Current Affairs of 17 October 2015

1. Onsari Gharti Magar elected as House speaker of Nepal
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) candidate Onsari Gharti Magar was 
 unanimously elected as the House speaker of Nepal. With this, Onsari Gharti became the first female Speaker in the parliamentary history of Nepal.
Onsari was the former Deputy Speaker and had served as Minister for Youth and Sports in the Nepal Cabinet led by Jhala Nath Khanal. 
Onsari’s unanimous election became possible after Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party candidate Anuradha Thapa withdrew her candidacy. Her name was proposed by CPN-UML lawmaker Bidya Devi Bhandari and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal among other fringe parties seconded her candidacy.  
On the other hand, Rastriya Prajatantra Party's Nepal lawmaker Ganga Prasad Yadav was elected as the Deputy Speaker. 

2. Pakistan, Russia signed agreement to build 1100 km Gas Pipeline
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. The agreement was signed by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Pakistan Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
In this project, Russia will invest 2 billion US dollars and it will be built by Russian company RT Global Resources, a subsidiary of Russian state corporation Rostec. The pipeline is expected to get completed by December 2017.
Highlights of the Gas Pipeline
• This 1100-kilometre (680-mile) pipeline has the capacity of 12.4 billion cubic metres (438 billion cubic feet) per year. 
• The pipeline will connect Karachi’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals with those in Lahore. 
• The pipeline project will be implemented in compliance with Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.
• It will be owned and operated by the manufacturer for 25 years and after that it will be handed over to the Pakistan government. 
The project will help develop a multi-dimensional relationship with Russia in the fields of defence, trade, energy, culture, infrastructure and other spheres. Earlier in August 2015, Pakistan and Russia signed a landmark defence deal for the sale of 4 Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters to Pakistan.

3. China, Indonesia signed 5.5 billion US dollars deal to build high-speed railway in Indonesia
China and Indonesia signed a 5.5 billion US dollars deal to build the first high-speed railway in Indonesia following the victory of Beijing in winning the construction project by beating Tokyo.
Japan was long expected to build the railway but China entered the contest in 2015, and Tokyo's bid was rejected in September 2015 after a chaotic bidding process that infuriated the Japanese companies. 
The project will be implemented by state-owned China Railway International and a consortium of Indonesian state companies. In the regard, the chairman of state-owned China Railway International, Yang Zhongmin, signed a deal with a consortium of Indonesian state companies to form a joint venture to build the railway.
Highlights of the Deal
• The high-speed railway line will connect the Indonesian capital Jakarta with the mountain-fringed city of Bandung, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) away.
• State-owned China Development Bank will provide 75 percent of the funding, with the rest coming from the Chinese railway company and Indonesian consortium. 
• The railway line will not need any financing from the Indonesian government, nor a government guarantee. 
• The high-speed train route will cover eight stations from Jakarta to Bandung, and the train will travel at around 250 kilometres (150 miles) an hour. 

4. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty observed globally
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed globally on 17 October 2015 with the theme Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination.
The 2015 observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a special one, as it comes on the heels of the adoption of Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda succeeds the Millennium Development Goals, contains 17 ambitious goals basically to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

5. Navy signs Rs 5,000 crore pact with Russian shipbuilder Zvezdochka for Kilo class submarine refit 
The Indian Navy is looking to squeeze some more life out of its two decade old kilo class submarines, signing up a contract with Russia to extend the service life of the boats to 35 years. Struggling with a depleted underwater fleet, the Navy has finalized a contract with Russian shipbuilder Zvezdochka and will be sending the first submarine for the refit in June next year. 
The extensive refit, the value for which is pegged at Rs 5,000 crore for a total of four submarines, will not only extend the life of the boats but will also upgrade their combat potential. Sources told ET that the first submarine to be sent is the INS Sindhukesari that will be fitted with Klub land attack cruise missile. 
While the first of the four submarines will be upgraded at Ready for revampSeverodvinsk in Russia, the plan is to upgrade the remaining three in an Indian yard as part of the 'Make in India' initiative. Zvezdochka, which is the Russian yard tasked with the modernization process, has already tied up with to upgrade the submarines at the Pipavav yard in Gujarat. 

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