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October 18, 2015

18th October 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa arrived in Delhi today to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
    • This is his First Foreign visit after assuming office.
    • During the talks, the Indian side is expected to convey its concerns over the continued unrest in the Himalayan nation.

National Affairs
  • The Maharashtra government has declared a "drought-like condition" in 14,708 of the state's 43,000 villages. 
    • This means the drought covers 34% of the state.
    • This is the second successive year of drought in Maharashtra. 
    • The state has experienced three such calamities in the last four years.
  • The Government has amended the Central Order under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 with immediate effect to increase availability and to prevent hoarding of pulses.
    • It will enable imposition of stock limits on pulses sourced from imports, stocks held by exporters, stocks to be used as raw-materials by licensed food processors and stocks of Large Departmental Retailers.
    • The Centre has taken several measures for increasing the availability of pulses by banning export of pulses, extension of zero import duty on pulses and also import of 5000 tonnes of pulses from Price Stabilization Fund.
  • Rajasthan government has issued a notification to provide 5% quota to Gujjars and other Special Backward Classes (SBC) for which the Assembly has passed a bill last month.
    • The Rajasthan Specific Backward Classes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions in the state and of Appointment and Posts under the state) Act, 2015 (Act No 32) came into effect from 16th October 2015.
    • The Act will provide 5% reservation in jobs and educational institutes to Gujjars, Banjara, Raibari, and Gadiya Lohar communities in the state.

Business & Economy

  • Industrialists from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal have set up the BBINF, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Investment Forum to boost sub-regional trade and investment inspired by the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.
    • President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI), Abdul Matlub Ahmad inaugurated the Forum in Dhaka.
    • Important Note : The BBIN Motor-Vehicles Agreement which was signed in June 2015 allowing transnational transport services among the 4 countries, is set to go into operation in January, 2016.
  • Textiles-to-telecom conglomerate Aditya Birla Group has entered pureplay ecommerce by launching fashion portal, which sells about 55 brands including those of the parent group.

New Appointments
  • Senior lawyer Shrihari Aney has been appointed Maharashtra’s new advocate general
    • He takes over from Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who was given the temporary charge of AG post four months ago after former AG Sunil Manohar resigned. 
Awards & Honors
  • Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has been conferred with Harvard University's prestigious humanitarian award for his continuing contribution to the cause of child rights.
    • The annual award is given to an individual who has worked to improve the quality of lives.
    • Satyarthi is the first Indian to win this award.

  • The 9th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 9) next year (2016) will feature 8 teams with 2 new sides replacing Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals
    • The two franchisee teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals remain suspended for two years. 
    • The Indian cricket board will float tenders to add 2 new teams from 2016 for a 2-year term.

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