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Govt to launch Unnat Bharat Abhiyan October 31, 2014 Government is set to launch a new programme, the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan to uplift rural India. This programme will be launched in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) across the country. The main idea for launching the programme is to provide definitive research that can be aligned with national development. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It will be coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi. Key Points about Unnat Bharat Abhiyan The programme, with the help of IITs, NITs and other leading technical institutions will prepare a roadmap for holistic rural development. It will involve engaging with communities around each institute and for their upliftment. Each IIT will identify 10 villages in its neighbourhood and work out technologies to solve the most pressing issues of the region. Different teams from these institutes will visit the villages, identify problems and then aim to find financially-viable schemes. Once the solution is identified then they will involve the industry in this to solve the problem. Along with the HRD ministry and the institutes, some other ministries such as rural development and NGOs working in villages are also likely to be involved in the programme. Some of the problems that the institutes will be looking at are, supply of potable water, sanitation, energy and low cost housing.

Sri Lankan court gives death penalty to five Indian fishermen October 31, 2014 On 30th October 2014, five Indian fishermen from Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu were sentenced to death penalty by the High court of Sri Lanka. Case: Five fishermen from Rameswaram were arrested in November 2011 on charges of smuggling narcotics from India to Sri Lanka after they crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line. High court of Sri Lanka sentenced three Sri Lankans and five Indian fishermen death penalty in this case. Indian Government‟s response to this decision India was tracking this case since 2011 and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had been providing legal aid to the fishermen. As per MEA, the fishermen are not guilty. In order to get them back to MEA will follow the legal process. Earlier, MEA had submitted background profiles of all the five fishermen with bona fides that they were genuine fishermen. India even had given details of five fishermen that had no record of involvement in drug related activities. However, the Sri Lankan authorities went ahead with the conviction, which is against the established practices between India and Sri Lanka. This decision is considered as an unpleasant development, which may in future strain India‗s bilateral ties with Sri Lanka. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Sachin Tendulkar inducted in Bradman Hall of Fame October 30, 2014 Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh have been inducted into the Bradman Hall of Fame. The two cricketers were inducted as honorees of the Bradman Foundation at a gala dinner held at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sachin Tendulkar had met Bradman on his 90th birthday in Adelaide. Bradman had listed Tendulkar in an all-time XI list prepared by him. Tendulkar holds almost every Test batting record, except for Bradman‗s average.

India ranks 142nd in the Doing Business 2015 Report October 30, 2014 India was ranked 142nd among 189 nations in the World Bank‗s Ease of Doing Business Report. ‗Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency‗ is a World Bank Group flagship publication. The 2015 version is the 12th such annual report. The report seeks to measure the regulations that enhance business activity and those that restrict it. The report quantifies indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights and then compares it across 189 economies and over different time periods. The WB develops the rankings based on consultations with ‗legal and accounting professionals, government officials and business practitioners, among others, across countries.‗ In 2014, for the first time, the WB collected data for two cities in large economies with population of more than 100 million. In India, the two countries taken into account were Mumbai and Delhi. India‟s ranking India‗s 2015 ranking was two notches below its 2014 ranking, even though the Report itself credits India for carrying out reforms. Also, the Report only takes into account measures carried out till the 31st of May so, most of the reforms carried out by the new Central Government hasn‗t been included whilst finalizing the ranking. In ease of starting business, India dropped two steps to 158 and one step in dealing with construction permits to 184. India‗s points score improved in six out of 10 criteria, remained unchanged on three criteria, and fell in the ease of paying taxes criteria. The country‗s overall score increased from 53.97 to 52.78, even as the ranking fell. As far as global ranking in concerned, India improved its performance only in the newly introduced category of protecting minority investors. Its ranking dropped in all other categories except for enforcing contracts where the ranking remains unchanged. Having undertaken 20 reformative measures, India topped the list of reformers in South Asia, which saw the lowest number of reforms. However, despite that, India is ranked below Sri Lanka (99), Nepal (108), Maldives (116), Bhutan (125), and Pakistan (128). Countries performing well Singapore topped the list of business-friendly economies globally for the ninth consecutive year. The top 10 economies are Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, USA, Britain, Finland and Australia. A lot of sub-Saharan African countries have registered the most improvement. Progress in the Middle East and North Africa, however, was uneven. 80% of the countries showed an improvement in business regulations, but, only around a third of the countries registered improved rankings.

India re-elected to ECOSOC October 30, 2014 India won its re-election to the EcoSoc. This win comes just a week after India‗s re-election to the UNHRC. On election, members serve a three year term. India‗s previous term was scheduled to end in 2013. Now, on re-election, India will serve another three year term beginning on 1st January, 2015. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Re-election to the EcoSoc A country requires two-thirds of the total votes to become a member. EcoSoc has a total of 54 members. The countries serve for overlapping periods of three years. In October this year, all the members of the UNGA voted to elect 18 members from amongst themselves to the EcoSoc. India was re-elected to the 193-member UN body, EcoSoc, after receiving 183 votes. India was re-elected with the highest number of votes in the Asia Pacific group. India was followed by Japan and Pakistan, both of whom received 181 votes each. Members of the EcoSoc The newly elected members of the EcoSoc are Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, India, Japan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The 54 seats on the EcoSoc are allotted ‗based on geographical representation with 14 allocated to African States, 11 to Asian States, six to Eastern European States, 10 to Latin American and Caribbean States, and 13 to Western European and other States.‗ EcoSoc The Economic and Social Council is the ‗United Nations‗ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.‗ EcoSoc is one of the six main UN organs which were established by the UN Charter. EcoSoc is the ‗principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.‗ It supervises ‗the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields.‗ Jawahar Sircar elected vice president of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union The CEO of Prasar Bharati, Jawhar Sircar, was elected unopposed as the Vice-President of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). Also, representatives from Malaysian broadcaster RTM and Japan‗s NHK were also chosen as Vice-Presidents while the representative from South Korean broadcaster KBS was chosen as the President. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) The ABU was formed in 1964, and is a non-profit, non-governmental, professional association of broadcasting organizations. It has over 200 members in over 60 countries/regions. Its headquarters is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and its President is Yoshinori Imai. India is a founder member since 1964 and All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan have been associated with ABU too.ABU has full time members who must be national free-to-air broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific; associate members that is open to provincial, subscription and national broadcasters; and affiliate members who are organizations connected to broadcastic. ABU provides a forum to promote the collective interests of its members. It is one of the most prominent and the third largest broadcasting union in the world. Foundation Day of Jamia Millia Islamia observed The Jamia Millia Islamia celebrated its 94th Foundation Day on October 29. The celebrations of Foundation Day are spread out over three days. Chief Guest The Foundation Day celebrations began with the Chief Guest, Dr. Karan Singh, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) along with Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia receiving the Guard of Honour by the NCC Cadets of Jamia. That will be followed by a Flag Hoisting Ceremony by the Chief Guest Dr. Karan Singh and a Foundation Day Function. The Chief Guest Dr. Karan Singh will also inaugurate ‗Talimi Mela‗, which is an educational fest. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Events The Foundation Day celebration will involve multiple and varied events like exhibitions of Paintings, Sculptures, Photography and Printmaking, Poster Making Competition, Quiz Competition, Enactment of a Play, singing competition, mehendi competition etc. Various departments of the university also set up stalls to represent their respective faculties. The Faculty of Arts had organised a photo exhibition dedicated to M.F.Hussain. The final day of the celebrations consisted of a series of special lectures. Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) JMI is a public central University in New Delhi that was founded on October 29, 1920. It was established during British rule in Aligarh in the erstwhile United Provinces. The University was established by nationalist Muslim leaders. The Ali brothers, Moulana Mohammad Ali Jouhar and Moulana Shoukat Ali, especially played a major role in its founding. Dr.Zakir Hussain was the first Vice-Chancellor of JMI. JMI was made a Central University through legislation in 1988.

SC gives free hand to NGT to whip Ganga polluting industries October 29, 2014 The SC has asked the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to actively involve itself in the cleaning up of the Ganges river Inactivity of other bodies The SC asked the NGT to step in and take up the task of closing down industries polluting Ganga and take action against industries failing to install adequate anti-pollution measures to treat industrial effluents by March 2015. This responsibility had been entrusted to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards (SPCBs). However, these agencies have failed to even implement SC orders which have been passed over the last 30 years to reduce pollutants in the Ganga. Efficient functioning of the NGT The SC opined that the NGT‗s work, with its expertise in the field of environment, was impressive. The NGT would be in a better position to follow through on judgments and monitor their implementation in certain scenarios like the closure of polluting industries. Also, it can oversee the actions taken by different authorities and environmental agencies. The SC has decided to give a free rein to NGT to take control of the cleaning-up of the Ganga. It will deal with the highly polluting industries which are discharging untreated effluents into Ganga and take appropriate measures, as it deems fit. The SC will retain control of certain matter such as those relating to ‗discharge of untreated sewage from municipalities and towns in the Ganga basin states‗. The Court also asked the NGT to file status reports after intervals of six months on action being taken by it against polluting industries.

Anirban Lahiri wins Venetian Macau Open October 28, 2014 27 year old Anirban Lahiri won the Venetian Macau Open, making it his second title of 2014 and fifth career win on the Asian Tour. He edged out 2013 winner Australian Scott Hend and Thai Prom Meesawat by one stroke. Lahiri began the game with a ranking of 90, and has now moved up to 72. Lahiri‗s goal in 2014 has been to land in the top 50 in the World Rankings. Other Indians participating landed the following ranks – Shiv Kapur was 8th with 274, while Jyoti Randhawa was tied 15th with 278, Jeev Milkha Singh was tied 26th with 285 and S.S.P. Chowrasia was tied 32nd with 286. The only player who has won the Macau tournament twice is China‗s Zhang Lian-wei. India‗s Gaganjeet Bhullar has also previously won the Macau Open. About Venetian Macau Open FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Macau Open is one of the tournaments on the Asian Tour. It is organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau Government Golf Association of Macau. The tournament was inaugurated in 1998, and is holding its sixteenth edition this year. This year, the total prize money pool has been increased to US $900,000. The competition a four-day, stroke play competition format involving 144 players. The event is held at the MAcau Golf and Country Club at Estrada de Hac Sa Coloane. Since the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel became the title sponsor in 2012, the tournament is being called the Venetia Macau Open.

Serena Williams wins WTA Finals Singles Trophy October 28, 2014 USA‗s Serena Williams defeated Romania‗s Simona Halep to clinch the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore Singles title. Williams‗ won the US $2.05 mn prize money, along with the Billie Jean King Trophy. This match also saw the return of Williams after she had to drop out of the Beijing Open due to a knee injury. This win marked Williams‗ third consecutive title at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore. This is the first time that such a feat has been accomplished by a played since Monica Seles in 1990-92. Williams also won the Billie Jean King Trophy in 2001, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Williams‗ is already set to finish the year with a No. 1 ranking.

Sania Mirza and Cara Black win Doubles trophy of the WTA Finals October 28, 2014 Zimbabwean national Cara Black and Indian Sania Mirza won the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore Doubles title. They defeated the defending champions Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-wei. With the doubles title, Black and Mirza won the Martina Navratilova Trophy and US $5,00,000. Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-wei were awarded a cash prize of US $ 2,50,000. Notably, the Black and Mirza pair are set to split up after this match. Mirza will team up with Hsieh Su-wei for the next season.

Britain formally ends 13 year War in Afghanistan October 28, 2014 UK has formally withdrawn from Afghanistan, ending the 13 year war that it was a part of. The lowering of the Union Flag in Camp Bastion marked the end of Britain‗s campaign, which is believed to be its longest involvement in a conflict in modern times. 13 year British campaign in Afghanistan Initially, the goal of the British forces was to curb the trade in illegal opium/poppy. However, that mission proved unsuccessful and the forces changed focus. At one point of time, the British had 9,500 British military personnel active in Afghanistan. A total of 453 British lives were lost in Afghanistan with thousands more who were injured. Status of forces UK‗s role in direct combat in Afghanistan has officially ended, however, it will still maintain a presence there. A few hundred British troops are expected to be deployed at the Qargha Officer Training Academy outside Kabul to train the Afghan national forces. UK will continue to play a major role in training and advising Afghan forces. UK‗s Special Forces operations are also expected to continue in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Camp Bastion Camp Bastion formed the epicenter of UK‗s operations in Afghanistan, even though it controlled another 136 small bases in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. The British had also built a 11,500 ft runway at Camp Bastion making it easy for the larger transport planes to fly in. The scale of operations there had increased to such an extent that Bastion became the third busiest British airport after Heathrow and Gatwick. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Operation Herrick Operation Herrick is the codename that was given to all British operations in Afghanistan since it committed forces in 2002. It comprises of UK‗s role in the NATO led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and USA‗s Operation Enduring Freedom.

SpaceX Dragon spacecraft returns safely October 28, 2014 SpaceX‗s Dragon spacecraft has concluded its mission to the ISS (International Space Station) and returned to Earth. The spacecraft was launched in September in SpaceX‗s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This was Dragon‗s fifth visit to the ISS. Cargo Dragon carried cargo of almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station during a month long stay. The Dragon delivered a multitude of food, clothing, equipment, experiments and supplies for the ISS and her crew including a 3D printer. Mice Dragon also carried 20 mice who will now stay at the ISS. The mice were taken into space in a new hardware system designed to carry rodents safely from Earth to the ISS and provide long-term accommodation aboard the ISS. It is being done to help researchers study the long-term effects of microgravity on mammalian physiology. SpaceX Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, orSpaceX, is a space transport services company that is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA It was founded in 2002 by formerPayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. The goal behind the setting up of SpaceX was to reduce space transportation costs and enable thecolonization of Mars SpaceX has developed two reusable launch vehicles: the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, apart from a spacecraft called Dragon SpaceX is a holder of the following records:It was responsible for the first privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit It is the first privately funded company to successfully launch orbit and recover a spacecraft It is the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS Is the first private company to send a satellite intogeosynchronous orbit Dragon Dragon is a free flying spacecraft that was designed by SpaceX It was designed to deliver cargo and also people to orbiting destinations in space In 2012, it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to delivery cargo to the ISS and also return cargo safely back to Earth

SpaceX is currently developing a new version of Dragon under an agreement with NASA, whereby it will be able to carry crew-members. Dragon‗s first manned test flight is expected to occur in a couple of years

Key Facts About Cyclone Nilofar October 28, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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A deep depression that has formed over the Arabian Sea is expected to turn into a tropical cyclone Nilofar. Nilofar has the potential to strengthen to the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane before its Arabian Peninsula landfall. In India, the North Gujarat coast is expected to bear the brunt of Nilofar. It is expected to land in Gujarat on October 31 with a wind speed of over 120 kmph District authorities in the coastal areas of Gujarat have been warned to be prepared for heavy rains and storm. The authorities are also monitoring the situation and the control rooms are operational. The authorities of the Kandla Port Trust, State Maritime Board and the Forest Department, besides local leaders in villages have been put on high alert. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the coastal districts of Gujarat will isolated very heavy rainfall from October 30 which will intensify further into a severe cyclone storm within 24 hours Alerts will be issued to concerned local authorities on status of the storm every three hours Other than India, Nilofar is also expected to hit eastern Yemen or Oman with damaging winds, flooding rain and dangerously rough seas. It is also expected to bring potentially heavy rainfall to parts of Pakistan, especially Karachi. It is to be noted that tropical cyclones are unusual in this part of the world. Generally, only one or two tropical cyclones form every year in Arabian Sea. About Naming of cyclones In the West, hurricanes and tropical cyclones have been given their own names since 1953. This was done in accordance with a convention by Miami‗s National Hurricane Centre and is maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO is an agenct of the UN and based out of Geneva. However, South Asia and the Middle East did not adhere to this practice of naming storms till much later. In an effort to name the cyclones without offending any of the countries in the region, all the countries came together in 2004 to evolve a mechanism to name the tropical cyclones. According to the agreed upon system, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand meet every year and each country submits its list of names. Each country gets a turn to name the storm in alphabetical order. Till now, the countries have decided on 64 names. Hudhud was a suggestion of Oman, while Nilofar was Pakistan‗s suggestion.

Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to be Chair of Future Earth‟s Engagement Committee October 28, 2014 Jairam Ramesh, former Environment Minister, has been asked to chair the Future Earth Engagement Committee. Future Earth Engagement Committee The Committee is a global research platform panel on sustainable development. The strategic advisory group was instituted by an alliance of organisations including the UNEP (UN Environment Programme), UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). However, the Committee is the flagship initiative of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability. The committee will provide knowledge and support to hasten the introduction of sustainable technologies. The committee will consist of leaders from stakeholder groups, including business, policy and civil society and will be representative of various societal partners, who can help bring about change. The Committee will comprise of 18 members and will be fully constituted by the end of 2014. Earlier roles in international fora Jairam Ramesh was also a member of the UN Secretary General‗s High-Level Global Sustainability Panel between 2011 and 2012. He also played a key role in the UN Climate Change Conferences at Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010.

Government to create a SPV for Ken-Betwa River Linking Project FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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October 28, 2014 The Centre is planning to create a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) to implement the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project. Interlinking the rivers of India has been one of the major initiative of the NDA government at the Centre. Ken-Betwa River Linking Project The Ken-Betwa link is one of the 16 river linking proposals under the Peninsular Component of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for water resources development. It envisages diversion of surplus water from the Ken basin to the water-deficit Betwa basin. The project will have a dam on Ken river along with a 221 km link canal. The project was conceived in two phases, with the first phase benefitting both states, and the second phase confined to Madhya Pradesh. There are plans to implement both phases at the same time. The project is expected to facilitate annual irrigation for 6.35 lakh hectares and supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people. Also, a 78MW hydropower plant is expected to become operational after the two rivers are linked. Approvals The project will involve the two neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, both of which have in principle given their consent for creation of the SPV. Also the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its approval for conducting the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Study for the project.

North east monsoon gets active over South India October 28, 2014 The northeast monsoon is active over south India, according to the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) which has forecast rain or thundershowers in the region. The northeast monsoon is expected to be vigorous over Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and southern interior of Karnataka, and active over Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Most places in Rayalaseema, Karnataka and Lakshadweep, and many places in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are already experiencing rainfall. About Northeast Monsoon The period between October to December in peninsular India is referred to as the northeast monsoon season. The northeast monsoon used to be called ‗post-monsoon season‗ or ‗retreating southwest monsoon season‗. The northeast monsoon is a major period of rainfall activity over the southern peninsula, especially coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and the Tamilnadu-Pondicherry region. For Tamilnadu, this is the main rainy season accounting for about 48% of the annual rainfall. Generally, northeast monsoon rains occur in spells of about 3 to 4 days duration. Spells exceeding 4 days occur less often and there are long spells of dry weather with little or no rain. Rainfall is concentrated in the afternoon, evening or early part of the night, except when a depression is formed nearby.

Hijri year 1436 starts October 27, 2014 The Hijri new year marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. It is also known as Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar. Advent of the Islamic Calendar The first Islamic year began in 622 AD and is believed to mark the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. The word Hijrah means immigration. The Islamic Calendar was started 1434 years before by the second Caliph Omar ibn Khattab, which makes the current year 1436 AH according to the Islamic calendar. The AH here stands for the Latin term ‗Anno Hegirae‗ or ‗After Hijrah‗. Calculation of the New Year

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The Islamic calendar runs on the lunar system, and the first day of the new month is decided based on sighting of the moon. So, the new year is determined by the sighting of the new moon. Therefore, the exact day varies in different countries, but there is generally only a difference of one or two days. The Umm al-Qura Calendar, used in Saudi Arabia, is also followed by several neighbouring states on the Arabian Peninsula, such as Bahrain and Qatar. In India, the Hijri new year falls on October 25.

Pankaj Advani wins World Billiards Point Format Championship October 26, 2014 Pankaj Advani emerged the winner at the World Billiards Championship triumph in the 150-up points format. Advani defeated Singapore‗s Peter Gilchrist 6-2 in the finals of the World Championship. The points format is the shorter form of the regular billiards game. Advani had lost to Gilchrist in the league stage, but he managed to defeat him in the finals. This win makes Advani‗s 11th World Title. Record Only in 2014, Advani has won three different world titles, namely the IBSF World 6-Red Snooker, World Team Billiards and World Billiards Championship (point format).

Noted freedom fighter Jagdish Sharan dies October 26, 2014 Prominent freedom fighter Jagdish Sharan Pande passed away in Almora, Uttarakhand at age 95. He died after a prolonged illness. Pande was a resident of Bhatkot in Uttarakhand. After his death, Pande‗s remains were consigned to flames with full state honours. Post-independence, Pande has been actively involved in social work. Role in the fight for Independence Pande was a part of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose‗s Azad Hind Fauj. He was also jailed in Burma during 1943-44 for his involvement.

H.N.Reliance Foundation Hospital inaugurated October 26, 2014 PM Modi inaugurated the H.N.Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in South Mumbai. Inauguration The hospital that is now the H.N.Reliance Hospital was the first general hospital built. The hospital has been active since 1925. In its 90th year, the Nita Ambani-headed Reliance Foundation has rebuilt and upgraded the hospital into a 19 storey tower with two heritage wings. Collaboration The upgraded hospital and research centre will collaborate with renowned hospitals like John Hopkins, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Southern California. Also, around 50 doctors of Indian origin from different parts of the world will also be working with the H.N.Reliance Foundation Hospital. Philanthropy The hospital will reserve one-fifth of its total capacity for underprivileged persons. It will provide 10% of beds free of cost to the needy and another 10% of beds at subsidized rates.

WB government to set up Right to Public Service Commission October 26, 2014

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The West Bengal Government has announced that it will be introducing a Bill in the upcoming budget session of the WB State Assembly to ensure timely delivery of public services. Paschim Banga Lok Parisheba Adhikar Bill, 2013 (West Bengal Public Services Rights Bill, 2013) The legislation titled Paschim Banga Lok Parisheba Adhikar Bill, 2013 will be introduced for the first time in the upcoming session. The bill provides for efficient delivery of services in government offices. The dual goal of the legislation will be to reduce corruption and put in place an efficient delivery mechanism. Non-delivery of services within the provided time frame will lead to imposition of fines. Fines may range from Rs. 250 to Rs. 1,000. Commission The legislation also provides for the setting up of a Commission which will look into complaints from people who have not received government services on time, and take action as required.

21 Asian countries sign MoU for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) October 26, 2014 21 Asian countries, including India, have signed an agreement to become the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China‗s Vice-Finance Minister Jin Liqun, who has also been the VicePresident of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), was appointed the Secretary General of AIIB. India‟s role China has been keen to ensure India‗s participation in the AIIB, and the Chinese President Jinping also pushed for it when met PM Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in July. The AIIB is in addition to the BRICS Development Bank which was also formed recently. Te BRICS Development will be located in Shanghai, and will begin operating with an Indian as its President. The Joint Secretary of the Economic Affairs division of the Ministry of Finance signed the MoU on behalf of India at Beijing. The Joint Secretary said that the new bank will function as a rich resource base for capital for infrastructure financing, and thereby provide an impetus to regional development by playing a complementary role to multilateral agencies such as the ADB and IMF. Voting rights of the different countries will be decided after consultations among the members over fixing the bench marks which are expected to be a combination of GDP and PPP. If such a formula is finalized, India will be the second largest share holder of AIIB after China. AIIB AIIB is an international financial institution that was proposed by China. It is expected to act as a balance of power with the WB, IMF and ADB all being controlled/dominated by the US, EU and Japan respectively. The Headquarters of the AIIB will be at Beijing, and the bank is expected to be operational in 2015. According to the agreement, the authorised capital of AIIB is US $100 bn and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around US $50 bn. The paid-in ratio will be 20%. The 21 members of the AIIB are China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Centre approves 20 FDI proposals amounting to over 988 cr October 26, 2014 The Centre has cleared 20 FDI proposals involving investment of approximately Rs. 988.3 cr. The approvals to the 20 FDI proposals, including six in the pharmaceutical sector, were given by the Ministry of Finance after a meeting of the FIPB Projects which were granted approval FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Tamil Nadu-based Equitas Holdings Pvt Ltd. will be bringing in the maximum investment with Rs. 325 cr Indusind Bank‗s proposal, seeking to raise the foreign investment limit in the bank up to 74% has been approved Other proposals that have been approved are those by Fresenius Kabi Oncology for Rs. 119 cr and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Company‗s for Rs. 205 cr Proposals that were rejected FIPB rejected multiple proposals including that of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd. to increase foreign investment in the company up to 100%. FIPB FIPB is a governmental body which offers a single window clearance for FDI proposals in India that are not allowed access through the automatic route. The members of the FIPB includes Secretaries of different ministries. The FIPB is headed by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance. FIPB provides recommendations to the Ministry of Finance on FDI proposals up to Rs. 1,200 cr. Proposals involving investment of more than Rs. 1,200 cr have to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Contributions made by corporate towards Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund to be considered as social

welfare spending under Companies Act October 26, 2014 The government has widened the ambit of CSR under the new Companies Act to include contributions made towards the Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) and the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF). The contributions will count as being made for social welfare work. Changes to the Companies Act Companies having at least Rs 5 cr net profit, or Rs 1,000 cr turnover, or Rs 500 cr net worth have to spend a minimum of 2% of their three year average annual net profit towards CSR from 2014-15. Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013, lists the activities and endeavors that can count as CSR. The Corporate Affairs Ministry has inserted the words ‗including contribution to the Swachh Bharat Kosh set up by the central government for the promotion of sanitation‗ and ‗including contribution to the Swach Bharat Kosh set up by the central government for the promotion of sanitation‗ in Schedule VII of the Act through a notification. Earlier, contributions made to the Prime Minister‗s National Relief Fund was also included under Schedule VII. Any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women was also included under the schedule. Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) SBK was set up to attract CSR funds from the corporate sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists. The funds accumulated in the SBK will be utilized to achieve the objective of Clean India or Swachh Bharat by 2019 through Swachh Bharat Mission. Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) The CGF was constituted to fund activities to clean and conserve the river, Ganga. The CGF also accepts voluntary contributions from NRIs and PIOs towards the CGF The CGF will be managed by a Trust to be headed by the finance minister. The Secretariat of the Trust will be set up in the Ministry of Water Resources.

N. Gopalaswami to head Kalakshetra Foundation October 25, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Union Ministry of Culture has named N.Gopalaswami as the Chairman of the governing board of the Kalakshetra Foundation. Gopalaswami is a former IAS officer belonging to the Gujarat cadre, and former Chief Election Commissioner. He will act as Chairman for a duration of five years. His predecessor was Gopalkrishna Gandhi who resigned in May this year. Kalakshetra Foundation Kalakshetra was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to nurture India‗s artistic traditions. It is located in Besant Nagar, Chennai. It is a cultural academy that aims to presere the traditions of the Bharatanatyam dance form and traditional music. In January 1994, the Central Government passed a legislation to recognize the Kalakshetra Foundation as an ‗Institute of National Importance‗. Kalakshetra‗s current Director is Priyadarshini Govind.

Government nod for parallel sea route from Port Blair to Baratang October 25, 2014 The Union Shipping Ministry has given permission to the Andaman & Lakshadweep Harbour Works Department for a parallel sea route from Port Blair to Baratang in the Andamans. Sea route The sea route will serve as the entry point to the northern islands and is expected to increase the flow of tourists to the island. The sea route will act as an alternate to the Andaman Trunk road which passes through a reserve forest area where the protected Jarawa Tribals live. SC judgment An earlier SC ruling had asked the Andaman and Nicobar administration to close the Andaman Trunk road and opt for sea route parallel to it instead. Later, the SC modified its earlier order so that the sea route and the roadway may exist and operate simultaneously.

Government announces RS. 745 Crore Package for J & K October 25, 2014 PM Modi visited J&K on the occasion of Diwali to review the relief and rehabilitation efforts. In a press release he stated that ‗good governance, quick restoration of public infrastructure, revival of economic activity and creation of a conducive environment for bringing tourists to the state‗ was the key to bringing back normalcy to J&K. This is the PM‗s second visit to J&K since it was affected by the floods. Details of the Package The Prime Minister has announced a Rs. 745 cr package to support the ongoing rehabilitation and renovation efforts in flood-hit J&K. vThe 745 cr package will be utilized for renovation of houses and six major hospitals which were damaged by the floods in J&K. Of this, 570 cr will be set aside for renovation of houses while the remaining 175 cr will be used for the immediate renovation work of the hospitals. This 175 cr will also cover costs for procurement of new equipments and machines for the hospitals. The J&K government has been pressing for a Rs. 44,000 cr package. Earlier, PM Modi had announced a Rs. 1,000 cr special assistance package for rehabilitation of the flood victims. Constitution of Expert Committee An expert committee under the Prime Minister‗s Office has been constituted to oversee the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in J&K. The expert committee shall comprise of town planners, structural engineers, civil engineers, hydrologists, geologists, flood control experts and economists. These persons will be given the task of FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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formulating and implementing a rehabilitation and reconstruction programme within a time frame and they will work directly under the PM.

Government clears defence projects worth 80,000 cr October 25, 2014 The Defence Acquisition Council has given the clearance to defence projects amounting to 80,000 cr. Multiple deals that involve either upgradation of equipments or capability enhancement of the Navy were given approval. Other projects that have been approved are:Indigenous production of six submarines Procurement of 8,000 Israeli anti-tank guided missiles Procurement of 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft with enhanced sensors from HAL at Rs. 1,850 cr Purchase of 8,356 Anti Tank Guided Missile from Israel worth Rs 3,200 cr (This is being bought instead of USA‗s Javelin missile). The Army will also purchase 321 launchers for the missile Purchase of 362 infantry fighting vehicle from the Ordinance Factory Board in Medak, West Bengal for Rs 662 cr Purchase of 1,761 units of five spoke 7.5 tonne radio containers for Rs 662 cr and 1,768 critical rolling stock – open and closed wagons for transport of military equipments at a cost of Rs 740 cr from domestic vendors Purchase of equipments for classified operations of the Navy Indigenous production of submarines Six submarines equipped with land attack cruise missiles will be produced in India at a cost of Rs. 50,000 cr. This will be in furtherance of the Government‗s Make in India initiative. A committee will be formed to make a study of both public and private shipyards to determine which of them have the capacity and manpower to build six submarines. After the study is completed, a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued to the port that has been identified by the study About Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) The DAC was setup in 2001, as one of the initiatives in the slew of reforms carried out after the Kargil War. The Council evaluates the long-term integrated perspective plan for the Armed Forces, determines the necessity of acquiring equipment and gives approval to various defence deals. It also has to approve any changes in already approved acquisition processes. It also recommends major procurements to the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) for approval. The Council is chaired by the Defence Minister. The members of the Council include Defence Secretary, Chiefs of Army, Navy & Air Force, Chief of DRDO, amongst others.

Government grounds entire fleet of Sukhoi-30, each aircraft to undergo technical check October 24, 2014 In response to the recent crash of a Sukhoi-30 plane in Pune, the Government has ordered the grounding of India‗s entire fleet of Sukhoi-30 airplanes pending technical checks on each of them. Preliminary findings A Sukhoi-30 MKI had crashed in a field near Pune. The accident is still under investigation, however, the preliminary findings have suggested that a technical problem in the fly-by-wire system was the cause of the accident and not human error. A Court of Inquiry on the accident is also in progress. Grounded fleet Around 200 twin engine Sukhoi-30s have been grounded pending technical review. Notably, this has been the fifth accident involving a Sukhoi-30 MKI since 2009, and the Sukhoi-30 fleet has been grounded twice before. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The grounded fleet accounts for almost one-third of India‗s fighter fleet. The Air force will now have only 34 active combat squadrons (with each squadron having 18 fighter planes), as opposed to the authorized strength of 44.

Birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, 31 October to be celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas October 24, 2014 The Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which falls on 31 October, will be celebrated as National Integration Day of Rashtriya Ekta Divas from now on. Objective of the Commemoration The government will attempt to create awareness among the people about Sardar Patel‗s contribution towards India‗s freedom struggle and ensuring national integration in India. Sardar Patel played a pivotal role in the merg er of princely states with British ruled India to form a sovereign united country called India Rashtriya Ekta Divas (RED) The government will try to make RED a mass movement, reaching people from all avenues of life. The participation of the people shall be voluntary. On October 31 this year, the PM will participate in the event and broadcast a short radio address. In the morning of October 31, a ‗run for unity‗ marathon will be organized in cities, towns and villages all over India. In the evening, Police and other organizations like the NSS, NCC, Scouts and Guides, Home Guards etc will march on the streets in all district headquarters. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sardar Patel was born on 31 October, 1875 at Karamsand, Gujarat. He was a barrister with a successful law practice, before he left the law to join the Indian national movement under Gandhi. He played a major role in organizing peasants‗ movements in Kheda and Bardoli in Gujarat, and during the Quit India movement. His biggest contribution to India was his role in the integration of the over 500 princely states with India during 1947-49.

International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspends Sarita Devi October 24, 2014 Indian boxer L.Sarita Devi has been provisionally suspended by the AIBA for refusing to accept the bronze medal she won after losing the semifinal fight over a controversial decision at the 2014 Asian Games. Suspension Along with Sarita Devi, her coaches Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu, B.I.Fernandes and Sagar Mai Dhayal and India‗s chef de-mission Adille Sumariwala to the Incheon Asiad 2014 have also been suspended. All of them are prohibited from participating in the upcoming competitions till further notice. Other than AIBA competitions, they also cannot participate in AIBA events and meetings. This Sarita Devi case has now been sent for review by the AIBA Disciplinary Commission. The suspension means that Sarita Devi will miss the upcoming Women‗s World Championships in Jeju, South Korea which is scheduled to take place between November 13 and 25.

Government approves four strategic rail lines along China border October 24, 2014 The Central Government has granted approval to four out of the 14 identified strategic rail lines. The project has been in deliberation for years. High Level Meeting At a high level meeting of officials from the Planning Commission, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Finance, the PMO ordered Indian Railways to carry out an engineering survey of the 1,000 km of line FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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identified by the Defence Ministry to be of strategic importance. The building of the lines will be commissioned only after the survey, which acts as a blueprint. Four strategic lines The four rail lines which have been identified are along the China border. They are in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and J&K. The identified lines are Missamari-Tawang (378 km) in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh, North Lakhimpur-Along-Silapathar (248 km) in Assam, Murkongselek-Pasighat-Tezu-Parashuram Kund-Rupai (256 km) in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh and Bilaspur-Mandi-Manali-Leh (498 km) in Himachal Pradesh-J&K. The rail lines are expected to be used by the Armed Forces for transporting supplies for the Army and troops movement. Details of the Engineering Survey Before the Survey, the Railways has been given a month‗s time to present a report on the expected costs of the project, which will be borne by the government. The survey itself is expected to take two years, which the Railways might expedite considering the importance attached to the project.

India-Mexico sign pacts for space cooperation October 24, 2014 India and Mexico have signed pacts to cooperate in the field of space technology. Joint Commission meeting The pacts were signed at the sixth session of the Joint Commission meeting between India and Mexico that was held in New Delhi. The meeting was presided by India‗s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, and her Mexican counterpart, Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena. The other issues discussed or decided at the meeting are:The two countries agreed to explore cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector Both countries agreed that there was a need to expand their bilateral ties, especially in the arena of trade. Bilateral trade between the two countries increased from $2.81 bn in 2010 to $7 bn now. Mexico agreed to set up an ‗India Room‗ in the National Museum of Cultures in Mexico City for which India has gifted 108 pieces In 2015, a ‗Days of India in Mexico‗ will be launched in Mexico to commemorate the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two nations Both countries also agreed to institutionalize a bilateral mechanism on consular issues Space cooperation The two countries will cooperate in remote sensing, satellite communication and areas related to the peaceful use of outer space.

UNHRC asks China to ensure universal voting rights in Hong Kong October 24, 2014 The UNHRC ( United Nations Human Rights Committee) asked China to ensure universal suffrage in Hong Kong, specifying that universal voting rights included the right to stand for election as well as the right to vote. Role of UNHRC in Hong Kong The UNHRC monitors compliance with an international treaty on civil and political rights, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), in Hong Kong. Therefore, it is concerned with violations of the treaty in Hong Kong. Concerns of the UNHRC The main concerns expressed by the UNHRC were focused on the right to stand for elections without unreasonable restrictions. The UNHRC has also asked for additional information on the specific method for selecting the Chief Executive Legislative Council of Hong Kong by universal suffrage, to ensure its compliance with the ICCPR. This FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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recent statement of UNHRC is a follow-up on its recommendations made in March 2013 pertaining to the need for universal and equal suffrage in Hong Kong for all elections. ICCPR The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the UNGA in 1966. It guarantees fundamental freedoms including the right to self-determination and free and regular elections. China is also a signatory but it has never been ratified. However, though ICCPR is just a treaty for other countries, it is binding in Hong Kong due to the special nature and circumstances surrounding the province. Protests in Hong Kong Protestors in Hong Kong have also been demanding universal suffrage and that the impending elections in 2017 and 2020 be held according to international standards. The elections in question are for the Chief Executive position and Legislative Council seats. The protest was conceived to be an act of civil disobedience by the organizers. Hong Kong citizens, unlike those of mainland China have the right to free speech and right to protest. The ruling of the National People‗s Congress which triggered the protests said that candidates for the 2017 Chief Executive elections would be only those nominated by a Committee which consisted mostly of pro Beijing members.

69th United Nations Day observed on October 24 October 24, 2014 The 69th UN Day was celebrated all around the world in UN‗s member states. UN day falls on October 24 and it marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. October 24 is the day on which the agreement was ratified by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council. October 24 is being commemorated since 1948. In 1971, the UNGA recommended that October 24 be observed by the member states as a public holiday. Greetings from Indian PM On the eve of UN Day, PM Modi asked UN‗s member nations to further the cause of world peace and prosperity. He said is was a ‗day to celebrate the achievements of the UN & look at a roadmap for the future‗. Facts about UN The UN was created to replace the inefficient League of Nations following World War II to prevent the occurrence of such wars in the future

US President Franklin Roosevelt coined the term ‗United Nations‗, which was first used in 1942 Later, in October 1943, in a declaration signed in Moscow, USSR, UK and USA called for the early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security. This goal was reaffirmed at the Tehran Conference in December 1943 The UN was finally founded in 1945 when representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco on April 25 at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The Charter was unanimously adopted on June 25. India is a founding member of the UN The UN officially came into existence on October 24, 1945 There are 193 UN member states as of today with South Sudan being the last one to join UN Headquarters is situated in New York Some of the important bodies of the UN are the UNGA, UNSC, Economic and Social Council (EcoSoc), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the Secretariat. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The official languages of the UN are English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French, whereas the working languages of the UN Secretariat are English and French.

Syrian army recaptures Morek from Al-Qaeda October 24, 2014 The Syrian Army along with militias loyal to Assad has recaptured the central town of Morek. Morek was seized by the rebels and their Al-Qaeda allies nine months earlier. The forces fighting for the Assad regime were also backed by heavy air raids that targeted the rebels. Strategic importance of Morek Morek is situated in the Hama province. It is located near the northwestern province of Idlib, most of which is held by moderate rebels who fought against ISIS. Morek is of strategic importance because it is on the main road that links Damascus to Aleppo. Large areas close to Aleppo have been under rebel control since 2012. Key facts about Oscar De La Renta October 23, 2014 Fashion designer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and fashion icon Oscar de la Renta passed away at age 82 at his home in Kent, Connecticut. Some of the important facts of his life are:De la Renta was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in 1932 in a middle class family. Later, he moved to Madrid, Spain and studied at the Academy of San Fernando. He was meant to study painting, but he accidentally got involved in designing. In Spain, he worked in the ateliers of Balenciaga, Dior and Lanvin He, then moved to USA to work for Elizabeth Arden In 1965, he launched his own ready to wear label. His style is described as modern, yet feminine He has designed for CEOs, first wives, political icons, socialites and Hollywood elites for the last five decades. He served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988 Between 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed haute couture collections for Pierre Balmain, single-handedly helping the revival of fashion house which has been witnessing disappointing sales Also, he has served on the boards of The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall amongst others. He also supports several cultural institutions, including New Yorkers for Children, the Americas Society and the Spanish Institute. He also supports an orphanage in the Dominican

The Dominican Republic has awarded him the Order of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Order of Cristóbal Colón In 2002, he introduced his own furniture line. His brand also has a line of perfumes & fragrance which is sold in over 70 countries He has been battling cancer since 2006, and is believed to have passed away due to the disease. Before his death, he appointed British designer Peter Copping as his successor to the Oscar de la Renta brand De la Renta is survived by his wife, Annette Engelhard; his son, Moises; three sisters; three step-children and nine step-grandchildren

Government substantially increases fellowship amount to research scholars October 22, 2014 The Central Government has substantially increased the amount it pays to over 70,000 research scholars. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Details of changes in benefits The new fellowships will be effective retrospectively from October 1. Science students undertaking PhD and post-doctoral studies will not only receive better stipend but also other facilities like house rent allowance and medical benefits from the government. Junior research fellowship has been enhanced to Rs 25,000 from Rs 16,000 Senior research fellowship has been increased to Rs 28,000 from Rs 18,000 Fellowship for post doctoral studies has been increased from Rs 22,000 to Rs 36,000 (for research associate-1), from Rs 23,000 to Rs 38,000 (research associate-2) and from Rs 24,000 to Rs 40,000 (research associate-3). [Research associate 1 and 2 are generally for one year, while research associate-3 can continue to work till they get a position in a research institute] Financial outgo The additional financial outgo for the Centre on account of the changes will be Rs 750 crore annually and has been approved by the Finance Ministry. Currently, the Centre spends Rs 1,663 cr annually on the fellowships Protests and Demonstrations Several protests and demonstrations by students and researchers were held in academic institutes across India, asking the government to raise the fellowship amounts and show its support to the study of the sciences. While most of the demands of the protestors have been met with, one of their demands for an inflation-linked annual increase has not been met with. The last pay revision for research scholars was in 2010.

Oscar Pistorius sentenced for five years October 22, 2014 The judgment sentencing Olympian Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was passed by Judge Thokozile Masipa. Conviction Oscar Pistorius was convicted earlier by a South African Court for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend. The Court held that Pistorius had unintentionally killed her. Pistorius had claimed that he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder and shot and killed her. Sentencing hearing Pistorius has been sentenced to the maximum of five years for the crime of culpable homicide. He was also found guilty on one charge of possessing a gun at a restaurant and sentenced for three years. The two sentences are expected to run concurrently. However, Pistorius could have his sentence commuted to corrective supervision, or house arrest, after serving a sixth of the sentence i.e. 10 months. The Ban The International Paralympic Committee has announced that it will ban Pistorius from its competitions for five years. The Olympic Committee is expected to follow suit. About Oscar Pistorius Pistorius was born with a congenital abnormality, which led to him getting both his legs amputated below the knee even before his first birthday. He is a Paralympics and Olympics sprinter. In 2012, he became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics. Though he did not win a medal there, he won a medal in the Paralympics.

Government orders to merge NSEL to parent firm FTIL October 22, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Central Government has passed an order to merge NSEL (National Spot Exchange Ltd.) with FTIL (Financial Technologies India Ltd) Public interest The order has been passed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. According to Section 396 of the Companies Act, 1956, the central government can order the merger of two companies if it is essential in public interest. The clause has been rarely used by the government. However, in this case, since the subsidiary is cash-strapped and has no funds to pay its dues, the government has ordered the merger. The merger with the financially viable FTIL will facilitate the recovery of dues for creditors of the NSEL. Challenge by stakeholders According to the law, submissions can be made to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs within 60 days of the order. The shareholders and stakeholders of FTIL are expected to file submissions with the Ministry opposing the merger. Through the merger will benefit the victims of the scam perpetrated by NSEL, it will also dilute the assets of FTIL and affect the investments of the shareholders and stakeholders of FTIL.

Nigeria declared Ebola free by World Health Organisation October 22, 2014 Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola by the WHO. Earlier, WHO also declared Senegal Ebola free. Impact of Ebola The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Approximately 70% of the infected persons have died in these countries. Criteria for declaring a nation Ebola-free The WHO declared Nigeria Ebola free after it crossed six weeks with no reports of new cases of Ebola. WHO can declare an Ebola outbreak over if two incubation periods of 21 days pass with no new cases. Outbreak in Nigeria The Ebola virus was brought to Nigeria by an American-Liberian diplomat in July. Since then, the diplomat and seven Nigerians have died due to the virus. As soon as the diplomat was diagnosed, Nigeria responded to the threat swiftly and contained the situation. A national public health emergency was declared and action take to limit the spread of the disease. Ebola virus Fruit bats, which are a delicacy for some West Africans, is believed to be the virus‗ natural host Symptoms faced by people who have contracted the Ebola virus include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage. The virus is spread through contact with body fluids of inflected persons such as blood, urine and saliva. The incubation period for the virus ranges from 2 to 21 days. There is no proven cure for the disease, though supportive care can help recovery. The fatality rate for persons who have contracted Ebola is currently 70%, but it can reach up to 90%.

China assures India to open up new pilgrim route to Kailash Manasarovar by 2015 October 22, 2014 China has given India assurances that it is taking preparatory steps to open up a new route to Kailash Manasarovar for pilgrims by 2015.

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During the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian PM Narendra Modi, President Jinping promised to open a new route to Kailash Manasarovar via Sikkim. This route is scheduled to be operational from the summer of 2015. The new route to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar will go through the Nathu La Pass. Recently, Jiang Jie, the Vice Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) met with the Indian Ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha, who is on a tour of Tibet with a two-fold objective: to make preparations for the pilgrims and to expand border trade through the Sikkim border. Other issues discussed were efforts being taken by the TAR to upgrade facilities for pilgrims through the existing route which passes through the Lipulekh Pass and the socioeconomic conditions in the TAR.

Police Commemoration Day celebrated on October 21 October 22, 2014 Police Commemoration Day was observed on 21 October. Background: At the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960, it was decided that October 21 would be observed as ‗Commemoration Day‗ in all Police Lines across India to mark the memory of police personnel who were killed in Ladakh in a faceoff with the Chinese Army and all the other Police personnel who have been killed on duty elsewhere. The faceoff took place at Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh. A memorial has been erected at Hot Springs and, every year, Police personnel from across India trek to Hot Springs to pay their respects. Since the year 2012, the Police Commemoration Day Parade is being held at the National level at the Police Memorial, Chanakyapuri. Loss of lives Since 1961, 32,557 police personnel have lost their lives in service of the nation and society. Between September 2013 and August 2014, 662 police personnel throughout the country have lost their lives in the line of duty. (image source: ANI)

Manohar Lal Khattar to be new Chief Minister of Haryana October 22, 2014 Former RSS veteran and first time legislator, Manohar Lal Khattar, is set to be sworn in as the new CM of Haryana at Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula on October 26. His name was finalized by BJP‗s 47 MLAs after a meeting of the legislative party. 60 year old Khattar is known for being extremely tech savvy and has worked closely with Narendra Modi before. Khattar is Haryana‗s first non-Jat CM in 18 years, and only the fourth non-Jat leader in Haryana‗s 48 year old history. He is also the first Punjabi CM of Haryana. This is also Khattar‗s first time as a legislator. He won the Karnal seat by approximately 63,000 votes. About Manohar Lal Khattar Khattar was born in Rohtak, Haryana. He began his career with the RSS in 1980, where he spent almost 35 years as an active pracharak. He formally joined the BJP only two decades ago. In 1994, he was made the Sangathan Mahamantri in Haryana. Also, he was Chairman of BJP‗s Haryana Election Committee for the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Indian hockey coach resigns, withdraws resignation October 22, 2014 The Indian National hockey team coach, Terry Walsh, withdrew his earlier tendered resignation. Resignation by Walsh FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Walsh tendered his resignation as the coach stating bureaucratic hassles, non-payment of dues and his own family commitments as reasons contributing to the decision. He questioned the decision-making process of the bureaucrats given the responsibility of regulating Indian sports. He also mentioned the difficulty in working with the SAI (Sports Authority of India) and HI (Hockey India). Withdrawal of resignation Later, Walsh agreed to put his resignation on hold till November 19, when he expects the SAI to implement some of its proposed solutions. After evaluating the changes, he is expected to make a final decision on his resignation. The withdrawal of Walsh‗s resignation gives the authorities the opportunity to address his grievances. According to his contract, Walsh can choose to return to his position one month from the date he tenders his resignation, if both parties can reach an understanding. Submission of report The Union Sports Minister has asked his department secretary and the SAI to submit a report on Walsh‗s resignation within 24 hours. Crucial juncture Walsh‗s resignation comes at a crucial time for the Indian hockey team which requires a coach to prepare for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Under Walsh‗s guidance, the Indian hockey team won the gold medal in the Asian Games at Incheon, which automatically qualified them to the 2016 Olympics.

Marin Cilic wins Kremlin Cup October 22, 2014 Second seeded US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia won the Kremlin Cup ATP title in Moscow. He defeated fifth seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut in the final. Cilic became the first Croatian to win the Moscow ATP 250 tournament since his coach Goran Ivanisevic beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. Kremlin Cup WTA Title Sixth seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia defeated Romania‗s Irina-Camelia Begu to wint the WTA title. Anastasia became the first Russian woman to win the Kremlin Cup since Elena Dementieva in 2007. Anastasia earlier won the Open GDF Suez in Paris.

India wins Sultan of Johor Cup title October 22, 2014 India faced Great Britain at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium in Johor Bahru in Malaysia for the finals of the Sultan of Johor under 21 hockey Cup. Past Title Winners The Sultan of Johor Cup was inaugurated in 2011. The 2011 winner was Malaysia, 2012 winner was Germany and 2013 winner was India. 2014 Title winner India successfully defended its 2013 win, and defeated Great Britain. This makes India the first team to the win the Sultan of Johor under 21 title twice. Australia defeated New Zealand to finish third. Sultan of Johor The Sultan of Johor is a hereditary seat and the title of the nominal ruler of the Malaysian state of Johor. Earlier, Johor was ruled by the Sultan, but now, it is governed by a CM. The Sultan of Johor just remains a ceremonial post today.

China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral dialogue held FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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October 22, 2014 China, Afghanistan and Pakistan held a trilateral dialogue to chalk out a roadmap for regional cooperation and strengthen ties with each other. This is the second such dialogue. The first dialogue was held in 2013 in Beijing. Organisers The two day dialogue consisting of officials and experts of the three countries was organised by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) and German agency Konrad Adeneaur Stiftung. Issues discussed This dialogue was conceived to act as a vital platform to strengthen communication and cooperation among the three nations. The parties involved discussed presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, cross-border terrorist movement, capacity of the Afghan national security forces, protection of foreign investments in Afghanistan and the role of regional countries in promoting peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and surrounding region. Protection of foreign investments was especially an issue with China, which is Afghanistan‗s largest investor.

Longest-serving MLA in Maharashtra Ganpatrao Deshmukh wins 11th time, creates record October 22, 2014 Veteran legislator Ganpatrao Deshmukh won the legislative assembly elections for the 11th time. This makes him the longest serving MLA in India. Ganpatrao Deshmukh 88 year old Deshmukh won from Sangola in Solapur district, which he has represented for 54 years. In 2009, Deshmukh became the second legislator in India after M.Karunanidhi to have won 10 elections. Deshmukh belongs to the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP). He has been a Minister twice, but has spent most of his time being part of the Opposition. He was first elected as a MLA in 1962, and since then has won every election except for the 1972 and 1995 elections. In 2012, he completed 50 years in the assembly, for which he was felicitated by the Assembly and the Government. 2014 legislative assembly win The 2014 legislative assembly election was Deshmukh‗s 13th assembly election. He defeated Shiv Sena‗s Shahajibapu Patil by 25,224 votes. Deshmukh garnered 94,374 votes to Patil‗s 69,150. The NCP chose not to field a candidate against Deshmukh. Five year Indian boy climbs Kalapathar peak, sets world record October 22, 2014 Harshit Saumitra, a five year and eleven month old Indian has successfully climbed Kalapathar peak. Harshit Saumitra is the son of a famous mountaineer, Rajeev Saumitra. Kalapathar Peak The Kalapathar Peak is 200 m above the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal. The peak is 5,554 m high. It is also the highest peak amongst all the highest peaks of three continents, Europe‗s Mount Blanc (4,810 m), Antartica‗s Vinson Massif (4,892 m) and Australia‗s Punack Jaya or Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 m). Climb to the peak Harshit and his team, consisting of his father and two Sherpa guides, landed at Lukla Airport in a helicopter on October 7. It took them 10 days to reach the peak for a climb that normally takes 7 days. World Records Harshit‗s father has claimed that Harshit has broken a world record set by 7 year old Aryan Balaji, who has climbed to Kalapathar in 2012. They are in the process of registering Harshit‗s name for the Limca Book of Records and are considering applying for the Guinness World Records. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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3000 houses handed over to Sikkim Earthquake affected under REDRH scheme October 22, 2014 After a prolonged delay, 3000 houses in rural areas have been completely built under Sikkim‗s REDRH scheme. REDRH REDRH scheme refers to the Reconstruction of Earthquake Damaged Rural Houses project. This project was sanctioned under the PM‗s Special Package after the Sikkim earthquake. A total of 7,972 houses have been sanctioned under the scheme by the PM‗s Special Package. Mode of building houses The Project follows an owner driven implementation model. The core house design, building standards, construction material (cement and steel), technical supervision and capital will be provided by the government, while the owner has to undertake the actual construction, procure local construction material (stone, sand, timber etc) and arranged for mason and labour. Where the government provided funds are insufficient, the owner will have to add their own finances. State of progress While 3000 houses have been completed, 2000 more houses have crossed roof level, and 2500 houses have crossed plinth level and work is underway on the remaining 472 houses Funding The scheme is centrally sponsored, so all the funds are provided by the Centre under the PM‗s Special Package. The total cost sanctioned for the project by the Centre is Rs. 389.83 cr, of which the Sikkim government has received Rs. 227.03 cr from the Centre

Centre sends advisory to states to recruit 33 percent women in police forces October 22, 2014 The Central Government has issued an advisory asking that steps be taken so that 33% of the workforce in police forces are constituted by women. The advisory has been sent to all the states, union territories and central armed police forces. Presently, only 1.99% of the personnel in the paramilitary forces are women. The government aims to increase this number in the next 10 years. Gopinath Munde‟s daughter creates record of maximum victory margin in Lok Sabha elections October 22, 2014 Late BJP leader Gopinath Munde‗s second daughter, Pritam Munde, won the Beed seat in Maharashtra by a record margin of nearly seven lakh votes. The bypoll was conducted in Beed to fill the seat left vacant by Gopinath Munde after his tragic and untimely demise. Pritam Munde‟s record Pritam polled 9,22,416 votes, defeating former Congress minister Ashok Patil by 6,96,321 votes. Shiv Sena and NCP chose not to field any candidate against Pritam. PM Modi had begun his Maharashtra poll campaign in Beed. Other records Pritam broke Anil Basu‗s record for a win with the highest electoral margin. Anil Basu of CPI-M won by 5,92,502 votes from Arambagh in West Bengal during the 2004 general elections. The third highest victory margin was recorded by late PM Narasimha Rao who won from Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh with a 5.8 lakh margin in 1991. The record for winning with the fourth largest margin is PM Modi, who won the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat in May this year by 5.7 lakh votes. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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He is followed by Ram Vilas Paswan‗s 1989 margin of 5,04,448 votes from Hajipur in Bihar. BJP wins assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana October 22, 2014 The BJP has performed well in the first test of its popularity after the parliamentary elections. It looks set to form the government in both states. Maharashtra Assembly Elections With strong campaigning by the PM, the BJP won 122 seats in Maharashtra, which is almost three times the number of seats it won in the 2009 elections. However, the seats are still not enough for the BJP to solely for a government, as it falls 22 seats short of the halfway mark. The party which wishes to form the government must have a minimum of 145 seats in the 288 member Maharashtra assembly. The NCP won 41 seats and announced that it was willing to provide unconditional support to the BJP from the outside. The Shiv Sena won 63 seats. The Congress emerged as the third largest party in the House, after BJP and Shiv Sena, winning 42 seats. Raj Thackeray‗s MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) won just one seat. MNS won from only Junnar which is in Pune district. In the earlier elections, MNS has won 13 seats. BJP‗s Maharashtra unit President, Devendra Phadnavis, seems to be the most likely candidate for the Chief Minister‗s post. He is from the Vidarbha region, where the BJP won 40 seats. Haryana Assembly Elections Haryana‗s Legislative Assembly has 90 seats. Of this, BJP gained the clear majority by winning 47 seats. Haryana voters have been voting for Congress since 2005, when Bhupinder Hooda became CM. The party with the second largest seats is the INLD (Indian National Lok Dal) with 19 seats. Congress won 15 seats this year, a far lesser number than the 40 seats it won in 2009. As for the other parties, Haryana Janhit Congress (BL), Shiromani Akali Dal and BSP won 2, 1 and 1 seats respectively. Independent candidates cornered 5 seats. Cricket Association of Bengal releases special Gold Coin on 150th anniversary of Eden Gardens October 21, 2014 Three day long celebrations are underway at the Eden Gardens in Kolkatta by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the iconic cricket ground. As part of the celebrations, 150 of the oldest members of annual, associate and life categories of the CAB will be felicitated. On October 18, a souvenir and a special gold coin will be released by CAB. Eden Gardens Eden Gardens was established in 1864. It is the largest cricket stadium in India and the third biggest cricket stadium in the world in terms of capacity. It is the home of the Bengal cricket team and IPL‗s Kolkatta Knight Riders. It has been a venue for Test matches, ODIs and Twenty20 international matches.

Japan rolls out Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), its first commercial jet in 50 years October 21, 2014 After a gap of half a century, Mitsubishi Aircraft has rolled out Japan‗s first commercial jet . Nature of the MRJ The MRJ has a little less than 100 seats. The jet is valued at $42 million. It marks Japan‗s second attempt to enter the commercial aircraft market. The unique aspect of the MRJ is that is consumes one fifth less fuel than an aircraft its size. Development of the MRJ

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The MRJ has been developed by a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which counts carmaker Toyota Corp as one of its shareholders. The MRJ will now be subject to a multiple flight before the first delivery of the aircraft in June 2017. This target is 3 years later than Mitsubhishi‗s original plan. Government approves Ahmedabad Metro Rail project phase-1 October 21, 2014 The Union Cabinet has given its approval to grant financial assistance to the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project. The Cabinet has granted its approval for the Rs. 10,773 cr project to build Phase I of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail project. Phase I of the metro rail Phase I of the rail project covers a 35.96 km long route along two corridors, namely, the North-South Corridor covering 15.42 km from APMC to Motera Stadium and East-West Corridor covering 20.54 km from Thaltej Gam to Vastral Gam. Role of the Central Government While the total project cost is Rs.10,773 cr, the Central government will contribute Rs. 1,990 cr in the form of equity and subordinate debt. Implementation of the project The project will be implemented by the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Ltd., which will now be converted into a 50:50 jointly owned company of the Central government and state government of of Gujarat. Legal Framework The project will be covered under the legal framework of the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978; the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002; and the Railways Act, 1989. Government to relaunch Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme October 21, 2014 The Union Cabinet has approved the relaunch of the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme with some modifications. Some of the salient points pertaining to the new scheme are:Scheme is to launched in 54 districts from November 15, 2014 and in the rest of the country from January 1, 2015 It will be implemented in mission mode between 10 November and 1 January 2015 The subsidy amount to be given per domestic subsidized LPG cylinder shall remain fixed Future beneficiaries can receive the cash subsidies by linking their Aadhaar number with the LPG connection, and have their bank account as the primary option. Alternatively, they can also directly link their LPG connection with their bank account, and may or may not include Aadhaar as the secondary option. In any scenario, possession of an Aadhaar number will not be a requirement, which is in conformity with a SC verdict which said that Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory because it has no legal backing Persons who have opened accounts under the newly introduced Jan Dhan Yojana can also link their LPG connection to such an account. Persons without bank accounts or Aadhaar will also receive subsidized LPG cylinder for some time

Hurricane Gonzalo hits Bermuda October 21, 2014 Hurricane Gonzalo made landfall on October 17 in Bermuda, with rain and winds of speed 175 km/h. Two storms Gonzalo was the second storm to hit Bermuda this month. Earlier in the previous week, Tropical Storm Fay had damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Destruction Electricity supply was lost to 31,200 homes initially. Electricity was restored to two thirds of these houses by 19 October. The hurricane caused flooding, uprooted trees and damaged structures. No loss of life Only minor injuries were reported in the island. Gonzola was initially a category 4 storm as it approached the island, it weakened and was downgraded to a category 2 storm before it made landfall. Deployment of frigate Bermuda is a British overseas territory. The Royal Navy of UK had deployed a frigate, HMS Argyll, along with trained medical personnel to help with the provision of humanitarian assistance. The personnel will also help recover power, communications and water supplies, while a helicopter on the ship will carry out an aerial survey of the island.

Government reconstitutes the National Committee to commemorate 125th Birth Anniversary of Nehru October 21, 2014 The Government has reconstituted the National Committee to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of India‗s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The committee will hold its first meeting after Diwali. On its agenda will be the celebrations to be undertaken to mark Nehru‗s 125th birth anniversary on 14 November, 2014. Members of the Committee The Committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister. The Home Minister, Minister of External Affairs, Finance Minister, Minister of Human Resource Development, Minister of Culture and Minister of Information & Broadcasting are all ex-officio members of the Committee. Some leaders from the Congress Party like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Karan Singh etc and senior journalists Rajat Sharma, M.J.Akbar, Swapan Dasgupta have also been inducted as members. National Implementation Committee Apart from the main National Committee, the PM has also approved the constitution of a National Implementation Committee. This Committee will be headed by the Home Minister, and will monitor the implementation of the programmes/proposals finalised by the main committee. Origin of the Committee The National Committee was initially set up by during the tenure of the previous UPA government, and was headed by then PM Manmohan Singh.

Government formalizes the price formula for natural gas October 21, 2014 The Central Government has finalized a new pricing mechanism for natural gas. The new gas pricing formula is believed to be much lesser than the formula suggested by the Rangarajan Committee. Process of finalization The Centre had constituted a panel of secretaries to determine the methodology of pricing gas. The central cabinet accepted the recommendations of this panel at its meeting held on October 20. New pricing formula As per the new formula, domestic gas price will now increase from $4.2 per mmBtu (million British thermal unit) to $5.61 per mmBtu. The Rangarajan Committee has recommended revision of prices to $8.4 per mmBtu. This price will, however be revised every six months. This new gas pricing formula will be effective from the 1st of November. Balancing viability and consumer interests FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The new gas pricing formula aims to keep the price high enough so that drilling projects remain viable, while keeping the price reasonable enough so that the consumers don‗t buckle under the high costs. Also the review that is to be carried out every six months will ensure that the prices are modified suitably to protect the interest of all stakeholders. This six monthly review will eventually lead to free natural gas prices.

Government deregulates diesel price October 21, 2014 The Central government has deregulated the price of diesel. This means that just like petrol prices, the price of diesel too will be determined by the global market forces. The price of diesel shall vary depending on the rise and fall of oil in the international markets Fall in price Currently, the price of oil in global markets is on a declining trend. The oil prices are at a four year low. Hence, the deregulation is expected to result in the reduction of diesel prices. In Delhi, the price of diesel is expected to fall by Rs. 3.37 a litre This will be the first reduction in diesel rates in over five years. Scenario prior to deregulation From January 2013, diesel prices are being raised in stages through a 50 paisa per litre increase every month, in an effort to bring them to the global diesel price levels. Since January 2013, the rates have cumulatively risen by Rs. 11.81 per litre over a span 19 measured periodical increases. Traditionally, oil firms have incurred huge losses on diesel, because the price tends to be much lower than the costs incurred by the companies in procuring and distributing the fuel .However, since the second half of September, the companies have actually started making profits because of the fall in global oil prices. The profit has reportedly since reached Rs 3.56 per litre. This reduction did not reflect in the prevalent prices of diesel. However, now with deregulation, the price of diesel will be adjusted to reflect this. elief for PSUs The deregulation bodes well for PSUs like ONGC which will no longer have to bear the brunt of subsidizing diesel. Nigeria and Boko Haram agree to ceasefire and girls‟ release October 19, 2014 Nigeria‗s military has issued a statement saying that the Nigerian government and Boko Haram had reached a ceasefire that will lead to the release of around 200 girls that Boko Haram had kidnapped. Negotiations leading to the ceasefire Boko Haram and Nigerians have been engaging in negotiations for over a month now. The talks were held in Chad with the active involvement of Chad‗s President, Idriss Deby, and senior officials from Cameroon. Ceasefire Though the Nigerian military and presidential aides to the Nigerian President have spoken of the ceasefire, Boko Haram has not made any comment yet. The terms of the ceasefire, include Boko Haram agreeing in principle to free the kidnapped girls. The ceasefire will mark the end of a five year long insurgency. Kidnapping of the girls In April 2014, Boko Haram militants attacked a school in the remote north-eastern village of Chibok in Borno state and kidnapped approximately 270 girls. Of the 270, 57 girls managed to escape, but over 200 of the girls are still being held. Boko Haram The terrorist organization was founded in 2002. The group is mostly active in Nigeria, but tends to cross over into Cameroon too. Its initial focus was on opposing Western education. However, by 2009, it has launched military operations with the objective of creating an Islamic state. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Till date, thousands have been killed and millions displaced because of the violence caused by the Boko Haram. It has also attacked police and UN headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja Boko Haram was declared a terrorist group by USA in 2013.

EC rules out possibility of NRI E-voting October 19, 2014 The Election Commission (EC) submitted before the SC that providing NRIs with the option of e-voting will not be possible due to threats such as viruses, spyware, and malware. Case before the SC An NRI had filed a PIL before the SC alleging that the provision requiring NRIs to be physically present in the constituency to exercise their vote was discriminatory and violative of their fundamental rights. It is in regard to this case that the EC made representation before the SC. The ruling will affect 12,000 NRIs who are registered as voters. Appointment of a Committee The EC submitted before the SC that it had appointed a committee to explore possibilities of allowing NRIs to cast their votes from abroad, and also examine other options to make the process of casting their votes much less cumbersome. Voting through Proxy The EC said that even though directly voting online or at diplomatic missions was not an option, voting through proxy could definitely be considered for NRIs. The NRI can designate another person from his own constituency to act as his proxy and cast the vote on his behalf. Voting through proxy is currently available to persons in the armed forces and paramilitary forces. This mode of voting can be efficacious and convenient for all parties concerned. Matters of time constraint and logistics will not be a hurdle E-postal ballot E-postal ballot is also an option that the EC is considered. Under this system, a blank postal ballot paper is transferred electronically to the NRIs, which can then be filled and returned by them. This system has almost no risk of manipulation, rigging or violation of secrecy. The EC proposed trying the system on a pilot basis in one or two constituencies during elections to the Legislative Assemblies. If successful, the ballot system could then be expanded to cover Parliamentary elections and eventually to all constituencies.

Government launches national air quality index October 19, 2014 The Central government has launched a National Air Quality Index to provide an easy, understandable measure of air quality. For the next 45 days, the draft National Air Quality Index will be made available to stakeholders and register their comments. If the suggestions are accepted, changes will be made, and the Index will be formalized later this year, and made active by 2015. read more here. SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation finalized October 19, 2014 The SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity) was finalized at the 5th SAARC Energy Ministers Meeting and will be signed by all the parties at the upcoming SAARC Summit that is to be held in November 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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This agreement has been pending since 2010 and is an important step in developing a SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) on a regional basis. Bangladesh will convene the meeting of Energy Regulators or Agencies in SAARC countries by December 2014. India‟s role India has offered to host a seminar on ―Sharing Experiences on Energy Pricing Mechanism in the SAARC Region‖ and also host the second meeting of the Expert Group on Technology/Knowledge Sharing (including Energy Efficiency, coal, etc.) in 2015. SAARC SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was established in 1985, with its secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal. SAARC is an association of eight countries in South Asia. The idea of the regional body was first proposed by the Bangaldeshi President Zia-ur-Rahman in 1980, when the proposed creation of a trade bloc consisting solely South Asian countries. Afghanistan is the most recent, and eighth addition to the grouping. It was added at the behest of India, on 13 November, 2005. China, EU, USA, South Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Australia and Mauritius are observers to SAARC. Ministerial level Energy forum The process of regional cooperation in the energy sector began in January 2000 with the establishment of a Technical Committee on Energy. At the 12th SAARC Summit in 2004, the Islamabad Declaration called for the constitution of a Ministerial level Energy Forum was constituted. The first meeting of the SAARC Energy Ministers was held at Islamabad in 2005.

Government extends the Company Law Settlement Scheme to November 15 October 18, 2014 The government extended the operation of the Company Law Settlement Scheme by a month, with the deadline now being November 15. At the end of August 2014, there were around 1.42 lakh companies that had not filed their annual returns or balance sheets for more than three consecutive years. Company Law Settlement Scheme 2014 This scheme, introduced under the new Companies Act, allows companies that have failed to make their statutory filings to do so without attracting prosecution. This scheme initially had a time limit of two months wherein the defaulting companies had to meet the requirements by October 2014. This scheme condones lack or delay of filings by companies by granting immunity from prosecution to the companies and also, give them the advantage of reduced additional fees Grounds for extension The extension was granted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs after requests from various stakeholders including the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). Companies Act The new Companies Act contains provisions that provide for stringent norms in dealing with defaulting entities. Even directors can be penalized through disqualification for failing to make the necessary annual filings. Also, the companies are penalized through higher additional fees and penalties.

India-LAC investment conclave concludes October 18, 2014 The India-LAC (Latin America and Carribean) investment conclave was held under the auspices of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry on October 16 and 17. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Objectives of the conclave The objectives of the conclave are as follows:Provide insights to LAC region industries on lucrative investment opportunities available in India Provide Indian industries insight into the LAC region to enable them to develop suitable strategies to penetrate the LAC region markets Facilitate partnerships between industries in the Indian and LAC region Enable government representatives from both regions to enhance economic engagement between India and LAC region. Trade related issues The LAC region is set to grow by 3.5% to 4% over the next years. Some of the factors attracting investors to the LAC region are its net FDI flows of $189 bn in 2012, increased international trade and reduced inflation. In the backdrop of global economic recovery, India and LAC region are rethinking their strategy for engagement. India‗s trade with the 33 countries of LAC region, has grown at an annual rate of over 25% over the last decade. The amount of trade reached US $ 46 bn in 2012-13. However, the LAC region has received only around 4% of India‗s outward FDI, with an amount of US $ 16 bn. FDI form LAC into India is also very low. Focus LAC The Indian government introduced the Focus LAC programme in 1997. This programme was meant to enable the Indian industry to target LAC markets for project exports, and export of industrial goods and services.

Government to Import Potato to check price rise October 18, 2014 The Government has decided to import potatoes from countries like Europe and Pakistan by next month. This is the first time that the government has decided to import potatoes. Reasons for import The decision to import potatoes is being taken to increase supply of potatoes at the domestic level, and thereby ease the rising price of potatoes. The current stocks of potatoes of the government is on the verge of being exhausted. Potatoes will be imported till fresh supplies of potatoes manufactured domestically are available by January 2015. Currently, the government levies a 30% import duty on potatoes. India produced 44.3 mn tonnes of potatoes in 201314, which was a decrease of 2.3% when compared to the previous year.

Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs October 18, 2014 The Central Government has replaced Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram with Rajasthan Chief Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. Mayaram is being shifted to the Tourism Ministry. Both officers are IAS officers from the 1978 Rajasthan cadre. Mehrishi has ten months of service left and has prior experience in the Finance Ministry. And Mayaram will replace Parvez Dewan as Tourism Secretary when Dewan retires at the end of October. Secretaries at the Finance Ministry The Finance Ministry has four secretaries, namely, Economic Affairs, Expenditure, Revenue and Financial Services. The senior most of these four secretaries is designated the Finance Secretary.

Arvind Subramanian appointed new Chief Economic Advisor of India October 18, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Renowned economist Arvind Subramanian has been appointed the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment, on a contract basis, for three years. Facts About Arvind Subramanian Arvind Subramanian is a well respected academician, economist, author and global thinker. The US based economist obtained his undergraduate degree from St.Stephens College in Delhi, postgraduate degree from IIM-Ahmedabad and did his doctorate at the University of Oxford in UK. Subramanian has been advising the Indian government in different capacities. He has been a member of the Finance Minister‗s Expert Group on the G-20. He was Assistant Director in the Research Department of the IMF and was associated with the GATT (1988-92) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. Duties as CEA The CEA is expected to immediately start working on the next fiscal‗s budget. In a statement made after his appointment, Mr.Subramanian identified two areas of focus for the Indian economy, namely, maintaining macroeconomic stability and creating conditions conducive for rapid investment and growth. The CEA is the economic advisor to the Government of India, and works directly under the Ministry of Finance. The CEA is the also the ex-officio cadre controlling authority of the IES (Indian Economic Service). Also, the CEA enjoys rank and pay equivalent to that of a Secretary to Government of India.

Highlights of President Pranab Mukherjee‟s visit to Norway and Finland October 18, 2014 President Pranab Mukherjee returned from a five day visit to Norway and Finland on October 17. He signed a multitude of agreements during his time there. Nuclear Energy India signed an agreement for nuclear cooperation with Finland. The agreement was signed between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland. Other than nuclear cooperation, radiation safety regulation, exchange of information and personnel related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy will be the spheres of collaboration. Trade India and Finland agreed to double bilateral trade to $2 bn over the next three years. Around 19 agreements for cooperation across various fields like education, biotechnology, nuclear and radiation safety, and renewable energy were signed to further increase the bilateral trade. Energy cooperation A joint venture partnership agreement was signed between Chempolis Oy and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. to build India‗s first BioRefinery. Science & Technology An MoU was signed between the Department of Biotechnology and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation to increase cooperation in the field of biotechnology. This will help the two countries collaborate in the areas of diagnostics in health and well being through joint funding of projects and workshops. Agreements with Norway India and Norway also signed a plethora of agreements to increase cooperation in defence, science and technology, education and other areas.

Nuclear capable Cruise Missile Nirbhay tested successfully October 18, 2014

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India successfully tested Nirbhay, India‗s first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile. The missile was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha. Nirbhay maintained an accuracy better than 10 m throughout its path and covered a distance of more than 1000 km. Indigenously developed missile Nirbhay is made wholly of parts indigenously developed in India. It is powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and the launch was from a mobile launcher specifically designed for Nirbhay by the Vehicles R&D Establishment (VRDE). The missile was guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI). The missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars, and the missile was monitored through telemetry stations by a team from DRDO and LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment). Prior launch attempt This was the second launch of Nirbhay. The maiden launch in March 2013 was a partial success achieving most of the mission objectives, but it had to be terminated for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component, after deviation from intended path was observed. Nirbhay The 6 m tall, low altitude flying missile can evade detection by radars by flying at tree top level. I can strike targets that are more than 700 km away also and is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It can also hover over targets, unlike other missile. It also has a fire and forget system which cannot be jammed by the enemy. Nirbhay fills a vital gap in India‗s arsenal and is considered to be India‗s answer to USA‗s Tomahawk and Pakistan‗s Babur missiles. Aircraft-like missile Nirbhay blasts off like a rocket, but then unlike a missile, it turns into an aircraft. Unlike other ballistic missiles like the Agni, it has wings and pronounced tail fins. After the launch, mid-flight, the rocket motor falls off and the small wings get deployed. At this juncture, a gas turbine engine kicks in and the missile‗s conversion into a full aircraft is complete.

Combined Commanders‟ Conference held in New Delhi October 18, 2014 PM Modi and other political leaders and senior bureaucrats met top military officers at the war room of the Defence Ministry. This Combined Commanders‗ Conference is the first meeting of the PM with the commanders of the three wings of the Armed Forces. Other attendees of the Conference The Conference was attended by the Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Admiral R.K. Dhowan and General Dalbir Singh from the Armed Forces. The Conference was addressed by the PM and Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley. External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, and Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, were also present. Top bureaucrats in attendance were National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, and Defence Secretary, R.K.Mathur. Presentations by the Commanders The Chiefs of the Armed Forces will give presentations on the security scenario. The first presentation was by the Air Force chief who also serves as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, followed by the Navy chief, and then the Army chief. Apart from a general briefing on the analysis of potential threats and preparedness of the security forces, the Chiefs are also expected to discuss the incidents of violence along the Indo-Pak border in J&K, and the transgressions by the Chinese along India‗s border with China. External threats from terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS will also be discussed. Combined Commanders‟ Conference FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Combined Commanders‗ Conference is an annual event where the Chiefs of Staff of the Navy, Army and Air Force present to the PM and other ministers the achievements of the past year, and highlight the potential issues and challenges that the country might face in the coming year. Strategic, operational, logistical and administrative aspects relating to the forces are also discussed.

Statutory warning to be on both sides of Cigarrettes packs October 17, 2014 The Union Health Ministry has issued a gazette notification amending the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 to change the specifications of the statutory warning that cigarette packs carry. Scenario prior to notification Prior to this notification, cigarette packs only has to issue statutory warning covering either 40% of pack on one side or 20% of the pack on both sides. However, this is not sufficient by global standards and are ineffective according to reports.

HRD ministry to introduce Tithi Bhojan in Schools in Mid Day Meal scheme October 17, 2014 The Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister has announced its decision to introduce the practice of ‗Tithi Bhojan‗ as a part of the Mid Day Meal scheme. The HRD Minister headed a meeting of the Empowered Committee on Mid Day Meal Scheme to review the functioning of the Mid Day Meal scheme. The meeting consisted of representatives of State Governments, Food and Nutrition experts and senior officers of the Central Government. The Committee was formed last year. Decisions of the Committee The committee made the following decision during its meeting:The members agreed to strengthen the monitoring system of the scheme Ensure greater community participation in the execution of the Scheme through Tithi Bhojan Introduce and implement a protocol for standards in food safety and testing, from 2015, to ensure the quality of the meal and compliance with appropriate nutrition standards Focus on establishing a community participatory model and use that to act as a system of checks and balance on the implementation of themid day meal scheme Creation of an open forum on the Mid Day Meal scheme‗s website so that people‗s opinion of the scheme may be shared online. Complaints can also be made on the forum. Crucial role for the community in checking quality of ingredients and preventing contamination Mandatory checking of meals at kitchen level Tithi Bhojan Some of the features of Tithi Bhojan are:Tithi Bhojan was first successfully implemented in Gujarat, and will now be replicated across the country

It seeks to involve the members of the community in the effort to provide nutritious and healthy food to the children The members of the community may contribute/sponsor either utensils or food on special occasions/festivals. This is completely voluntary, and the people in the community may contribute food items supplementary to the mid day already being provided like sweet, namkeen or sprouts. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Greater participation and involvement of religious and charitable institutions is also being promoted

IndiGo places order for 250 latest Airbus A-320 neo planes October 17, 2014 IndiGo, the airline with the largest market share, has announced plans to expand its fleet or airplanes. The airline has placed an order for 250 of Airbus‗ latest A320 neo planes. The order is being valued at $25 bn. In addition to the 250 planes, IndiGo has purchase rights for another 100 planes from Airbus. If IndiGo were to buy these planes, their list price would be around $8 to $10 bn. IndiGo is set to receive the first of the 250 planes in October 2015. Operation of planes The planes that are being bought will mostly be used by IndiGo for its own domestic and international operations. Some planes might be used to replace older planes in IndiGo‗s fleet, but the primary aim is for IndiGo to expand its services Reasons behind expansion of fleet The demand for airline travel is expected to increase in India. Also, the airline market in India is highly underpenetrated. Only 400 planes operate to cater to a population of 1 bn. The new planes will help IndiGo access hitherto unreached markets. It is a part of the airline‗s plan of creating a long term and sustainable business. Also, the new A320 neo planes are expected to consume 15% lesser jet fuel. This makes them extremely efficient, and this will help IndiGo cut down on costs.

First meeting of bilateral border mechanism between India-China held October 17, 2014 The first meeting of the talks on the bilateral border under the framework of the Border Affairs Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (BAWMCC) was held on October 16. The focus of the talks was on issues of mutual interest like border patrolling and management. BAWMCC The BAWMCC was created in 2012, as a forum to address issues arising out of aggressive patrolling along the contentious border. The BAWMCC is co-chaired by the Joint Secretary (China Division) in the Ministry of External Affairs and his/her Chinese counterpart. The goal of the BAWMCC is to prevent recurrence of incidents between the two countries like the one in Chumar. Also, the BAWMCC calls for discussion of issues related to border management by foreign ministry and defence officials, in an effort to maintain peace. The disputed boundary issue is discussed by special representatives. Disagreements over border The Chinese have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the McMahon Line as the border, and insist on carrying on talks as if no border had been drawn. While the Chinese seek to confine the dispute over the border to the North East region, along Arunachal Pradesh, India regards the western side of the border as contentious. India and China have held 17 rounds of special representative talks till now to resolve the border dispute, but to no avail. China expresses concern Prior to the meeting, the Chinese side expressed concern at India‗s plans to build a 1,800 km long road along the border with China. As a delayed response to China‗s aggressive strengthening of infrastructure along the border, the new Central Government in India has decided to strengthen deployment of forces and infrastructure along the border. Measures will be taken to promote civilian settlement in border areas, improve road connectivity, construct bridges and improve mobile connectivity.

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October 17, 2014 A High Level meeting took place in Berne between India‗s Revenue Secretary and his Swiss counterpart, State Secretary for International Financial Matters to discuss tax matters. Various multilateral and bilateral tax and financial issues were discussed. Both sides agreed to keep the dialogue between the two countries open. Outcomes of the meeting In a major boost to India‗s efforts to track black money allegedly stashed abroad, Switzerland has agreed to examine requests from India for banking information. The information will be provided in a time bound manner and requests from India will be considered on a priority basis. Also, Switzerland will, on request by India, assist in determining genuineness of bank documents and speedily provide information on requests regarding non-banking information also. If for any reason, the Swiss are unable to comply with Indian requests on a timely manner, they will communicate to the Indian officials, the reasons for the delay/non-compliance as soon as possible. Statistics on Black Money As per Swiss National Bank, the total money held by Indians in Swiss banks stood at over Rs. 14,000 crore as on December 2013, an increase of 42% when compared to the 2012 data.

Restoration works continues in Andhra Pradesh, Centre gives Rs. 1000 Crore October 17, 2014 Relief and rehabilitation efforts were taking place to the fullest extent in Andhra Pradesh, as the state tries to get back to normal. Meanwhile, PM Modi announced interim relief of Rs. 1,000 cr for Andhra Pradesh. PM Visit PM Modi arrived in Visakhapatnam and conducted an aerial survey of cyclone hit regions. He reviewed the scale of destruction and the ongoing rescue and relief operations. The PM also held a review meeting with the CM of Andhra, state leaders and other officials. Post meeting, the PM made the following announcements:Ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh for the family members of the deceased Interim relief of Rs. 1,000 cr for Andhra (AP CM has requested for 2,000 cr) Formation of teams by the Centre, which will visit cyclone hit areas and submit reports on damage incurred by each sector. Then, allotment of funds will be done on the basis of these reports. Extent of destruction/loss Visakhapatnam Port Trust has incurred losses worth Rs. 200 cr. Also, it will take at least a week to restore flights activities. Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited alone has incurred a loss of Rs. 40,000 crore, including damage to substations, high-tension transmission lines, poles and disruption in distribution network. 16,000 electric poles and 6,000 transformers have been damaged Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited has incurred a loss of Rs. 1,000 cr Indian Navy has incurred a loss of Rs. 2,000 cr Andhra University has incurred a loss of Rs. 300 cr Visakhapatnam airport has incurred a loss of Rs. 500 cr Road networks have suffered a loss of Rs. 800 cr Over 6,836 houses have been damaged, and 181 boats are either damaged or missing Relief work by Andhra government FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The state government has been taking the following measures to bring life back to normalcy in the state:Importance is being given to first removing the uprooted trees and clearing the debris Restoration of communication lines is also being taken up by cell phone companies Electric poles and transformers are being repaired, so that power may return to all the badly hit areas Packages of food items are being provided in all cyclone hit areas. This food package comprises of rice, kerosene, sugar, dal, potato, onion, palm oil and chilly powder, among others. Also, vegetables are also being supplied at very low rates so that people don‗t struggle to get essential commodities

India successfully launches IRNSS 1C October 17, 2014 IRNSS 1C, the next satellite in India‗s IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System) series, was launched successfully on October 16 by ISRO. IRNSS 1C was launched on a PSLV C26 from Sriharikota. The satellite is similar to, and follows the IRNSS 1A and 1B which were launched in April 2013 and July 2014 respectively. Details of launch The rocket lifted off at 1.32 am. The satellite weighed 1, 425.4 kg and was successfully placed into a sub geosynchronous transfer orbit just 20 minutes after the launch. This was the 7th time that ISRO used an XL version of the PSLV rocket for its mission. The life of the satellite is estimated at 10 years. IRNSS series IRNSS is a navigation system that will cover India, and also extend 1,500 kms from its boundaries. It will provide accurate position information to users in India and will also be used for terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, fleet management and for vehicle tracking. Basically it will provide two kinds of services, Standard Positioning Services, which is available to all users, and an encrypted service that is provided only to authorized users. However, to be able to use the IRNSS satellites, ISRO will have to launch at least four of the seven planned IRNSS satellites. The complete IRNSS system will include three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth. The deployment of all the satellites was expected to be completed by 2015 at a cost of Rs. 1,420 cr. IRNSS is similar to other satellite navigation service providers like USA‗s GPS (Global Positioning System), Russia‗s Glonass, Europe‗s Galileo, Japan‗s Quasi Zenith and China‗s Beidou. Applications of IRNSS Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation Disaster Management Vehicle tracking and fleet management Integration with mobile phones Precise Timing Mapping and Geodetic data capture Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers Visual and voice navigation for drivers

India-Canada hold Strategic Dialogue October 16, 2014 The second India-Canada Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi on October 14. The dialogue was co-chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Baird who is on a five day visit, also met PM Modi and discussed various bilateral matters. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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PM Modi is set to meet the Canadian PM Harper in Australia, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. Strategic Dialogue At the meeting, the two sides discussed a variety of bilateral issues including but not limited to defence, energy, nuclear cooperation, counter-terrorism, global and regional security. The two countries are also working towards early conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA). The Strategic Dialogue between the two countries was first conceived in 2012 during the Canadian PM Harper‗s visit to India. The first strategic dialogue was held in 2013 in Toronto Nuclear Cooperation As an outcome of the Strategic Dialogue, India and Canada are negotiating commercial contracts for the supply of uranium to Indian nuclear reactors. Also the two countries plan to cooperate in order to jointly build nuclear reactors with a higher capacity. Also, the two countries will jointly host a nuclear security workshop in India with around 15 countries. This is the first of its kind meeting that India would organize with another country Skill Development India will collaborate with Canada to improve its knowledge base in the arena of skill development. This cooperation would mostly be in the hydrocarbon and water management sectors. Cooperation in oil and gas industry The two countries agreed to cooperate in the fields of oil and gas. The investment opportunities in British Columbia, especially in natural gas, was highlighted by the Canadian side. Delegations During the visit, different Canadian delegations will target different areas of co-operation with India. Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast will lead a six day and three city trade mission to Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh to boost Indo-Canada trade and investment partnerships. The Canadian delegation is expected to be accompanied by representatives of 14 Canadian organizations, including small and medium sized enterprises, which are looking for opportunities to export to India. Canadian Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai will lead a delegation of representatives of six Canadian organizations to Jaipur, Hyderabad and Mumbai to strengthen bilateral relations in regional security, education and trade. Bilateral Trade India is a priority market for Canada under its Global Markets Action Plan. Since 2010, Canada‗s bilateral trade with India has increased 38% to $5.8 bn.

Pakistan launched housing project in Sri Lanka October 16, 2014 Pakistan has launched a project to build houses in Mannar in Sri Lanka. A cheque of $ 1 mn has been handed over to Sri Lanka by the Pakistan side to carry out the project. Nature of the project The houses will not be built by the Pakistanis themselves, who will only fund the project. A total of 220 homes will be built with the one million dollars. Each family will be given approximately Rs. 2.6 lakh to build their houses. The houses will be built on an owner driven model, wherein the amount is given to the beneficiaries in the form of installments at different stages of progress. The Sri Lankan government will disburse the funds given by Pakistan through local government agencies. A predominantly Muslim village will be covered first under Pakistan‗s project, which will eventually expand to include some Sinhala and Tamil families. India‟s housing project FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Notably, India is currently building 6,000 homes in Mannar for families displaced due to war. These houses are also built on an owner driven model, wherein the owner builds it. However, instead of handing over the funding to Sri Lanka, India has enlisted the assistance of agencies like the UN Habitat to implement its housing project in different villages. Mannar Mannar is a coastal district in Sri Lanka‗s Northern Province. Mannar has a majority of Tamil speakers. It has a unique ethnic and religious composition which include sizeable number of Muslims, Catholics, Hindus and some Buddhists. Mannar houses the largest number of Muslims in the province.

World Standards Day Observed on October 14 October 16, 2014 The World Standards Day was celebrated in most countries across the globe on 14 October. World Standards Day is celebrated annually on 14th of October to mark the development of voluntary engineering and scientific standards. Aim of World Standards Day The Day honours the efforts of thousands of experts across the globe, who came together to develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards. These experts mostly worked under different standards development organizations such as the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO (International Organisation for Standardization), ITU (International Teleommunication Union), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). World Standards Day is also to celebrate the work of these organizations. Also, World Standards Day seeks to raise awareness regarding the significance of standardization in the global economy, among regulators, industry and consumers. Origins of World Standards Day On October 14, 1946, representatives from 25 countries gathered in London for the first time with the aim of creating an international organization solely focused on facilitating standardization. The ISO was formed a year later in 1947. The first World Standards Day was celebrated on 14 October, 1970.

Inflation drops to 2.38% , five-year low October 16, 2014 According to provisional estimates for the month of September 2014, WPI (Wholesale Price Index) based inflation has fallen to 2.38% which is a five year low. This is mainly attributed to the decline in food and fuel prices. Also, the decline was far greater than the 3.2% that was forecast by analysts. Breakdown of Inflation for the month of September Food inflation has fallen to nearly two and a half year low of 3.52%. Inflation in vegetables has fallen to 14.98%. Inflation in milk, eggs, meat and fish and showed a market decline. The food basket has been on a declining trend since May itself. However, in September, the prices of fruits and potatoes rose. Inflation in manufactured products fell to 2.84%. Overall WPI inflation has been declining for the fourth straight month. Inflation in fuel and power declined to 1.33% Comparison with inflation of previous months and years The 2.38% inflation rate is the lowest since 1.78% in October 2009. Wholesale price inflation stood at 3.74% in August and 7.05% in September 2013. Inflation in manufactured products and fuel and power segment stood at 3.54% and 4.54% in August 2014. Change in rate by RBI

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The RBI has maintained its key interest rate at the earlier level due to inflationary pressures. It is unclear whether this record low WPI inflation level will elicit a change in interest rate. The RBI primarily factors in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) rates while determining policy rates and even that saw a marked decline to 6.46% in September. Experts say that RBI‗s CPI based inflation target of 6% to be achieved by January 2016, looks like it is possible if the current trend of declining inflation continues. RBI‗s next bi-monthly monetary policy announcement is expected on the 2nd of December.

Global Handwashing Day celebrated on 15 October October 16, 2014 Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is celebrated on the 15th of October every year to motivate and mobilize people around the world to wash their hands with soap. The campaign is dedicated to propagating the benefit of washing hands with soap as a means of disease prevention. Aims of the campaign Reports suggest that simple behavioural changes like washing hands can reduce child mortality rates due to respiratory and diarrheal diseases by half. Also, figures released by WHO and UNICEF in 2013 show that more than 340,000 children under five died from diarrheal diseases due to lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. This amounts to approximately 1,000 children a day. Origins of GHD GHD was created at the annual World Water Week 2008, that was held in Stockholm, Sweden. The creation of GHD was initiated by the PPPHW (Public Private Partnership for Handwashing). The UNGA designated October 15 as the Global Handwashing Day and so the first GHD took place in 2008, which was the UN sanctioned International Year of Sanitation. The slogan for GHD is ‗Clean hands save lives‗. The focus of the inaugural GHD was on children, and encouraging them to wash their hands with soap. More than 70 countries, including India, actively participated in order to get the maximum number of school children washing hands. PPPHW The PPPHW is a coalition of international stakeholders, including multilateral agencies, UN bodies and multinational companies, who focus on handwashing and child health.

Richard Flanagan wins Man Booker Prize October 16, 2014 The Man Booker Prize 2014 for fiction was awarded to Australian author Richard Flanagan, for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The Narrow Road to the Deep North Flanagan‗s book centers around the themes of love and war. It is set in the background of World War II, in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Flanagan worked on the novel for 12 years, and wrote five different versions before settling on the final one. The book is inspired by the personal experiences of Flanagan‗s father, who was a prisonerof-war. Richard Flanagan Flanagan was born in Tasmania in July 1961. He is the third Australian to win the Man Booker Prize. Flanagan‗s previous novels, Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould‗s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist and Wanting have been published in 26 countries. Flanagan also directed a movie title The Sound Of One Hand Clapping in 1998. Nominations FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Man Booker formulates a longlist, from which a shortlist is further made, finally leading to one winner. The other nominations in the shortlist in 2014 were How to be Both by Ali Smith, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and J by Howard Jacobson. Judging process The selection process for the winner begins with the formation of an advisory committee comprising of a writer, two publishers, a literary agent, a bookseller, a librarian, and a chairperson appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation. This committee then selects the judging panel, whose membership changes every year. Judges are selected from literary critics, writers, academics and leading public figures. This year, the Prize was chaired by A.C.Grayling. The judges this year were Jonathan Bate, Sarah Churchwell, Alastair Niven, Daniel Glaser and Erica Wagner. Man Booker Prize The Man Booker Prize is a literary award given to the best original novel in English, that has been published in the UK. It is presented by the Man Group, which is a British alternative investment management business. The Booker Prize was first awarded in 1969. It is generally presented in Guildhall, London. The award is open to all authors of English books, regardless of their nationalities.

UK Government passes motion to recognize Palestine October 15, 2014 The UK House of Commons passed a motion, voting overwhelmingly in favour of recognizing Palestine as a State. Significantly, this motion is not binding on the UK government even though the House voted 274-12 in favour of granting recognition. Therefore, the vote, though highly symbolic, is not expected to bring about any real change in the policy of the British government with respect to Palestine. Stand of the UK government The British government has maintained that it will grant recognition to Palestine only if it will further the cause of peace. It is believed that the government will consider recognizing Palestine only if a peace deal is agreed upon bilaterally by Palestine and Israel. Split between parties The majority of the Labour Party voted in favour of the motion granting recognition. The motion had the complete backing of the Shadow Cabinet of the Labour Party. However, the Conservative Party was not in favour of granting recognition. Most Conservative MPs, including the PM David Cameron, abstained. Despite the vote, all the MPs, from both parties, acknowledged Israel‗s right to exist in security.

Centre sets up Expert Group to examine new methods of sex determination October 15, 2014 The Central government has set up an expert group to look into the new technologies being to determine the sex of the foetus, so that the same may be curbed through appropriate amendment to the PC & PNDT Act. Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act) The PC & PNDT Act outlaws the misuse of ultrasound machines to determine the sex of the foetus, and prohibits female foeticide. The expert panel will suggest amendments to this Act to cover the latest methods of sex determinations. Central Supervisory Board (CSB)

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The CSB is the highest body monitoring the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act. A meeting of the reconstituted CSB, headed by the Health Minister and co-chaired by the Minister for Women and Child Development was held recently. The formation of the expert group was decided at this meeting Need for amendment to legislation Even though the most common methods of sex determination have been outlawed, newer technologies have come into existence for the purpose of determination of the sex of the foetus. Some of these new methods are even noninvasive. Also, IVF/ART (In-Vitro Fertilization/Artificial Reproductive Technology) clinics, operating in a legal vacuum, allow their clients to choose the sex of their baby. The expert group has been constituted to suggest amendments to face this challenge and curb these new modes of sex determination. India and Norway sign agreements, MoUs during President‟s visit to Norway October 15, 2014 President Pranab Mukherjee is on a six day visit to the Scandinavian countries of Norway and Finland. He is the first Indian President to visit Norway. A plethora of agreements and MoUs were signed by the two countries Agreement on Visa Exemption India has signed an agreement with Norway that will exempt Indian holders of diplomatic and official passports from the requirement of obtaining a visa. This agreement is expected to promote bilateral relations between the two countries, and facilitate easy travel between the two countries for the officials and government representatives. MoUs The two countries have also signed 11 MoUs in the fields of education, science and technology, research and development etc. One of the MoU involves setting up of modern fish farming unit outside Delhi. Statement of Intent India‗s DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Norway‗s Defence Research Institute has signed a Statement of Intent expressing their inclination to collaborate together.

NPPA slaps penalty on Novartis for overcharging October 15, 2014 The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has sent a show cause notice to Novartis, imposing a fine of Rs. 300 cr for overcharging consumers. The drug in question, which Novartis has been accused of overcharging is Voveran. Voveran is painkiller which is very popular in the market. Voveran is based on diclofenac, a drug under the government‗s direct price control. Novartis has refused to confirm the amount of penalty levied. It has stated that notice is ―erroneous and entirely misconceived‖.

Separate Bill drafted for regulation of small factories October 15, 2014 The Labour Ministry has drafted the Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2014 and asked for comments from stakeholders. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the Parliament during its winter session. Application of law This law will apply to micro, small and medium enterprises that employ up to 40 employees. Consolidation of law and procedure The Bill, if passed, will replace over 44 central labour laws and 100 state laws and streamline the process. A single compliance report, that can be filed online, will fulfill all the requirements under various legislations. Outdated provisions, with no relevance in today‗s age and time, have been removed. Registration of units FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The factories covered under the bill will have to register within 60 days of commencement of business. Each employer will be provided a labour identification number, and he can register his factory online. Payment of wages The employer will have to transfer the wages to the accounts of the employees. Payment of wages in cash is disallowed. This will help the regulatory agency monitor payment of wages and also give a boost to financial inclusion. Protection of basic rights The registration of the units with the authorities will help them monitor the benefits being provided to the employees by employer. The bill clearly states the working hours, minimum wages, overtime wages, provision of leave, social security benefits and conditions for retrenchment of workers. Any malpractices can be challenged before the Conciliation Officer, appointed in accordance with the Bill. Need for legislation The requirement of a separate labour law for small scale industries was identified by the Second National Commission on Labour in 2000. The Commission said that such a law would encourage small scale industries and also boost employment opportunities.

Jean Tirole wins Nobel Prize for Economics -2014 October 15, 2014 The Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Jean Tirole ―for his analysis of market power and regulation‖. He will be awarded prize money of 8 mn Swedish krona. Jean Tirole is the second Frenchman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize this year. Tirole has been very vocal about the need for greater regulation of banks, and has been in the news for his views ever since the financial crisis of 2008. Work of Tirole Tirole‗s area of study has been markets which are dominated by a few large and powerful firms or which have a single monopoly. When left unregulated by the government, these firms tend to distort the markets and have generally adverse consequences. Since the mid 1980s, Tirole has been researching such market failures. He analysed these firms in order to determine the best way to regulate them effectively. Governments of most nations had a tendency to place the same set of regulations on the firms in different sectors/industries. Tirole‗s work suggested that such a method would be ineffectual, and that there need to be different regulations and restrictions on firms in different sectors like banking, telecommunications etc. His work has helped governments develop a better framework to protect the rights of both competing firms, small size firms and consumers. Jean Tirole Jean was born on 9 August 1953, in France. He did his doctorate from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is currently with the Toulouse University in France where he is the Scientific Director at Institut d‗Économie Industrielle in the Toulouse School of Economics. Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. It is not one of the original Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel‗s will in 1895. The Economics Prize was established only in 1968, and is funded by Sweden‗s central bank, Sveriges Riksbank. The bank created an endowment for the Prize on its 300th anniversary. However, the Economics prize follows the same rules governing the original Nobel Prizes and is awarded at the same ceremony. Also, in consonance with Nobel‗s will, the Economics Prize is also given to persons who have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The selection is done by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who pick the Nobel laureates in chemistry and physics. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Indian Super League inaugurated in Kolkata October 14, 2014 The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) was launched amid festivities at Kolkata‗s Salk Lake Stadium on October 12 in the presence of fans, industrialists, celebrities and politicians. The inaugural ceremony was celebrated with dances and fireworks. The ISL is a professional Indian football league. The ISL football tournament will last a span of 10 weeks, from October to December. It is backed by industrialist, Mukesh Ambani, and many team owners are sportspersons and celebrities. Similarities with IPL ISL is modeled on the lines of IPL, and is the IPL for the game of football. Like IPL, it has teams based in cities. ISL has eight teams – Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. ISL The ISL was launched in 2013 to promote football in India. It is supported by the AIFF (All India Football Federation). The league operates on the lines of IPL and Twenty20. It uses a city based franchise system like IPL. ISL‗s mission is to make India a global football power and promote the game so that India qualifies for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Its vision is to develop an entertaining football league engaging hundreds of millions of fans and improve playing standards in India.

India to provide four million US dollars for rebuilding the Gaza Strip October 14, 2014 At the International Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo, India pledged to donate US $ 4 mn in aid to rebuild Gaza Strip. The Conference is to raise money for rebuilding efforts in Gaza after its latest 50 day war with Israel. Presentation by Palestinian Authority The Palestinian Authority presented a 76 page long National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan at the Conference. The Palestinians asked for US $ 4 bn, with most of the funds being spent on reconstruction efforts and building housing for the people, according to its Plan. Total Donations The donors raised a total US $ 5.4 bn, with 2.7 bn dedicated to rebuilding efforts. The funds are expected to reach Palestine within three years. The largest donor is Qatar with US $ 1 bn. USA has pledged US $ 212 mn for immediate assistance. EU pledged US $ 568 mn. Regional players, Turkey and UAE, pledged US $ 200 mn each. Utilization of funds The funds will be funneled through the Palestinian Authority. Hamas will have no role to play. Most of the funds are expected to spent under the aegis of various UN bodies. UN already has plans for approximately US $ 2.1 bn of the funds, with $ 1.6 billion going to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and the rest to other UN agencies working towards different things in Palestine. India‟s prior assistance to Palestine India has played an active role in the betterment of Palestine and its people and the basis on which a strong IndoPalestine partnership has been built. India directly provides budgetary, economic and developmental assistance to Palestine and is active in the areas of capacity development, education and information technology. Other than this, India is also a part of multilateral efforts to help Palestinians. A slew of developmental projects are being implemented under the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) Fund in Palestine. An important future IBSA project is the reconstruction of the Atta Habib medical centre in Shujiyaa in Gaza with a cost of US $ 1 mn. Also, India has already been contributing US $ 1 mn annually to the UNRWA to enable the supply of food and medicines to Gaza.

Roger Federer wins first Shanghai Masters title FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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October 14, 2014 The world number 3 ranked Roger Federer, from Switzerland, defeated Gilles Simon from France to win the Shanghai Masters Title. Gilles Simon is unseeded. This is the first Shanghai Masters title win for Roger Federer. In 2010, Roger Federer lost to Andy Murray in Shanghai Masters Final. This is Roger Federer‗s 81st career title. He has also won 17 Grand Slams Shanghai Masters Title This tournament is a part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000. It is played on a hardcourt at Qi Zhong Tennis Center in Minhang district of Shanghai. The 2013 singles title of the Shanghai Masters went to Novak Djokovic

Lewis Hamilton wins inaugural Russian Formula One Grand Prix October 14, 2014 Englishman Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, won the inaugural Russian Formula One Grand Prix held at Sochi. Hamilton had started on pole position. With this win, Mercedes also clinched its first F1 Constructor‗s title. The race was witnessed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The location of the competition was at Sochi, the location where the Winter Olympics were held. The circuit went across some of the landmark locations from the Olympics. Constructor‟s title The Constructor‗s title is determined by a points system based on the Grand Prix results. The points scored in each race by an driver for that constructor of the F1 car are taken into consideration. It is a prize for the construction of the car, irrespective of who the driver is. Records The Russian Grand Prix was Hamilton‗s fourth win in a row and ninth win of the season. The 2008 world champion, is just the fourth driver in F1 history to win nine races in a single season. This win also marked Mercedes‗ first Constructor‗s Title victory. Mercedes‗ driver also finished second. So, as a team, Mercedes had clinched both the first and second spots. This is Mercedes‗ ninth such win, which is just one short of McLaren 1988 record. Dedication to Bianchi Hamilton dedicated his win to French F1 driver, Jules Bianchi, who crashed into a recovery tractor at Suzuka in Japan just recently. Bianchi is still in the hospital, in critical condition due to the head injuries he sustained when he lost control and crashed. Bianchi drives for Marussia.

Isha and Akash Ambani made directors in Reliance companies October 14, 2014 There is an apparent succession planning taking shape at Reliance industries. India‗s largest business house has given charge to GenNext. Mukesh Ambani‗s twin scions Isha and Akash have formally joined as Board of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Retail Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL, as directors. Akash has graduated from Brown University with majors in Economics is already working with a close associate of Ambanis Manoj Modi on RIL‗s 4G telecom venture. Isha has graduated from Yale University with majors in psychology and South Asian Studies has also worked briefly with McKinsey. The young brigade of Ambanis has been present at the Annual General Meetings, but the formal induction of the two is now complete. Reliance Industries is already preparing for the launch of 4G telecom service in 2015, so the timing of the new inductions seem critical and interesting.

Captain Abbas Ali of Azad Hind Fauz passes away October 14, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Captain Abbas Ali who was a part of Indian National Army passed away due to a cardiac arrest. He had been a notable figure and was a part of British Indian Army in 1939 before the break of WWII. He later joined Indian National Army when Netaji raised the issue of armed revolt. Capt. Abbas Ali was then arrested, court marshalled and further given a death sentence. However, when India gained independence and he was released from prison fortunately before his death sentence was to be executed. He was greatly influenced by the socialist leaders Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Narendra Dev and Jayaprakash Narayan and took a step into the political sphere under their guidance. In 1966, he was appointed State General Secretary of Sanyukt Socialist Party and a member of the national executive of the Socialist Party. He was again arrested during the National Emergency under the Defence of India rule and it was only when emergency was lifted in 1977 and Janata government came to power that he was released and he was elected to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and was appointed as the first President of Uttar Pradesh Unit of the Janata Party.

Key Facts about Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana October 14, 2014 On the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, PM Modi launched the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana keeping his commitment, he made to the nation in his Independence Day speech. The scheme is properly and religiously implemented will revolutionize the village economies and culture. It encourages MPs or Sansads to identify and develop one village from their respective constituency as a model village by 2016 and two more by 2019. This will ensure development of 2500 villages. Here are some of the highlights of the Yojana: MPs are required to pick one village with a population of 3000-4000 in plains and 1000-3000 in hills within a month of the launch. MPs cannot pick villages which belong to themselves or their spouses. The scheme requires them to draft a village development plan, motivate inhabitants to participate in growth via different activities, identify gaps in funding and mobilising MPLAD funds to create additional resources specifically from CSR initiatives of various corporate houses, in areas of sanitation and water supply. The outcomes of the same should cover a wide spectrum of indicators like health, nutrition and education through organising and monitoring immunization drives, improving standard and quality of mid-day meal schemes, improving Aadhaar enrolment, setting up ―smart schools‖ with IT-enabled classrooms and e-

libraries, Panchayat infrastructure improvement under schemes such as MGNREGA and Backward Regions Grants Fund etc. Social development and harmony should be encouraged through activities like identifying and celebrating a village day, a village song and also laying stress on alternate modes of dispute resolution. The scheme also has provisions to plug all gaps which were hitherto a mark of every government yojana. The implementation will be ensured by web-based monitoring and an initial 5-month review by an independent agency. District Collectors will carry ground-level surveys along with monthly review meetings to monitor progress . At the State-level too, Chief Secretaries will head empowered committee on the same and the Minister for Rural Development and Secretary, Rural Development, will chair two national-level committees to track the scheme. This will transform lives of many for whom economic development never happened and also bring about a sense of pride, volunteerism, and self-reliance in villages. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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International Day of the Girl Child Observed on October 11 October 14, 2014 UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011 adopted a Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Ever since, the day has been dedicated to the welfare of the girl child internationally. The theme of this year was Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence. The day marks to give the girls their due in terms moving from mere generating awareness to raising of appropriate infrastructure. UN‗s UNiTE initiative to end violence against women has been a huge success. However, the need has been felt of other aspects of life like Education for girls, putting an end to Child Marriage etc. which have to take care of to ensure proper and all round development of the girl child. UN aims to shift its focus to more action and result oriented practices thus giving space for gender-equitable post2015 and review of progress against the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The day thus calls on the civil society, governments, UN to join hands and reaffirm their commitment to bring an end to violence against adolescent girls and propagate their empowerment. The steps taken this year include: Investments to promote skill development and confidence building through the medium of schools, vocational training, health and economic support systems. Advocating for making violence against women and children unacceptable in all forms and proportions. Facilitating their entry and acceptance in civic and economic public life. Consolidating data, measurements and evidence base related to empowerment of girls

Bombay High Court rules in favour of Vodafone October 12, 2014 The Bombay high Court has ruled in favour of Indian unit of Vodafone Group Plc in a INR 3,200 crore transfer pricing dispute. The Court stated that there is no taxable income coming from issuance of shares. The Vodafone India Services Pvt. Ltd. Was involved in a case where the Income Tax department had accused the company of underpricing the shares in a rights issue to the parent firm for fiscal 2009-2010 and had issued a show-cause notice to Vodafone India in January. Transfer pricing is defined as the price at which divisions of a company based in different countries, transact with each-other to ensure a fair-price is levied. The judgement correctly addresses the question of applicability of transfer pricing law to share issuance and has thwarted the blatant attempt of tax authorities to tax hypothetical income. The verdict endorses a unanimous view that the income tax authority has no case to defend the transfer pricing adjustment due to undervaluation of share prices. It goes to support the view that income should be generated in the first place to lead to such provisions. It also ensures that secondary adjustment proposed by the tax authorities by re-characterisation of premium as loan is not valid. It is important, as it has wide-scale repercussions on international firms involved in similar tax disputes in India. Even, many Indian companies are contesting such disputes. The verdict at large will serve as a major boost to the foreign investor sentiment and result in higher FDI for India in future. The industry has welcomed the same and now it remains on the government to accept and abide by the same.

India‟s Current Foreign Exchange Reserves: $311.427 billion October 12, 2014 India‗s forex reserves continued their downward journey for the fifth consecutive week, India‗s foreign exchange reserves plunged by $2.754 billion to $311.427 billion in the week to October 3. The largest fall is seen in US currency assets which make a big component of the overall reserves. During the last quarter under review, this drop in forex was basically due to drop in valuation of Indian rupee on the back of a stronger US currency against other FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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global currencies and talks of withdrawal of quantitative easing by the US. The Federal Reserve has now deferred its tightening programme to next year, helping rupee to regain some of its lost ground this week. The foreign currency assets, incorporate the effect of both appreciation and depreciation of many non-US currencies also, which are held in reserves. Even the gold reserves showed a negative trend after being stable for weeks. The reserves fell by $919.7 million. Other components include special drawing rights and India‗s reserve position in the IMF which decreased by $22.8 million and $8.2 million to $4.284 billion and 1.540 billion, respectively. Components of Foreign Reserves The components of Foreign Reserves in decreasing order are Foreign Currency Assets, Gold, SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve Position in IMF Trench. Industrial Output slows down to five-month low of 0.4 per cent in August 2014 October 12, 2014 Industrial production growth has taken a hit from the contraction in manufacturing output and consumer goods sectors. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has shown a dismal rate of growth of 0.4%. IIP which is a measure of the short-term changes in the industrial activity in the country covers sectors like mining, manufacturing, electricity and a basket of 682 products depending on the contribution of the same to the total output of the country. The data though released on every month, is usually gauged every year. Industry comprises a major part of India‗s GDP; the indicator is a measure of the health of the industry. A robust industrial activity reflected in IIP makes a considerable impact on GDP and investor sentiment. The new schemes introduced by the Modi government are focussed on making India an attractive investment and manufacturing destination to the world. The focus and ambition of the government is apparent but so are the woes of the crisis-laden power sector which has shown its first impact. IIP for July also showed a downward revision with only 0.4% growth as compared to provisional estimates of 0.5 as per CSO. According to the IIP data, manufacturing — which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index — contracted by 1.4 per cent in August, compared to 0.2 per cent decline in output a year ago. Likewise, the consumer goods output contracted by 6.9 per cent in August against 0.9 per cent decline logged last year. Only half that is, 11 of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing showed positive growth in August. The World Bank which pointed toward ‗Modi Dividend‗, that is the orientation of the one new government towards growth and industry. The Bank also expected India to pick up private investment soon. However, the latter got caught between the struggling power sector due to which small scale industries have taken a big hit. These units are involved in making things from steel to textiles have not been able to combat the blow of stretched power outages. Coal deficit is another hurdle as the level of coal stocks is worst in last six years, which has forced power companies to import huge consignments and leading to congested ports.

World Mental Day observed on October 10 October 12, 2014 World Health Organisation every year observes October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. The Day aims to make people sensitive to issues related to mental health and also become more aware of the mental health issues around the world. It marks a day to channelize efforts in the direction to support mental health. The day involves people and stakeholders to express their concerns, views and approaches to deal with issues related to mental health. The experts are required to share their work and any breakthroughs which they have achieved. The theme for 2014 is ―Living with schizophrenia‖. The aim is to help people build and lead a normal life with schizophrenia. It seeks to introduce to the sufferers newer vistas for life and growth. According to WHO, 450 million people around the world have mental illness. Even more alarming is the fact that the civil society still considers mental illness as a stigma which makes it difficult for patients to talk about their problem openly and seeking a medical advice. In many cases the effect of the stigma is worse than the illness itself. Another FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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aim of the day is to transform the attitudes of general public towards mental health and issues. In India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has flagged the day as the National Mental Health Day to be observed every year. He also launched India‗s first policy on Mental Health. The policy aims to provide affordable and quality treatment to mentally ill patients especially from the weaker sections of the society. Training modules for general physicians were launched. The policy will have a pro-poor vision as the latter are always at the receiving end of the poor policy and implementation. The World Health Organization has predicted that about 20 per cent of India‗s population would suffer from some form of mental illness by 2020 and the country only has about 3,500 psychiatrists. Therefore, the government is confronted with the problem of lowering this gap significantly over the next decade

Nobel Peace Prize 2014 October 11, 2014 The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their ―struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.‖ The Committee specifically pointed out how commendable it was for ―a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism‖. The Committee also hoped that their fight for the rights of children will contribute to the larger goal of ―fraternity between nations‖ that Alfred Nobel has explicitly mentioned in his will as one of the criteria for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala and Satyarthi will be awarded a medal and $1.4 mn at an special ceremony in Oslo. Malala Yousafzai 17 year old Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Laureate in the history of the prize. She is also the third Nobel laureate who was born in Pakistan. Malala fought for the rights of girl children in Swat Valley, Pakistan to attend school. She was shot by gunmen there, and later moved to Birmingham, UK. Since then, she has published her autobiography, addressed the UNGA, been named one of Time magazine‗s most influential people in 2013, and awarded the EU‗s Sakharov Prize for human rights. Kailash Satyarthi Satyarthi is the eighth Nobel laureate to have been born in India. He is an adherent of Gandhian philosophy. He has upheld Mahatma Gandhi‗s practice of engaging and conducting peaceful protests. He has focused his agitations against the exploitation of children for financial gain. He is the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement). Through his NGO, he campaigns for protection of child rights and to abolish illegal human trafficking.

World Bank Launches Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) October 11, 2014 The World Bank (WB) has launched the GIF to specifically cater to the infrastructure needs of the emerging economies and developing countries. The GIF will channel money towards bankable infrastructure project in such countries. GIF also places importance on sustainable development. Its key focus will be on climate friendly infrastructure investments and projects that will boost trade. The GIF will collaborate with other international and multilateral agencies which provide loans and financial assistance to countries across the globe. It will also help these agencies with its expertise in financing, supervising and implementing projects. Another areas where GIF could provide assistance it ensuring that all regulatory, environmental and social safeguards are met with while investing in large scale infrastructure projects. GIF will also work with private entities like asset management companies, private equity firms, pensions and insurance funds and commercial banks to tap into multiple sources of funding. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Government sets up „Japan Plus‟ team October 11, 2014 India has set up a ‗Japan Plus‗ management team to follow through on the $35 bn that Japan has promised to invest in India over a span of five years via PPP and overseas development assistance. This is a follow through on the agreements and initiatives agreed to by India and Japan during PM Modi‗s visit to Japan. Japan is the fourth largest foreign investor in India. It contributes to approximately 8% of India‗s total FDI inflows. It is already actively involved in various infrastructure projects in India. Responsibilities of the Japan Plus team The team will provide the Indian government assistance with respect to initiating, attracting, facilitating and fasttracking of Japanese investments in India. The team will be responsible for all areas of investment promotion, research, outreach and issues post investment. It will also help identify areas for Indo-Japan collaboration and viable projects for Japanese investment. Composition The team has been set up by DIPP (Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and is operational from October 8. It consists of government officials from both countries. The team will have four Indians and two Japanese, and will be coordinated by Kenichiro Toyofuku from Japan‗s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership An Indo-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership core group has also been constituted. It will be headed by the Cabinet Secretary and will comprise of the Chairman of Railway Board, Foreign Secretary and secretaries of DIPP, revenue, economic affairs, financial services, urban development, information technology and others. It will coordinate and monitor investments from Japan. Also, it will facilitate investment in various sectors and enable effective transfer of technologies .

Nobel Prize Literature 2014 October 11, 2014 The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2014 has been awarded to the French author, Patrick Modiano, ―for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation‖. The last time a French author won a Nobel for Literature was in 2008 when Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won. Modiano has also been the recipient of other awards including Grand prix du roman de l‗Academie francaise in 1972 and the 2010 prix mondial Cino Del Duca by the Institut de France for lifetime achievement. In 2012, he won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. Patrick Modiano Modiano was born on July 30, 1945 in a suburb of Paris. He studied at the Lycée Henri-IV in Paris. His private geometry coach, Raymond Queneau, was also a writer and had a significant influence on Modiano‗s career. His writings are in French, though some have been translated into English and other languages. He made his writing debut in 1968 with La place de l‘étoile. His first work was widely discussed and well known but it hasn‘t been translated into English. Most of his work centres around ambiguous themes such as memory, oblivion, identity and guilt. His stories also tend to be of an autobiographical nature and draw upon his city and its history. Some of Modiano‗s works have been translated into English, among them Les boulevards de ceinture (1972; Ring Roads : A Novel, 1974), Villa Triste (1975;Villa Triste, 1977), Quartier perdu (1984; A Trace of Malice, 1988) and Voyage de noces (1990; Honeymoon, 1992). His latest work is the novel Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier. Other than an author of novels, Modiano has also written children‗s novels and movie scripts. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Central Government defers countrywide roll out of National Food Security Act for six months October 11, 2014 The Centre has deferred the rollout of the National Food Security Act for the second time in a year. The deadline of October 2014 has been extended for another six months Background The National Food Security Act was passed in July 2013. At that time, states were given one year to identify beneficiaries and put in measures to provide subsidized foodgrains to them. However, after a year‗s time, most states had still not made progress. Hence, an extension of another four months till October was given. But, since many states have still not managed to put the required infrastructure in place for implementation of the provision of the National Food Security Act, another extension of six months has been given by the Central Government. Lack of readiness A large number of states wanted the nation wide rollout of the National Food Security Act to be deferred because they were not ready to implement it. The onus of identifying the beneficiaries was put on the states by the National Food Security Act. Many states have yet to finalise the beneficiaries, and there has been a lot of debate on how to identify them. Also, most states who weren‗t implementing their own foodgrain distribution programs have to establish infrastructure from scratch. Information about fair price shops have to be digitised and godowns built to store enough foodgrains for such a far-reaching program. 11 states and Union Territories, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh have partially or fully implemented the National Food Security Act. However, many of the large states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have not yet put the required mechanism in place.

Mark Zuckerberg visits India-stresses connectivity for whole world October 11, 2014 Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is in New Delhi on a two day visit to India. He will launch the global internet project, Internet.org in Delhi. While in India, Zuckerberg met PM Modi and later spoke of Digital India initiative and said it was a positive development. His visit comes months after the visit of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. Internet.org Internet.org is a global partnership between leaders in the field of technology, NGOs, local communities and experts who work together to bring internet connectivity to the two-thirds of world‗s population that doesn‗t have access to internet now. Through Internet.org, Zuckerberg aims to make internet more accessible and affordable to all people around the world. In the next five years, the project aims to provide internet connectivity to 5 billion people in the world.

Andhra Pradesh & Odisha get ready for “Hudhud” October 11, 2014 Cyclone Hudhud is expected to make landfall near Vishakapatnam on October 12 according to the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department). The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has put its battalions in TN, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar on high alert. Central Government has sent 39 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprising 1,573 personnel, 193 boats and other equipment to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. NDRF has also set up a Control Room at Delhi whose number is – 011-26107953. Additional battalions are being considered for deployment in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Defence Forces The defence forces have also been readied for carrying out relief and rehabilitation efforts. Also, the Indian Air Force has kept four helicopters on standby to assist with evacuation efforts. Warnings from Government Organisations The IMD has predicted rainfall at most places in this region to be heavy to heavy, with some isolated areas facing extremely heavy rainfall. The Indian Railways has also issued a warning to passengers travelling from or through these states. Cancellation or delay of trains is expected if the situation warrants it. The states in the Bay of Bengal region have issued warnings asking fishermen not to venture deep into the sea. The intensity of Hudhud is expected to be on the lines of that of cyclone Phailin which hit Odisha last year. Preparation in Andhra Pradesh The Andhra Pradesh government has identified 26 sub-districts which are expected to be affected by Hudhud. 125 relief camps have been organized to evacuate people along the coast.

Five Haryana Janhit Congress MLA‟s disqualified October 11, 2014 The Punjab and Haryana disqualified the merger of five Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) MLAs with the Congress in accordance with the anti-defection law. The MLAs in question are Satpal Sangwan, Vinod Bhyana, Rao Narender Singh, Zile Ram Chochra and Dharam Singh Chhokar. 2009 elections In the 2009 Assembly polls, Congress failed to get the required majority seats in the state assembly. The required number of seats were 45 and Congress has won 40 seats. Initially, seven independent candidates agreed to join the Congress, but by November 2009, the 5 HJC MLAs also claimed that they party had merged with the HJC. The then speaker of Haryana, Kuldeep Sharma, upheld the merged was valid in law. This order was then challenged in the HC. Judgment The HC set aside the order of the Speaker, as being invalid and bad in law. The judge held that the supposed merger was unconstitutional. It disqualified the five HJC members from being MLAs. Also, they were disqualified from any remunerative political post that they may have held since they defected from HJC. This means that the MLAs will have to refund any financial benefits and perks they received by virtue of holding a political post.

Burdwan blast to be probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) October 11, 2014 The case of the explosion that took place in Khagragarh area of Burdwan in West Bengal has been handed over to the NIA. The explosion killed two persons who are suspected of being militants. A large quantity of chemicals used to make bombs and some IEDs were found at the site of the explosion. Investigations have led to the arrest of four persons including two women. Issue on Consent of state ggovernment The Centre invoked a rarely used clause of National Investigation Agency Act, to surpass the state government and have NIA handle the case without the state government‗s consent. In light of the circumstances and probable involvement of foreign terrorists, the Centre felt it necessary for the NIA to investigate the matter. The legislation gives the Centre the power to intervene and direct NIA to take over from the state, without the state‗s consent only if certain crimes which have been listed in the act‗s schedule have been committed. Terror related activities are covered by the schedule .

Government to revive Prime Minister‟s Council on Climate Change October 10, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Central government is planning to reconstitute and revive the PM‗s Council on Cilmate Change. This Council oversaw the implementation of the eight missions under the NAPCC (National Action Plan on Climate Change). This advisory body had not met in the last three years. An Executive Committee had been set up in January 2013, comprising of officials from relevant Ministries, to assist the Council and monitor implementation of the eight missions. However, despite this, lack of funding and coordination lead to slow implementation of proposals under the eight missions. Most missions have been underperforming in relation to their targets. With renewed emphasis on climate change in the international, the government has deemed it imperative to formulate a coherent domestic climate change policy. The reconstituted Council is expected to review the implementation of the eight missions and undertake a comprehensive reassessment of the country‗s climate change policy. Moreover, the composition of the Council is expected to be tweaked to accommodate more members from the industrial sector. Prime Minister‟s Council on Climate Change The Council was established in 2007. It was responsible for framing the NAPCC in 2008. The High Level Advisory group was given the role of co-coordinating action plans for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. It also advised the government on multiple climate change related issues and facilitated inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination in the arena of climate change.

Government announces establishment of Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS) October 10, 2014 The Minister for Minority Affairs, Najma Heptullah, announced the establishment of a nation level skill development Academy, ―Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills‖ (MANAS) with headquarters in Delhi. MANAS will focus on providing skills, upgrading abilities and training members of minority communities in those sectors of the economy which are either facing a shortage or labour or where demand for labour is expected to surge. MANAS will also train people so that they may be self-employed. The National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) will provide assistance with credit for persons who have undergone training at MANAS and wish to establish their own business or be self employed. MANAS will also collaborate with multiple national and international agencies to provide certification and assistance with placement for the trainees, and also to secure funding for the program. A MoU was also signed by MANAS and the National Skill Development Corporation to establish an All India Collaborative Network for MANAS.

Government to complete Phase-III of Cable TV Digitization by 2015 October 10, 2014 The Government has modified the timeline for Cable TV Digitisation. As per the new timeline, Phase III will be over by end of 2015 and Phase IV, a year later, by end of 2016. In Phase III and IV, cable TV digitization will spread to the rural areas. Phase I was digitization of metro cities, and Phase II was digitization of cities with a population of more than 1 million people, Phase III covers all urban areas and Phase IV covers the rest of India. Task Force for Cable Digitization for Phases three and four This task force was set up by the government to steer Phases III and IV. The task force was set up to look into indigenous production of set top boxes (STBs), interoperability between STB service providers and take efforts to provide tax incentives to boost domestic manufacturing of STBs and enable them to compete with foreign manufacturers. The Task Force will also consult with representatives of all stakeholders, including the service providers and consumers. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Tyeb Mehta painting sold at 11 crore rupees October 10, 2014 Modernist Tyeb Mehta‗s painting was sold at the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale in Sotheby‗s for a whooping Rs. 11 cr. The Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale marked the beginning of Sotheby‗s Indian and Islamic Week, which will see three separate auctions dedicated to the works of established artists from the Indian sub-continent and the Islamic world. The blue painting was brought for a price far higher than its pre-auction estimate by an anonymous bidder. The painting is thought to be an important transitional work of Mehta‗s, and a departure from his pet themes of angst and suffering. The depiction of the female body is believed to be inspired from the works of international artists such as Barnett Newman, Kazimir Malevich and Henri Matisse. Tyeb Mehta Tyeb Mehta was born in 1925 in Gujarat. He studied at the J.J.School of Art. He is one of the post-colonial group of artists in India. He was a part of the renowned Bombay Progressive Artist‗s Group which is a grouping of influential modern Indian artists post-1947 who are known for their unique collection of work with certain similar characteristics. His work belonged to the Modernism school of painting. He is a Padma Bhushan awardee. Mehta‗s work was the first by a contemporary Indian artist to be sold for over a million dollars. One of his later paintings, ‗Celebration‗, sold for Rs. 15 mn at a Christie‗s auction in 2002. This set the record for the highest sale amount for an Indian painting at an international auction. He died in 2009 in Mumbai. Click Here to read brief Biography of Tyeb Mehta India celebrates 82nd Air Force Day The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 82nd foundation day as Air Force Day at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, UP. Till 2006, Air Force Day celebrations were held at the Palam airport. Sachin Tendulkar was also present at the ceremony. He was made a Honorary Group Captain in the IAF in 2010. He is the first sportsperson to have been honoured with that distinction. Celebrations The Air Force Day Parade was held at the base along with the Investiture ceremony. The Air Force Warrior drill team displayed rifle handling skills along with march etc as part of the parade. Various airplanes of the IAF were on display. Also, planes like the MIG-21, MIG-29, Sukhoi-30 MKI, Globemaster, Hercules and Mirage 2000 performed multiple maneuvers. Hindon Air Force Base This base is under the Western Air Command. It is the biggest and largest air base in Asia, and 8th in the world. It is located in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. It is located on the outskirts of the Hindon river.

Chemistry Nobel Prize 2014 October 10, 2014 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced that the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the year 2014 is being awarded to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner ―for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy‖. For years, it was assumed that the resolution that could be achieved by optical microscopy was limited to half the wavelength of light. These three scientists overcame this perceived limitation with the help of fluorescent molecules. Their work has made it possible to ―study molecular processes in real time‖ according to the Nobel Committee Chair. The winners will share the prize money of 8 mn kroner. Limitation on Resolution It was assumed by the scientific community that it would be impossible to study living cells in its tiniest molecular detail. The microscopist Ernst Abbe had set 0.2 micrometres as the maximum resolution that could be achieved through optical microscopy. This development took place in 1873, and for decades no scientist could achieve a FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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better resolution. These three scientists surpassed Abbe‗s limitation and enabled scientists to analyse the nanoscopic world. The scientists have been awarded for their work with two different approaches, namely, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy and single molecule microscopy. Work of Stefan Hell Stefan Hell developed the STED microscopy method in 2000. To better Abbe‗s resolution, he used two laser beams. One beam stimulated the fluorescent molecules to grow, while the other beam cancelled out all fluorescence except that in a nanometer sized volume. Work of Betzig and Moerner Betzig and Moerner worked with single molecule microscopy. This method is based on the ability to turn the fluorescence of molecules on and off. A couple of different molecules are allowed to glow each time the image is recorded;. Then, all the recorded images are superimposed to form one complete image covering all molecules. This method was first tested in 2006. Breakthrough work The work done by these scientists enables researchers and other to analyse individual molecules, thus enabling them to carry on further research. With the ability to look at individual molecules, we can better understand the human anatomy and the occurrence of various diseases. About Eric Betzig Eric Betzig is an American citizen who born in 1960 in USA. He is a Group Leader at the Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in USA About Stefan W. Hell Stefan W. Hell is a German citizen who was born in Romania in 1962. He is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, and Division head at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. William E. Moerner William E. Moerner is an American citizen who was born in USA in 1953. He is the Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University in USA. India expected to retain top slot in inward remittances October 9, 2014 In the World Bank‗s latest ‗Migration and Development Brief‗, India has remained the top country to receive inward remittance with a total of $71 bn just this year. This stable inflow of remittances is important in boosting India‗s balance of payments Future Trends The report predicts a modest rise of 1.5% in the inwards remittances to India during 2014. However, remittances to the developing countries are expected to increase by 5% to reach $435 bn in 2014, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America. Remittances to the South Asia are expected to improve after a slower growth in 2013. Global remittances are estimated to increase from $582 bn to $608 bn in 2014 Forced Migration Though the rise in inward remittances is a positive development, the rise in forced migration has revealed the troubling circumstances that are prevalent across the world. Forced Migration due to conflict were at their highest level since World War II, affecting over 51 mn people. An additional 22 mn people have been forced to move due to natural disasters.

Nobel Prize for Physics 2014 October 9, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced its decision to award the Nobel Prize for Physics to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura ―for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources‖. Isamu Akasaki Isamu Akasaki is a Japanese citizen. He was born 1929 in Chiran, Japan and educated in Japan. He is currently a Professor at Meijo University, Nagoya, and Distinguished Professor at Nagoya University, Japan. Hiroshi Amano Hiroshi Amano is a Japanese citizen. He was born in 1960 in Hamamatsu, Japan and educated in Japan. He is a Professor at Nagoya University in Japan. Shuji Nakamura Shuji Nakamura is an American citizen. He was born in 1954 in Ikata, Japan and educated in Japan. He is currently a Professor at University of California in USA. Discovery of blue LEDs The three scientists of Japanese origin have been awarded the Nobel for inventing blue light emitting diodes or LEDs. Although red and green LEDs have been in existence for decades now, development of blue LEDs posed a formidable challenge to scientists and researchers. Within a LED, current is applied to multiple semiconductor materials, which emit a particular wavelength of light depending on the chemical make-up of the semiconductor materials in question. Gallium nitride was the semiconductor used by the Japanese researchers to develop the blue LED. Growing adequately big crystal of gallium nitride was the challenge that many researchers couldn‗t figure out. Akasaki and Amano, worked together in 1986 to get the gallium nitride to grow to a big size, with the help of a specifically designed scaffold partially made from sapphire. In 1990, Nakamura also managed to induce the gallium nitride to grow to a big size by manipulating the temperature to induce its growth. Their work in discovering blue LEDs led to the combining of red, green and blue LEDs to form white LEDs. Significance of blue LEDs Blue LED is an extremely significant development on its own, and because it was a stepping stone in the development of white LED, it is a path-breaking milestone. Blue LEDs are used in many products nowadays. Smartphones, for example, use blue LEDs. White LEDs are used in a plethora of products from lamps tto television screen to computer screens. LEDs use much less energy than incandescent lamps, and are efficient enough to run on locally generated solar power. It is major development in the 21st century where energy conservation has become vital

Parties using children for poll work will lose symbols: Election Commission October 9, 2014 The Bombay High Court while hearing a case on the issue of children engaging in election campaigns and poll related work, asked the Election Commission (EC) what action it was taking against political parties to curb the involvement of children. The Election Commission has responded that parties which are making children work for their campaigns will face de-recognition by the EC. Under section 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, the EC can withdraw the recognition granted to parties that don‗t follow the EC‗s rules and regulations. De-recognition of a political party means that it can no longer use its reserved symbol. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Madhya Pradesh launches Global Investors Summit October 9, 2014 Madhya Pradesh has launched the 2014 edition of it Global Investors Summit. The event will be held from October 8 to October 10 in Indore. Indore is considered the business capital of Madhya Pradesh. Through the Global Investors Summit, the government seeks to display the strengths and industrial prowess of Madhya Pradesh. It is a bid to attract Indian and foreign investors to Madhya Pradesh. The Global Investors Summit will also act a forum for interaction between the Indian entrepreneurs, heads of states, policy makers, investors and other stakeholders.Multiple countries are also expected to be a part of the Global Investors Summit. Cyclone Hudhud intensifies near Andaman October 9, 2014 Cyclonic storm Hudhud is building over the Bay of Bengal and is likely to bring torrential rains and strong wind to the region over the next few days. The name Hudhud has been given by Oman, and it is derived from the name of an Afro-Eurasian bird. Preparations for Hudhud The cyclone is scheduled to hit the Odisha coast by October 12. It is also expected to hit the Andhra Pradesh coastline. However, it will not directly hit West Bengal, though the state is expected to feel the impacts of the cyclone. The states in the Bay of Bengal region have issued warnings asking fishermen not to venture deep into the sea. The intensity of Hudhud is expected to be on the lines of that of cyclone Phailin which hit Odisha last year. Evolution of Hudhud Hudhud first appeared as a low pressure are over the South Myanmar coast adjoining Andaman Sea. This evolved in to a depression around 250 km east of Port Blair on 6 October. This depression is expected to intensif y into a cyclonic circulation by 8 October. The immediate effect of the cyclone formation will obviously be felt on the Andaman & Nicobar Island where heavy rains and minor damage to loose and unsecured structures have been predicted. After crossing the Andamans, the cyclonic circulation is expected to south-west into the Bay of Bengal and take shape of a cyclonic storm.

DIPP clears 33 defence proposals October 9, 2014 A meeting of the Licensing Committee of the DIPP has cleared 33 pending defense deals, some of which have been languishing with the DIPP for yeards. The defence proposals were by Reliance Aerospace, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Telephonic Integrated Systems Ltd, Punj Lloyd Industries, Mahindra Aero Structure Pvt Ltd, Tata Advanced Materials Ltd etc. The DIPP has been able to clear these defence proposals now because of the regulatory and policy changes . Changes in Policy/Regulations The FDI limit in the defence sector has been increased to 49% from 26%. The government reduced the number of items requiring industrial licenses by 60% in June 2014, so a vast number of items have been delicensed and do not require items anymore. Also, dual use items, meaning products which are of use to military as well as civilians, do not require defence clearances. Hence, multiple industries now require no licenses but only have to submit an IEM. Further 24% portfolio investment through the automatic route is now allowed. And the requirement of 51% ownership by a single Indian company has been removed, with multiple Indian companies holding a cumulative share of 51% being sufficient. Also, these clearance are in line with the PM‗s Make in India campaign which calls for increased domestic production by industries based in India. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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IEM (Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum) IEM is an application which is while is filed by the company/industrial unit for acknowledgement of its unit. Industries requiring investment of over a certain amount in large scale and small industry respectively are exempt from licensing provisions; these industries, instead, have to file an IEM.

High Court denies Bail to Jayalalitha, to approach Supreme Court October 8, 2014 The High Court of Karnataka has denied bail to Jayalalitha in the disproportionate assets case. The Special Public Prosecutor raised no objection to granting of bail to Jayalalitha. The lawyer for the defense, Ram Jethmalani, argued vehemently for the release of Jayalalitha, calling it a case of political vendetta. He cited the case of Lalu Prasad Yadav being granted bail by the SC (after being convicted in the fodder scam) as a precedent to take into consideration while deciding whether bail must be granted to Jayalalitha. Jethmalani also prayed for the suspension of the sentence pending appeal. Rationale behind judgment Justice Chandrasekhara refused to grant bail saying that there were no grounds for the Court to grant bail. Citing SC judgments, he opined that corruption amounted to violation of basic human rights, and that it led to economic imbalances in society. The judge also said that the SC had made it clear that cases relating to corruption must be fast-tracked. He also refused to consider the Lalu Yadav case as a precedent, because he had been granted bail by the SC on an appeal from the HC judgment that denied him bail. Also, he had spent 10 months in jail already when the SC granted him bail. Jayalalitha, on the other hand, has not been in jail even for a month. The judge also refused to suspend the judgment of the Special Court. He cited several cases of the SC under the Prevention of Corruption Act to validate his ruling that the case was not fit for granting either bail or suspension of sentence. Future course of action Jayalalitha‗s legal team is likely to appeal the judgment denying bail in the SC. It is also expected that she will ask for a suspension of the four year sentence awarded by the Special Court Judge. Disproportionate Assets Case Jayalalitha was the first serving CM to be convicted in a corruption case when a Special Court convicted her of holding assets disproportionate to her income. She was sentenced to four years prison and a fine of Rs. 100 crore. Also, she has been disqualified from contesting elections for the next 10 years under the Representation of People‗s Act.

Heavy firing and shelling continues on Indo-Pak Border October 8, 2014 Unprovoked heavy firing and shelling across the 192 km Indo-Pak border shows no signs of abating, with the political and military set-up in both countries showing no willingness to compromise. Pakistani Rangers targeted 40 border out posts and 25 border hamlets along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts of J & K. According to India, this has been Pakistan‗s 17th breach of ceasefire in the month of October. BSF (Border Security Force) has been returning fire in many places along the border, especially in Pargwal. This has led to intensive exchange of fire between the Indian and Pakistani forces. There has been no loss of life or property to BSF as of now. However, the civilian casualty has been significant, and rising, on both sides of the border. Casualties The people bearing the brunt of the exchange of fire have been the civilians. Thousands of people have been displaced, or have fled their villages to escape the firing. Around 1000 people have been shifted to camps. Six FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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people have been killed and 50 others including BSF personnel have been injured in firing along the LoC and the international border. Ceasefire violations From October 1 to October 6, there have been ceasefire violations in different areas along the border intermittently but on every single day without exceptions. On October 2, Pakistani Rangers targeted civilian villages, leading to six persons being hospitalized with injuries Response by the Indian government/Action taken National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, held a high-level meeting that included the Home Secretary, Chief of Intelligence Bureau and BSF representatives. The bureaucrats were briefed on the violence along the border by the BSF representative, and the situation was discussed. Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley, said that Pakistan would face heavy military response from India if their ceasefire violations continued.

Eid-al-Adha celebrated across the world, Hajj concludes October 8, 2014 Eid-al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice is a festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide as two million Muslims performed the last ritual to conclude Hajj. Eid-al-Adha This festival is celebrated to commemorate Abraham‗s willingness to offer his promised son as sacrifice according to God‗s command. In the end, God intervened and asked for a lamb as sacrifice. To mark this event, Muslims worldwide offer sheep as sacrifice. Hajj Hajj is a religious pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islam that every Muslim must perform at least once in his lifetime. The last ritual was performed at Mina, which is ritually stoning the devil. This stoning of the devil is symbolic of Abraham who stoned the devil on his way to comply with God‗s wishes asking for a sacrifice. The devotees performed this ritual, offered sacrifices by slaughtering a sheep and gave its meat away to the needy. This marks the end of the pilgrimage.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to become first sitting President to appear at ICC October 8, 2014 Kenyan President Kenyatta has confirmed his appearance at The Hague, Netherlands on October 8 to respond to multiple charges against him at the ICC (International Criminal Court). Resignation In an unprecedented move, Kenyatta has invoked a hitherto unused article of the Constitution to resign temporarily, with the Deputy President, William Ruto, taking his place as Acting President till the return of Kenyatta. This step has been taken because Mr.Kenyatta has insisted that he will appear before the ICC in his personal capacity and not as the President of a nation. It is to be noted that Kenyatta had also appeared at the ICC before he became President in 2013. Kenyatta will risk an international arrest warrant and international condemnation against him personally and economic sanctions against Kenya, if he failed to comply with the summons issued by the ICC. Charges against Mr.Kenyatta Kenyatta faces five charges of crimes against humanity, inciting violence and organizing ethnic massacres that killed 1,200 people. He has denied all the charges that have been brought against him. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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In September, the ICC postponed the trial after prosecutors said the Kenyan government had failed to submit important documents. The case of the prosecution is weak as of now because several prosecution witnesses have withdrawn from the case. The ICC has summoned Kenyatta for a status hearing so he may explain allegations that evidence against has been withheld by the Kenyans. His request to participate by video was rejected by the Court. Massacres The massacres that Mr.Kenyatta is accused of playing a role in, took place after the 2007 elections in Kenya. Kenyatta was a close ally of the winner of the election, Mwai Kibaki. Kibaiki‗s opponent, Raila Odinga, claimed that the elections were rigged. The dispute then lead to violence with peoples of different ethnicities pitted against each other. Kenyatta is accused of organizing ethnic gangs to attack rival groups. Around a thousand people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced in the violence.

Typhoon Phanfone slams into Japan October 8, 2014 Typhoon Phanfone made landfall near the city of Hamamatsu in Japan. Many parts of Japan faced torrential rain, with some areas receiving a month‗s worth of rainfall in a matter of minutes. As many as 600 domestic flights and 19 international flights have been cancelled. Over 2,00,000 people have been asked to evacuate their homes throughout Eastern Japan due to threat of landslides and flooding of rivers. Tropical Storm Risk is a storm tracker that tracks cyclones etc and categories them as per their expected severity. Phanfone was earlier labeled a category one typhoon, which is the lowest on a scale of one to five. However, as it approached, the typhoon was labeled a category four. Government to establish virology diagnostic labs in 120 districts October 8, 2014 Central Government has recently announced that State-of-the-art virology diagnostic laboratories will be operational in 120 districts by 2015. Need for virology labs The outbreak of the swine flu epidemic in 2009 exposed the lack of infrastructure and preparedness in India. Only two labs in India then had the required capabilities to test for the disease. The outbreak of the Ebola virus has again emphasized the need for setting up of modern and updated testing facilities to cope with the crises that may arise in the future. Model Rural Health Research Units (MRHR) The government also has plans to strengthen the Model Rural Health Research Units which will be set up by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in collaboration with the local primary centres under the administration of the State government. The MRHR model will be advanced to improve coverage of health services and early detection of diseases in rural areas. These MRHR units will be equipped with modern technologies and state of the art infrastructure

Nobel Prize Medicine winners 2014 October 8, 2014 John O‗Keefe and Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser have won the 2014 Nobel Prize for medicine for their work which has led to discovering the brain‗s internal positioning system. About Nobel Prize in Medicine The Nobel award for medicine is given to persons whose discoveries have significantly enhanced the understanding of life or the practice of medicine. The Nobel comes with prize money of 8 mn Swedish kroner or $1.1 mn. The winner is chosen by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute which is a group of 50 professors which has an 18 member working body that evaluates nominations from scientists around the world and proposes the names of FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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top candidates for the award. The Nobel Prize for medicine is always announced before the Nobel Prize for other categories. The Nobel Assembly, made the announcement at Sweden‗s Karolinska Institute saying that the discovery had provided a solution to an issue that has plagued the mind of researchers and philosopher alike for centuries : ―How does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?‖ 2014 Nobel Prize Medicine Winners John O‘Keefe John O‗Keefe is a 74 yr old American-British Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College in London. In 1971, Dr. O‗Keefe was studying the hippocampus, when during an experiment on rats he discovered that certain nerve cells got activated when the rat was in a particular spot. If the rat changed its place, then different nerve cells in the rat‗s brain got activated. This led to his conclusion that the cells weren‗t just registering the location but they appeared to be making circuits that constituted an inner map or ‗GPS‗ of the place. He realized that the hippocampus was a spatial system where the memory of a certain place gets stored a particular combination of the nerve cells. May-Britt and Edvard Moser May-Britt Moser aged 51 and Edvard Moser aged 52 are a married team of neuroscientists working at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. In 2005, the Mosers‗ worked with O‗Keefe to further his work. They conducted similar experiments on rats, where they discovered that nerve cells in entorhinal cortex which is near the hippocampus got activated when the animals passed certain places. These nerve cells together laid out a grid like pattern enabling the rat to navigate spatially. Research Before the work done by these three scientists, we didn‗t have a sense of how the brain processed maps at a cellular level. Their work helps researchers delve deeper into how strokes and Alzheimer‗s affect the brain, with the help of their inner navigational chart.

22nd anniversary of Rapid Action Force (RAF) celebrated October 8, 2014 The 22nd Formation Day of RAF was celebrated on 7 October with all the senior CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) dignitaries present. It was announced at the Formation Day celebrations that five more battalions of RAF will be set up. The new battalions will be in Guwahati, Siliguri, Patna, Uttar Pradesh and in NCR (National Capital Region). Additionally a women battalion will soon be formed in Gujarat. Measures are being taken to induct modern, sophisticated and non-lethal weapons in RAF‗s armoury so that collateral damage or casualities may be minimized. Peace-keeping operations At the request of UN, one RAF troop consisting of 250 women and men personnel has been sent to Ebola hit Liberia. The troop has been involved in providing relief operations in Liberia. About RAF The RAF is a specially trained and equipped wing of the CRPF. It was formed in 1992 to deal with communal riots and civil unrest caused thereby. At present, there are 10 battalions, but it is set to increase as stated above.

CISF launches Operation Kali in Delhi Metro for better protection of women commuters October 8, 2014 The paramilitary CISF which has the responsibility of securing the Delhi Metro Network has launched ‗Operation Kali‗ to better protect women using the metro especially in the ladies compartments. CISF has deployed 5,000 men and women personnel for securing the Delhi Metro Network. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Operation Kali Under this Operation, CISF will deploy a special squad of undercover female commandos in the metros. These commandos have been trained to use the techniques of the martial arts form ‗Pekiti-Tirsia Kali‗ to neutralize threats with the help of seemingly harmless objects that people carry everyday like pens or hairpins. They have also been trained to tackle multiple threats at a time. Other than this, some personnel in uniform will also be deployed. Pekiti-Tirsia Kali This is a style of martial arts that has its origin in Philippines. It was founded in 1897, and is a combat oriented system. It is a form of close quarter combat where the focus is on offensive and counter offensive strategies instead of defensive moves. The style also involves using of a knife, machete or any edged or empty hand weapons. It has been adopted by elite Philippine military and law enforcement units. About CISF The Central Industrial Security Force or CISF is a central armed police force under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It was initially established under the Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 to protect major PSUs. However, it was converted to an armed force with a larger ambit under an amendment to the Act in 1983. Now, CISF provides security to industrial ventures and establishments, VIPs and engages in disaster management amongst others. It also has a Fire Wing to response to fire emergencies/accidents. With a force larger than 1,65,000 it is the largest security force in the world.

Deepak Parekh committee on Infrastructure submits report October 7, 2014 The High-level government committee on infrastructure headed by Deepak Parekh submits the last part of its report in October. The Committee consisted of Uday Kotak, G.M.R Rao, Sanjay Reddy and top officials from LIC, SBI, ICICI and IDFC. Some of their proposals are as follows:Establish a PPP model for power distribution, starting first with the cities Modernise public sector distribution companies. The viability gap for such companies should be funded by the Central government Earmark 15% of power generation of the central PSUs for open access customers so that the market becomes more competitive in an attempt to attract the open access clientele. This is also expected to increase investment in the electricity sector. (Open access customers refers to customers who buy in bulk and can directly choose where to buy their electricity from, according to the Electricity Act, 2003. Hence, the open access customers at least will not have to rely on the state controlled power distribution companies Tariffs should be rationalized with a grading system that distinguishes between consumers depending on their paying capacity. Also, high income households, commercial consumer and industries should eventually be moved to market based pricing. The consumers subject to market based pricing may be allowed to choose from different suppliers of electricity. Low income consumers, however, should be subject to low tariffs and their requirements should be met with supplies from depreciated power station Privatise coal mining wherein Coal India or its arms/subsidiaries can retain ownership of mines Constitute a High level task force headed by a deputy governor of RBI to decide on measures to restore the health of power projects facing financial trouble due to scarcity of fuel Fixed charges of a reasonable amount should be apportioned to idle power plants

Shahrukh Khan awarded with Global Diversity Award 2014 October 7, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Indian actor Shahrukh Khan was awarded the Global Diversity Award 2014 for his outstanding achievements in the field of cinema and his involvement in philanthropic endeavors in UK. The Award was presented to him by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable John Bercow, at a ceremony held in the House of Commons itself. This award was instituted by the Rainbow Foundation. Previous recipients of this award include Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Sheikh Hasina, Lewis Hamilton, Jackie Chan and Dionne Warwick amongst other. Shahrukh Khan is also a recipient of France‗s Legion of Honour, which is its highest civilian honour.

China test fires long range missile Dongfeng-31B October 6, 2014 China test fired a new variant in its Dongfeng-31 missile range on September 25 Dongfeng-31A It is a 10,000 km long range missile that is capable of targeting Europe and the West Coast of USA. It can strike with three warheads, including nuclear warheads. Dongfeng-31B This is latest variant, and an advanced form of Dongfeng-31A. This is also a long range missile with a reach of 10,000 km. However, it can carry multiple nuclear warheads, unlike Dongfeng-31A which is restricted to three. Dongfeng-41 China is also working on developing a Dongfeng-41 missile. Dongfeng-41 is expected to have a range of 12,000 km which will enable it to target all the parts of USA. ISRO to launch M3M satellite of Canada October 6, 2014 Canada‗s M3M (Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite) is set to be launched by India‗s PSLV rocket. The agreement for the same was signed by India‗s Antriux Corp. and Canada‗s COM DEV Intl. The satellite is due to be launched in July 2015. The satellite was built for the Canadian Department of National Defence, and is a communications satellite. The satellite was built at a cost of $21 mn by COM DEV Intl. Initially, the satellite was to have been launched on a Soyuz rocket in Russia. However, in light of the international restrictions on trade with Russia due to the Crimea and Ukraine crisis, Canada decided not to go ahead with the arrangement.

Cipla to set up manufacturing facility in Iran October 6, 2014 Drug manufacturer Cipla has signed an agreement with its distributor in Iran to set up a manufacturing unit there. Cipla is expected to contribute machinery, equipment and technical knowledge worth Rs. 225 cr over thethe next 3 years in return for a 75% stake. The investment is yet to receive the necessary regulatory approvals. The Iranian venture is a part of Cipla‗s strategy to expand to other Asian countries Cipla is an Indian company that was established in 1935 in Mumbai. It sells over 2,000 products in 180 countries around the world. It has a turnover of US $1.5 bn and employed 26,000 persons as of 2012-13.

Chennai Super Kings clinches Champions League Twenty-20 October 6, 2014 In the Champions League Twenty-20 final match, Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets to win the Champions League Trophy. Player of the Match P.Negi of the Chennai Super Kings was named the Player of the Match. Past Performance This is the second Champions League win for the Chennai Super Kings, who won earlier in 2010. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Champions League Twenty-20 This is an international Twenty-20 cricket competition played between major domestic teams from cricketing nations. It has been an annual event from 2009. The League is jointly owned by BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa.

Australia and Canada join US-led military action against ISIS October 5, 2014 Australia and Canada are the latest additions to the countries providing military support to the American led war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Australia has deployed its warplanes for air strikes in Iraq and will also send its special forces operatives on the ground. The Australian called the efforts ‗an essentially humanitarian mission‗. Australia has been providing material to the effort even before it committed to military assistance. Canada also announced the dispatch of its warplanes for conducting air strikes and surveillance missions in the region. It already has 26 troops in Iraq serving in a non-combative capacity Participation of other countries The US, France and UK have already been carrying out air strikes and other military operations in the Iraq-Syria region. Germany has sent arms and paratroopers to reinforce the fighters in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The Netherlands has sent its F-16 airplanes to supplement the other planes engaged in air strikes. Other European countries like Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium etc are shipping arms and equipment to the region. The countries which have promised to provide support or are expected to assist in the near future are Spain, Italy and New Zealand.

Prime Minister focuses on Khadi, Special kids in first Radio address to the nation October 5, 2014 PM Modi reached out to the common masses through a special speech titled ‗Man Ki Baat‗ that was primarily aired on AIR (All India Radio), even though some television channels also aired it. Amongst other issues, he spoke about the radio and the simplicity of it as a mode of disseminating information. He emphasized how the radio reached even the most remote areas of the country, and thus, had extensive reach. Key Points The PM encouraged the people to take a cleanliness pledge, like he had done on October 2 while launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He asked the people to support the khadi industry by buying at least one garment made of khadi. He emphasized on the need of Indians to trust each other and believe in their capabilities, so that the people of the country may grow together as one He said India‘s strength lay in its cottages and villages and it farmers. Speaking of specially abled children, he said they were the responsibility of the society as whole and not only their families. It was imperative that they too be made a part of the journey of development He highlighted the Mars Orbiter Mission, and spoke of it as an example of the strength and capabilities of Indians He supplemented his speech with many anecdotes, especially from Swami Vivekananda Regular Interaction PM Modi sought to make this a regular interaction and not a one-off even. He promised to speak to the people at least once a month, on Sundays at 11 a.m. Reach of Radio FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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All India Radio runs 422 radio stations and relay centres around India and is listened by 40 to 50 mn people on the medium wave frequency according to Prasar Bharati. Besides this, there are also 850 million active mobile users, most of whom have the preloaded radio service on their phones. According to the 2011 census, 67 mn households in India have a radio or a transistor. This translates to roughly 300 mn people.

Asiad 2014: Both Men‟s and Women‟s Kabaddi teams bag Gold for India October 4, 2014 The Indian Women‗s Kabaddi team defeated Iran to the win the gold at the Asian Games. This is the second successive Asian Games win for the team since women‗s kabaddi was introduced in 2010 in the Guanzhou Asian Games. The Indian Men‗s kabaddi team also won a gold at the Asian Games. India has won a gold consistently since the game‗s introduction in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. This is the men‗s team‗s 7th successive win. Kabaddi in India and the World Kabaddi is a contact sport whose origins are believed to be in South India, though now the game is popular throughout South Asia. It is also the national game of Bangladesh and Nepal, not to mention the State Game of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar and Punjab. Governing Bodies KFI (Kabaddi Federation of India) was founded in 1950, and its most significant contribution was the compiling of a standard set of rules. AKFI (Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India) was established in 1973 and AKFI has modified the rules for kabaddi. Kabaddi at the international level is governed by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), which was formed in 2004. 31 national associations are members of IKF, including India. The founding President of KFI was Jarnardhan Singh Gehlot, who was the President of AKFI for 28 years and was also made its life President in 2013.

Government to launch National Career Service Portal October 4, 2014 The Labour Ministry is set to Launch a National Career Service Portal which will serve as an intermediary between job-seekers and job-providers. This project was originally proposed under the UPA government with an outlay of 150 cr as part of a larger revamping of the Employment Exchanges. The new government, with its emphasis on skill development and providing increased job opportunities, has taken up the project now. The portal will connect the people seeking jobs with people/companies looking for employees to hire. It will act purely as an intermediary for persons with different needs to meet. The portal will aggregate all information pertaining to jobs, job seekers, training and the employers. It will seek to connect the two parties using SMS, call centres and electronic means of communication like emails. The portal can be accessed by employers from the public sector and private sector, along with intermediaries like recruitment agencies, skill development institutes and trainers. MoU with UK The portal in India will be established on the lines of a similar initiative of the UK government. The government has even signed an MoU with UK to learn from its project. The UK government‗s National Career Service was launched in 2012 and is an integrated free service which provides advice and information for training, learning and work opportunities to anyone older than 13 years. The service is available online via web chat, through phone and can be directly accessed through multiple walk in centres. This is an improved version of an earlier plan called ‗Next Step‗ that was available to those aged above 18.

After 16 years, India wins hockey gold at the Asian Games October 4, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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After a gap of 16 years, India defeated Pakistan in the Men‗s Hockey finals of the Asian Games , to win the gold medal. India had earlier won the gold in 1966 and 1998, while Pakistan has clinched the gold eight times in the past including the Asian Games at Guangzhou in 2010. Olympics This win ensures India‗s direct entry to the 2016 Summer Olympics that is scheduled to be held at Rio de Janeiro. This will be a refreshing change after the 2012 London Olympics where India had struggled and qualify and finished last in the competition in the end. Women‟s Team The Indian hockey women‗s team defeated Japan to win the bronze medal at the Asian Games. India national field hockey team The national filed hockey team is controlled by Hockey India, which is the body that governs field hockey in India. The Indian team was the first Non-European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation. The team won its first Olympic gold in 1928. With a total of eight gold medals, India‗s hockey team has the maximum medals of any single country.

Government announces Rs. 20 lakh for each village Panchayat for the clean India mission. October 4, 2014 More than 2,47,000 gram panchayats across the country will receive Rs. 20 lakh each per annum for the Clean India campaign of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched by the PM on October 2. The discretion as to what project/work the funds should be used for is upto the gram panchayat, but it will have to be used towards improving sanitation. Allocation of funds This 20 lakh per gram panchayat will be provided from the Rs, 1,96,000 crore that will be spent on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan over a period of five years. Of this, the Ministry of Urban development has been allocated Rs. 62,000 cr for cleanliness and sanitation of urban areas while the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has been allocated Rs. 1,34,000 cr for the programme Source of Funds Only a marginal portion of the funds will be appropriated from the Central Government. The remainder of the funds will be raised through PPP mode by Stated and urban local bodies, private sector, levy of user charges, Corporate Social Responsibility, Swachh Bharat Kosh and other such measures.

E-rickshaws recognized as special category three-wheeled vehicles October 3, 2014 The Ministry of Road Transport & Highway has issued a notification amending the Motor Vehicles Act, allowing erickshaws to ply in New Delhi. Earlier, a Delhi HC judgment had banned e-rickshaws due to safety concerns. But, the Centre has recognized e-rickshaws as a special category and has come out with guidelines for their usage. This decision has been taking by the government after taking into consideration the loss of livelihood caused to many erickshaw drivers because of the ban. What are e-rickshaws? E-rickshaws or electric rickshaws are three wheeled vehicles that are operated with an electric motor. The notification defines e-rickshaws as a ‗special purpose battery operated vehicle having three wheels and intended to provide last mile connectivity for transport of passengers‗. Restrictions FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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An e-rickshaws cam carry a maximum of four passengers, excluding the driver, and luggage that weighs no more than 40 kg. The maximum allowed speed limit for e-rickshaws is 25 km/hr and the netpower of its motor cannot be more than 2,000 W. Further, a license issued/renewed for an e-rickshaw will be valid only for three years from the date of issue. Election Commission guidelines on financial transparency October 3, 2014 ECI‗s (Election Commission of India) guidelines on financial transparency came into effect on October 1, 2014. The order was, however, passed on August 29. Mode of holding funds and making payments It is now virtually mandatory for political parties to deposit their funds in banks. Also, no payment in excess of Rs. 20,000 can be made to any person/company in cash, except in a village or town that doesn‗t have a bank. Payments towards salary, pension or reimbursement of expenses of party employee/party functionary are exempt from the afore-mentioned rule. Additionally, political parties cannot exceed the maximum limits that have been fixed in giving financial assistance to candidates Maintenance of Accounts It is the responsibility of the Treasurer of the political party to ensure maintenance of accounts at all state and lower levels along with the consolidated accounts at the central headquarters of the party. These accounts will be maintained in conformity with the guidance note on accounting and auditing of political parties that has been issued by the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). These accounts will then have to audited annually by certified chartered accountants in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act ECI The ECI derives the authority to issue the guidelines under Article 324 of the Constitution, which puts the onus of superintendence, direction and control of elections on the ECI. These guidelines are part of a larger set of comprehensive guidelines on transparency and accountability in party funds and election expenditure being brought out by the ECI. Some of the other areas where the constitutional body has been proactive are in conducting free and fair elections, issuing and enforcing the Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates, overseeing registration of political parties, fixing limits on poll expenses, curbing paid advertisements and prohibiting exit polls.

Home Ministry issues notification for lifetime validity of PIO Cards October 3, 2014 Within days of the PM‗s announcement of lifetime visas for PIOs, the notification for the same has been issued by the Centre. Notification The notification amends the rules of the PIO Card Scheme so that new recipients of PIO cards will receive cards that will be valid for the duration of their life, provided they are holders of valid passports. This lifetime validity will be applicable retrospectively to holders of PIO cards too if they possess a valid passport. Earlier, PIOs had cards which granted them a 15 year visa, which could then be extended for a term of 10 years at a time. The Scheme for issuance of Person of Indian Origin Card (PIO Card) Amendment Scheme, 2014 also amended the rules that required PIOs spending more than 180 days in India to register themselves with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office). No such registration is now required irrespective of how long the PIO‗s stay is. PIO A PIO refers to any person without Indian passport and not a citizen of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, who falls under any of the following categories Any person who has at any time held an Indian passport FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Any person whose parent(s) or grandparent (s) or great grandparents (s) was born in India or was a permanent resident in India . However, such a person should not have been a citizen of any other specific country Any person who is a spouse of a citizen of India or of a PIO who falls under any of the above two categories Scheme for issuance of Person of Indian Origin Card (PIO Card) Scheme, 2002 This scheme was launched in 15th September 2002. The aim of this scheme was to ensure easier travel of PIOs to India. Holders of PIO cards can avail of various benefits, the most important of which is travelling to India without a visa.

International day of Non-Violence celebrated October 2, 2014 The International Day of Non-violence is being celebrated throughout the world on October 2, 2014 the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This Day is observed by all countries of the UN and it promotes the principles of non-violence through education and public awareness. About International day of Non-Violence A resolution was tabled in the UNGA in 2007 to establish the International Day of Non-violence in an effort to spread the message of non-violence. The resolution acknowledged the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi is spreading the message of non-violence, and it was decided to celebrate the International Day of Non-violence on October 2. This resolution passed in the UNGA, and since then October 2 has been globally observed as International Day of Nonviolence.

Sarita Devi faces probe by AIBA for returning medal October 2, 2014 Indian boxer Sarita Devi had refused to accept her bronze medal in the lightweight 57-60 kg category at the Asian Games. The boxer handed the medal to South Korean silver medalist Park Ji-na, to whom she had suffered a controversial loss in the semi-finals. Disciplinary Action The International Boxing Association (Amateur) or AIBA has ordered a probe against her for returning the medal during the podium ceremony. The Disciplinary Action Process to review this case has already begun. AIBA Supervisor and Technical Delegate David Francis has already submitted a formal report detailing the incident to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). In a statement, AIBA said that the Indian side did not have a clear understanding of the AIBA Technical Rules Semi-final match The ruling by the judges in Sarita Devi‗s match against Korean Park Ji-na was controversial with two judges ruling against Sarita. She lodged an official complaint with AIBA‗s technical jury team over the decision, but it was rejected as no complaint can be filed against a Judge‗s ruling according to the Rules. Support in India Three Union Ministers, thus far, have expressed support for Sarita Devi. The Sports Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, asked the Indian Olympic Association to submit a detailed report on Sarita Devi‗s loss in the semi-finals. The Minister of State for Home also said that the Indian officials should have been more pro-active in lodging a protest with the authorities at the Asian Games. This claim was also supported by the Minister of State for North East Region Affairs. Boxer Mary Kom has also expressed her support for Sarita Devi.

Centre announces Rs. 286 Crore for flood hit Assam October 2, 2014 FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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After an aerial survey of flood hit areas in the NER (North Eastern Region), the Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced additional central assistance for Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Memorandum on Flood Damages The Home Minister asked the Government of Assam and Meghalaya to submit a memorandum on flood damages for the assessment of an inter-ministerial team. Depending on the assessment, the Centre would look into providing further assistance. Assam Rs. 286 cr assistance has been announced for Assam under NDRF. This is in addition to the Rs. 386 cr already granted. Assam had asked for Rs. 1,000 cr in central assistance. The CM of Assam has accused the Centre of prejudice between states. Earlier, J&K had been granted central assistance of Rs. 1,000 cr. Meghalaya Rs. 8 cr assistance has been announced for Meghalaya under NDRF. This is in addition to the Rs. 123 cr already granted. Meghalaya had asked for Rs. 2,000 cr in central assistance Arunachal Pradesh Rs. 20 cr was announced in addition to the Rs. 70 cr that has already been released by the government NDRF Two additional battalions of the National Disaster Response Force will be stationed in the NER to deal with disasters in the NER. The flash floods and landslide that were caused by a cloud burst over Garo Hills have caused large scale destruction of property and infrastructure. Brahmaputra River Valley Authority (BRVA) The CM of Assam asked the centre to expedite the setting up of BRVA so that a long term solution to mititgate erosion of land by the Brahmaputra and Barak river basins.

Vayoshreshtha Samman 2014 October 2, 2014 Vayoshreshtha Samman or The National Awards for Senior Citizens were presented by Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha in the presence of Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minster for Social Justice & Empowerment and Minister of State Sudarshan Bhagat. The government has been conferring Vayoshrestha Samman every year since 2005, but it has been given the status of a national award only since 2013. The Awards are given to eminent citizens and institutions in recognition of their outstanding services to the elderly people, especially indigent senior citizens. International Day of Older Persons International Day of Older Persons is observed on the 1st of October every year in accordance with a UNGA resolution. This day is used to highlight the contributions of the elderly and also raise awareness about issues such as elderly abuse. The theme this year was ‗Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All‗. The Vayoshreshtha Samman Awards are given every year on the International Day of Older Persons Welfare of Senior Citizens The government has introduced a slew of policies and schemes for the welfare of senior citizens like the Plan Scheme of integrated programme for older persons, National Policy on Older Persons and the enactment of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in 2007. List of main awardees: Best Institution for research in the field of Ageing to Department of Geriatric Medicine : AIIMS Best Institution for providing services to senior citizens and Awareness Generation : HelpAge India Best District Panchayat in Providing Services and Facilities to Senior Citizens : Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayath, Karnataka Centenarian : Brig. M.L. Kataria (Retd.) FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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Life time Achievement : Prof. (Dr.) P.K.B. Nayar Creative Art : Ms. Sushma Seth Sports and Adventure (Female) : Ms. Chandra Prabha Aitwal, Uttarkashi

Nation celebrates Gandhi and Shastri Jayanti October 2, 2014 On 2 October 2014, India celebrated the birth anniversaries of two of its greatest leaders and freedom fighters, Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, on October. Multiple events across the nation were held in remembrance of the two leaders. Various schools and institutions conducted events and functions to commemorate the day. Politicians paid their respects to Gandhi and Shastri at Raj Ghat and Vijay Ghat respectively. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan A cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched by the PM Narendra Modi. This also marks the launch of the programme itself. Many cleanliness drives across the nation were organized under the programme. Cleanliness pledges were taken by people over the country, including the PM. Lal Bahadur Shastri 2014 marks the 110th birth anniversary of Shastri. He was an active participant in the Indian freedom struggle since 1920. He also has the distinction of being the second PM of India, when he took over after the untimely demise of Jawaharlal Nehru. HE has also been Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of External Affairs. He is most famous for his slogan, ‗Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisan‗. He revolutionized the agricultural sector during his tenure. He also oversaw the florishing of the Amul Co-operative which heralded a White Revolution in the country. He led the country successfully through the 1965 war with Pakistan. He passed away on January 11, 1966, just after signing the Tashkent Pact. He was posthumously conferred the Bharat Ratna. Mahatma Gandhi 2014 marks the 145th birth anniversary of Gandhi. Gandhi was one of the main leaders in the Indian national movement fighting for freedom from the British. A lawyer by profession, Gandhi had been educated in the UK and had a practice in South Africa before returning to India. The date of his return to India is celebrated as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to acknowledge the large Indian expatriate community spread across the world. Gandhi‗s methods, that involved non- violence, non co-operation and civil disobedience, found mass appeal in India. He also criticized practices such as untouchability. He is considered by most Indians to be the father of the nation. He was assassinated in January 1948.

Key Outcomes of Narendra Modi‟s US visit October 2, 2014 A joint editorial released by India and US highlighted the following developments in the bilateral relationship of the two countries:Indo- US Investment Initiative Establishment of an Indo- US Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Finance on the Indian side and the Department of Treasury on the American side, with special focus on capital market development and financing of infrastructure. This Initiative will focus on increasing investment by institutional investors and corporate entities Infrastructure Collaboration Platform Establishment of an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform convened by the Ministry of Finance on the Indian side and the Department of Commerce on the American side to facilitate the participation of American companies in Indian infrastructure projects Trade Policy Forum FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The two countries committed to work through the Trade Policy Forum to promote a business environment that was conducive for companies to invest and manufacture in both in India and US. Also, an annual high-level Intellectual Property Working Group as a part of the Trade Policy Forum will be formed to look into issues related to innovation. Others The two leaders also committed to hold public-private discussions in the early part of 2015 under the already existing Commercial Dialogue on new areas of cooperation, including innovation in advanced manufacturing After reiterating their commitment to working together towards the creation of a new global agreement on climate change, they agreed to hold an urgent meeting of their bilateral task force on HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) prior to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol The two leaders launched a new US – India Climate Fellowship Program to build each other‘s long term capacity to address climate change related issues A MoU between the Export-Import Bank and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency was signed. This MoU would make up to $1 bn in financing available to India to help its transition to a low carbon and climate resilient energy economy, at the same time boosting American renewable energy exports to India The countries also agreed to a 10 year extension of the 2005 Framework for the US – India Defense Relationship The two leaders decided to intensify cooperation in maritime security, mainly by enhancing technology partnerships for India‘s Navy and also upgrading the existing military exercise Malabar. USA pledged to help India counter the threat of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) through I&T (information and technology) The two leaders appreciated the establishment and planned first meeting of the NASA-ISRO Mars Joint Working Group under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group and hoped for further co-operation in the area of space technology

The two countries agreed to launch a new phase of the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Program and emphasis on developing affordable vaccines for dengue, malaria, and TB The two countries pledged to work together towards the export of nuclear technology from US to India to make India more self-reliant. In furtherance of this, the countries decided to continue working towards India‘s phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. The American President expressed his support for India‘s early application and eventual membership in all four regimes.

Nagaland clinches Subroto Cup U-14 Trophy October 2, 2014 Greenwood High School, Nagaland defeated Government Model High School, Chandigarh, 5-4 at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi to win the under 14 title in the 55th edition of the Subroto Cup. Awards The winning team was awarded Rs. 2.5 lakh while the runners up were given 1.25 lakh. Harsh Bartwan of the team from Chandigardh was adjudged Best Player of the tournament, while Jesse and Mughato Sumi from Nagaland won Best Keeper and Best Coach respectively. All three were awarded Rs. 40,000 each. Eugeneson E. Shylla from Meghalayawas given the award for the Best Promising Player. The Fairplay Award was given to Namchi Sports Hostel from Sikkim Subroto Cup FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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The Subroto Cup is an inter-school football tournament. It has two categories: under 14 and under 17. It was the brainchild of Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. He conceived the idea of a football tournament so as to promote the game at the grassroot level in India. After his unfortunate demise in 1960, the Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society was conducting the tournament. The tournament is conducted by the Indian Air Force in remembrance of Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports also supports the tournament with an annual grant of Rs. 5 lakh. The Subroto Cup has the distinction of being the only Indian football tournament for school boys. The tournament had started out as a tournament for school boys in India only, but has since expanded to include teams from other nations as well.

Justice GS Singhvi appointed chairman of Competition Appellate Tribunal October 2, 2014 Former Supreme Court Judge, G.S.Singhvi, has been appointed the Chairman of the Competition Appellate Tribunal. He retired from the Supreme Court in December 2013. Justice Singhvi fills in the position that has been vacant since Justice V.S.Sirpurkar retired as Chairman in August. The Triubnal, however, is short of two members. CCI (Competition Commission of India) The CCI whose predecessor was the MRTPC (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission) was established to eliminate practices that adversely affect competition in different industries/areas and protect interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade. The Competition Act of 2002 called for the creation of CCI. However, it was established in 2003 and became fully functional only by 2009. The CCI is a quasi judicial body which gives opinions to statutory authorities and also deals with other cases. COMPAT (Competition Appellate Tribunal) COMPAT was also established under the Competition Act of 2002. It was set up by the Centre in 2009. An appeal from a decision of the CCI is made to COMPAT. COMPAT can have one Chairperson and a maximum of two other members, all of whom serve for 5 years. They are all eligible for re-appointment unless they reach the age of 68 in case of Chairperson and 65 in case of members. Only a former SC Judge or CJ of HC can be appointed as Chairperson of COMPAT.

Afghanistan and United States sign Bilateral Security Agreement October 2, 2014 After much delay, Afghanistan and US have signed a BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) that will chart the course for the two countries post withdrawal of majority of American troops. The BSA was signed in Kabul. This long term security pact will be crucial in deciding the nature of internal security in Afghanistan. Significantly, there is nothing in the BSA to stop the Americans from increasing their presence in Afghanistan if the situation calls for it. Following the signing of the BSA, Afghanistan also signed an agreement with NATO Stationing of troops The NATO led coalition called the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led the war efforts in Afghanistan. The ISAF once had 800 bases in Afghanistan. Now, it is down to 33 bases and 37,000 foreign troops. This number will further go down in accordance with the BSA. The NATO and US forces combined are expected to be around 12,000 with 9,800 being American and 2,000 from NATO. Retention of bases Under the BSA, US will retain access to 9 major land and airbases including the airfields in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar. These bases will US access to not only Afghanistan but also to nearby tribal Pakistan. The additional FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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bases situated all over Afghanistan like Kabul, Heart, Helmand, Mazar-i-Sharif etc will help it retaliate to an attack anywhere in the country. Many bases like the HQ of the coalition forces‗ joint command in Kabul and the British military base at Camp Bastion will be handed over to the Afghans. Status of Forces Agreement The agreement enter into between Afghanistan and NATO is called Status of Forces agreement. The BSA was a precondition to the signing of this agreement. Under it, NATO has agreed to fund Afghanistan‗s police and security forces till 2017. The NATO troops will focus on training, equipping and advising Afghan troops and will not engage in counter-terrorism efforts. (The American Forces will be dealing with counter-terrorism efforts.) NATO led ISAF will have a training mission headquartered at Kabul and will also have six bases throughout Afghanistan. It is to be noted that US is also a part of NATO and is also a party to this agreement. Criticism from Taliban Though the Afghans has welcomed the Taliban to be a part of the peace process, the Taliban has expressed its discontent over the signing of the BSA and continued presence of foreign troops in the territory. Withdrawal Both signatories to the BSA, Afghanistan and USA retain the right to withdraw from the agreement. But, this right is exercisable only after 2 years.

Yudh Abhyas 2014 concludes at Ranikhet October 2, 2014 The Indo-US defence exercise titled Yudh Abhyas concluded near Ranikhet. The exercises, which commenced on September 17, were conducted in both Chaubbatia and Ranikhet. This edition of Yudh Abhyas, which lasted a total of 14 days, is the 10th of its kind that has been held. The joint exercise brought together troops from a Mountain Brigade of the Indian Army and Company and Brigade Headquarter of the US Army. History Yudh Abhyas first began in 2004 as part of USA‗s Army Pacific Partnership Programme. This exercise aims to strength and broaden interoperability and defence cooperation between the two nations. Exercises conducted at Yudh Abhyas 2014 The two Armies shared their experiences on counter insurgency and counter-terrorist operations, especially in mountainous terrain. The exercises were planned in such a manner that during the initial days, the troops were familiarized with each other‗s organizational structure, weapons, equipment and tactical drills. The troops then proceeded to joint tactical exercises which involved practicing battle drills of both armies. The exercises ended with a 48 hr consolidation and validation exercise in which troops of both countries carried out a search and destroy mission near Ranikhet. This last leg of the exercise was witnessed by senior officers and observers of both Armies Closing Ceremony A parade and exchange of mementos marked the conclusion of the exercises. Instances of Bilateral exercises India and US also engage in other bilateral defence dexercise. One notable instance is ‗Malabar‗ which is a bilateral naval exercise that takes place in India and USA alternatively. Sometimes, a third nation is also asked to participate in the exercise. Cope India are a series of Air Force exercises conducted between India and USA on Indian soil. The exercises include flight tests, practice, demonstration and lecture on aviation and related areas. India has also participated twice in the Red Flag exercises that US conducts in Nevada and Alaska. Notably, the US conducts more military exercises with India than with any other nation in the world

Key points from „Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go‟ FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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October 2, 2014 The ‗Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go‗ vision statement speaks of strengthening the strategic partnership between India and USA. This statement was released during PM Modi‗s visit to Washington DC to meet President Obama. The statement expressed the following points:o The strategic partnership of the two nations rests on the shared mission to provide equal opportunity to its people through democracy and freedom o The two countries are bound together by kinship and commerce, scholarship and science. The ties between the people of both countries and their cooperation has resulted in developments in science and the arts. This enables the leaders of both countries to have a long term perspective as regards the partnership One major goal of the partnership is prosperity and peace. This endeavor shall be fulfilled through intense consultations, joint exercises, and shared technology. Security cooperation between the two will be targeted at the region and the world at large too. The countries also aim to work together towards combating terrorist threats, keeping its county and its peoples safe and responding to humanitarian disasters. The countries also dedicate themselves to stopping the spread of WMDs, reducing the salience of nuclear weapons, and promoting universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament Close cooperation between the two at the UN and beyond Support for India assuming a greater multilateral responsibility, including in a reformed UNSC and for an open and inclusive rules based global order Working together to mitigate the impact of climate change and adapt to the changing environment. Cooperation between the government and the science and academic communities to address the consequences of unchecked pollution. Take steps to ensure availability of affordable, reliable, clean and diverse sources of energy for both nations, including by bringing nuclear power technologies of American origin to India Engaging in joint research and collaboration in a variety of areas from particles of creation to outer space Striving for open markets that will allow trade and service to flourish. Also work towards ensuring that economic growth results in better livelihoods and welfare for all people in the country. The two countries will also work jointly to counter infectious diseases, eliminate maternal and child deaths and to eradicate poverty The countries will also work to provide a secure environment which encourages the fullest empowerment of women The countries also agreed to expand and deepen their strategic partnership so that they may harness the inherent potential of the two democracies and its people. Other than Business Diplomacy a major aim of the PM‗s visit was to re-engage with USA and rejuvenate the Indo-US strategic partnership which reached its peak at the signing of the 123 agreement and has since slowly fizzled out. The ‗Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go‗ vision statement discusses the varied areas wherein the two countries might benefit from co-operation and collaboration. This statement acts as a roadmap to the future Indo-US partnership, and speaks to how the two countries view each other‗s roles in the international arena.

RBI keeps all key rates intact in fourth bi-monthly monetary policy October 2, 2014 The RBI announced its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy on September 30, 2014. This follows the third bi-monthly monetary policy which was announced in August 2014. CRR The CRR of scheduled was kept unchanged at 4% of the bank‗s NDTL (net demand and time liabilities). CRR refers to the proportion of its deposits that a bank has to hold in the form of cash. The RBI uses CRR as a tool to control liquidity in the market (and thereby inflation) and to reduce the risk to investors‗ deposits. FACEBOOK GROUP- https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK

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SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) The SLR remained unchanged at 22%. SLR refers to the proportion of its total NDTL that the bank has to maintain in form of liquid assets. These liquid assets can either be cash or gold or unencumbered government securities. This directly affects the proportion of funds that the bank can lend. LAF (Liquidity Adjustment Facility) The policy repo rate under the LAF was kept unchanged at 8%. The reverse repo rate also remained unchanged at 7%. LAF is the tool by which banks borrow to meet their short term day to day monetary requirements. Difference between LAF and Bank rate is the requirement of collateral. Repo rate is the interest that banks pay to borrow from the RBI. Reverse repo is the rate at which RBI borrows from banks after lending securities as collateral. LAF was introduced in India in accordance with the recommendation of the Narasimham Commttee on Banking Reforms. ECR Facility (Export Credit Finance) The liquidity provided under the ECR Facility was reduced from 32% to 15% of eligible export credit outstanding. This change will be in effect from 10 of October, 2014. MSF (Marginal Standing Facility) and Bank Rate MSF and Bank rate also saw no change at 9% for both. MSF is the rate at which only scheduled commercial banks are allowed to borrow from RBI. This is over and above the LAF. MSF acts as a last resort for bankers. Bank rate is the rate at which RBI lends to banks without any collateral such as government securities. Liquidity under overnight repos The RBI will continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos up to 0.25 % of the specific bank‗s NDTL will be given at the LAF repo rate. Liquidity under 7 day and 14 day term repos Liquidity for 7 day and 14 day term repos up to 0.75% of NDTL of the banking system will be provided through auctions

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