Current Affairs Power Capsule – October 2014 (The Hindu Review)

1. First-time legislator from BJP Manohar Lal Khattar, 61, is the 21st Chief Minister of Haryana.

2. Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He is the first BJP candidate to become CM of Maharashtra.

3. Rajiv Mehrishi took charge as Union Finance Secretary. He succeeded Arvind Mayaram.

4. Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar was elected Vice-President of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union in Macau.

5. Surya Prakash was appointed as the Chairman of Prasar Bharti Board for a term of 3 years.

6. The former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh was designated as the head of Future Earth Engagement Committee, a global research platform panel on sustainable development.

7. Union Government appointed US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) in the Union Finance Ministry for three years.

8. Vice President of Zambia Guy Scott was appointed as acting President by the Zambia government.

9. Khaled Bahah was appointed as Prime Minister of Yemen.

10. Aamir Khan was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in South Asia. Aamir Khan will focus on supporting child nutrition to end stunting across the region.

11. Justice H L Dattu was sworn-in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India.

12. Kalpana Morparia was appointed as first woman director of Hindustan Unilever Limited.

13. Union Ministry of Civil Aviation approved the appointment of Cramer Ball as Chief Executive Officer of Jet Airways.

14. President Pranab Mukherjee authorised Vigilance Commissioner Rajiv to act as chief of Central Vigilance Commission until the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

15. Continuing the effort to fight “persisting inflation” and inflationary pressures, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan maintained the policy rates at the current levels in 4th Monetary Policy. The RBI also retained the growth projection for the current fiscal at 5.5 per cent.
Repo Rate 8% (Unchanged)
Rev. Repo 7% (Unchanged)
CRR 4% (Unchanged)
SLR 22% (Unchanged)
MSF 9% (Unchanged)
Bank Rate 9% (Unchanged)

16. Nobel Price 2014 Winners - The Nobel Prize for is granted by the Swedish Academy.
(i) Chemistry - Eric Betzig, Stefan W Hell and William E. Moerner was awarded for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
(ii) Physics - Three Japanese-born researchers Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura was awarded for inventing efficient blue Light- Emitting Diodes (LED) lamps that worked as a bright and energy-saving white light source.
(iii) Physiology or Medicine – John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser was awarded for their discoveries of cells that constitute a GPS in the brain.
(iv) Economics - French economist Jean Tirole was awarded for his analysis of market power and regulation.
(v) Literature - French author Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize for literature.
(vi) Peace - Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel peace Prize for year 2014.

17. Manjul Bhargava won the Fields Medal awards for the year2014. The Fields Medal is also known as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics.

18. Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian children's rights activist born in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. His organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan has been active in the movement against child labour.

19. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school student, education activist who is known for her activism for right to education for women.

20. Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 World’s Children Prize after a global vote involving millions of children.

21. Malala Yousafzai was conferred with the 2014 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia.

22. Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege Mukengere won the prestigious Sakharov human rights prize 2014.

23. Australian author Richard Flanagan won Man Booker Prize for his wartime novel The Narrow
Road to the Deep North. This was the first year that the Man Booker prize was open to all authors writing in English, regardless of nationality.

24. All India National Unity Council honoured poet diplomat Abhay K with Asia-Pacific Excellence Award.

25. Noted lyricist Sameer was honoured with the National Kishore Kumar Award for 2012-13.

26. The UK government announced the inaugural Dadabhai Naoroji Awards to honour individuals who have worked to strengthen the UK-India relationship over the years.

27. Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of Reserve Bank of India was conferred with Euro money’s Central Bank Governor of the Year Award 2014 in Washington.

28. Indian-origin Singaporean poet and writer KTM Iqbal was named for the 2014 Cultural Medallion, the highest cultural award of Singapore.

29. An eminent Indian scientist Dr Sanjaya Rajaram received the World Food Prize 2014 for his scientific research that led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production.

30. Saiyid Hamid was conferred with Sir Ross Masood Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 for Excellence in Leadership, Education, community & Public Service.

31. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014 to Dr Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai.

32. Former New York Mayor and philanthropist billionaire Michael Rubens Bloomberg was granted an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in Britain.

33. Anoop Jain won 2014 Waislitz Global Citizen Award.

34. Shah Rukh Khan received Global Diversity Award 2014 at the Britain’s House of Commons.

35. Google CEO Larry Page appointed Sundar Pichai as new Product Chief of Google.

36. Alan Eustace, a senior Google vice-president broke the world altitude record for highest free-fall parachute jump from an altitude of 135908-feet. Eustace broke the world altitude record of parachute jump set by Austrian Felix Baumgartner.

37. Five year old Indian boy Harshit Saumitra became the youngest person to reach the Everest Base Camp.

38. Sadiq, a 10-year old terminally ill boy became Hyderabad Police Commissioner for a day.

39. J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was found guilty in the disproportionate assets case by the Special Court in Bangalore. The Court pronounced a jail term of 4 years and fined 100 crore rupees to her in 18-year-old 66.65 crore rupees disproportionate assets case.

40. Warren M Anderson, the former Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation who was blamed for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy died.

41. South Africa's football captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa died after being shot.

42. Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria was declared officially Ebola free.

43. President Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian head of state to visit Norway and first president to cross the Arctic Circle.

44. ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan announced that the Indian space agency will launch GSLV Mark- III within next 45 days.

45. India became the world’s fourth largest steel producer by delivering 62.41 Million Tonnes
(MT) output from January 2014 to September 2014. India was preceded by China, Japan and the United States.

46. 4th International Counter-Piracy Conference was held in Dubai. Theme of the Conference was Securing State Recovery: Sustaining Momentum at Sea, Confronting Instability Land.

47. President Pranab Mukherjee released a commemorative postage stamp on Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Anagarika Dharmapala.

48. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa flagged off Yal Devi Express from Palai after 25 years. The train will be extended to Jaffna. The India Railway Construction International has now completed the restoration of the railway lines from Palai to Jaffna.

49. Tropical Storm Trudy struck Mexico.

50. Hudhud is a cyclone which struck Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Hudhud name derives from the Hoopoe bird, a colorful bird found across Afro-Eurasia suggested by Oman.

51. The Antares, an unmanned cargo rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station exploded just seconds after the launch.

52. The novel Half Girlfriend authored by Chetan Bhagat was released.

53. Biography of Allama Muhammad Iqbal titled Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician was released. The biography is written by Zafar Anjum, the editor of book.

54. The book on Rajesh Khanna Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna was released. The book was written by Gautam Chintamani.

55. A book titled Final Test: Exit Sachin Tendulkar authored by writer-journalist Dilip D’Souza was released on 15 October 2014. The book has been published by Random House India and books forward has been written by Harsha Bhogle.

56. The Vice President of India M Hamid Ansari released a book entitled Untold Story of the Indian Public Sector authored by Dr UD Choubey, the Director General of SCOPE (Standing Conference of Public Enterprises).

57. A book titled A Man and A Motorcycle, How Hamid Karzai Came to Power written by Bette Dam was launched.

58. Actor Naseeruddin Shah released his autobiography And then One Day: A Memoir.

59. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed to commemorate the 139th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The decision to observe 31 October as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Integration Day was taken by the Union Government.

60. Union Government constituted Vishwanathan committee to provide Bankruptcy code for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

61. NR Madhava Menon committee submitted its report. The committee was appointed by Supreme Court to frame guidelines to regulate expenditure and contents of advertisements paid out of tax payers' money.

62. Finance minister Arun Jaitley blamed high income tax refunds for the high fiscal deficit of the Centre that touched 83 per cent of the full year target in just six months.

63. K V Chowdary was appointed by the Government as an Advisor to the Special Investigation Team that is probing black money cases. The SIT is headed by retired Supreme Court Judge M B Shah with Vice-Chairman Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat.

64. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said economic growth this fiscal could be in the range of 5.5% to 5.9%.

65. Indian government has issued a set of austerity measures, including bans on first class air travel and hosting conferences in five star hotels, and a bar on reviving posts that have been vacant for more than a year, with the stated objective of cutting down non-plan spend by up to 10 per cent.

66. Indian government relaxed rules for FDI in the construction sector by reducing minimum built-up area as well as capital requirement and easing the exit norms. Cabinet decided to reduce the minimum floor area to 20,000 sq mt from the earlier 50,000 sq mt. It also brought down the minimum capital requirement to USD 5 million from USD 10 million.

67. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs raised the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat, the most important winter crop, by just 3.6%, or Rs. 50, to Rs.1450 per quintal.

68. India ranked a dismal 142 among the 189 countries surveyed for the latest (2015) World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” report, down two places from its position last year. Singapore retained the top slot for the ninth year in a row.

69. High leverage in the Indian corporate sector could prevent any meaningful recovery in asset quality at lenders over the next 12-18 months, Moody's Investors Service said, maintaining its "negative" outlook on the country's banking sector.

70. The Centre placed list of around 627 names of Indians having accounts in foreign banks before Supreme Court in the black money case. The court left it on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to carry out necessary investigation. A bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu asked the SIT to verify the list given by the government and submit a status report by end of November.

71. A US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team would arrive next month to carry out a fresh audit of India's aviation safety mechanism, which was downgraded almost a year ago.

72. India has performed poorly in removing gender based disparities, ranking 114 out of 142 countries in World Economic Forum's 2014 gender gap index.

73. Telecom giant Softbank has pledged an investment of $10 billion (over Rs 60,000 crore) in India's IT and communications space.

74. Narendra Modi led government named three — Pradip Burman, formerly of Dabur group, Goa based mining firm Timblo Pvt Ltd and its five directors and Rajkot-based bullion trader Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya — against whom prosecution has been launched.

75. A significant oil discovery has been made near Ahmedabad in the Cambay basin that may be the biggest on land find this year.

76. In a complete U-turn from its earlier stand, the Home Ministry has come out in full support of the Aadhaar scheme saying it will facilitate "anytime, anywhere, anyhow" authentication to its beneficiaries.

77. Clocking the slowest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 6.9% in terms of gross  state domestic product (GSDP), Uttar Pradesh is the lowest among the traditional BIMARU states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and UP) in this regard during the past nine years, that is, during 2004-05 and 2012-13, according to an Assocham study. “Bihar has ranked on top among the BIMARU states registering highest growth rate of 9.3% in GSDP during the aforesaid nine year period followed by Madhya Pradesh (8.8%) and Rajasthan (8.2%) even as India’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 8% during 2004-05 and 2012-13,” said a study titled ‘Analysis of BIMARU states’, conducted by Assocham.

78. India has opted to buy Israel's Spike anti-tank guided missile. India will buy at least 8,000 Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million).

79. The Narendra Modi led government is aiming to improve India's ranking in ease of doing business index to 50th position in the next two years from the current 134th.

80. Unfazed by China's objections to development of border areas, Government announced setting up of 54 new border outposts and Rs 175 crore package for beefing up the infrastructure along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.

81. The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to develop Allahabad as an integrated industrial township, on the lines of Noida and Greater Noida.

82. Indian government has decided to create a fund starting with Rs 930 Cr to help Indian industry acquire cutting-edge technology in the capital goods sector and finance new production units of capital-intensive heavy equipment.
83. The number of hungry people has declined in India with its score on the Global Hunger Index improving to 55th position in 2014 due to progress made in addressing underweight in children, says a report.

84. Prime Minister unveiled half a dozen schemes including a unified web portal where employers can submit a single compliance report for 16 labour laws, a new labour inspection scheme, Unique Account Number facility for EPFO members, a new skill development and apprenticeship scheme and a revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

85. Airports at Delhi and Mumbai would be developed as 'seamless hubs' by the 27-member airline grouping Star Alliance and work on it may start next year itself.

86. State-owned Air India will get around Rs 3,000 crore more in the later part of this fiscal from the Government towards capital infusion.

87. Government proposes to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, 2016.

88. India is poised to become a USD two trillion economy this year, while its GDP size would cross another milestone of USD three trillion after five years in 2019, according to IMF's latest world economic outlook. India's ranking would also improve to seventh largest economy in the world, while measured on "current prices" basis in US dollar, in 2019 from its tenth position currently.

89. The government deferred the country-wide rollout of the National Food Security Act, 2013, by another six months, to the first week of April 2015, because of states’ inability to create requisite infrastructure and identify beneficiaries. Eleven states and Union Territories – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh — have so far implemented the Act, some fully and others partially.

90. The government is expediting the work to replace Wholesale Price Index (WPI), used for capturing price movements to decide on policy measures, with a more effective and comprehensive Producers Price Index (PPI) by the next fiscal.

91. IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the global economy could be sinking into a prolonged period of "mediocre" growth which could endanger efforts to bring down unemployment worldwide.

92. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ensure “universal coverage” under Aadhaar by June 2015. The current Aadhaar enrolment is about 68 crore.

93. Facebook plans to start testing its Internet carrying solar-powered drones in 2015, with the ultimate aim of getting two-thirds of the global population online.

94. Canada has decided to sign a contract with Antrix, the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO)’s commercial arm, for the launch of its satellite. Canada announced that Antrix would be given the contract for the July 2015 launch of its M3M (Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite) communications satellite.

95. Ashraf Ghani’s government will sign a long delayed deal to allow some U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan into next year.

96. In his maiden visit to India, after taking over as the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, announced that the company would offer commercial cloud services — Azure and Office 365 — in the country from local data centers.

97. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed Rs.2.83 crore penalty on Super Cassettes Industries, known as ‘T-Series’, for unfair business practices with regard to licensing of Bollywood music to private FM radio stations.

98. The country will have state-of-the-art virology diagnostic laboratories operational in 120 districts by 2015.

99. The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has upheld the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s order against Angel Broking in case related to violations of stock broker norms and fraudulent dealings in shares of Sterling Green Woods.

100. Kerala would become the first State to have high-speed Internet connecting all the panchayats in the State by March next year.

101. Queen Elizabeth II has honoured campaigning actress Angelina Jolie in a Buckingham Palace ceremony.

102. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), launched by China, with an authorized capital of $100 billion, is expected to be formally established by the end of 2015. Beijing headquartered has 21 nation members - Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

103. Lawmakers in France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, voted to cut reliance on the energy source from more than 75 per cent to 50 per cent within a decade.

104. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a blueprint for the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) on Jayaprakash Narayan’s birth anniversary. The scheme encourages Members of Parliament from both Houses to identify and develop one village from their constituency as a model village by 2016, and two more by 2019, covering over 2,500 villages of the 6 lakh villages country-wide. Under SAGY, Lok Sabha MPs can select any village with a population of 3,000- 5,000 in plains and 1,000-3,000 in hilly areas in their constituencies besides their own village. MPs are expected to facilitate a village development plan, motivate villagers to take up activities and use the Rs.5-crore MPLAD fund.

105. The Department of Telecom has set a target date of March 31, 2015, to implement the full mobile number portability.

106. India bans the import of animal-tested cosmetics.

107. A Supreme Court-appointed committee led by Chief Justice of India (retired) R.M. Lodha on the “catastrophic floods” in Jammu and Kashmir details the failures of the State government.

108. SEBI imposed a ban on realty major DLF and its top executives from accessing the capital markets for three years, for suppressing information in its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus and for sham transactions.

109. An inspector Shakti Devi with the Jammu and Kashmir Police has bagged the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award 2014 instituted by the U.N. for her “exceptional achievements” while serving with the U.N. mission in Afghanistan.

110. The BBC’s website was blocked in China, hours after a video of Hong Kong police beating and kicking a pro-democracy protester began circulating online.

111. PSLV-C26 lobbed the 1,425 kg Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1C) satellite into its precise orbit. Mission was ISRO’s 27th consecutively successful PSLV flight.

112. India’ first long-range sub-sonic cruise missile, Nirbhay (fearless), was test-fired for a range of over 1,000 km from the Integrated Test Range wheeler Island, Orissa.

113. The Reserve Bank of India has signed a pact with the Central Bank of Kenya for exchange of information and supervisory cooperation.

114. India received the most number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group of the U.N. Human Rights Council, winning a second consecutive two-year term at the world body. 162 of 190 countries voted for India. Three other countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Qatar were elected.

115. The Central Government ordered merger of the scam-hit firm NSEL with its holding company Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL).

116. U.K. engineering group Penspen has been awarded a contract to carry out a technical feasibility study for the proposed 1,820-km pipeline Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan- India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline.

117. GSAT-16, the next national communications satellite, reached French Guiana this week and is on its way to the space port near Kourou ahead of an early December flight, European launch Service Company Arianespace has said. The 3,150-kg satellite is scheduled to be flown on an Ariane-5 launcher numbered Flight VA221.

118. Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider — a modern-day adaptation of Hamlet — won the People’s Choice Award in the Mondo Genre (world genre) at the ninth edition of the Rome Film Festival.

119. P. Sainath (for his reporting in The Hindu), Al Jazeera English, USA Today and Global Post were among the winners of the World Media Summit (WMS) Global Awards for Excellence, 2014. 
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