Current Affairs Update – 25th-26th October, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 25th and 26th October, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Exam.

Finance
Sin Tax to be imposed
on alcohol, tobacco during GST regime

  • Sin Tax was in news in fourth week of October 2015. It was
    in news as it has been included under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    law that will be effective from 1 April 2016. GST is being seen as one of the
    biggest tax reforms in the country.
  • Sin tax is an excise tax levied on products and services
    like alcohol, tobacco and gambling considered bad for health or society. These
    additional taxes are also seen as efforts to discourage people from use of such
    products or services.
  • This kind of tax is often used by government to attract
    higher their tax revenues as people generally refrain from opposition to such
    levies as they are indirect in nature and affect only their end users.

India
India’s first AC
double-decker Shatabdi train to run on Mumbai-Goa route

  • The Ministry of Railways on 23 October 2015 announced that
    India’s first AC double-decker Shatabdi train will soon run between Mumbai and
    Goa route.
  • As per the announcement, the proposed train between Mumbai
    and Goa will cater to growing demand by tourists that come to Goa from all over
    the globe.
  • The first double-decker air conditioned train between Howrah
    and Dhanbad was flagged off in October 2011. Since then, the service is
    operational between many cities, including Ahmedabad-Mumbai, Chennai–Bangalore,
    Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Lucknow.
  • Shatabdi Express, which is considered prestigious by the
    Indian Railways, runs over short to medium distances.

Haryana to commission
215 new power sub-stations in three years
  • Haryana Government on 25 October 2015 announced that it
    planned to commission 215 additional sub-stations of various capacities to
    reduce transmission and distribution (T & D) losses.
  • These new facilities will be deployed by 2018 and are in
    addition to some of the recent initiatives taken by state and Union Governments
    to improve power supply in the state. The state government’s inititatives are
  • Initiative to augment 418 existing sub-stations and putting
    in place 3171 kilometre transmission and distribution lines by 2018.
  • Mhara Gaon – Jagmag Gaon scheme was launched in 1 July 2015,
    to provide 15 hour uninterrupted power supply from the existing 12 hours in
    rural areas.
  • Gave in-principle approval to develop a Smart Power Grid in
    Gurgaon at estimated cost of 7000 crore rupees with the help of Union
    Government.

Ministry of Railways
flagged off Vigithon to fight against corruption

  • Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 25 October 2015 flagged
    off Vigithon marathon in Mumbai to sensitise people for a fight against
    corruption at the grass-root level. Vigithon was a run for corruption free
    India and was organised by public sector lender Union Bank of India.
  • Several school children, common people, customers and
    employees of the bank participated in Vigithon. It brought in all the
    stakeholders together on a common platform to create sensitisation against
    corruption.
  • Vigithon was aimed at educating the people about several
    instances of corruption and empowering them with the means to fight the
    problem. The run will be organised at other metro centres across the country as
    well.
  • The run was organised as a precursor to the Vigilance
    Awareness Week which is going to be observed from 26 October 2015 till 31
    October 2015. Vigilance awareness week is observed every year since 2000 as per
    the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission.

Indian Railways
developed warning system for unmanned level crossings
  • Indian Railways has developed a vandal-proof warning system
    for unmanned level crossings which is working satisfactorily for the last three
    months on Coimbatore-Metupallayam section.
  • The specifications of the system have been finalised by the
    Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research wing of Indian
    Railways.
  • The system has been developed with a Mumbai-based vendor and
    RDSO will call for an expression of interest from other vendors for the production
    of more such systems.

Highlights of the
warning system
  • The system is equipped with two blinkers and one siren to
    alert people when a train is within one km radius of the level crossing.
  • Fitted with solar panel, it has a theft protection system.

Haryana Government
announced to open Sanskrit University at Mundri for Scheduled Castes
  • Chief Minister of Haryana on 24 October 2015 announced to
    open a Sanskrit University for Schedule Castes (SCs) at Mundri village, which
    will be named after Maharishi Valmiki.
  • The announcement was made during an address at Bhagwan
    Valmiki Prakat Diwas Samaroh, which was celebrated as Samrasta Diwas in the
    state.
  • Besides, the state government also decided to provide the
    children of Scheduled Caste families a relaxation of 10 percent marks in the
    eligibility criteria for getting scholarship under Dr Ambedkar Medhavi Chhattar
    Yojna.
  • It was also announced that Government Residential Senior
    Secondary Schools will be opened at each district headquarters in the state to
    impart quality education to the students.
  • In addition, 5 crore rupees each will be granted to three
    Assembly segments of the district, Kaithal, Kalayat and Guhla, for various
    development works announced by the government.

Andhra Pradesh signed
two memorandums with Japan for development of the State
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh on 22 October 2015 signed a MoC
    for development of economic infrastructure and a MoU to develop Amaravati with
    the Government of Japan. They were signed on the sidelines of foundation stone
    laying ceremony of Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

AP-Japan
Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)
  • It was signed by the state chief minister N Chandrababu
    Naidu and Japanese State Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Yosuke
    Takagi.
  • Its primary objective is to accelerate industrial
    development in the state through effective policy coordination. To achieve
    this, Andhra Pradesh Investment Task Force will be established in Japan.
  • Its focus is on development of industry, ports and super
    critical power stations and transfer of agriculture technology.

AP-Japan
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • It was signed between Andhra Pradesh Finance department and
    Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
  • Its focus is on inviting foreign investments and developing
    the state’s new capital city and the surrounding region.

NDRF tied up with 30
PSUs to tackle man-made or natural disasters
  • India’s elite disaster mitigation combat force, National
    Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in October 2015 tied up with about 30 Public
    Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in order to develop mutual understanding and enhance
    capabilities to jointly tackle man-made or natural emergencies.
  • In regard to the same, a coordination meet was held on 23
    October 2015 between the NDRF and prominent PSUs like Oil and Natural Gas
    Corporation (ONGC), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Air India and those
    in the mining and shipping and heavy industries sector.
  • This first of its kind initiative will ensure that in case
    of any emergency or disaster the two sides can come together and act as one
    strong unit and also ensure that in case of small or mid-level exigencies these
    units can function as first responders till the NDRF arrives on the scene.

Sports
South Africa clinched
1st ever bilateral ODI series in India

  • South Africa on 25 October 2015 won the five-match One Day
    International (ODI) series against India 3-2. This was South Africa’s first
    ever bilateral ODI series win on Indian soil.
  • In the fifth and final match played at Wankhede stadium in
    Mumbai, South Africa defeated India by 214 runs, which was India’s second
    biggest ODI loss in terms of runs. South Africa after winning the toss chose to
    bat first and posted 438 runs at a loss of four wickets; this was third highest
    score in the history of ODIs.
  • In reply, Indian team was bundled out for 224 in the 36th
    over, with Ajinkya Rahane top scoring with 87.

Player of the series
– AB de Villiers (South Africa)
Major Highlights
of the series
  • South Africa registered their first ever bilateral ODI
    series win on Indian soil.
  • The defeat was also the second biggest loss for India in
    ODIs in terms of runs.
  • The fifth match saw three centuries by Faf Du Plessis (133),
    skipper AB DeVilliers (119) and Quinton de Kock (109). Three centuries in an
    ODI inning was made for the second time in the history.
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar created the record of being the most
    expensive figures by an Indian bowler in ODIs, 106 for 1 wicket from 10 over.
  • Hashim Amla, who made 23, broke Virat Kohli’s record and
    became the fastest player to reach 6000 ODI runs.

Mercedes driver Lewis
Hamilton won 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix title
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on 25 October 2015 won the
    2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix title. It was the third title for
    Hamilton at the Circuit of the Americas in Elroy, Texas of the USA where
    championship is being held annually.
  • In the final race, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg of
    Germany stood at the second position, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
    was at the third.
  • Also, driver of Force India Sergio Perez (Mexico) was the
    fifth person to complete the race.

Abhishek Verma became
first Indian to win Silver Medal in Archery World Cup Final

  • Indian archer Abhishek Verma 25 October 2015 created history
    by winning a silver medal in the Archery World Cup Final medal in the compound
    section held in Mexico City. With this, he became the first ever Indian to bag
    Archery World Cup Final medal.
  • Verma went down 143-145 to Turkey’s Demir Elmaagcli in the
    summit clash.
  • In 2014, Verma bagged the gold medal in the men’s compound
    archery team event along with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar, and the silver
    medal in the men’s individual compound event at the Asian Games held at
    Incheon, South Korea. He also won a gold medal in the compound men’s individual
    section on 15 August 2015 in the third leg of Archery World Cup held in
    Wroclaw, Poland.

Emily Kristine
Pedersen of Denmark won Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015

  • Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark on 25 October 2015 won
    the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015 at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon,
    Haryana. It was her maiden European Tour title.
  • She beat the trio of Cheyenne Woods, Becky Morgan and Malene
    Jorgensen, who tied for the second position, to pocket the winner’s cheque of
    60000 US dollars.
  • While amateur Aditi Ashok was the best Indian performer, who
    tied at the 13th position, Vani Kapoor, finished tied 20th, was adjudged as the
    best Indian professional at the tournament.

Appointments
Sekhar Basu took over
as Chairman of AEC and Secretary of DAE

  • Renowned Indian nuclear scientist Shekhar Basu on 23 October
    2015 took over the posts of Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and
    Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in Mumbai.
  • Basu was appointed as the chairman of AEC on 10 October
    2015. He succeeds Ratan Kumar Sinha who headed the AEC for nearly 3.5 years.
  • Basu started his career in 1975 by joining Bhabha Atomic
    Research Centre (BARC) in its Reactor Engineering Division. His initial
    assignments were design fuel for boiling water reactors. In 1988, he was
    transferred to  Kalpakkam as the project
    Director with the responsibility to build India’s first compact Pressurised
    Water Reactor powered by enriched uranium.

Suresh Arora
appointed as DGP of Punjab
  • The Punjab Government on 25 October 2015 appointed Suresh
    Arora, a 1982-batch IPS officer, as the Director General of Police (DGP). The
    appointment came after the government removed Sumedh Singh Saini from the post
    of DGP.
  • Suresh Arora, who has a spotless record, had played a
    pivotal role in fighting terrorism. He was posted in Amritsar as Superintendent
    of Police (SP) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) when Operation Black
    Thunder I and II were conducted.
  • Arora obtained his masters degree in law from the University
    of London. He has won various gallantry medals and awards, including the
    President’s Meritorious Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Prakram
    Medal.

World
China made copying in
examinations a crime punishable up to seven years
 

Representational Image
  • As per the Ninth amendment of Criminal Law of China,
    students trying to copy in examinations in China will face a jail term of up to
    seven years. This new law will be effective from 1 November 2015. The
    information was published by China Radio International on 25 October 2015.
  • The law will make cheating on major exams in China a crime
    punishable with a jail sentence. Parents involved will also be seriously punished.
  • The amended criminal law stipulates that those who aid in
    cheating will be sentenced to three to seven years in prison and face
    penalties. The law also stipulates that people trying to impersonate during
    examinations will be detained by police.

Report
WHO released report
titled Reducing global health risks through mitigation of short-lived climate

pollutants
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) on 22 October 2015
    released a report titled Reducing global health risks through mitigation of
    short-lived climate pollutants.
  • The report was produced in collaboration of the Climate and
    Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, a voluntary
    global partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses,
    scientific institutions and civil society.
  • WHO rated more than 20 affordable measures to mitigate
    short-lived climate pollutants including vehicle emissions standards, switching
    from fossil fuels to renewables, reducing food waste and improving household
    cooking fuels, to see which have the greatest potential to prevent climate
    change.
  • The report spotlights the need to reduce short-lived climate
    pollutants like black carbon, ozone, methane and carbon dioxide that contribute
    to climate change and lead to more than 7 million deaths linked to air
    pollution each year. Every day, these pollutants threaten the health of people.

Awards
& Honors –
Nandakumara,
Sivanesan honoured in UK with Lifetime Achievement Award & Sangeet Acharya
Ratna
  • Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai in October
    2015 honoured Dr MN Nandakumara and Sivasakthi Sivanesan with Lifetime
    Achievement Award and Sangeet Acharya Ratna Award respectively in London.
  • Nandakumara, Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya
    Bhavan, London, and Sivasakthi Sivanesan, Resident Carnatic Music at the Bhavan
    were awarded for their contribution to Indian arts and music at a function held
    at the Nehru centre.
  • The duo has been propelling the Bhavans mission of teaching
    and promoting traditional Indian arts and culture in the UK.

Other awards
announced and their recipients include
  • Nritya Acharya Award – Pushkala Gopal
  • Tarang Musician of the Year – Jasdeep Singh Degun
  • Samyo Musician of the Year – Sanjuran Keerthikumar
  • Young Musician of the Year – Yarline Thanabalasingham
  • Young Dancer of the Year – Parbati Chaudhury

Days
World Polio Day
observed globally

  • World Polio Day was observed on 24 October 2015. The day was
    observed to create awareness about the hazards of the crippling disease.
  • The Day was established by Rotary International over a
    decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to
    develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
  • Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent
    widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the
    establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. Since
    then, GPEI has reduced polio worldwide by 99percent.


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