Current Affairs Current Affairs October 2018

 The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows-
The Cabinet has approved- 
  • 1. MoU between India and Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • 2. MoU between India and Romania in the field of tourism.
  • 3. Closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd.
  • 4. Productivity Linked Bonus for Railway Employees.
  • 5. Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Finland on Environmental Cooperation.
  • 6. Establishment and operationalisation of permanent campuses of the Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati and Berhampur.
  • 7. Merger of National Council for Vocational Training, NCVT and National Skill Development Agency, NSDA to establish National Council for Vocational Education and Training, NCVET
  • 8. Closure of Biecco Lawrie Limited. 
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 Indian-American Nikki Haley has resigned as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. US President Donald Trump has accepted her resignation. She would be leaving his administration at the end of the year. Haley was appointed to the UN post in November 2016. Before she was named by Trump to her UN post, Haley was governor of South Carolina, the first woman to hold the post. She was re-elected in 2014.
Source- New York Times

 Japan’s passport has been named the most powerful in the world, overtaking Singapore, according to the Henley Passport Index 2018. Japan has recently gained visa-free access to Myanmar, Japanese citizens now have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations around the world. The Indian passport has secured the 81st rank with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations.
Top 3 on Henley Passport Index Power Ranking 2018: 
  • 1. Japan
  • 2. Singapore
  • 3. Germany, France, South Korea.
  • Source- The Independent

     Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will complete commissioning of its second generation (2G) ethanol bio-refinery at Baulsingha village in Bargarh district of Odisha by 2020. The proposed plant will see an investment of Rs 1000 crore, the foundation stone of which was laid. This is the first biofuel plant in the country where ethanol will be produced from rice straw. The refinery will have a capacity to produce three core litres of fuel grade ethanol per year by utilizing around two lakh tonnes of rice straw. Ethanol will be blended with petrol and used as fuel. 
    Source- The Economic Times

     The four-day long mega science expo, India International Science Festival (IISF-2018) concluded in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. IISF-2018 witnessed a footfall of more than 10 lakh people and more than 22 thousand registrations, the highest in its four-year history making it the largest festival of its kind in Asia. IISF was inaugurated by the President Ram Nath Kovind. IISF 2018 also saw two major Guinness World Records being made one of which was a World Record successful attempt to “isolate DNA” by 550 students from class 8th to 10th standard. IISF-2018 with its focal theme “Science for Transformation” had more than 23 special events in its 4th edition.
    Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

     Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, C. R. Chaudhary led the Indian delegation to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)- EXIM Bank, Regional Conclave on India-West Africa Project Partnership being held in Abuja, Nigeria. President and Vice President of Nigeria along with Ministers and Delegation of West African countries are participating in the Conclave. The Conclave is a two-day event with the focus on business deliberations, Business to Government (B2G) and Business to Business (B2B) engagements.
    Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

     Google will shut down Google+ for consumer use over the next 10 months after a bug exposed the personal data of up to 5 lakh users. Google stated that ” it discovered and immediately patched” the bug in March 2018 but found “no evidence” that any data was actually misused. Google reportedly didn’t earlier disclose the security breach because it feared regulation. According to Google, Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” and that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions last less than 5 seconds. Still, the company plans to keep the service alive for enterprise customers who use it to facilitate conversation among co-workers.
    Source- The Verge

     Pakistan has successfully test-fired Ghauri ballistic missile capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1,300 kilometres. The launch was conducted by Army Strategic Forces Command and was aimed at testing the operational and technical readiness. In April, Pakistan successfully test-fired an enhanced version of the indigenously-built Babur cruise missile that can deliver conventional and non-conventional weapons with a range of 700 kilometres. 
    Source-  Hindustan Times

     World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. The theme selected for the 2018 competition is: “Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?”  It was declared World Post Day by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. 
    Source- The United Nations

     As per the IMF’s latest report, India is projected to grow at 7.3% in 2018 and 7.4% in 2019. The report predicted India to regain the tag of the world’s fastest-growing major economy this year, crossing China with more than 0.7 percentage points. In China, growth is projected to moderate from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.6% in 2018 and 6.2 % in 2019. In 2017, India had clocked a 6.7% growth rate. In India, important reforms have been implemented in recent years, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the inflation-targeting framework, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, and steps to liberalise foreign investment and make it easier to do business, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report. 
    Source- AIR World Service

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