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Current Affairs October 2015 - Competitive Exams - GK Power Capsule October 2015 Part 2


71. The Union Cabinet approved the Protocol between India and Israel and between Indian and Vietnam for avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital.
72. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the setting up of three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AllMS) under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). These three new AIIMS will come up at Nagpur in Maharashtra, at Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh and at Kalyani in West Bengal.
73. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the IDFC Bank in New Delhi. IDFC Bank Limited has started its operations on 1 October 2015.
74. Union Government raised the basic customs duty on wheat to 25 percent from 10 percent.
75. The Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) in the second week of October 2015 announced that India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus for the first time in 8 years. Fiscal deficit-difference between revenue and expenditure excluding borrowings for August 2015 was pegged at 15808 crore rupees that indicates surplus of revenues over expenditure.
76. Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indian made it mandatory for mobile service providers to compensate consumers call drops with effect from 1 January 2016. Credit the account of the calling consumer by one rupee. However, such credit in the account of the calling consumer will be limited to three dropped calls in a day.
77. RBI formed a single Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) with a corpus of 2000 crore rupees. The fund was formed by merging the Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund (FITF). The new FIF will be administered by the reconstituted Advisory Board constituted by Union Government and will be maintained by NABARD.
78. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development projected that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015.
79. UCO Bank registered the highest increase in gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in percentage terms against total loans in the 2014-15 fiscal year. The Gross NPA to gross advances ratio of UCO Bank increased to 8.05 percent at the end of March 2015 from 4.47 percent, accretion of 3.58 on an annual basis.
80. Price of domestic natural gas was slashed by 18 percent to 3.81 US dollars per mmBtu. The new price that came into effect on 1 October 2015 will be operational for six months till 31 March 2016. As per the policy, the government revises the price every six months on the basis of a weighted average of rates in the gas-surplus economies such as Canada, the USA, Russia and Mexico.
81. Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari launched Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy, 2015. The Green Highway Policy will make it compulsory for road developers to set aside 1 percent of the Total Project Cost (TPC) for Highway Plantation and Maintenance.
82. India signed a 123.51 million US dollar loan agreement with Asian Development Bank to upgrade tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
83. Russia announced on 22 October 2015 that it will permanently station a military unit in the Arctic by 2018.
84. Russia and United States inked a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding (MoU) on preventing incidents and providing for aviation flights during operations in Syria.
85. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and partner nations launched the Alliance’s Trident Juncture military exercise at the Trapani air force base in Italy.
86. United Nations General Assembly elected Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay to serve as non-permanent members on the UN Security Council. These members will serve the UNSC for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2016 until 31 December 2017.
87. Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement to build a 1100-km gas pipeline stretching from Karachi on Arabian Sea to the eastern city of Lahore.
88. Portugal became the first European country to sign MoU on the establishment of Nalanda University. 
89. China operationalised the Zam hydropower station on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet Autonomous Region. It is considered to be the highest-altitude hydropower station in the world.
90. Alexander Lukashenko won Belarusian presidential elections.
91. India granted a cheque of 5 million US dollars to the Palestinian government as a budgetary support.
92. India signed a deal, worth 105.5 crore rupees, with Pipistrel, a Slovenian firm, for 194 micro-light aircraft to be used by Indian Air Force, the Navy and the National Cadet Corps (NCC).
93. The 5th meeting of the India-Maldives Joint Commission was held on 11 October 2015 in Male, the capital of Maldives.
94. Fiji’s Parliament elected Jioji Konrote as the country’s next President.
95. KP Sharma Oli was elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal.
96. The Joint Declaration of the Heads of the Migration Authorities of the BRICS nations was released after the first BRICS Ministerial meeting on Migration. The meeting was held in Sochi, Russia. The Indian delegation to the meeting was led by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.
97. Government of India and Federal Republic of Germany signed two loan agreements worth 125 million Euros for financing two projects under the Green Energy Corridor programme. These two projects are in Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
98. The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to lower trade barriers, bolster worker protections and set standards for a raft of other industries.
99. India and Germany signed 18 MoUs in various sector including renewable energy, skill development and culture. The MoUs were signed at the end of third Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel co-chaired the meeting.
100.Palestinian flag was raised for the first time at United Nations headquarters in New York on 30 September 2015.
101.The first-ever US-India-Japan Trilateral Ministerial dialogue was held on 29 September 2015. It was held on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly session in New York. The trilateral meet was attended by the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
102.Japan has offered to finance Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor estimated to cost about Rs 90,000 crore at an interest rate of less than one percent.
103.The foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Amaravati city, the greenfield capital of Andhra Pradesh, was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu. 
104.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced that the Railways would soon start country’s firstever double decker Shatabdi Express that would ply between Mumbai and Goa.
105.Reserve Bank issued guidelines for the Gold Monetisation Scheme that allow banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits. Banks will be free to set interest rate on such deposit, and principal and interest of the deposit will be denominated in gold. The designated banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term (1-3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) as well as Medium (5- 7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes. While the former will be accepted by banks on their own account, the latter will be on behalf of Government of India. The short term bank deposits will attract applicable cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). There is no bar for maximum deposit but the minimum deposit should be equivalent to 30 grams.
106.Government approved induction of women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force.
107.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a new integrated terminal building at Tirupati Airport in Andhra Pradesh.
108.The United States is preparing to sell eight new F- 16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
109.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the first ever ‘India gold coin’ bearing Ashok Chakra and other schemes on November 5. Besides launching Ashok Chakra bearing coins of 5 gm and 10 gm, Modi will also launch Gold monetisation and Sovereign Gold Bond schemes.
 110. Supreme Court extended use the Aadhaar card on voluntary basis for welfare schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana as also the Employees’ Provident Fund and pension schemes. This is in addition to the two schemes — the public distribution system (foodgrain and kerosene) and LPG — where the use of Aadhaar on a voluntary basis for cash transfer to beneficiary bank accounts was allowed by the apex court.
111. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, and restored the over-twodecade-old collegium system for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
112.Indian Railways agreed with Adani Power Ltd for purchasing 50 MW power under its new policy of competitive bidding based procurement, dropping its practice of buying from state-owned enterprises.
113.Wholesale Price Inflation continued to remain in the negative territory for the eleventh straight month, at -4.54% in September, but slightly higher than the -4.95% in August.
114.A total of Rs 14,672 crore is saved in LPG subsidy in a year as a result of direct benefit transfer, the government said.
 115.Light duty vehicles would have to pay Rs 700 and three-axle vehicles Rs 1,300 for entering Delhi in addition to the toll tax from November 1, with the Supreme Court imposing the ‘Environment Compensation Charge’ in a bid to check high pollution levels in the city.
116.Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plans to sell subsidized 5 kg LPG cylinders in rural India in an effort to increase usage of clean fuel for cooking.
117.Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of an ambitious project which will more than double the capacity of the country’s largest container port Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in next two years.
118.The National Housing Bank has granted permission to six new entities to become housing finance companies. These six companies are Supreme Housing Finance, Nivara Home Finance, Khush Housing Finance Private, Bajaj Housing Finance Capri, Global Housing Finance Pvt Ltd and Hinduja Housing Finance Ltd, NHB said in a release.
119.The number of subscribers to the National Pension System (NPS) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) together have crossed the landmark 1-crore mark.
120.CRISIL, KPMG, McKinsey and Mott MacDonald are among the 37 consulting firms which have been assigned for preparing action plans for the 88 cities proposed to be developed as Smart Cities.
121.India and Germany inked 18 MoUs, including one for setting up a fast-track system for German companies in India.
122.The US and 11 other countries reached a landmark deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which aims to become the world’s largest free-trade zone linking 40 per cent of the global economy and would also have implications on India’s foreign trade.
123.A deal to fast track clearences for German investments in India and Euro 1 billion fund for solar sector by Germany were among key takeaways from talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Angela Merkel as a raft of 18 pacts were signed to expand bilateral ties.
124.India has pledged to cut its carbon emission intensity by 33-35 per cent and increase the share of renewable energy by a massive 40 per cent in its total energy mix by 2030. The announcement was made by India in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) on Climate Change in Bonn for a global climate pact ahead of the climate change summit in Paris later this year.
125.Government received an amount of Rs 3,770 crore from 638 declarations under the one-time black money compliance window that closed.
126.The eight core sector industries grew an annual 2.6% in August compared with 5.9% in the corresponding month last year.
127.The United States, Britain and France reaffirmed their support to India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council as text-based negotiations to expand the most powerful wing of the world body begins in November.
128.India signed a nearly $3 billion deal for purchase of 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing and the US government. The first helicopter is likely to be handed over to India in the next three to four years.
129.India’s largest missile systems manufacturing and integration facility with an investment of Rs. 500 crore is being set up on a sprawling 900-acre site at Palasamudram, Gorantla in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
130.Maharashtra government has finally acquired the London bungalow where B.R. Ambedkar lived as a student.
131.Facebook has renamed what it had termed its Internet access enabling platform, “internet.org”, as Free Basics by Facebook. Internet.org will remain as a wide and overarching entity, which includes the provision of free basic services apart from other projects such as enhancing connectivity and an innovation lab.
132.The merger of the FMC with SEBI is slated for September 28, which will create a unified regulator.

133.The Government has set up a committee, headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, to oversee the revival of three urea plants.
134.Leaders of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan called for urgent reforms of the United Nations “in a fixed time frame”.
135.Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said his company would take low-cost broadband technology to some five lakh villages across the country.
136.Indian Space Research Organisation launched its first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory Astrosat into space, besides six satellites for Canada, Indonesia and the United States. Though the national space agency has launched satellites for Indonesia and Canada earlier, this is the first time ISRO is launching satellites for the United States.
137.A few hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama met in New York, the two sides signed final agreements for the purchase of two of the most advanced American helicopters in a deal worth about $3 billion.
138.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a proposal to provide superfast Wi-Fi broadband connectivity in 500 key railway stations across India that see a daily traffic of 10 million people.
139.Russia launched air strikes in war-torn Syria, its first military engagement outside the former Soviet Union since the intervention in Afghanistan in 1979.
140.After five years of decline, India has moved up 16 positions to 55th place on a global index of world’s most competitive economies for the year 2015-16, with Switzerland topping the table for the seventh consecutive year.
Click here for Current Affairs October 2015 - Competitive Exams - GK Power Capsule October 2015 Part 1
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