October 2013 Current Affairs List

 


1-October


Current Affairs Global - 1 October 2013


1. The International Day of Older Persons is being celebrated today (1st October) across the world. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly and to appreciate the contributions that they make to society. The theme for 2013 is -The Future we want: What older persons are saying-. World-wide there are around 600 million persons aged 60 years and above.  It will double by 2025 and will reach virtually two billion by 2050.


2. The US Government faces shutdown today — for the first time in nearly 17 years — as the Republicans and the Democrats failed to strike a deal on spending and budget mainly due to their differences over -Obamacare-, the flagship healthcare programme of President Barack Obama. As the parties failed to reach any consensus on increasing debt limit, the White House immediately ordered the Federal Government agencies to begin shutting down, furloughing thousands of workers and curtailing some services for the first time since 1995-96.


3. Apple and Google have both overtaken the soft drinks maker, Coca Cola, in a ranking of the world-s most valuable brands, pushing Coca Cola down to third spot in the annual brands list published by consultancy firm Interbrand yesterday. The study estimated the value of Apple-s brand as USD 98.3 billion, some USD 5 billion more than Google-s. Coca Cola-s brand was worth USD 79.2 billion, just ahead of IBM-s, while Microsoft took fifth spot with a brand value of USD 59.5 billion.


4. The Czech Republic-s Seventh seed Petra Kvitova defeated fifth seeded Germany's Angelique Kerber by 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 in the final to win singles title at WTA Pan Pacific Open at Tokyo. It was her 11th WTA title win. She won her first Grand Slam by defeating Russian Tennis star Maria Sherapova in the Wimbledon women-s final in July 2011.


Current Affairs India - 1 October 2013


1. Rasheed Masood, a Congress parliamentarian, has been arrested after he was sentenced to four years in prison by a Delhi court for corruption. The 66-year-old member of the Rajya Sabha had been convicted last week for cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery. He is the first parliamentarian to be found guilty in a criminal case after the Supreme Court ruled that lawmakers stand immediately disqualified if they are convicted for offenses that carry a sentence of more than two years.


2. Former Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai appointed as India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He will succeed noted economist and veteran diplomat Dr Jaimini Bhagwati.


3. S Varadarajan took over charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) today from the outgoing CMD R K Singhon his retirement. Before taking charge as the CMD, Varadarajan was serving as the Director- Finance of the company.


4. A senior Indian journalist, Ravi Shankar Narsimhan, has been presented with Friendship award by China; the highest honor given to foreigners. Narsimhan is the executive editor in the overseas edition of the Beijing based China Daily.


5. The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari released a commemorative postage stamp in the memory of Baba Jumdev at a function in Gondia, Maharashtra yesterday. Baba Jumdev was a prominent spiritual leader and revered social activist.


6. Aga Khan, a Swiss-Born Philanthropist and Muslim Spiritual Leader visited India in September. During the visit in New Delhi, Aga Khan met President of India Pranab Mukharji, Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He also unveiled restored Humayun-s Tomb during his visit.


7. The Reserve Bank of India will infuse Rs 10,000 crore by purchasing government securities next week in order to ease liquidity in the market. Open market operations refer to the sale or purchase of government securities to adjust rupee liquidity conditions in the financial market.


8. Capital market regulator, SEBI has approved the Jet-Etihad deal was approved today. Jet Airways had proposed to sale 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways which was the first FDI investment in Aviation Industry following government-s decision to open up the sector for foreign investment. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is also reviewing the deal now which is expected to provide its final decision soon.


India-s Core industries output jumped to five-month high of 3.7% in August


India-s core sector output, consisting of eight key sectors, jumped to five-month high of 3.7% in August in spite of contraction in crude oil and natural gas production. The core sector growth stood at 6.1% in August last year. This is the highest growth in last five months and slightly better than July growth data of 3.1%.


Crude oil and natural gas production contracted by 1.5% and 16.1% respectively while Refinery products expanded by 4.9% in August. Cement, Coal, electricity, steel and fertilizer production grew by 5.5%, 5.5%, 6.7%, 4.3% and 1.7% respectively in the same month.  For April-August period of current financial year, eight core industries- output grew 2.3%, much lower than the 6.3% recorded in same period last year. The eight core industries have a weightage of about 38% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).


 


2-October


Current Affairs Global - 2 October 2013


1. IT Services Company, Cognizant Technology Solutions has acquired the Equinox Consulting, a financial services consulting firm based in France. Equinox provides business consulting services across investment banking, asset management, retail banking, insurance, and specialized financial services. Founded in 2004, it is known for its deep regulatory consulting expertise, including Basel III and Solvency.


2. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said that -Economic recovery in the euro zone remains "weak, fragile, uneven". ECB has also kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.5%.


Current Affairs India - 2 October 2013


1. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated in India today (2nd October) to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the "Father of the Nation". Today it was observed in all of its states and union territories.


2. Today (2nd October) is birthday of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri ( 2 October 1904 - 11 January 1966). He was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a leader of the Indian National Congress party. He became a national hero following the victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer") became very popular during the war. He was known for his honesty and humility throughout his life. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, and a memorial "Vijay Ghat" was built for him in Delhi.


3. The Union Cabinet has decided to withdraw the Ordinance as well as the Bill on convicted lawmakers. The decision was unanimous after cabinet meeting which has decided to withdraw the relevant Bill pending before Parliament and an appropriate motion will be brought when Parliament re-assembles. Earlier Rahul Gandhi openly opposed the ordinance last week.


4. Ashok Reddy Nukala has been appointed chairman of Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), a regional rural bank sponsored by Syndicate Bank. Nukala was heading the Vijayawada region of Syndicate Bank before taking charge as Chairman of KVGB.


5. The Sahara group has acquired an iconic gothic country house in Windsor in the UK for 27 million pounds (about Rs 256 crore). Draculas Den will be Sahara-s UK HQ. Popularly called the Draculas Den, It was UK-s most renowned Oakley Court a gothic heritage country house in Windsor. It has also been used to film Dracula and Rocky Horror Picture Show.


 


3-October


Current Affairs Global - 3 October 2013


1. India has topped the global chart of remittances with a whopping USD 71 billion in remittances in 2013, which is almost three times of the FDI Indian has received in 2012. Top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2013 are India (with an estimated USD 71 billion), China (USD 60 billion), the Philippines (USD 26 billion), Mexico (USD 22 billion), Nigeria (USD 21 billion), and Egypt (USD20 billion). As a percentage of GDP, the top recipients of remittances, in 2012, were Tajikistan (48% of GDP), Kyrgyz Republic (31% of GDP), Lesotho and Nepal (25% of GDP each) and Moldova (24% of GDP).


2. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has again been named the world's top university by the Times Higher Education Global Ranking. This is third consecutive time the university has been ranked first among the top 200 universities around the world. Harvard University secured the second rank followed by Oxford University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the same order as per 2013-14 ranking.


3. The Gambian Government announced that it is pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect. Gambian, a West African country joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1965. The last country to be withdrawn from the Commonwealth group was Zimbabwe in 2003.


4. IT services provider Cognizant announced today that it would acquire ValueSource NV, a subsidiary of Belgium-based integrated bank insurance group KBC, as part of a five-year contract with the group. This is the second acquisition announcement by the US-headquartered IT firm in as many days as it had acquired Equinox Consulting of France this week only.


5. Famous thriller novel writer, Tom Clancy passed away in Baltimore, USA on 1st October. He was 66. He was credited with 17 New York Times bestsellers and had launched into the career of writing with the help of the then US president Ronald Reagan.


Current Affairs India - 3 October 2013


1. RJD Chief and former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to five years jail and fined Rs 25 lakh for his role in the fodder scam today. Former Bihar CM, Jagannath Mishra was sentenced to four years of jail. The special CBI court has also pronounced punishment to other accused in the fodder scam case. After this sentence, Lalu Prasad Yadav will lose his MP seat and won-t be able to contest polls for next 11 years.


2. The Cabinet has approved the split of Andhra Pradesh to create a separate state of Telangana today. The Cabinate also approved the setting up of a Group of Ministers (GOM) to decide formalities for the creation of new state. After the cabinet meeting, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that Hyderabad will be the joint capital of Telangana and Seemandhra for a period of 10 years.


3. India has been ranked at 78th position out of 122 countries on global Human Capital Index published by the World Economic Forum. The global Human Capital Index ranks countries on the basis of economic potential of their labour force and India-s rank stood at 78th due to low scores in sanitation and hygiene and second-to-bottom rank on the health gender gap indicators. India-s performance was dismal in the field of health and wellness (112), it ranked 67 in creating an enabling environment, 63 in the area of education and 49 in the sphere of workforce and employment.


4. India has improved its position in the world-s definitive university rankings with 5 Indian varsities entering the top 400 list, compared to 3 in 2012. Panjab University made its debut in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14 in the 226-250 band followed by two other new entrants — Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Kanpur in the 351-400 band. The new entrants join IIT Kharagpur, which slipped from 226-250 into the 351-400 group, and IIT Roorkee, which retained its place in the 351-400 band.


5. The Government of India launched a unique project to put 100 most important Indian heritage sites online. The sites will include the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho and the Ajanta and Ellora caves. An agreement has been signed between the Archaeological Survey of India and Google in New Delhi yesterday. According to the agreement, detailed imagery of the identified heritage sites will be placed over the Internet for public viewing.


6. Government of India has appointed a four member committee headed by Arvind Mayaram, Economic Affairs Secretary, to clear the ambiguity between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) terms. The committee will look into the difference between them and it will also give proper definition of FDI and FII so that current ambiguity can be cleared.


7. 3M Healthcare, the healthcare division of 3M India, has won the Sterilization Services Company of the Year award at the Frost & Sullivan-s fifth annual India Healthcare Excellence Awards 2013. These coveted Awards recognized innovative growth strategies and solutions adopted by top companies in the healthcare industry for 2012-13.


8. India's biggest drug maker by market capital, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and USA based Intrexon Corporation, a leading player in synthetic biology have announced setting up a joint venture to develop controllable gene-based therapies for the treatment of eye diseases. The joint venture will helpful for Sun Pharma's  to increase their global capabilities and experience in developing and manufacturing complex dosage forms. It will also enhance their specialty pharmaceuticals for niche therapy areas.


9. Sunil Singhania, a chartered financial analyst, has been elected to the Global Board of CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals. He will serve on the Board of CFA Institute for a three-year term. With this he has become the first from India to be so elected. Singhania is currently the Chief Investment Officer—equity investments at Reliance Capital Asset Management.


10. India-s Cricket Control Board, the BCCI has awarded the title sponsorship for all international series and the domestic tournaments in India for the year 2013-14 to Star Private Ltd and ESPN at the base price of Rs 2 crore per fixture. This price is considerably low compared to their previous deal with Airtel.


 


4-October


Current Affairs Global - 4 October 2013


1. Social Networking site Twitter has unveiled IPO plan in which it plans to raise around USD 1 billion. It will be the most sought-after IPO since Facebook IPO launched in May 2012. Twitter was launched in 2006 and currently it has around 218 million active users across the world with revenue of around USD 317 million in 2012 as per its regulatory filling with SEC.


2. Afghanistan Cricket team was qualified for its maiden ICC World Cup after defeating Kenya by seven wickets at World Cricket League Championship in Sharjah today. With this win Afghanistha also became the 20th team to gain entry into the tournament overall.


3. Portugal-s Cyclist Luis Leao Pinto won the 9th MTB Himalaya 2013 cycle race, which concluded in Shimla this week. The World No. 9 won the winner's trophy in the Open Men's Solo category. He finished in 17:33:21 while Purna Bahadur Pradhan (21:27:17) and Surendra Singh (21:42:16) finished second and third respectively in the same race.


Current Affairs India - 4 October 2013


1. The Election Commission has announced polling date for upcoming assembly election in 5 states Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh. The election will start from November 11. While Chhattisgarh will have a two-phase polling on 11st November and 19th November, the remaining states will have a single-phase poll. Delhi and Mizoram will go to polls on 4th December, Madhya Pradesh on 25th November and Rajasthan on 1st December. Counting for all the five states will happen on 8th December.


For the first time, voters will have an option of 'none of the above' (NOTA) in these polls where they can decide not to vote any of the candidates in the fray.


2. Union Minister of State with Independent charge of Tourism, K. Chiranjeevi has resigned from the Manmohan Singh Cabinet today following cabinet-s final approval to create Telengana state. He floated a party called Praja Rajyam Party which won 18 seats in the 294 strong A.P. Legislative Assembly in 2009. In 2011 he merged it with the Congress party and became Tourism Minister in October 2012.


3. The Reserve Bank today set up a three-member committee under former Governor Bimal Jalan to scrutinise applications for new bank licences, which are expected to be awarded by January 2014. The panel will make its recommendations to the Governor and Deputy Governors, who will make the final proposals to the committee of the RBI central board.


4. Utpal Bhadra, Senior Scientist and Group Leader, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has been selected for the lifetime achievement award in biotechnology by the Association of Biotechnology and Pharmacy (ABAP). It is in recognition of his outstanding research contributions in the field of biotechnology and its related areas.


5. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared Jet Airways proposed sale of 24% equity to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, paving the way for the biggest ever foreign investment in the Indian aviation sector. This is the first FDI deal after Indian Government opened the sector for FDI recently. The deal was already approved by Capital Market regulator SEBI earlier this week.


6. Rohan Bopanna along with his partner Edourad Roger-Vasselin reached his third final of the season after defeating Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot in straight sets in the ATP Japan Open, today. Bopanna and his French partner won by 6-4 7-6(6) in the semifinals of the $ 1,297,000 hard court event.


7. Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black have entered the women's doubles final of the China Open tennis tournament today. They defeated top seeded Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinal match.


 


5-October


 


6-October


Current Affairs Global - 6 October 2013


1. President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American Arun M Kumar to a key administration post. He has been made in charge of international trade which is an important post considering current Government shutdown.


2. Novak Djokovic won his fourth China Open title in five years , after defeating Rafael Nadal by 6-3, 6-4 in the final match in Beijing today. In spite of this win, Nadal will replace him as the men's new world number one tomorrow.


3. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix today to get closer to his fourth victory in a row and stretch his championship lead to 77 points with five rounds remaining. It was his third successive Korean win, eighth win of the season and 34th of his career. Finland's Kimi Raikkonen finished second and Lotus-s Romain Grosjean finished third in the same race.


4. Ireland and Afghanistan have qualified directly for the ICC World Cup Cricket Championship in 2015 which will be held in Australia and New Zealand. Ireland and Afghanistan came first and second respectively in the ICC World Cricket League championship final round matches held in Amstelveen.


Current Affairs India - 6 October 2013


1. India, the world's second biggest wheat and rice grower, saw the number of people who suffered from chronic hunger drop by 6.5% to 21.38 crore during 2011-13. According to a joint report by UN food agencies, during 2008-10, as many as 22.86 crore people were undernourished in the country. The report by Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme said that despite the progress made worldwide, marked differences in hunger reduction persist.


2. India and Bangladesh have launched major co-operation in power sector with the launch of two projects - a 500 MW grid and 1320 megawatt Maitri MW Thermal station. The tranmission line of India-Bangladesh Grid Inter-connection at Bheramara in Bangladesh was commissioned yesterday. This help supply of 500 MW of power from India to Bangladesh.


3. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for reforming the state higher education system. As per scheme, 80 new universities will be created by converting autonomous colleges or colleges in a cluster to State universities during the 12th Plan period.


4. S.R. Bansal took over as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank. Before that, he was an Executive Director at Punjab National Bank. He started his banking career as a direct officer recruit at Dena Bank in 1981 and went on to hold the office of the Field General Manager (North India) covering eight States. He was appointed as the Executive Director of Punjab National Bank in June 2012.


5. Former Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata will be formally inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in the US for his "outstanding contributions" to industrial development in India and the world over. Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation.


6. Veteran director Shyam Benegal will head the accomplished jury for the Seventh Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to be held in Brisbane on 12th December this year. The announcement was made by the APSA executive chairman Michael Hawkins in Busan.


7. Rohan Bopanna along with his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin won the Japan Open Men-s doubles trophy after defeating pair of Jamie Murray and John Peers by 7-6 (5) 6-4 today. Bopanna had won his first title of the 2013 season in February when he won at ATP 250 event in Marseille, France with British partner Colin Fleming.


8. India-s Sania Mirza and her partner Cara Black won the China Open Women-s doubles title after defeating Spain's Parra Santonja and Russian Vera Dushevina by 6-2, 6-2 in the final match today. This is their second successive doubles crown and finished their season on an unbeaten note.


9. The disciplinary committee of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has recommended a life ban on the ace shuttler, Jwala Gutta  for her behavior on 25th August when she was accused of delaying the Indian Badminton League (IBL) match between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats for about 30 minutes.


Jwala and her teammates were agitated after Beats were allowed to make a last-minute replacement. Beats replaced their injured Hong Kong player Hu Yun with Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark. With this decision, the career of the ace shuttler will be at stake.


10. Kalpana Devi won India's first IJF Grand Prix medal when she grabbed a bronze in 52kg weight category at the Judo Tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  She defeated Zarifa Sultonova of Uzbekistan but lost to Gili Cohen of Israel. She also won a bronze medal in the Women's World Cup Judo Championships held in September 2010 in Uzbekistan.


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 1.117 billion to 276.264 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 1.117 billion to 276.264 billion for the week ended 27th September as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Total forex reserves dropped by USD 15.78 billion compared to end-march 2013 data.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 1.296 billion to 247.924 billion for the same week. However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were increased by USD 1.1 million and USD 117.7 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.724 billion for the same reporting week.


 


7-October


Current Affairs Global - 7 October 2013


1. World Habitat day is observed today (7th October) across the world. The purpose of this day is creation of the global awareness regarding the State of the towns and cities and the basic human right to adequate shelter. First Monday of October every year is observed as the World Habitat Day by the United Nation. The theme of the World Habitat Day 2013 is -Urban Mobility to encourage people to shift towards more sustainable modes of transportation-.


2. James Rothman and Randy Schekman of USA and German-born Thomas Suedhof have won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on how the cell organises its transport system. The trio, who all work at US universities, were honoured for -their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells-.


3. CV Wigneswaran was sworn in today as the first elected Tamil Chief Minister of Northern Province, once a stronghold of rebel LTTE, weeks after his party secured a landslide victory in the historic polls held after nearly three decades. Wigneswaran, 73, took oath before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a function held at Temple Trees, the presidential house.


4. Iran has won the 17th Asia Senior Men-s Volleyball Championship as they beat South Korean team in three straight sets 25-19,25-22, 25-19 in Dubai yesterday. China came third while Japan and Australian came fourth and fifth respectively. Indian spikers finished seventh in the overall ranking.


Current Affairs India - 7 October 2013


1. The Supreme Court has rejected BCCI-s suggestion for setting up a special committee to probe the IPL spot-fixing scandal today and proposed a three-member panel headed by former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal to examine the issue. The apex court has also proposed the names of senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General N Nageshwar Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta to be part of the panel. It will be a big setback for BCCI President N Srinivasan.


2. The Supreme Court has appointed former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah to head a committee to work on broad guidelines for protection of good Samaritans rendering assistance to accident victims. The apex court also decided to include two retired IPS officers — D.R. Karthikeyan and B.L. Vohra — in the panel which will also suggest measures to provide timely help to road mishap victims in view of growing number of such causalities on the highways also.


3. Arundhati Bhattacharya has been appointed as the Chairman of India-s largest bank, State Bank of India. She will succeed Pratip Chaudhuri to be the first woman to head the bank. Interviews for the post were reportedly held last week by a selection committee that included Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan and financial services secretary Rajiv Takru. Prior to this appointment, Ms Bhattacharya was managing director and chief executive of SBI Capital Markets, the merchant banking arm of SBI.


4. India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range at Chandipur today. The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 9.14 AM. The mission has achieved 100 per cent success and it is a perfect launch.


5. The Reserve Bank of India has cut the marginal standing facility rate by 50 basis points to 9.0% today in order to improve liquidity condition in the financial market. Today-s cut in the MSF rate follows a 75 bps cut in the rate last month.


6. Canara Bank has bagged the Golden Peacock Award for excellence in corporate governance 2013, presented by Institute of Directors, India. The award was received by R K Dubey, Chairman and Managing Director, Canara Bank, at a function held at London recently from Baroness Verma.


7. Karan Thapar, the well-known television journalist, has won the International Press Institute (IPI) India Award for Excellence in Journalism. Previous winners of the IPI award include The Indian Express, NDTV, Outlook, Tehelka, Tribune and The Week.


8. The long-delayed aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will be inducted into the Indian Navy by defence minister A K Antony during his Russia visit scheduled in November this year. Once inducted, it will be the second aircraft carrier in the Navy after INS Viraat, giving a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean.


9. India-s new batting star Shikhar Dhawans has been appointed as the brand ambassador for Future Groups Fashion at Big Bazaar. Dhoni and Bollywood actress Asin have been the faces for the country-s biggest retailer since 2009. As a part of the deal, he will endorse the brand -Big Bazaar-.


10. Mumbai Indians won the Champions League Twenty-20 title after defeating Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs in New Delhi yesterday. Chasing the target of 203 runs set by Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals were all out at 169 runs in 18.5 overs. Harbhajan Singh was adjudged Man of the match and Dwayne Smith was declared Champion of the series. This was the last T-20 match of Sachin Tendulkar and Royals skipper Rahul Dravid as both players announced their retirement from T-20 format.


 


8-October


Current Affairs Global - 8 October 2013


1. Peter Higgs of United Kingdom and Francois Englert of Belgium were jointly awarded Nobel Prize for Physics 2013 for their work on theory of Higgs boson, the 'God particle'. They were awarded for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles. The existence of Higgs Boson was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHG) near Geneva, Switzerland.


2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its global economic growth forecast at the same time as lifting its UK growth projection. It now expects global growth of 2.9% this year, a cut of 0.3% from July's estimate. In 2014 it expects global growth of 3.6%, down by 0.2%. Despite the improvement in growth in advanced economies such as the UK and US, the IMF warned that a slower pace of expansion in emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India, was holding back global expansion. It expects growth in Russia, China, India and Mexico to be slower than it forecast in July.


3. Spain-s Rafael Nadal returned to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time in more than two years after winning US Open, as per the latest ATP ranking published yesterday. Serbian Novak Djokovic dropped to second place.


Current Affairs India - 8 October 2013


1. The Indian Air Force Day is celebrated today (8th October). It is the 81st anniversary of the Indian Air Force. On this day, various celebrations are organized at the airbases across the country.


2. The Supreme Court allowed N Srinivasan to take charge as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and formed a fresh probe panel to investigate IPL 6 spot-fixing scandal today. The three-member probe panel will be headed by Mukul Mudgal, former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court. The court has asked the panel to submit the inquiry report within four months and directed the board not to influence or interfere in the enquiry.


3. Supreme Court has directed Central and the state governments to provide 3% percent jobs to the disabled persons. The apex court has asked the centre and states to implement reservation for disabled within three months in all government departments, companies and institutions


4. The Union Cabinet has approved official amendments to the UIDAI Bill. This bill, which will give statutory status to UIDAI which is responsible for issuing the Aadhar number, will be placed during the winter session of Parliament for final approval. The UIDAI, which issues 12-digit Aadhaar numbers to residents, currently operates through an executive order.


5. Veteran Malayalam film actor Madhu will be presented the Pravsi Doha Basheer award at a function in Kochi on Friday. The award will be presented by eminent novelist M T Vasudevan Nair.


6. SB Nayar has been appointed as Chairman & Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) chaired by the Prime Minister gave Nayar the green signal after rejecting Deepak Bagla for the post. Before this appointment, Nayar had been the Deputy Managing Director & Group Executive (Corporate Banking Group) at State Bank of India.


7. Gauri Kumar, a 1979 batch IAS officer from Gujarat cadre, has been appointed as the next Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment. Gauri, who is currently Secretary, Border Management under Ministry of Home Affairs, will replace Dr Mrutyunjay Sarangi who will superannuate soon.


8. Japan-based Line Corporation, a provider of instant messaging service, has roped in Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif to be its brand ambassador for India. Since its launch as a free call and messaging app in June 2011, Line has over 260 million users in 230 countries, including 10 million in India.


9. Canara Bank and Apollo Munich Health Insurance (AMHI) have entered into a bancassurance tie-up. This is the first such tie-up for the insurance company in its six years of existence. Bancassurance is distribution of insurance products through a bank-s network. With this tie-up, AMHI products will be distributed in over 4,200 branches of Canara Bank, which will act as a corporate agent for selling these products.


10. Indian cyclist Deborah won a gold medal in the women-s junior individual sprint at Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) Track Asia Cup in Thailand yesterday.


 


9-October


Current Affairs Global - 9 October 2013


1. World Post Day is celebrated today (9th October) across the world to raise awareness of the role of the postal sector in people-s and businesses- everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries. Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Berne. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan, in 1969.


2. Michael Levitt, a British and US citizen of Stanford University, US-Austrian Martin Karplus of Strasbourg University and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 for devising computer simulations that are used to understand and predict chemical processes.


3. The autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for supporting girls- education was released yesterday in London. He auto biography -I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban- was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb.


Current Affairs India - 9 October 2013


1. The Union Government has reconstituted the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Telangana, reducing the number of ministers from ten to six. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram have been retained. The new entrants are Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.


2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered the growth projection for India to 3.8% in 2013-14 compared to earlier growth projection of 5.6% it had made in July. However, a strong recovery in exports can push up the growth to over 5%, the Fund said in its World Economic Outlook


3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today restricted foreign institutional investors (FIIs) to purchase shares in Great Eastern Shipping Company and Kajaria Ceramics as the foreign equity shareholding have reached the trigger limit of 24%. -The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. has crossed the limit of 24 per cent of its paid-up capital. Therefore, no further purchases of shares of this company would be allowed through stock exchanges in India on behalf of Foreign Institutional Investors,- RBI said.


4. Capital market regulator SEBI accepted the Unique Identification Authority of India-s e-KYC services for Aadhaar card. SEBI said that it had decided to accept e-KYC as a valid process for KYC verification. KYC or Know-Your-Customer/Client is done by all capital market intermediaries to obtain proof of identity and residence of the entity, in order to identify the owner of the securities.


5. World's largest retail chain Walmart Stores Inc and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Group have called off their six-year old alliance in India and will own and operate separate businesses in the country going forward. As per the agreement, Walmart would acquire Bharti-s stake in Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd a joint venture between Bharti and Walmart, giving Walmart 100% ownership of the best price modern wholesale cash and carry business. Bharti Retail will continue to operate -easyday- retail stores across all formats and invest in and grow the business.


6. Tata Power has finalized a deal to acquire AES Saurashtra Windfarms, a subsidiary of US-based AES Corp, which owns a 39.2 MW wind energy farm in Gujarat. Tata Power Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Tata Power acquired the company and with this acquisition, Tata Power's total generation capacity will increase to 8,560 MW of which 437 MW capacity is from wind energy.


India-s export jumped by 11.15% in September; trade deficit drops to 30-month low


India's exports jumped by 11.15% in September compared to same month last year to USD 27.64 billion while imports dropped by 18.10% compared to same month last year to USD 34.43 in the same month. Imports dropped due to steep drop in Crude Oil and Gold import, resulting in trade deficit of USD 6.7 billion in September which is the lowest in last 30 months. Trade deficit in the first half of the current fiscal stood at USD 80.12 billion which was lower than the USD 91.81 billion recorded in the same period last fiscal year.


Imports of gold and silver dropped by more than 82% to USD 0.8 billion in September from USD 4.6 billion in the same month last year. Oil imports were also declined by about 5.94% to USD 13.19 billion as well. Government has recently taken some measures to hike import duties on gold, silver and platinum and restricted import of LCD televisions which are the main reasons behind dropping imports.


India-s current account deficit rose to 4.9% of GDP in the second quarter of the current fiscal year which has become the key concern for the Government. This low trade deficit will provide some respite to Government and RBI now and reduce some pressure on India Rupee.


 


10-October


Current Affairs Global - 10 October 2013


1. The World Mental Health Day is observed today (10th October) across the world to raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on people. The theme for the year 2013 is -Mental health and older adults-. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.


2. US President Barack Obama has appointed Janet Yellen (67) as the new Chairman of Federal Reserves, which is also considered to the second most important job in the US. She will become the first woman chair of the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) in its 100 years of existence. It is by far the most powerful position in the global financial system. After her appointment, Yellen will rank as one of the two most powerful women in the world along with German chancellor Angela Merkel.


3. UK is to host next year's Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Org.) summit for the first time since the end of the cold war in 1990. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.


4. Sri Lanka-s cabinet was expanded today with the inclusion of nine new Deputy Ministers. The new Deputy Ministers include former Sri Lankan Cricketer and Chairman of the Selection Committee, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lakshman Perera, Sarath Weerasekara, Y.G. Padmasiri, Anthony Victor Perera, Hemal Gunasekera, Mohan Lal Grero, Nishantha Mutuhettigama and Sarath Mutukumarana.


5. Canadian Author Alice Munro won Nobel Prize 2013 in literature for her short stories that focus on the frailties of the human condition. With this she became the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel Prize since its launch in 1901 and she is also just the 13th woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize since it was first awarded in 1901. Munro is the author of 14 story collections; her latest is "Dear Life," which includes four autobiographical tales.


6. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for supporting girls' education, won the European Union's (EU) Sakharov human rights prize 2013. Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film maker Jafar Panahi won the prize last year for their work in order to develop a better Iran for women.


Current Affairs India - 10 October 2013


1. In a relief for Seemandhra people hit by power shortage, power sector employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh have called off their indefinite strike temporarily today due to cyclonic threat that is expected to hit the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast tomorrow. The power employees have been on indefinite strike for the last five days against the Union Cabinet's decision to create a separate Telangana state out of AP. The striking teachers of the state have also called off their agitation after talks with the Chief Minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy. This will give temporary relief to struggling people in the region.


2. The Cyclonic storm Phailin has intensified and is expected to hit coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh by Saturday evening.  As per MeT Department, under the influence of the cyclonic system, rainfall would occur at most places and heavy to very heavy rainfalls at some places of coastal Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh from Saturday morning. The Department has also termed the cyclonic storm as very severe with a maximum wind speed of 175 to 185 kilometer per hour.


3. B Ashok, executive director (ED) in charge of retail sales, has been appointed as the new Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation. He will succeed R S Butola as chairman of the country-s biggest refiner and fuel retailer. Ashok is the second ED to be selected for the top job in a major state-run behemoth. Public Enterprises Selection Board (PSEB) recently selected Prakash Chand, an ED, as new chairman of another PSU BHEL.


4. Eminent agricultural scientist Dr. M.S Swaminathan, known as the father of Green Revolution, will be conferred the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. The Award for the year 2012 consisting of a citation and Rs 5 lakh will be presented to the 88-year-old scientist by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at a function scheduled to be held on 31st October. Aruna Asaf Ali, P.N Haksar, M.S Subbulakshmi, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Rajiv Gandhi are among some of the recipients of the Award.


5. State Bank of India has designated Rajendra Kumar Saraf as Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank. Before this appointment, Saraf was Deputy Managing Director in-charge of Corporate Strategy and New Business. Before her elevation as the Chairperson on October 7, Arundhati Bhattacharya was Managing Director and CFO of SBI.


6. The Reserve Bank of India has formed a technical committee to examine the feasibility of encrypted SMS-based fund transfers which will bring revolution to mobile bankingB. Sambamurthy, Director, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, will head the committee. The committee will also look at any other solution to expand the reach of mobile banking and accordingly, draw a roadmap to implement those solutions.


7. Popular Telugu actor Srihari passed away at Lilavati hospital yesterday evening. He was 49. The actor who was shooting for Prabhudheva-s -R...Rajkumar-, was admitted to the hospital following illness. He was an award-winning actor in the south Indian film industry.


8. India-s most famous Cricketer and batsman, Sachin Tendulkar has decided to call it quits. In a media statement released through the Board of Control for Cricket in India today afternoon, he said his 200th Test will be the last time he will play international cricket in any form. This milestone match will most probably be held in Mumbai next month. He had already announced his retirement from limited overs cricket (ODI and T20) earlier. Currently he holds most of the batting records including highest runs and centuries in both Test and ODI segments along with total 100 centuries.


 


11-October


Current Affairs Global - 11 October 2013


1. International Day of the Girl Child observed today (11th October) across the world to recognize the girls- rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The theme for the year 2013 is -Innovating for Girls- Education-.


2. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - an international organisation working since 1997 to convince countries to give up chemical weapons besides checking and confirming the destruction of existing chemical weapons, won the Nobel peace prize 2013. OPCW tipped clear favourite 16 year old Pakistani Malala Yousufzai to win the world's top peace prize. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an intergovernmental organisation, located in The Hague, Netherlands.


Current Affairs India - 11 October 2013


1. The Empowered Committee led by Retired Chief Justice (High Court of Punjab and Haryana) Mukul Mudgal submitted its report on issues concerning the Cinematograph Act to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The committee has given its suggestions regarding issues such as advisory panels, guidelines for certification and issues such as portrayal of women, obscenity and communal disharmony. Other issues which the committee has revisited and given its recommendations on include classification of films, piracy and jurisdiction of appellate tribunal, among others. It has also proposed a draft Cinematograph Bill.


2. B.C. Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL (India), has got a five-year extension once his existing term gets over in July 2014. That ends the speculation regarding his future move since he did not appear for the interviews of the other two top positions — Chairman and Managing Director, ONGC, and Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation for which he was considered to be the front-runner.


3. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to grant cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar his wish to play his 200th and farewell Test in his home town Mumbai. Kolkata and Mumbai were the front-runners to host Tendulkar's farewell Test but the legendary batsman in a letter to the BCCI has expressed his desire to play the 200th Test in Mumbai.


 


12-October


Current Affairs Global - 12 October 2013


1. World Arthritis Day is observed today (12th October) across the world to raise awareness about Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs). World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and is celebrated each year on today-s date.


2. China and the European Central Bank have signed a currency swap agreement worth 350 bn yuan (USD 57 billion). This is one of the largest for China and under this agreement, the central banks can exchange currencies and firms can settle trade in local currencies rather than in US dollars.


Current Affairs India - 12 October 2013


1. The India Post has launched instant electronic money transfer service in partnership with Wall Street Exchange, (a company of UAE's Emirates Post Group) in New Delhi today. India Post signed an agreement with Wall Street Exchange for launch of an International Electronic Money Transfer service through -Instant Cash- product of the Emirates Post Group. Instant Cash is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Emirates Post Group, and its services are available in 59 countries through more than 60000 locations.


2. The Tata group has launched the third edition of -Tata First Dot powered by NEN,- a platform for student entrepreneurship. Tata First Dot workshops will be held across 20 cities this year compared to 15 cities last year. This year, 5 new cities Raipur, Guwahati, Ranchi, Nagpur and Srinagar have been added to the list.


3. Bollywood actor Aamir Khan released his cousin and movie director Mansoor Khan-s book The Third Curve: The End of Growth as We Know It at the India International Centre in New Delhi yesterday. The book describes the co-relation between the compulsions of economic growth and the limits imposed on man by nature. The Book also emphasizes on the end of growth.


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.463 billion to 277.727 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.463 billion to 277.727 billion for the week ended 4th October as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.4 billion to 249.324 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also increased by USD 14.7 million and USD 7.2 million respectively for the same week. Gold values were also increased marginally by USD 41.3 million to USD 21.765 billion for the same reporting week.


India-s IIP growth stood at 0.6% in August; Requires rate cut by RBI


India-s Index of Industrial production (IIP) growth, the most important parameter to judge factory output, stood at 0.6% in August. Factory output growth of 0.6% in August is much lower compared to 2.6% growth posted in the previous month of July. In August 2012, the IIP Index grew 2 per cent.


Both manufacturing and mining sectors have contracted in August. Manufacturing sector, which constitutes 75% of the index, dropped by 0.1% and mining production contracted by 0.2%. The IIP growth came as a disappointment while GDP Growth dropped to decade low. Also recent repo rate increase by RBI may affect Industrial and economic growth further.


 


13-October


 


14-October


Current Affairs Global - 14 October 2013


1. International Day for Disaster Reduction was observed on 13th October across the world to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters. The theme of year 2013 was "Living with Disability and Disasters". Persons living with disabilities are among the most excluded in the society and their plight is magnified when a disaster strikes.


2. US trio Lars Peter Hansen, Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize 2013 for Economics yesterday for their groundbreaking work on spotting trends in asset markets. The three have laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices. It relies in part on fluctuations in risk and risk attitudes, and in part on behavioural biases and market frictions. Fama and Hansen are both professors at the University of Chicago, while Shiller is a professor at Yale University in Connecticut.


3. The head of the United Nations named Sigrid Kaag to lead the UN's joint mission with the chemical weapons watchdog tasked with eliminating Syria's arsenal. The UN Security Council, which is set to vote on Kaag's nomination Wednesday, has formally approved a first joint mission with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning (OPCW) Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


4. Internet giant Yahoo has acquired tech company Bread, a URL shortner that allows users to design then target advertisements to readers who click on their links.  Post this deal, all the engineers of Bread will join Yahoo team. Bread allowed users to make and insert ads that people clicking through to a shortened link's webpage would have to view.


5. China-s inflation, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), rose to 3.1% year-on-year in September, up from 2.6% in August, while its producer price index (PPI) dropped to 1.3% for the same period due to decline in exports. CPI inflation rose due to increase in food prices which has nearly one-third weight in overall CPI data. This sudden increase in CPI data will reduce chances for monetary easing by Chinese Government to boost growth.


6. Rafael Nadal maintained first place with 11,520 points in the men-s tennis rankings issued by the ATP.  He is followed by Novak Djokovic (with 11,120 points), David Ferrer (with 6,800 points, Andy Murray (with 6,295 points) and Juan Martin del Potro (with 5,525 points) of ranks 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in the same ranking


7. Serena Williams of the United States retained no 1 rank with 13,260 points in the women-s tennis rankings issued by the WTA. She was followed by Victoria Azarenka (with 8,206 points), Maria Sharapova (with 6,941 points), Agnieszka Radwanska with (6,195 points) and Li Na (with 5,365 points) of ranks 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in the same ranking.


8. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix held on Sunday to complete his fourth win in last five races. Now he needs to wait till India Grand Prix to celebrate a fourth successive Formula One world title.


Current Affairs India - 14 October 2013


1. Gold loan company Muthoot Finance Ltd has been awarded with Golden Peacock Award for -HR Excellence for 2013- at a function in London. Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate, Government of United Kingdom, presented the award to George M. Jacob, Director, Muthoot Group.


2. Former Union minister, freedom fighter and environmentalist Mohan Dharia, who was the first minister to quit the Indira Gandhi government against imposition of Emergency, passed away in Pune on 14th October due to chronic kidney failure. He was 89. He was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan, the highest Padma award, in 2005. He also formed -Vanrai-, an organisation dedicated to the cause of conservation and social forestry.


3. More than 120 pilgrims were Killed and Several Injured in a stampede near a Temple at Datia in Madhya Pradesh. The incident happened on a narrow bridge near a temple at Ratangarh in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district. State Government has announced judicial inquiry of the incident as per latest report.


15-October


India-s retail inflation jumped to 9.84% in September


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, jumped to 9.84% in September compared to 9.52% in previous month of August due to increase in Vegetable prices.


In September, Retail inflation in rural areas jumped to 9.71% compared to 8.93% in August and urban areas dropped marginally to 9.93% compared to 10.32% in August. With the increase in Retail inflation, RBI may increase repo rate again during its next monetary policy review meet this month.


India-s headline inflation jumped more than expected to 6.46 % in September; RBI may increase rates again


India-s headline inflation, measured by the wholesale price index (WPI) jumped to 6.46% in September compared to 6.1% in August due to high prices of onions and vegetables. Inflation stood at 8.01% in August last year. This is the highest inflation in last seven months.


The food inflation stood at 18.40 per cent in September compared to 18.18% in the previous month. The sharpest increase was witnessed in case of onion prices which jumped by 323% in September compared to same month last year. The price of vegetables and fruits rose by 89.37% and 13.54% respectively in the same month. Fuel inflation dropped marginally to 10.08% in September from 11.34% in August while inflation in primary articles category stood at 13.54% in September compared to 11.72% in August.


This sudden increase in overall inflation numbers will prompt RBI to increase rates again during its next monetary policy announcement this month. With this continuous increase in Inflation and rate increase by RBI to counter that are going to affect India-s industrial as well as economic again.


Current Affairs Global - 15 October 2013


1. "International Day of Rural women" is observed today (15th October) across the world to recognize the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. The Day recognizes importance of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide.


2. Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Del Potro by 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) to win a second straight trophy at the Shanghai Masters in China. Novak Djokovic won a fourth Beijing trophy over the past five years when he beat Nadal last week.


Current Affairs India - 15 October 2013


1. India has moved from 65 to 63 in the latest Global Hunger Index released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide. The score for the country improved slightly from 22.9 in 2012 to 21.3 this year. The report noted that India continued to record one of the highest prevalence of children under five who are underweight, at more than 40% - one of the three criteria that the index is built on.


2. CBI registers case against Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parekh in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks. It is the 14th FIR in its ongoing coal scam, along with raids at several places.


3. President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday conferred the Presidential Award for Classical Tamil 2009-10 and 2010-11 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. Dr. Iravathram Mahadevan received prestigious Tolkappiyar award for his immense contribution in the area of Epigraphy.  Dr. T. Suresh, Dr. S. Kalpana, Dr. R. Chandrasekhar , Dr. Vaani Arivaalan and Dr. C. Muthamizhselvan were also conferred with the  -Young Scholar Awards- for showing excellence in Tamil studies.


4. Indian Navy inducted its largest offshore patrol vessel INS Sunayna into service at Kochi today. The vessel will be deployed for anti-piracy operations in Gulf of Aden. This 105 meter ship was designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. It will be more helpful for Indian Navy in its continuous efforts in securing national interest in the Indian Ocean Region.


5. Australian Terry Walsh is set to be appointed as head coach of the Indian men-s hockey team after the Sports Authority of India recommended his name to the Sports Ministry. Former Australia and Holland coach Walsh, who was last seen in the role of Technical Director of USA Hockey, was the front-runner for the top job.


 


16-October


Current Affairs Global - 16 October 2013


1. The World Food Day is being observed across the world today (16th October). The theme for this year is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.- Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations in 1979, the World Food Day was first observed in the year 1981. The main objective of the day is to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development.


2. Eleanor Catton won the 2013 Man Booker prize for English fiction yesterday for her novel "The Luminaries" to become the youngest winner in the award's 45-year history. The 28-year-old New Zealand novelist won the award because her novel is -awesome in its structural complexity; addictive in its story-telling; and magical in its conjuring of a world of greed and gold," as per Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane. Indian-American novelist Jhumpa Lahiri lost the Man Booker Prize for her novel -The Lowland-.


3. The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer due to the jump in output from shale gas finds in US. According to the latest report by the leading US energy consultancy PIRA, US output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has gone up to 3.2 million barrels per day since 2009. The United States still lagged both Saudi Arabia and Russia in production of just crude oil by about 3 million barrels per day. They are followed by China, Canada, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Mexico.


4. Global credit rating agency, Fitch has put the United States on a -watch negative- list citing its failure in raising the debt ceiling in a timely manner. Fitch yesterday said it has placed the United States of America-s -AAA- Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) on Rating Watch Negative (RWN), citing the possibility the Treasury could default on its obligations after October 17 if the ceiling is not raised. The US Treasury Secretary has said that extraordinary measures will be exhausted by October 17, leaving cash reserves of just USD 30 billion.


Current Affairs India - 16 October 2013


1. Arunendra Kumar has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board. Kumar, Mechanical Member the Board has been holding additional charge of Chairman after the retirement of Vinay Mittal on June 30.


2. The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has elected Mahindra group Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra as its Chairperson for a term of three years. Mahindra succeeds NR Narayana Murthy, Infosys founder, Executive Chairman, who has held the position since July 2011. Established in 2006 as a public-private initiative, PHFI is an independent foundation headquartered in New Delhi.


3. The World Bank has lowered India-s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 4.7% today compared to earlier forecast of 6.1% projected in April this year. India-s GDP growth is, however, expected to accelerate to 6.2% in 2014-15. The World Bank-s latest India GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal is higher than the International Monetary Fund-s recent downward revised projection of 4.25% for financial year 2013-14.


4. Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar announced retirement from all forms of after 16-year of career during which he played in 26 Tests and 191 ODIs besides leading Mumbai to their 40th Ranji Trophy title last season. He took 58 test wickets and 288 in ODI wickets. He scored 571 runs in Tests between 1998 and 2006 and 1269 in ODIs from 1998 to 2007, which included the then fastest 50 in 21 balls against Zimbabwe.


5. The Board of Control for Cricket in India-s (BCCI) Programmes and Fixtures committee announced that Sachin Tendulkar's landmark 200th and final test will be held in the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The first test will be held at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.


 


17-October


Current Affairs Global - 17 October 2013


1. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed today (17th October) across the world to promote people-s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Theme for 2013 is, -Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty-. United Nations General Assembly in 1993 by resolution 47/196 designated International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.


2. Canada will offer honorary citizenship to Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. Ms. Malala will become just the sixth person to be granted honorary Canadian citizenship after Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, British business magnate Aga Khan and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. The 16-year-old activist was shot by the Taliban last year in Swat Valley of Pakistan for speaking out in favour of girls- rights to education and was also in the running for this year-s Nobel Peace Prize.


3. The winners of 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition were announced in London yesterday. South African photographer Greg du Toit was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 by the panel of international judges. Fourteen-year-old Indian photographer Udayan Rao Pawar won the award as Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 for his image Mother-s little headful.


4. The Nepalese founder of Koshish, Matrika Prasad Devkota has bagged the Dr Guislain -Breaking the Chains of Stigma- award, which includes a cash prize of $50,000 (around Rs 30 lakh), for his tireless work to empower those suffering from mental illness. Koshish also serves as a lobbyist on behalf of those suffering from mental illness, and seeks to improve policy and public perception surrounding the condition.


5. US government has finally averted the risk of potential default by settling a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. US Congress voted through the deal less than a day before a deadline to raise the $16.7tn (£10.5tn) debt limit. The measure approved in Washington funds the government to 15 January, and extends the Treasury's borrowing authority until 7 February. Which means the deal offers only a temporary solution and does not resolve the budgetary issues that fiercely divide Republicans and Democrats.


6. Masters champion Adam Scott won the four-man PGA Grand Slam of Golf by two strokes with a scintillating finish in Bermuda Yesterday. The Australian, who had trailed by three after the opening round, eagled the par-five 17th to forge two ahead of overnight leader Justin Rose, then parred the last for a course record seven-under-par 64.


7. Brazilian football legend Pele launched a new book titled -1283-, the number of goals Pele scored, the book comprises 1283 texts. The 500-page limited edition book of the player widely regarded as the greatest ever weighs 15 kg and has a recommended retail price of $1,700.


Current Affairs India - 17 October 2013


1. Justice M B Shah Commission, appointed to probe illegal mining across the country, has submitted its third and final report which is mainly on the menace in Goa.  The Commission has made a thorough probe into the bank transactions of exporters, traders and mining lease owners to track down the exact financial transaction, the source added.


2. The Philips board of management has appointed A. Krishnakumar as the Managing Director and CEO of Philips Electronics India Ltd with effect from December 2013. Krishnakumar is currently President and Head of Philips Healthcare Business. Rajeev Chopra, current CEO and Managing Director of Philips India, has been appointed Global Head of the Philips Consumer Luminaire Business Group.


3. Virat Kohli became fastest century scorer (in 52 balls) of India yesterday in One day International (ODI) matches while he scored 100 not out in just 52 balls against Australia. He became the seventh fastest century scorer in ODI in the world. After that, Virender Sehwag became the second fastest century scorer (60 balls) in One day International for India.


 


18-October


Current Affairs Global - 18 October 2013


1. Hilary Clinton was awarded the first founders- award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York on 15 October 2013 for her work to help HIV/AIDS victims. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is a nonprofit organization, established by rock musician Sir Elton John in 1992 in the United States and 1993 in the United Kingdom to support innovative HIV/AIDS prevention, education programs, direct care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS.


2. Saudi Arabia has turned down membership of the UN Security Council, a day after it won the seat. Accusing the powerful body of double-standards, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said the country has no other option but to turn down Security Council membership until it is reformed and given the means to accomplish its duties and assumes its responsibilities in preserving the world's peace and security. It said the Security Council had failed in its duties towards Syria as well as in other world conflict.


3. China's economic growth jumped to 7.8% in the third quarter (July-to-September) of the current year compared to same period last year, this is the first rise in last 3 quarters. This is higher compared to 7.5% growth in the previous quarter. This increases optimism about China-s growth story and boost investors- confidence across the world.


Current Affairs India - 18 October 2013


1. Union Government of India has appointed Gireesh B. Pradhan, former Secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as the Chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). He retired from the post of Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in June 2013 and he also served as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Power.


2. Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri has been named finalist for the prestigious US National Book Award 2013 in the fiction category for her new book -The Lowland'. She lost the Man booker prize this week which was won by New Zealand author Eleanor Catton.


3. Indian mobile phone maker Micromax has roped in Hollywood star Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador with an eye of overseas markets. Micromax is the first Indian mobile operator to have roped in a Hollywood star as its brand ambassador. Micromax is next to Samsung in terms of handset sales in India as per second quarter mobile phone shipment figures of 2013 released by market research and analyst firm IDC.


4. Microsoft rolled out Windows 8.1 to customers yesterdayThe update, which is free to users around the world who already have Windows 8 on their PCs, will allow traditionalists to boot their computers in the familiar old desktop mode rather than the tiled start page introduced with Windows 8. Windows 8.1 also boasts tighter integration with Microsoft-s Cloud services, a beefed-up Bing search app, and more potent multitasking.


5. The Enforcement Directorate has given a clean chit to Walmart, the world-s largest supermarket chain, in a case related to alleged violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema). This will pave the way for the US retailer to pursue its India investment plans more aggressively.


6. Publishing giant Pearson has appointed Deepak Mehrotra as the new Managing Director for its India business. Deepak, who was previously associated with Micromax as the CEO for the last two years, has been credited for strong business performance through product revamping and improving trade partnerships. Prior to this, he has also served as Executive Director — Mobility for North, West and South regions at Bharti Airtel.


7. Noted social activist and Padma awardee, Sarojini Varadappan passed away today following a brief illness. She was 92. She, daughter of former Chief Minister M Bhakthavachalam, was a recipient of several honours including the Padma Shri and Padma Bushan, and had made a remarkable contribution in several areas, particularly in women welfare sector.


8. Sharad Pawar is all set for a comeback to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for a second term as president as the election officer SM Borwadkar declared Pawar as the body-s president unopposed. Pawar-s lone rival in the presidential election race, Gopinath Munde-s form stayed rejected by the MCA and his subsequent appeal against his disqualification was also dismissed by MCA president Ravi Savant. Pawar shifted his permanent address from Baramati to Mumbai in order to contest for the election.


9. Aditya Mehta re-wrote new sports history by becoming the first-ever Indian to reach the final of a professional snooker tournament as he overcame World No.5 Stephen Maguire from Scotland 4-3 in the semi-final of the Indian Open today. In the final match, Mehta, the 27-year-old from Mumbai and ranked 72nd, will take on World No.4 Ding Junhui of China.


 


19-October


 


20-October


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.513 billion to 279.24 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.513 billion to 279.24 billion for the week ended 11th October as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.527 billion to 250.815 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were decreased by USD 9.6 million and USD 4.72 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remain unchanged at USD 21.765 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs Global - 20 October 2013


1. World Osteoporosis Day is observed today (20th October) across the world. Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss in the peak bone mass and loss of calcium leading to hip, knee and shoulder fractures. As per AIR correspondent reports, Osteoporosis is ranked as the second most common health-related risk in the world after coronary heart disease. It is estimated that there will be around 36 million people in the world suffering from the disease by the end of this year.


2. Brazilian energy giant Petrobras- CEO, Maria Das Gracas Foster topped the Fortune magazine-s global list of top-50 women business leaders followed by Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding-s Guler Sabanci at the second and Australian banking giant Westpac-s CEO Gail Kelly at the third.


Current Affairs India - 20 October 2013


1. Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first Yash Chopra Memorial Award at a function in Mumbai yetserday evening by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari. Dedicated to the memory of veteran director Yash Chopra, the award carries a cash prize of 10 lakh rupees and a citation.


2. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre took oath as the new Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court at Rajbhawan in Guwahati today. Governor J B Patnaik administered the oath to him. He earlier served as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court.


3. The new air traffic control (ATC) tower in Mumbai was opened this week. This is India-s tallest, at a height of 84 metres and it will hold this record till the 102-metre tower of Indira Gandhi International Airport is commissioned in Delhi. The tower offers controllers clear visibility for up to 8 km, giving them a view of the entire operational area of the airport. The tower will be equipped with electronic flight controllers, again a first in India.


4. The Reserve Bank of India today launched the new Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system for large-value funds transfer. The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system is a large-value funds transfer system which banks use to settle inter-bank transfers for their own accounts as well as for their customers.


5. India-s leading IT Services Company Infosys Ltd Friday announced it has won the 'Corporate Sustainability Stewardship' award for efficient management of energy, waste and water resources in its production processes and operations. 


6. Four Indians have made it to Fortune magazine-s global list of top-50 women business leaders, while PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi has been ranked second in a similar list for the US. ICICI Bank CEO, Chanda Kochhar has been ranked fourth, followed by National Stock Exchange chief Chitra Ramkrishna at 17th, Axis Bank-s Shikha Sharma at 32nd and HSBC-s Naina Lal Kidwai at 42nd place among the Indians on the international list of most powerful women in business.


7. Shreekant Javalgekar, Managing Director and CEO of the Multi-Commodity Exchange, resigned today. The exchange informed the BSE that Javalgekar has submitted his resignation yesterday, which is subject to the approval of the board. The exit of Javalgekar has left only two promoter-nominees —- Jignesh Shah and Paras Ajmera — on the MCX board.


8. Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban recently visited India. India and Hungry signed several important agreements to further strengthen cooperation which includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of traditional Indian medicine systems during his visit.


9. Famous Telugu writer and Gyanpeeth award recipient, Dr. Ravuri Bharadwaja passed away in Hyderabad this week. He was 86. He won Gyanpeeth award for the year 2012 for his well known Telugu novel, Paakudu Raallu.


10. Famous music director K Raghavan, who brought originality and local flavour to Malayalam cinema music, in a career spanning over five decades, died in a hospital yesterday. He was 99.  He infused the folk element into Malayalam film music and his rustic melodies replaced the then prevailing trend of imitations of popular Hindi tunes of the day.


11. India has retained its third position after South Africa and England in the latest ICC Test rankings published yesterday. Pakistan has moved to fourth place after its win against South Africa in the first cricket test at Abu Dhabi. Only two Indians, opener Cheteshwar Pujara along with the off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin figure among the top ten.


12. Indian Pacer Pradeep Sangwan was banned for 18 months from all forms of cricket after being found guilty of consuming a banned anabolic steroid by the BCCI-s Anti-Doping Tribunal. The ban on the 23-year-old Delhi cricketer has been imposed with retrospective effect from May this year when the IPL took place.


13. China-s Ding Junhui won the 2013 Indian Open Snooker title with a 5-0 victory over Aditya Mehta of India in New Delhi on 18 October 2013. Aditya Mehta, 72nd in the world, became the first Indian player to make the last four of a major ranking event when he reached the semi-finals on 17 October 2013 and he was also first Indian ever to reach the final of the event.


 


21-October


Current Affairs Global - 21 October 2013


1. Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia elected to seats as non-permanent members by the United Nations Security Council in the 15-member Council last week. These members have been elected for two-year term which would start from January 2014. The New Council members will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo.


2. Google-owned online ad-placing service DoubleClick announced that the way has been cleared to include space at Facebook. Google had previously been shut out of the social network's advertising network. DoubleClick Bid Manager is a way for marketers to buy online ad space at websites across the Internet.


3. Israel Government has recognized New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the first ever recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, an award also known as the -Jewish Nobel Prize.- The Genesis Prize Foundation stated Bloomberg was honoured as the first winner for his long record of public service and philanthropy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg in May 2014 in Israel.


Current Affairs India - 21 October 2013


1. Congress MP Rashid Masood has been disqualified from the Rajya Sabha after being convicted in a corruption case.  Masood became the first MP to lose seat after the Supreme Court ordered to disqualify a MP if he gets convicted with more than 2 years in Jail. Earlier a Delhi court sentenced him for four years in jail in connection with MBBS seat scam. He has been found guilty of nominating undeserving candidates to medical seats allocated to Tripura from the Central Pool.


2. Ten regional parties of North East India have formed the North East Regional Political Front (NERPF).The North East Regional Political Front will work to safeguard the political ,economic, social  and ethnic identity of the people of the North East region. Neiphiu Rio, the Nagaland chief minister has been appointed as NERPF convener and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Asom Gana Parishad President has been appointed as NERPF-s chief advisor.


3. One of Mahatma Gandhi's most prized possessions, the 'charkha' he used in Yerwada Jail, will go under the hammer at a prestigious British auction house on 5th November with the minimum bid set at 60,000 pounds. The charkha (spinning wheel) used by Gandhi while he was in the prison at Pune during India's freedom struggle, was given to the American Free Methodist missionary Revd Floyd A Puffer.


4. Justice Lakshmi Kanta Mohapatra, Jugde of the Allahabad High Court, was sworn in as the Judge of the High Court of Manipur today. He was administered the oath of office by the Governor of Manipur Dr. Ashwani Kumar.


5. Private life insurer PNB MetLife has appointed Tarun Chugh as Managing Director of the company. Chugh joins PNB MetLife from ICICI Prudential Life Insurance where he served as their Chief of Distribution, Operations and Marketing for India and was responsible for day-to-day management of all the business functions.


6. The proposed aviation venture of TATA with Singapore Airlines (SIA) has got corporate Affairs  Ministry-s approval to use the name -Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.- which plans to offer full-service passengers sevices on domestic and international routes. Tata Group will hold 51% stake in the company while Singapore Airline will hold the rest 49% stake in the JV.


7. North Zone and South Zone have been declared joint winners of the Duleep Cup cricket Trophy this year after the fifth day's play of the final match was also called off without a ball being bowled in Kochi today due to continuous rain. It was the fourth instance in the history of Duleep Trophy when the title has been shared.


8. Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has broken back into the top 10 of the world women's doubles by gaining two spots to ninth place in the latest WTA Team Rankings issued on Monday.


9. India's Squash player Dipika Pallikal won the Macau Open title at Macau, China yesterday. This was Dipika Pallikal's seventh Women's Squash Association title and she is the first Indian woman to break into the top 10 in the WSA rankings.


 


22-October


Current Affairs Global - 22 October 2013


1. Nokia has unveiled its first phablets - extra-large phones - as well as its first tablet computer after it is being acquired by Microsoft recently. The new products, showcased at an event in Abu Dhabi, will help the company make its presence felt in the two booming markets. Nokia Lumia 2520 is a Windows RT-based tablet with a 10-inch 1080p HD display with Gorilla Glass 2 protection. Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 are its first phablets, with screens measuring 6-inch. Both devices run on Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system with the recently unveiled GDR3 update.


2. The US economy added 148,000 new jobs in September, as per the official figure released by the Labor Department. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% in September compared to 7.3% in August. The release of the figures was delayed by the partial shutdown of the US government earlier this month. Lower unemployment rate confirms strong economic recovery and improvement in job market.


3. The longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was announced today at the Goethe-Institue, Max Mueller Bhavan by editor, columnist and jury chair Antara Dev Sen. Fifteen books, which made it to the longlist from a selection of 65 entries, will compete for the USD 50,000 prize. The shortlist will be announced on 20 November in London and the winner at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January.


Current Affairs India - 22 October 2013


1. Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Jagdish Sharma have been disqualified as Lok Sabha members following their conviction in the fodder scam. While Prasad stands disqualified for a total of 11 years - five years of jail term and six years subsequent to his release - Sharma stands disqualified for ten years - four years in jail and six more years after that as per electoral laws.


2. Bangalore has been ranked as the country-s top business destination, followed by Chennai, Mumbai and Pune in terms of infrastructure, human capital, city culture and basic quality of living, as per a new survey, conducted by Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (GIREM) and real estate consultancy firm DTZ. Smaller cities like Indore (5th), Bhubaneswar (6th) and Coimbatore (7th) have been placed within first 10 ranks along with big cities. Delhi was not figured in the list; however Noida and Gurgaon from the NCR have been ranked 17th and 19th respectively in the same list.


3. The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant was synchronised with the southern power grid today, marking a major milestone in power generation of the Indo-Russian nuclear collaboration in Tamil Nadu.  It is currently generating 75 MWe, as per KNPP site director R.S. Sundar.


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4. Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, the acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court, has been appointed as the regular Chief Justice of Madras High Court yesterday. The President of India also appointed seven of the eight names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium of judges headed by the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam as Judges of the Madras High Court. The names of the seven Judges were R. Mahadevan, K. Kalyanasundaram, P.N. Prakash, S. Vaidyanathan, Pushpa Sathyanarayana , V. Ravi and G. Chockalingam.


5. Rajya Sabha MP Kanwar Deep Singh was unanimously elected as the president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for a four-year term in the Annual General Meeting held yesterday. He was elected unopposed in the meeting and he will head the body from 2013 to 2017.


6. Mining giant BHP Billiton has confirmed that it was pulling out of nine oil and gas exploration projects in India. It had relinquished six blocks in the Bay of Bengal that it partly owned with Indian firm GVK, and another three it owned independently. The main reason behind this decision is the inability to carry out exploration operations in these blocks due to bureaucratic hurdles and disagreements with the Government.


7. Bhavina Hashmukhbhai Patel became the first Indian to win silver at the 2013 ITTF Para table tennis Asian regional championships in Beijing yesterday. Bhavina lost to top-seed Zhang Miao of China 6-11, 9-11, 2-11 in the final of the women-s singles Class 4 second stage. She had upset second-seeded Ji Nam Jun from Korea 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 in the semifinals.


 


23-October


Current Affairs Global - 23 October 2013


1. Mayanmar-s opposition political party leader Aung Suu Kyi received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought at Strasbourg, France. She was chosen for the award by the European Parliament in 1990 when she was under house arrest. She also won the Nobel Prize for peace in 1991, considered to be the highest honor for Peace.


2. Spain's economy has emerged from recession after growing for the first time in more than two years in the second quarter (July to September). Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.1% between July and September. Spain's economy has been struggling ever since the credit crisis struck in 2008.


3. Nobel Prize winning economist, Lawrence R Klein, passed away last weekend in Gladwyne, near Philadelphia. He was 93. He developed the statistical models there known as the Wharton Models which got him his Nobel Prize in 1980 in Economics.


4. Famous Singer Noel Harrison passed away at his home in Devon yesterday. He was 79. He was best known for recording the hit song -The Windmills of Your Mind- on The Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack.  It won best song at the 1968 Oscars and was later covered by artists including Dusty Springfield.


Current Affairs India - 23 October 2013


1. Senior BJP leader Dr. Harsh Vardhan has been declared party's chief ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly elections. The decision was taken in the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting held in New Delhi today. Assembly election will be held in Delhi along with some other key states in November.


2. India and China today reached a comprehensive agreement to avoid border tensions and army face-offs along the Line of Actual Control by deciding that neither side will use military capability to attack the other side nor tail patrols along the border. The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) was today signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People.


3. India Post has released a commemorative postage stamp on the Golden Jubilee of Bhakra Dam yesterday. A two-inch stamp marking the 50th anniversary of Bhakra Dam was  released in Nangal by Union minister of water resources Harish Rawat. The dam was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on 22nd October in 1963.


4. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm received unified licence on Monday. This would allow the company to offer all telecom services including voice telephony under a single licence across the country. The company owns broadband wireless spectrum across all 22 mobile zones in the country for which it paid Rs 12,837 crore in a government auction in 2010.


5. Canara Bank has signed a MoU with industry body CII to facilitate cheaper credit access to micro, small and medium enterprises. Under the MoU, Canara Bank shall extend a concessional credit of 50 basis points on the applicable card rate of interest to MSME units which are members of CII.


6. Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) marked its re-entry into India after five years by opening a branch in Mumbai. The bank was operational in India from 1996 to 2008. In 2008, BII was bought over by Malaysia-based Maybank, which holds 88 per cent in BII. The foreign bank-s India operations became inactive after 2008.


 


24-October


Current Affairs Global - 24 October 2013


1. United Nations' Day is celebrated today (24th October) across the world. The theme of this year is--Partnerships for Global Progress-. United Nations Day is devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.


2. World Development Information Day is observed today (24th October) across the world. The General Assembly in 1972 instituted World Development Information Day coinciding with United Nations Day on 24 October to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.


3. Yahoo acquires image-recognition startup LookFlow, which will bring image-recognition technology to its Flickr service for sharing photos. The Internet Company is getting the new tools and expertise through its purchase of a startup called Look Flow. Financial terms of the deal announced on Wednesday weren't disclosed. LookFlow is a California-based startup, which specializes in image recognition technology.


Current Affairs India - 24 October 2013


1. Legendary singer and one of Indian cinema's golden voices, Manna Dey died in a Bangalore hospital yesterday. He was 94. Born as Prabodh Chandra Dey in 1919 and known by his nickname Manna, he sang in many Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bhojpuri. Manna Dey received the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards.


2. A CBI court sentenced former Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank M Gopalakrishnan and four others to one year imprisonment for defrauding various branches of the bank to the tune of about Rs 6.5 crore yesterday. The court has also ordered Gopalakrishnan, N Ramakrishnan, bank valuer, V Ravikumar of Arul Builders, K Sai Jagannathan of Incom Builders, and Businessman Varadarajulu to pay a fine ranging from Rs 15,000 to 40,000.


3. The Reserve Bank of India has constituted a GIRO Advisory Group (GAG) to implement a national Indian Bill Payment System so that households will be able to use bank accounts to pay school fees, utilities, medical bills and make remittances electronically. The terms of reference of GAG, which is headed by Prof. Umesh Bellur, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, include suggesting the nature of organisation to undertake the GIRO-based bill payments and framing guidelines for setting up and operating the GIRO-based bill payments.


4. The Government of India said it has allocated Rs 2,000 crore to State Bank of India and Rs 1,800 crore to IDBI Bank as part of its plan to infuse Rs 14,000 crore in fresh capital to 20 public sector banks. This infusion will help banks raise more money from the market. The capital infusion will ensure that banks have 8% Tier-1 capital (core capital consisting of equity capital and disclosed reserves) by the end of the current fiscal.


5. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved the Tata Group-s proposal to set up a full service airline with Singapore Airlines today. Tata-SIA Airlines—the joint venture with Tata Group holding a controlling 51% stake and Singapore Airlines with 49%—will now approach the Civil Aviation Ministry for the necessary clearances. The new airline will be launched with an initial investment of USD 100 million that would include a foreign direct investment component of USD 49 million.


6. The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and YES Bank have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday to explore avenues for mutually beneficial knowledge sharing in food processing and agricultural sectors. The tie-up marked the start of a relationship in which Australia can offer to India some insights on how to expand food exports to Japan and Europe, as per Austrade.


7. Capital Market regulator SEBI has disqualified Cals Refineries from issuing equity shares and any other security for a further eight years, as the company was found guilty in a case involving irregularities in issuance of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs).


8. Famous Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor has been named the brand ambassador for India-s leading lighting and consumer electronics company, Philips.


9. Olympic bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom will wave the chequered flag at the 2013 Indian Grand Prix to be held at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday. In the inaugural year of the Indian GP in 2011, legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar waved the flag, while it was London Olympic bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang last year.


10. The Sports Ministry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have launched 'India Sports 2014' at the 5th Global Sports Summit to promote sports among youth in India. The first edition will not only serve as a platform for the Indian sports industry to showcase their strength but will also act as a catalyst in promoting sports amongst the youth.


 


25-October


Current Affairs Global - 25 October 2013


1. Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) has published global Gender Gap Index today. Top-four positions on the global have been retained by Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Philippines has moved up to 5th place, while Ireland has slipped one position to sixth rank, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Switzerland and Nicaragua in the top ten.


2. The US comedian Carol Burnett was honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  Dame Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett and Tina Fey were among those who performed in her honour at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Sunday. Burnett's variety show began in the 1960s and ran for 11 years, averaging 30 million viewers a week.


Current Affairs India - 25 October 2013


1. India was ranked at a low 101st position on a global Gender Gap Index despite an improvement by four places since last year in the Index, compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). The index has ranked 136 countries on how well resources and opportunities are divided between men and women in four broad areas of economy, politics, education and health.


While India has been ranked very high at 9th place globally for political empowerment, it has got second-lowest position (135th) for health and survival. Its rankings for economic participation and opportunity are also low at 124th and for educational attainment at 120th.


2. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is India's richest man with personal assets of USD 18.9 billion, according to the China-based Hurun India Rich List. Ambani retained the top position for the second year even after a wealth decrease of 2%. Ambani is followed by UK based LN Mittal with assets of USD 15.9 billion.


3. Famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has been appointed as the goodwill ambassador for South Korea. He was appointed as the public diplomat as well as an ambassador of India-s soft power. Shah Rukh Khan is already a brand ambassador of famous South Korean brands like Hyundai and Samsung.


4. Sunil Mathur has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Siemens- regional company in India. He is current Chief Financial Officer. He will succeed Armin Bruck, who will move from India to Singapore, where he has been made CEO of Siemens- operations.


5. The Sports Ministry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have launched 'India Sports 2014' at the 5th Global Sports Summit to promote sports among youth in the country. The event will be an umbrella programme, focusing on all aspects of sports and will bring the entire sports fraternity on one platform.


6. After a long gap Saina Nehwal slipped out of the top five of the world rankings. Saina and PV Sindhu were also crashed out of the French Open Super yesterday. Saina, who lost two places to drop to world No. 6, lost to Bae Yeon Ju of Korea 22-20, 15-21, 20-22 in a hard fought 1hr 11 minute battle.


 


26-October


Current Affairs Global - 26 October 2013


1. Global investment bank JP Morgan has agreed to pay USD 5.1 billion to the US mortgage regulator, over the banks sale of risky mortgage bank securities. They were a key factor in the collapse of the US Housing market in 2007. JP Morgan is still trying to settle with the justice department over similar claims. It is the biggest settlement ever by a US bank.


2. The world's oldest national football body, the English Football Association, or FA is marking its 150th anniversary today. It was established at a meeting in a London Tavern on the 26th of October, 1863 as eleven football clubs and schools associations agreed to a set of common rules for the sport.


3. UK economic output was jumped by 0.8% in second quarter (July to September) of the current year. This growth rate is compared to 0.7% GDP growth in the April-June period and is the best economic growth in last 3 years.


Current Affairs India - 26 October 2013


1. Himachal Pradesh became the second state after Haryana to introduce Union National Vocational Qualitative Framework (NVQF) Scheme. The scheme was implemented by the All India Technical Education Council and the National Skill Development Council and the National Skill Development Council.


2. The Uttar Pradesh Government has appointed retired Justice Tarun Chaterjee as the new chairman of the state Human Rights Commission. It has also nominated Justice UK Dhawan and Asha Tiwari as the members of the Commission.


3. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has assigned Corporation Bank No. 1 rank under the -National Awards for Excellence in MSE (micro and small enterprises) Lending- for 2012-13. The Bank has been ranked based on its performance in contributing to the MSE lending for 2012-13.


4. The World Bank has approved USD 250-million assistance for Uttarakhand, which was hit hard by rains and landslides in June that killed 580 people, to help the State undertake rehabilitation work and strengthen its capacity for disaster management.


5. The former director of news at All India Radio and the Registrar of Newspaper, R N Mahadevan passed away yesterday. He was 84. He served the Press Information Bureau in different Capacities for 33 years.


6. The working committee of the Board of Cricket Control of India has terminated the contract of the Indian Premier League team -Pune Warriors- for non-payment of franchise fee. The team did not pay a bank guarantee of 174 crore rupees. Pune Warriors was bought by Sahara for 1702 crore rupees in 2010 and is the most expensive franchise for IPL tournament.


7. Indian cueist Alok Kumar won Silver at World Billiards as he lost to local favourite David Causier in the final match. He lost 6-1 -- 150 (123)-06, 150 (114)-11, 150 (64)-81, 150 (85)-13, 150 (109)-92, 51-150 (53), 150 (124)-124 (93). He is the only player in the country, who has won titles in every discipline.


8. The Government of India will appoint Hockey India-s Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans as Chief Coordinator and High Performance Director for Indian Hockey. He will be appointed till Rio Olympics 2016.


 


27-October


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.882 billion to 281.122 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.882 billion to 281.122 billion for the week ended 18th October as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.844 billion to 252.695 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also increased by USD 25.6 million and USD 12.7 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.765 billion for the same reporting week.


28-October


Current Affairs Global - 28 October 2013


1. 5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation, aims to promote hygienic practices and enhance the quality of life in South Asian countries, begins in Nepal. The event was by Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav. Around 300 delegates, including former external affairs minister Madhav Singh Solanki, are among the dignitaries attending the 5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation.


2. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix for the third time in a row at the Buddh International circuit at Greater Noida yesterday. With this win, he has become the youngest driver to win the Formula One World Driver's Championship for the fourth consecutive time. This is the tenth victory of the season of Vettle and thirty sixth victory of his career. NIco Rosberg of Mercedes and Romain Grosjean of Lotus stood second and third respectively in the same race.


3. Serena Williams, the world number one tennis player won the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships at Istanbul after defeating Li Na 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. Following this win, she managed to retain the WTA Championships title with her. This was her overall seventy eighth title and eleventh title of this year. This is the fourth success of Serena Williams in the WTA Championships. With this win, she became the first player to retain the title after Justice Henin in 2007.


Current Affairs India - 28 October 2013


1. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan received the third Hridaynath Mangeshkar award for his contribution to the film industry. The prestigious Hridaynath Mangeshkar award was supposed to be presented by Lata Mangeshkar to Bachchan, but due to health issues she could not make it and filmmaker Subhash Ghai did the honours.


2. Anjali Gopalan has been awarded with French highest civilian award -Chevalier de la Legion d-Honneur- last week. She, an Indian Human Rights and Animals Rights Activist, was awarded for her work on transgender and HIV positive patients.


3. Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen has been awarded the Mother Teresa International Award by NGO -The Harmony Foundation- for her efforts towards achieving social justice. She has been associated with different charitable projects and NGOs which helped her to win the award yesterday.


 


29-October


Current Affairs Global - 29 October 2013


1. Singapore secured no 1 rank in the 'Ease of Doing Business' ranking of 189 economies published by the World Bank. Singapore is followed by Hong Kong and New Zealand at the second and third positions, respectively.  Other nations in the top ten are United States (4), Denmark (5), Malaysia (6), Korea (7), Georgia (8), Norway (9) and United Kingdom (10). The 5 worst places include Republic of the Congo at the 185th position, South Sudan at 186, Libya at 187, Central African Republic at 188 and Chad at the 189th position


Current Affairs India - 29 October 2013


1. India has slipped three positions to 134th spot in the latest ease-of-doing business list, 'Ease of Doing Business' ranking of 189 economies published by the World Bank. India has dropped from 131 spot last year while Singapore continues to remain at the top.


2. The Central Government has constituted a high-level committee headed by former CRPF Chief, K Vijay Kumar, to look at the division of assets and the administrative framework for Telengana formation from Andhra Pradesh. The committee will visit Hyderabad and will interact with professionals, State Government officials and government bodies before preparing its report.


3. The government has announced Air Marshal Arup Raha as the next chief of the Indian Air Force after Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne retires on December 31, 2013. He is currently posted as the IAF vice-chief.  During a career spanning over 39 years, he has held various command, staff and instructional appointments in the force.


4. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has retained his title as India-s wealthiest for the sixth year in a row with a networth of USD 21 billion. NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (USD 16 billion) also continues to hold the second position, while Sun Pharma-s Dilip Shanghvi secured third place with net worth of USD 13.9 billion followed by Wipro Chairman Azim Premji at fourth place (USD 13.8 billion).


5. N. Ravi has taken over as Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, and Malini Parthasarathy as Editor of The Hindu. N. Ram has become Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited and Publisher of The Hindu and Group publications; and N. Murali, Co-Chairman of the company. These decisions were taken by the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting today.


6. Private life insurer Birla Sun Life Insurance has appointed Pankaj Razdan as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company. Birla Sun Life Insurance is the life insurance arm of the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group.He has over two decades- experience in financial services, including leadership positions at Aditya Birla Group and Prudential ICICI Asset Management Company.


7. State Bank of India has opened over 3,000 -zero balance- savings accounts under the -Kanyasree- scheme of the West Bengal Government. The scheme is aimed at reducing the drop-out rates among girl students. The scheme will provide special scholarship and grant to girl students who are continuing their study from 8th to 12th standard and pursuing higher studies.


8. Umesh Chand Asawa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, AP Mahesh Cooperative Urban Bank, has bagged the -Best CEO Award- at the Seventh National Cooperative Summit held during Oct 21-22 in Bangalore. The award was given under the Frontiers in Cooperative Banking - Best CEO category.


9. Tennis player and Hollywood film producer-actor Ashok Amritraj was awarded with the 'Soul of India Award' for his contribution and achievements in the film industry. Leading NRI industrialist Dr Rami Ranger presented the award to him at the Indian Journalists Association's Diwali Dinner held at the Bombay Palace yesterday. On the same occation, Mrs Paul, wife of Dr Virendra Paul, formally launched Amritraj's book 'Advantage Hollywood'.


10. Noted Hindi author Rajendra Yadav, a pioneer of the literary movement 'Nayi Kahani', passed away in Delhi yesterday night. He was 84. He edited the literary magazine 'HANS', which was founded by Munshi Premchand in 1930. The magazine had ceased publication in 1953 but Yadav relaunched it on 31 July, 1986.


11. Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra became the first Indian to be global brand ambassador of American fashion brand Guess in the last week of October 2013. She will endorse the brand from 2014. With this new brand, She joined the league of Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore and Claudia Schiffer as the brand ambassadors of Guess. Bryan Adams, Canadian rock star and a photographer also shot the first campaign of Priyanka Chopra for Guess in its signature black and white collection.


12. Dabur has roped in Madhuri Dixit as the new brand ambassador to endorse its brand Dabur Chyawanprash. She will feature in a new television and print campaign which is slated to be launched soon.


13. Indian Oil Corporation has defeated Air India by 5-3 to win the 48th Bombay Gold Cup hockey tournament at the MHA stadium, Mumbai. Sunil was given the man of the tournament award and received a cheque for 5000 rupees from newly appointed chief national coach Terry Walsh at the end of the tournament.


RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps today to tackle Inflation; May affect economic growth


The Reserve Bank of India hiked the repo rate by 25 basis points during its announcement of October monetary policy review today. The repo rate is now increased to 7.75% and reverse repo was also increased by 25 bps to 6.75%. RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan, had also raised rates by 25 bps in the mid-quarter review in September. Surprisingly the rate increase by RBI was cheered and well accepted by the stock market today with Sensex closing near to its all-time high level.


The Governor has also cut the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate by 25 bps to 8.75%. The corridor between the repo rate and the MSF rate is now back to 100 bps which indicates the return to normalcy in currency markets. The RBI has kept cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4.0% of deposits and increased the liquidity provided through term repos of 7-day and 14-day tenor from 0.25% of deposits of the banking system to 0.5% with immediate effect.


The key aim of RBI is to fight with the rising inflation numbers. Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation touched 6.46% in September while consumer price index inflation was at 9.84%, which are way above than the comfort level of the RBI. RBI has also lowered FY14 GDP growth projection to 5% compared to earlier projection of 5.7%.


 


30-October


Current Affairs Global - 30 October 2013


1. Consumer prices in USA jumped a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in September due largely to a jump in energy prices. The consumer price index is up 1.2% for the last 12 months. The September inflation data was delayed from its scheduled October 16 release date, due to a partial government shutdown over a budget stalemate in Congress.


Current Affairs India - 30 October 2013


1. An expert panel headed by former Planning Commission member Kirit S Parikh suggested today that diesel prices should be hiked by a steep Rs 5 per litre, kerosene by Rs 4 a litre and cooking gas (LPG) rates by Rs 250 per cylinder immediately to cut fuel subsidy bill by Rs 72,000 crore. Also, it suggested that the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders supplied to households in a year should be cut to 6 bottles of 14.2-kg from the current quota of 9.


2. As per recent World Bank study, It is easiest to start a business in New Delhi within India, while Hyderabad is the fastest for closing an enterprise. On the other hand, Kolkata is the toughest place for closing a business among 17 cities and Bangalore requires the maximum effort to start a company. As per the report, it requires 32 days for starting a business in New Delhi, while it takes 40 days to register a company in Bangalore.


3. Consumer confidence level in India declined compared with the previous quarter but India remained third most bullish consumer market in the world, as per the Nielsen global survey. Consumer confidence score in India in the third quarter was at 112 compared with 118 in the previous quarter. Top two consumer market as per the survey are Indonesia and Philippines with 120 and 118 score.


4. India's leading software firm, Infosys, has paid USD 34 million to settle a civil lawsuit from the US government over allegations it misused visas. US authorities have been investigating whether Infosys used short-term visas to bring workers into the US, avoiding limits on long-term work permits. Infosys said that claims of systemic visa fraud were "untrue and are assertions that remain unproven".


5. S.B. Nayar has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. Currently, he is Managing Director & CEO of IFCI Ltd.


6. Utpal Bhadra, senior scientist and group leader, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), has been selected for the Radhakrishnan Gold Medal for the year 2013 by the Global Economic Progress & Research Association (GEPRA), a Chennai-based research organisation engaged in academic research in economics and finance.


7. Famous Bharatnatyam exponent Geeta Chandran was awarded with the prestigious Guru Debaprasad Award for her contribution in the field of dance. The award was presented to Geeta Chandran and three others by Odisha Governor S C Jamir at in Bhubaneswar. The others Awardees are Dr. Anita Ratnam (Contemporary Dance), Guru Shashadhar Acharya (Chhau Dance) and Guru Sudhakar Sahu (Odissi).


8. India-s Srishti Rana won the coveted Miss Asia Pacific 2013 title outclassing 49 other contestants in South Korea today. She has crowned by the Miss Asia Pacific World 2012 Himangini Singh Yadu from India. She also won the Best National Costume Award depicting the national Bird of India- Peacock. Before her, Dia Mirza had won the title from India in year 2000.


9. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's farewell game in domestic cricket ended today with a great note. The retiring legend single-handedly guided Mumbai to a four-wicket win over Haryana in the Ranji Trophy match at Lahli in Haryana. He scored unbeaten 79 to securer win for Mumbai team.


10. India's Alok Kumar and Ashok Shandilya have entered the semi-finals of the World Billiards Championship at Leeds, England. Alok Kumar defeated Nalin Patel of England 1000-490, while Ashok Shandilya defeated Sourav Kothari by 1000-989.


 


31-October


Current Affairs Global - 31 October 2013


1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has now overtaken Barack Obama to the title of the world's most powerful leader as ranked by Forbes yesterday as he successfully managed to put US threat of an attack on Syria at bay. It was the first time in three years that the US president has dropped to second place on the magazine's list. Third rank went to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to rule for a decade in which China is set to eclipse the US as the world's largest economy.


2. Norway continues to be on the top in the 'Prosperity Index' ranking of 142 countries compiled by London-based Legatum Institute. At the top of the index, Norway defended its No 1 position for the fifth year. Switzerland is at second place, followed by Canada (third), Sweden (fourth) and New Zealand (fifth)


3. The Federal Reserve announced that it will continue with its USD 85 billion monthly purchases of Government-backed bonds yesterday till US economic growth improves steadily. It will wait for more evidence that US economic growth progress is sustained before withdrawing its famous stimulus program, also known as Quantitative Easing 3.


4. Eurozone inflation in October dropped to 0.7% due to steep fall in energy prices, its lowest since February 2010. The lower inflation data increases pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates further. Core inflation, which does not include energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, also fell from an annual rate of 1.4% to 1.1%. At same time, the jobless rate in the 17 euro-using countries was unchanged from August's figure, although that month's rate was revised up to 12.2%.


Current Affairs India - 31 October 2013


1. India has slipped by five places to 106th spot in the World Prosperity Index, largely due to poor 'safety and security' environment.  In the 'Prosperity Index' ranking of 142 countries compiled by London-based Legatum Institute, India dropped from 101st position last year, while Norway continues to remain at the top. India's position has dropped below neighbouring China (51), Sri lanka (60), Nepal (102) and Bangladesh (103).


2. India has developed a new tactical surface-to-surface missile 'Pragati' with a range between 60-170 km and will offer it to friendly countries. The new missile, now on display at a defence exhibition in South Korea, is based on the Prahaar missile developed by the DRDO for the Army and can be termed as its export variant with minor differences.


3. Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on 29 October 2013 launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL). The main objective of the HSRC is to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 Kilo Meter per hour.


4. The Union Cabinet of India gave its approval to declare the Bhubaneswar and Imphal airports as international airports to fulfill the long pending demand of people as well as the State Governments of Odisha and Manipur. Declaration of these airports as international airports will offer improved connectivity, wider choice of services at competitive cost to the air travelers resulting in boosting international tourism and economic development of the region and the country.


5. Utpal Bhadra, senior scientist and group leader, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), has been selected for the Radhakrishnan Gold Medal for the year 2013 by the Global Economic Progress & Research Association (GEPRA), a Chennai-based research organisation engaged in academic research in economics and finance. His group has pioneered the Gene silencing and RNA interference technology. It was also the first group to identify RNAi (ribonucleac acid interface) and Gene silencing in animals, which have profound implications in understanding the development of characteristics and diseases in humans and animals.


6. S. Masood Ahmed, chief scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), won the K.K. Menon Award for 2013. The award instituted by the Geological Society of India recognised his contributions in sedimentary geology. Ahmed has carried out extensive studies on marine sediment cores from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea to understand and interpret the paleoclimatic evolution of these basins. Earlier, He also won the National Geoscience Award for the year 2009.


7. Subhas Goswami, Director of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, has been appointed as the Director General (DG) of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) yesterday. He will succeed Ajay Chadha, IPS.


8. Bharat Joshi is the new British Deputy High Commissioner to be based in Chennai, replacing Mike Nithavrianakis. Born in Croydon in the UK in 1969, Joshi joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1995 and has had diplomatic postings to Gambia, Dhaka, Qatar and Cameroon.


9. Microsoft appointed Indian origin Gurdeep Singh Pall as the corporate vice president of Skype, a popular and free international voiceover and messaging service and Lync communications product. He will replace the Mark Gillett. Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011. According to the Microsoft website, Pall has more than 20 patents (in process or approved) in networking, VoIP and collaboration areas.


10. Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor was honoured in the House of Commons, London for her contribution to the global entertainment industry. The 33-year old actress was presented a framed golden coloured plaque by NRI MP Keith Vaz, Chairman of Britain-s Home Affairs Committee. She is the only Bollywood artist to be honoured at British Parliament after Amitabh Bachchan and she is the first Bollywood actress to be honoured by UK Parliament.


11. The second-round exit from French Open Super Series proved costly for Saina Nehwal as she slipped one more spot to be placed at world number seven in the latest BWF ranking released today. The Olympic bronze medallist had slipped to world number six last week.


12. All India Football Federation (AIFF) has signed an agreement under Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) with Football Federation of Australia (FFA) to support former-s Grassroots Programme. The ASOP India is an Australian government initiative implemented by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) with a commitment of AUD 5 million over five years (2009-14). The agreement includes financial, administrative and technical support (from FFA) in the form of capacity building within the State Associations currently involved in the Grassroots Programme, Grassroots Courses and Grassroots Festivals, among many such activities.