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Current Affairs – October 2018

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1. INDIA

1. Justice Ranjan Gogoi sworn-in as Chief Justice of India

Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India on 3 October 2018, succeeding Justice Dipak Misra. Justice Misra recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor, as per the established practice of naming the senior-most judge after the CJI for the post. Before getting elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Gogoi had served as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The 63-year-old is the first Chief Justice from Northeast India and will have a tenure of a little over 13 months, as he is set to retire on 17 November 2019.

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 2. Global Hunger Index 2018: India ranks 103rd out of 119 countries

Global Hunger Index 2018: India ranks 103

India ranks 103rd in the 13th edition of Global Hunger Index 2018 released jointly by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide. The Global Hunger Index (GHI), calculated annually, is a tool that measures and tracks hunger globally, by region and by country. India is among forty-five countries falling under ‘serious level of hunger’. India is behind many neighbouring countries such as China (25th), Sri Lanka (67th), Myanmar (68th), Nepal (72nd) and Bangladesh (86th).

For more information visit: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

3. Sikkim wins FAO’s Future Policy Award 2018 for being the world’s first 100 per cent organic state

Sikkim wins FAO's Future Policy Award 2018

Northeastern state Sikkim won the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Award 2018 for being the first organic state in the world. All of Sikkim’s farmland is certified organic. Sikkim’s State Policy on Organic Farming required the discontinuing of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in phases and achieved a total ban on the sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. Sikkim defeated fifty-one nominated policies from twenty-five countries winning the Gold Prize of the Future Policy Award 2018, also known as ‘Oscar for Best Policies’ while policies from Brazil, Norway and Ecuador won the Silver medal. The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies on an international level.

For more information visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/

4. World’s tallest statue, ‘Statue of Unity’ unveiled

Statue Of Unity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of India’s first Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district. The ‘Statue of Unity’ dedicated to the ‘Iron Man of India’ has been constructed on a river island called Sadhu Bet on the Narmada river in Kevadiya town. At 182 metres, the ‘Statue of Unity’ is the tallest statue in the world, surpassing the height of the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which had previously held the record at 153 metres. The statue was designed by the notable sculptor and recipient of Padma Bhushan, Ram V Sutar.

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

5. PM Narendra Modi awarded the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize 2018

The Seoul Peace Prize Committee conferred the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recognition of his contribution to the growth of the Indian and global economies. Seoul Peace Prize is awarded biennially and was established in 1990. PM Modi is the 14th recipient of the award. The committee recognised Modi’s contributions to the growth of the Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing the social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Past laureates include distinguished global personalities such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and renowned international relief organisations such as Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.
For more information visit:

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

2. SPORTS

1. Asian Para Games 2018: India records best-ever show with 72 medals

India recorded its best-ever medal achievement in the Asian Para Games held between 6th to 13th October 2018 with 72 medals in the 2018 Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. With a total of 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze medals, India was placed ninth in the overall tally. This was India’s best-ever performance at the Asian Para Games. China topped the medal tally with 319 medals, which include 172 gold, 88 silver and 59 bronze medals. South Korea bagged the second place with 53 gold, 25 silver and 47 bronze, while Iran claimed third place with 51 gold, 42 silver and 43 bronze.

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

2. India won 13 medals in the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games

The 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina between 6 and 18 October 2018. This was the first Summer Youth Olympic Games held outside Asia. India returned with their best medal haul, winning three gold, nine silver and one bronze medal. Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympics. Winning a total of 59 medals, Russia won the most number of medals which consisted of 29 golds. India ranked 17th in the medal tally.

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 3. Government to set up National Sports Stadium for differently-abled in Meghalaya

The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot announced his plans of setting up a stadium of international standards for differently-abled in Meghalaya. Meghalaya is first of the five states in which the ministry intends to set up national sports stadiums for differently-abled persons. The stadium will be constructed at an estimated cost of over Rs 200 crore and is expected to be completed before the National Games of 2022, which Meghalaya will host.

For more information visit: https://newsd.in

4. Virat Kohli becomes fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs

Virat Kohli on October 24, 2018 became the fastest batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, reaching the milestone in just 205 innings during the second one-day international against West Indies in Visakhapatnam. He surpassed the record held by Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 10000 runs in 259 innings. Virat Kohli became the fifth Indian batsman and 13th overall in the world to reach 10,000 ODI runs. The other Indians in the elite 10K club are Sachin Tendulkar (18426), Sourav Ganguly (11221), Rahul Dravid (10768) and MS Dhoni (10123).

For more information visit: https://www.thehindu.com

3. LITERATURE

1. Jasmine Days by Benyamin wins the 2018 JCB Prize for Literature

Malayalam author Benyamin bagged the first JCB Prize for literature, the richest literary award in India, with 25 lakh rupees cash prize. The award is given annually to a distinguished work of fiction in English language by an Indian writer or a translated work of fiction by an Indian writer. Jasmine Days, a novel originally written in Malayalam and translated to English by Shahnaz Habib, talks about the lives of South Asians in the Middle East. The book was first published in 2014 in Malayalam. It is the second book authored by Benyamin, who beat authors like Arundhati Roy to win the prize.

For more information visit: https://www.thehindu.com

2. Maryse Conde wins the alternative Nobel Prize for Literature

Renowned author Maryse Conde has won the 2018 alternative Nobel Prize for Literature which was organised to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. The author hails from the island region of France, Guadeloupe, located in the Caribbean. She has written about the vices and miseries of colonialism in her works. Conde will receive about £87,000 (about 82,50,525 Indian Rupee) raised from crowdfunding and donations. Indian author Arundhati Roy was one among the nominated authors for the prize. The alternative prize was set up by an organisation called the New Academy which will be dissolved in December, comprising more than a hundred Swedish writers, artists and journalists.

For more information visit: https://www.bbc.com

3. Anna Burns wins the Man Booker Prize for Milkman

The Northern Irish author Anna Burns has been awarded the 2018 Booker Prize for her third novel, Milkman. She will receive £50,000 (around 47,40,025 Indian Rupee) as prize money. She is the first Northern Irish author to win the prize. The Man Booker Prize, launched in 1969, is considered the leading prize for high-quality literary fiction written in English. It was only in 2014 that the prize was opened to writers of all nationalities. Authors of Indian origin such as Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Aravind Adiga have been recipients of the prize in the past.

For more information visit: https://www.theguardian.com

4. Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates its 90th Birthday

Winnie-the-Pooh, written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The book is a worldwide hit series of stories about a teddy bear called Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, a small toy pig; Eeyore, a toy donkey; Owl, a live owl; Rabbit, a live rabbit, etc. The first book in the series was published on 14 October 1926. Winnie is considered to be the most famous bear in literature. The characters of the book were inspired by the author’s son, Christopher, and a friendly black bear of the London Zoo named Winnie. The other friends of Pooh in the story were all inspired by the soft toys in little Christopher’s collection.

For more information visit: https://indianexpress.com

4. ENVIRONMENT

1. The first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance inaugurated

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was present at the occasion. International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an India-led alliance of one hundred twenty-one solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for the efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Through the coalition, India aims to eventually replace the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, which pumps around a third of the world’s oil, as the major global energy supplier. ISA is headquartered in Gwal Pahari, Gurugram, Haryana, India.

For more information: https://www.aljazeera.com

2. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle are the worst plastic polluters: Break Free From Plastic Movement

The ‘Break Free From Plastic’ movement, a global movement consisting of nearly 1,300 groups from across the world including Greenpeace, revealed that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle are among the companies that contribute the most to ocean pollution with single-use plastics. The member organisations of the movement collected nearly 200,000 pieces of plastic from shores around the world. Out of these, plastic wastes from these three companies amounted to nearly half of the plastic in Europe. Among these, Coca-Cola was the top polluter. Their Coke-branded plastic was found in forty of the forty-two participating countries. The exercise provides the best picture of the brand causing most pollution and the Break Free From Plastic movement hopes to encourage leaders across the world to pay attention to these plastic footprints.

For more information visit: https://www.independent.co.uk

3. Alarming pollution level in Delhi: National lab certifies air purifying technology

As air pollution in the national capital reaches alarming levels, a national laboratory certified an air-purifying technology that can purify the air in public places. Pollution caused by traffic, dust particles and pollutants accompanying winter and the crop burning by farmers in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh intensify the air pollution in Delhi. The technology developed by Evergen Systems has an in-built system for removing 97-99 per cent fine dust particles and gases such as NOx, SOx, CO2 and ozone from the surroundings. The organisation is in consultation with various government bodies to plan the installation of the technology in various public places.

For more information visit: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

4. Rising air pollution could affect monsoon in India: UN Report

A UN report titled ‘Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions’ finds that the rising air pollution in India is likely to affect the monsoon patterns and decrease the amount of rainfall in the long run. The presence of a tiny pollutant, particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), is found to be the major factor that could cause the said alteration in monsoon. Unlike the majority of the other forty countries in Asia and the Pacific, India’s air quality worsened over the years, the report finds. The report was released in the first global conference of the World Health Organization on air pollution and health in Geneva.

For more information visit: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

5. WORLD

1. China opens world’s longest sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.

World’s longest sea bridge, connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, has been opened in China. The bridge spans across the Pearl River Delta and is 55 km long. The bridge consists of three cable–stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel and four artificial islands. The main objective behind the construction of the bridge was to cut down the travel time between the cities from four hours to thirty minutes. It is estimated that around 29,000 vehicles would cross the bridge every day.

For more information: https://www.reuters.com

2. India elected to UN Human Rights Council

India was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the General Assembly. This is the fifth time that India has been elected to the Geneva-based council, UN’s highest inter-governmental body, mandated to protect and promote human rights worldwide. The UNHRC was established by the UN General Assembly on March 15 2006. It has 47 members, who are elected for a three-year term. The seats are segregated on a regional basis – 13 for Africa, 13 for Asia, 6 for Eastern Europe, 8 for Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC), and 7 for the Western European and Others Group (WEOG).

For more information: https://news.un.org

3. World Bank’s Human Capital Index released, Singapore tops the list

The World Bank launched its first Human Capital Index (HCI) as a part of the World Development Report 2019. The index ranks countries based on their achievements in developing human capital. The HCI for India has been estimated at 0.44 which means that children born today will be able to achieve 44% of the productive potential than they could have attained had they benefited from complete education and good health. The HCI in India for females is marginally better than that for males. The index ranks 157 countries based on their education and health outcomes, and the impact they have on productivity. While Singapore tops the rankings, followed by South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Finland, African and south Asian countries occupy the bottom spots. India is ranked at the 115th position, which is lower than Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Government of India has rejected the findings of the HCI citing various flaws, such as methodological weaknesses and gaps in the data.

For more information: http://www.worldbank.org

4. Aung San Suu Kyi becomes the first person to lose the honorary Canadian citizenship

Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, became the first person in history to be stripped of the honorary Canadian citizenship. The Canadian government formally revoked the symbolic honor to criticise her role in the gross human rights violations against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The honor was bestowed upon Suu Kyi in 2007. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. Only six people have been honoured with the honorary Canadian citizenship so far, including Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

For more information: https://www.huffingtonpost.com

5. Nobel Prize – 2018

Field Name Awarded For*
Nobel Prize in Physics Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland Groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics
Nobel Prize in Chemistry Frances H. Arnold

George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter

The directed evolution of enzymes

The phage display of peptides and antibodies

Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo The discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation
Nobel Peace Prize Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
Their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict
Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences William D. Nordhaus

Paul M. Romer

Integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis

Integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis

Nobel Prize in Literature Postponed

1. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe breaks record and becomes the closest spacecraft to the sun*As per website of the Nobel Committee, accessed at https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel-prizes-2018

For more information: https://www.nobelprize.org

6. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft launched on August 12, 2018 to study the sun, has become the closest man-made object to the sun. The spacecraft broke the previous record of 26.55 million miles from the sun’s surface on Oct. 29, 2018 and is set to break its ongoing record eventually as the mission progresses with a final close approach of 3.83 million miles, expected in 2024. The spacecraft was built and designed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland, USA. The spacecraft is designed to withhold brutal heat and radiation conditions while providing unprecedentedly close-up observations of the sun.

For more information visit: https://www.nasa.gov

2. Indian Air Force launches its first mobile health app ‘MedWatch’

On the occasion of its 86th anniversary, the Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health app called ‘MedWatch’. This app provides correct, scientific and authentic health information, reminders and utility tools to the citizens of India. Its features include information on first aid, health topics and nutritional facts, reminders for timely medical review, vaccination and utility tools like Health Record Card, BMI calculator, helpline numbers and web links. The app is first of its kind in the three armed forces in India.

For more information visit: http://pib.nic.in

3. Hyperion, the largest galaxy supercluster in the early universe found

A team of scientists at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) discovered the largest and most massive galaxy supercluster in the early universe, Hyperion using their Very Large Telescope in Chile. Hyperion, is the largest and most extensive collection of galaxies ever registered in the early days of the universe. Superclusters are the largest known system of galaxies. Hyperion has an estimated mass more than one million billion times that of the sun.

For more information visit: https://www.indiatoday.in

4. Inner core of the earth is solid and softer than previously thought

Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have found that the inner core of Earth is softer than previously thought and is indeed in solid state. The inner core is the very center of Earth, which is also the hottest part of the planet. It is more than 5,000 kilometers below Earth’s surface. The existence of the inner core was proposed more than 80 years ago. However, its existence was only confirmed in 1970. Through their research report published in Science, Vol. 362, Issue 6412 the researchers claim that their discovery will shed further lights to understand how the planet was formed and its evolution.

For more information visit: https://science.anu.edu.au

7. MISCELLANEOUS

1. Harvard Prof Gita Gopinath becomes the first woman Chief Economist at IMF

India-born Gita Gopinath has been appointed as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) becoming the first woman to hold the position. She is the second Indian to hold this position, after former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. She will be assuming the post of Economic Counselor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department which is often called as the Chief Economist of IMF. Gopinath is the third woman ever and the first Indian after Amartya Sen to have tenured as a professor at Harvard University’s Economics Department. She also served as the Advisor (Finance) to Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, between July 2016- October 2018.

For more information visit: https://qz.com

2. China to launch its own artificial moon by 2020

China is set to launch ‘illumination satellites’, which will shine eight times brighter than the real moon, by 2020. Like the moon, the illumination satellites will reflect the light from the sun. The aim of the project is to replace street lamps and cut-down the electricity costs in urban areas. After the experimental 2020 project, China aims to develop three more such moons. It will be the first man-made moon in history. In the 1990s Russia had also reportedly tried to channel the sunlight to Earth by putting large mirrors.

For more information visit: https://phys.org

3. National Tourism Awards, 2016-17 presented 

UNESCO World Heritage City Ahmedabad and Mandu, a fort city in Madhya Pradesh, have jointly won the Best Heritage City award given by the Union Ministry of Tourism. The National Tourism Awards are given annually to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in the country. These awards are presented to state governments, Union Territories and other stakeholders in recognition of their performance in the different categories of the awards. Qutub Minar bagged the top award in the Differently-abled Friendly Monument category, while Andhra Pradesh won the Best State award for Comprehensive

Development of Tourism..

For more information visit: https://www.business-standard.com

4. Important Dates in October

2 October – International Day of Non-Violence
October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the leaders of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence, is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence. In India, this day is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti.
10 October – World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. The World Health Organization observes this day as an effort to raising global awareness of mental health issues. It was first celebrated in 1992. The theme for the 2018 World Mental Health Day was ‘Young people and mental health in a changing world’.
16 October – World Food Day
World Food Day is observed on 16 October every year. The day is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.On this day, the people and different organizations across the globe come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger. The theme for this year’s World Food Day is ‘Our actions are our future’.
17 October – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Every year on October 17 the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated throughout the world. It was first observed in Paris, France, in 1987. In 1992, the United Nations officially designated October 17 as The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme for the 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is ‘Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity’.
24 October – United Nations Day
UN Day marks the anniversary of the day when Charter of the United Nations became effective in 1945. With the ratification of this founding document the United Nations officially came into being. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October as UN Day. United Nations Day is observed to spread awareness on the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization.

For more information visit: http://www.un.org

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