1. Narendra Modi inaugurates IDFC Bank
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the IDFC Bank in New Delhi. IDFC Bank Limited, which started its operations on 1 October 2015, is an Indian Banking company with headquarters in Mumbai that forms a part of IDFC, an integrated infrastructure finance company.
ii. IDFC Bank was granted a universal banking license in July 2015 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
iii. IDFC was incorporated on 30 January 1997. It founded a non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC) in 2014 to manage its five subsidiaries IDFC Bank, IDFC MF, IDFC Alternatives, IDFC IDF & IDFC Securities to conform with RBI guidelines.
2. PM Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee to launch one stop research funding mechanism 'IMPRINT'
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee will next month launch a single window funding clearance mechanism backed with a Rs 1,000-crore kitty to get Indian technical institutions to conduct original research in areas where the country is heavily dependent on foreign technology.
ii. An Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) is being set up as the single window mechanism that will screen research projects and proposals by India's leading research and technology institutes and then approve them and earmark funds for the same.
iii. The IMG will have on board the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), Ministry of Defence, Department of Science & Technology, Department of Biotechnology, and Ministry of Rural Development, among others.
iv. Named 'IMPRINT' — the one stop research funding mechanism to boost indigenous technology and research will be launched by the PM and President on November 5 at the Visitor's Conference.
v. The move to set up a one stop funding system has been made after a number of scientists and researchers conveyed how the current bureaucratic systems were coming in the way and delaying projects as well as discouraging institutes from taking them up.
3. RBI, UAE Central Bank ink MoU for supervisory information exchange
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.
ii. It was signed at Abu Dhabi, UAE by Saeed Abdulla Al Hamiz, Assistant Governor of Central Bank of UAE and Meena Hemchandra, Executive Director of RBI.
iii. By signing the MoU, RBI is seeking to promote greater co-operation and share supervisory information among the authorities. So far RBI has signed 29 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Co-operation (LSC) and one Statement of Co-operation (SoC) in this regard.
4. NATO launched military exercise Trident Juncture in Italy
i. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and partner nations on 19 October 2015 launched the Alliance’s Trident Juncture military exercise at the Trapani air force base in Italy. Trident Juncture will end on 6 November 2015.
ii. The three week long intensive training involves 36000 troops from more than 30 nations across Italy, Spain and Portugal.
iii. The Trident juncture is the largest NATO exercise for over a decade and will increase readiness and ability to work together. It will also demonstrate that NATO is capable of responding to threats from any direction.
iv. The exercise will also certify next year’s NATO Response Force headquarters and the functions of the new very-high readiness Spearhead Force.
5. Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index report 2015 released
i. The 2015 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index (MMGPI) report was released on 19 October 2015. This seventh edition of MMGPI report measured 25 retirement income systems against more than 40 indicators, under the sub-indices of Adequacy, Sustainability and Integrity.
ii. The 2015 report rated Denmark as the country with the best retirement system for the fourth consecutive year in 2015, with an overall score of 81.7. This study of retirement income systems in 25 countries confirmed that there is great diversity between the retirement systems around the world with scores ranging from 40.3 for India to 81.7 for Denmark.
iii. Australia was ranked as having the most adequate pension system, however there was decline in the overall score from 79.9 in 2014 to 79.6 in 2015, moving further away from an elusive A grade that is given to pension systems that score above 80.
iv. Denmark held onto the top position for the fourth consecutive year in 2015 with an overall score of 81.7. Denmark’s well-funded pension system with its good coverage is the primary reason for its top spot. Denmark and Netherlands are the only countries to achieve an A grade in the history of the index.
v. A number of countries have changed grade, with the Netherlands joining Denmark with an A-grade. Mexico and Italy improved to a C-grade. None of the countries in this study has an E-grade system, which would be represented by an index value below 35.
6. VK Malhotra appointed as head of the All India Council of Sports
i. The Union Government on 19 October 2015 named veteran sports administrator Vijay Kumar Malhotra as the President of the All India Council of Sports. His position will be in the rank of Minister of State. The council also includes former sportspersons, including PT Usha, Limba Ram, N Kunjarani Devi, IM Vijayan, Baichung Bhutia and P Gopichand.
ii. Malhotra acted as the Senior Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the acting President of the IOA after the arrest of Suresh Kalmadi in connection with the alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
iii. Malhotra had also been the President of the General Association of National Sports Federations and the President of the Archery Association of India. He was born on 3 December 1931 in Lahore, Pakistan. He holds a Doctorate in Hindi Literature.
iv. The Government of India on 24 July 2015 constituted the All India Council of Sports as an advisory body for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The council advises the Ministry on matters relating to the promotion and development of sports and games in the country.
v. Popularizing sports amongst the youth as a way of life. Increasing outreach of sports to rural and tribal areas, areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), North-East and Jammu & Kashmir. Implementation of policies for promotion of sports and games in the country
7. Urvashi Rautela crowned Miss Diva 2015
i. Model-actress Urvashi Rautela on 18 October 2015 was crowned as Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva 2015 at a star-studded event in Mumbai. With this, she became India’s representative for the Miss Universe pageant.
ii. Natasha Assadi from Bangalore was crowned 1st runner up while Naveli Deshmukh from Aurangabad was crowned 2nd runner-up.
iii. Born on 25 February 1994 in Nainital, Uttarakhand, Rautela had won the I Am She – Miss Universe India in 2012 but was dethroned from crown due to a controversy over her age. She had also been a winner of the title of Miss Asian Supermodel 2011 in South Korea.
iv. A part of Femina Miss India pageant, Miss Diva competition chooses India's representatives for Miss Universe and other pageants after Miss Universe Organization awarded back the franchise to Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
8. Konkan Railway to set up a tunnel technology institute at Margao in Goa
i. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced on 19 October 2015 that Konkan Railway will establish a tunnel technology institute at Goa's Margao town. The institute will enable training for the technology, which is still not available in India.
ii. The institute, which is first of its kind in the nation, will be established in the honour of former Railway Minister George Fernandes, who is said to be the driving force behind the Konkan Railway. The institute will be called as George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology.
iii. The proposed institute aims at being a depository of knowledge on tunnels and underground structures. The institute will provide training of tunnel technology and consultancy services for tunnels and underground construction.
iv. Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was formed in 1990 as company and was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, with its headquarters at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai.
9. Moody's released a report on the Global Green Bonds Market
i. Moody’s Investors Service on 19 October 2015 released a report on the global green bonds market titled Third Quarter Issuance Lags, but COP21-Linked Increase Is Likely.
ii. The report says that in the third quarter (Q3) of 2015, the global green bond issuance reached 7.5 billion dollar, compared to bond issuance of 27.2 billion dollar in Q3 2014. But the increase is down from Q2, Moody's expects issuance will pick up in the last quarter and exceed 40 billion dollar for the full year 2015.
iii. Issuance continued to break new ground in the third quarter in terms of noteworthy and first-time transactions. 7.6 billion dollar issued in Q3 lagged the 13.4 billion dollar that came to market during the second quarter of the year, but did outpace the first quarter's 6.3 billion dollar.
iv. Based on the 9-month average monthly volume of 3.02 billion dollar, green bonds would end the year at 36.3 billion dollar, or just shy of the 36.5 billion dollar issued in 2014. The organisation expects the volume will pick up towards the end of the year to coincide with the December 2015 United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris and is likely to exceed 40 billion dollar for the full year 2015.
10. Aditya Birla Group launches fashion portal abof.com
i. The profile of the $41-billion Aditya Birla Group is increasingly changing. Announcing the launch of abof.com, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group said, "The e-commerce sector is a sunrise sector from an investment point of view".
ii. Although there are no profitability estimates now, the e-commerce fashion vertical as a whole is expected to see a potential demand of $15 billion in five years. The new venture will compete with the likes of Flipkart-owned Myntra and Rocket Internet-backed Jabong, besides horizontal e-commerce players such as Amazon and Snapdeal.
iii. Whilst the aggressive depth is sort of excessive, the overall perception is this isn't actually a one-participant-wins-all type of market. "Though ecommerce may not be a sizeable part of the group's turnover eventually, it will constitute a significant portion of the group's valuation", Birla said. Birla sees abof.com remaining an independent company at least in the foreseeable future. But, going ahead, Birla stated abof.com can be open to roping in an investor.
iv. Besides, the portal also offers various trendy looks of the season from around the world through its curated collection of products, handpicked from different brands and from its own brand "abof". We are trying to build the Apple of this industry, which is very iconic, where we will have a more curated range. The group has also tied up with third party vendors for logistics.