Daily Current Affairs - 15th Oct 2018

6th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting Held in Singapore

  • The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution C. R. Chaudhary, attended the 6th RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting (IMM) in Singapore.
  • The Ministers from 16 RCEP countries met in Singapore to discuss a modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among ASEAN and ASEAN's FTA partners. Next round meeting of Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) is scheduled to be held in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ajay Tamta Inaugurates 46th Edition Of IHGF-Delhi Fair Autumn-2018

  • Union Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta, inaugurated the 46th edition of world’s largest IHGF-Delhi Fair at India Expo Centre and Mart at Greater Noida.
  • This Fair has played a vital role in increasing exports of handicrafts from the country and has acquired a special importance for the handicrafts sector. The fair is participated by 3200 exhibitors from over 110 countries.

Bank credit rises by 12.51%, deposits by 8.07%

  • Bank credit rose by 12.51 per cent to Rs 89.82 lakh crore in the fortnight ended September 28, while the deposits grew by 8.07 per cent to Rs 117.99 lakh crore, according the RBI data.
  • In the year-ago fortnight, advances stood at Rs 79.83 lakh crore, while the deposits at Rs 109.17 lakh crore. Bank loans to agriculture and allied activities were up by 6.6 per cent, compared with an increase of 6.5 per cent in the same month last year.

Graded Response Action Plan comes into force in Delhi to combat air pollution

  • An emergency action plan will be implemented in the national capital to combat air pollution that has begun to show a trend towards poor category.
  • Under the emergency plan called Graded Response Action Plan, stringent actions will be implemented based on the air quality of the city. If the air quality lies between moderate to poor category- measures like, banning garbage burning and enforcing all pollution control regulations in brick making factories and industries would be implemented.
  • If the air quality deteriorates and falls in the very poor category, additional measures including banning the use of diesel generator sets and enhancing parking fees would be implemented.

ICICI Prudential MF’s Nimesh Shah new Amfi chairman

  • ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Managing Director and Chief Executive Nimesh Shah has been elected as the chairperson of industry body Amfi.
  • Shah has replaced A. Balasubramanian, chief executive officer of Aditya Birla Sun Life MF, who took over as Amfi chairman in 2016.
  • The Association of Mutual Funds of India is an industry standards organisation in the mutual funds sector.

India China Launched 1st Joint Programme for Afghanistan To Train Diplomats

  • India and China have launched their first joint programme for Afghanistan to train its diplomats.
  • Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar hosted 10 Afghan Diplomats who will be travelling to India for the 1st India-China joint training programme for Afghan diplomats under the aegis of the Trilateral Cooperation between India, China and Afghanistan.

India needs to make smooth, viable transition from coal, says IPCC report

  • The recent UN's IPCC report gives India a "huge" opportunity to develop differently and also stresses the need to make smooth and viable transition from coal, two professors, who were part of the technical support unit of the IPCC have said.
  • India needs to make smooth and viable transition from coal and simultaneously safeguard related jobs in the short term, adding the successful transformation of coal sector would need re-skilling the workforce along-side application of emerging technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage.

India sweep test series against West Indies 2-0

  • India has swept the test series 2-0 against West Indies, winning the second and final match by 10 wickets in Hyderabad.
  • Umesh Yadav was declared Player of the Match for his maiden 10-wicket haul and Prithvi Shaw Player of the series.

Indian Navy acquires deep submarine rescue capabilities

  • The Indian Navy has inducted its first deep submergence rescue vehicle for downed or disaster-struck submarines at high sea.
  • India has joined a select group of countries that have the capability to locate and rescue "distressed submarines".
  • The DSRVs are also used to lay cables on the sea bed. Some DSRV vessels are air transportable in very large military cargo.

India’s first portal for agriculture business learning launched

  • SRiX is a technology business incubator under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It is focussed on start-ups of agriculture, cleantech and IoT. SRiX Agri-Business Academy is an Indo-UK collaborative initiative.
  • Start-ups from all over the country are showing interest to incubate in SRiX. Sarras Academies Ltd, a UK-based company, and SR Innovation Exchange have joined hands to launch the Academy.

IRCTC’s chatbot for customer support

  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited has launched AskDisha, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, to troubleshoot customers’ travel-related queries.
  • AskDisha will support several regional languages and will be voice-enabled.

Leander Paes lifts Santo Domingo Open trophy

  • Indian tennis legend Leander Paes won his second Challenger-level title of the season, lifting the Santo Domingo Open trophy with partner Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela.
  • They defeated Ariel Behar and Roberto Quiroz 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 in the summit clash.

Shanghai Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Borna Coric

  • Novak Djokovic beat Croatia's Borna Coric in the final of the Shanghai Masters Tennis.
  • Coric, the 13th seed, upset Roger Federer in semi-finals to reach his first Masters 1000 final. Djokovic, now has 18 consecutive wins.

Sikkim Wins FAO's Future Policy Award 2018

  • Sikkim won the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Future Policy Award 2018 for being the world's first 100% organic state. Sikkim defeated 51 nominated policies from 25 countries, winning the Gold Prize of the Future Policy Award 2018, also known as “Oscar for Best Policies”.
  • Future Policy Award’s Silver Prize 2018 was awarded to the policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador).

Telcos may report losses for three more quarters: COAI

  • The telecom sector is likely to experience three more quarters of losses, hurt by high levies and “unsustainable tariffs,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan Mathews said.
  • In 2016, Reliance Industries launched Jio, a new fourth-generation wireless service that disrupted the telecom industry by offering free calls and cheap data on mobile phones. Jio’s entry set off a tariff war, forcing Airtel, Vodafone and Idea (now Vodafone Idea Ltd.) to cut tariffs. This had dented the industry’s financial metrics and deepened the impact of regulatory decisions like cut in termination charges.