Friday, November 3, 2017

October 2017, Current Affair’s (for CLAT)

1.      Birendra Sasmal, a Ghana-based Indian entrepreneur, has won a prestigious International Business Person of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards in London for his efforts to bring innovative IT solutions to Africa. Sasmal is CEO of Subah Group, which employs around 350 people with offices in Guinea, Sierra Leone, New York City and Dubai. Under Sasmal's leadership, the group's revenues have increased by over 3,000% and it has been named among one of Africa's fastest growing tech companies.

2.      President Ram Nath Kovind has recently appointed Governors in five states and Lieutenant Governor in one Union Territory. These are as follows: Brigadier (Retd) B D Mishra has been appointed as the new Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and former member of Bihar Legislative Council Ganga Prasad as new Governor of Meghalaya. Satya Pal Malik, the former Union Minister, has been appointed as the new Governor of Bihar while Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit will now be the new Governor of Tamil Nadu. Admiral (Retd) Devendra Kumar Joshi will be the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar while Prof. Jagdish Mukhi will be the new Governor of Assam. The above appointments will take effect from the dates the incumbents assume charge of their respective offices.

3.      The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Non-Violence is observed every year on October 2 to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. The day is an occasion to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness. This day is referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti.

4.      The International Day of Older Persons is observed every year on October 1, 2017 to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse. The 2017 theme "Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society" will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.

5.      The sixth edition of the World Government Summit (WHS) is scheduled to be held from February 11th – 13th, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. India will be the guest of honour in this summit. The summit is the largest movement to review and share the best experiences, and the first global forum for governments, countries, organizations and private sector leaders interested in the industry of the future. At its 5th session in February 2017, the World Summit of Governments attracted more than 4,000 participants from 139 countries and 150 speakers attended 114 sessions.

6.      The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017 has awarded jointly to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries on how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth's revolutions. For many years, we have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal clock that helps them adapt to the rotation of earth. But how does this clock actually work? It is explained through 2017 Nobel laureates discoveries. Using fruit flies as a model organism, they isolated a gene that controls the daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. The trio will share the prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about 1.1 million US Dollars) by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

7.      In Libya, the Port of Benghazi has officially reopened for the first time in three years on September 30, 2017 after being forced to cease operations because of clashes in the cradle of the 2011 revolution. After long-time dictator Muammar Kadhafi was ousted and killed in the 2011 revolution, the country descended into political and military chaos. Commercial operations at the port had ended in 2014 when armed movements, including the Islamic State terror group, occupied the North African country's second city. In a bid to boost business at the facility, port officials announced a temporary customs exemption for all imports through Benghazi. The port is situated in the eastern part of the country.

8.      The 8th Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from October 4, 2017. The 3-day conference will be inaugurated by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. The Indian delegation will be lead by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who will deliver the lead speech on the topic Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, a platform for the Parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. She is accompanied by a delegation of MPs and senior officials of Lok Sabha.

9.      President Ram Nath Kovind has recently appointed a Commission to examine the sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini will be the chairperson of the Commission which will present its report to the President within 12 weeks. The Commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List. It will work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs. On receipt of the report, the Central Government will consider ways and means for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central Government jobs and admission in Central Government Institutions amongst all strata of the OBC.

10.  The Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference has started in New Delhi on October 2, 2017. India is hosting the programme jointly with World Bank (WB) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to address illegal wildlife trade across 19 Asian and African countries. In it, Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled the 3rd National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for 2017-2031 to spell out the future road map for wildlife conservation. The 4-day conference will act as a platform for knowledge exchange and coordination on the action taken on the ground to combat illegal poaching of wildlife and improve governance on wildlife conservation. It will provide an opportunity for India to showcase its conservation efforts through joint forest management, vana sanrakshan samitis, eco-development committees in and around protected areas.

11.  The 3rd National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for 2017-2031 has recently unveiled by Dr. Harsh Vardhan , the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC), at the 2017 Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference in New Delhi. This NWAP plan was drafted by a 12-member committee chaired by JC Kala, a former secretary to the ministry. The plan is unique as this is the first time India has recognised the concerns relating to climate change impact on wildlife and stressed on integrating actions that need to be taken for its mitigation and adaptation into wildlife management planning processes. The plan adopts a landscape approach in conservation of all wildlife – uncultivated flora and fauna – that have an ecological value to the ecosystem and to mankind irrespective of where they occur. It gives special emphasis to recovery o hreatened species of wildlife while conserving their habitats.

12.  The 2017 World Habitat Day (WHD) is observed on October 2 with theme "Housing Policies: Affordable Homes" to bring attention to UN-Habitat's mandate to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. The purpose of day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. The United Nations (UN) has officially designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.

13.  The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution. It's a method of simplifying and improving the imaging of biomolecules.

14.  For the first time, Nepal and India will conduct a joint tiger census in their national parks, forests and protected areas adjoining the two countries by using a globally-recognised method – camera tapping procedure from November 2017. By using this method, officials can avoid chances of repeated counting of the same tiger. The Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve, which are the habitats of tigers in Nepal, are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar. Similarly, Nepal's Bardiya National Park is close to India's Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary while the Shuklaphanta National Park in Nepal adjoins India's Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The tiger is regarded as an endangered animal and is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

15.  Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Environment Minister, has launched SECURE Himalaya project in association with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference in New Delhi. The purpose of the 6-year project is to secure livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems, which is meant for specific landscapes. It includes Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir), Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim). The focus of the project will be on protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats, while securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.

16.  Dr Soumya Swaminathan has become the first Indian to hold deputy director general post for Programmes at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Currently, she is the Director General (DG) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Dr Swaminathan is a paediatrician and is known for her research in tuberculosis and HIV. She is daughter of MS Swaminathan, the acclaimed geneticist and father of green revolution. Beside her, Jane Ellison from Britain has been appointed as a Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations (DDC).

17.  Rajnish Kumar, the Managing Director of SBI, has been appointed as the new chairman of the State Bank of India (SBI) for a period of three years. He will succeed Arundhati Bhattacharya, whose tern is going to end on October 6, 2017.

18.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently released its 4th bi-monthly monetary policy statement for the year 2017-18. As per the monetary policy statement, the policy repo rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) has remain unchanged at 6%. The reverse repo rate, at which RBI borrows from banks will continue to be at 5.75%.

19.  The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics has been jointly awarded to three US scientists – Rainer Weiss, Kip S. Thorne and Barry C. Barish – for the detection of gravitational waves. The ripples were predicted by Albert Einstein and are a fundamental consequence of his General Theory of Relativity. The winners are members of the Ligo-Virgo observatories, which were responsible for the breakthrough. The winners join a prestigious list of 204 other Physics laureates recognised since 1901. The trio will share the prize sum of nine million kronor prize. Prof Weiss gets half of the prize money, while Barish and Thorne will share the other half. Gravitational waves describe the stretching and squeezing of space-time that occurs when massive objects accelerate.

20.  British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. The novelist was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".The prize of 9 million Swedish kronor will be awarded to him. The literature prize is given for a lifetime of writing rather than for a single work. Ishiguro has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages. His most famous novels "The Remains of the Day" and "Never Let Me Go" were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He won the Booker Prize in 1989 for The Remains of the Day and made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995.

21.  The 8th Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians has started in Colombo, Sri Lanka from October 4, 2017, which is inaugurated by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. In the 3-day conference, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is leading the Indian delegation. She delivered the lead speech on the topic Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, a platform for the Parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. She is accompanied by a delegation of MPs and senior officials of Lok Sabha.

22.  The World Teachers' Day (WTD) is observed every year on October 5 to 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The day also aims to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. The 2017 theme is "Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers".

23.  Pooja Kadian has created history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a gold medal at Wushu World Championships in the 75 kilogram women Sanda category after defeating Evgeniya Stepanova in the final at Kazan on October 5, 2017. Apart from her, four other members of the Indian contingent – Rameshchandra Singh Moirangthem, Bhanu Pratap Singh, Rajinder Singh, and Arunpama Devi Keisham – won bronze medals in the tournament held at Kazan, Russia. Wushu is one of the two umbrella words used to describe Chinese Marial arts, the other one being Kung-Fu. It is also a full contact sport and is governed by the International Wushu Federation.

24.  India's first-ever Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for the Divyangans will come up in Assam. Recently, the foundation stone for the institute was laid at Dibrugarh ITI Complex at Borboruah in Assam. As per the guidelines of National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), the ITI will have sixty seats for three different trades with 20 seats per trade. The three different trades included in the curriculum are Computer Operator and Programming Assistant, Cutting and Sewing Technology and Hair & Skin Care.

25.  The HDFC Life Insurance Company has launched 'Neo', that uses artificial intelligence for customer service. This is the second bot put in operation by HDFC Life, after the launch of SPOK, which was an email bot to answer customer queries. The Neo bot will be available 24/7 and has the capability to authenticate customers and give frequently sought details, like fund value, sum assured and premium amount.

26.  The Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is located in Ballari district in Karnataka and covers an area of 82.72 square kilometers. The sanctuary's flagship species is the Indian sloth bear (Melursus ursinus). Some species of mammals recorded in this sanctuary are leopards, monitor lizards, mongoose, pangolins, star tortoises, etc.

27.  The World Space Week (WSW) is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition, which is held every year from October 4-10. The 2017 theme "Exploring New Worlds In Space" is an outward facing theme that serves to inspire the world.

28.  The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a mass marriage scheme 'Mukhyamantri Samoohik Vivaah Yojana'. In it, the state government will spend Rs 35,000 on each couple, besides gifting them mobile phones and household items, and the social welfare department will conduct the mass marriages. The marriage programs regarding the scheme will be organized by urban local bodies like Nagar panchayat, Nagar Palika and Nagar Nigam, kshetra panchayats, Zila panchayats, overnment/semi-government organizations and NGOs, which will be authorized by district magistrates of respective districts. As per the scheme, the parents of the brides must be the residents of Uttar Pradesh and must belong to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in order to avail the benefits of the scheme. There must be minimum 10 couples in the mass marriage ceremony.

29.  Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, has been awarded a prestigious global Anna Politkovskaya Award, which is given in the memory of a slain Russian reporter and political activist. With this, she became the first person from India to receive the honour. Lankesh shared the award with Gulalai Ismail, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban. The award marks the 11th anniversary of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative reporter and activist who uncovered state corruption and rights abuses, especially in Chechnya. The award is presented annually by Reach All Women in War (the RAW in WAR organisation) and honours women human rights defenders from around the world.

30.  The Union Government has set up a study group to examine the problems being faced by the people living near the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) due to ever-present threat of cross-border firing from Pakistan. The group will meet people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, security forces deployed there, district administration officials and local public representatives and submit its report within two months. Special secretary in the home ministry Rina Mitra will head the team. The study group will look into broadly three issues – demand for land for relocation in case of shelling, construction of more bunkers and compensation issues related to shelling. The panel will prepare a detailed report on the issues being faced by the people living near the IB and the LoC and submit recommendations. India shares a 3,323-km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km IB and 740 km LoC fall in J&K.

31.  The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons. The ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organisations from over 100 countries around the globe. The headquarters of ICAN is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the ICAN is to promote adherence to and full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 9 million Swedish crowns ($1.10 million), will be presented in Oslo on December 10, 2017.

32.  The Supreme Court of India (SCI) has appointed senior advocate and former additional solicitor general Amrender Sharan as amicus curiae on a petition seeking reprobe into the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The matter is posted for further hearing on October 30, 2017. The petition filed by Mumbai-based Dr. Pankaj Phadnis , a researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat, has sought reopening of the probe on several grounds, claiming it was one of the biggest cover-ups in history. According to petition, there is possibility of involvement of more people in the murder. Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead at point blank range in New Delhi on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a right-wing advocate of Hindu nationalism.

33.  President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the 5th edition of India Water Week (IWW) on October 10 with theme "Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth" in New Delhi. About 1500 delegates from India and 13 other countries will attend the five day international event. The event will be celebrated with a multi-disciplinary conference and a concurrently running exhibition enriching the theme and showcasing the technologies and solutions available for the areas under deliberation of the meet. The event will have the many major components like water, food and energy security – essential requirement for sustainable development, water for inclusive growth, sustainable energy development – Key for all round economic growth and water and society.

34.  The 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Richard H. Thaler for his contributions to behavioural economics. Thaler is an US economist and the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The Nobel Prize for Economics, worth 9 million kronor, will be presented in Oslo on December 10, 2017.

35.  India has been ranked 8th out of 100 countries on a list of most valuable nation brands, according to Brand Finance's Nation Brands 2017 report. The list is topped by US, followed by China, Germany, Japan and United Kingdom. In terms of valuation, India's National Brand Value in 2017 is $2.04 trillion, down one percent from last year's $2.06 trillion. However, India's brand rating has improved from 'AA-' to 'AA'. Despite a rating improvement, India does not feature in the list of 10 best performing nation brands. Iceland topped the 'Top 10 best performing nation brands' list. Brand Finance measures the strength and value of the nation brands of 100 leading countries using a method based on the royalty relief mechanism employed to value the world's largest companies.

36.  Rajasthan has become the India's first state to incorporate skill development programme in higher education. In collaboration with IGNOU, the College Education department has prepared 16 courses for entrepreneurship and skill development for colleges in the state. Under the project, 12 certificates and 4 diploma courses will be run and each college will have to choose five courses.

37.  Nisha Biswal, a former state department official, will head the US-India Business Council (USIBC), a powerful advocacy group of US companies with business interest in India. She is expected to join on November 1, 2017. The USIBC is a part of the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest lobbying organisation in the country that wields real political power in Washington.

38.  The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and milk products, has been recognised as the India's best Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company in the food sector by the International Advertising Association (IAA). Amul was presented the 5th IAA Leadership Award for this recognition at Mumbai on October 9, 2017. The prestigious awards instituted by the IAA's India Chapter recognise excellence towards contribution in marketing, advertising and media sectors as well as celebrate outstanding achievements of individuals and teams.

39.  The World Bank (WB), in its biannual economic update "South Asia Economic Focus (Fall 2017)", has reduced India's GDP growth forecast to 7.0% for 2017-18 from 7.2% estimated earlier. As per report, the unexpected slowdown in India's growth story is because of the delayed consequence of demonetization, sharp decline in the growth rate of public expenditures and uncertainty created by the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Apart from WB, Both the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have also cut their growth projections for India to 7% and 6.7%, respectively, for fiscal 2017-18.

40.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released its October 2017 World Economic Outlook. In it, IMF slashed India's growth forecast by 0.5% points to 6.7% in FY 18 due to the lingering effects of disruption caused by demonetisation and transition costs of GST. Earlier, in April, the IMF had pegged India's GDP growth at 7.2% for FY18. It has also lowered the growth projection for FY 19 ( 2018-19) to 7.4% from its earlier estimate in April and June of 7.7%. Though, the IMF was more optimistic about medium-term growth prospects for India through gains from the new indirect tax levy. Apart from IMF, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also lowered its growth projection to 6.7% for the current financial year from its earlier estimate of 7.3% due to adverse impact on economic growth by the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

41.  Film actor Anupam Kher has been appointed as the new chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He succeeded Gajendra Chauhan. Kher has worked in more than 500 films and over 100 plays in last three decades. He was conferred the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 by the Indian government. Some of his prominent films include Saaransh, Daddy, Lamhe, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara. He has also been a part of international projects such as Bend It Like Beckham, Lust, Caution, and David O Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook.

42.  The International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) is celebrated every year on October 11 to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. The 2017 theme " EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises" marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises.

43.  Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak has been bestowed with the 18th edition of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for year 2017 by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 10, 2017. Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is the founder of Sulabh International and has developed and implemented, on a pan India scale, a low cost and appropriate toilet technology popularly known as the Sulabh Shauchalaya system.

44.  The 48th Conference of Governors has started at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on October 12, 2017. The 2-day conference is being attended by 27 Governors and 3 Lt. Governors of States and Union Territories. The two-day Conference will deliberate on distinct agenda items in different sessions. The theme of the opening session was 'New India-2022'. The second session is on the subjects of 'Higher Education in States' and 'Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Make Youth Employable'. In the third session, to take place on October 13, 2017, Governors will make brief remarks on any special issues pertaining to their respective States/Union Territories. In the concluding session, a brief report on the deliberations will be presented by the respective conveners.

45.  The Union Law Ministry has finalized the appointment of a Second National Judicial Pay Commission to recommend salary hikes for the 21,000 lower court judges in India. The proposed commission will be headed by former Supreme Court judge PV Reddi. The commission will submit its recommendations in early 2019 and the hike again is expected to be given with retrospective effect. The move comes after directions from the Supreme Court in May. The first judicial pay commission, headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty, was set up in March 1996 and it submitted its report in November 1999. The judges and judicial officers got the last pay hike in 2010, a three-fold jump, from their salaries decided in 1999. The 2010 hike was applied retrospectively from January 1, 2006. The current entry level salary for a junior civil judge is Rs 45000 while a senior judge gets nearly Rs 80,000.

46.  The parliamentary committee on External Affairs, which will examine the relations between India and China, is headed by Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor. The committee will examine in detail the issue of cooperation between both the countries in international organizations including Doklam standoff. The standing committee has also decided to closely look at India's "Relations with Myanmar and the Rohingya situation", India's "Act East Policy, including BIMSTEC", the "Situation in the Far East: Japan and North Korea", India's engagement with SAARC countries, global terrorism and voting rights for NRIs.

47.        The 5th India-Sri Lanka joint training exercise "Mitra Shakti 2017" has started at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharshtra. The exercise is based on Counter Terrorist Operations (CTO) and an Infantry company from both the countries is participating in the same. It will be conducted for next 14 days upto 26 Oct 17 & will involve sharing and learning from each others experiences.

48.        India has been ranked 100th out of 119 countries in the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which is released by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). As per report, India's score (31.4) is at the high end of the serious category, and is one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of worst performing region on the GHI 2017, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara.The list is topped by Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia and Cuba. The GHI score is a multidimensional index composed of four indicators—proportion of undernourished in the population, prevalence of child mortality, child stunting, and child wasting. On the severity scale, a GHI score of less than 10 means low prevalence of hunger while a score of more than 50 implies an extremely alarming situation.

49.        Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh has become the first Indian Brand Ambassador of Laureus and joined a host of cricket legends in the Laureus Family, including Indian Academy members Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Kapil Dev.

50.        The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is observed every year on October 13 to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The 2017 theme "Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement" seeks to raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing to saving homes and livelihoods.

51.        Audrey Azoulay, a French civil servant and politician, has been elected to become the new Director-General (DG) of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). She will succeed outgoing DG Irina Bokova of Bulgaria. Azoulay was born in Paris to a Moroccan Jewish family from Essaouira, and is the daughter of Andre Azoulay, who is current adviser to king Mohammed VI of Morocco.

52.        Gautam Bambawale, an Indian foreign service officer of the 1984 batch, has been appointed as the India's new ambassador to China and is expected to take up the assignment shortly. He will succeed Vijay Keshav Gokhale. After joining the post, one of the first tasks in front of Bambawale will be to stabilise India-China ties rocked by a military face off in the Dokalam area of Bhutan that lasted 73 days. Currently, he is high commissioner to Pakistan.

53.        The 2017 International Puppet Festival (IPF) will be held at Mohorkunj in Kolkata, West Bengal from October 26 to 31. The purpose of the fest is to regenerate the emotions attached to puppetry. Artists from the UK, Germany, Peru, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore and India would be participating in the festival. The fest will be inaugurated by the West Bengal principal secretary Tourism and Home Affairs Atri Bhattacharya.

54.        The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), the public sector undertaking , has become the first Oil Marketing Company (OMC) from India that has started marketing lubricants in Myanmar and has chosen commercial hubs of Yangon and Mandalay.

55.        The world's first negative emissions plant that turns carbon dioxide (CO2) into stone has begun operations in Hellisheidi, Iceland. In it, the CO2 is captured from ambient air, bound to water, and sent to more than 700 meters underground. There, the CO2 reacts with the basaltic bedrock and forms solid minerals, creating a permanent storage solution. Currently, the pilot system captures only 50 metric tons CO2, each year, about the same emitted by a single US household.

56.        The World Food Day (WFD) is observed every year on October 16 to raise worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The day also marks the foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 1945. The global message for WFD 2017 is "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development".

57.        The 6th annual LNG Producers Consumer Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan from Oct 16-18, 2017. From India, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan will participate in the conference to enhance the bilateral engagements in the Oil and Gas sectors within the overall framework of India-Japan Energy Dialogue. The visit also aims to enhance cooperation in establishing a transparent, efficient, truly global and balanced Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market. The conference is a global annual dialogue to promote active dialogue among LNG producers, consumers and other stakeholders with a view to deepening shared understandings of market trends and to develop a global LNG market. Energy Ministers from Qatar, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Japan and other leading hydrocarbon experts will participate in the Conference.

58.        The first-ever International tri services joint exercise "INDRA – 2017" will be conducted between Indian and Russian Armed Forces in the Eastern Military District of Russia from 19 to 29 Oct 2017. the INDRA-2017 will strengthen mutual confidence, inter-operability and enable sharing of best practices between both the armed forces. It will be a landmark event in the history of Indo-Russian defence cooperation. It must be noted that Exercise INDRA in its previous nine avatars has been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. The year 2017 marks a major milestone as this Exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three Services of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Air Force), which further accentuates the importance of Joint Services in the present world environment.

59.        The biography of actress and BJP MP Hema Malini "Beyond the Dream Girl" has been authored by veteran journalist Ram Kamal Mukherjee, which is recently launched on October 16, 2017. The book is published by HarperCollins India and will give readers an in-depth look into her life. It is divided into 23 chapters, covering her childhood, teens, Bollywood, rise as an actor, romance, colleagues, marriage, her second innings, launching Shah Rukh Khan in Dil Aashna Hai — which she directed — her ballet, her political journey and spiritual journey. This book will also have Hemaji's family tree, which has not been published earlier, and there will be a lot of exclusive unseen photographs from her personal, professional and political spheres.

60.        The Global Handwashing Day(GHD) is observed every year on October 15 as an annual global advocacy day to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. The day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. The 2017 theme "Our hands, our future!" reminds us that handwashing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world.

61.        The Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) has launched India's first commodity options in gold and gave stakeholders a new set of financial instruments to hedge their price risks. It is launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on October 17, 2017. MCX has currently launched a Gold Option contract, with Gold (1 Kg) futures as the underlying asset, with expiry on November 28, 2017 and January 29, 2018. The options product is unique and the first of its kind, giving buyers the right to buy or sell the underlying asset, but no obligation, at a specified price at the expiry. Thus, for buyers, the risk is limited only to the premium paid to the option seller (i.e. Option writer).

62.        The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has launched an online campaign #IamThatWoman to end gender bias in women against women.Through the campaign, the Ministry seeks to highlight the various aspects of women standing 'by' and 'for' women. The purpose of the campaign is to shed light on the enormous contributions made by women for women. For this, Twitter and Facebook users have been encouraged to tag and share stories of women helping women with a photograph and post online with the hashtag #IamThatWoman. Hence, join the '#IamThatWoman' campaign and spread the message that a woman can move mountains for another woman".

63.        US author George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his first full-length novel "Lincoln in the Bardo" and became only the 2nd American writer to win £50,000 ($66,000) Britain's prestigious English-language literary award. The book is a fictional account of US President Abraham Lincoln burying his 11-year-old son Willie at a Washington cemetery. In 2016, American author Paul Beatty became the first American to win the award for his novel 'The Sellout', a biting satire on race relations in the US.

64.        The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) is observed every year on October 17 to raise people's awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The 2017 theme 'Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies' reminds us of the importance of the values of dignity, solidarity and voice underscored in the Call to Action to fight to end poverty everywhere. This year's celebration also marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the day by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which had adopted the resolution on 22 December 1992.

65.        E-commerce major Myntra has launched its CSR initiative in association with the Union Ministry of Textile to work directly with weavers and promote the handloom industry. It will work on bringing artisans and their products online to provide them with access to new customers and opportunities. These products will retail on Myntra via a dedicated online store, creating a one-stop shop for handloom products. Myntra will also launch a new handloom brand during its upcoming annual Brand Summit "The Tech Threads" on November 2 in Bengaluru. So far, about 49 brands associated with Myntra have pledged to be a part of this initiative and source handloom products from the weaver community. These include names like W, Biba, Peter England, Raymond, Welspun, Chennai Silks, Metro and others.

66.        Kavita Devi from Haryana has become the first ever woman wrestler from India to sign up for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). She also has the distinction of being the first Indian woman to compete in a WWE ring, as she was a featured participant in the Mae Young Classic women's tournament. She is expected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida from January 2018. The WWE Performance Center is the home of the developmental system for WWE. With seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge edit and production facilities, the Performance Center allows new recruits to hone their skills through a comprehensive program that includes in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development.

67.        Shamsher Khan (86), India's first swimmer who had participated in the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, has passed away at his native village Repalle in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh on October 15, 2017. Mr. Khan had enrolled himself in the Indian Army in 1949. He had taken part in various national swimming competitions. He won a place in the Indian Olympics contingent that had visited Australia in 1956. However, he secured 4th place in the competition. He continued to serve in the Army till he retired in 1973.

68.        Sunny Verghese, co-founder and Group CEO of Singapore-based Olam International, has been appointed as the new chairman of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Verghese is the first ever Asian CEO to be appointed as Chair in the organisation's 25 years of history. His term will begin on January 1, 2018 for a duration of two years and will succeed Paul Polman, whose term ends on 31 December 2017. The WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.

69.        India's National field hockey team has won the 10th edition of Men's Hockey Asia Cup tournament – 2017 by defeating Malaysia in the final by 2-1 at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 22. India started strongly and scored first goal through Ramandeep Singh in the first quarter and the second goal was scored by Lalit in the second quarter. The victory came to India under massive pressure from Malaysia. Pakistan won the bronze medal after edging out Korea 6-3 in the third-fourth place play-off match. The winner of this tournament qualified for the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in India.

70.        Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar has clinched the 2017 Macao Open golf tournament title to bag his 8th Asian Tour title. As a result, Bhullar etched his name on the Macao Open trophy for the second time having previously won the event in 2012. It was also Bhullar's third wire-to-wire victory of his career following the Macao Open 2012 and the Indonesia Open 2013. With this, he equalled Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa's record of most wins (8) by an Indian on the Asian Tour.

71.        Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has won the 2017 Denmark Open Superseries Badminton trophy by defeating South Korea's Lee Hyun-il in straight games 21-10, 21-5 on October 22 at Odense. With this, he bagged his third Super Series title of the year and 5th overall. It was the first time Srikanth and Lee had faced each other.

72.        Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched India's first Roll On-Roll Off (Ro-Ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch district, which will facilitate vehicular and passenger ferry services across the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. The Ghogha-Dahej Ferry Service will reduce the distance between the two coastal towns from 310 km by road to 30 km, saving time and money. The travel time will be cut by at least 5 hours. The ferry will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports. The ro-ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo that are driven on and off the ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. The wheeled cargo includes cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars. This ferry service project cost stands at Rs 614 crore.

73.        The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) Tiruchi has recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Andhra Pradesh government to develop technologies relating to banana production. As per the agreement, NRCB will be the knowledge partner in developing technologies towards value chain management, supporting banana export, organic production and waste utilisation. It will provide training, human resource development and hand hold growers and entrepreneurs to promote indigenous and commercial varieties for domestic and export markets. NRCB is an institution under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

74.        Former IB Chief Dineshwar Sharma, a 1976 batch Kerala cadre IPS officer, has been appointed as the Government of India (GoI) special representative to hold sustained dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with all stakeholders. He will hold the position of a Cabinet Secretary. As an interlocutor, he will hold peace talks with Assam's insurgent groups, including the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and will be free to decide whom to talk to. Sharma is retired as director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on December 31, 2016.

75.        The World Development Information Day (WDID) is observed every year on October 24 to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the necessity of strengthening international cooperation to solve them.

76.        Jayant Rikhye has been appointed as the new chief executive of India operations of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd (HSBC). He will take charge from 1 December and will succeed Stuart Milne. Currently, he is HSBC's international head for Asia-Pacific, which is responsible for 11 markets in the region.

77.        The Meghalaya Election department has entered the Limca Book of Records for the formation of the biggest human logo by newly-enrolled young voters of Meghalaya. Limca official Garima Manon conveyed this in a message to the office of Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer on October 24, 2017. It will feature in the forthcoming edition of the book 2018. A total of 2870 students from 113 schools, 3 colleges in the age group of 18 and 19 enrolled as new voters and formed a 75 feet by 120 feet size human logo named You 'N' I on July 1, 2017. The logo formation was part of the launching of the statewide special drive to enroll left-out voters with a special focus on first-time electors. Election to the 10th Meghalaya Assembly is expected to be held in February-March, 2018.

78.        Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's Portugal striker, has been named the 2017 Best FIFA Men's Player award for a second straight year at the 2017 award ceremony in London, England on October 23, 2017. He is four-time Ballon d'Or winner, who helped Real to a Champions League-La Liga double in 2016-17. Lieke Martens of FC Barcelona and the Netherlands won the best FIFA Women's Player award and Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane was named best men's coach and Netherlands' Sarina Wiegman the best female coach. Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2017 for his 'scorpion kick' against Crystal Palace in January 2017. Celtic won the fan award after they honoured the club's 1967 'Lisbon Lions' with a stunning 360-degree card display on the 50th anniversary of their historic European Cup win.

79.        The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a 10-member task force on Public Credit Registry (PCR) for India to improve market efficiency. The task force will be headed by M Deosthalee, former chairman of L&T Finance Holdings. The terms of reference of the task force include, reviewing the current availability of information on credit in the country, assessing gaps in India that could be filled by a comprehensive public credit registry and suggesting a "roadmap including the priority areas, for developing a transparent, comprehensive and near-real-time" public credit registry for India. The task force will also study the best international practices on public credit registry and will decide the structure of the new information system. It will submit its report by April 4, 2018.

80.        Suresh Sethi, the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd., has been appointed as the new Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). He succeeded A.P. Singh, who had been the interim MD & CEO of IPPB since January 2017. Sethi has broad international experience of over 27 years in the banking and financial services industry with Citigroup and YES Bank, across India, Kenya, the UK, Argentina and the US.

81.        The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has constituted a Commission under Article 340 of the Constitution to examine Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the central list. The four-member Commission headed by Justice G. Rohini will submit its report to the President within 12 weeks. The commission has commenced functioning on 11th October 2017, from its office at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs. On receipt of the report, the Central Government will consider ways and means for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central Government jobs and admission in Central Government Institutions amongst all strata of the OBC.

82.        Odisha will be the 'Focus State' in the mega international food event "World Food India (WFI) 2017", which is scheduled to be held at New Delhi on November 3-5. In the WFI 2017, Japan, Denmark and Germany are partner countries, and Italy & Netherlands are 'Focus Countries'. More than 200 global companies and 41 global CEOs from 30 countries will participate and will also see 21 ministerial and business delegations. Besides, 450 domestic companies and leading Research and Development (R&D) institutes along with 95 Indian industry captains are likely to participate in WFI.

83.        India's passport has been ranked 75th out of 94 countries with a visa-free score of 51, according to the 'Global Passport Power Rank 2017' by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital. The list is topped by Singapore, followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea. As per report, Singapore's passport is the most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159. Afghanistan was on bottom most position (94th) with the score of 22, while Pakistan was at 93rd Position with Iraq with the score of 26. The index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a "visa-free score" according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

84.        Girija Devi (88), the veteran Indian classical singer of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas, has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal on October 24, 2017. She was known as 'Thumri queen', who popularised the genre of semi-classical Indian music. She was conferred with all three Padma awards, and was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.

85.        Rajiv Mehrishi, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India(CAG) and former Union home secretary, has authored an e-book titled "India 2017 Yearbook" on current affairs in India. It is recently launched by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur. The e-book includes a plethora of information on important dignitaries, state policy, public schemes and important data about demographics, trade, economy and many other topics.

86.        The global conference on consumer protection has inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on October 26, 2017 with theme "Empowering Consumers in New Markets". This is the first time that an international conference on consumer protection is being organised by India for countries of the region which account for a majority of the global consumers and share common challenges and experiences. The 2-day conference will deliberate upon steps taken by Asian countries to implement the United Nations guidelines on consumer protection as well as challenges faced by consumers of financial services and e-commerce. Experts from different countries and India will present their papers and views. Twenty two countries from East, South and South-East Asia are participating in the conference. These include China, South Korea, Singapore, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

87.        Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar has been honoured with the 2017 Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award at an event in Mumbai which marked the 28th anniversary of Hridayesh Arts and the 80th birthday of veteran music composer Hridaynath Mangeshkar.

88.        Chile has been named the best country to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet in its 'Best in Travel 2018' list and is followed by South Korea, Portugal, Djibouti and New Zealand. Apart from this, Belfast and the Causeway coast of Northern Ireland has been named by Lonely Planet as the best region to visit in 2018, while Seville of Spain has been named as best city to visit in 2018.

89.        The Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) has become the newest associate member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) accepted their proposal. With this, CAP will represent the Union Territory ahead of the Pondicherry Cricket Association – Kalaimani and Pondicherry Cricket Association – Velmurugan. Now, as an associate member Puducherry will be able to take part in the Ranji Trophy as early as next season.

90.        The Sai Yok National Park (SYNP) is located in in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand and covers an area of 500 Sq. Km. The park is home to mountains, waterfalls and caves. Animal species include elephants, tiger, barking deer, sambar deer, wild pig, gibbon, Malayan porcupine, slow loris and serow. It is home to Kitti's hog-nosed bat, a rare bat species considered to be the world's smallest mammal (weighing around 2 grams).

91.        The 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference has started in Colombo, Sri Lanka along with the 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference on October 27, 2017. The three-day conference was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and will see participation from South Asia's top Judges, legal practitioners and academics. The conference provides a platform for legal professionals to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests and emerging legal trends in the South Asian countries. The conference will deal with issues like artificial intelligence, human trafficking, FDIs and environmental protection concerns. The 11th Chief Justices conference will be held tomorrow with a closed-door session attended only by the Chief Justices or their representatives.

92.        Burundi has become the first country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) with effect from October 27, 2017. According to ICC officials , a preliminary investigation launched by the prosecutor in April 2016 into possible crimes against humanity in the central African nation would continue. Burundi's withdrawal does not affect the jurisdiction of the court with respect to crimes alleged to have been committed during the time it was a state party. It must be noted that Burundi has faced deadly political turmoil since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to seek a disputed third term that he ultimately won. In 2002, the ICC was established in The Hague, Netherlands to prosecute those behind the world's worst atrocities.

93.        The 36th edition of National Games of India will be held in Goa from November 4 to 17, 2018. The Games were originally scheduled to be held in November 2016 but the Goa administration requested a postponement at the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)'s annual general meeting based on extraneous factors, mainly the State elections. The delays to the 34th and 35th editions of the Games, which were hosted by Jharkhand and Kerala respectively, affected Goa's plan to hold the mega-event.

94.        England has won their first-ever FIFA Under-17 World Cup by defeating European Champions Spain in the final by 5-2 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 28, 2017. England's goal-machine Rhian Brewster won the 'Golden Boot' with 8 goals to his credit.

95.        The world's first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China to give big boost to green energy in public transport. The tram was put into commercial operation for the first time in Tangshan, north China's Hebei Province. With water being its only emission, the tram emits no pollutants. No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius. The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.

96.        According to World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Global TB Report 2017, India topped the list of seven countries, accounting for 64% of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016. Indonesia has acquired 2nd position, followed by China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. As per new TB report, an estimated 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016, including nearly 400,000 people who were co-infected with HIV, recording a drop by 4 per cent as compared to 2015. Also, India along with China and the Russia accounted for almost of half of the 490,000, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases registered in 2016. The report pointed out that though global efforts to combat tuberculosis have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 percent, the latest picture is grim as TB remains the top infectious killer in 2016.

97.        The Jasper National Park (JNP) is located in Alberta, Canada and covers an area of 10,878 km2. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The park is home to moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, porcupine, lynx, beaver, two species of fox, marten, pika, etc.

98.        The United Nations's World Cities Day (WCD) is observed on October 31 to promote the international community's interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. This year, in 2017, the United Nations has selected the theme "Innovative Governance, Open Cities" to highlight the important role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion. The general theme of World Cities Day (WCD) is 'Better City, Better Life', while each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.