Latest Current Affairs – October 15 & 16 2018
1. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen passes away at the age of 65
Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Bill Gates, passed away, aged 65 after battling cancer. Allen came up with the name Microsoft and had left the company in 1983. “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him,” said Gates.
2. Shaw youngest Indian to win Man of the Series award in Tests
Prithvi Shaw, aged 18 years and 339 days, became the youngest Indian to win the Man of the Series award in Test cricket history. Shaw also became the 10th cricketer and fourth Indian after Sourav Ganguly, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma to win the award in his maiden Test series. Shaw scored 237 runs in the 2-match series against Windies.
3. North, South Korea agree to reconnect roads, rail
North and South Korea have agreed to begin reconnecting rail and road links that have been cut since the 1950-53 Korean War. “The South and North reached the agreement after discussing action plans to develop inter-Korean relations to a new, higher stage,” officials said. Later this month, the two countries will discuss plans to co-host the 2032 Olympic Games.
4. Canada becomes 2nd country to legalise recreational cannabis
Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis. Canadians can now grow up to four plants in their own home and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. Cannabis possession first became a crime in Canada in 1923 but medical use has been legal since 2001.
5. Saudi says will meet India’s oil needs ahead of US sanctions
Saudi Arabia has committed to meet India’s rising oil demands ahead of the US’ sanctions on Iranian oil. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said that the kingdom is also interested in investing in fuel retailing, petrochemical business, downstream projects as well as strategic oil storage in India. Saudi Arabia is India’s second-biggest supplier of oil.
6. Sikkim wins UN award for becoming world’s 1st organic state
Sikkim has won UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award for becoming the world’s first fully organic state. Sikkim was awarded by FAO for its policies on agroecology and sustainable food systems. The world body said that Sikkim’s policies had helped more than 66,000 farmers and boosted tourism.
7. New York marks first shooting-free weekend in 25 years
The US’ New York City has marked a weekend without a shooting or homicide for the first time in 25 years, the New York City Police Department said. The last shooting before the weekend took place on Thursday when a man was shot in the stomach. However, the city has witnessed an increase in the number of murders this year.
8. ‘Drunk’, round pigeon named New Zealand bird of the year
Kererū, a native green and bronze wood pigeon, known to fall from trees after consuming rotten berries, has been named the 2018 bird of the year in New Zealand. Conservation group Forest and Bird, which runs the polls, described Kererū as “clumsy, drunk, gluttonous and glamorous” and the “whooshiest of whooshes”. Meanwhile, PM Jacinda Ardern tweeted “I salute you @Kereru4PM”.
9. Rolls-Royce partners with Intel to build autonomous ships
Rolls-Royce has announced that it is partnering with American chipmaker Intel to build fully autonomous ships. The new ships will have an intelligence awareness system with data centre and AI capabilities that would allow them to navigate the oceans. The system will rely on processors for decision-making based on the information gathered by sensors.
10. RBI approves Bakhshi’s appointment as ICICI Bank MD, CEO
ICICI Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as Managing Director and CEO of the bank for three years. Bakhshi earlier helmed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance for 8 years. Facing probe over allegations of favouritism in loan disbursal, former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar had quit on October 4.
11. SBI may block Internet banking if mobile number not linked
India’s largest lender SBI has asked users to register mobile numbers with the bank by December 1, failing which their access to Internet banking accounts may be blocked. Account holders can check if mobile numbers are registered by logging into their Internet banking facility. If the number isn’t registered, the account holder will be required to visit the home branch.
12. Panwar wins India’s 1st Athletics medal at Youth Olympics 2018
Suraj Panwar won India’s first medal in athletics at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 after claiming the silver medal in the men’s 5000m race walk event on Tuesday. The 17-year-old’s silver was India’s third overall medal in athletics in the history of the Youth Olympic Games. “It’s a great feeling. I am very happy,” Panwar said after his win.
13. Scientist developed worlds fastest camera, T CUP
Scientists from California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s fastest camera, T-CUP (Compressed Ultrafast Photography), which can capture 10 trillion frames per second. The speed makes it possible to freeze time to see light in extremely slow motion. The advance may offer insight into as-yet undetectable secrets of the interactions between light and matter, say scientists.
The camera set the world record for real-time imaging speed. It can power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications. The first time it was used, the ultrafast camera broke new ground by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time.
14. Crouch to launch anti loneliness strategy
Tracey Crouch, the world’s first Minister for loneliness, is set to launch her first anti-loneliness strategy. She was appointed by the UK government in 2018 as it found that the young people can be affected by loneliness more than the elderly.
It also aimed at helping new parents, who risk isolation after they get home with a new-born. Ms.Crouch is to unveil a plan that will feature a pledge by businesses to do more to help staff cope with the sense of isolation.
15. Japan set to host 2019 World Relays
Japan Association of Athletics Federations announced to be the host of the 2019 edition of 4th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays, beginning May 11, 2019.
The first three editions of the IAAF World Relays, in 2014, 2015 and 2017, were held in the Bahamian capital of Nassau. The 2019 meet will take place May 11 and 12 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, near Tokyo. This will serve as a qualifier for the world championships taking place in Doha in September and October.
16. Maryse Conde won New Academy Prize in Literature
This award was created after the Swedish Academy postponed this year’s Nobel prize for literature following a rape scandal. She will receive £87,000 cash prize that was raised from crowdfunding and donations, at the award ceremony on 9 December 2018, a day before the Nobel award ceremony.
17. First India US special forces exercises to be take place in 2019
The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise will be taking place in 2019. The talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill. The focus of the drill will be on a United Nations (UN) based scenario and the overarching mission of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief measure.
The three forces of both the countries have already taken part in bilateral exercises separately. In that bilateral exercise, their Armies participated in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, their Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India and the Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.
18. India and China launch first joint programme to train Afghanistan diplomats
Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar hosted 10 Afghan Diplomats who will be traveling to India for the 1st India-China joint training programme. This will be under the Trilateral Cooperation between India, China, and Afghanistan.
19. India and Sri Lanka Sign Two MoU for Construction of 1200 Houses
The MoUs were signed by Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, and Mr. Bernard Vasantha. As per the new MoUs, 600 houses will be constructed in the Southern and Northern Provinces.
20. RBI approved NBFC license for Kreditech
RBI approved the license for Kreditech, the Germany-based company to operate as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) licence for digital lending business and app-based financing. The approval is with the first-of-its-kind.
Kreditech’s product suite for India will offer individualised direct-to-consumer loans as well as its Lending-as-a-Service Solution for vendors, which allows partners to offer customised credit products to their customers.
21. World Food Day is celebrated as 16 October
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. The theme for WFD 2018 is “Our Actions Are Our Future”.
22. Shekhar Mande appointed as Director-General of CSIR: Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
He will serve as secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and head 38 labs of CSIR. He replaced biotechnologist Girish Sahni, who retired on 31 August. He is currently a director at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune. He is also a life member of the Indian Crystallographic Association and is chairman at the National Committee for the International Union of Crystallography.
23. Priyank Kanoongo appointed chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
He appointed the Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)by the appointments committee of the cabinet for a term of 3 years. He will be the 5th Chairperson of NCPCR. He replaces Stuti Kacker, whose tenure ended on September 16, 2018.
24. IITs topped in QS ranking
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, a think tank that is famous for bringing out world rankings of institutions, reported that Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has topped the first-ever standalone ranking of Indian higher education institutions.
The top 8 Indian institutions in QS rankings are:
1. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
2. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
4. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
6. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
7. University of Hyderabad
8. University of Delhi
The Centre is trying to facilitate more foreign faculty and foreign students’ intake in Indian institutions in order to improve global rankings of Indian institutions.
25. Prema Gopalan won Social Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018
She was awarded for her work in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and rural livelihood. She is the founder of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP). SEOY awards was founded by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation in 2010.
26. India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri service military exercise
India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri-service military exercise. This is to take forward the strategic cooperation while exploring ways to operationalise the logistics agreement. These issues were discussed during the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Paris last week. An agreement has been signed to identify specific aspects to implement it.
This will be India’s third such joint exercise. The first joint tri-service exercise was held with Russia in October last year and has finalised one with the U.S. to be held next year. India and France currently hold bilateral exercises between individual services, Shakti, Varuna and Garuda respectively for the Army, Navy and Air Force.
27. New Delhi to host 6th India International Silk Fair
Smriti Zubin Irani, will inaugurate the 6th edition of India International Silk Fair (IISF) in New Delhi on October 16, 2018. The International Silk fair will be organized by the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC) at Pragati Maidan.