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October 16, 2015

16th October 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (16th October) is World Food Day.
    • This day is celebrated every year around the world on 16th October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
    • World Food Day 2015 Theme : Social protection and Agriculture
  • Today is World Spine Day.
    • Theme of World Spine Day 2015 : Straighten Up and Move
  • US President Barack Obama has confirmed plans to extend the US military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016, in a shift in policy.
  • The Myanmar government today signed a peace accord with Eight of the 15 Ethnic Armed Groups, a ceremony which was attended by India along with other five "international witnesses".
    • Apart from India, other international representation was from China, Japan, Thailand, the United Nations and the European Union.
    • Note : India was represented by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval
National Affairs
  • In a landmark judgement today, the Supreme Court has upheld the Collegium system of
    appointment of judge
    s and has struck down the constitutional amendment that introduced National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
  • The Indian Railways is going to launch the 'Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme' christened as 'Vikalp' .
    • Under this scheme, a passenger who's ticket isn't confirmed on a long distance train will be provided with a berth in an alternative train, plying towards the same route.
    • This scheme would be launched on 1st November 2015 as a pilot project in Northern Railway for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors. Based on the feedback, the scheme will be expanded to other sectors.
    • The government today flagged off the ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’ train from Delhi, as part of its initiative to sensitize the masses, especially children and the youth, about the issue of climate change, in the run-up to the global climate summit in Paris slated for December.
    • This year's Theme : Climate Change
    • Last year's Theme : Biodiversity.
    • Union minister for Environment and Forests : Prakash Javadekar
New Appointments
  • An Indian national, Kundhavi Kadiresan was appointed as the Assistant Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. 
    • Important Note : Kadiresan succeeded Hiroyuki Konuma who retired from FAO earlier in 2015.
Business & Economy
  • Transport Ministry is going to invest more than 50 thousand crore rupees for development of Roads and National Highways in Rajasthan over the next two years.
    • Transport Minister : Nitin Gadkari 
  • India's exports slump 24.3 % to , to 21.8 billion dollars in last month.
    • Exports dropped mainly due to a sharp fall in shipments of petroleum products, iron ore, and engineering goods, amid tepid global demand.
  • The Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made it mandatory for telecom operators to compensate consumers by one rupee for call drops with effect from first January 2016.
    • The TRAI has also raised the penalty on telecom operators to up to Rs 2 lakh for poor mobile service quality, including call drops.
    • As per existing norms, there is a penalty provision of up to Rs 50,000 for the first violation and Rs 1 lakh for subsequent failures in case of network related quality parameters. 
    • However, with regard to consumer-related issues the penalty was capped at Rs 50,000 for each violation.
  • Nestle India has today announced that all samples of Maggi have cleared tests conducted by three laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court, paving the way for the instant noodles brand to be back in the market after it was banned over the presence of excess lead.
  • RBI has announced merger of two funds to create a new Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore to support 'developmental and promotional activities' for expanding reach of banking services.
    • Important Points to Note
      • RBI has merged the Financial Inclusion Fund and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund into a single Fund — Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF).
      • The overall corpus of the new FIF will be Rs 2,000 crore. 
      • Contribution to FIF would be from the 'interest differential' in excess of 0.5 per cent on RIDF and STCRC deposits on account of shortfall in priority sector lending kept with NABARD by banks," it said while issuing revised guidleines of the new FIF.
      • RIDF - Rural Infrastructure Development Fund 
      • STCRC - Short-Term Cooperative Rural Credit.
  • In Sultan of Johor Junior Hockey Cup, India beat Malaysia in their fourth league match.

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