Latest Current Affairs – October 11 & 12 2018
1. India ranks 115 in Human Capital Index; govt rejects report
The government has rejected the findings of the World Bank’s first-ever Human Capital Index report, which ranked India at 115 out of 157 countries, lower than Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The government said the report’s metrics were “simplistic” and didn’t capture initiatives taken to improve lives. It also said the data used to assess the quality of education was outdated.
2. South Korea urges US to declare end to Korean War
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has asked the US to fulfil North Korea’s demand to formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War. Jae-in added this would imply the US has ended its “longstanding hostile relations” with North Korea. The US has asked North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons before it declares an end to the war.
3. Govt raises import tax on electronic, communication items
The government has raised the basic customs duty on several electronic items and communication devices in a bid to narrow the current account deficit. Customs duty on items like smart watches and Voice over Internet Protocol equipment, among others has been hiked to up to 20%. Last month, the government raised import tax on 19 items, including ACs and refrigerators.
4. India remains polio-free, vaccine safe: UNICEF, WHO
The UNICEF and the WHO reiterated India’s status as a polio-free country after some oral polio vaccine vials were found contaminated with the type-2 polio virus last month. India has a high routine immunisation coverage and so the risk of children getting vaccine-derived polio virus was “minimal”, said the two global organisations in a joint statement.
5. Activist GD Agrawal dies on 112th day of fast to clean Ganga
Environmentalist GD Agrawal, who was on ‘fast unto death’ since June 22 to urge the government to clean river Ganga, passed away aged 86 due to heart attack at AIIMS Rishikesh. A former professor at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Agrawal was demanding the government to stop construction of all hydroelectric projects along the tributaries of the Ganga.
6. Scientists develop first bio-electronic medicine
Scientists say they have developed the first bioelectronic medicine — an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve. The technology, called “bioelectronic medicine,” provides therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it’s needed, thereby reducing side effects or risks associated with conventional, permanent implants.
7. International Day of Girl Child being observed on October 11
The theme of this year’s International Day of Girl Child is ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’.
The day is celebrated annually on 11 October. The main aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.
8. Jackie Doyle Price is appointed as Suicide Prevention Minister in UK
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the Suicide Prevention Minister. This is a part of a national effort in order to reduce the number of people who take their own lives.
Ms.May has also allocated a budget of 1.8 million pounds ($2.4 million) to help the Samaritans’ helpline which is a confidential 24/7 freephone service. It expands its consultation services to people who are dealing with mental health issues.
9. Sikkim has been nominated for UN FAO Future Policy Award
Sikkim has become the pioneer in organic farming. This achievement has made it world’s first totally organic agriculture State in India. UNFAO has shortlisted Sikkim for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Award.
In 2015, Sikkim was announced as the first organic state in the world with more than 66,000 farming families practising organic farming state-wide, managing 75,000 hectares organic certified. The FAO said that the award would celebrate policies that create enabling environments for sustainable agriculture.
10. Sunil Bhaskaran is appointed as the MD and CEO of AirAsia India
Sunil Bhaskaran, Tata Group veteran, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of low-cost carrier AirAsia India with effect from November 15, 2018.
Mr.Bhaskaran was the vice-president, Corporate Services at Tata Steel. He has more than three decades’ experience in the fields of manufacturing, export and commercial operations with the Tata Group.
Mr.Bhaskaran is to oversee the next phase of expansion and growth of the company, AirAsia India. The airline is jointly owned by Tata Sons and Air Asia Bhd. AirAsia India has a market share of less than 5% and a fleet of 19 aircraft.
11. India ranked 147th in Oxfam world inequality index
The United Kingdom-based charity ‘Oxfam International’s report named ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index was released.
Out of 157 countries, Denmark topped the list based on its high and progressive taxation, high social spending and good protection of workers. Ranking at 11th, Japan became the topper among the Asian countries.
12. Seventh edition of Old World Theatre festival will commence from October 20th
Old World Theatre festival is organized by India Habitat Centre. It is being recognized by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
Also for the first time, a National Theatre Live Broadcast of “Julie” by British theatre director Carrie Cracknell will be seen.
It will showcase 15 plays on a pan-Indian constellation of original scripts from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Kerala.
13. President of India Inaugurates 29th Accountants General Conference
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 29th Accountants General Conference at the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) building, at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, in New Delhi.
The theme of this year’s conference is: “Auditing and Accounting in a Digital Era”.
14. UNICEF and NASSCOM signed MoU To Strengthen Child Rights
This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will work collaboratively on two key areas including national sensitization on child online protection and encouraging innovations for child rights’ in the country. NASSCOM Chairman is Rishad Premji.
15. Harvinder Singh won gold in archery in Asian Para Games
Harvinder Singh won India’s maiden archery gold in the Asian Para Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Harvinder defeated China’s Zhao Lixue by scoring 6-0 in the W2/ST category final. On the fifth day, the country clinched three silver and four bronze medals.
16. Mahesh Reddy Takes Over as PHDCCI Secretary-General
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) announced that Mahesh Y Reddy taken over as its Secretary General with immediate effect. He holds 28 years of experience in national level trade, infrastructure and industry bodies in various capacities.
17. Pravin Srivastava appointed as India’s 3rd Chief Statistician
A senior officer with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), as the Chief Statistician of India (CSI). Srivastava’s tenure will be till August 31, 2020.
18. Rahul Aware was awarded the Best Sportsperson of the Year by SJAM
Wrestler Rahul Aware, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was awarded the Best Sportsperson of the Year award at the annual Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) award function. The awards function was sponsored by Star Sports.
19. IIT-Madras signs MoU with Tamil Nadu E-Governance Agency
IIT-Madras signed an agreement with Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) to enhance data-driven governance.
The Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC DSAI ) at IIT-Madras agreed to support the State government on various data science and ICT-related challenges.
20. Indus Towers Wins Deming Prize for 2018
Indus Towers, world’s largest telecom tower company (outside China) won the Deming Prize for 2018, being the first Indian company in the service sector and the fifth in the world to achieve.
He is only the 29th Indian company to win this coveted award, with other notable names including Tata Steel, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra and Mahindra, and NBC Bearings.
The Deming Prize was bestowed on Indus Towers for distinctive performance improvements through the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) practices.
21. SBI signed MoU with Nepals National Banking Institute for human resource development
State Bank of India signed a 3 year MOU with Kathmandu-based National Banking Institute (NBI) for development of human resources.
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