Current Affairs Update – 21st-22nd October, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 21st and 22nd October, 2015. These are very Important for the IBPS Clerk Exam.

Finance/Banking –
Reliance Capital signed agreement to acquire Goldman Sachs mutual funds
business in India

  • Reliance Capital Asset Management
    (RCAM), a part of Anil Ambani led Reliance Capital, on 21 October 2015 signed
    definitive agreements (DA) to acquire Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s (GSAM)
    onshore business in India.
  • RCAM will pay a total sum of 243
    crore rupees (37.5 million US dollar) in cash to acquire all onshore mutual
    fund schemes, including exchange traded funds, of GSAM India.
  • With this acquisition, RCAM will
    become the exclusive fund manager for the government’s CPSE ETFs.
  • As part of the transaction, RCAM
    will extend offers of employment to substantially all of GSAM India’s employees
    dedicated to supporting the ETF business.

Union Cabinet approved amendments to Payment of Bonus Act 1965 hiking
bonus for Industrial workers
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 October 2015 approved amendment in the
    Payment of Bonus Act 1965 for the Industrial workers.
  • The bonus ceiling under the
    legislation was increased from 3500 rupees to 7000 rupees per month. 
  • The wage ceiling for getting
    bonus has also been increased from existing 10000 rupees per month to 21000
    rupees per month.
  • The decision will make workers eligible
    for the reward. The amendment bill concerning this will be tabled in the winter
    session of Parliament likely to start in November 2015.

Western Digital buying SanDisk in deal worth about $19 billion

  • Western Digital, a maker of hard
    drives for businesses and personal computers, is buying SanDisk in a
    cash-and-stock deal worth about $19 billion as it looks to extend its reach in
    the storage industry.
  • The buyout values SanDisk’s stock
    at about $86.50 per share, a 15 per cent premium to Tuesday’s closing price.
  • Western Digital and flash-memory
    chip maker SanDisk said that they have complementary product lines, including
    hard disk drives, solid-state drives, cloud data centre storage solutions and
    flash storage solutions.
  • If a previously announced
    investment in Western Digital from Unisplendour closes prior to the
    acquisition, Western Digital will pay $85.10 per share in cash and 0.0176
    shares of its stock for each SanDisk share. If not, the price will be $67.50 in
    cash and 0.2387 shares for each share of Milpitas, California-based SanDisk
    Corp.
  • In September it was announced
    that Unisplendour, a division of China’s Tsinghua Holdings, was becoming a
    minority shareholder in Western Digital with a $3.78 billion investment.

FinMin exempts banking correspondents under PMJDY from service tax

  • The Government has exempted
    services provided by a business facilitator or a business correspondent to a
    banking company with respect to basic savings bank deposit accounts covered by
    Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) from payment of service tax.
  • Further, services provided by any
    person as an intermediary to a business facilitator or a business correspondent
    for these services have also been exempted from service tax.
  • PMJDY, a national mission on
    financial inclusion, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his
    Independence Day 2014 speech and was formally launched by him on August 28 the
    same year with the main objective of covering all households with at least one
    bank account per household across the country.
  • So far, over 18.7 crore accounts
    have been opened under the scheme.
  • As per RBI guidelines, the
    accounts that can be opened under PMJDY are basic savings bank deposit accounts
    (BSBDA) which can be of zero balance.
  • Deposit in accounts opened under
    the government’s flagship financial inclusion programme has exceeded Rs. 25,000
    crore.

India –
Erstwhile Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Areas divided into two Separate
Headquarters
  • The Ministry of Defence on 21
    October 2015 divided the erstwhile Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Areas into two
    separate headquarters. It was divided into two under Flag Officer Maharashtra
    Area and Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area.
  • This was done with an objective
    to enhance operational and administrative structure of the organisation.
  • The charge of Flag Officer
    Maharashtra Area was assumed by Rear Admiral Satish Namdeo Ghormade from Rear
    Admiral Murlidhar Sadashiv Pawar who now will officiate as Flag Officer Gujarat
    Naval Area.

Union Cabinet approved treaty between India and Maldives on Mutual
Legal Assistance in criminal
matters
  • The Union Cabinet on 21 October
    2015 gave its approval for signing of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)
    in Criminal Matters between India and the Maldives. 
  • The treaty aims to boost the
    efficiency of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of crime,
    through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in terrorism, transnational
    crime and criminal matters.
  • The proposed treaty will offer a
    broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation with Maldives in investigation
    and prosecution of crime as well as in tracing, restraint and confiscation of
    proceeds, and instruments of crime as well as funds meant to finance terrorist
    acts.

Union Cabinet approved agreement between India and Egypt on Maritime
Transport
  • The Union Cabinet on 21 October
    2015 gave its nod to sign an agreement between India and Egypt on Maritime
    Transport.
  • The agreement will be signed on a
    mutually convenient date and venue.
  • It will help both the nations to
    encourage and facilitate the development of their maritime relationship.
  • It will help both the nations to
    cooperate in the task of enhancing and stimulating steady growth of maritime
    traffic.

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting reconstituted Central Press
Accreditation Committee
  • The Ministry of Information and
    Broadcasting on 19 October 2015 reconstituted the Central Press Accreditation
    Committee (CPAC) that issues Press Information Bureau (PIB) cards to
    journalists.
  • Post reconstitution, PIB director
    general Frank Noronha will be the ex-officio chairman of the committee.

Renowned journalists included in the the committee are:
  1. Pramod Kumar of National Union of
    Journalists (India), International Federation of Journalists
  2. Surendra Verma of Association of
    Accredited News Cameraman
  3. Shyam Babu of Indian Federation
    of Working Journalists
  4. Rabi Rath from Association of
    Small and Medium Newspapers of India
  5. Meenakshi Pandit from All India
    Journalists Welfare Association

The nominated members for the committee are:
  1. Navika Kumar from Times Now
  2. Diwakar Asthana from The Times of
    India
  3. Coomi Kapoor from Indian Express
  4. Jayanto Ghoshal from ABP
  5. Amitabh Sinha from IBN-7 TV
  6. Akhilesh Sharma from NDTV
  7. Kalyan Barua from Assam Tribune
  8. Iftikhar Geelani from DNA
  9. Nistula Hebbar from The Hindu
  10. Shekhar Iyer from Deccan Herald

ISRO to launch six Singapore-made satellites in Dec

  • India will launch six
    Singapore-made satellites, including a dedicated 400 kg spacecraft for carrying
    out surveillance missions for maritime and border security, in mid-December
    onboard PSLV-C29.
  • The six satellites will be
    launched on PSLV-C29 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh on
    December 16, 2015.
  • Among them is a 400 kg satellite
    that can conduct surveillance missions for maritime and border security, The
    Strait Times reported.
  • The satellites will then hover
    about 550 km above ground for up to five years.
  • The December 16 launch comes four
    years after Singapore put its first home-grown micro-satellite in space. Since
    the launch of the fridge-size X-Sat in 2011, smaller satellites have
    subsequently been launched by Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Appointments –
Justice Vaiphei appointed as acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High
Court
  • The President of India Pranab
    Mukherjee on 19 October 2015 appointed Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei,
    senior-most Judge of Gauhati High Court, as the acting Chief Justice for the
    Gauhati High Court. The President appointed Vaiphei by exercising the powers
    conferred by article 223 of the Constitution of India.
  • Justice Vaiphei will perform the
    duties with effect from 21 October 2015 consequent upon the retirement of
    Justice Karanam Sreedhar Rao, Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court.
  • On 15 September 2000, Vaiphei was
    appointed as an additional Advocate General, Mizoram, and was also designated
    as a Senior Advocate on 22 February 2001. He was then elevated to the Bench as
    Additional Judge, Gauhati High Court on 17 July 2003, and was made Permanent
    Judge on 28 February 2005.

AB de Villiers named brand ambassador of MRF

  • Tyre manufacturing giant MRF
    Limited on 20 October 2015 named South African batsman AB de Villiers as its
    brand ambassador. As per company norms, the association is for a period of
    three years.
  • AB de Villiers, the ODI captain
    of South Africa team, in his new role will endorse the company’s products and
    services through advertising campaigns and other such promotional programmes
    during the term of the agreement.

Anil Kumble named Brand Ambassador of Champions Tennis League team
Raipur Rangers

  • Former Indian captain and leg
    spinner Anil Kumble on 20 October 2015 was named as the brand ambassador of the
    Raipur Rangers – one of the franchises of Champions Tennis League (CTL).
  • Raipur Rangers is co-owned by
    Abhishek Mishra and Chinmay Tiwari and will comprise players like Thomas
    Muster, Alize Cornet and Ramanathan Ramkumar.
  • The Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor
    Stadium in Raipur will be the team’s home stadium. The team will also be
    accompanied by two Indian juniors.
  • The Champions Tennis League was
    conceptualised by Vijay Amritraj in 2014.

Snapdeal appointed Anup Vikal as CFO
  • E-commerce firm Snapdeal on 20
    October 2015 appointed Anup Vikal as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • Vikal replaced Aakash Moondhra,
    who had quit the company in October 2015.
  • Before joining Snapdeal, Vikal
    was working as the CFO of Aircel since January 2013. Before Aircel, he worked
    as the group-CFO & head of strategy and IT with budget carrier IndiGo’s
    parent InterGlobe Enterprises, wherein he handled multiple responsibilities
    like incubating and developing new business, mergers and acquisitions and portfolio
    management. He also served as a part of Bharti Airtel’s finance team for around
    seven years before joining Colt, where he worked for a few years.

Flipkart appoints Samardeep Subandh as the new Chief Marketing Officer

  • India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart
    announced the appointment of Samardeep Subandh as its Chief Marketing Officer
    (CMO) on Wednesday.
  • In his role as CMO, Samar will be
    the primary custodian of the Flipkart brand. His focus will be on gaining
    deeper customer insights, raising the level of customer centricity and driving
    high level of creativity and quality in all communication, the company said in
    a release.
  • He will also be leading the
    social media communication charter for the company, it added.
  • He will report to Mukesh Bansal,
    Head of the e-commerce platform, Flipkart.

Alok Rawat first male member of NCW

  • Former Water Resources Secretary
    Alok Rawat has been appointed as the first male member of the National
    Commission for Women (NCW), filling the fourth seat in the five-member body.
  • Not deterred to voice his
    opinions in a female-dominated body, Mr. Rawat said, “I feel that the presence
    of a male would provide a better understanding to the women’s issues.”

Awards & Honors –
Noted criminologist K Chockalingam won Paul H Appleby Award
  • Noted criminologist K
    Chockalingam was in fourth week of October 2015 conferred with the prestigious
    Paul H Appleby Award given by the Indian Institute of Public Administration
    (IIPA). He was awarded for his distinguished services to public administration
    and IIPA, where he was a member.
  • Chockalingam has served as a
    professor and a researcher in criminology in University of Madras and is Vice
    President of World Society of Victimology. He also worked as Chair Professor of
    criminal law at the National Law University (NLU) in Delhi from 2012-14.

Reports –
UN released The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics report
  • The Department of Economic and
    Social Affairs of the United Nations on 20 October 2015 released a report
    entitled The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics.
  • The report provides an update of
    the statistics and indicators on the situation of women and men around the
    world covering gender-specific information on eight key areas-population and
    families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women,
    environment and poverty.
  • There are about 62 million more
    men than women worldwide. In younger age groups, men outnumber women; in older
    age groups, women outnumber men.

Days –
Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day observed on 21
October
  • Global Iodine Deficiency
    Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day was observed on 21 October 2015 across the world
    to create awareness of the need to prevent iodine deficiency.
  • Almost one-third of world’s
    population is exposed to the risk of iodine deficiency disorders. Iodine
    deficiency is also the world’s single greatest cause of preventable mental
    retardation.
  • A diet low in iodine is the main
    cause of iodine deficiency. It usually occurs among populations living in areas
    where the soil has been depleted of iodine because of flooding, heavy rainfall
    or glaciations.

World –
Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference 2015 held in Mexico City

  • The Global Maternal Newborn
    Health Conference 2015 was held between 18 October and 21 October 2015 in the
    Mexico City.
  • It was a technical meeting
    focused on accelerating progress towards effective and sustainable coverage of
    maternal and newborn interventions at scale.
  • It provided a forum to identify,
    understand and respond to the most urgent health needs of mothers and newborns,
    focusing on quality care, integration and equity.
  • It was attended by technical
    implementers, policymakers, researchers and practitioners from over 50
    countries including India.

Books & Authors –
Dreaming Big: My Journey to Connect India by Sam Pitroda
  • The book Dreaming Big: My Journey
    to Connect India was launched on 19 October 2015. It is the auto biography of
    Sam Pitroda written with the help of David Chanoff, an American author.
  • The book describes the journey of
    Satanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, considered as the ‘father of Indian telecom
    revolution.
  • It starts with 1964 when he
    embarked on a long journey to the USA from Titilagarh in Odisha.

Obituaries –
Renowned marine biologist Syed Zahoor Qasim died
  • Renowned marine biologist Syed
    Zahoor Qasim died on 20 October 2015 in New Delhi. He was 88.
  • He is considered as the founder
    of Polar Biology in India and was part of the first Indian expedition to
    Antarctica in 1981-82.
  • After the first expedition, he
    successfully organized and guided the next the seven expeditions till 1988 and
    made pioneering contributions in the field of fisheries biology, mari-culture,
    estuarine ecology and environmental pollution.

Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher Dies in UK
  • A veteran British left-wing
    Labour party MP and a former minister in Tony Blair’s first government has
    died, the party said today.
  • 75-year old Michael Meacher was
    former environment minister and was also transport secretary. He died yesterday
    after a short illness.
  • He has represented Oldham
    constituency since 1970.



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