Current Affairs of 14 October 2015

1. Arun Jaitley chosen 'Finance Minister of the Year, Asia' by Emerging Markets
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was chosen as 'Finance Minister of the Year, Asia' by London-based publication Emerging Markets in October 2015. 

The magazine in an article said that Jaitley too deserves some recognition for India’s relative economic success over the last 18 months. It says that without his decisions and stewardship of India’s financial direction, India would not have achieved what it has.

Apart from this, Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank was named as the Central Bank Governor of the Year, Asia 2015. He was awarded for generating considerable strength and resilience in the economy of Bangladesh.
In 2014, the magazine had named governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan for Central Bank Governor of the Year award for Asia. In 2010, it also chose Pranab Mukherjee as 'Finance Minister of the Year, Asia'.
Emerging Markets is part of Euromoney Institutional Investor plc, one of the largest providers of financial information worldwide.

2. Jamaican writer Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Jamaican writer Marlon James on 13 October 2015 won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. With this, James became the first Jamaican author to win the prize in its 47-years of history.
James was honoured with the prize money of 50000 Euros, a trophy and a designer bound edition of his book. He was also awarded with additional 2500 Euros for being shortlisted for the prize.
James’s name was shortlisted from a list of writers including Sunjeev Sahota, Chigozie Obioma, Hanya Yanagihara, Anne Tyler, Tom McCarthy and Marlon James.

3. PS Jayakumar appointed as MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda
PS Jayakumar  took over the charge of Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of state-owned Bank of Baroda. He has taken the charge when the bank is under the scanner for an alleged black money transactions worth over 6000 crore rupees.
On the other hand, Ravi Venkatesan, ex-chairman of Microsoft India, was appointed as the non-executive Chairman of the bank.

4. Etihad Airways signed deal worth 700 million US dollars with IBM
Etihad Airways and IBM  announced an information technology deal worth 700 million US dollars for over 10 years. The deal aims at improving the airline’s operations and security.
The deal incorporates analytics of customer data and the development of technology that can forecast weather patterns to better manage the airline’s flights at its Abu Dhabi centre.
As per the terms of agreement, about 100 Etihad staff will move to IBM, where they will help in developing and building a new data centre in Abu Dhabi.
The deal also includes IBM's mobile solutions, developed under the Apple-IBM alliance.

5. Delhi government launched Bill Banvao, Inaam Pao scheme
The Delhi Government  launched Bill Banvao, Inaam Pao scheme to encourage people to receive or demand proper bills for purchases.
Citizens will be eligible for the scheme only on a bill or cash memo/retail invoice of not less than 100 rupees for purchases made from a registered dealer in Delhi. The maximum prize to be given under the scheme is 50000 rupees.
To avail the reward, the purchaser can upload the bill/cash memo on the website of the Department of Trade and Taxes within seven days of purchase.  A snapshot of the bill can also be sent to the designated number of the department through Whatsapp. After the bill is sent to the department, a unique ID will be generated for each bill and sent to the customer via SMS.
The bill must include the registration number (TIN) of the dealer, full name of each item purchased, rate of tax charged against each and total sale value (excluding VAT).

6. President Pranab Mukherjee visited Palestine
President Pranab Mukhrejee visited Palestine between 12 October and 13 October 2015. Mukherjee is the first Indian head to visit Palestine.
During his visit, Mukherjee met with President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in Ramallah. He also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and the leaders of major political parties in Palestine.
At present, President Mukherjee is on the three-nation visit namely Jordan (10 to 12 October 2015), Palestine (12 to 13 October 2015) and Israel (13 to 15 October 2015).
Major highlights of the visit are
• President inaugurated India-Palestine Centre for Excellence in ICT, at Al-Quds University, Abu Dees
• President was conferred with Honorary Doctorate by Al-Quds University, Palestine
• President paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi in Ramallah, Palestine
• A road and a roundabout in Ramallah named after India as Sharia-e-Al-hind (India road) and Midan-e-Al-hind (India roundabout) were inaugurated. The road is close to the Mahatma Gandhi Road that houses the Indian mission.

7. China operationalises Zam Hydropower Station on Brahmaputra in Tibet
China has operationalised the Zam Hydropower Station built on Brahmaputra River which has raised concerns in India over the likelihood of disrupting water supplies of River.
Key facts
The dam is considered to be the world’s highest-altitude hydropower station and largest of its kind. Annually it will produce produces 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. The power station is located in the Gyaca County of Tibet and is considered as the largest in this region. It has six stations to harnesses the rich water resources of Brahmaputra River which is known as Yarlung Zangbo River in Tibet and flows through Tibet into India and later into Bangladesh.

8. Tamil Nadu Government bans Ketoprofen drug to save vultures
Tamil Nadu state government has banned Ketoprofen, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to save critically endangered vulture population in the state. This drug has been banned in the three western districts of state viz in Erode, Coimbatore and Nilgiris where the vulture population is in danger. Ketoprofen is extensively used for veterinary purposes and as an alternative to banned veterinary painkiller Diclofenac. It is believed that Ketoprofen causes same effect on the vulture population caused by Diclofenac.

9. Green Indian Mission plans approved for 4 states
Union Environment Ministry has approved annual plans of National Mission for Green India (GIM) of four states viz. Kerala, Mizoram, Manipur and Jharkhand. In this regard, National Executive Council (NEC) has approved the Perspective Plans (PP) and Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) of GIM submitted by 4 states.
Key facts
The approval has been granted for alternative energy devices such as biogas, LPG, solar devices, biomass-based systems and improved stoves. These devices in turn will help to reduce pressure on forests and provide carbon emission benefits, along with health and other associated benefits. It will cover around 27,032 households from these 4 states for financial year 2015-16. Financial support: PP of all four states has total financial outlay of 90,202.68 lakh rupees for a plan period of five to ten years. While, APOs of 11,195.32 lakh rupees for same period. Forest and non-forest area: It will be taken up in the 4 states under GIM during the total plan period will be 1, 08,335 hectares. Out of it, 81,939 hectares will help in improving the density of existing forests and 16, 396 hectares in new areas.

10. Iran’s Parliament gives Preliminary approval for Nuclear Deal
The Parliament of Iran has passed a bill that allows the government to implement a historic nuclear deal reached with world powers i.e. P5+1 countries. The accord will protect the Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of international economic sanctions. Under the provisions of bill Iranian government can withdraw from implementation of the nuclear deal if the other side fails to lift economic sanctions against Iran. It also says that International inspectors would have only limited access to military sites.

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