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16 October 2017 - Current Affairs

16 October 2017 - Current Affairs

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Oct 16: World Food Day

  • The World Food Day is observed globally on Oct 16 to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945.
  • 2017 Theme: “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.” 
  • The day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. 
  • World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

Union Bank launches bilingual Android app

  • Union Bank of India has launched an Android app, Union Sahyog, as part of its drive to digitise customer-facing banking services. 
  • The Union Sahyog app is bilingual, offering both English and Hindi language, and packs in all mobile-based banking applications, missed call/SMS-based services, Internet banking login and self-user creation, deposit and loan product information, online account opening, online loan application, online complaints and even RTI.
  • It also offers extras such as branch locator, EMI calculator, social media links and digital banking information.
  • The app was launched by RajKiran Rai G, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of India.

GoM holds first meeting on GST composition scheme

  • The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to make the GST composition scheme more attractive held its first meeting in New Delhi.
  • The five member GoM, headed by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been tasked to revisit Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for restaurants. 
  • It will examine whether the AC restaurants pass on the benefit of cost reduction under GST to consumers and if they are not, whether they should be disallowed input tax credit claims.
  • Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent on non-AC restaurants and 18 per cent on air-conditioned restaurants. The GoM was set-up by the GST Council in its last meeting on 7th of this month.
  • It will submit its report by the end of next month. 
  • The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and consisting of his state counterparts, had on October 7 constituted the GoM, which will submit its report by the end of November.
  • The other members of the GoM are Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Chhattisgarh Minister of Commercial Taxes Amar Agrawal.

GDP may grow at 7% in FY’18: NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said the economic slowdown that began in 2013-14 has bottomed out and the GDP is likely to grow at 6.9-7 % this fiscal and 7.5% in 2018-19. 
  • The economic growth slowed to 7.1% in 2016-17, the year in which 87% of the currency was demonetised, despite a very good show by the agricultural sector. 
  • On a quarterly basis also, the growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal had slipped to 5.7%.

The Coalition Years 1996-2012: Pranab Mukherjee’s political autobiography

  • Former president Pranab Mukherjee released the third part of his memoir ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012’. 
  • Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and leaders of other political parties were at the function.
  • Mukherjee’s memoir is the third in the series.
  • The other two are — The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years and The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman commissions INS Kiltan

  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman commissioned the indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS Kiltan at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. 
  • It is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, lower top weight and maintenance costs. 
  • INS Kiltan is the latest indigenous warship after Shivalik-class, Kolkata-class and sister ships INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt to have joined the Indian Navy’s arsenal. 
  • It is also the first major warship to have undertaken sea trials of all major weapons and sensors as a pilot project.

Planet Nine does exist in solar system: NASA

  • NASA scientists said that the elusive ‘Planet Nine’ does exist, and may be 10 times the mass of the Earth and 20 times away from the Sun than Neptune. 
  • Planet Nine could turn out to be our solar system’s missing ‘super Earth’ — a planet with a mass higher than the Earth’s, but substantially lower than the masses of ice giants Uranus and Neptune. 
  • The signs so far are indirect, mainly its gravitational footprints, but that adds up to a compelling case.
  • Six known objects in the distant Kuiper Belt, a region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward towards interstellar space, all have elliptical orbits pointing in the same direction.

Varun Dhawan youngest Indian actor to get statue at Tussauds

  • Actor Varun Dhawan will get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, making him the youngest Indian actor to have his statue at the museum.
  • He will be the fourth from India to join Madame Tussauds Hong Kong with those of Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan currently on display.
  • He will unveil it in the first quarter of 2018.

Vanuatu Becomes First Nation to Accept Bitcoin in Exchange for Citizenship

  • The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has become host to the world’s first govt to accept bitcoin in exchange for citizenship.
  • Vanuatu’s citizenship program costs $200,000 USD, meaning that at current prices the residency program costs less than 41.5 bitcoins. 
  • As Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the citizenship program grants visa-free travel to over 100 countries, including much of Europe.

Govt. appoints MK Gupta, DK Gayen as new Railway Board members

  • The govt of India has appointed Mahesh Kumar Gupta and D K Gayen as the two new members in the Railway Board. 
  • D.K. Gayen, presently posted as General Manager East Central Railway, has been appointed as new Member (Staff) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Govt of India.
  • Meanwhile, M K Gupta, presently General Manager, Modern Coach Factory Raibareli has been appointed as new Member (Engineering) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Govt of India.

TM Krishna wins Indira Gandhi National Integration Award

  • Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna will be conferred with the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for 2015-16 for his services in promoting and preserving national integration in the country.   
  • The award consists of a citation and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.
  • The Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration was instituted in 1985 by the Congress in its centenary year.
  • The award is conferred on October 31 for promoting national integration, understanding and fellowship among different communities and cultures of India.

Mohun Bagan lift Governor’s Gold Cup for 10th time

  • Maidan heavyweights Mohun Bagan won the 37th All India Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament for the 10th time by defeating Partha Chakra by a narrow 1-0 margin.
  • In the final match played at Paljor Stadium, Mohun Bagan’s striker GA Kramah scored the lone goal in the seventh minute. 
  • Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling attended the final and gave away trophies and cash prize to winners and the runner-up. 

Maria Sharapova wins Tianjin Open to claim first title since drug ban

  • Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova was made to fight by 102nd-ranked teenager Aryna Sabalenka at the Tianjin Open before winning her first title since her 15-month doping ban. 
  • The former world number one, who returned to action in April, came from behind in both sets and needed four championship points in the tie-breaker before beating the 19-year-old 7-5, 7-6 (10/8).

Shakib included on MCC’s World Cricket Committee

  • Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has become the first person from his country to be included on the MCC’s World Cricket Committee. 
  • Shakib joins New Zealand women’s captain Suzie Bates, former West Indies paceman Ian Bishop, and former Sri Lanka offspinner and current ICC Elite Panel umpire Kumar Dharmasena as new additions to the committee.
  • Former England captain Mike Gatting has taken over from compatriot Mike Brearley as the committee’s chairman.
  • Sourav Ganguly is only one Cricketer from India to be included in MCC World Cricket Committee. 
  • MCC World Cricket Committee: Mike Gatting (chairman), Vince van der Bijl, Brendon McCullum, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, John Stephenson, Kumar Sangakkara, Kumar Dharmasena, Sourav Ganguly, Rod Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Suzie Bates, Tim May, Shakib Al Hasan
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