1. Union cabinet has approved a proposal to build a National War Memorial and Museum near India Gate in New Delhi today. The memorial will be in the in memory of 22,500 soldiers who sacrificed their lives while in the line of duty post-independence.
The Cabinet also cleared 3 new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences which will be established at Nagpur in Maharashtra, Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh and at Kalyani in West Bengal under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. The cost will be nearly Rs. 5,000 crore.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved National Watershed Management Project-Neeranchal with an outlay of Rs. 2142 crore. It will ensure access to irrigation to every farmland help achieve objectives of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana for efficient use of water. Also Union cabinet has approved a proposal for Non Gazetted Railways employees to get 78-day wages as productivity-linked bonus for the fiscal 2014-15.
2. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conference 2016 will be held in New Delhi from 8th January to 10th January 2016. The Conference 2016 will be organised with an objective for developing a new paradigm for engagement with the Diaspora over the next decade.
3. International Monetary Fund, IMF, has projected India’s economic growth rate at 7.5% in 2016 compared to China’s growth rate of 6.3%, in its latest World Economic Outlook Update. IMF also said growth in India is expected to rise above the rates in other major emerging market economies. The report said the growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices. On Inflation the report, said in India, it is expected to decline further in 2015, reflecting the fall in global oil and agricultural commodity prices.
The report also projects global growth rate for 2015 at 3.1%, which is 0.3% than in 2014, and 0.2% lower than the forecasts in the July 2015 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update.
1. Swedish Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar have been chosen for the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discoveries in DNA repair, as per announcement made by the Nobel Committee. Their work uncovered the mechanisms used by cells to repair damaged DNA – a fundamental process in living cells.
Prof Lindahl has worked in the UK, Paul Modrich is professor of Biochemistry at Duke University in North Carolina and Turkish-born biochemist Aziz Sancar is professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US.
2. Raif Badawi, the blogger from Saudi Arabia, was named the 2015 International Writer of Courage and the joint winner of the PEN Pinter Prize today along with British poet and literary critic James Fenton. He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for his liberal writings.
Fenton officially accepted the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize While, due to Badawi’s imprisonment, his award was accepted by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and campaigner for Raif Badawi.
3. Russian Chess player Sergey Karjakin won 2015 World Cup Chess Championship held at Baku, Azerbaijan. He defeated Peter Svidler (Russia) by 6-4 score in the final match. He also holds the record for being world’s youngest Chess Grandmaster at the age young of 12 years and 7 months.
1. World Habitat Day was observed on 5th October across the world to raise awareness about the state of human settlements and the future of cities. As per United Nations, it is observed on first Monday of October every year. The theme for 2015 was “Public spaces for all”.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through Resolution 40/202 had established World Habitat Day in 1985 and it was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.
2. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada have jointly won the Nobel Prize 2015 in Physics for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, as per announcement made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The two researchers had made key contributions to experiments showing that neutrinos change identities.
As per the academy, “The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe”. Kajita is director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and Professor at the University of Tokyo. McDonald is a Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.
3. Micro blogging site Twitter has appointed its co-founder and interim chief executive officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey as permanent CEO for second time. He succeeded Dick Costolo who had resigned in June this 2015 after serving as CEO for five years.
He had earlier served as Twitter’s president and CEO from May 2007 to October 2008. Post October 2008, he was also the Chairman of the board of members of Twitter. Twitter also has appointed Adam Bain as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company.
4. DuPont Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman has resigned and will step down this month. She will be replaced temporarily by board member Edward Breen, who oversaw the break-up of conglomerate Tyco International Plc. Kullman joined the company more than 27 years ago and has been its CEO since 2009.
1. India and Germany signed 18 MoUs during visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel today in various sectors including renewable energy, skill development, higher education, civil aviation, railways, food safety and promotion of German language in India and modern Indian languages in Germany. The MOUs were signed in presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
2. Indian PSU Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) established the world’s highest terrestrial centre at 17,600 feet above sea level at Changla near Pengong Lake in Ladakh. It will serve as a natural cold storage for preserving rare and endangered medical plants and will act as an important utility for research work in frontal areas of food and agriculture and bio-medical sciences for wellbeing of the soldiers deployed in high altitude cold desert.
3. Ashish Bahuguna, the Chairman of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), was given an additional charge of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FSSAI. He succeeded Yudhvir Singh Malik who was shifted to NITI Aayog as an Additional Secretary in September 2015. He will hold the position of CEO until a new appointment is made for the position.
4. India’s e-commerce giant, Flipkart has appointed Sriram Venkataraman as the new Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Pramod Jain as Vice President and Head of Taxation. Sriram Venkataraman, in his new role, will watch over all aspects of the finance function for CP. He will also be responsible to drive the CP business to deliver its goals while Pramod Jain will lead the tax department with the aim of improving engagement with revenue and government authorities.
5. Shashank Manohar has been elected unopposed as President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the second term during Special General Meeting (SGM) of BCCI. He succeeded Jagmohan Dalmiya who passed away recently after served as BCCI President for 7 months from March 2015. Earlier he had served as the 29th President of the BCCI from 2008 to 2011. He is known for his impeccable clean image and track record and integrity. With his new role, he promised to clean all spot fixing issues within BCCI.
1. Three scientists from Japan, China and Ireland jointly won the Nobel Prize for Medicine today. They worked on the development of potent new drugs against parasitic diseases such as malaria and elephantiasis. Irish-born William Campbell and Japanese Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering avermectin, a derivative of which has been used to treat hundreds of millions of people with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis. China’s Youyou Tu won the other half of the prize for discovering artemisinin, a drug that has slashed malaria deaths and has become the mainstay of fighting the mosquito-borne disease.
2. American world number one Golf Player Jordan Spieth was named as the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year after winning two major victories among his five wins in 2014-15. He, aged 22, is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour, and world number one in the World Golf Ranking.
3. China won the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship title by defeating Philippines team by 78-67 in the final match this weekend. With this, China secures direct qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1. New Delhi will host G20 summit in 2018 and India will chair the annual forum that year, as per the decision taken by G20 forum in September 2015 which was chaired by Turkey. Turkey will hand over the Chair to China for 2016 and Germany will chair the same summit in 2017. G20 is a forum where leaders of G20 nations meet and discuss about financial and economic cooperation.
2. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy-2015 to promote greening of National Highway corridors across India. The key aim of the policy is to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. The entire progress and plantation status will be monitored by the monitoring agency by conducting site visit on regular intervals.
3. V Shanmuganthan has sworn in as the 17th Governor of Manipur at a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan in Imphal. He succeeded Dr. Syed Ahmed who passed away last month. Currently He is Governor of Meghalaya and was given additional charge of Manipur by President Pranab Mukherjee after death of Dr. Syed Ahmed.
4. The city of Coventry honored leading Indian industrialist Ratan Tatawith its highest award Honorary Freeman Of city of Coventry at the University of Warwick, Coventry for his contributions to the West Midlands region of central England. Only 13 people have been conferred this award since 1914 including Indian –origin professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, founder of Warwick manufacturing group.
5. Famous Indian tennis player Sania Mirza along with Swiss partner Martina Hingis continued her superb run as they won their seventh title together by winning the Wuhan Open women’s doubles trophy this week. They defeated the Romanian team of Irina Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu by 6-2, 6-3 in the final match.
1. The International Day of Older Persons was observed on 1st October across the world which has also marked the 25th anniversary. The theme for year 2015 was “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment”. The United Nations General Assembly declared 1st October to observe as International Day of Older Persons in December 1990.
2. Indian-American Karthik Chandran, currently working as associate professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia Engineering, won prestigious 2015 MacArthur Fellow with a “Genius Grant” for his work in transforming wastewater from pollutant into useful resources such as energy sources, fertilizers and commodity chemicals. The award carries cash reward of USD 625,000.
1. India has moved up 16 positions to rank 55th on a global index of the world’s most competitive economies, as per the latest Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) today. This is significant improvement compared to last year.
Switzerland has retained its top position as the world’s most competitive economy for seventh year in a row in the same report and it is followed by Singapore, the US, Germany and the Netherlands in the top-five. Other countries in top ten list are Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden and the UK.
2. Also India has received highest foreign direct investment (FDI) compared to China and United states in the first half of 2015 due to new initiatives taken by the Modi government, as per a report published in London’s Financial Times. As per the report India has attracted roughly USD 31 billion FDI compared to USD 28 billion by China and USD 27 billion by the USA.
This growth in FDI investment in India came after the government has relaxed FDI norms in various sectors including defence, railways, construction, insurance and medical devices. India is currently ranked 142nd among 189 nations in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2015 study.
3. The Central Government has appointed four brand ambassadors for its “Digital India programme”. They were appointed in the first week of July 2015 as part of the Digital India Week campaign. They are Satwat Jagwani and Krati Tiwari – both are students and All India IIT-JEE -Advanced Topper in 2015, famous author and ethical hacker Ankit Fadia and Pranav Mistry, working in Samsung USA as Computer Scientist and Author of 6th Sense.
4. India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 has started at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. This is the third edition of the joint training exercise between both countries which aims to build Military to Military co-operation and interoperability. Aim of MITRA SHAKTI 2015 Exercise is to share the best military practices between the two Armies and promote healthy military to military relations.
5. Indo-British van driver Dee Patel was awarded with the Pride of Britain Award by Prince Charles of Britain this week. He was given the award in the outstanding bravery category as he had risked his life to save others. The Pride of Britain Awards was founded by Peter Willis in 1999.
In May 2005, he noticed a car ahead of him that was dangerously out of control on the M25 motorway. Soon, he realised that the driver of the car, a young woman, slumped unconscious over the steering wheel. Patel came for the rescue of the woman without wasting any time.
6. M.R. Poovamma and Babita Kumari have been awarded with the prestigious Arjuna Award 2015 for their individual achievements in sports. The award was presented to them by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Youth affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi. M.R. Poovamma was awarded for her contributions in Athletics and Babita Kumari was awarded for her contribution in Wrestling.
7. Former world number one Heena Sidhu won the gold medal in women’s 10 metre air pistol event at the 8th Asian Air Gun Championships in New Delhi today. She shot a total of 197.8 to win the top prize in the final. Another Indian Shweta Singh came second and won silver medal with score of 197.0 while Korean shooter Seon A Kim won the bronze with a total score of 175.8.India won total 17 medals, including six gold to finish as toppers in the continental event followed by Iran at second position.
In a surprise move, the Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate, its short-term lending rate to banks, by 50 bps, to 6.75% with immediate effect today during its monetary policy review meet. At the same time it has cut reverse repo by 50 bps to 5.75% while kept the Cash Reserve Ratio unchanged at 4%. Marginal Standing Facility Rate and Bank Rate stood at 7.75% while Statutory Liquidity Ratio has been kept unchanged at 21.5%.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said inflation is expected to touch 5.8% in January 2016, which is lower compared to earlier August projection. RBI has cut its GDP growth forecast for current financial year to 7.4% compared to its earlier forecast of 7.6%. aSome major banks including SBI also followed RBI with cut in their lending rates which will make home and car loans cheaper for consumers. Also this rate cut should help to boost both economic and industrial growth.
1. India’s first dedicated astronomy research satellite Astrosat has been successfully launched by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C30 today morning from its launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The 1531 kilogram satellite has a planned lifespan of five years. With this launch, India has joined a select league of nations which have their own observatories in space.
Astrosat has the ability to observe various celestial objects in different wavelengths simultaneously, giving it an edge over its peers.
2. Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has formed a committee headed by B S Baswan to revisit the civil services examination pattern. The seven member committee was given responsibility to submit report within six months from the date of its constitution.
The committee will evaluate the effectiveness of the existing scheme of the civil services examination in selecting suitable candidates keeping in view various factors such as inclusiveness, fair mix of candidates from different disciplines, etc.
3. S K Sharma has been appointed as the Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) with effect from 25th September 2015. He succeeded A B Agrawal, who was Chairman for a period of about five years. He joined Haryana irrigation and water resources department in 1980 as sub divisional officer and during working as Chief Engineer of Beas Satluj Link (BSL) project, he has been instrumental in successfully running of dredger and other allied works, besides running and maintenance of BSL Water Conductor System.
4. Saugata Gupta, Managing Director and CEO of FMCG Company Marico, has been elected as the Chairman of ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) for the second consecutive year. He has FMCG experience of over two decades having worked in Cadbury (India & UK), ICICI Prudential and Marico.
5. Manipur Governor Dr Syed Ahmad passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 75. He was sworn in as the 16th Governor of Manipur in May 2015, before that he had served as the eighth Governor of Jharkhand from August 2011.
6. Beijing Olympics champion Abhinav Bindra won gold medal in the men’s 10 metre Air Rifle event of the Asian Air Gun Championships in New Delhi today. He shot 208.3 points to bag the gold medal after defeating Kazakhstan’s world number eight Yurkov Yuriy (206.6) and Korea’s Yu Jaechul (185.3) on today at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.