in 2017-18, aiming to minimize bursting of crackers. This campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement, initiated as a social mobilization for protection of environment.
    13. Denmark Open Badminton 2018 -
      1. Men’s Singles - Kento Momota (Japan)
      2. Women’s Singles - Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei), defeating Saina Nehwal (India)
      3. Men’s Doubles - Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon AND Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo
      4. Women’s Doubles - Japan's Yuki Fukushima AND Sayaka Hirota
      5. Mixed Doubles - China's Zheng Siwei AND Huang Yaqiong
    14. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is only Indian company among top 10 firms to get foreign labour certification for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2018, according to data from US Department of Labour.
      1. H-1B visas are the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals. London-headquartered Ernst and Young emerged as top employer to have received the certification.
    15. 4 day international dance festival titled "Udbhav Utsav" held in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh).
    16. Former Indian cricketer and UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar gave away prizes to winners of South Asia Regional WASH innovation in Thimphu (Bhutan). The basic aim of challenge was to identify innovative solutions to promote practice of hand washing with soap.
    17. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) received additional $777 million contract to supply LRSAM air and missile defence systems to seven ships in Indian navy, in a contract with Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). LRSAM is part of Barak 8 family, and is an air and missile defence system.
    18. UNESCO MGIEP(Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education) in association with Government of Andhra Pradesh will hold TECH 2018, an international conference to showcase role of games and digital learning in enabling a shift from "transmissive pedagogies" to "transformative pedagogies" to create peaceful and sustainable societies. It will be held in November 2018 at Novotel in Vizag (Andhra Pradesh).
    19. Life insurer PNB Metlife launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered customer service app ‘Khushi’.
    20. Members of European Parliament approved banning single-use plastics, to curb marine pollution. The ban is likely to take effect by 2021.
    21. Former PM HD Deve Gowda (11th PM from June 1, 1996 to April 21, 1997) conferred with Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti Award on occasion of Valmiki Jayanti (Oct 24), for his contribution to welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities. Award will be given by Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
  9. Oct 23, 2018 -
    1. 2018 Seoul Peace Prize has been confererd on Indian PM Narendra Modi, for his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of people of India.
      1. Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul (South Korea).
    2. PM Narendra Modi launched Main Nahin Hum Portal and App, on theme “Self4Society”. It will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform. It is also expected to generate wider participation of interested people who are motivated to work for the benefit of society.
    3. Government announced recepients of Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for 2014, 2015 & 2016 -
      1. 2014 - Manipuri dancer Rajkumar Singhajit Singh
      2. 2015 - Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh)
      3. 2016 - Ram Vanji Sutar (Noted sculptor).
      4. Tagore Award -
        1. First Tagore Award was conferred on Noted Sitar Maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar, in 2012. 2nd was conferred on Shri Zubin Mehta in 2013. It carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft item.
    4. Government constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at workplace.  It will be chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.  With 3 other Union Ministers as Members.
    5. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched web portal of Scheme Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), at url www.sparc.iitkgp.ac.in.
      1. SPARC scheme aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in world. Under this, 600 joint research proposals will be awarded for 2 years.
      2. Government in August 2018 had sanctioned SPARC scheme at total cost of 418 Crores for implementation up to 31-3-2020 and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is theNational Coordinating Institute to implement it.
    6. India won Awards in 2 Categories at Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) International Innovations Awards (IIA) - (announced annually since 1998). 
      1. India's Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions) is a member of CAPAM.
      2. Initiative named Unnayan Banka - Reinventing Education Using Technology of Banka District (Bihar) has been awarded under Category “Innovation Incubation”.   Its an initiative which envisages “Quality education for all’ using latest technologies.
      3. Another initiative entitled “Unified Agriculture Markets” of Co-operation Department of Government of Karnataka has also been selected under the Category ‘Innovation in Public Service Management’.   It has also been awarded overall Gold Award for CAPAM Awards 2018.
    7. 10th Nuclear Energy Conclave Held in New Delhi, with theme Nuclear Power- Towards a Clean & Base Load Energy.
      1. Union Minister Jitendra Singh announed that Kaiga Atomic Power Station (Karnataka) unit has set world record among PHWR for operating uninterrupted for 895 days.
      2. Cabinet also recently approved construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
    8. Haryana girl Nishtha Dudeja won 18th Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title, in Prague (Czech Republic). She is first Indian to have won any title at Miss Deaf World Pageant.
    9. Govt. Owned Bank of India closed down its operations at New Jersey in Channel Islands (USA), soon after it recently closed down its operations in Yangoon, Bostwana and Dubai.
    10. Invest India initiative of Government won top United Nations Investment Promotion Award in recognition of its efforts to boost investments in renewable energy sector in India. It was announced in Geneva (Switzerland) at inauguration of World Investment Forum organised by UN Convention on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
    11. RBI allowed Fino Payments Bank to open new accounts, After 5 months of staying barred.
    12. Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan will receive first World Agriculture Prize instituted by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA), to be presented by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.
      1. During Same Event, ICFA Global Agriculture Leadership Awards were presented (given annually since 2008). Notable Winners are -
        1. International Leadership Award - Ruby Rabbinge (Netherlands)
        2. Lifetime Achievement Award - K H Gharda
        3. Best States -
          1. Fisheries - Jharkhand
          2. Animal Husbandry - Bihar
          3. Horticultre - Nagaland
          4. Agriculture - Gujarat
    13. 3 Indian-Americans named in the Time magazine’s 2018 list of the 50 most influential people whose work is transforming healthcare in US. They are Divya Nag, Raj Panjabi and Atul Gawande.
    14. Government appointed M Nageswara Rao as interim Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    15. Global Agriculture Leadership Summit 2018 held in New Delhi, with theme Connecting Farmers to Market.
    16. 2nd conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana (Kazakhstan), by Government of Kazakhstan, WHO and UNICEF. It commenorates 40 years of Alma Ata Declaration on Primary health care (Alma Ata Declaration was adopted at international conference on primary health care held in Kazakhstan in 1978). Theme is The future of Primary Health Care.
    17. Joint military exercise Iron Magic 19 between United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States (US) held near Dubai.
    18. India and Myanmar signed MoU for appointment of private port operator for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal and associated facilities included in Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport Project.
      1. Sittwe port in Myanmar will connect India’s landlocked north-east region to Bay of Bengal through Mizoram. It will also provide alternate route to Kolkata.
      2. It is also significant in implementation of India’s Act East Policy as it will boost connectivity and will contribute to job creation in whole region, particularly in Myanmar’s strife-torn Rakhine and Chin States.
      3. It will significantly lower cost and distance of movement from Kolkata to Mizoram and beyond. It will also reduce dependency on only route narrow strip dubbed as Chicken’s Neck in West Bengal, sandwiched between Bhutan and Bangladesh.
    19. Noted jurist Fali S. Nariman has been awarded 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration. He is internationally recognised jurist on international arbitration. He has been awarded Padma Bhushan (1991), Padma Vibhushan (2007)and Gruber Prize for Justice (2002).
    20. Druzhba 2018 (Friendship 2018) joint bilateral military exercise between Pakistan and Russia held in Pakistan, as 3rd addition of this joint military drill.
  10. Oct 22, 2018
    1. Oct 22 - International Stuttering Awareness Day.
    2. China tested the world’s largest unmanned transport drone which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes, called Feihong-98 (FH-98). It has Max takeoff weight of 5.25 tonnes, capacity of 1.5 tonnes and 15 cubic metres, a flight height of 4,500 metres, speed of 180 KMPH, and a maximum range of 1200 kms.
      1. China is also planning to put a ‘moon’ of its own in the night sky by 2020, to replace conventional street lamps and save electricity.
      2. Chengdu city in southwestern Sichuan province of China is developing illumination satellites, which will shine along with the real moon but will be eight times brighter.
      3. These satellites will have a reflective coating which can reflect sunlight towards Earth similar to the moon. Placed only 500km above Earth, light reflected from the man-made moon will be more luminous than actual moon.
    3. Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) made it mandatory for medium and large enterprises in key sectors to set aside funds for research and development.
      1. It said that R&D investment in India has been stagnant for 20 years at 0.6-0.7% of GDP, with that by private sector at 0.35%
      2. An Advanced Mission Mode Innovation and Research (ADMIRE) is proposed to be launched by line ministries to provide direct R&D grants to industry on a 50-50 model through competitive bidding.
      3. Ministries have been mandated to allocate at least 2% of their budgets as research and innovation grants related to priority concerns.
    4. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju distributed cheques worth 37.73 Crores to villagers of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. Over 56 years after India’s war with China, for land acquired by Army to set up its bases, bunkers and barracks.
    5. National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) signed a MoU with the Dubai Internet City (DIC)to help small and medium-sized Indian enterprises expand their operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
    6. Scientists discovered fossilized remains of a piranha-like species believed to be the earliest known example of a flesh-eating fish, found in South Germany. It lived about 150 million years ago.
    7. Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana announced Grammy-winning Hindustani classical music instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt as recipient of annual Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Bhatt is known for his Grammy award winning album “A Meeting by the River” with Ry Cooder.
    8. Recently released SBI Ecowrap report stated that Rupee depreciation did not help trade benefit, with incremental trade deficit of $4 billion in the first half of current fiscal year. Industries like petroleum, NBFCs, power, telecommunication and automobile were heavily borrowing through automatic route and contributing to over 71% of total borrowing.
    9. Paytm launched QR-based smartphone payment settlement service in Japan, Named PayPay, in collaboration with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan Corporation. It is built around its QRtech, which is deployed in India to allow customers to make offline payments.
  11. Oct 21, 2018
    1. Governement observed 75th anniversary of formation of Azad Hind Government, led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Founded on 21st October, 1943 was inspired by Neta ji Subhash Chandra Bose who was leader of Azad Hind Government and also Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.
    2. Oct 21 - Police Commemoration Day, observed in memory of policemen killed at Hot Springs in Ladakh by Chinese troops on this date in 1959. On this occasion, National Police Memorial was dedicated to nation by PM Narendra Modi, in Chanakyapuri (New Delhi).
      1. On this Occasion, PM also announced an annual award in name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for police and paramilitary forces for commendable contributions in disaster relief operations.
    3. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) released Direct Taxes Data updated up to FY 2017-18 and income-distribution data for AY 2016-17 and AY 2017-18.
      1. Constant growth in direct tax-GDP ratio over 3 years and ratio of 5.98% in FY 2017-18 is the best DT-GDP ratio in last 10 years.
      2. Growth of over 80% in number of returns filed in last four financial year, from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18.
      3. For AY 2014-15, corresponding to FY 2013-14 (base year), return filers declared gross income of 26.92 lakh crores, which has increased by 67% to Rs.44.88 lakh crore for AY 2017-18.
      4. 88,649 taxpayers disclosed income above 1 crore in AY 2014-15, which increased to 1,40,139 for AY 2017-18 (growth of 60%).
      5. Individual taxpayers disclosing income above Rs. 1 crore increased during the period under reference from 48,416 to 81,344, which translates into a growth of 68%.
    4. A parliamentary panel has been formed to examine functioning of retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), its coverage and recovery of arrears. It will be headed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya.
    5. Noted cricket statistician Vijayan Bala's new book Indian Sports: Conversations and Reflections has been released. Its a compilation of interviews of eminent sports persons he has conducted since 1971.
    6. USA will pull out of three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed with Russia during Cold War.
      1. INF was crucial Cold War-era treaty banning development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with range of 500-5,000 km, signed in December 1987 between USA and USSR.
      2. It was central to ending arms race between two superpowers during cold war and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks. It was designed to provide measure of some strategic stability on continent of Europe.
      3. USA alleged that Russia has violated treaty and has been violating it for many years. This violation comes after Russia’s alleged development and deployment of Novator 9M729 missile (also known as SSC-8), that could strike Europe at short notice.
      4. It will allow US new nuclear weapon options in Pacific, to counter China’s growing influence and may also trigger new Arms race between USA & Russia.
    7. 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) held in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), organised by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research. Its a forum for discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion (reaction that powers Sun and stars) as a source of energy.
    8. US-based Indian writer Sujatha Gidla won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”.
    9. Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved more than $1 billion new investments for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change, during a meeting of GCF in Manama (Bahrain).
      1. Funding was approved for projects linked to geothermal energy in Indonesia, greener cities in Europe and Middle East and protection for coastal communities in India.
      2. About GCF -
        1. GCF is UN-backed fund considered as key vehicle for climate-related development programs, guided by principles of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to help developing countries to finance clean energy projects other mitigation efforts, practices and adaptation to counter climate change.
        2. It was formally established by UNFCCC decision in Durban, South Africa in December 2011.
    10. Ministry of Finance ruled that sessions courts in 34 States / UTs, will act as special courts for trial of offences under the benami transaction law.. It was consulted with CJI, under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act 1988 for trial of offences punishable under provision of the Act.
      1. In case of NCT of Delhi, courts of additional session’s judge in each district have been designated as the special court.
      2. Every endeavour should be made by special court to conclude the trial within six months from date of filing of complaint.
      3. Benami transaction refers to transactions made in a fictitious name, or the owner is not aware of the ownership of the property, or the person paying for the property is not traceable.
    11. Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) submitted its 2nd Report on Cross Border Insolvency to Arun Jaitley, which was constituted by Ministry of Corporate Affairs to recommend amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India 2016,  
      1. ILC recommended adoption of UNCITRAL Model Law of Cross Border Insolvency 1997, for it it provides for a comprehensive framework to deal with cross border insolvency issues.
      2. UNCITRAL Model Law has till now been adopted in 44 countries and forms part of international best practices in dealing with cross border insolvency issues. The model law gives precedence to domestic proceedings and protection of public interest.
    12. World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched its $1 billion masala bond programme in the US and Europe, aimed at funding rapidly expanding investment activities of IFC in India.
      1. Masala bonds are rupee-denominated borrowings issued overseas. IFC uses them to raise rupee funds overseas and brings the proceeds to India for investments.
    13. India Based construction major Larsen & Toubro is only Indian firm to be featured among top 25 companies in Forbes' global 2000 best employers list (ranked 22).
      1. Among top 100, there are 4 Indian firms - Mahindra & Mahindra (55), Grasim Industries (59) and HDFC (91). Also, Total 24 domestic companies in overall list.
      2. Top 3 - Alphabet (1), Microsoft (2), Apple.
    14. Angriya, India’s first luxury cruise ship, inaugurated at Mumbai by minister for shipping Nitin Gadkari. Named after the first Maratha Navy Admiral Kanhoji Angre and Angria bank coral reef near Vijaydurg.
    15. Special Centre for Disaster Research (SCDR) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) signed pact with Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Limited, to help obtain weather data for undertaking cutting-edge research in the field of hydro-meteorological disasters risk mitigation.
    16. SBI launched its wealth business services by opening “SBI Wealth Hub” at Lalbagh branch in Mangalore (Karnataka), becoming first PSU bank to introduce comprehensive wealth business services for its clients.
    17. 85-year-old Paul Biya won Cameroon (Central Africa) presidential elections for seventh time. First elected as the President in 1982, Biya is sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest leader.
    18. Based on Data by American Community Survey, Telugu is the fastest growing language in USA, with number of US residents speaking Telugu rose by 86 % between 2010 and 2017. Telugu However, is outside top 20 of most widely-spoken languages other than English in USA.
    19. Chinese President Xi Jinping officially opened world’s longest sea-crossing bridge.
      1. The $20-billion bridge, which spans 55 kilometres, connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
      2. Bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.
      3. It includes dual three-lane, oversea stretch (22.9 km) and undersea tunnel (6.7 km) which reaches depth of 44 m. The rest 25.4 km of the bridge runs over land. The two ends of tunnel of bridge are connected to two artificial islands. Bridge contains 400,000 tonnes of steel.
      4. Its total cost was 120 billion yuan ($17.3 billion).
    20. Ferrari's Racer Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) won F1 USA Grand Prix -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar -
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
  12. Oct 20, 2018 -
    1. Oct 20 - World Osteoporosis Day. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weak and brittle and increases the risk of a broken bone.
    2. General Conferences (Oct 11-20, 2018) -
      1. 6th UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force meeting held in Mumbai. During this, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu announced setting up of a special UAE desk to facilitate investments and resolve any business issues between two nations.
      2. 8th European Congress on SMEs held in Katowice, Poland, with theme Science- Business-Self Government TOGETHER FOR ECONOMY.
      3. Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi unfurled India’s highest tricolour on the terrace of the majestic Haj House in Mumbai. It measured 20×30 feet and stood 350 feet.
      4. 46th world’s largest IHGF-Delhi Fair held at India Expo Centre & Mart at Greater Noida (UP). It has played a vital role in increasing exports of handicrafts from country and has special importance for handicrafts sector. 
      5. Turkey will host a summit for Turkey, France, Germany and Russia in Istanbul, to discuss conflict in Syria and efforts for a lasting solution to end war in Syria.
      6. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare has released 12th Analytical Report of the National Health Profile 2018, prepared by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) since 2005.
      7. inaugural ‘Workshop on Best Practices in International Arbitration’ organised by NITI Aayog and ICC International Court of Arbitration in New Delhi.
      8. 6th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) held in Singapore. C. R. Chaudhary (Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) Visited On India's Behalf.
      9. India and Japan held their 2nd edition of ‘Japan-India Act East Forum’ in New Delhi.
      10. Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan Launched air quality early warning system for Delhi.
      11. 6th India International Silk Fair (IISF) HELD in New Delhi. India is 2nd largest producer of silk in world, providing gainful employment to around 8 million artisans and weavers in rural areas.
    3. Visits to India (Oct 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Andreas Krause, Chief of German Navy visited India.
      2. Augustine P. Mahiga , Foreign Minister of Tanzania Visited India. He attended 9th Session of India - Tanzania Joint Commission Meeting.
    4. Visits from India (Oct 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Visited France. She participated in the 1st India-France Ministerial level annual defence dialogue in Paris.
      2. 7th meeting of education ministers of member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Astana (Kazakhstan). India was represented by Minister of State (MoS) Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh.
      3. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Tajikistan capital Dushanbe to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of Government Council Meeting.
      4. Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu visited Azerbaijan to attend 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation (IA-IGC).
      5. President Ram Nath Kovind Visited Tajikistan (Central Asia). 9 MOUs were signed on the occasio, for cooeration in Political relations, Strategic research, Agriculture Renewable energy, Traditional medicine, Space technology, Youth affairs, Disaster Management AND Culture. India also announced grant of USD 20 Million to Tajikistan for implementation of development projects of Tajikistan.
    5. Kerala will become first state to have 100% penetration of LPG, becoming first smoke-free state.
    6. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will make an investment of 660 crores in HDFC real estate investment platform HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate – 2 (H-CARE 2). H-CARE 2 has a wider platform targeting affordable and mid-income residential projects in India and will play a significant role in progressing towards government’s flagship programme, Housing for All by 2022.
    7. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) formed a panel to examine claims in installments, headed by Suresh Mathur. anel look in to feasibility of proposal of general and health insurance companies for payment of claims in installments as against lump sum payments.
    8. Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced recipients of 2019 Breakthrough Prize, known as the “Oscars of Science,”.
      1. Each prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences (up to four per year), Fundamental Physics (one per year) and Mathematics(one per year). Awardees are -
      2. Award Awardee
        2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences  C. Frank Bennett and Adrian R. Krainer
        Angelika Amon
        Xiaowei Zhuang
        Zhijian “James” Chen
        2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Charles Kane and Eugene Mele
        2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics Vincent Lafforgue
        2019 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    9. Government launched an air pollution prediction system for Delhi, making it easier to alert general public about air quality 48 hours in advance. It is called Air Quality Early Warning System.
    10. Oct 20 - National Solidarity day. On October 20, 1962, China started the attacks on India and the Sino-Indian War started.
  13. Oct 19, 2018
    1. 2018 Tianjin Open Women's Tennis (China) -
      1. Singles - Caroline Garcia (France)
      2. Doubles - Nicole Melichar (USA) AND Květa Peschke (Czech Republic)
    2. Four peaks of Himalayan range near Gangotri glacier have been named after Former PM Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
    3. 4th International Film Festival of Shimla “IFFS 2018” concluded in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh). Best Feature Film award was given to Sinjar by Sandeep Pampally.
    4. Tamil Nadu Govt announced 3 % sub-quota in recruitments for sports persons, up from 2 % Earlier.
    5. Nepal celebrated festival of Fulpati, observed on 7th day of Dashain festival. Tradition is to bring nine types of Fulpati into home on seventh day of Navaratri.
    6. Rachana Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry selected 5 eminent people for Rachana Awards 2018 -
      1. Aloysius Richard Lobo - Rachana NRI of the Year
      2. Lawrence Pinto - Rachana Agriculturist of the Year
      3. Ronald Castelino - Rachana Entrepreneur of the Year
      4. Faye D’Souza - Rachana Professional of the Year
      5. Maria Jyothi AC - Rachana Woman of the Year
    7. Scientists at European Southern Observatory (ESO) discovered a galaxy proto-supercluster named “Hyperion”, the largest and the most massive structure in early universe known so far. Hyperion was found using data from VIMOS Ultra-Deep Survey done by VIMOS instrument on European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile.
      1. Hyperion’s mass is estimated to be a million billion times that of our own Sun (nearly 1,048 Jupiters, or 333,000 Earths). v. Hyperion is located in the constellation of Sextans.
    8. QS Quacquarelli Symonds released “QS India University Rankings 2019” as first standalone ranking of India’s higher education institutions - Top 5 universities in QS India University Rankings 2019 -
      1. Indian Institute Of Technology Bombay
      2. Indian Institute Of Science Bangalore
      3. Indian Institute Of Technology Madras
      4. Indian Institute Of Technology Delhi
      5. Indian Institute Of Technology Kharagpur
    9. BSNL signed MOU with Nokia Solutions and Networks to leverage Industry 4.0 for manufacturing excellence at Nokia’s factory in Oragadam, near Chennai. It will now leverage Industry 4.0 solutions such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), connected Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things to enhance operations and increase productivity.
    10. Hyderabad Police Launched ‘Bharosa’ centre to support women and children afflicted by violence. It would ensure speedy justice to women in distress and has facilities to record statements of children in POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) cases.
  14. Oct 18, 2018 -
    1. 2018 Youth Olympic Games (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
      1. It was 3rd edition of Youth Olympic Games, that began with 2010 (Singapore) and 2014 (Nanjing, China).
      2. 3997 Athletes from 206 Nations participated in 239 Events of 32 sports.
      3. Mascot was Pandi, a young Yaguareté (A southamerican animal very similar to Jaguar).
      4. Next, 2022 Youth Olympic Games will be hosted by Dakar (Senegal). It will be first ever hosting of any Olympic Games by an African Nation.
      5. Medal Table -
        1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
          1  Russia  29 18 12 59
          2  China 18 9 9 36
          3  Japan 15 12 12 39
          Mixed-NOCs 13 13 13 39
          4  Hungary 12 7 5 24
          5  Italy  11 10 13 34
      6. India at 2018 Summer Youth Olympics -
        1. With Total 13 Medals (2 Gold, 9 Silver, 1 Bronze), India was ranked 17th. It was India's Best performance in Youth Olympics So far. India won 8 Medals in 2010 and 2 in 2014, wit No Gold in either of first two.
        2. Indian Medallists -
          1. Gold -
            1. Jeremy Lalrinnunga - Weightlifting (Boys 62 kg)
            2. Manu Bhaker - Shooting (Girls' 10 metre air pistol) (She also won a silver in International Mixed event, mixing up with Tajikistan's Behzan Fayzuallev)
            3. Saurabh Chaudhary - Shooting Boys (10 metre air pistol)
          2. Silver -
            1. Tushar Mane - Shooting Boys' 10 metre air rifle
            2. Tababi Devi - Judo Girls' 44 kg
            3. Mehuli Ghosh - Shooting Girls' 10 metre air rifle
            4. Lakshya Sen - Badminton Boys' singles
            5. Simran - Wrestling Girl's freestyle 43 kg
            6. Men's hockey team (Lost to Malaysia)
            7. Women's hockey team (Lost to Argentina)
            8. Suraj Panwar - Athletics Boys' 5 km walk
            9. Akash Malik - Archery Boys' individual
          3. Bronze -
            1. Praveen Chitravel - Athletics Boys' triple jump
    2. Govt. laid foundation stone for proposed Museum on Prime Ministers of India at Teen Murti Estate in New Delhi.
      1. Teen Murti Estate has a total area of 25.50 acres out of which, Nehru Memorial Museum Building occupies around 2 acres only. Government decided to set up Museum on Prime Ministers of India in remaining area of Teen Murti Estate.
    3. Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh launched award scheme under Saubhagya Scheme (known as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana). It will felicitate the power distribution companies (DISCOMs) for achieving 100 % household electrification.   There will be two quantum of award -
      1. Under first quantum of award, 1st DISCOM / Power Department that achieves 100 % household electrification by end of November 2018 would be provided cash award of Rs 50 Lakh. 
      2. 2nd quantum of award includes cash award of Rs 100 crore as grant to concerned DISCOM to be spent in distribution infrastructure development in their area of operation.
    4. Canada legalised possession and use of recreational cannabis (also called Marijuana), becoming 2nd country to do so After Uruguay.
    5. NITI Aayog launched model guidelines for Public-Private partnership in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).  Under these, private partner will invest in upgrading, building and deploying human resources. They will be responsible for operational management and service delivery. Newly issued guidelines will help streamline private participation and encourage world-class infrastructure and patient care in the health sector.
    6. Rural Development Ministry's Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) signed MoU with Delhi University's Lady Irwin College for establishing ROSHNI - Centre of Women Collectives led Social Action.
    7. As a first such mission, European and Japanese space agencies launched Bepi Colombo spacecraft, for a joint mission to Mercury, planet closest to the sun. Spacecraft will arrive at Mercury in 2025.
      1. It has named after Italian scientist Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo. During its 5.2 billion miles journey, spacecraft will several fly-bys of Earth, Venus and Mercury, to slow down enough to avoid huge gravitational pull of Sun.
    8. Priyank Kanoongo appointed as Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
    9. Reliance signed strategic investment partnership with Den Networks and Hathway Cable and Datacom, to accelerate Jio GigaFiber rollout to 50 million homes across 1,100 cities. RIL will invest 2045 crores for 66% stake in Den and 2940 crores for a 51.3% stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited (Hathway).
    10. India will host 4th edition of Global Partners' Forum in December 2018 in New Delhi, to will unite over 100 countries' representatives to discuss issues, strategies and solutions to women's, children's and adolescents' health.
    11. RBI announced more measures to increase liquidity flows to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). RBI permitted banks to use government securities equal to their incremental outstanding credit to NBFCs, over and above their outstanding credit, to be used to meet liquidity coverage ratio requirements. Also,
      1. RBI allowed banks to avail up to 15% of holdings under statutory liquidity reserves to meet liquidity coverage ratio norms.
      2. RBI cancelled Certificate of Registration of 31 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
      3. RBI approved license for Germany based Kreditech, to operate as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) for digital lending business and app-based financing.
    12. Kereru, a native green and bronze wood pigeon, known to fall from trees after consuming rotten berries, named 2018 bird of the year in New Zealand.
    13. Actor Kamal Haasan (Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder) launched a women safety app named ‘Raudram’.
    14. Queensland became 5th Australian state to legalise abortion, allowing termination of pregnancy up to 22 weeks gestation, and thereafter with approval of doctors.
    15. Railways will Build first station inside a tunnel, at Keylong, at a height of 3,000 metres, on strategic Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line in Himachal Pradesh.
      1. It will be part of world’s highest rail network at 5,360 metres height. 465-km railway line will have 30 stations and is estimated to cost 83,360 crores.
    16. TCS displaced Accenture as world’s largest IT firm servicing banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector. TCS got $2.07 billion in business from sector in July-September period as compared to Accenture’s $2.01 billion in June-August period.
    17. India and China will resume their annual bilateral military exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in December 2018, which has been upheld since 2016.
    18. Assam celebrated its 3rd Bihu festival known as Kati Bihu’ festival across state. Name of the other 2 Bihu festivals is: Rongali and Bohagi Bihu.
    19. Mumbai defeated Delhi to win Vijay Hazare Cricket Trophy.
    20. India lost one spot to rank as 9th most valuable nation brand in world, according to UK-based consultancy Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2018 report. However, India’s brand value increased by 5% to $2,159 billion. US topped the list with a brand value of $25,899 billion.
  15. Oct 17, 2018
    1. Oct 17 - UN International Day for Eradication of Poverty. 2018 theme is Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.
    2. Arshdeep Singh (Punja) won Wildlife Photographer of Year award in 10 Years and Under category given by UK’s Natural History Museum. He won the award for the picture titled ‘Pipe Owls’, which showed two spotted owlets sitting inside an old waste-pipe in Punjab Kapurthala.
      1. At the same occasion, Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten won Wildlife Photographer of Year award, for his photo of critically endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys in China, titled ‘The Golden Couple’.
    3. Professional Boxer Canelo Alvarez signed he largest contract in the history of sports, agreeing a five-year, 11-fight deal worth at least $365 million with streaming service DAZN. Under it, Alvarez will participate in 11 fights starting December 2018. Previous richest contract was 13-year, $325-million deal signed by New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton in 2014.
    4. To Further promote digital transactions, RBI released operational guidelines to facilitate payments among prepaid instruments (PPI) (mobile wallets). It elaborate on requirements for achieving interoperability for mobile wallets and cards, and norms for customer protection and grievance redressal.
      1. Interoperability will be achieved in phased manner i.e. initially inter-operability of PPIs issued in form of wallets through UPI, and later between wallets and bank accounts through UPI, and interoperability for PPIs issued in form of cards through card networks.
      2. It will be facilitated to all KYC-compliant PPI accounts and entire acceptance infrastructure. In case where PPIs are issued in form of cards, then cards will be affiliated to authorised card networks.
      3. Card networks are also allowed to onboard PPI issuers to join their network. Non-bank PPI issuers are permitted to participate as members/associate members of authorised card networks.
    5. Social Entrepreneur Suheil F. Tandon won International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Active Society Commission Grant Award for his contribution to sports development. Suheil is the Founder of Pro Sport Development (PSD) and Executive Director of Martha Farrell Foundation.
    6. Maeen Abdulmalik has been appointed as new Prime Minister of Yemen (Middle East).
    7. Sajjan Jindal (JSW Steel CMD) elected as treasurer of World Steel Association (WSA), during its general assembly in Toyko (Japan). Tata Steel MD T V Narendran and ArcelorMittal Chief L N Mittal are appointed as members, while Andre Johannpeter elected as Chairman.
    8. Bihar's Shahi litchi got Geographical Indication (GI) tag, making it an exclusive brand. Shahi litchi is famous for its sweet, juicy, unique flavour and aroma, is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts including East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai.
    9. Lotay Tshering is set to become new Prime Minister of Bhutan, after his party Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) won majority in National Assembly.
    10. IRCTC launched Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbot Ask Disha, aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers.
    11. Government allowed foreign tourists to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions, overpowering its earlier order that made it mandatory for foreign tourists to register with Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) within 24 hours of their arrival. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan will require Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit.
    12. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways launched Youth Road Safety Learners Licence programme in New Delhi, as a Public–private partnership (PPP) initiative in collaboration with Diageo India and Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). It attempts to bring structured training program for young, first-time drivers as they apply for learner’s license.
    13. North Central Railways (NCR) launched two mobile apps, NCR RASTA (Railway assets Summerised Tracking Application) and Yatri RASTA (Railway Approach to Station Tracking Application) for its employees and passengers, respectively, for locating assets and stations.
    14. National Commission for Women (NCW) launched dedicated e-mail address (ncw.metoo@gmail.com) to report instances of sexual harassment at workplace. On receiving complaint, NCW will take forward complaints of sexual harassment at workplace received so that appropriate action may be taken.
    15. Indian-American Minal Patel Davis honoured with USA Presidential Medal for Combating Human Trafficking’, for her extraordinary contribution towards combating human trafficking. She is special advisor on Human Trafficking to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
    16. USA merged its Consulate General with its new embassy in Israel into single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, as part of US’s global efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. Earlier in May 2018, US moved its Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
      1. US will establish new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside embassy in Jerusalem to continue reporting, outreach and programming in West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
    17. 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 5th ADMM-Plus held in Singapore. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman Visited on India's Behalf.
    18. India and US agreed to elevate their bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to trilateral format by including Japan. Next edition of this exercise is scheduled to be held in December 2018. The three countries already are conducting trilateral naval war games under expanded Malabar naval exercise.
    19. China’s first home-grown amphibious aircraft AG600 (code-named Kunlong) successfully carried out its first take-off and landing on water, claimed as world’s largest amphibious aircraft. It can carry 50 people and can stay airborne for 12 hours, with operational range of 4,500-km.
    20. India’s longest river bridge with total length of 19.3 kilometers will be built on Brahmaputra river in Assam, connecting Dhubri (Assam) to Fulbarani (Meghalaya). At present, India’s largest river bridge is Dhola-Sadia bridge, its length is 9.15 kilometers. It will be completed by 2026-27 and will be public-funded work, with loan from Japanese Finance Agency (JICA).
  16. Oct 16, 2018
    1. Oct 16 - World Food Day. 2018 Theme is Our actions are our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible.
      1. On this occasion, Government launched national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’, to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy. Under it, pan-India cycle rally is being organized to create consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food for becoming healthy and combating food adulteration.
      2. On this occasion, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated a two-day Agri-startup and Entrepreneurship event in New Delhi.
      3. On This Occasion, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee launched ‘Khadya Sathi’ Food security scheme.
    2. India and Japan will hold first ever joint military exercise 'DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018 at in Vairengte (Mizoram), During November 1 - 14, 2018. Indian contingent will be represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while Japanese contingent will be represented by 32 Infantry Regiment.
    3. Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at University of Pennsylvania School of Design (USA) awarded its 4th annual Carnot Prize to India's Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal (former Minister of Power), Recognising his work for bringing pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector.
      1. Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development.
      2. 2018 Carnot Prize Honors India's work towards mission 24x7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all.
        1. India has eliminated decades of darkness in more than 19,000 villages on 28th April, 2018.
        2. With Saubhagya Programme, last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages is being fast tracked, with 51% of the 3.1 crore rural households electrified.
        3. IndIa's Massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, being world’s largest renewable expansion programme with 72 GW already achieved.
        4. Carnot Prize recognises India’s solid footing to reach a 40% renewable mix by 2030.
        5. In last 4 years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme. 130 crore LED bulbs have been already distributed.
    4. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu visited Brussels (Belgium) to attend 12th ASEM (Asia Europe Meeting) Summit 2018. Theme of Summit is Global Partners for Global Challenges.
    5. CSIR Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR) Lucknow has developed an innovative technology for “Drinking Water Disinfection System” with Trade name “OneerTM”, transferred to Bluebird Water Purifiers.
      1. This system will provide safe and clean drinking water at a cost of just 2 Paise / Ltr. Community level model is of 450 LPH capacity which can be scaled up to 5000 to 1 lakh L/day.
      2. Smaller unit of Oneer is particularly suitable for homes, street food vendors, and small establishments.
    6. Home Ministry suggested filling up civil posts in UT of Chandigarh in ratio of 60:40 between Punjab and Haryana. It also suggested to make it optional for Sikh women to wear a helmet while riding 2 Wheeler.
    7. Biography of late Industrialist Anumolu Ramakrishna titled ‘Building a Legacy’ has been released, written by V. Pattabhi Ram and R. Mohan.
    8. Prema Gopalan has been honored with 8th Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (SEOY) 2018, for her work in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and rural livelihood. She is the founder of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP).
    9. According to a World Health Organization report, India is world’s most depressed country, closely followed by China and USA. Also according to the 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) implemented by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, every 6th Indian needs mental health help.
    10. World Konkani Centre honored writer and journalist H M Pernal with ‘Vimala V Pai Vishwa’ Konkani best book award for 2018, for ‘Beeg Ani Beegath’, a collection of short stories in Konkani.
    11. An ATM for deposit and withdrawal of money for cryptocurrencies has been installed in Bengaluru’s Kemp Fort Mall by virtual currency exchange Unocoin, as India's First Such. Users can deposit money to buy currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum using an OTP received on their registered numbers.
    12. Global Competitiveness Report 2018 by World Economic Forum (WEF) -
      1. India - Ranked 58th, Bettering 2017 Rank by 5 Places.
      2. Top 5 - USA (1), Singapore (2), Germany (3), Switzerland (4), Japan (5)
      3. Bottom 5 - Chad (140), Yemen (139), Haiti (138), Angola (137), Burundi (136)
      4. Neighbours - Bangladesh (103), Sri Lanka (85), Pakistan (107), Nepal (109)
    13. A new book on Maharana Pratap named ‘Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior’ authored by historian Rima Hooja has been released.
    14. Anna Burns became First Northern Irish author to win 2018 Man Booker Prize (Fiction), after she won it for her novel Milkman. ‘Milkman’ tells story of a young girl’s affair with an older man. Award consisis cash prize of £50,000 (~$65,000).
      1. Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK.
    15. Noted Late Space Scientist Stephen Hawking’s final Book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions has been Launched. It tackles issues from existence of God to the potential for time travel.
  17. Oct 15, 2018
    1. Oct 15 - International Day of Rural Women. 2018 theme is Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. It is observed as Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas in India.
    2. Oct 15 - World Students’ Day. In 2010, UN declared 15 October as World Students’ Day, commemorating birth anniversary of Late APJ Abdul Kalam, scientist and former President of India.
    3. 3rd Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) held in Indian Ocean, after a gap of 5 years.
    4. Germany and UK with support from World Bank, launched a new Global Risk Financing Facility (GRiF), To support vulnerable countries to climate and disaster shocks.
      1. This fund will consist of an initial corpus of $150 million. It will be built on the work of several existing programs including InsuResilience Climate Risk Financing and Insurance Program MDTF established by BMZ, DFID and World Bank, Centre for Global Disaster Protection established by DFID and World Bank, andInsuResilience Solutions Fund jointly established by BMZ and KFW.
      2. Funding includes Insurance premium financing, Risk financing investments, Risk financing mechanisms that promote parallel improvements in countries for crisis response and recovery AND Technical assistance and capacity building where this is not yet covered by other programs.
    5. India and Australia held their 2nd edition of ‘2+2’ secretary-level dialogue in Canberra. India was represented by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.
    6. Punjab Govt. launched 3 apps to prevent crop residue burning, To check and create awareness about environmental effects of crop residue burning. Apps are i-Khet Machine, e-PEHaL and e-Prevent.
    7. 32nd world conference of World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) held at Gurugram, (Haryana), as first Hosting of a WUWM conference by India. Theme is The Wholesale Markets in the Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities.
    8. Finance Ministry increased interest rates for non-governmental provident funds, gratuity and superannuation to 8 % from existing 7.6 %, Also hiking interest rates for small savings schemes by 40 basis points. Changes are effective from October to December 2018.
    9. National Mission for Clean Ganga laid down limits of ecological flow of the river Ganga for first time, to enable hydropower projects to modify their operations along river.
      1. Upper stretches (origin to Haridwar) will have to maintain 20% of average flow of preceding 10-days between November and March which are dry seasons, 25% during October, April and May,which are the lean seasons, 30% during monsoon months of June-September.
      2. In main stem from Haridwar to Unnao, minimum flow of various barrages have been specified.
    10. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation, Vijay Goel, inaugurated Online Assurances Monitoring System (OAMS), To create transparency in assurance process in Parliamentary affairs.
    11. Minister for Women and Child Development has set up a four-member committee to examine all #MeToo campaign cases, which has become popular recently with various sexual assault allegations on several famous names.
    12. Japan will host 2019 edition of 4th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays, in May 2019. This will serve as a qualifier for world championships taking place in Doha in September and October 2019.
    13. Scientists at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (Canada) developed a new camera called the T-CUP, touted as world’s fastest camera. It can capture 10 trillion frames per second. It can freeze time to see light in extremely slow motion.
    14. 9-member group has been constituted with Shivaji B Zaware as convener, to enquire and list ongoing issues with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS).
    15. President approved Assam’s The Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill 2017, to allow companies to retrench (lay off) up to 300 employees without seeking prior approval of government. It will replace the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. Compensation to a retrenched labourer will be 60 days’ salary instead of present 15 days’ and no government permission will be required.
    16. India’s first agri and food business online learning platform launched at SR Innovation Exchange (SRiX) Campus at Warangal (Telangana). It is an Indo-UK collaborative initiative and a technology business incubator under the Department of Science and Technology.
    17. Haryana launched first-of-its-kind National Autism Intervention Research Centre in Gurugram, in association with Behaviour Momentum India.
    18. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) developed a new online portal for Industrial Entrepreneurs’ Memorandum (IEM) and Industrial Licence (IL), at https://services.dipp.gov.in.
    19. A friendly Football match played between India and China in Suzhou (China), as first time in 21 years, after Nehru Cup in Kochi in 1997. Sandesh Jhingan was captain of Indian team for the Match. The game ended in a Draw at 0-0.
    20. Government will introduce a bill in Winter Session in December 2018, to speed up inter-state river water dispute resolution among states and manage affairs of 13 river basins across country. Named River Basin Management Bill 2018, it will replace River Board Act 1956 which is only advisory in nature.
      1. Authorities will be set up for river basins of Ganga, Indus, Godavari, Mahanadi, Mahi, Narmada, Pennar, Cauvery, Krishna, Tapi, Subarnrekha, Brahmani-Baitarini and Brahamaputra- Barak-inter-state rivers of north-east.
    21. 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group held in Bali Nusa Dua (Indonesia). Subhash Chandra Garg (Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs) Attended the meets. G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was also held on the sidelines of IMF /World Bank annual meets in Bali.
  18. Oct 14, 2018
    1. RBI injected INR 12000 crores into system through purchase of government bonds, under Open Market Operations. Purchase of government securities maturing will bear interest rate of - 8.27 % in 2020, 8.15 % in 2022, 7.35 % in 2024, 8.15 % in 2026 and 7.61 % in 2030.
    2. Kerala government approved Compensation worth 50 Lakh for Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, in compliance with a September 14 Supreme Court order, that required awarding the compensation to him for being falsely implicated in 1994 espionage case.
    3. Indus Food-II tradeshow will be held in Greater Noida (UP) in January 2019, organized by Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI). Indusfood-II is an export focused annual F&B (Food and Beverage) trade fair. It will exhibit India’s best food, beverages and agri products to global buyers.
    4. Government reduced excise duty on jet fuel to 11 % from current 14 % inorder to help the aviation industry that has been affected by high fuel prices.
    5. Russian Human rights activist Oyub Titiev became 6th Recepient of Council of Europe’s Vaclav Havel prize, consisting 60,000-euro ($67,000) cash prize, for his struggle defending human rights in troubled Russian Caucasus republic.
    6. Maharashtra government approved assistance of Rs 1,610 crore for the Tarli Irrigation Project in the Satara district. Project consists of 8 lift irrigation schemes on Tarli river.
    7. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Voyager 2 probe is on its way outside the influence of the Sun and it could be close to interstellar space. It was launched on August 21, 1977. Voyager 2 could be 2nd space probe to reach interstellar space after Voyager 1 which crossed into interstellar space in 2014.
    8. World Bank announced concessional loan worth USD 195 million to Nepal to reform country’s financial and energy sectors.
    9. Former India Cricketer Anil Kumble’s Tech startup Spektacom Technologies launched the Power Bat, powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform and its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) services. Star India is broadcasting partner.
      1. Power Bat will provide real-time data on a player’s performance based on parameters like speed of the ball on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot.
      2. In a live match, when the batsman hits the ball, data is captured in a new unit of measurement called Power Speks.
    10. RTI rating by Access Info Europe and the Centre for Law and Democracy , created by Transparency International -
      1. India ranked at 6th position out of 123 countries, after a downfall of 4 positions from the previous year. India got a score of 128 out of 150. It noted that India doesn’t provide protection for whistleblowers.
      2. In India, total RTIs filed in 2017 were: 66.6 lakh, out of which, 4.8 lakh were rejected. Total number of second appeals were 18.5 lakh and total penalty imposed by CIC is 1.9 crore.
      3. Top 5 - Afghanistan, Mexico, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Slovenia. Austria Ranked Lowest.
    11. Oct 14 - World Standards day.
  19. Oct 13, 2018
    1. Oct 13 - International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). 2018 theme is Reducing Disaster Economic Losses.
      1. On This occasion, United Nations report titled ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’ was released. As per the report -
        1. India suffered $79.5 billion economic loss due to climate-related disasters in last 20 years.
        2. Greatest economic losses was experienced by United Stats at $944.8 billion followed by China ($492.2 billion), Japan ($376.3 billion), India ($79.5 billion), Puerto Rico ($71.7 billion), France ($48.3 billion).
        3. Floods (43.4%) followed by storms (28.2%) are the two most frequently occurring disasters.
    2. Oct 13 - World Migratory Bird Day. 2018 theme is Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation.
    3. Asian Para Games 2018 (Jakarta, Indonesia)-
      1. 2762 Athletes from 43 Nations participated in 512 Events in 18 sports.
      2. Official mascot was a Bondol eagle named Momo (short for motivation and mobility).
      3. India ranked 9th with total 72 Medals. It was India's best ever show in Asian Para Games.
      4. Medal Table -
        1. Rank NPC Gold Silver Bronze Total
          1 China (CHN) 172 88 59 319
          2  South Korea (KOR) 53 45 46 144
          3  Iran (IRI) 51 42 43 136
          4  Japan (JPN) 45 70 83 198
          5  Indonesia (INA) 37 47 51 135
          6  Uzbekistan (UZB) 35 24 18 77
          7  Thailand (THA) 23 33 50 106
          8  Malaysia (MAS) 17 26 25 68
          9 India (IND) 15 24 33 72
          10 Hong Kong (HKG) 11 16 21 48
    4. Noted music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, famously known as Khayyam won 2018 Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement, by Maharashtra Govt.
    5. Ministry of Home Affairs clarificfied that members of Gorkha community living in Assam are Not Foreigners and Belong to State, amid questions arising about the same after recently released National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam that left out 40 Lakh People.
    6. Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi recommended names of 5 Chief Justices to High Courts of -
      1. Bombay - NH Patil
      2. Calcutta - DK Gupta
      3. Uttarakhand - Ramesh Ranganathan
      4. Gauhati - AS Bopanna
      5. Sikkim - Vijai Kumar Bist
    7. International Olympics Committee (IOC) picked its first African host of any Olympics, by awarding 2022 Youth Games Hosting to. Senegal will host youth games in 3 places - Dakar, A new city of Diamniadio and coastal resort of Saly.
    8. Coal India and NLC India (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) will jointly set up 5000 MW of power generation capacity of which 3000 MW would be solar powered while the rest 2000 MW would be coal-fuelled.
      1. Coal India has been tasked to become a net zero emission energy company by the ministry of coal, a move which requires it to generate 3,000 MW of solar power.
    9. IIT-Madras will collaborate with Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) to enhance data-driven governance, by supporting State government on various data science and ICT-related challenges.
    10. First India-Israel Innovation Centre (IIIC) entrepreneurial technology hub launched in Bengaluru (Karnataka), to forge local partnerships and joint ventures between companies from two countries.
    11. NSE signed a pact with the Uttarakhand government to provide access to capital to SMEs, to fuel growth of such SMEs in state by increasing awareness along with government on opportunities to raise capital, SME exchange guidelines, listing processes, compliance with listing etc.
    12. SBI signed MoU with Kathmandu-based National Banking Institute (NBI) for development of human resources of NBI. SBI will impart education, training and development to facilitate transformation of NBI's HR department.
    13. Indian tennis Player Leander Paes won his second Challenger-level title of season, winnning Santo Domingo Open trophy (Dominican Republic) with partner Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela.
    14. India and China launched their first joint programme for Afghanistan to train its diplomats. Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar hosted 10 Afghan Diplomats who will travel to India for 1st India-China joint training programme for Afghan diplomats, under Trilateral Cooperation between India, China and Afghanistan.
    15. India and Sri Lanka signed 2 MoU for construction of 1200 houses through 50 model villages, using Indian grant assistance of 60 crore Srilankan rupees.
      1. Also, Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium built with Indian grant assistance of 30 crore Sri Lankan rupees in Sri Lanka was dedicated to the people.
    16. Wrestler and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rahul Aware received Best Sportsperson of Year award at the annual Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (JSAM) awards.
    17. Old World Theatre festival will be organized by India Habitat Centre, recognized by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. It will showcase 15 plays on a pan-Indian constellation of original scripts from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Kerala.
    18. Former Indian Cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi honoured with Dr.M.A.Chidambaram Birth Centenary Award in Chennai, instituted by MAC Charities in memory of the former BCCI president M.A.Chidambaram.
    19. Mahindra Mutual Fund (subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Limited) launched new open ended equity scheme called ‘Mahindra Rural Bharat and Consumption Yojana’, to provide investors an opportunity to participate in India growth story predominantly in Rural India.
    20. World Bank announced funding of up to $1 billion for the Indonesian government to supplement relief and reconstruction efforts in wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country last month.
  20. Oct 12, 2018
    1. Oct 12 - World Egg Day. It is also named as World Arthritis Day.
    2. 3rd ‘MahaBiz 2018’ International Business Conference held in Dubai, (UAE), as a bridge for business opportunities between Maharashtra and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
    3. Severe Cyclone Titli caused heavy losses in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, with winds above 150 KMPH.
    4. 2018 Global Hunger Index (GHI), prepared by global NGOs Concern Worldwide (Ireland) and Welthungerhilfe (Germany).
      1. Level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide fell to 20.9, down from 29.2 in 2000. 
      2. India was ranked 103rd out of 119 qualifying countries. 
      3. 15 countries with 2018 GHI scores of less than 5 are not assigned individual ranks, but rather are collectively ranked 1–15. These are - Belarus, Cuba, Estonia, Kuwait, Latvia, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania,Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile, Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
      4. Bottom 5 - Central African Republic (119), Chad (118), Yemen (117), Madagascar (116), Zambia (115)
      5. Neighbours - Bangladesh (86), China (25), Nepal (72), Pakistan (106), Sri Lanka (67)
    5. Great Britain won 2018 Sultan of Johor Hockey Cup, defeating India. It was hosted by Malaysia.
    6. Indian Ocean: Defining our Future Conference held in Colombo (Sri Lanka), aimed at exploring strongest challenges in Indian Ocean region.
    7. Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi released a book named ‘Lalu-Leela’, as Sushil Modi’s second book after ‘Beech Samar Mein’.
    8. 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters Men's tennis Title -
      1. Singles - Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
      2. Doubles - Łukasz Kubot (Poland) AND Marcelo Melo (Brazil)
    9. Government’s think tank NITI Aayog signed agreement with Microsoft India to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address challenges in agriculture and healthcare and promote adoption of local languages. This will help NITI Aayog to move beyond pilots and understand how to scale AI implementation in sectors characterized by preponderance of public goods.
    10. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) celebrated Silver Jubilee (25 years) on October 12, 2018. It was set up on October 12, 1993.NHRC also released special silver jubilee logo and commissioned documentary titled ‘NHRC: 25 years, Billion Hopes’.
    11. Indian Navy inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) which is deployed to rescue downed or disaster-struck submarines at high sea. It will be based in Mumbai and will enhance Navy’s operational capabilities.
      1. With this, India joined select list of international navies (United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore UK, Sweden and Australia) with ability to search, locate and provide assistance to downed or disaster-struck or distressed submarines at high sea.
    12. 6th India International Silk Fair (IISF) held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, organised by Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC).
      1. India is 2nd largest producer of silk after China.
    13. Delhi government launched Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme that seeks to attract young leaders across the country to work with it on addressing some of the most pressing urban challenges. Fellows will be assigned to work with ministers or senior officials and will be paid remuneration of Rs 1.25 lakh per month (75,000 per month to Associate Fellows).
    14. Government appointed Shekhar Mande as Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary in Department of Scientific and Research (DSIR).
    15. 1st India-United States tri-services exercise will take place in 2019 in India, including all services of both countries (also talks are on to include special forces).
    16. World’s Most Innovative University Report, by Reuters news agency rankings -
      1. It was first published in 2015, since then there has been no mention of any Indian university in the list.
      2. In top 100, 48 universities are from North America, 23 from Asia, 27 from Europe and 2 from Middle East. US dominated with 46 universities among top 100.
      3. Top 10 -
        1. Stanford University (US)
        2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
        3. Harvard University (US)
        4. University of Pennsylvania (US)
        5. University of Washington(US)
        6. University of Texas System(US)
        7. KU Leuven (Belgium)
        8. Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
        9. University of North Carolina (US)
        10. Vanderbilt University (US)
    17. Ahead of Kumbh Mela 2019, Uttar Pradesh Government will rename Allahabad district as Prayagraj.
    18. Sikkim has been awarded UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award (Gold Prize) for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state. Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) were jointly Silver Awardees.
    19. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated India’s status as polio-free country, after some oral polio vaccine vials being found contaminated with the type-2 polio virus.
      1. They also asserted that all vaccines provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) are safe and urged people to get their children vaccinated.
      2. India was certified polio-free in March 2014 and it still continues to remain vigilant against all three types of polioviruses. Last polio case due to wild poliovirus in country was detected on 13 January 2011.
    20. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued draft ‘National Policy on Electronics 2018’ (NPE 2018) for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector of India.
      1. Sets ambitious target of creating $400 billion electronics manufacturing industry by 2025.
      2. Aims to double the target of mobile phone production from 500 million units in 2019 to 1 billion by 2025.
      3. Replaces existing incentive schemes like Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), with schemes that are easier to implement such as interest subsidy and credit default guarantee etc.
      4. Proposes to set up 20 greenfield and three brownfield electronic manufacturing cluster projects have been sanctioned with project outlay of Rs 3,898 crore, including Rs 1,577 crore from Central Government.
  21. Oct 11, 2018
    1. Oct 11 - International Day of the Girl Child. 2018 theme was With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.
    2. Oct 11 - World Obesity Day. 2018 theme is It’s time to End Weight Stigma. It is also named as World Sight Day.
    3. NITI Aayog and IBM launched a first-of-its-kind internship programme for students selected by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). It will see 38 students receive a two-week paid training in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things, cybersecurity, cloud computing and blockchain.
      1. 14 Selected teachers from ATLs will also be trained by IBM volunteers and mentors to become innovation coaches.
    4. Government approved a special package for employment generation in leather and footwear sector, involving implementation of Central Sector Scheme - Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) with expenditure of 2600 Crores for 2017-20.
      1. To boost leather industry in Tamil Nadu under IFLADP, 4 projects with outlay of 107 crores are approved - Upgradation of Tala Trichy Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at Trichy, Pallavaram CETP at Nagalkeni Chrompet, and SIDCO Phase-I CEPT at Ranipet and Perundurai leather industries Eco Security Pvt. Ltd. at Erode.
      2. DIPP also approved mega leather cluster at Bantala in West Bengal.
    5. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed MoU with Central University of Jammu (CUJ) for setting up Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in University. Another MoU was signed between CUJ and Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO), To create awareness about space research and to motivate young minds to take up research related to space.
    6. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) siged 2 MoUs with Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), to launch the programme “PRAKRITI” with objective to promote awareness about forests and environment.
      1. Through this collaboration, knowledge will be imparted to students/teachers of NVS and KVS on environment, forest, environmental services and contemporary areas of forestry research by way of lectures and interactive sessions by scientists of ICFRE institutes.
      2. MoUs are signed for period of 10 years are expected to make youth sensitive about issues of environment and forests and help them to become responsible citizens.
    7. World Economic Forum (WEF) launched new Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, based in Maharashtra, as fourth center in chain-ones as part of WEF’s global network along with San Francisco (US), Tokyo (Japan) and Beijing (China).
      1. It will facilitate to bring together government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies. It has selected drones, artificial intelligence and blockchain as the first three project areas.
      2. First project will focus on expanding access to data to accelerate adoption of AI in socio-economic areas like education, healthcare and agriculture. 2nd will focus on application of smart contracts to boost productivity and transparency while reducing inefficiency.
    8. World Bank released World Development Report 2019, with Theme The Changing Nature of Work. As part of report, World Bank launched a Human Capital Project (HCP), claimed to be a program of advocacy, measurement, and analytical work to raise awareness and increase demand for interventions to build human capital.
      1. There are three components of HCP - Human capital measurement metric called Human Capital Index (HCI), a programme of measurement and research to inform policy action, and a programme of support for country strategies to accelerate investment in human capital.
      2. Human Capital index (HCI) -
        1. HCI is constructed for 157 countries. It measures amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18. HCI has three components -
          1. Survival, as measured by under-5 mortality rates.
          2. Expected years of Quality-Adjusted School 
          3. Health environment using two proxies of adult survival rates and rate of stunting for children under age 5.
        2. How World Banks' HCI Is different from UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) -
          1. HIC uses survival rates and stunting rate instead of life expectancy as measure of health, and quality-adjusted learning instead of merely years of schooling as measure of education.
          2. Two significant changes from HDI are exclusion of income component and introduction of quality adjustment in learning. Exclusion of income element and introduction of quality adjustment makes HCI far less representative of Human Capital Development than Index claims it to be.
        3. Observations of 1st HCI Report -
          1. For 56% of world’s population, HCI is below 0.50, for 92% it is at or below 0.75. Hence only 8% of the population can expect to be 75% as productive as they could be.
          2. Advanced economies such as North America and Europe mostly have HCI value of above 0.75, while South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa have lowest HCI.
          3. Top 5 - Singapore (1), South Korea (2), Japan (3), Hong Kong (4),Finland (5)
          4. Bottom 5 - Chad (157), South Sudan (156), Niger (155), Mali (154), Liberia (153)
          5. Neighbours - China (46), Bangladesh (106), Pakistan (134), Sri Lanka (74), Nepal (102)
          6. Report in Context of India -
            1. HCI for India is estimated at 0.44, ranked 115th.
            2. There has been improvement in HCI components  in India  over last five years.
            3. Probability of Survival to Age 5 is 96 %.
            4. In India, a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 10.2 years of school by her 18th birthday.
            5. Harmonized Test Scores: Students in India score 355 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
            6. Across India, 83 per cent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60.
            7. In India, HCI for girls is marginally higher than for boys. 
            8. Further, India finds the report Insignificant as -
              1. Quality adjusted learning has been measured in case of India by using the data as old as 2009.
              2. Purpose of Index is to create political incentive for increased spending on health and education. Unfortunately, indicators used are so slow moving that none can really be excited about setting out programme of Index improvement.  
              3. HCI score for India does not reflect the key initiatives that are being taken for developing human capital, Including -
                1. Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
                2. Ayushman Bharat Programme (world’s largest Health Insurance initiative providing 500 million citizens with adequate health coverage)
                3. Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan that triggered Sanitation coverage expansion from 38% in 2014 to 83% in 2018, under Swachh Bharat Mission.
                4. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana that provided over 4 Crore women with LPG connection to replace firewood and coke based cooking stoves.
    9. Government appointed Pravin Srivastava as Chief statistician of India (CSI), replacing TCA Anant.
    10. Indus Towers, world’s largest telecom tower company (outside China), won Deming Prize for 2018, being the first Indian company in the service sector and the fifth in world to achieve this.
      1. Deming Prize bestowed on Indus Towers for distinctive performance improvements through application of Total Quality Management (TQM) practices. Indus Towers is 29th Indian company to win this award.
    11. Veena Sendre from Chhattisgarh selected as India’s first ‘Miss Trans Queen’.
    12. China launched two remote sensing satellites belonging to the Yaogan-32 family by a Long March-2C rocket.
    13. Mahesh Y Reddy appointed as its Secretary General of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
    14. Delhi government signed a twin-city agreement with the Moscow (Russia) for cooperation in fields like environment, culture and education, for the next 3 years.
    15. Malaysia Government abolished death penalty, following strong domestic opposition for it.
    16. Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde has been honored with New Academy Prize in Literature, an alternative award formed in protest to Nobel Literature Prize.
      1. Note That Right Livelihood Awards are also promoted as Alternative Nobel Awards, Presented annually in Stockholm (Sweden). 2018 Winners are -
        1. Thelma Aldana, Iván Velásquez (Guatemala)
        2. Yacouba Sawadogo (Burkina Faso)
        3. Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, Walid Abu al-Chair (Saudi Arabia)
        4. Tony Rinaudo (Australia)
    17. India elected to United Nations’ Human Rights Council for a period of three years, by securing 188 votes in Asia-Pacific category (highest vote among all candidates).
    18. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor introduced his new book The Paradoxical Prime Minister, Stating it as floccinaucinihilipilification, which Means action or habit of estimating something as worthless.
    19. Textiles Ministry will release 7.8 crore rupees for construction of a textile tourism complex in Nongpoh, Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya.
  22. Oct 10, 2018
    1. Oct 10 - World Mental Health Day. 2018 Theme is ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’. On this Occasion, Britain Govt approinted Jackie Doyle-Price as Nation's First suicide-prevention minister, as part of a national effort to reduce number of people who take their own lives.
    2. Cabinet Approvals (Oct 10, 2018)
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. (NJMC) and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd. (BJEL).
          1. NJMC has been incurring losses for several years and was under reference to BIFR since 1993. Its primary product was hessian jute bags used for packaging of food grain used by various State Governments.
        2.  Approved establishment of permanent campuses of 2 new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Berhampur (Odisha). Cost  is INR 3074 crores.
        3. Approved merger of skills space regulatory institutions National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) into National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).
          1. NCVET will regulate entities engaged in vocational education and training, and establish minimum standards for their functioning. 
        4. Approved Productivity Linked Bonus for Railway Employees Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2017-18 for About 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees.
      2. MOUs -
        1. Lebanon - agriculture and allied sectors.
        2. Romania - Tourism.
        3. Finland - Environmental Cooperation.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved closure of Biecco Lawrie Limited (BLL) including giving Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to its employees.
          1. BLL is a Schedule ‘C’ CPSE with 67.33% and 32.33% equity share held by Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) and Government of India respectively. It operates in four segments - Switchgear Manufacturing, Electrical Repair, Projects Division and Lube blending & filling facility.
          2. BLL has been making losses for several years. Net worth of Company stood  - 78.88 crores at end of FY 2017-18 and accumulated loss during 2017-18 were - 153.95 crores.
    3. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will start a new Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) facility in collaboration with Assam Government to provide much-needed connectivity for Majuli Island. It will cut down circuitous road route of 423 KMs that trucks take from Neamati to Majuli Island via Tezpur Road Bridge, by limiting distance to only 12.7 KM.
      1. Majuli is one of the biggest riverine islands in the world located on river Brahmaputra and faces serious challenges of connectivity. It has 144 villages with a population of over 1,50,000. Currently, there are only four road bridges across river Brahmaputra - at Jogighopa, Guwahati, Tezpur and Sadiya for connectivity between southern and northern parts of Assam.
      2. Earlier, IWAI started a similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which reduced the travel distance by 190 KMs.
    4. Nobel Prizes 2018 -
      1. 2018 Winners -
        1. Trade Winners Description
          Physiology or Medicine James P Allison (USA) and Tasaku Honjo (Japan) For discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation
          Physics Arthur Ashkin (USA), Gerard Mourou (France)
          and Donna Strickland (Canada)
          For groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics
          Chemistry (a) one half to Frances H. Arnold (USA)
          (b) other half jointly to George P. Smith (USA) and Sir Gregory P. Winter (UK)
          (a) For directed evolution of enzymes
          (b) For phage display of peptides and antibodies
          Peace Denis Mukwege (Congo) and Nadia Murad (Iraq)

          For efforts to end use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

          Both these winners are also nominated for 2018’s ‘Mother Teresa Memorial Award.

          Economic Sciences (a) William D. Nordhaus (USA)
          (b) Paul M. Romer (USA)
          (a) For integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis
          (b) For integrating technological innovations into
          long-run macroeconomic analysis
          Literature No Winners announced due to Sexual assault allegations. Postponed t0 2019.  
      2. Facts About Nobel prizes -
        1. In 2018, it was for first time in 70 years of Nobel Prizes, that no Literature Prize was given. It was announced by Swedish Academy after a recent sexual assault scandal. It has now been postponed to 2019.
        2. Background -
          1. Will of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established five Nobel prizes in 1895 - Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine, first awarded in 1901.
          2. In 1968, Sweden's central bank Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which, although not being a Nobel Prize, has become informally known as Nobel Prize in Economics.
        3. Physics -
          1. Granted by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
          2. 2 women have been awarded Physics Prize so far.
          3. Youngest - Australian-British physicist Lawrence Bragg (25 years age), awarded in 1915 together with his father.
          4. India's C. V. Raman was awarded Physics Nobel in 1930, For his work on scattering of light and for discovery of effect named after him.
        4. Chemistry
          1. Granted by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
          2. 4 women have been awarded the Chemistry Prize so far.
          3. 1 person, Frederick Sanger, has been awarded the Chemistry Prize twice, in 1958 and in 1980.
          4. Youngest - France's Frédéric Joliot (35 years age), awarded in 1935.
        5. Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences
          1. Granted by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
          2. 1 woman has been awarded Prize in Economic Sciences so far, Elinor Ostrom, in 2009.
          3. Youngest - USA's Kenneth J. Arrow (51 years age), awarded in 1972.
          4. India's Amartya Sen was guven Economic studies Nobel in 1998. For his contributions to welfare economics.
        6. Physiology or Medicine -
          1. Granted by Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards.
          2. 12 women have been awarded Medicine Prize so far.
          3. Youngest - Canada's Frederick G. Banting (32 years age), awarded in 1923 for discovery of insulin.
        7. Literature -
          1. Granted by Swedish Academy.
          2. 14 women have been awarded Literature Prize so far.
          3. Youngest - UK's Rudyard Kipling (41 years age), known for Jungle Book.
          4. Rabindranath Tagore, Only Indian to receive Nobel Literature Prize so far (in 1913). He is also first Indian Nobel Laureate.
        8. Peace -
          1. Granted by Norwegian Nobel Committee.
          2. 16 women have been awarded Nobel Peace Prize so far.
          3. Peace Prize Laureate Le Duc Tho (Vietnamese) declined his Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. He was awarded jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, for negotiating Vietnam peace accord.
          4. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan is youngest to win Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, at the age of 17.
          5. 2 Indian Person have been given Nobel Peaze Prize so far. Mother Teresa (1979), Kailash Satyarthi (2014).
        9. Indian Nobel Laureates -
          1. Rabindranath Tagore in 1913 (Literature)
          2. C.V. Raman in 1930 (Physics)
          3. Mother Teresa in 1979 (Peace)
          4. Amartya Sen in 1998 (Economic Studies)
          5. Kailash Satyarthi in 2014 (Peace)
    5. General Conferences (Oct 1-10, 2018) -
      1. Workshop on 'Best Practices in International Arbitration’ held in New Delhi by NITI Aayog in collaboration with ICC International Court of Arbitration.
      2. 2-day First ever Regional Conference on ‘Women in Detention and Access to Justice’ held at Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).
      3. First Uttarakhand Investors Summit held in Dehradun, atracting investments over 125000 Crores.
      4. Exhibition “Revisiting Gandhi: The Art of Shelly Jyoti” held at IGNCA (New Delhi).
      5. India Chem 2018, 10th Biennial International Exhibition & Conference held in Mumbai, as largest event of Chemicals and Petrochemical Industry in India. 
      6. PM Narendra Modi has unveiled a 64-foot-tall statue of peasant leader Sir Chhotu Ram at his native village Sampla in Rohtak district of Haryan, sculpted by renowned sculptor and Padma Bhushan-recipient Ram Vanji Sutar.
      7. International Conference on Technological Advancements in Railway and Metro Projects (IC-TRAM 2018) held in New Delhi.
      8. Women Health for Women Empowerment Conference held in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh).
      9. Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference of India Region held in Guwahati (Assam).
      10. 14th Hospitality India and Explore the World Annual International Travel Awards 2018 held in New Delhi. Nepal won tourism award. Also, Chandragiri Hills Limited of Nepal got the best tourism destination of Nepal award in hospitality and tourism sector.
      11. Actor Ruhaan Rajput received the Mid-day Young Achiever Icons Award for 2018 recently in Mumbai,. in film and television category for his work in industry in short time.
    6. Visits from india (Oct 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Kazakhstan (Central Asia).
      2. President Ra Nath Kovind Visited Tajikistan -
        1. Signed MoUs in various fields including political relations, strategic research, agriculture, renewable energy, traditional medicine, space technology, youth affairs, Culture and Disaster Management.
        2. Indian grant of 20 million US dollars was announced for Tajikistan to finance development projects.
      3. Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, C. R. Chaudhary Visited Nigera for Regional Conclave on India-West Africa Project Partnership held in Abuja, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)- EXIM Bank.
    7. Visits to India (Oct 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Malaysia's Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran Visited India.
      2. Opposition leaded of Canada, Andrew Scheer Visited India.
      3. President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev Visited India. 17 MOUs were signed -
        1. Visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders.
        2. cooperation in field of tourism, military education, sphere of Law and Justice, agriculture and allied sectors, scientific-technical and innovation fields, health and medical science, combating illicit trafficking narcotic drugs, exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes, Foreign Affairs.
        3. MoU between Samarkand City of Uzbekistan and Municipal Corporation of Agra (Uttar Pradesh).
        4. Establishment of the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan Region of Uzbekistan.
        5. Cooperation between Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under President of Uzbekistan.
      4. UN Secretary-General António Guterres (Portugal) Visited India.
        1. Formally opened new UN House in New Delhi.
        2. Participated in closing session of Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention. He will also meet with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, before giving an address at the India Habitat Centre.
        3. Took part in General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance.
      5. Russian President Vladimir Putin Visited India -
        1. Attended 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit 2018 in New Delhi.
        2. Attended AIM-SIRIUS Innovation Festival 2018 in New Delhi.
        3. India and Russia signed their biggest defence deal in over two decades for Five S-400 air defence systems with worth $5.43 billion ( Rs. 40,300 crores) -
          1. The S-400 regiments will be delivered starting 2020 and are likely to be deployed to cover both the Pakistani and Chinese borders.
          2. China was first foreign buyer Signed a $3 billion deal for integrating Six S-400 in 2014.
          3. U.S. warned deal could attract sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law that restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
          4. S-400 Air Defence System (Previously known as the S-300 PMU-3)
            1. The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (400 km), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km).
            2. One S-400 can launch 160 guided missiles simultaneously, engage 80 targets at a time.(2 Missile to attack 1 target).
            3. It can hit aircraft, cruise missiles and even fast-moving intermediate range ballistic missiles. The S-400 has three components — the missile launchers themselves, a powerful radar and a command centre.
            4. The radar can track targets 600 km away. For example, S-400 systems deployed in India can track aircraft flying well outside the country’s borders, which is a major threat deterrence to the enemy’s air force.
        4. 8 MOUs signed -
          1. Protocol for Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MEA for the period 2019-2023
          2. MoU between NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission and Russian Creative school SIRIUS, to provide a platform for joint scientific and entrepreneurial efforts by youth of two nations.
          3. MOU between ISRO and ROSCOSMOS on Joint Activities in field of Human Spaceflight Programme.
            1. ROSCOSMOS offered ride to Indian astronaut short visit to International Space Station (ISS) on board Soyuz spacecraft for short training mission in 2022.
          4. Cooperation between Railways, Nuclear Field, Transport Education, MSME, Fertilizers Sector.
    8. Henley Passport Index 2018.
      1. Indian passport secured 81st rank with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations.
      2. Top 5 - Japan (1), Singapore (2), Germany (3), France (4), South Korea (5)
    9. Google will shut down its social network Google+ for consumer use over next 10 months after a bug exposed personal data of up to 5 lakh users. Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” and that 90% of Google+ user sessions last less than 5 seconds. Company plans to keep it alive enterprise customers who use it to facilitate conversation among co-workers.
    10. Pakistan test-fired Ghauri ballistic missile capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1300 kilometres.
    11. Government will issue Sovereign Gold Bonds every month from October 2018 to February 2019 as per Given schedule, through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, NSE and BSE.
      S.No. Tranche Period of Subscription Date of Issuance
      1 2018-19 Series II October 15-19, 2018 October 23, 2018
      2 2018-19 Series III November 05-09, 2018 November 13, 2018
      3 2018-19 Series IV December 24-28, 2018 January 01, 2019
      4 2018-19 Series V January 14–18, 2019 January 22, 2019
      5 2018-19 Series VI February 04-08, 2019 February 12, 2019
      1. Features of Bond -
        Item Details
        Eligibility Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
        Denomination Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
        Tenor Tenor will be for 8 years with exit option in 5th, 6th and 7th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
        Minimum size Minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold.
        Maximum limit 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March).
        Issue / Redemption price Price will be fixed in INR on basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity, published by India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited for last 3 working days of week preceding subscription period (50 per gram less for online payments)
        Payment option Cash payment (upto a maximum of `20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.
        Interest rate The investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50% per annumpayable semi-annually on the nominal value.
        Collateral Can be used as collateral for loans. Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by RBI.
        Tax treatment Interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per provision of Income Tax Act 1961. Capital gains tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual has been exempted.
        SLR eligibility Bonds acquired by banks shall be counted towards Statutory Liquidity Ratio.
        Commission Commission for distribution of bond shall be paid at rate of 1 Rupee per 100 Rupees of total subscription received. Receiving offices shall share at least paise 50 per hundred Rupees of commission so received with agents.
    12. Arunachal Pradesh Govt launched two farmer welfare schemes - Chief Minister's Sashakt Kisan Yojana (CMSKY) and the Chief Ministers Krishi Samuh Yojana (CMKSY).
      1. CMSKY would subsume 3 programmes - CM's Employment Generation Scheme, CM's Agri-Mechanization Programme and the CM's Flagship Programme on Tea and Rubber.
      2. CMKSY aims at empowering farmers through cooperative approach, by providing them timely support and marketing intervention for better price realization and income.
    13. Odisha government launched ‘Olly’, official mascot of 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, aimed at raising awareness about conservation of Olive Ridley turtle. 2018 Men's Hockey WC is to be hosted at Kalinga Stadium (Bhubaneswar) in Nov - Dec 2018.
    14. Government appointed Tushar Mehta as Solicitor General of India (second-highest ranking law officer of government) till June 2020.
      1. Attorney General for India is Indian government's chief legal advisor, and is primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. Currently the post is held by K. K. Venugopal.
    15. From January 2019, Indian tourists travelling to Bhutan via road will need either a voter ID or a valid passport to enter the country, while accompanying children can also travel with a birth certificate. Visitors will now get entry permits instead of identification slips.
    16. International Monetary Fund (IMF) retained its India growth forecast for current year at 7.3% in FY19 and 7.4% in FY20, in IMF's World Economic Outlook (WTO) Report. With this, India will retain tag of fastest growing Major Economy.  
      1. In 2017, India had clocked a 6.7 % growth rate. China was the fastest growing economy in 2017 as it was ahead of India by 0.2 percentage points. 
      2. In China, growth is projected to moderate from 6.9 % in 2017 to 6.6 % in 2018 and 6.2 % in 2019.
      3. International growth projections for both this year and next are downgraded to 3.7 %.
      4. Growth rate of US for 2018 is 2.9 % and that of 2019 has been powered to 2.5 %.
    17. Haryana Government launched an anti-terrorist force (ATF) ‘Kavach, to deal with security challenges. For this, Haryana police recruits will be trained by National Security Guard (NSG).
    18. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu presented ‘Ramineni Awards 2018’ in Andhra Pradesh -
      1. Ramineni Foundation’s outstanding person award was presented to badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, carrying prize money of Rs 2 lakh. Special awards carry Rs 1 lakh each.
    19. President Ram Nath Kovind approved bill seeking punishment for sexual offenders, cyber criminals and traditional unlawful acts like bootlegging and dacoity in Telangana state. This will replace 1986 Act that had jurisdiction for the undivided Andhra Pradesh but not for Telangana.
    20. US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies or HyperloopTT launched first full-scale transportation capsule to be operational in 2019, named Quintero One. Its a 32-metre 5 tonne capsule, made a specially made dual-layer smart composite material called “Vibranium”.
      1. It can move at speeds of more than 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) per hour and has a capacity to hold 30 to 40 passengers.
      2. In May 2018, Andhra Pradesh signed Mou with HyperloopTT to set up Hyperloop transportation system connecting Anantapur, Amaravati, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, as part of 700-800-km-long integrated public transit system.
      3. Maharashtra government too signed pact with Richard Branson-led Virgin Group to build Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop.
      4. HyperloopTT would build the first Hyperloop system in China in the Guizhou province.
    21. Japan joined joint exercise ‘Kamandag’(venom) with US and Filipino troops in Philippines for first time since World War II. Its first time Japanese armoured military vehicles were used on foreign soil since 1945.
    22. RBI proposed a flexible route for FPIs to invest in debt markets, called: voluntary retention route (VRR). Under this, a FPI will be required to invest a minimum of 67% of committed portfolio size (CPS) within 1 month.
      1. Under VRR-Govt, foreign portfolio investors will be eligible to invest in any government security, including treasury bills.
      2. Under VRR-Corp, FPIs may invest in corporate debt instruments, including commercial papers.
      3. FPIs under VVR would be eligible for participating in repo for liquidity only if their amount doesn’t exceed 10% of their investment under VRR.
    23. World Bank released its East Asia and Pacific economy update October 2018 edition.
      1. Countries of the East Asia and Pacific region will grow at 6.3 per cent in 2018 mainly due to China’s moderate growth, down from 6.6 % growth of region in 2017.
    24. Flipkart signed pact with Bajaj Allianz to provide insurance to customers buying smartphones from its platform. Customers who buy the plan will be offered either a cash payout, or a free pickup, service and drop facility if their devices get damaged or stolen. Minimum insurance price for scheme is 99 for a year.
  23. Oct 09, 2018
    1. Oct 09 - World Post Day. It marks anniversary of establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Swiss Capital, Bern. 2018 theme is Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?. Oct 9 - 15 is also observed as Postal Week in India.
    2. 2nd World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030 held in New Delhi.
    3. Foundation stone for Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited laid at Baulasingha village in Bargarh ditrict of Odisha.
      1. The Bio-refinery, the first of its kind to be set up, will have a capacity to produce 3 crore litres of fuel grade Ethanol annually using Rice straw as feedstock. Ethanol produced from this plant will be blended with Petrol. The cost is around 100 Crores.
      2. India has surplus biomass availability of about 120-160 MMT annually which if converted, has potential to yield 3000 crore litres of ethanol. National Biofuel Policy of India 2018 targets 20% Ethanol blending to Petrol by 2030. However, due to non-availability of Ethanol, current Ethanol blending in Petrol is about 3 to 4%.
      3. Setting up of 2G Ethanol plants will help achieve target of Ethanol blending in Petrol. Bargarh Bio-Refinery will utilize about 2 lakh tonnes of Rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations.
    4. Corporate affairs ministry set up a 10-member panel to check on the discounts offered by online retailers. It will be headed by Injeti Srinivas (Secretary in Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)).
    5. 2018 China Open (Tennis) -
      1. Men's Singles - Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia)
      2. Women's Singles - Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
      3. Men's Doubles - Łukasz Kubot (Poland) AND Marcelo Melo (Brazil)
      4. Women's Doubles - Czech Republic's Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková AND Barbora Strýcová
    6. UK-based charity Oxfam International's 'Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index -
      1. India ranked 147th among 157 countries, describing country's poor commitment to reducing inequality.
      2. Top 5 - Denmark (1), Germany (2), Finland (3), Australia (4), Norway (5).
      3. Bottom 5 - Nigeria (157), Uzbekistan (156), Haiti (155), Chad (154), Sieraa Leone (153).
      4. Neighbours - Bhutan (152), Bangladesh (148), Nepal (139), Pakistan (137), Sri Lanka (102), China (81)
    7. Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Idiocracy’ in it, among 1400 new words, senses, and phrases added to latest update.
    8. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released special report on global warming in Incheon (South Korea), with contributions from 91 authors from 40 countries. It will be key scientific input in upcoming Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December 2018.
      1. It shows how half degree of warming makes big difference, adversely impacting global population and overall ecosystem.
      2. It is possible to meet new warming target, with nations taking rapid transitions over 10 to 20 years and reach net zero around 2050, 25 years earlier than planned under earlier 2-degree goal.
      3. It lists four pathways to curb global warming and through which the 1.5 degree target can be achieved. Also, Varying amounts between 100 to 1000 gigatons (billion tonnes) of CO2 needs to be removed from atmosphere in these four pathways.
      4. Advantages of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees celsius -
        1. By 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees Celsius.
        2. Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius.
        3. Coral reefs will decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5 degrees, whereas virtually all (over 99%) would be lost with 2 degrees Celsius.
        4. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and increase further with 2 degrees Celsius.
    9. Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid approved controversial Digital Security Bill 2018, combining colonial-era Official Secrets Act with tough new provisions such as arrests without warrant. It aims to deal harshly with cybercrimes, including hurting religious sentiment, spreading negative propaganda against 1971 Liberation War and Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman).
      1. It also covers illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data under its ambitIt provides for 7 - 14 years imprisonment and monetary fines of 25 lakh - 1 crore Taka
      2. Law faced widespread vocal opposition from rights groups and journalists that it could endanger freedom of speech– especially on social media. The law has also drawn opposition internationally including from USA.
    10. Government reconstituted Security Policy Group (SPG) to assist National Security Council (NSC) in Nation's security Operations. SPG will be 16-member body chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.
    11. SEBI allowed foreign entities to participate in commodity derivatives market of stock exchanges for hedging their exposures.
      1. Earlier, foreign entities were not permitted to directly participate in Indian commodity derivatives market, even if they imported or exported various commodities from and to India.
      2. Foreign entities participating in Indian commodity markets shall be known as eligible foreign entities (EFEs). They will be eligible for all commodity derivatives (except contracts defined as sensitive commodity).
      3. All eligible EFEs are mandated to have actual exposure to Indian physical commodity markets with minimum net worth requirement of $500,000.
      4. It will increase liquidity, especially in commodities like guar gum, guar seed, mustard seeds and cardamom that are not traded in other international exchanges. It will also expand participation of foreign entities in metals commodities.
    12. Department of Telecom (DoT) exempted wireless devices that operate in low frequency range like bluetooth, wireless chargers, internet-of-things (IoT) products, medical devices etc. from licensing requirement. It is aimed at facilitating ease of doing business for adoption of new technologies like IoT, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
    13. China will sale 48 Wing Loong II high-end armed drones to Pakistan, as largest export deal for drones to date to any country.
      1. 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 can payload up to 480kg (1,060lbs), including 12 laser guided missiles or YJ-9E anti-ship missiles. It can fly at maximum altitude of 9,000 metres (29,500 feet).
    14. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) launched India for Humanity initiative,to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of M K Gandhi. It will feature year-long series of artificial limb fitment camps in a number of countries spanning globe. MEA has collaborated with renowned charitable organisation Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS).
    15. Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and World Bank jointly released report on Strengthening Forest Fire Management in Country. It provides recommendations on five broad themes – policy, institutions and capacity, technology, community engagement and data and information.
      1. People are main driver of fires in India and forest fires are distributed close to people and infrastructure. But over longer term, shifts in climate caused by anthropogenic global warming may further alter India’s forest landscape and fire regime.
      2. India’s monsoons are largely responsible for seasonal nature of forest fires in country. Forest fires peak during dry months of March or April before arrival of monsoon.
      3. Forest fires in Northeast are concentrated in smaller area that is subject to repeat burning. Peak fire season is most concentrated (shortest) in Northeast and Northern state of Bihar. Fires in other regions, particularly districts in Central and Southern India are more expansive.
      4. According to National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), fires affecting forests have significant ecological value. Between 2006 and 2015, NRSC scientists forest fires were detected in just under half (281 of 614) of protected areas in India.
      5. Report is significant in light of recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report that explores possibilities of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degree Celsius to prevent catastrophic impacts due to unchecked temperature rise.
    16. USA Scientists claimed to have developed world’s first bioelectronic medicine which is implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing of damaged nerve.
      1. It is controlled wirelessly by transmitter outside body that acts much like cellphone-charging mat. It operates for about two weeks before naturally absorbing into the body.
      2. During its animal test on rats with injured sciatic nerves, it was found that this bioelectronic medicine device delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats after surgical repair process. This results in accelerating regrowth of nerves.
      3. Researchers envision that such transient engineered technologies can replace pharmaceutical treatments for a variety of medical conditions in humans.
    17. India’s first National Environment Survey (NES) will begin in January 2019 to map environment data of 55 districts across 24 states and 3 UTs. The earliest first set of complete green data from this survey will be available in 2020.
      1. It will be carried out by MoEFCC through Environmental Information System (ENVIS). It will be done through grid-based approach, using grids measuring 9×9 km to collect comprehensive data on various environmental parameters.
      2. Green data from this survey will provide important tool in hands of policy-makers for decision making at all levels – district, state and national. skilled manpower required for survey will be provided from persons skilled and trained under MoEFCC’s Green Skill Development Programme.
    18. Shipping and Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stone for development work of Ghagra River as National Waterway-40 at Basti in Uttar Pradesh, as part of Sagarmala Programme.
      1. Waterway will stretch from Manjhighat at Ganga-Gaghra river confluence to Faizabad or Ayodhya along Gaghra River for 354 kms.
      2. It was declared as National Waterway (NW)-40 during the year 2016.
      3. Together with National Waterway-1 (on river Ganga), NW-40 will be a major transport modal choice for cargo and passenger movement.
    19. UNICEF and NASSCOM Foundation signed an agreement to strengthen child rights through "meaningful business interventions.
    20. Ukraine began series of large-scale air force exercises with USA and other NATO countries, named Clear Sky 2018.
  24. Oct 08, 2018
    1. National Wildlife Week observed October 2 to 8, since 1952
    2. Oct 8, 2018 - 86th Indian Air Force Day. It was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II.
      1. On this occasion, IAF launched ‘MedWatch’ mobile health app to provide health information to users, including first-aid and other health and nutritional topics. It is first of its kind mobile health app built by any of the three armed forces.
    3. Southern Railway became Unmanned Level Crossing (UMLC) Free Zone, by elimination of all 1054 UMLCs by providing alternate routes like provision of subways, the road under bridges etc.
    4. Controversial Candidate Brett Kavanaugh Sworn In as a US Supreme Court Judge After Senate Confirmation.
    5. NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Parker Solar Probe, the first mission to touch the Sun, successfully completed a flyby of Venus at a distance of 2,415 km during its first gravity assist from Venus.
      1. Remaining 6 Venus gravity assists will happen during 7-year mission.
      2. Parker Solar Probe was launched on August 12, 2018, on a 7-year journey to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere and its impacts on space weather.
  25. Oct 07, 2018
    1. National Housing Bank (NHB increased Refinance limit of Housing Finance Companies in current year (July 2018-June 2019) to 30000 crores up from 24000 crores. Its a credit flow to Housing Finance Companies & other Institutions.
      1. NHB is Principal Agency to promote Housing Finance Institutions (currently 97), and to provide financial support to eligible institutions.
    2. Indian Army completed indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile's First night trial. Its a surface-to-surface missile, with strike range of 350 km.
    3. Mercedes's Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won F1 Japanese Grand Prix -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar -
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
    4. Indian postal services honoured Udaipur-based non-profit organisation Narayan Seva Sansthan, by launching their rs 5 postal stamps.
    5. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). Bhure Lal will continue to be Chairman of reconstituted 20 Member EPCA.
      1. EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region, notified in 1998 under Environment Protection Act 1986. It is also mandated to enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels.
      2. In November 2017, EPCA enforced several measures, including ban on brick kilns, closure of Badarpur thermal power plant, hot mix plants and stone crushers, and construction activities in NCR.
    6. Scientists at Rice University (US) developed tiny spheres that can catch and destroy bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used to make plastics that often contaminates water. This new material helps in overcoming two significant technological barriers for photocatalytic water treatment.
      1. BPA is used to coat insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, but prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children and contributing to high blood pressure.
    7. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed MOU with UN Environment for coherent implementation of environmental dimension of sustainable development. The major activity planned by CII and UN Environment under this MoU includes #Un-plastic Initiative. It will begin with ‘Call to Action’ which will include commitments by industry to take action to curb plastic pollution.
    8. Odisha Government launched Nirman Kusuma programme for providing financial assistance to children of construction workers for their technical education in state. It aims to help fulfil dreams of construction workers’ children by providing financial assistance for their education in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics.
      1. Under it, ITI student is entitled to get financial assistance of Rs. 23,600 and diploma student to get Rs. 26,300 per annum. Besides this, State government also -
        1. Increased financial assistance for girl students by 20%.
        2. Doubled death benefits for the construction workers, to 2 lakh now. Accidental benefit for construction workers’ also doubled to 4 lakh.
    9. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sanctioned 5 new battalions of anti-riot and crowd control Rapid Action Force (RAF), to be stationed at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Hajipur (Bihar), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mangalore (Karnataka) and Nuh (Haryana). Total number of RAF battalions in the country has gone up to 15.
    10. Gujarat Forest Department started vaccination of lions in Gir sanctuary to protect them from a deadly canine distemper virus (CDV) and protozoa infections, The virus blamed for death of as many as 23 lions in Gujarat’s Gir sanctuary in less than month.
      1. Asiatic lions are believed to have split from African Lions 100,000 years ago. Gir sanctuary is the only wild population of Asiatic lions in world, having over 523 Asiatic Lions.
    11. Karnataka Government unveiled 'Unnati Scheme' to help entrepreneurs from SC/ST Communities. Under it, State Govt. will invest up to Rs 20 crore to create end-to-end support infrastructure for startups and entrepreneurs from a marginalised background.
    12. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal laid foundation stone of 2 key railway projects in Chhattisgarh, Including INR 6000 Crores and 295 km Long Katghora-Mungeli-Kawardha-Dongargarh line. It would accelerate the growth of mineral rich region and bring prosperity.
    13. Sport Australia Hall of Fame announced cricketing great Richie Benaud, who died in April 2015, as 40th Legend of Australian Sport. He is third cricketer behind Sir Donald Bradman and Keith Miller to be given Legend status.
    14. RBI issued guidelines for operating Electronic Trading Platforms (ETPs) to transact in eligible instruments. Trading on electronic platforms is being encouraged across the world as it enhances pricing transparency, processing efficiency and risk control.
      1. As per norms,ETPs will mean any electronic system, other than a recognised stock exchange, on which transactions in eligible instruments. ETP Operator’ shall mean an entity authorised by RBI to operate an ETP under these Directions.
      2. An entity seeking authorisation as an ETP operator should possess and maintain a minimum net-worth of Rs 5 crore at all times.
    15. Maharashtra launched website and app Maha madat to analyze drought situation, to help in accurate analysis of drought-like situation in villages of state. Drought can be declared if a region does not receive rain for a span of 21 days.
  26. Oct 06, 2018
    1. Government’s gross direct tax collection rose 16.7% to Rs 5.47 lakh crore in first six months of Current FY 2018-19. Government issued refunds of Rs 1.03 lakh crore in the first six months, 30.4% higher than theamount returned during same period last year.
    2. RBI approved proposal of Kerala government for the formation of Kerala Bank, decided by special task force headed by M S Sriram. Bank will be formed by consolidating State Cooperative Bank and 14 district cooperatives, with net deposit amount of INR 65000 Crores. Unification will be completed by March 2019.
    3. India's Srinivasan Swamy appointed as chairman and world president of International Advertising Association (IAA) for 2 years.
    4. book “Feisty At Fifty” authored by Sudha Menon has been released.
    5. CRISIL upgraded AU Small Finance Bank’s Long Term Debt Instruments Rating to CRISIL AA– with Stable Outlook from previous CRISIL A+. Now, AU Bank’s long-term instruments have got a rating of AA- from all four rating agencies including CARE Ratings, India Ratings and ICRA Ratings.
    6. Global Payments service PayPal launched its first merchant-focused App in India called PayPal for Business. It will help small/medium merchants and freelancers conduct their domestic and cross border business.
    7. Vineet Nayyar has been appointed as Vice-chairman and Managing Director (MD) of the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).
  27. Oct 05, 2018
    1. Oct 5 - World Teachers’ Day. 2018 marks 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that recognizes education as a key fundamental right. 2018 theme is The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.
      1. Note that In India, National Teachers Day is held on Sep 5. It marks Birtth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (2nd President of India).
    2. RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) issued its fourth bi-monthly statement.It decided to keep policy repo rate under liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 %. GDP growth projection for 2018-19 is retained at 7.4 %. Current Monetary Policy Rates are -
      1. Repo Rate - 6.50 %
      2. Reverse Repo - 6.25 %
      3. Bank Rate - 6.75 %
      4. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) - 4 %
      5. SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) - 19.5 %
      6. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate - 6.75 %
    3. India Signed $110 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance upgrade of 2800 kilometers all-weather rural roads in State of Madhya Pradesh under Prime Minister's Rural Roads Program (PMGSY). It is part of $500 million Second Rural Connectivity investment Program for India approved by ADB in December 2017.
    4. Alphonso Mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane and Raigad districts of Maharashtra has been registered as Geographical Indication (GI).
      1. GI is an indication used on products with a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen.
      2. King of mangoes, Alphonso, better known as ‘Hapus’ in Maharashtra, is in demand in domestic and international markets not only for its taste but also for pleasant fragrance and vibrant colour.
    5. Northeast and Assam Petro-chemicals launched Asia's first cannisters based and India's first "Methanol Cooking Fuel Program" in Namrup (Assam). 500 households inside the Assam Petro Complex will be the first pilot project, scaling it to 40,000 households in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Goa and Karnataka.
      1. It aims at reducing import of crude and an effort to provide clean, import substitute, cost effective and pollution free cooking medium.
      2. Safe handling cannister based cooking stoves are from Swedish Technology and through a Technology transfer a large-scale cooking stove manufacturing plant will come up in India in next 18 months, producing 10 lakh Cookstoves and 1 Crore Cannisters per year. 
      3. This Cooking medium can directly substitute LPG, Kerosene, Wood, Charcoal and any other fuel for cooking. The gaseous form, Methanol - DME, can be blended in 20% ratio with LPG.
      4. It is a much more cost effective and environment friendly solution for domestic cooking needs.
    6. Election Commission announced Schedule for General Elections to Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana (To be held in November - December 2018).
    7. IndiaSkills 2018, 2nd edition of India’s biggest skill competition held at Aerocity Ground in New Delhi. some of awardees in 46 trades will participate in 45th WorldSkills Competition at Kazan (Russia0 in 2019.
    8. Government appointed Rakesh Sharma as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of IDBI Bank.
    9. National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will be set up on banks of the Ganga river in Patna University campus in Patna (Bihar), as Asia’s first Dolphin research centre.
      1. Gangetic river dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is one of four freshwater dolphin species in world. The other three are found in Yangtze river, Indus river in Pakistan and Amazon river.
    10. Pankaj Sharma appointed as ambassador and India’s permanent representative to United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, replacing Amandeep Gill.
    11. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched Closing the Skills Gap Task Force in India, in collaboration with World Economic Forum (WEF). It will be chaired by Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan along with Salil Parekh (Infosys MD & CEO). It aims to develop action plan to address skills gaps in India and make Indian workforce ready for jobs of future.
    12. IT Industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched its Centre of Excellence for the Internet of Things (CoE – IoT) at Gurugram (Haryana). It will provide platform to best minds from industry, academia, start-ups and government to drive culture of collaboration and co-creation to find solutions to accelerate India’s economic development.
      1. NASSCOM also stated that Indian BPM industry is largest in world, generating revenue close to $32.5 billion and an employee strength of 1.2 million. It now holds more than a 37% share in global sourcing and is witnessing a 1.7x revenue growth.
    13. Government Appointed R N Ravi as Deputy National Security Advisor (Internal Affairs). He will be 3rd deputy NSA to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval after former Rajinder Khanna and Pankaj Saran.
    14. 36th National Games will be held in Goa in March - April 2019.
    15. Interbrand's "Best 100 Global Brands 2018" report -
      1. Apple displaced Google to become top brand in the world in 2018. Apple's brand value grew 16 % to $214.5 billion. It also became first company in US to hit the $1 trillion market cap.
      2. Amazon achieved 56% growth to become third top brand globally.
      3. Facebook fell to 9th place, amid data breach controversies.
    16. Reliance Health Insurance (subsidiary of Reliance Capital) received final approval from IRDAI for its new health insurance business. Ravi Viswanath has been appointed as CEO of new health insurance company.
    17. Sanjay Verma is appointed as India’s new Ambassador to Spain.
    18. National Stock Exchange’s (NSE) MD and CEO Vikram Limaye is appointed chairman of working committee and director on board by international industry body – World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).
    19. India defeated Sri Lanka to win their 6th Under-19 Asia Cup Cricket title.
    20. NASA announced that first crewed test flight by a SpaceX rocket to ISS will take place in June 2019. SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket for launch with a Crew Dragon capsule attached on top.
  28. Oct 04, 2018
    1. Oct 04 - World Animal Day.It marks feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
    2. International Cricket Council released updated version of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) System along with the new ICC Code of Conduct and ICC Playing Conditions. These came into effect from 30 September, with an ODI between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
    3. USA pulled out of 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, After International Court of Justice (ICJ) told US to lift sanctions on Iran which are linked to humanitarian goods and civil aviation. Iran took US to ICJ arguing that it violated terms of the treaty by imposing sanctions following withdrawal from 2015 nuclear deal.
    4. Lonar Lake, an ancient circular lake created by a meteorite strike, in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island, a hexagonal mosaic of basaltic rocks in an island off Udupi will be made global geoparks by Geological Survey of India (GSI).
      1. St. Mary’s Island which was declared a national geo-heritage site in 1975 is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old.
      2. Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979. It is around 50,000 years old.
    5. Manipur won 24th Senior Women’s National football championships in Cuttack (Odisha). Manipur secured their 19th title win after beating Odisha.
    6. US President Donald Trump nominated Indian-American woman to head the nuclear energy division at USA's Department of energy. Her appointment is now pending Senate approval.
    7. Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport chosen L&T Construction to construct its Terminal-2 (T2) at approx 3036 crores. It will augment capacity of airport by 25 million passengers per annum.
    8. Indian Railways launched its Project ‘Utkrisht’ to upgrade 140 rakes of Mail/Express trains in first phase, enhancing and upgrading several passenger friendly facilities.
    9. Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe launched French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, towards asteroid Ryugu’s surface.
    10. UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) conferred 2018 Nansen Refugee Award to South Sudanese surgeon Dr. Evan Atar Adaha, for his 20-year medical service to refugees of Sudan and South Sudan.
    11. Joint exercise of India and Vienam, named Sahyog-Hop Tac 2018 began off Chennai coast.
    12. IIT-Kharagpur named national coordinating institute of Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) under Ministry of Human Resource Development.
    13. Financial Firm MobiKwik launched an instant loan approval and disbursal product called ‘Boost’, which will enable disbursal of loans upto 60000 within 90 seconds.
    14. Bharti Airtel acquired artificial intelligence (AI) service provider AuthMe ID Services.
    15. Justice Surya Kant appointed as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court.
    16. 10th Edition Of Agriculture Census Data For 2015-16 Released By Agriculture Ministry -
      1. Female operational land holders increased from 12.79% in 2010-11 to 13.87% in 2015-16.
      2. By the number of people tilling the land, Uttar Pradesh topped the chart followed by Bihar and Maharshtra.
      3. In terms of total operated area: Rajasthan comes first followed by Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
      4. Among the states, the highest increase in number  of operational holdings is topped by Madhya Pradesh  followed by Andhra  Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Nagaland.
      5. Goa witnessed  the sharpest fall and Manipur had the lowest in number of operational holdings.
      6. The average size of agriculture landholding declined to 1.08 hectare in 2015-16 from 1.15 hectare in 2010-11.
      7. The average size of farm holding was the highest in Nagaland at 5.06 hectares and the lowest in Kerala at 0.18 hectare.
    17. Ramon Laguarta took charge as chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo. He succeeded India-born Indra Nooyi, who rermained PepsiCo CEO for for 12 years.
    18. Foreign Bank State Bank of Mauritius’ India operations was hit by cyber fraud of USD 14 million. SBM got RBI approval to operate as a subsidiary in India in August 2018.
    19. Assam state assembly passed an amendment in Assam Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2018 -
      1. GST registration for companies having up to 20 lakh rupees(earlier Rs. 10 lakh) turnover per annum has been exempted.
      2. limit of turnover from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1.5 crorehas been increased for businesses to be eligible for filing one per cent composite tax.
    20. To check Rising Fuel prices, Government has cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50. Government and oil companies will absorb the price cut by INR 1.50 and 1 respectively. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also urged state governments to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel by another INR 2.50.
  29. Oct 03, 2018
    1. Cabinet Approvals (Oct 03, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved implementation of  Indore Metro Rail Project (MP) , with Ring Line of length 31.55 Km, to connect major public nodes.
          1. Length of the Ring Line is 31.55 km, with 30 Stations on Ring Line
          2. Estimated cost is INR 7500 crores and it will be completed in four years.
        2. Approved implementation of Bhopal Metro Rail Project (MP), comprising two corridors of total length 27.87 Km - Karond Circle to AIIMS (14.99 Km) and Bhadbhada Square to Ratnagiri Tiraha (12.88 Km) -
          1. Estimated cost is INR 6941 crores and project will be completed in 4 years.
        3. Approved 2nd Protocol amending Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with Singapore.
        4. Approved Redevelopment of Railway Stations by IRSDC as Nodal Agency, through simplified procedures and longer lease tenure (upto 99 years). Multiple sub leasing, simplified bid procedures Redevelopment will create smart stations that will function as mini smart cities.
        5. Approved establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation(NIMHR) in Sehore District (Bhopal-Sehore highway) instead of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, as decided earlier.
      2. MOUs -
        1. Russia - Road Transport, MSME.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved providing a package of 469 crores for Revival and Mill Development Plan (RMDP) of PSU NEPA Limited, in Nepanagar (Madhya Pradesh).
        2. To boost farmers’ income, CCEA approved increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all Rabi crops for 2018-19 to be marketed in 2019-20 season. It will give additional return to farmers of INR 62635 crores to at least 50 % return over cost of production and will aid in doubling farmers’ income.
          1. Increase in MSPs of wheat has been raised by 105 per quintal, safflower by 845 per quintal, barley by 30 per quintal, masur (lentil) by 225 per quintal, gram by 220 per quintal and rapeseed & mustard by 200 per quintal.
    2. India signed $ 100 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand Sewerage and Drainage Coverage in Kolkata (West Bengal).
    3. India signed $240 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for providing safe and sustainable drinking water to about 1.65 million people in three districts of state of West Bengal.
    4. Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu released the policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called “Digi Yatra”.
      1. It aims to develop standards for digital processing of passengers at airport to ensure uniform implementation and passenger experience across airports. DigiYatra Central Platform will be operational by February 2019, starting from Bangalore & Hyderabad Airports.
    5. PM Narendra Modi gave awards to top Ranked State, District and State with maximum citizen participation based on National Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018. As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 6786 villages were covered. top ranked States / Districts -
      1. States - Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra
      2. Districts  - Satara (Maharashtra), Rewari (Haryana), Pedapalli (Telangana)
      3. States with maximum citizen participation  - Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra
      4. Districts with maximum citizens’ participation  - Nashik (Maharashtra), Solapur,  (Maharashtra), Chittorgarh (Rajasthan)
    6. President Ramnath Kovind appointed Madan Bhimarao Lokur as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA).
    7. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (October 2018) -
      1. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicted GDP growth of India for 2018 to be at 7%.
      2. International Monetary Fund (IMF) retained its India growth forecast for current year at 7.3% in FY19 and 7.4% in FY20, in IMF's World Economic Outlook (WTO) Report. With this, India will retain tag of fastest growing Major Economy.  
        1. In 2017, India had clocked a 6.7 per cent growth rate. China was the fastest growing economy in 2017 as it was ahead of India by 0.2 percentage points. 
        2. In China, growth is projected to moderate from 6.9 % in 2017 to 6.6 % in 2018 and 6.2 % in 2019.
        3. International growth projections for both this year and next are downgraded to 3.7 %.
        4. Growth rate of US for 2018 is 2.9 % and that of 2019 has been powered to 2.5 %.
    8. Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) closed its 51 branches across country (out of its approx 1900 branches) as part of cost-cutting measures, as first such measure initiated by any PSB.
    9. National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) signed MoU with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to provide skill training and jobs in construction sector for 2.5 lakh poor people. It will strengthen skill trainings in construction sector for urban poor under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission.
    10. World Health Organization (WHO) launched first global guidelines on sanitation and health, aimed at securing health and wellbeing for everyone, everywhere by considering sanitation as fundamental foundation of human health and development. By adopting these, countries can significantly reduce diarrhoeal deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
    11. India ranked 28th among 73 countries in 2018 Government e-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR) by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) -
      1. India jumped 8 positions in this ranking from 36th in 2011.
      2. Norway has topped 2018 GEAR list scoring 89.7 points in seven categories.
    12. PM Narendra Modi conferred with United Nation’s Champions of the Earth Award 2018 by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New Delhi. He is among the six winners who received this award. Other Awardees are -
      1. French President Emmanuel Macron.
      2. India’s Cochin International Airport - Awarded in Entrepreneurial Vision category. It is world’s first fully solar-powered airport.
      3. Joan Carling - Awarded lifetime achievement award as a prominent defender of environmental and indigenous rights.
      4. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods - Jointly recognised in Science and Innovation category.
      5. China’s Zhejiang’s Green Rural Revival Programme - Awarded in inspiration and action category.
    13. India launched humanitarian operation Samudra Maitri to provide assistance to earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, dispatching two aircraft C-130J and C-17 and three naval ships carrying relief material and personnel to Indonesia.
    14. Sandeep Bakhshi has been appointed as ICICI Bank’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, After Chanda Kochhar resigned from the post.
    15. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi became first person from whom honorary Canadian citizenship has been taken back, for her role in gross human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims. The honour was bestowed on Suu Kyi in 2007.
    16. About Rafale Fighter Jets Deal -
      1. India in September 2016 signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets (Manufactured by Dassault Aviation), for €7.8 billion. Under the deal, it was decided that India will pay 15 per cent in advance.
      2. Earlier deal -
        1. In June 2001, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft.  In January 2012, IAF announced Rafale as preferred bidder and contract negotiations began.
        2. It was proposed that 18 Rafales would be supplied to the IAF by 2015, while remaining 108 would be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India under transfer of technology agreements.
        3. Deal stalled due to a lack of agreement on various terms of RFP compliance and cost-related issues.
      3. Current Controversy is that India’s main opposition party raised an issue over Dassault partnering with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence, a private company instead of state-owned HAL. However, Both French government and Dassault stated that it was Dassault's decision to choose Reliance Defence instead of HAL.
    17. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) partnered with Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) to launch a month-long rafting expedition of a team of 40 members which will be led by Bachendri Pal (first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest). It will conclude in Patna in Bihar.
    18. RBI allowed state-owned oil companies to borrow long-term working capital from overseas (relaxing policy on borrowing up to 10 billion USD). RBI has allowed state-owned oil companies to raise ECB (External Commercial Borrowings) of minimum maturity of 3 or 5 years.
    19. Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani named as richest Indian for 11th consecutive year with a net worth of USD 47.3 Billion, according to Forbes magazine. He is also year’s biggest gainer, adding USD 9.3 billion to his wealth. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji retained 2nd spot, followed by Arcelor Mittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal at 3rd place.
  30. Oct 02, 2018
    1. Oct 02, 2018. 150th Birth Anniversry of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Its also observed as UN International Non Violence Day, since 2007.
      1. Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) held in New Delhi.
      2. Earlier, On Sep 15 of 2018, PM Modi launched mega countrywide campaign- Swachhata hi Seva Campaign 2018.
      3. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Mahatma Gandhi Museum in Rajkot (Gujarat). He also launched Mujkuva Solar Energy Cooperative Group in Gujarat, created with assistance of National Dairy development Board.
      4. On this occasion, Odisha government launched its own State Food Security Scheme (SFSS). Under this, 18.32 lakh poor and eligible people will receive 5 kg of rice at rate of Rupee 1 per kg. This is in response to the failure of the central government’s approval against the state’s request to include 25 lakh people under NFSA.
      5. 6 US lawmakers (Including 6 Indian Americans) moved a resolution in US House of Representatives to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi for his contribution towards promotion of peace and non-violence.
      6. On this occasion, SIDBI launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog. Campaign would run from Oct 3 - 8, 2018 across India. Objectives include -
        1. Inspire rural youth in aspirational districts to be entrepreneurs by assisting them to set up their own enterprise
        2. Impart trainings through digital medium, to create business opportunities for CSC VLEs (Village level entrepreneurs).
      7. On this occasion, world’s largest dome inaugurated at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus in Pune (Maharashtra). It has diameter of 160 feet, overtaking earlier record holding Vatican Dome having diameter of 139.6 feet . It stands 263 feet tall with bell hanging from centre and has prayer hall with area of around 30,000 sq ft.
      8. On this occasion, National Khadi Festival 2018 began in Mumbai, organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to promote Khadi products.
      9. Ministry of Railways was named the best department for its contribution to “Swachhta Pakhwada” under the “Swachhta Hi Seva” category of awards.
      10. Assam Govt.launched Universal Pension scheme in the state. Under it, pension will be given to all BPL and APL ration card holders over 60 years of age.
        1. 50 lakh rupees has sanctioned to filmmaker Rima Das whose movie Village Rockstar has been nominated for Oscars.
        2. Small tea growers exempted from levy of cess amounting to 10 paise per kilogram.
        3. Approved amendment in Assam GST Act by which GST registration has been relaxed from 10 lakh rupees annual turnover to 20 lakh rupees annual turnover.
        4. Sports University Bill introduced to set up a sports university at Chabua named after Aniruddha Dev.
    2. First Assembly of International Solar Alliance held at Vigyan Bhawan (New Delhi). 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and 2nd Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo) were also held alongside. Antonio Guterres (Secretary General of United Nations), was present on this occasion.
      1. ISA Is headquartered in Gurugram (Haryana), with Upendra Triathy as its curent chief.
    3. According to Association of Mutual Funds of India’s (AMFI) statistics, Maharashtra tops with maximum penetration and Assets Under Management (AUM) of 10.35 lakh crores. It is followed by Delhi having Rs 2.35 lakh crore and Karnataka having Rs 1.76 lakh crores.
    4. Iraq’s parliament elected Kurdish politician Barham Salih as new president.
    5. 2018 ATP Shenzhen Open Men' s(Tennis) in Shenzhen (China) -
      1. Singles - Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan)
      2. Doubles - Ben McLachlan (Japan) and Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom)
    6. 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final held in Samsun, Turkey.
      1. South Korea topped the medal tally with: 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals. Turkey stayed at 2nd.
      2. India won 3 medals - 1 silver and 2 bronze.
        1. Silver - Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha
        2. Bronze - Abhishek Verma AND Deepika Kumari
    7. Scientists from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and IISc Bangalore discovered 2 new species of lizards in Western Ghats. The Lizards are: Montane forest lizard and Spiny-headed forest lizard. They were wrongly identified under genus Calotes for over 150 years.
    8. China launched its Centispace-1-s1 satellite, on a Kuaizhou-1A low-cost solid-fuel carrier rocket.
    9. Arun Kumar appointed as Director-General of Railway Protection Force (RPF).
    10. Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad elected as new President of Hockey India (HI).
    11. Odia hockey player Lilima Minz selected for Ekalavya Puraskar 2018 by Karnataka based by IMPaCT, social wing of IMFA. It Comprises of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation. 2 other sportswomen felicitated - Weight lifter Jhili Dalabehera and Badminton player Rutuparna Panda.
    12. IRDA approved micro-insurance policies (sum assured of 50000 or less) disbursal through point-of-sales (PoS), to promote insurance coverage among economically vulnerable sections.
    13. NSE Indices launched 2 dynamic asset allocation indices designed to combine equity and debt. These are - Nifty 50 & short duration debt –Dynamic P/E index AND Nifty 50 & short duration debt – Dynamic P/B index.
      1. These compare current price-earnings ratio (P/E) or price-book ratio (P/B) with historical P/E or P/B ratio of Nifty 50 in previous seven years. Maximum allocation to equity is 80 % and minimum allocation is 65 %.
    14. SBI halved ATM withdrawal limit from 40000 to 20000 per day, for debit cards of ‘Classic’ and ‘ Maestro’ platforms. It aims to reduce number of fraudulent transactions and promote cashless transactions.
    15. World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved investment of $ 100 million in India Resurgence Fund (IRF), a joint venture of Piramal Enterprise Limited and Bain Capital.
    16. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced Swachh Campus rankings -
      1. Cleanest Government universities -
        1. Maharashi Dayanand University, Haryana
          Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab
          Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), New Delhi
      2. Cleanest residential campus of private universities - Symbiosis International University, Pune
      3. Cleanest non-residential campus of private universities - ITM University, Raipur
      4. Cleanest technical institutions -
        1. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Coimbatore
        2. IIT Guwahati
        3. Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University in Bhubhaneshwar
        4. IIIT Delhi.
    17. UNICEF appointed India's Ravi Venkatesan as its special representative of young people, to provide strategic guidance and support UNICEF globally.
    18. Financial Frm Paytm became leading contributor to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments with over 33% of overall market share, with over 137 million UPI transactions in September 2018.
  31. Oct 01, 2018
    1. 6th edition IBSAMAR (joint Navy Exercise between Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies) began at Simons Town (South Africa).
    2. Oct 01 - International Day of Older Persons.  2018 theme is Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions. On this occasion, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu conferred Vayoshreshtha Samman-2018 on eminent senior citizens and institutions.
    3. Oct 01 - World Habitat Day. 2018 theme is Municipal Solid Waste Management.
    4. Oct 01 - International Coffee Day. 2018 theme is Women in Coffee. Oct 1 is also observed as World Vegetarian Day.
    5. India signed $150 Million Loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for continued improvements to road connectivity and efficiency of International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and North-Eastern Region of lndia.
    6. Ministry of Corporate Affairs launched facility for completely online incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). LLP Rules have been amended and came into effect from 02nd October 2018 -
      1. Introduction of a Web Service titled ‘RUN-LLP (Reserve Unique Name – Limited Liability Partnership)’ replacing the erstwhile Form 1 (Application for reservation or change of name).
      2. Introduction of a new integrated Form christened FiLLiP (Form for incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership) replacing the erstwhile Form 2 (Incorporation document and subscriber’s statement) combining therein 3 services i.e.,
      3. Name reservation.
      4. Allotment of Designated Partner Identification Number (DPIN/DIN).
      5. Note -
        1. In January 2016, Central Registry Centre (CRC) was established for online incorporation of companies and reserving unique names. Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically (SPICe) and Reserve Unique Name (RUN) were launched.
        2. Now, PAN and TAN are issued on near real time basis by integrating online process with department of Income Tax. DIN is also allotted to the individuals at time of their appointment as Director in Company.
        3. Every week, over 2700 are incorporated through online company incorporation system.
    7. Dharmendra Pradhan (Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) launched SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) as an innovative initiative to make available Compressed Bio-Gas CBG in market for use in automotive fuels.
      1. Under it, with PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) to set up CBG production plants, by 31st March, 2019.
      2. Government is keen to set up 5000 CBG plants in next 5 years. Government will incur 75,000 Crore capital expenditure for setting up infrastructure for City Gas distribution network.
      3. SATAT initiative promises efficient municipal solid waste management and tackling problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.
    8. Mercedes's Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won F1 Russian Grand Prix -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar -
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch)
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
    9. India-born Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath appointed as Chief Economist of International Monetary Fund (IMF). She will resign as Economic Adviser to Kerala CM.
    10. India ranked 5th among 206 countries in 2018 Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report by Canadian Cancer Society. In India, 85% of both sides of cigarette packets are covered with warnings.
      1. Top 5 - Timor-Leste (92.5%), Nepal (90%), Vanuatu (90%), New Zealand (87.5%) and India held 5th rank jointly with Hong Kong and Thailand for 85% warnings.
    11. Madhya Pradesh Government announced creation of Niwari as its 52nd district, carved out of Tikamgarh district. It will include tehsils of Niwari, Orchha and Prithvipur.
    12. Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) became first Indian stock exchange to launch commodity derivative contracts, with launch of contracts in popular commodities like gold (1kg) and silver (30kg). SEBI recently allowed BSE and NSE to launch commodity derivatives trading under unified exchange regime wherein stock exchanges will be allowed to offer trading in commodities derivatives.
    13. International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization collectively launched report “Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth” report, seeking liberalisation of global service sector, asserting that barriers to these services trade currently is roughly as high as those to trade in goods about a half century ago.
      1. Services comprise some two-thirds of global GDP and employment, Yet facing lags due to limited opening of service sectors to foreign competition. Full services trade liberalisation can raise manufacturing productivity by average of 22%.
      2. Services comprise significant shares of value added of all sectors in economy, yet Only quarter of global trade is traded as services. The trade in services sector has potential of contributing particularly strongly to productivity growth and economic growth overall.
      3. Prolonged slowdown in pace of trade reform is leading to widespread trade distortions and putting at risk strength of global economic recovery, despite recent rebound in trade.
    14. Canada agreed to sign a trade deal with USA and Mexico, revamping North American Free Trade Agreement. New deal has been named as United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
      1. USMCA modernises what was covered by NAFTA by adding provisions on digital trade and intellectual property.
      2. It would allow US farmers greater access to Canada's dairy market and address concerns about potential US auto tariffs. The pact will come up for review every six years.
      3. Canada will export 2.6 million vehicles to USA, after 25 % global autos tariffs imposed by US on national security grounds. Deal, however, failed to resolve U.S. tariffs on Canada's steel and aluminum exports.
      4. Background -
        1. USA President Trump threatened to end 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement into a bilateral pact with Mexico and tax Canadian vehicle exports to USA if Canada failed to sign deal before September 30 midnight deadline. Canada, USA's 2nd largest trading partner, was left out when the US and Mexico had reached a preliminary deal in late August to revamp NAFTA.
    15. Uttarakhand High Court directed state government to provide reservation to transgenders in educational institutions and public appointments, for welfare of transgender persons in state.
    16. Assam Government become first Indian state to offer a Wage Compensation Scheme for pregnant women working in tea gardens of stae -
      1. INR 12000 will be given to pregnant women in 4 instalments - 2000 in 1st trimester, 4000 in 2nd trimester, 3000 for institutional delivery and 3000 for registration of child's birth. Women will also get maternity leaves, ranging 3 months before delivery to 3 months after delivery.
    17. Government appointed Rangachari Sridharan as chairperson of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), which will function as an independent regulator for auditing profession.
    18. Central Information Commission (CIC) brought Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the RTI (Right to Information) Act, after concluded that characteristics of BCCI fulfil required conditions of Section 2(h) of RTI Act.
    19. Oct 1 - World Vegetarian Day.

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