Daily GK Update: 22nd and 23rd October, 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone Amaravati, a new capital city of Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Dussehra and Vijaya Dashmi. The foundation stone of new futuristic capital city of the state was laid at a grand ceremony held in Guntur district.
ii. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu along with other guests participated in the rituals to mark laying the foundation.

iii. The name Amaravathi was chosen in view of the historical, spiritual and mythological significance as it was ancient seat of Satavahana kingdom. Located between Vijayawada and Guntur region of state on the banks of Krishna River. It is only place where river flows north direction instead of east or south.
iv. State government had inked MoU with Singapore government agencies for preparing the master plan for Amaravati. It was submitted in July 2015. The capital city will house state Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, High Court, Secretariat, Raj Bhavan etc. in area covering 16.7 sq km.
2. RBI issued direction on implementation of Gold Monetisation Scheme 2015
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 22 October 2015 issued a Direction to all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks) on implementation of the Gold Monetisation Scheme, 2015 notified by the Union Government.
ii. The RBI issued the direction to banks in exercise of powers conferred on it under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The GMS 2015 will replace the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999.
iii. The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under STBD to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in GMS. The gold deposited will be auctioned by MMTC or any other agency authorised by the Central Government and the sale proceeds will be credited to the Union Government’s account with the Reserve Bank.
iv. Complaints against designated banks regarding any discrepancy in issuance of receipts and deposit certificates, redemption of deposits, payment of interest will be handled first by the bank’s grievance redress process and then by the Reserve Bank’s Banking Ombudsman.
3. Alok Rawat becomes first male member of National Commission for Women
i. Senior IAS officer Alok Rawat became first male person  to be appointed as member of National Commission for Women (NCW). His appointment fills the fourth seat in the five-member body that seeks to review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women.
ii. Alok Rawat is 1977 batch IAS officer of Sikkim cadre. Prior to this appointment, he had served at various senior level posts at different Union Ministries. He had served as Director (joint secretary) in Union Ministry of Defence and Union Ministry of Road transport and Highways.
iii. He also had served as secretary (UPSC) and secretary (Coordination and Public Grievances) in the Union Cabinet Secretariat and secretary in Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation.
iv. NCW is a statutory body established under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. It was established in January 1992 to review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women. It recommends remedial legislative measures, advise Government on all policy matters affecting women and facilitate redressal of grievances related to women.
4. Sam Pitroda’s autobiography Dreaming Big- My Journey to Connect India released
i. Autobiography of Sam Pitroda named Dreaming Big: My Journey to Connect India has been released. It is written with the help of an American author David Chanoff.
ii. The autobiography describes the journey of Satanarayan Gangaram Pitroda (famously known as Sam Pitroda), who is known as father of Indian telecommunication revolution.
iii. The book embarks a life long journey of Sam Pitroda starting from his birth in 1964 in Titilagarh in Odisha to his revolutionary career in United States and India.
iv. Further, the book also tells his success in the telecommunication revolution of India and important role played by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in achieving the revolution. It also highlights important incidents in his life after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
5. Government divides Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Areas into two Separate Headquarters
i. Union Ministry of Defence has divided erstwhile Maharashtra and Gujarat (MnG) Naval Area into two separate headquarters in order to enhance operational and administrative organizational structure. They have been divided under Flag Officer Maharashtra Area and Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area.
ii. The division will help for better vigilance on the sea border with Pakistan and in better communication and coordination with the respective state governments, local authorities and fishermen.
iii. The charge of Flag Officer Maharashtra Area was assumed by Rear Admiral Satish Namdeo Ghormade. While, Rear Admiral Murlidhar Pawar will assume as Flag Officer of Gujarat Naval Area.
iv. The idea of dividing the existing Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area into two parts was mooted after considering breach in naval security from Pakistan’s side on at least on two occasions i.e. 26/11 terrorist attack in 2008 and destroying of ship carrying ammunition by Indian Navy in 2014.
6. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded 2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China
i. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been awarded 2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China. The Prize is dubbed as Chinese equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been chosen for this edition of prize for his inspirational leadership and service to pan-Africanism and African independence.
ii. The prize also has recognised his efforts to overcome difficulties of all kinds and his commitments for constructing his nation’s political and economic order.
iii. Mugabe is the founding leader of Zimbabwe and has ruled the country since it gained independence in 1980 from United Kingdom. He was elected as Prime Minister in 1980 and served in that office till 1987.
iv. He became Zimbabwe’s first President in December 1987 and since then he is in office for past 28 years. In January 2015, he was appointed as Chairman of African Union (AU).
v. The prize was established in 2010 by China’s Communist Government after it was angered by Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
7. Prime Minister laid foundation stone of Shri Venkateswara Mobile & Electronics Manufacturing Hub
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 October 2015 laid the foundation stone of Shri Venkateswara Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing Hub in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The hub will be a dedicated mobile handset manufacturing facility.
ii. The foundation stone of this mobile handset manufacturing facility was laid during PM's visit to Andhra Pradesh to lay the foundation stone for new Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati.
iii. Shri Venkateswara Mobile & Electronics Manufacturing Hub will create more than 10000 jobs within a year. The hub is expected to contribute at least 5 percent of all-India target of 15 lakh jobs by 2019.
iv. As per Indian Cellular Association (ICA), Andhra Pradesh is fast turning out to be a preferred destination for mobile handset and component manufacturing companies.
v. ICA is also working with the Andhra government to set up design centres and incubation centres to establish the state as a truly global scale mobile handset manufacturing hub.
8. Union Government cleared first batch of AMRUT projects for 89 cities worth 2786 crore rupees
i. The Union Ministry of Urban Development on 22 October 2015 gave its nod to the first batch of state level Action Plans under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). The approved Action Plans have a total of 143 projects in 89 AMRUT cities in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
ii. The State Annual Action Plans (SAAP) worth 2786.28 crore rupees were cleared by inter-ministerial Apex Committee of AMRUT for 89 cities in the three states. It is for the first time that the Urban Development Ministry approved state level plans unlike the past practice of appraising and approving individual projects.
iii. The plans include 47 schemes relating to ensuring water supply connections and augmenting water supply. In addition, they also include 31 projects for expanding sewerage network services in identified cities and towns.
iv. Gujarat will take up sewerage projects in 25 AMRUT cities at a cost of 916 crore rupees and water supply schemes in 11 cities with an investment of 233.65 crore rupees. Rajasthan will take up sewerage schemes in 6 cities at a cost of 555 crore rupees and water supply projects in 10 cities at a cost of 344 crore rupees.
v. Union Government will provide an assistance of 50 percent of project cost for cities with a population of up to 10 lakhs each and one third of project cost for cities with a population of above 10 lakhs each.
9. Renowned marine biologist Syed Zahoor Qasim died
i. Renowned marine biologist Syed Zahoor Qasim died on 20 October 2015 in New Delhi. He was 88. He is considered as the founder of Polar Biology in India and was part of the first Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1981-82.
ii. After the first expedition, he successfully organized and guided the next the seven expeditions till 1988 and made pioneering contributions in the field of fisheries biology, mari-culture, estuarine ecology and environmental pollution.
iii. Based on his research, he also published around 200 original research papers in national and international journals. He was also a member of Planning Commission (1991-96) and served as the vice-chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi.
iv. In recognition of his contributions, he was honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Union Government and Life Time Achievement Award by the Indian Science Congress in 2008. He was born on 31 December 1926 at Allahabad in the present day Uttar Pradesh.
10. RIP Labh Janjua: Bollywood mourns ‘London thumakda’ singer’s demise
i. Bollywood celebrities like Ayushmann Khurrana, Pritam, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaan have mourned the tragic demise of Punjabi singer Labh Janjua, calling it a big loss to the Indian music industry.
ii. Labh Janjua, best known for his hit songs like “London thumakda” and “Jee karda”, was found dead at his residence in Goregaon (West) on Thursday morning, police said. His body was taken to Cooper Hospital for post mortem and the police is investigating further.
iii. Bollywood celebs took to Twitter to express their grief. Here’s what they have written: Ayushmann Khurrana: RIP Labh Janjua. Your voice will always remain immortal. It carried the soul of Punjab. Salim Merchant: Heard about the sudden demise of singer Labh Janjua.


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