Latest Current Affairs – October 17 & 18 2018
1. TCS displaces Accenture as largest IT firm servicing banks
TCS has displaced Accenture as the world’s largest pure-play IT firm servicing banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector. TCS got $2.07 billion in business from the sector in the July-September period as compared to Accenture’s $2.01 billion in the June-August period. TCS ended September quarter with $5.21 billion in revenue while Accenture ended with $10.1 billion in August quarter.
2. US says India could be removed from currency watchlist
The US Treasury Department has said it could remove India from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners next April. India now only meets one of the three criteria to be labelled a currency manipulator. India was added to the list in April for its significant trade surplus with the US and increased purchases of foreign currency last year.
3. ND Tiwari, only Indian who was CM of 2 states, dies on 93rd b’day
Veteran politician ND Tiwari, the only Indian to serve as the CM of two states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, passed away on his 93rd birthday in Delhi. Tiwari was bedridden for over a year suffering brain hemorrhage and kidney failure. He also served as the Minister of External Affairs in late Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet.
4. Indian Railways to build world’s highest rail network in Leh
Indian Railways has started the work to construct Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line, which will be the world’s highest rail network at 5,360 metres above the sea level. The 465-km railway line will have 30 stations and is estimated to cost ₹83,360 crore. The line is expected to help the armed forces and boost tourism in the region.
5. Ex-SBI chief Bhattacharya joins Ambani’s RIL as director
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has appointed former Chairperson of State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya, as an independent director for a period of five years. Last week, homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital named her as an advisor. Bhattacharya, the first woman chief of SBI, retired from the state-owned lender in October last year.
6. India, China to resume annual military drill: Reports
The Indian and Chinese armies will resume their annual bilateral military exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in December, according to reports. The last ‘Hand-in-Hand’ exercise took place in Pune in 2016. The drills did not take place in 2017 allegedly due to tensions between the two armies over Doklam, where the countries were locked in a 73-day standoff.
7. India’s first cryptocurrency ATM installed in Bengaluru
An ATM for deposit and withdrawal of money for cryptocurrencies has been installed in Bengaluru’s Kemp Fort Mall by virtual currency exchange Unocoin. Users can deposit money to buy currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum using an OTP received on their registered numbers. In order to withdraw money, a request has to be first made on the Unocoin website. This is sure to make the lives of many cryptocurrency users more easy. Similar to this ATM, business owners could try and buy Bitcoin atm for their venture as well through companies like Kiosk.
8. Himachal to get India’s 1st railway station inside tunnel
A railway station will be built inside a tunnel at a height of 3,000 metres on the strategic Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line, an official said. The Keylong station in Himachal Pradesh will be the first on the railway network to be inside a tunnel. “As…final surveys are completed, there could be many such stations on…route,” Chief Construction Engineer, Northern Railway said.
9. Queensland becomes 5th Australian state to legalise abortion
Queensland has voted 50-41 in favour of a bill to legalise abortion, becoming the fifth Australian state to do so. Under the new law, women can terminate pregnancies on request at up to 22 weeks gestation, and thereafter with the approval of two doctors. Abortion had been illegal in Queensland under a 19th century statute.
10. Union Minister MJ Akbar resigns amid sexual harassment allegations
Former editor MJ Akbar has resigned from his post of Minister of State for External Affairs amid sexual harassment allegations against him by over sixteen female journalists. Calling the allegations false, Akbar in a statement said, “Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down.”
11. Woman to head largest command in US Army for 1st time
Lieutenant General Laura J Richardson has become the first woman to head the US Army’s largest command FORSCOM which is based out of Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Richardson, who has served in the US Army since 1986, will represent 776,000 soldiers and 96,000 civilians. She has in the past served as the military aide to the vice president.
12. Anna Burns wins 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel ‘Milkman’
Northern Irish author Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel ‘Milkman’, which is her third full-length novel. The book is about an 18-year-old girl, known as “middle sister”, who is sexually harassed by an older paramilitary figure, called the “milkman”. “None of us has ever read anything like this before,” the judging panel’s chairman said.
13. 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. Besides growing their own cannabis, Canadians can also order cannabis-based products online from getkush or similar e-stores that sell such products. These online stores can deliver cannabis directly to people’s doorstep, provided they live in a marijuana-friendly city in Canada. That said, cannabis possession first became a crime in Canada in 1923 but medical use has been legal since 2001. Nevertheless, governments of other countries can also discuss the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. Cannabis-based products like CBD oil may be beneficial for skin conditions, while CBD gummies may be useful for those suffering from anxiety. But, is CBD oil legal? Do other cannabis products qualify for medical use in other countries? There are a few, but as more countries follow their example, it could relieve the pressure from the health care system since they can treat patients using such products. One could read up on blogs such as iCrowdNewswire to get to know the different ways in which cannabis can be consumed and how the canna-industry could well be on the rise.
14. Ocean Cleanup Foundation launched floating pipe to gather ocean plastic
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation has launched a project to collect the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Wilson, a 2,000-foot-long floating pipe has begun its mission to collect the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The pipe is constructed in U shape. It features a three-metre-deep net to trap floating plastic under the water’s surface. A boat will visit the spot every few months to remove the debris.
15. Alembic Pharma received USFDA approval for diabetes drug
Alembic Pharmaceuticals received a tentative approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the U.S. health regulator for its Alogliptin tablets. The drug is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The Alogliptin tablets are made in the strengths of 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg and 25mg. The product is a generic version of Takeda Pharms USA’s Nesina tablets.
16. Nimesh Shah elected as AMFI Chairman
Nimesh Shah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund elected as Chairman of the trade body, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). He replaced A Balasubramanian, CEO of Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund.
17. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed as 17 October
The theme for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2018 is “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity”. It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
18. BankBazaar appoints former RBI deputy governor SS Mundra as advisor
He will help BankBazaar achieve 100 percent paperless and presence-less financing in India. He was a deputy governor at the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for three years till July 2017.
19. Kamal Haasan launched a safety app named Raudram
Kamal Haasan, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder, launched a safety app named ‘Raudram’. The app aimed at ensuring the safety of women in the city. The launch function held at Sri Sairam Engineering College. One can store three contact numbers upon registration in the app.
If the person feels any trouble, she should press the power button thrice within a minute. Once this is done, the emergency contacts, the call centre and the nearby police station will receive an instant alert. The alerts are generated via the mobile net as well as SMS. The app also enables the recording of audio and video footage of the situation and sends it. GPS tracking of the location is part of the comprehensive safety features that the app offers.
20. H M Pernal gets Vishwa Konkani book award
World Konkani Centre announced that writer, journalist and critic, He bagged the prestigious ‘Vimala V Pai Vishwa’ Konkani best book award for the year 2018. He has conferred this award for ‘Beeg Ani Beegath’, a collection of short stories in Konkani.
21. Climate warming threatens Pacific Walrus
Center for Biological Diversity petitioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list Pacific Walrus as a threatened species because of diminished sea ice brought on by climate warming. Pacific walrus prefers sea ice for moulting, mating, nursing and resting between dives for food. Pacific walrus males grow to 12 feet long and up to 1,815 kg. Females reach half that weight. Walruses dive and use sensitive whiskers to find clams and snails in dim light on the seafloor.
Fish and Wildlife Service said that inaccessibility protected walruses for decades, but a rapid decline in summer sea ice has made them vulnerable. In the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia, where Pacific walrus females and juveniles spend their summer, ice could be absent during that season by 2060 or sooner.
22. India and Japan are to hold joint military exercise in Mizoram
India and Japan are to hold the first-ever joint military exercise ‘DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018’ involving the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force in Mizoram, India. The aim is to promote Military cooperation.
The Indian contingent will be represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while the Japanese contingent will be represented by 32 Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force. Exercise ‘DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018’ will be yet another step in deepening strategic ties including closer defence cooperation between the two countries.
23. Khayyam named for 2018 Hridaynath Award for lifetime achievement
The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 100,000 and a memento. It will be presented by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a ceremony on October 26, 2018, in Mumbai. Khayyam is a music composer, lyricist, and writer. He is 91 years old. He started his music career in Ludhiana in 1943. He has received Padma Bhushan, National Award, Filmfare Award.
24. Suheil F. Tandon won International Olympic committee IOC award
He is the Founder of Pro Sports Development (PSD) and Executive Director of Martha Farrell Foundation. International Olympic Committee (IOC) redistributes more than 90 % of its income to the wider sporting movement, to help athletes and sports organizations throughout the world. They are awarded to grassroots organizations conducting effective sport for all programmes in various parts of the world.
25. Rima Hooja authored Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior
A new book on Maharana Pratap named “Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior” authored by historian Rima Hooja released. The book narrates the life of Maharana Pratap, the great Rajput warrior and also talks about the famous battle of Haldighati.