Current Affairs Update – 30-31 Oct, 2014


1. Govt cuts non-Plan expenditure by 10%,
bans creation of new posts
  • ·        
    Keeping in mind lower revenue realisation till date, the Finance
    Ministry has issued new austerity measures, including 10 per cent cut in
    non-Plan expenditure and ban on creation of new posts.
  • ·        
    “For the year 2014-15, every Ministry/Department shall effect a
    mandatory 10 per cent cut in non-Plan expenditure excluding interest payment,
    repayment of debt, Defence capital, salaries, pension and Finance Commission
    grants to the States, ” an office memorandum issued by the Expenditure
    Department of the Finance Ministry said.
  • ·        
    Even in the last few years, such measures were announced. However, it
    has never specified the amount of saving through such measures.
  • ·        
    On tour and travel, the Government has made it clear that Government
    officials will not travel in first class. “While officers are entitled to
    various classes of air travel depending on seniority, utmost economy would need
    to be observed while exercising the choice keeping the limitations of budget in
    mind. However, there would be no bookings in First Class,” it said.
  • ·        
    It also advised that in all cases of air travel, the lowest air fare
    tickets available for entitled class are to be purchased. No companion free
    ticket on both domestic and international travel is to be availed of. “Facility
    of video conferencing may be used effectively,” it said.
  • ·        
    On creation of new post, it said that there will be a ban on creation of
    Plan and Non-Plan posts. At the same time, posts that have remained vacant for
    more than a year are not to be revived except under very rare and unavoidable
    circumstances and after seeking the clearance of Expenditure Department.
  • ·        
    Giving logic for such measures, the memorandum said that these are
    intended at promoting fiscal discipline, without restricting the operational
    efficiency of the Government. “In the context of the current fiscal situation,
    there is a need to continue to rationalise expenditure and optimise available
    resources,” it said.
  • ·        
    These measures have been announced after indirect tax collection grew
    mere 5.8 per cent during first six months of the current fiscal against the
    budgeted target of 25.8 per cent.
  • ·        
    Though gross direct tax collection registered a growth of 15 per cent in
    line with the budgeted target of 15 per cent, the rate of growth for net
    collection (gross collection minus refund) was mere 7 per cent.
  • ·        
    On non-tax revenue, good news is that lower crude prices and
    de-regulation of diesel prices is expected to have a very positive impact on
    subsidy payout. However, the Government is yet to kick off disinvestment plan.

2. Xoom launches instant deposit service to
ICICI Bank accounts

  • ·        
    San Francisco headquartered digital money transfer provider Xoom
    Corporation will offer its customers an instant deposit service to send money
    to ICICI bank account holders in India.
  • ·        
    “This revolutionary service allows Xoom customers to instantly
    deposit money into their recipients’ ICICI Bank accounts, 365 days a year,
    including bank holidays,” Xoom said in a release.
  • ·        
    Instant deposits to ICICI Bank will be processed through Xoom’s
    partnership with Punjab National Bank, it added.


3. Indigenously made diagnostic kit for
Celiac disease launched
  • ·        
    A ‘first of its kind’ indigenously developed, cost-effective diagnostic
    test kit for the auto-immune Celiac disease, an intestinal disorder, was
    launched by the Science & Technology Minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday.
  • ·        
    The launch was part of a recent initiative to expand the activities of
    Department of Science & Technology into the health sector, the S&T
    Ministry stated, adding that this event follows the recent launch of a
    cost-effective injectable polio vaccine and ROTA virus vaccine about two months
  • ·        
    The diagnostic kit has been developed by the Department of Biotechnology
    in the Science & Technology Ministry with the involvement of the All-India
    Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, International Centre for Genetic
    Engineering and Biotechnology and industrial partner, J Mitra & Co, an
    official release said.

4. Bengal sets up task force to develop Sagar
Islands as tourism destination
  • ·        
    The West Bengal Government today set up a task force to develop tourism
    across two beaches in the Sagar Islands, a deltaic region some 140 km from
    Kolkata, in the South 24 Parganas district. A deep sea port will also be coming
    up at Sagar.
  • ·        
    “Mamata Banerjee has undertaken a business trip to the islands,
    accompanied by a number of industrialists, with the aim of seeking investment
    in tourism and infrastructure development,” the Trinamool Congress website
    maintained. The task force will also explore possibilities in sea and river
    tourism i.e., inland water transportation.
  • ·        
    Banerjee, who named three virgin beaches – Rupsagar, Dheusagar,
    Bhorsagar – during her visit on Thursday, said two of these will be developed
    for tourism purposes.
  • ·        
    “Rupsagar and Dheusagar beaches will be developed for tourism. We have
    formed a task force to develop the tourism potential of the area,” she said.
  • ·        
    According to the Chief Minister, a deep sea port will be coming up at
    the third beach, called Bhorsagar.

5. Devendra Fadnavis sworn in as Chief
Minister of Maharashtra

  • ·        
    Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis was
    on 31 October 2014 sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The oath
    ceremony was held at a gala public function at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai,
  • ·        
    Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao administered the oath of office and
    secrecy to Fadnavis. The oath ceremony in Wankhede Stadium was witnessed by
    over 30000 people.
  • ·        
    Along with CM, the Cabinet ministers were also sworn. These were Eknath
    Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde, Prakash Mehta,
    Vishnu Sawra, and Chandrakant Patil.
  • ·        
    Besides, Dilip Kamble and Vidya Thakur were sworn in as ministers of
  • ·        
    Fadnavis was appointed as CM of the State after he was elected leader by
    the legislative assembly members of the BJP.

6. Government announced 5 lakh rupees
compensation to kin of 1984 Sikh riots victims
  • ·        
    Union Government on 30 October 2014 announced compensation of 5 lakh
    rupees for kin of victims who were killed during the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
  • ·        
    This compensation to families of the victims of the riots will be other
    than ex-gratia payment delivered to them earlier by government or any agencies.
    This decision of government will cost 166 crore rupees to the government.
  • ·        
    As per records, nearly 3325 people were killed in the communal riots
    that were triggered by the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
    in 1984 by her body guards, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. Of 3325 killed in
    the riots, 2733 were resident of Delhi while others belonged to Uttar Pradesh,
    Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.
  • ·        
    The order was passed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The decision
    was taken after a high-level meeting where issue of compensation to civilian
    victims of communal, terrorist or Naxal violence was discussed.
  • ·        
    Apart from this, the government during the meeting also enhanced the
    compensation to civilian victims of communal, terrorist or Naxal violence from
    3 lakh rupees to five lakh rupees.

7. Foundation for World’s tallest statue of
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel laid in Gujarat

  • ·        
    Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on 31 October 2014 laid
    foundation stone of the Statue of Unity – the world’s tallest statue of Iron
    man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The foundation stone was laid down on
    the occasion of Sardar Patel’s 139th birth anniversary.
  • ·        
    The Statue of Unity – the world’s tallest monument in respect of iron
    man of India will be set up on an island Sadhubet at Sardar Sarovar Dam near
    Kevadia Colony in Bharuch district of the state of Gujarat.
  • ·        
    As per plan, the project will be completed at the cost of 2979 crore
    rupees and the work of the project will be completed in 46 months. Earlier on
    27 October 2014, the Gujarat Government awarded the work order of the project
    to leading engineering company, Larsen and Toubro.

About the Statute
  • ·        
    The statute will be 182 meter tall and its main structure will be
    completed at an expense of 1345 crore rupees, a part of 2979 crore rupees is
    granted for the project. Rest money will be spent on 
  • ·        
    235 crore rupees will be spent on the construction of exhibition hall and
    convention centre.
  • ·        
    83 crore rupees will be spent on the bridge connecting the memorial to
    the main land.
  • ·        
    657 crore rupees would be spent to maintain the structure for next 15
    years after its completion.

About Statue of Unity
  • ·        
    Statue of Unity – the world’s tallest statue of Iron man of India Sardar
    Vallabhbhai Patel is a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This
    project was launched on 31 October 2013, on Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary by
    Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  • ·        
    For development of the project, Modi launched a country wide campaign to
    collect iron to build the Statue of Unity and as per Gujarat Government, iron
    was collected from around seven lakh villages across the nation.

8. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas observed on 31
October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel
  • ·        
    Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed on 31 October 2014 to commemorate the
    139th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. 
  • ·        
    The decision to observe 31 October as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National
    Integration Day was taken by the Union Government to reiterate India’s strength
    and buoyancy against adversaries.
  • ·        
    The day was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who paid
    floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Patel and also flagged off the Run For
    Unity in New Delhi.
  • ·        
    The Run for Unity campaign is the key highlight to pay tribute to the
    efforts made by Sardar Patel to unite India. A nationwide marathon took place
    on the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
  • ·        
    During the occasion, the PM praised Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is
    also known as the Iron Man of India who gave Ek Bharat (United India) and
    requested the people to work towards creating Shresth Bharat (Foremost India).

About Sardar Patel
  • •      
    He was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India.
  • •      
    He is credited for the integration of over 500 independent princely
    states in 1947-49 from the British colonial provinces by Independence Act 1947.
  • •      
    He is known as the Iron Man of India or Bismarck of India and he is also
    remembered as the Patron Saint of India’s civil servants for establishing
    modern all-India services.

9. SunEdison signed MoU with Rajasthan
Government to set up 5000MW solar projects
  • ·        
    SunEdison Inc. on 28 October 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) with the Rajasthan Government to establish 5000 MW capacity of solar
    power in Rajasthan in next five years.
  • ·        
    The MoU comes at an opportune time following the Rajasthan’s Government
    new Solar Policy which aspires to create 25 GW of solar capacity in the state
    in the next few years.

of the agreement

  • •      
    SunEdison intends to establish 5 GW of capacity in the form of multiple
    mega solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, with the expected capacity of each mega
    solar project at 500 megawatts (MW).
  • •      
    Under the project, multiple mega solar power projects will be set up on
    estimate 25000 acres of land in Rajasthan.
  • •      
    The company will also work with the state government to design a
    programme for slowly and steady shifting of around 11 lakh electric irrigation
    pumps to solar pumps which will not only provide power to the farmers to pump
    water during the day time but also feeding electricity to feeder when not

10. India-Saudi Arabia agreed to cooperate in
hydrocarbon sector
  • ·        
    India and Saudi Arabia on 29 October 2014 agreed to cooperate in
    different areas of hydrocarbon sector. The areas include strategic reserves,
    petrochemical conservation, research and development, refineries and energy
    efficiency programmes. Saudi Arabia has assured India of all cooperation on
    trade and investment in hydrocarbon sector.
  • ·        
    The agreement was reached in bilateral energy consultations held in
    Riyadh between India and Saudi Arabia. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra
    Pradhan and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Niami represented
    the two countries in the consultations.
  • ·        
    Indian delegation that visited Riyadh for bilateral consultations
    comprised of Dharmendra Pradhan (as head), senior government officials and
    Chairmen of IOCL, HPCL and GAIL.

11. Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched
Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana
  • ·        
    Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 28 October 2014 launched Vanbandhu
    Kalyan Yojana (VKY) for welfare of Tribal people and particularly to lift human
    development indices of tribal people. The scheme was launched during the
    meeting of the Tribal Welfare Ministers of States/UTs.
  • ·        
    The scheme was launched on pilot basis in one block each of the States
    of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa,
    Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Highlights of the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana
  • •      
    Under the scheme, Union Government will provide 10 crore rupees for each
    block for the development of various facilities for the Tribal people. These
    blocks have been selected on the recommendations of the concerned States and
    have very low literacy rate.
  • •      
    The scheme mainly focuses on bridging infrastructural gaps and gap in
    human development indices between Schedule tribes and other social groups.
  • •      
    VKY also envisages to focus on convergence of different schemes of
    development of Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments with
    outcome oriented approach.
  • •      
    Initially the blocks having at least 33 percent of tribal population in
    comparison to total population of the block will be targeted under the scheme.

12. U.P. inks MoUs with firms for
Lucknow-Agra expressway
  • ·        
    The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday signed memorandum of
    understanding (MoU) with five firms for construction of the Rs.15,000-crore
    Lucknow-Agra Expressway.
  • ·        
    The work on the project is likely to begin next month with Chief
    Minister Akhilesh Yadav laying the foundation stone of the six-lane greenfield
    mega road project.
  • ·        
    “We have signed MoU with five infrastructure companies for the five
    various segments of the 302-km-long expressway that would connect Lucknow with
    Agra…Once complete, the project would be India’s biggest six-lane, access
    controlled expressway,” UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA)
    Chief Executive Officer Navneet Sehgal told journalists here.
  • ·        
    UPEIDA, which is executing the project, has decided to give bonus to
    companies that complete the construction work before schedule, while those who
    fail to meet the deadline would be penalised. “The idea behind this is to
    fast-track the project…The expressway would give boost to economic and
    industrial development of the state,” Mr. Sehgal added.
  • ·        
    While Rs.11,500 crore would be spent on building the expressway,
    Rs.3,500 crore would be given as compensation towards land acquisition for the
    mega road project that passes through 10 districts – Agra, Firozabad, Mainpuri,
    Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Kanpur City, Unnao, Hardoi and Lucknow.

13. Warren Anderson, wanted in Bhopal gas
tragedy, dies

  • ·        
    Former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson, wanted in India in
    connection with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy has died aged 92.
  • ·        
    Anderson died on September 29 at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida
    but his death was not announced by his family and was confirmed from public
    records, the New York Times reported.
  • ·        
    The Indian government made multiple requests to extradite him, and
    officially labelled him a fugitive. A judge also called him an “absconder”.
  • ·        
    Anderson reached Bhopal four days after the accident, where he was
    immediately arrested. But after quickly paying bail, he never returned to face
  • ·        
    The Bhopal horror began around midnight on December 2-3, 1984, when a
    chemical reaction in a plant that made insecticides caused a leak of toxic
    gases that swept through the surrounding community.
  • ·        
    The Madhya Pradesh government confirmed 3,787 deaths as a result. More
    than a half million people were injured, with many dying from illnesses,
    including lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease.
  • ·        
    In 1989, Union Carbide paid USD 470 million to the Indian government to
    settle litigation stemming from the disaster.

14. India’s universal healthcare rollout to
cost $26 bn

  • ·        
    India’s universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed benefits to
    a sixth of the world’s population will cost an estimated Rs. 1.6 lakh crore
    ($26 billion) over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said.
  • ·        
    Under the National Health Assurance Mission, Prime Minister Narendra
    Modi’s government would provide all citizens with free drugs and diagnostic
    treatment, as well as insurance cover to treat serious ailments.
  • ·        
    The proposed plan would be rolled out in phases from April 2015 and will
    cover the entire population by March 2019, C.K. Mishra, an additional secretary
    at the health ministry, told Reuters. When the entire population is covered, it
    would cost an estimated $11.4 billion annually.
  • ·        
    “If you want to deliver the service, that is what it will
    take,” Mishra said, disclosing for the first time an expert group’s cost
    estimates that will be considered by the finance ministry for inclusion in the
    government’s spending plans.
  • ·        
    Healthcare experts caution that it could take decades before India’s 1.2
    billion people are adequately covered and that the costs of provision could
    face significant upward pressure.
  • ·        
    If approved, India would need to drastically raise its healthcare
    spending. In the current financial year, the federal budget allocated about $5
    billion to healthcare.


15. SAYes Summit in Bangalore
  • ·        
    Speaking at the Southý Asian Young Entrepreneurs Summit (SAYes) here,
    Pollock said, “The network that we have built here in Bangalore over the last
    two days will only grow. You will be the catalysts that break through and break
    down the barriers to connectivity in this region.”
  • ·        
    SAYes programme aims to foster regional economic connectivity in South
    Asia through entrepreneurship.
  • ·        
    The US Consulate General Chennai and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)
    Bangalore Chapter partnered for the programme which saw 25 young entrepreneurs
    from Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka attending it.
  • ·        
    The two-day summit was held at the Infosys and IIM-Bangalore campuses
    and it provided a vibrant and diverse platform for networking and mentorship.

16. China overtook US to become the world’s
largest economy in PPP terms
  • ·        
    China in October 2014 overtook the US to become the world’s largest
    economy in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms. This was revealed by the
    October 2014 update of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • ·        
    According to IMF estimation, as of October 2014, China’s GDP in PPP
    terms stood at 17.6 trillion US dollars and constituted 16.48 percent of the
    World GDP.
  • ·        
    On the other hand, the US GDP on PPP basis stood at 17.4 trillion US
    dollars and constituted 16.28 percent of World GDP.
  • ·        
    India stood at the third place in the global economy and its GDP on PPP
    basis was 7277.279 billion US dollars which is 6.8 percent of world GDP.
  • ·        
    Earlier in 2005, China economy was less than half the size of the US
    economy. Now the IMF projects that China economy will be 20 percent bigger than
    that of the US by 2019.
  • ·        
    China remained the biggest foreign holder of the US government debt
    which has holding of an estimated 1.27 trillion US dollars of US treasury

17. Cargo rocket Antares of NASA carrying
supplies to ISS exploded after launch
  • ·        
    The Antares, an unmanned two-stage cargo rocket carrying supplies to the
    International Space Station (ISS) exploded just seconds after the launch. The
    explosion took place at Wallops Island site of Virginia, the US on 28 October
  • ·        
    In the incident, the first stage of Orbital Science’s two-stage Antares
    rocket burst into flames as it rose from its launch pad.
  • ·        
    The two-stage Antares rocket was carrying 32 satellites, company’s
    Cygnus capsule and food for the astronauts to ISS. According to NASA though no
    one was injured but 5500 pounds of cargo was destroyed. The launch was worth
    125 million pounds.
  • ·        
    This was the Orbital Science’s third official cargo mission to ISS for
    NASA under the terms of 1.9 billion US dollars contract under which the company
    was to send eight delivery missions. The Orbital Science Company first launched
    Antares rocket on its maiden flight in April 2013.
  • ·        
    The explosion did not caused any immediate issues for the ISS since the
    Russian Space Agency’s robotic Progress 57 spacecraft was launched successfully
    from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 29 October 2014.

18. Sweden became the first European Union
country to recognize the State of Palestine
  • ·        
    Sweden on 30 October 2014 became the first European Union (EU) country
    to officially recognise the State of Palestine.
  • ·        
    Israel protested against the Sweden decision and the Israeli Foreign
    Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador shortly after the announcement.
  • ·        
    130 other nations that already recognise the Palestinian State include
    Hungary, Slovakia and Poland although these three countries took this step
    before joining the EU. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European
    nation to recognise the Palestinian State.
  • ·        
    Palestinians are seeking to create a state in the Israeli-occupied West
    Bank and in Gaza with East Jerusalem as their capital. They also demanded that
    Israel withdraws from occupied Palestinian territories.
  • ·        
    With the failure of direct peace negotiations with Israel, Palestinian
    authorities tried to approach the international community to recognise
    Palestinian sovereignty.

19. Scientists created coldest ever cubic
meter in Universe
  • ·        
    An international team of scientists in the month of October 2014 claimed
    to have set the world record for creating coldest cubic meter in the Universe.
  • ·        
    Scientists are working on the cryostat that’s part of the Cryogenic
    Underground Observatory for Rare Events experiment (CUORE) cooled an 880-pound
    block of copper to a temperature of six milliKelvins.
  • ·        
    Dr. Karsten Heeger, director of Yale’s Arthur W. Wright Laboratory, has
    been involved in the CUORE collaboration, which conducts the cryogenics
    research. The collaboration was based at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in
    Italy. It involves 130 scientists from the U.S., Italy, China, Spain, France,
    and other countries
  • ·        
    It is the first experiment ever to cool a mass and a volume of this size
    to a temperature this close to absolute zero (0 Kelvin). The cubic metre (35
    cubic feet) of copper weighing 400 kilograms was brought to a temperature of
    six milliKelvins or minus 273.144 Celsius (minus 459.66 Fahrenheit).
  • ·        
    Absolute zero is considered as the lowest possible temperature. It is
    -273.15 C or zero on the Kelvin scale. It was named after 19th-century Irish engineer
    and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, credited with establishing the
    correct value of the temperature.

20. Taiwan banned officials from studying in
  • ·        
    Taiwan on 30 October 2014 banned its government officials from higher
    studies in mainland China for national security reasons. The ban is applied on
    the officials who have an access to classified information as well as
    ministers, mayors and country magistrates. The decision was made in backdrop of
    strained relations between the two sides.
  • ·        
    As per reports, Taiwan is concerned that confidential information
    available to high-level government officials might be leaked in theses and
    research papers. This ban was implemented in accordance to the revised
    regulations in view of national security.
  • ·        
    According to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) the ban applies to
    senior civil servants and officials whose work is related to national security,
    ministers without portfolio, heads of cities and counties, heads of Taiwan’s
    special municipalities, personnel from the National Security Bureau and the
    Ministry of National Defense.

21. ECI elected as Chair of General Assembly
of AAEA for the next two years
  • ·        
    The General Assembly of Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA)
    on 29 October 2014 elected Election Commission of India (ECI) as Chair of the
    organisation for the next two years.  ECI
    will host the 2014 General Assembly Meeting of AAEA in New Delhi.
  • ·        
    ECI was represented by V.S. Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner of
    India and Election Commissioners H.S. Brahma and Dr. Nasim Zaidi.
  • ·        
    Besides, the General Assembly also elected the Philippines as Vice Chair
    and designated it as host for the next General Assembly. Mongolia, Bhutan and
    S. Korea (outgoing Chair) were also elected as Executive Members.
  • ·        
    The General Assembly also admitted the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan
    and Maldives as new members.
  • ·        
    India is a founding member of AAEA which was established in 1998. The
    Organisation has 20 member-countries.
  • ·        
    Besides India, other members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
    Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives,
    Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Russian
    Federation, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

22. Malala won 2014 World’s Children prize

  • ·        
    Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 World’s Children Prize on 29 October 2014
    after a global vote involving millions of children. She received the prize at a
    ceremony in Mariestad near Stockholm.
  • ·        
    Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history was
    nominated for the 2014 World’s Children’s Prize for her courageous and
    dangerous fight for girls’ right to education. She received 50000 US dollar as
  • ·        
    At present, Malala has her own fund, the Malala Fund, which was created
    to help girls get to school.
  • ·        
    According to statement of the organisation, Millions of children have
    voted to award Malala this year’s World’s Children’s Prize for the rights of
    the child. 

2014 World’s Children’s honorary awards
  • ·        
    Indira Ranamagar and John Wood won the 2014 World’s Children’s honorary
    awards. The honorary awardees were given 25000 US dollar.
  • ·        
    John Wood was honoured by the World’s Children’s Prize 2014 for his
    15-year fight for children’s right to education. John quit his job as a manager
    at the Microsoft company to fulfill his dream: to fight poverty by giving
    children all over the world the chance to go to school.
  • ·        
    Indira Ranamagar was honoured by the World’s Children’s Prize 2014 for
    her 20-year struggle for prisoners’ children in Nepal. She grew up in extreme
    poverty and had to fight to be able to go to school. Even as a young girl she
    knew that she wanted to help other people who had hard lives.

About World Children’s prize
  • ·        
    World Children’s prize was created in 2000 and is run by the World’s
    Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF), based in Mariefred, Sweden. The Foundation
    is independent of all political and religious affiliation and is a non-profit
    organisation that runs with support from bodies including the Swedish Postcode
    Lottery and Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

23. The Festival of India inaugurated in
  • ·        
    The Festival of India, year-long festival was inaugurated on 27 October
    2014 in Tokyo, Japan. The festival was inaugurated by Union Minister of State
    for Culture and Tourism, Shripad Naik and Tourism Minister of Japan Akihiro
  • ·        
    The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi during his visit to Japan in
    August 2014 announced the Festival of India in Japan will be conducted to
    enhanced people to people contacts between the two countries.
  • ·        
    The Festival of India represents major cultural expedition of India into
    Japan on a large scale for the first time since 1988, almost 26 years ago. It
    is one of the largest events of India conducted in Japan Covering 20 cities.

24. Facebook sets up India Client Council

  • ·        
    World’s largest social networking site Facebook has set up the India
    Client Council to offer a forum to brands to share ideas about the future of
  • ·        
    The Council includes companies like Tata Motors, Flipkart, Airtel,
    P&G, Madison World, ICICI Bank, HUL, Micromax and Future Group among
  • ·        
    Apart from India, Facebook has global, EMEA, Brazil and UK councils.
  • ·        
    “There are now more than 100 million people in India connected through
    Facebook and in the past year, we have invested heavily in creating solutions
    that are tailored to the needs of people and advertisers here,” Facebook India
    Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy said.
  • ·        
    This is the next step in the efforts to better serve partners — the
    India Client Council, she added.

25. Apple’s Cook says ‘proud to be gay’

  • ·        
    Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly came out as gay, saying in a
    magazine article that he wanted to support others who find it difficult to reveal
    their sexual orientation.
  • ·        
    “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay
    among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook said in an article he
    wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek published on Thursday.
  • ·        
    “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realise how much I’ve
    benefited from the sacrifice of others,” he said.
  • ·        
    Cook’s statement makes public a fact long known but rarely discussed
    openly in California’s close-knit Silicon Valley technology community.
  • ·        
    A popular gay and lesbian magazine, Out, placed Cook at the top of its
    annual top 50 list of gay people in 2013. 
  • “As the first CEO of a Fortune
    500 company to reveal he is gay, Tim helps make the business world a bit less
    homophobic,” Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of gay rights
    organisation DignityUSA told Reuters in an email.

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