Current Affairs Today – October, 13th, 2017 | Latest News and Updates

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Indian Affairs

Maharashtra govt approves climate change adaptation policy

Maharashtra govt approves climate change adaptation policy

  1. The state cabinet has approved the state’s climate change adaptation policy on Tuesday that will do the work of the developing the environment friendly villages and cities in the state. The state government has also do the statement for the separate cell to oversee the implementation of the policy.
  2. “The action plan has been prepared considering the climate changes in 2030, 2050 and 2070. It focuses on the impacts on the sectors such as farming, food security, health, water sources, basic infrastructure with others and the mitigating efforts to be taken to deal with it,” said an official from the department.
  3. “It means the temperatures, rainfall and heat index is likely to increase in the state. The study has also been carried out to see the likely highest impact of the climate change in the districts. The vulnerability index has showed that Nandurbar is likely to have the highest impact of the climate change,” added the official.
  4. “These 14 suggestions include protecting the sources of the river to increase the ground water levels, encouraging the research and plantation of the new varieties in the crops and orchards, promoting alternate resources for employment, increasing farm produce with the use of solar energy, developing the climate-proof villages, water conservation through public participation and others,” explained the official.
  5. Official said, “The state action plan on the climate change focuses on the 14 major suggestions pertaining to departments such as forests, irrigation, agriculture, energy, health, public works department, disaster management, rural and urban development, environment and others.”

KEYS:

  1. Maharashtra, a state spanning west-central India, is best known for its fast-paced capital, Mumbai (formerly Bombay)
  2. This sprawling metropolis is the seat of the Bollywood film industry
  3. It also has sites like the British Raj-era Gateway of India monument and cave temples at Elephanta Island
  4. To the south is the rustic, beach-lined Konkan Coast
  5. In the city of Pune, Aga Khan Palace is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Area: 307,713 km²
  7. Capital: Mumbai

 

 

Projects worth Rs 700 crore sanctioned for Namami Gange programme by NMCG

  1. The National Mission for Clean Ganga has given the approval for the eight projects worth over Rs 700 crore in the northern belt of the country to take forward the ambitious Namami Gange programme, an official statement said.
  2. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) also given the approval for the project for pollution abatement of river Ganga at Bally in West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 200.07 crore. In this there will be the construction of a 40 million litres daily (MLD) STP under hybrid annuity-based PPP model among other works.
  3. “Similarly, construction of a 65 MLD-capacity STP under hybrid annuity model has been approved for Bihars Bhagalpur at an estimated project cost of Rs 268.49 crore,” the statement said.
  4. “In Uttar Pradesh, sewage treatment-related works worth Rs 213.62 crore have been approved. The works to be carried out include construction of two STPs (28 MLD + 5 MLD) in Farrukabad and one 2 MLD-capacity STP at Bargadiya drain in Fatehpur,” it said.
  5. Pollution abatement works for river Ganga like interception, diversion and treatment of sewage at Bithoor in the northern state have also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 13.40 crore.
  6. “Three projects of treatment of drains using bio-remediation technology have also been given a green signal at an estimated cost of Rs 4.29 crore. These are for Rajapur and Digha drains in Patna and Laksar drain in Haridwar,” the statement said. “The NMCG also approved a project for pollution inventorisation, assessment and surveillance on river Ganga at an estimated cost of Rs 42.9 crore,” it added.

 

 

Germany to help Indian Railways to increase speed of trains on existing corridors

Germany to help Indian Railways to increase speed of trains on existing corridors

Indian Railways and German Railways has signed the Joint Declaration of intent regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways for increasing the speed trains to 200 kmph .

The Project is envisaged to consist of three phases to be carried out over a 22 month period with the objectives to provide:

Phase 1: Definition of three demand-based Upgrade scenarios for the corridor

Phase 2: Selection of the preferred Upgrade scenario for SHS on the corridor, based on analysis of respective operations and economic-financial impact.

Phase 3: For preferred scenario, Reference design and technical Tender document:

  • Development of Reference design for technical solution on preferred Upgrade scenario.
  • Procurement concept for Construction works and Railway Systems.
  • Concept and Requirements for construction Phasing under railway
  • Preparation of technical tender documents for preferred Scenario usable for Design & Build tendering.
  • Development of recommendations on the implications for a larger SHS program for India.
  • Possible financing options for the implementation of the corridor.

 

Earlier, a Protocol on cooperation in Rail sector was signed between both sides in May, 2016 in Germany, with following priority areas.

  1. Concepts for increasing the design and the actually driven speeds;
  2. Concepts for increasing the capacity of railway lines in passenger and goods transport;
  3. Concepts for improving operational safety to avoid incidents and accidents;
  4. Concepts for reducing operational costs, in particular by means of energy efficient railway operations;
  5. Concepts for the cooperation between education and training facilities in India and Germany with the objective of enhancing the railway know how;
  6. Supporting the expansion of the high speed and semi high speed network;
  7. Joint development of user oriented standards and norms for India with the participation of the competent regulatory authorities;
  8. Concepts for speed raising on longer stretches for multiple traffic;
  9. Concepts for station redevelopment on modern lines.

 

 

Salient Features of Chennai-Kazipet Corridor

  1. Route: Chennai-Gudur Jn-Nellore-Tenali Jn-Vijayawada Jn-Warangal-Kazipet Jn Total length of the corridor – 643 km (135 km in Southern Railway and 508 km in South Central Railway) and the entire corridor is electrified.
  2. Divisions Involved – Chennai (135 km), Vijayawada (311 km) & Secunderabad (197 km).
  3. The maximum sectional speed on the corridor is 110 kmph in Southern Railway and 120 kmph for South Central Railway.
  4. There are 216 (Southern Railway-68 & South Central Railway-148) level crossings on the corridor and all are manned.
  5. There are 1979 (Southern Railway-514 & South Central Railway-1465) number of bridges on this corridor.
  6. There is only one direct train from Kazipet to Chennai i.e. Train No. 12760/Charminar SF Express taking 11 hours 20 minutes with 13 stoppages at an average speed of 57 kmph.
  7. Majority of the trains are from Warangal to Chennai (638 km) and the fastest train is Train no. 12433/12434 Rajdhani Express taking 8 hours 29 minutes with average speed of 75.3 kmph with one stoppage at Vijayawada.
  8. Details of coaching trains on the route: Gareeb Rath-1, Janshatabdi-1, Superfast-40, MailExpress-21 & Holiday Special-8, Total-71.
  9. Total number of enroute stations – 108 (Southern Railway-28 & South Central Railway-80).
  10. Total number of stations where platform is on the mainline – 29 (Southern Railway-23 & South Central Railway-06).
  11. Southern Railway – Automatic/Absolute signalling, South Central Railway – Mainly absolute and MACLS.

 

 

 

IIT Kharagpur partners with Samsung for Digital Academy

IIT Kharagpur partners with Samsung for Digital Academy

  1. IIT-Kharagpur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with thw company, Samsung India for the setting up of a digital academy on the institutes campus.
  2. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the institute will work as the host for the Samsung Innovation Lab and train students on the Internet of Things (IoT) through Tizen-based operating systems, commonly used by the company for its mobile phones and home appliances.
  3. “The academy was a part of the company’s corporate social initiative that aims at bridging the digital divide in the country by imparting skills to students on cutting-edge technology,” the statement said.
  4. the managing director of Samsung Research & Development Institute, Delhi, YoungKi Byun, said, “Samsung is happy to partner with IIT-Kharagpur to help students leverage the growing digital technology market, especially Internet of things (IoT), the future of connectivity”.
  5. Echoing similar sentiments, IIT-KGP Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said, “The partnership will help our students in developing their skills on the emerging areas of IoT and Artificial Intelligence.”
  6. “This (IoT) lab will enable our students to have hands-on experience with the Tizen operating system as well as facilitate research and app development on IoT platforms,” the head of the department of Computer Science and Engineering, Sudeshna Sarkar, said.

KEYS:

  1. The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is a public engineering institution established by the government of India in 1951
  2. Address: Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302
  3. Director: Partha Pratim Chakraborty
  4. Chairperson: Srikumar Banerjee
  5. Founded: 1951
  6. Phone: 03222 255 221
  7. Acceptance rate: 2% (2011)
  8. Motto: Yogaḥ Karmasu Kauśalam (Excellence in Action is Yoga)

 

PV Reddi headed panel to look into pay hike issue of lower court judges

PV Reddi headed panel to look into pay hike issue of lower court judges

  1. Judges of lower courts of all over the country has been set at the allowed for the pay hike in the coming months by the law of ministry set to the appointment of a panel to recommend new salary structure for them and the proposal awaiting the Cabinet’s nod.
  2. For the approval of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission to recommend salary hikes for the 21,000 lower court judges is set to be taken up by the union cabinet in the coming days.
  3. This moment has been taken from the directions from the Supreme Court in May. The first judicial pay commission, headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty, was set up in March 1996 and it submitted its report in November 1999.
  4. The Supreme Court had appointed a one-member committee under Justice E Padhmanabhan, a retired high court judge, who submitted his report in July 2009 recommending the three-fold hike.

 

 

First Meeting of the Economic Advisory Council held in New Delhi

  1. There has been going to organise the first meeting of the just in th recent established Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (EAC-PM) will be held today at the NITI Aayog.
  2. The council, has been set by the Prime Minister’s approval on September 26, 2017 and comprising reputed economists and experts, will be chaired by Dr. Bibey Debroy. Principal Adviser of NITI Aayog Ratan P. Watal will be the council’s member secretary and Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Rathin Roy and Dr. Ashima Goyal its part-time members.
  3. “Jobs (jobs creation) are not independent. They are related to growth. When the economy grows, jobs also grow. So you cannot talk of jobs separately from growth”, the former chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council said.
  4. “I think the possibility is that growth will pick up in the next few quarters but one doesn’t know by how much. Perhaps by the year as a whole my own estimation is the economy may grow at 6.5 per cent”, the former RBI Governor noted.
  5. “NITI Aayog is working on a Digital Transformation Index for start-ups”, its Officer on Special Duty Aalekh Sharan said,
  6. “Digital Transformation Index (DTI) is a tool used for gauging how well one helps an organisation grow and thrive in a digital world.
  7. Steps such as measuring the spirit of cooperation and competitiveness among states and ensuring best practices are shared and replicated are being taken,” he said, adding that many top innovators are engaged with multinational companies abroad.
  8. “The challenge is to bring them back home and inspire them to contribute towards innovation in India. This is something which will create more jobs, he said at an event organised by the CII in association with USPTO-GIPA in Kolkata on Tuesday.

 

 

 

International Affairs

Richard Thaler wins 2017 Nobel prize in economics – as it happened

Richard Thaler wins 2017 Nobel prize in economics – as it happened

  1. The winner of this year’s Nobel prize in economics, Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, has been chosen as the contraversal. Thaler has been given the name of the lifetime of the pursuit of behavioural economics (and its subfield, behavioural finance), which is the study of economics (and finance) from a psychological perspective.
  2. Nobel prize in economics, Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, said, “I first met Thaler in 1982, when he was a professor at Cornell University. I was visiting Cornell briefly, and he and I took a long walk across the campus together, discovering along the way that we had similar ideas and research goals. For 25 years, starting in 1991, he and I co-organized a series of academic conferences on behavioural economics, under the auspices of the US National Bureau of Economic Research.”
  3. Miller explained his reasoning (if not his behaviour) in a widely cited 1986 article called “Behavioral Rationality in Finance.” Miller conceded that sometimes people are victims of psychology, but he insisted that stories about such mistakes are “almost totally irrelevant” to finance. The concluding sentence of his review is widely quoted by his admirers: “That we abstract from all these stories in building our models is not because the stories are uninteresting but because they may be too interesting and thereby distract us from the pervasive market forces that should be our principal concern.”

 

 

 

 

Banking and Finance

IMF lowers India’s growth forecast to 6.7% in 2017

IMF lowers India’s growth forecast to 6.7% in 2017

  1. India’s economic growth for in the year 2017 and in the year 2018 has been put in the slow like in the earlier projections, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday. The report cited “lingering impact” of demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax for the expected slowdown during the current and the next year.
  2. The IMF has revised upwards “global growth projections to 3.6% for this year and 3.7% for next — in both cases 0.1 percentage point above our previous forecasts,” Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, said at a press conference at the beginning of the World Bank-IMF annual meetings.
  3. “Among emerging market and developing economies, higher domestic demand in China and continued recovery in key emerging market economies supported growth in the first half of 2017. In India, growth momentum slowed, reflecting the lingering impact of the authorities’ currency exchange initiative as well as uncertainty related to the midyear introduction of the country-wide Goods and Services Tax,” the IMF report said.
  4. The report said: “pickups in investment, trade, and industrial production, coupled with strengthening business and consumer confidence, are supporting the recovery,” globally. “With growth outcomes in the first half of 2017 generally stronger than expected, upward revisions to growth are broad based, including for the Euro area, Japan, China, emerging Europe, and Russia,”
  5. The report said the downward revisions for 2017 and 2018 reflect “still lingering disruptions associated with the currency exchange initiative introduced in November 2016, as well as transition costs related to the launch of the national Goods and Services Tax in July 2017.”
  6. “Promises the unification of India’s vast domestic market, is among several key structural reforms under implementation that are expected to help push growth above 8% in the medium term,” the report said.

KEYS:

  1. The International Monetary Fund is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., of “189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate.
  2. Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  3. CEO: Christine Lagarde (5 Jul 2011–)
  4. Founded: 27 December 1945, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States
  5. Subsidiaries: IMF Development Committee.
  6. Founders: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White
  7. Parent organization: United Nations

 

SBI to setup country’s largest Innovation Centre in Mumbai

SBI to setup country’s largest Innovation Centre in Mumbai

  1. The nation’s largest lender State Bank of India has been started to create the 15,000-sqft innovation centre in Navi Mumbai investing around Rs 100 crore, a senior official said here today.
  2. “The centre, to be built at its Global IT Centre in Belapur in Navi Mumbai, will be the largest innovation centre by any financial services company in the country,” the official claimed.
  3. “We feel it is very essential to make the bank ready for the future for which we are building the innovation centre,” SBI’s innovation head Sidon Baraokar told in the report here.
  4. He said, “It will be a 15,000-sqft centre that will have 40 dedicated zones for each technology like blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others. The innovation centre is part of a Rs 200-crore allocation that the bank has earmarked for innovation last year,’
  5. “Apart from the proposed innovation centre, Rs 50 crore is allocated for procurements from innovative startups and taking equity stakes in new companies, while the remaining Rs 50 crore is for other needs like software procurements etc,” Baraokar said.
  6. “At present, the bank has a dozen-member strong innovation team which will go up to over 30 once the centre is launched,” he said.

KEYS:

  1. State Bank of India is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company
  2. It is a government-owned corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra
  3. Headquarters: Mumbai
  4. Founded: 1 July 1955
  5. Owner: Government of India (100%)
  6. Capital ratio: 13.12% (2016)
  7. Subsidiaries: SBI Cards, State Bank of Hyderabad

 

 

Science and Technology

Facebook India MD Umang Bedi quits; Bhushan named interim head

Facebook India MD Umang Bedi quits; Bhushan named interim head

  1. Umang Bedi, managing director, India and South Asia, at Facebook has given the resiignation from the social media network said.
  2. “We confirm that Umang Bedi will be leaving his role and Facebook at the end of this year,” the company said in a statement.
  3. Sandeep Bhushan, director, consumer and media, South Asia will be the interim MD as the company searches for a full-time successor to Bedi, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
  4. Commenting on Bedi’s exit, Facebook said, “He’s built a really strong team and business during his time with us, and we wish him all the best.”

 

 

 

Sports

Gurusaidutt wins Bulgarian International Tournament

Gurusaidutt wins Bulgarian International Tournament

  1. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt on Sunday once again bagged in the men’s singles title at the Bulgarian International Future Series tournament.
  2. Gurusaidutt, who play for the tournament in May after returning from an injury suffered during the US Open in July last year, defeated Muhammed Ali Kurt 21-17 21-16 in a 35- minute match to boost his confidence ahead of next month’s Senior Nationals Championship.
  3. “I am feeling good, though it is a small tournament but coming back after a year was not so easy, I wasn’t getting entry anywhere. My rank was 900 above and this is the only place where I could get entry,” Guru told PTI after winning the title.
  4. “I was totally out of badminton or any kind of training from August 2016 until April 2017. Before I underwent surgery, the doctor and physios tried a lot to avoid the surgery but then in the end surgery was the only option.
  5. “I got back well in April-May before Thailand Open but just before leaving for Thailand, I had a jerk in my ankle, that was because of over loading. Again that took me about 5-6 weeks to get back. But this time it was very well planned by physios Chris Pedra, Kiran and Sumansh with the guidance of Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala.”

 

 

 

Awards and Recognitions

President Kovind honours Boxing coach Sandhu & Dr.Bindeshwar Pathak with National Awards

  1. Long-serving man as the Indian boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu has given the honoured with the National Awards for senior citizens by President Ramnath Kovind.
  2. Sandhu, who was serving as the coaching both the men and women boxers, was bestowed the honour at a function on Monday.
  3. “I am thoroughly honoured to be considered worthy of Vayoshreshtha Samman – a scheme of National Awards for senior citizens. I am grateful to the President of India for this,” Sandhu said.
  4. Sandhu was India’s longest-serving men’s national coach, occupying the position for two decades before he was handed charge of the women campers earlier this year.

 

 

Important Days

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

  1. The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) has given the strangeness and government for the participation of the building more disaster resilient communities and nations.
  2. The United Nations General Assembly has decided the October 13th as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction as the theme of its proclamation of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
  3. In the year 2002, by the reflex of the resolution, the General Assembly decided to maintain the annual observance as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
  4. In the year 2009, the UN General Assembly decided to designate October 13 as the official date and also changed the name to International Day for Disaster Reduction.

 

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