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Multimodal logistics park policy proposed by Commerce ministry
On October 15, 2018, the Commerce ministry announced formulation of a national logistics policy for development of multimodal logistics parks to enable easy movement of goods and domestic and global trade purposes.
i. Each park is supposed to have a plot of 50 acres with each costing Rs. 200-300 crore for development.
ii. 35 such parks have been proposed by different ministries including railways.
iii. These ministries include railways, shipping and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
iv. This proposal has been pioneered by Commerce ministry which is seeking cabinet’s approval for the national logistics policy.
v. This policy would help in:
- Seamless movement of goods across the country,
- Reduce transaction costs of traders,
- Increase the warehousing capacity.
vi. These benefits will in turn help in competitiveness of domestic goods in the international markets.
vii. In connection to this, the ministry is also working on the development of a national logistics portal as a single window marketplace to link all stakeholders.
Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around USD 300 billion. During 2017-18, the shipments grew by about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion.
Ministry of Commerce:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. C R Chaudhary.
Youth Road Safety Learners Licence Programme launched by MoS Road Transport Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya
On October 15, 2018, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Chemical & Fertilizer launched the Youth Road Safety Learners Licence programme in New Delhi.
i. This programme will be run in collaboration with Diageo India and the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
ii. It will provide structured training program for young, first-time drivers.
iii. In the first year, the programme will cover 20 universities with a total of 400 programme across the country.
1st Indo-US tri-services exercise likely to be in India in 2019
On October 15, 2018, inclusion of all 3 Special forces in the first Indo-US tri-services exercise was announced.
i. The first such exercise involving all the 3 forces will be in India, and it will take place in 2019.
ii. An Initial Planning Conference (IPC) will be held to discuss the scale of the exercise.
iii. It will focus on United Nations-based scenario and the over-arching mission of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief measure.
iv. In the exercise, the Indian Army will have Para SF, the Navy will have Marcos while the Air Force’s Garud will be their respective Special Forces.
v. It was formally announced after the first 2 plus 2 plus dialogue between the External Affairs and Defence Ministers of the 2 countries.
The three forces of India and the US already take part in bilateral exercises separately –
- Armies participate in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas,
- The Air forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India and
- The Navies participate in an exercise in Malabar, involving Japan.
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: US dollar.
46th edition of IHGF-Delhi Fair Autumn-2018 inaugurated by MoS for Textile Ajay Tamta
On October 14, 2018, Union Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta, inaugurated the 46th edition of world’s largest IHGF-Delhi Fair at India Expo Centre & Mart at Greater Noida.
The fair will remain open till 18th October, 2018.
i. It would be participated by over 3200 exhibitors and overseas buyers from over 110 countries.
ii. He announced the creation of a portal of Government and handicrafts exporters to provide more assistance to the artisans for healthcare and education of their children.
iii. He urged the exporters to participate and prepare for the Ambiente 2019 to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, where India will be the partner-country.
New Delhi to host 6th India International Silk Fair
On October 14, 2018, the Textile ministry announced that the Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, will inaugurate the 6th edition of India International Silk Fair (IISF) in New Delhi on October 16, 2018.
i. The International Silk fair will be organised by the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC) at Pragati Maidan.
ii. Over 108 exhibitors of silk and blended silk products and over 218 buyers from various countries will participate in the fair.
iii. The IISF-2018 is expected to generate business of over USD 20 million for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in producing silk and blended silk products.
iv. Also, the Central Silk Board will put up a Theme Pavilion showcasing the future vision of Indian Silk Industry.
India is the 2nd largest producer of silk in the world. The silk industry is agriculture based and labour intensive and provides gainful employment to around 8 million artisans and weavers in rural areas.
♦ Union Minister: Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Ajay Tamta.
Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme launched by Delhi government
On October 14, 2018, the Delhi government announced Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme.
To attract young leaders to address serious urban challenges.
i. Under this, a total of 30 young professionals, under 35 years age, have been invited with #DelhiGovernanceRevolution.
ii. Accoding to the scheme, the selected candidates will work with Ministers or Senior Officials of Education, Health, Water, Environment, Transport, etc.
iii. The remuneration for:
- Fellowswill be Rs. 1,25,000 per month and
- Associate Fellowswill be Rs. 75,000 p.m.
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal.
♦ Lieutenant Governor: Shri. Anil Baijal.
♦ UNESCO heritage sites: Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar.
Vaishno Devi shrine board enhanced the free insurance cover to pilgrims to Rs five lakh.
On October 15, 2018, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), in its 63rd meeting, approved to enhance free accident insurance cover provided to pilgrims visting Vaishno Devi shrine.
i. The decision was taken at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar under the chairmanship of J&K Governor and chairman of SMVDSB, Satya Pal Malik.
ii. Under this, the accidental cover extended to each pilgrim free of cost has been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 3 lakh, after 8 years.
iii. This will be available to pilgrims, who avail the services of the upcoming Passenger Ropeway between Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati.
iv. The premium on providing insurance cover to the pilgrims will be borne by the Shrine Board.
v. The board also approved a medical support policy for the treatment of victims of public trauma including victims of road accidents, landslides or shooting stones.
vi. Under this, medical assistance of upto Rs 2 lakh would be provided to each patient.
vii. Also, a new, fully-equipped and staffed medical unit at Lambi Keri has been established to attend medical emergencies in the Adhkuwari-Sanjichhat sector.
viii. The board also approved to implement the Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy for all the 2,960 of its employees.
ix. It will have enhanced insurance cover of Rs 6 lakh for individual and and a total of 5 dependents at a premium of Rs 8777/-.
x. Aslo, a new medical unit at Bhairon Temple at an estimated cost of Rs. 1 crore is being built.
About The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB):
♦ Headquarters: Jammu.
♦ Chairman: Satya Pal Malik.
Jammu & Kashmir:
Lakes: Mansar Lake, Dal lake, Anchar Lake, Khushal lake, Tarsar Lake.
National Parks in Jammu and Kashmir:
Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park, Salim Ali National Park.
Rs 2.58 cr donated for public service by Haryana Minister Shri Vipul Goel
On October 13, 2018, Haryana Minister for Commerce & Industries, Shri Vipul Goel donated an amount of Rs.2.58 crore for funding public service.
i. He handed over the amount in 2 cheques to the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.
ii. The amount would be used as follows:
Rs.1.58 crore towards “Clean Ganga Fund” and
Rs.1 crore towards “Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund“.
iii. The “Clean Ganga Fund” is dedicated to cleaning the Holy River Ganga and PM Relief Fund aids to the poor, the needy, the sick and those affected by natural calamities.
Overview of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s 3-Day Visit to France
- On October 10, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman started her maiden 3-day official visit to France till October 12, 2018.
- This is her maiden official visit to France.
- She participated in the 1st India-France Ministerial level annual defence dialogue in Paris.
- She held bilateral talks with her French Counterpart.
- She visited the Rafale manufacturing facility of Dassault amid controversy.
- She spoke at the Institute of Strategic Research (IRSEM) in Paris…………………………………….Click here to Read more.
India Elected To UN Human Rights Council with highest number of votes
On October 13, 2018, India was elected to the United Nations’ top human rights body, UNHRC for a period of three years.
The elections were conducted by UN General Assembly.
i. This period would commence from January 1, 2019.
ii. India got 188 votes out of 193, the highest number of votes among all candidates.
iii. Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines were also selected for 5 seats in the Asia Pacific category.
iii. It is a part of the 18 new members elected in the UN Human Rights Council.
iv. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
v. India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 term.
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
♦ India’s Permanent Representative to the UN : Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.
♦ Members: 47.
♦ President: Vojislav Šuc.
♦ The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats.
- Eastern European States: 6 seats.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Prema Gopalan wins Social Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018
Prema Gopalan was presented the 8th Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (SEOY) 2018, by Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, in New Delhi.
i. Prema Gopalan was awarded for her work in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and rural livelihood. She is the founder of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP).
ii. SEOY awards was founded by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation in 2010.
iii. The winner of SEOY India Award takes part in the annual and regional meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Priyank Kanoongo appointed chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
Priyank Kanoongo has been appointed the Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)by the appointments committee of the cabinet for a term of 3 years.
i. Priyank Kanoongo will be the 5th Chairperson of NCPCR. He replaces Stuti Kacker, whose tenure ended on September 16, 2018.
ii. Priyank Kanoongo has been member of NCPCR since November 2015. His tenure as member is about to end.
iii. He hails from Madhya Pradesh. He is a graduate in science. He was assigned to work on education when he was appointed member of NCPCR.
iv. He had worked on re-integration of out of school children with mainstream education.
About National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):
♦ Type – works to safeguard child rights and child related policies of India
♦ Location – New Delhi
Shekhar Mande appointed as Director-General of CSIR: Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
On October 15, 2018, India’s leading expert in DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics, 56-year-old, Shekhar C. Mande was appointed Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
i. He will serve as secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and head 38 labs of CSIR.
ii. He replaced biotechnologist Girish Sahni, who retired on 31 August.
iii. He is currently director at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune.
iv. He is the vice-president of Vijnana Bharati, a widely-known science outreach organisation.
v. He is also a life member of the Indian Crystallographic Association, and is chairman at the National Committee for the International Union of Crystallography.
vi. He was also the 2005 biological sciences recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the apex science award in India, for his work in structural biology of proteins.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ President: PM Narendra Modi.
♦ Vice-President: Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
Nimesh Shah elected new chairman of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)
aOn 12th October 2018, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company MD & CEO Nimesh Shah was elected as the chairperson of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
i. Nimesh Shah has replaced A Balasubramanian, chief executive officer of Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund. A Balasubramanian became AMFI chairman in 2016.
ii. Kailash Kulkarni, CEO of L&T Mutual Fund, remains the vice chairperson of AMFI.
iii. Nimesh Shah joined the mutual fund industry in July 2007.
About Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI):
♦ Objective – to develop the Indian Mutual Fund Industry on professional, healthy and ethical lines
♦ Incorporated – 1995
♦ Chief Executive – Mr. N. S. Venkatesh
♦ Location – New Delhi
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Norwest Venture Partners buys into Veritas Finance
Norwest Venture Partners has invested $30 million (Rs 200 crore) in Veritas Finance to acquire about 15% stake.
i. Norwest Venture Partners is a multi-stage investment firm. It has made its third deal in the nonbanking finance company space.
ii. Veritas Finance lends to micro, small and medium enterprises in India. It has a loan book of Rs 496 crore through 125 branches.
iii. It offers short term loans for working capital, medium-term loans for business expansion and long-term loans for asset creation.
iv. It has more than 17,000 customers. It aims to expand its loan book to Rs 1,000 crore by FY19.
v. It operates in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, West Bengal and Odisha. Norwest Venture Partners will invest primary capital in it to achieve its expansions.
About Veritas Finance:
♦ Founded – 2015
♦ MD & CEO – D Arulmany
♦ Corporate Office – Chennai
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IRCTC launched ‘Ask Disha’ chatbot on its e-ticketing website
On October 13, 2018, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) launched ‘Ask Disha’, the new artificial intelligence-enabled chat bot.
i. This was launched on its e-ticketing website, irctc.co.in. and is a first-of-its-kind initiative for any Indian government website.
ii. It has been jointly developed by IRCTC and CoRover Private Limited, a Bangalore-based startup.
iii. It will be integrated in IRCTC Rail Connect Android app and will be voice-enabled soon.
iv. It can be used by Indian Railways passengers to get their questions answered through the chat bot.
v. It also has auto suggestion options for the customer.
vi. Some of the features of the chat-bot are:
- 24*7 customer query support,
- Quick response time to queries and
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Under Ministry of Railways.
♦ Chairman & Managing Director: Shri. M. P. Mall.
Navy inducted first Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel to rescue sunk , disaster-hit submarines
On October 14, 2018, Indian Navy joins select League of Nations after acquiring 1st Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel & associated kit.
To search, locate & provide rescue to distressed submarines
i. The second rescue kit is planned to be inducted in 2019 in Vishakhapatnam.
ii. The kit can be mobilised from Naval base at Mumbai to nearest mounting port by air or land or sea.
iii. At present, the US, China, Russia and a few other countries have the capabilities to deploy DSRVs.
i. Though DSRVs are used to rescue personnel from downed submarines, they are also deployed for various other missions, including laying cables on the sea bed.
ii. It is a part of Indian Navy’s new concept of deployment of warships in the Indian Ocean region to effectively counter China’s growing presence in the strategically key waters.
♦ Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Sunil Lanba.
♦ Vice-Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar.
Malnad Ultra Marathon 2018 flags off in Chikmagalur, Karnataka
On 13th October 2018, the two-day Coffee Day Malnad Ultra Marathon 2018 was flagged off from Lalbaug Estate in Chikmagalur, Karnataka.
i. 811 runners from 13 countries and 22 states of India participated. 43 international runners took part in the marathon, with USA having the highest representation of 7 endurance runners.
ii. People up to 75 years of age participated in the marathon. The marathon was divided into 3 categories: 50km, 80km and 110km.
Leander Paes wins Santo Domingo Open trophy
On 14th October 2018, India’s Leander Paes won the Santo Domingo Open trophy with partner Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela of Mexico, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
i. Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela defeated Ariel Behar and Roberto Quiroz 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 in the final.
ii. This is Leander Paes’ second Challenger-level title of the season.
2018 Tianjin Open (tennis)
From 8th to 14th October 2018, 2018 Tianjin Open (tennis) was held in Tianjin, China.
i. It was a women’s professional tennis tournament. It was played on hard courts.
ii. It was the 5th edition of the tournament. It was part of the 2018 WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour.
|Women’s Singles||Caroline Garcia (France)|
|Women’s Doubles||Nicole Melichar (United States), Květa Peschke (Czech Republic)|
India wins triangular series by defeating Sri Lanka in Blind Cricket
On 13th October 2018, Indian blind cricket team defeated Sri Lanka and won the triangular series in Goa.
i .Indian team defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the final. Indian captain Ajay Reddy was named man of the match.
ii .Goa Governor Mridula Sinha was invited as the chief guest for the final. India played the tri-series against England and Sri Lanka.
Sultan of Johor Cup U-18 2018 (Hockey): India settle for silver after losing to Great Britain
On 13th October 2018, India won silver medal at the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup U-18 2018 hockey tournament in Malaysia.
i. India lost 2-3 to Great Britain in the final and won the silver medal. Great Britain won their second Sultan of Johor Cup title.
ii. Last year, India had won bronze medal and Great Britain had finished runners-up.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Vice President releases biography of Anumolu Ramakrishna titled ‘Building a Legacy’
On 12th October 2018, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu released the Biography of late Industrialist, Dr. Anumolu Ramakrishna titled ‘Building a Legacy’ written by Chartered Accountant V. Pattabhi Ram and R. Mohan, in Chennai.
i. Dr. Anumolu Ramakrishna was a pioneer in using innovative construction techniques in the Indian construction sector.
ii. He was former president and Managing Director at Larsen and Toubro. He was posthumously awarded Padma Bhushan in 2014.
iii. He was born in December 1939 and died on August 20, 2013 at Hyderabad.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) celebrated three-day Silver Jubilee
On October 14, 2018, National Human Rights Commission celebrated the mark of silver jubilee for 3 days.
Celebrations on October 14, 2018:
On October 14, 2018, NHRC concluded its celebrations with the ‘Human Rights walk’ at Nehru Park in New Delhi.
i. It was flagged off by NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice H. L. Dattu and Ms. J. Mary Kom, boxer and Mr. Vijay Kumar, shooter.
ii. The walk was aimed to build awareness on human rights and seek people’s commitment to promote and protect them.
Celebration on October 13, 2018:
i. As a part of its celebration, on October 13, 2018, the commission organized a Human Rights Mela and Street Theatre Festival of its own kind in the country at the amphi theatre arena of Central Park, Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place), New Delhi.
ii. Here, 7 selected groups performed their street plays on different aspects of human rights and competed for the covetous awards.
iii. The first prize of Rs. 1, 00,000/- went to the Street Play Society of Janki Devi Mahila College, Delhi University for their play -‘Maila Kuchaila’ highlighting the challenges of the manual scavengers.
iv. The second prize of Rs. 60,000/- went to Rudraksh Kala Mandal for their play- ‘Apna Adhikar Pechano’ highlighting how to deal with domestic violence targeting women and take legal recourse.
v. The third prize of Rs. 40,000/- was given to Jazba Theatre group’s play ‘Bhookh’ highlighting the challenges related to protection of right to food and hoe to avoid wastage of food.
Celebrations on October 12, 2018:
i.On the Foundation Day of the Commission i.e. on the 12th October, 2018, a special programme was organized at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi which was addressed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
ii. A commemorative postal stamp and cover marking silver jubilee of the National Human Rights Commission, India was released and the new version of the NHRC website was also launched by the Prime Minister.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Chairperson: Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu.
World Food Day – October 16
On 16th October 2018, World Food Day was celebrated all over the world.
i. World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 by 150 countries to support Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ mission to create awareness and gather support to end world hunger.
ii. FAO and World Food Day Committee conducted 2018 World Food Day event, with the theme “Our actions are our future. A #zero hunger world by 2030 is possible”.
World Students’ Day – October 15
On 15th October 2018, World Student Day was celebrated all over the world.
i. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 October as World Students’ Day.
ii. This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Late APJ Abdul Kalam, a scientist and the former President of India.
iii. Though he was a scientist, APJ Abdul Kalam’s favourite job was a teacher. He had received Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna etc.
Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas – October 15
On 15th October 2018, Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas (National Women’s Farmer’s Day) was celebrated to increase the active participation of women in agriculture.
i. Agriculture Ministry declared 15 October as Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas in 2016.
ii. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh addressed the function held in New Delhi. Women farmers, entrepreneurs, farming organizations, agricultural scientists and researchers participated in the event.
iii. Bihar organized an event in Patna on the Mahila Kisan Diwas. Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar participated in the event and felicitated women farmers who have made outstanding contributions in the field of agriculture.
iv. Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Indian Council of Agriculture (ICAR) also organised Mahila Kisan Diwas in which farmers were explained about latest technologies in farming.
About Indian Council of Agriculture (ICAR):
♦ Director General – Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi