Current Affairs of 23 October 2015

1. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded with 2015 Confucius Peace Prize
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was awarded with the 2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China for supposedly injecting fresh energy into the global quest for harmony. 
The Prize is dubbed as Chinese equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was awarded for overcoming a number of difficulties and for contributing to building the government, economy and order in the country while continuing to work at the age of 91 actively for African peace.
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. He became Zimbabwe’s first President in December 1987 and since then he is serving in the office.
In January 2015, he was appointed as Chairman of African Union (AU). However, in his 35 years of grip on power, he has often been seen caught in controversies. He has been criticised over allegations of corruption and his poor record on human rights. He is also blamed for a series of massacres in the 1980s and 1990s in which tens of thousands of civilians and opposition soldiers were killed.

2. First World Indigenous Games began in Brazil
First World Indigenous Games started in Brazil  in the northern Brazilian city of Palmas. The game will end on 31 October 2015.
The games are a multi-sport event involving indigenous athletes has around 2000 athletes participating from many indigenous ethnic groups and 30 countries like Ethiopia, Mongolia, Brazil, Australia, Russia, the Philippines, Ethiopia and New Zealand.
The participants on 22 October 2015 took part in a traditional fire lighting ceremony in Palmas's central square and danced at the ceremony in traditional outfits.
Sports included in the games are archery, spear tossing, canoeing and a race through the forest.
Besides, there will be non-competitive events showcasing the many different traditions of indigenous ethnic groups involved, such as a football-style game called xikunahity in which the ball is controlled only with the head. It is played in the Matto Gross region of Brazil.

3. Ashwini Kumar, IOC honorary member, died
Ashwini Kumar, International Olympic Committee (IOC) honorary member, died . He was 94.
Though he was an officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) for a long time, he was better known in India and around the world as an efficient sports administrator.
Contributions of Ashwini Kumar to Indian Sports
• He played an active role in sport in India, particularly in hockey as President of the Indian Hockey Federation for 16 years, besides serving the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as the Vice-President for more than 15 years. 
• He headed the Indian hockey delegation at the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968.
• He was the President of the Indian Basketball Federation and President of the Punjab Olympic Association for 12 years.
• He served the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Asian Games Federation.
• He was elected Life President of the Indian Olympic Association

4. Britain signed Strategic Investment Agreements for building three nuclear plants with China
Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister David Cameron  signed Strategic Investment Agreements at a UK-China Business Summit at Mansion House in London during the official visit of Xi Jinping.
Under the agreement, China will help the UK in building three nuclear plants including Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, which will be the first since 1980s.
Highlights of the deal
• The deal was signed between China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and France’s EDF.
• Chinese investment will build 2 new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C, controlled by EDF, in Somerset, southwest England.
• CGN will take 33.5 percent stake and EDF will take 66.5 percent in the planned 18 billion pound Hinkley Point nuclear plant.
• CGN will take a two-thirds stake in the Bradwell nuclear plant east of London, where it plans to build a Chinese-designed reactor.
• CGN will also take a one-fifth stake in a project for Areva-designed reactors at the Sizewell plant.
• British oil giant BP and China Huadian Corporation also signed a sale and purchase agreement for BP to sell Huadian up to 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year.

5. China planned to form JV to develop overseas market for third-generation nuclear reactor Hualong 1
China's top two nuclear power companies, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation, on 22 October 2015 announced that they plan to combine their technologies in the country's flagship third-generation reactor Hualong 1.
The decision to set up a company was taken to reduce competition in exporting Hualong 1 into overseas markets.
As per the announcement, the plan has been passed on to the authorities and a coordination meeting will be held soon. The joint venture will be set up before the end of 2015.
Both the companies jointly started the Research & Development of Hualong 1 in 2013 based on their respective technologies, and the general plan passed inspection by a national expert panel in August 2013.
In 2014, it was announced that the merged design was moving from preliminary design to detailed design. Power output will be 1150 MWe, with a 60-year design life, and will use a combination of passive and active safety systems with a double containment.
Initially, the merged design was to be called the ACC1000. However, it was later decided that it will be called as Hualong One or Hualong-1.

6. RBI allows banks to fix interest rates on gold deposit scheme
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits under the Gold Monetisation Scheme. In this regard RBI has issued guidelines mentioning Banks are free to set interest rate such as principal and interest on the deposit denominated in gold. Designated banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term Bank Deposit (1-3 years), Medium (5-7 years) and Long term (12-15 years) Government Deposit Schemes. The interest on the gold deposits will be credited in the accounts on the respective due dates and will be periodically withdrawable i.e. at maturity of the deposits. Short term bank deposits will be applicable cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). There is no bar for maximum gold deposit but the minimum deposit at one time should be raw gold equivalent to 30 grams of 995 fineness standard. The raw gold should be in the form of coins, bars, jewellery excluding stones and other metals Individual banks will determine the provision for premature withdrawal subject to a minimum lock-in period and along with the penalty. The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under the deposit to Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) of India for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers or sell it to other designated banks.

7. PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for mobile manufacturing facility in Tirupati
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Shri Venkateswara Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing Hub in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. It is country’s first dedicated mobile manufacturing electronics cluster to be established in lines with Union Government’s flagship Make in India initiative. In this hub, Foxconn which is world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics already has started its operations for manufacturing brands such as Xiomi and Gionee. Other important mobile brands like Micromax, UTL (Karbonn) and Celkon are also planning to start their manufacturing operations in this hub. The first of its king hub is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs within a year. By the year 2019, it will contribute at least 5 per cent of the all-India target of 15 lakh jobs.

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