Current Affairs Update – 17-20 October, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 17, 18, 19 & 20 October, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

Financial & Banking
News
Centre gives nod for banks to
sell more small savings schemes

  • In order to encourage savings,
    the Centre has allowed banks, including top three private sector lenders, to
    accept deposits under various small savings schemes such as National Savings
    Certificate (NSC), recurring deposits and monthly income plan.
  • Until now, most of the small
    savings schemes were sold through post offices.
  • According to a recent government
    notification, banks can also sell National Savings Time Deposit Scheme 1981,
    National Savings (Monthly Income Account) Scheme 1987, National Savings
    Recurring Deposit Scheme 1981 and NSC VIII issue.
  • As per the notification, all
    public sector banks and top three in the private sector — ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank
    and Axis Bank — to receive subscription from the expanded portfolios.
  • So far, these banks were allowed
    to receive subscription under Public Provident Fund, Kisan Vikas Patra-2014,
    Sukanya Samriddhi Account and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme-2004.
  • Last month, the government kept
    unchanged interest rates on small savings schemes for the October-December
    quarter Since April last year, interest rates on all small saving schemes have
    been recalibrated on a quarterly basis.
  • Investments in the public
    provident fund (PPF) scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8 per cent while Kisan
    Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.5 per cent and mature in 115 months.
  • The one for girl child savings,
    Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme will offer 8.3 per cent annually. Similarly,
    the investment on 5-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme will yield 8.3 per cent
    and is paid quarterly.
  • On the basis of the decision of
    the government, interest rates for small savings schemes are to be notified on
    a quarterly basis since April 1, 2016, the Finance Ministry said while
    notifying the rates for third quarter of financial year 2017-18.
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MCX launches India’s first
commodity options in gold

  • The Multi-Commodity Exchange of
    India Ltd (MCX) on Tuesday launched India’s first commodity options in gold,
    giving stakeholders a new set of financial instruments to hedge their price
    risks.
  • Launched by Union Finance
    Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on the auspicious day of Dhanteras, the gold
    options received an encouraging response on Day 1.
  • The total traded notional value
    for gold options stood at ₹1,259 crore, while the total traded volume totalled
    4,220 lots (1 kg each).
  • MCX has currently launched a Gold
    Option contract, keeping Gold (1 Kg) futures as the underlying asset, with
    expiry on November 28, 2017 and January 29, 2018.
  • The European-styled Gold options
    are hedge-friendly and physically settled, which means on exercise at
    expiration the options position develops into a corresponding underlying MCX 1
    KG Gold futures position at the strike price of the exercised options.
  • 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.
Oil minister Pradhan launches
Piped Natural Gas project in Odisha

  • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
    on Friday launched supply of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) project under ‘Pradhan
    Mantri Urja Ganga’ (PMUG) in Odisha.
  • With this, GAIL started supply of
    environment-friendly PNG to 255 houses in Nalco Nagar located at
    Chandrasekharpur area in the state capital here. The supply of PNG to a limited
    households was done ahead of its schedule in March 2018.
  • PMUG will pass through five
    states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The
    longest stretch of the project, which is about 769 km, will be built in Odisha.
  • “This pipeline will lead to
    industrial development of eastern India. Based on this gas-based pipeline, we
    are also planning to commission Talcher Fertiliser plant and Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi is likely to lay foundation stone for this project in coming
    November”, Pradhan said.
  • City Gas Distribution (CGD)
    projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the
    Jagdishpur — Haldia & Bokaro — Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL).
  • In Odisha, the Natural Gas
    Pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore and
    will have a length of about 769 km covering 13 districts, like Bhadrak, Jajpur,
    Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Debagarh, Jagatsinghpur,
    Cuttack, Khurda, Puri and Kendrapara.
Assam to host Global Investors
Summit in February, 2018

  • Assam would be hosting its first
    Global Investors Summit in Guwahati from 3- 4 February 2018. It would be
    inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The state government plans to
    utilise the event to showcase Assam’s business potential with attractive
    policies in order to attract more investments. The decision was taken during
    the state’s cabinet meeting, which was held recently.
  • Besides this, cabinet also
    approved amendments to Preferential Purchase Policy to boost businesses of the
    micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
  • Speaking on the same, the state’s
    Commerce and Industry Minister, Chandra Mohan Patowary said, “Under the
    new policy, it will be made mandatory for all government and semi-government
    offices to make at least 25 per cent of all purchases from local MSMEs.” He
    added saying that the existing policy was not being actively pursued and the
    changes are expected to make it more effective.
  • The cabinet also decided to set
    up an industrial zone on 160 sq km, which will be converted into a land bank.
  • Further, a new sugar policy was
    also approved by the cabinet to facilitate setting up of sugar mills in the
    state and encourage sugarcane farming to make the state a hub of sugar
    production.
Gujarat signs MoUs worth 10,400
Cr with 3 companies under Make in Gujarat

  • The state government of Gujarat
    on 17 October 2017 signed 3 MoUs worth Rs 10,400 Cr with three companies that
    have the potential of creating 21,300 job opportunities in the state.
  • The MoU’s were signed under the
    Make in Gujarat initiative in the presence of the state’s Chief Minister, Vijay
    Rupani. The three companies that signed the MoUs include United Phosphorous
    Limited (UPL), Grasim Industries Limited (GIL) and Arvind Limited.
First MoU

  • The state signed a MoU worth Rs
    6000 Cr with United Phosphorous Limited. According to the pact, the company
    will set up a plant to produce agro-chemicals and intermediates at Gujarat
    Industrial Development Corporation’s (GIDC) Chemical Zone in Dahej.
  • The GIDC would be providing the
    company with a 6 lakh sqm land to set up the chemical plant.
  • This project will provide skill
    development and employment opportunities to more than 10,000 unemployed youth.
  • UPL has big chemical projects in
    nine different countries including China and France.
Second MoU

  • The Industries and Mines
    Department of Gujarat has signed a MoU worth Rs 4100 Cr with Grasim Industries
    Ltd (GIL) who are producers of manmade fibre to set up two fibre manufacturing
    plants.
  • The plants will be set up at
    Kharach-Kosamba and the other at Vilayat in Bharuch district.
  • The two units are expected to
    generate employment opportunities for around 1300 people.
  • The units will be operational by
    2018 and 2020.
  • As a result of these units, there
    will be enough opportunities to develop other small enterprises and the transport
    sector.
Third MoU

  • The final MoU worth Rs 300 Cr was
    signed with textile manufacturer Arvind Limited. The apparel company has agreed
    to set up a garment manufacturing unit at Dehgam near Gandhinagar.
  • The company plans to start the
    project by September 2018.
  • The unit aims to achieve an
    annual production of 2.40 Cr of shirts and jeans.
  • The manufacturing unit has the
    potential to create 10,000 jobs, among which 80 per cent will be for women, as
    a majority of women are employed in the Garment and Apparel sector.
  • The MoU was been signed days
    after the state government announced its new garments and apparel policy.
Income Tax Department launches
‘online chat’ to address taxpayer’s queries

  • The Income Tax Department has
    launched an online chat service for taxpayers to answer their basic queries and
    doubts relating to direct tax issues.
  • The initiative is aimed at
    enhancing taxpayer services in the country. A team of experts from the
    department and independent tax practitioners has been deputed to answer the
    general queries of a taxpayer.
  • Users can enter the chat room by
    providing their email-id and ask questions as a guest.
  • The feature also gives an option
    to the taxpayers for emailing the entire chat to their email ids for future
    reference.
  • The chat however, comes with a
    precautionary note that reads, “The replies are based on the opinion of the
    expert and in no manner it should be interpreted as the clarification by the
    Income-tax Department on any matter.”
  • More features would be added to
    the online chat system based on the feedback received by the department.
  • In 2016, the I-T department had
    set up a new dedicated directorate within its establishment to monitor and
    resolve grievances of tax payers.
India signs MoC with Japan on
Technical Intern Training Programme

  • India on 17 October 2017 signed a
    Memorandum of Cooperation (MoU) with Japan on Technical Intern Training
    Programme (TITP).
  • The MoC was signed by Dharmendra
    Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development
    and Entrepreneurship and Katsunobu Kato, Japanese Minister of Health, Labour
    and Welfare of Japan at the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare in Tokyo,
    Japan.
  • The pact was signed during the
    visit of the Union Minister Skill Development Minister to Tokyo.
Key Highlights

  • Under the programme, India will
    send 3-lakh youth to Japan as technical interns for on-the-job training for a
    period of 3-5 years.
  • The MoC is expected to boost
    bilateral cooperation between India and Japan in the field of skill
    development.
  • India is the third country with
    which Japan has signed the MoC as per the requirements of the Technical Intern
    Training Act scheduled to enter into force in November 2017.
  • According to Japan’s official
    data for 2016, approximately 2.3 lakh technical intern trainees from multiple
    countries are on training in the island nation.
  • In 2016, about 1, 08,709
    technical interns entered Japan from various partner countries such as Vietnam,
    China and Indonesia that account for large numbers.
  • The MoC is an extension of the
    bilateral joint statement issued during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister
    Shinzo Abe to India in September 2017, in which both Prime Ministers expressed
    confidence that synergy between Japan’s advanced technology and India’s rich
    human resources can transform both countries into new centres of production in
    the global industrial network.
Chhattisgarh government reduces
interest on loan given to women under Saksham Yojna

  • The state government of
    Chhattisgarh has reduced the rate of interest on loan given to women and their
    self-help groups under Saksham Yojna.
  • The rate of interest on loans has
    been cut from 6.5 per cent to 5 per cent to benefit more women and their SHGs
    under the Yojna. The decision was taken by the state’s Women and Child
    Development Minister, Ramsheela Sahu while chairing a meeting of the governing
    body of Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh (CMK) at Raipur.
  • The initiative will allow the
    women and SHGs to easily avail the loan facility for self-employment and
    thereby become self-dependent.
  •  CMK is operated by Chhattisgarh’s women and
    child development department to disburse easy-term loans to women and SHGs.
  • Loans worth Rs 1.04 Cr have
    already been disbursed to about 279 SHGs in the current fiscal year 2017-18
    till September under various schemes of CMK.
  • Besides this, under the Yojna,
    loans worth Rs 72 lakh have been distributed to about 111 SHGs during the same
    period.
EPFO launches new facility to
link UAN with Aadhaar online

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund
    Organisation (EPFO) on 18 October 2017 launched a new online facility for its
    members to make it easier for them to link their 12-digit unique Aadhaar number
    with their Universal Account Number.
  • The new initiative will
    facilitate the EPFO members to link their respective Universal Account Number
    (UAN) and other relevant details with Aadhaar online. The main objective behind
    the development is to ensure better and speedy EPFO services.
  • The facility has been made
    available at EPFO’s official website.
News related to India & states
PM Narendra Modi dedicates first
ever All India Institute of Ayurveda to nation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
    17 October 2017 dedicated the All India Institute of Ayurveda to the nation on
    the occasion of National Ayurveda Day.
  • On the same occasion, Prime
    Minister released the “Ayurvedic Standard Treatment Guidelines”. developed by
    the Ministry of AYUSH.
  • The Prime Minister also gave away
    the Yoga Award to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune, which was
    announced on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.
  • The first ever All India
    Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) is set up along the lines of AIIMS and has an NABH
    Accredited Hospital and an Academic Block..
  • It has been set up with a total
    campus area of 10.015 acres with a budget of Rs 157 Crore.
  • Out Patient Services will be
    provided in the hospital block of the AIIA and medicines will be given free of
    cost.
  • Currently, clinical specialties
    running in the hospital block are Neurological Disease Care Unit,
    Musculoskeletal Care Unit, Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders Care Unit, Yoga,
    Panchakarma Clinic, Kriya Kalpa, Diabetic Retinopathy Clinic, Kshara Evum
    Anushastra Karma and Infertility Clinic.
  • It also has pathology,
    biochemistry, microbiology and radiology laboratories/diagnosis facilities.
  • The indoor patient department has
    provision for 200 beds.
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Indo-Russia Joint Exercise INDRA
2017 begins

  • Exercise INDRA 2017, the first
    ever tri services joint exercise between Indian and Russian Armed Forces, began
    on 19 October 2017 in the Eastern Military District of Russia. The exercise
    will be held till 29 October 2017.
  • Previously, Exercise INDRA has
    been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two
    countries. This year, the exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three Services
    of the Armed Forces- Army, Navy & Air Force.
  • Exercise INDRA-2017 is being
    conducted at the 249th Combined Army Range Sergeevisky and in the Sea of Japan
    near Vladivostok.
President Ram Nath Kovind to
inaugurate International Gita Mahotsav in November 2017

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar
    Lal Khattar on 17 October 2017 announced to organise International Gita
    Mahotsav in Kurukshetra, Haryana on 25 November 2017. The inauguration of the
    Mahotsav will be done by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • The event will be organised in
    collaboration with Mauritius. Moreover, Uttar Pradesh will be also associated
    with it. The objective behind the Mahotsav is to spread the message of Gita to
    the world.
  • Vaishvik Path of Bhagvad Gita
    will also be held at Brahma Sarovar and Jyotisar, the birthplace of Bhagvad
    Gita.
  • This is the first International
    Gita Mahotsav which will also see the launch of two coffee table books named
    ‘Incredible Kurukshetra’ in English and ‘Atulya Kurukshetra’ in Hindi.
  • The festival will witness exhibitions
    by different cultural, spiritual, educational and social organisations,
    rangoli, painting and photography competitions, Gita Pustak Mela,etc.
The Mahotsav will conclude on 3
December 2017.
Assam Government launches new
Tourism policy

  • The state government of Assam on
    19 October 2017 launched a new Tourism policy- ‘Tourism Policy of Assam 2017’
    with the aim of increasing tourist inflow in the state two to three folds
    within the next five years.
  • While releasing the policy, the
    Assam Tourism Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Tourism shall be accorded
    industry status in the state and all facilities and incentives applicable to
    industries shall be made available to Tourism industry also.
  • The new policy will be effective
    starting January 2018 till December 2022.
  • The policy was approved by the
    state cabinet on 17 October 2017.
  • The policy paper is aimed at
    creating a policy framework to move tourism into a major economic sector of
    Assam, increasing the inflow of tourists’ by at least two to three folds in the
    next five years.
  • Its main focus is to make Assam a
    film making destination by offering a range of incentives to movie producers to
    come and shoot in the state.
  • It will also encourage the
    private sector to pro-actively participate and invest in tourist places in the
    tourism sector.
WCD Ministry launches ‘women for
women’: #IamThatWoman campaign

  • The Ministry of Women and Child
    Development on 17 October 2017 launched an online campaign on ‘women for
    women’: #IamThatWoman in an attempt to end gender bias in women against women.
  • The WCD Ministry aims to
    highlight through the campaign, the various aspects of women standing by and
    for other women. The Ministry has also urged people to shun stereotypes
    associated with women harming other women.
  • In order to make this campaign a
    nation-wide one, social media users such as those with twitter and facebook
    accounts have been encouraged to tag and share stories of women helping women
    with a photograph and post online with the hashtag #IamThatWoman.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the WCD
    Minister, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that when a woman has the support of her
    womanhood then she can be unstoppable. She further stated that through the
    campaign, they aim to shed light on the enormous contributions made by women
    for women.
  • Giving examples to explain her
    point, the Minister said, a mother-in-law can be her daughter-in-law’s best
    companion. It is time we did away with the ‘in-law’ in ‘daughter-in-law’.
FDDI gets ‘National Importance’
status, can now award degrees

  • The Footwear Design and
    Development Institute (FDDI) was on 16 October 2017 declared as an ‘Institute
    of National Importance’ under the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry by
    the virtue of the Footwear Design & Development Institute Act, 2017.
  • The provisions of the FDDI Act
    came into force with effect from 16 October 2017.
  • With this, the institute can now
    award degrees to the students. Moreover, Union Government will also undertake
    upgradation of FDDI to a position of eminence to enable the Institute to
    effectively serve the industry.
Jaipur and Srinagar Airports
rated Best Airports in the World

  • The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport
    bagged the first and second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million
    passengers on 17 October
  • 2017 in Airport Service Quality
    (ASQ)-Airport Council International (ACI) survey.
  • Jaipur won the Best Airport in
    the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers for the second
    consecutive year.  It had received the
    award in the same category in 2016 as well.
  • The awards were presented during
    the 27th ACI Africa/world annual general assembly, conference and exhibition at
    Port Louis in Mauritius. Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, Guruprasad
    Mohapatra and member operations I N Murthy received the award.
Pollution causes most premature
deaths in India, says study

  • A major study released on 19
    October 2017 revealed that environmental pollution is killing more people every
    year than all war and violence in the world.
  • According to the study, one out
    of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 – about 9 million – could be
    attributed to disease from toxic exposure. The study reports that pollution
    both land and air claim more lives in comparison to major hazards such as
    natural disasters, smoking, hunger, even more than life-threatening diseases
    such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
  • The study was published in The
    Lancet medical journal.
  • The report marks the first
    attempt to pull together data on disease and death caused by all forms of
    pollution combined.
  • The report shows that besides
    taking so many lives, the impact of pollution on the economy of the world is
    also massive. It costs some $4.6 trillion in annual losses, about 6.2 percent
    of the global economy.
Awards & Honors
ISKCON’s Govardhan Eco Village
awarded with Green Platinum Award

  • The Govardhan Eco Village, set up
    by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Palghar
    district, on 18 October 2017 won the ‘Green Platinum Award’ by Indian Green
    Building Council (IGBC) of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The village’s director Gauranga
    Das received the award by IGBC. Das was presented with the award during Green
    Building Congress 2017 at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • A farm community and retreat
    centre, Govardhan Eco Village is spread over a scenic landscape of 100 acres at
    Galtare in Wada taluka.
  • Since its inception in 2003, the
    village has made steady progress in organic farming, cow protection, rural
    education & development, alternative energy, eco-friendly constructions and
    sustainable living.
Ministry of Petroleum &
Natural Gas awarded with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award

  • The Union Ministry of Petroleum
    & Natural Gas (MoPNG) was conferred with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial
    Award on 2 October 2017.
  • The event marked the third
    anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Gandhi Jayanti.
  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
    Gas received the award on the basis of the various innovative and developmental
    activities it undertook over a period of 3 years.
Initiatives undertaken by MoPNG

  • Project Saraswati – Oil & Gas
    CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) launched Project Saraswati in Haryana
    to tap the ground water resources to deal with severe water crisis in summer.
  • Unique zero energy – A unique
    zero energy based vegetable storage cellars were developed in Nang village near
    Leh to prevent rotting of farm produce (especially potatoes)  due to extreme temperatures.
  • Bio-Toilets – It brought about
    construction of bio-toilets in Leh (J&K) and Mahanandpur (Bihar) thereby
    making Bharatnagar (Maharashtra), Gandhigaon (Assam) Open Defecation Free
    localities.
  • Swachhta Apps- It administered
    cleaning Himalayas initiatives by launching Swachhta Apps and organised
    innovative competitions for clean Himalayas.
  • Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan- Oil
    CPSEs and Joint Ventures constructed more than 20187 school toilets in order to
    reduce the drop-out rate among girl students due to no-availability of separate
    toilets which is benefitting more than 5 lakh girl students.
George Saunders wins 2017 Man
Booker Prize

  • US author George Saunders on 17
    October 2017 won Britain’s renowned 2017 Man Booker Prize for fiction for his
    first full-length novel ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’.
  • With this, Saunders became second
    American writer to win the award. In 2016, Paul Beatty became the first
    American to win the award for his novel The Sellout.
  • The other writers who made it to
    the list of finalists were Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Fiona Mozley, Mohsin
    Hamid and Ali Smith.
  • The prize, worth approximately
    USD 66000, was launched in 1969. Initially, Man Booker Prize was only open to
    writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth nations until it began
    permitting authors from other English-speaking countries in 2014.
Indian peacekeepers in Sudan
awarded with UN medal

  • Fifty Indian peacekeepers
    stationed in South Sudan were on 17 October 2017 awarded with the UN Medal for
    their professionalism and service in protecting civilians and building durable
    peace in the conflict-ridden country.
  • The peacekeepers were presented
    with the award by UNMISS Force Commander General Frank Mushyo Kamanzi. These
    Indian peacekeepers are part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
  • Indian peacekeepers were deployed
    with the Indian battalion stationed at Bor in the Jonglei region of South
    Sudan.
  • They were acknowledged for their
    contribution in carrying out patrols across the region and for providing a safe
    and secure environment for the 2500 civilians who wanted refuge at the UN
    Protection of Civilians site at Bor.
Indian-American attorney awarded
3rd American Bazaar Philanthropy award

  • Noted Indian-American attorney
    Ajay Raju has been honoured with the third American Bazaar Philanthropy award
    in recognition of his philanthropic activities in the United States.
  • Raju was honoured for his
    commitment to revive Philadelphia through the Germination Project. The
    Germination project is a signature initiative of the Pamela and Ajay Raju
    Foundation that recruits talented teenagers and prepares them to be tomorrow’s
    leaders.
  • Previous recipients of the award
    include, Indian-American philanthropist Frank Islam and Suri Sehgal, founder of
    the SM Sehgal Foundation.
  • Speaking on the occasion, former
    winner Frank Islam said that Raju has done a fabulous job in regenerating the
    city of brotherly love.”We are living in an increasingly dangerous world and
    times. World peace is essential for the future of this planet. There is much
    deadly conflict now and threats of it around the globe which must be
    controlled,” he said.
Indian-origin teenager Akshay
Ruparelia is UK’s Youngest Millionaire

  • Indian-origin teenager Akshay
    Ruparelia on 16 October 2017 became one of UK`s youngest millionaires at the
    age of 19.
  • Ruparelia made a fortune by
    selling houses through his online estate agency business during his school
    lunch breaks. Ruparelia`s school friends nicknamed him “Alan Sugar”
    after Baron Sugar, the business tycoon.
  • Ruparelia`s company became the
    18th biggest estate agency in the UK, just 16 months after the website went
    live.
  • The firm is raising five million
    pounds with single share issue and is recruiting an expanding network of
    mothers across the UK who work self-employed showing clients around properties.
  • Ruparelia is now on a mission to
    put traditional High Street estate agents out of business because they charge
    thousands of pounds in commission to sell a house and he does it for just 99
    pounds.
World News
Scientists: World’s deepest lake
under threat

  • Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest
    lake is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, according to experts.
  • Holding one-fifth of the world’s
    unfrozen fresh water, the lake situated in Russia’s Siberia region is a natural
    wonder of exceptional value to evolutionary science. It is even listed as a
    World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • The lake’s rich biodiversity
    includes over 3,600 plant and animal species, most of which are endemic to the
    lake. Since the past few years, the lake, which is a major international
    tourist attraction, has been crippled by a series of damaging phenomena such as
    disappearance of the omul fish, rapid growth of putrid algae and the death of
    endemic species of sponges across its vast 3.2 million-hectare area.
World’s oldest warship sailing
again

  • USS Constitution, the world’s
    oldest warship took off on its first sail since three years on 20 October 2017.
    The newly refurbished ship had been moved to dry dock for major restoration
    till recently.
  • The ship sailed from Charlestown
    Navy Yard in Boston to Fort Independence on Castle Island to celebrate US
    Navy’s 242nd birthday and the 220th anniversary of the iconic vessel’s maiden
    voyage.
  • The warship fired a 21-gun salute
    in the waters off the fort Independence and fired another 17 times when it
    passed the US Coast Guard Station.
  • The US Coast Guard station was
    the former site of the shipyard where the iconic ship was built and launched in
    1797.
Resignations
Ranjit Kumar resigns as Solicitor
General of India

  • Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar,
    the country’s second highest law officer, today resigned for “personal reasons“.
  • The office of Law Minister Ravi
    Shankar Prasad has received his resignation letter. While Kumar confirmed to
    PTI that he had resigned, sources close to him said it was for “personal
    reasons“.
  • He was appointed as the Solicitor
    General in June 2014 after the Modi government came to power. His second term
    as Solicitor General was renewed recently.
  • There was speculation a few
    months ago that the Supreme Court collegium was considering his name as a judge
    of the apex court.
  • Recently, Mukul Rohatgi had
    written to the government that he was not interested in a second term as
    Attorney General.Senior lawyer K K Venugopal was appointed as the new Attorney
    General.
Anup Vikal resigns as CFO of
Snapdeal

  • Anup Vikal on 17 October 2017
    resigned as Snapdeal’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and General Counsel. Vikal
    is likely to join Essar Oil as its Chief Financial Officer.
  • His resignation came two months
    after e-commerce dealer Sanpdeal cancelled its merger talks with online
    retailer Flipkart.
  • He was associated with Bharti
    Airtel’s finance team for around seven years before joining Colt.
  • In July 2017, Snapdeal called off
    the merger talks with Flipkart which resulted in top-level exits of Vice
    Presidents Pradeep Desai and Viraj Chatterjee and IT Head Gaurav Gupta.
  • In August 2017, the four-member
    founding team of Unicommerce eSolutions Pvt. Ltd had quit as Snapdeal’s
    technology solutions provider.
Appointments
Justice Naresh Kumar Gupta
appointed as Lokayukta of MP

  • Naresh Kumar Gupta was on 17
    October 2017 appointed as the Lokayukta (Ombudsman) of Madhya Pradesh. Gupta is
    a retired judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
  • The post of Madhya Pradesh
    Lokayukta had been lying vacant since June 2016 after the retirement of PP Naolekar,
    former Justice of Supreme Court. Since then, UC Maheshwari, former judge of MP
    High Court, was looking after the work of Lokayukta.
  • Justice Gupta earlier served the
    Madhya Pradesh state government as a legal advisor. He was appointed as high
    court judge in 2010 and retired on 30 June 2017.
  • As per Lokayukta Act, the
    appointment of Lokayukta is done with the consent of leader of opposition and
    chief justice of high court.
Sports News
Kerala HC restores life ban
imposed on Sreesanth by BCCI

  • A division bench of the Kerala
    High Court on 17 October 2017 restored the life ban imposed on cricketer S
    Sreesanth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the wake of
    the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
  • The bench, comprising Chief
    Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh and Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan, gave the verdict
    on a petition filed by the BCCI against the ruling by a single judge bench that
    lifted the life ban imposed on the 34-year-old pacer in August 2017.
Days
International Day for the
Eradication of Poverty 2017 observed across the world

  • International Day for the
    Eradication of Poverty was observed on 17 October 2017 with the theme
    ‘Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and
    inclusive societies’.
  • The theme for this year’s
    commemoration is reminiscent of the importance of the values of dignity,
    solidarity and importance of voice to fight and end poverty everywhere.
  • This year’s celebration also
    marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the day by the UN General
    Assembly, which had adopted the resolution on 22 December 1992.
  • It also marks the 30th
    anniversary of the ‘Call to Action’ by Father Joseph Wresinski—which inspired
    the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme
    Poverty—and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the
    International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

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Team ExamPundit