1. India hosts biggest Africa summit; plays catchup with China
India hosts its biggest-ever Africa summit this week as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to challenge China's dominance on a continent that is blessed with vast natural resources and has the world's fastest-growing population.
New Delhi wants to project its soft power and historical ties to Africa, in contrast to China's focus on resource extraction and capital investment that has sparked a backlash in some countries against Beijing's mercantilist expansion.
Of the 54 countries invited, the hosts expect more than 40 to be represented by their heads of state and government who, after a series of ministerial meetings, will hold a full summit.
India's trading ties with Africa date back to antiquity and both found common cause in the struggle against colonial rule. Yet India's influence faded over the course of the Cold War as it withdrew into non-aligned isolation.
Now Modi, self-styled chief salesman of a "Make in India" export drive, wants to capitalise on an economic slowdown in China to highlight India as an alternative partner for trade and investment.
2. Nandakumara, Sivanesan honoured in UK with Lifetime Achievement Award & Sangeet Acharya Ratna
Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai in October 2015 honoured Dr MN Nandakumara and Sivasakthi Sivanesan with Lifetime Achievement Award and Sangeet Acharya Ratna Award respectively in London.
Nandakumara, Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, and Sivasakthi Sivanesan, Resident Carnatic Music at the Bhavan were awarded for their contribution to Indian arts and music at a function held at the Nehru centre.
The duo has been propelling the Bhavans mission of teaching and promoting traditional Indian arts and culture in the UK.
Other awards announced and their recipients include
• Nritya Acharya Award - Pushkala Gopal
• Tarang Musician of the Year - Jasdeep Singh Degun
• Samyo Musician of the Year - Sanjuran Keerthikumar
• Young Musician of the Year - Yarline Thanabalasingham
• Young Dancer of the Year - Parbati Chaudhury
3. Haryana Government announced to open Sanskrit University at Mundri for Scheduled Castes
Chief Minister of Haryana announced to open a Sanskrit University for Schedule Castes (SCs) at Mundri village, which will be named after Maharishi Valmiki.
The announcement was made during an address at Bhagwan Valmiki Prakat Diwas Samaroh, which was celebrated as Samrasta Diwas in the state.
Besides, the state government also decided to provide the children of Scheduled Caste families a relaxation of 10 percent marks in the eligibility criteria for getting scholarship under Dr Ambedkar Medhavi Chhattar Yojna.
It was also announced that Government Residential Senior Secondary Schools will be opened at each district headquarters in the state to impart quality education to the students.
In addition, 5 crore rupees each will be granted to three Assembly segments of the district, Kaithal, Kalayat and Guhla, for various development works announced by the government.
4. Andhra Pradesh signed two memorandums with Japan for development of the State
Government of Andhra Pradesh signed a MoC for development of economic infrastructure and a MoU to develop Amaravati with the Government of Japan. They were signed on the sidelines of foundation stone laying ceremony of Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
AP-Japan Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)
• It was signed by the state chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Japanese State Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Yosuke Takagi.
• Its primary objective is to accelerate industrial development in the state through effective policy coordination. To achieve this, Andhra Pradesh Investment Task Force will be established in Japan.
• Its focus is on development of industry, ports and super critical power stations and transfer of agriculture technology.
AP-Japan Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
• It was signed between Andhra Pradesh Finance department and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
• Its focus is on inviting foreign investments and developing the state's new capital city and the surrounding region.
5. India’s first AC double-decker Shatabdi train to run on Mumbai-Goa route
The Ministry of Railways announced that India’s first AC double-decker Shatabdi train will soon run between Mumbai and Goa route.
As per the announcement, the proposed train between Mumbai and Goa will cater to growing demand by tourists that come to Goa from all over the globe.
The first double-decker air conditioned train between Howrah and Dhanbad was flagged off in October 2011. Since then, the service is operational between many cities, including Ahmedabad-Mumbai, Chennai–Bangalore, Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Lucknow.
Shatabdi Express, which is considered prestigious by the Indian Railways, runs over short to medium distances.
The first Shatabdi, which means centenary in Hindi language, train was started in 1988 by Madhav Rao Scindia to commemorate the centenary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's Birthday. The train operated from New Delhi to Jhansi, and was later extended to Bhopal.
6. NDRF tied up with 30 PSUs to tackle man-made or natural disasters
India’s elite disaster mitigation combat force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in October 2015 tied up with about 30 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in order to develop mutual understanding and enhance capabilities to jointly tackle man-made or natural emergencies.
In regard to the same, a coordination meet was held on 23 October 2015 between the NDRF and prominent PSUs like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Air India and those in the mining and shipping and heavy industries sector.
This first of its kind initiative will ensure that in case of any emergency or disaster the two sides can come together and act as one strong unit and also ensure that in case of small or mid-level exigencies these units can function as first responders till the NDRF arrives on the scene.
As per the decision, NDRF has proposed that these PSUs will extend its skill modules like on tackling nuclear, biological and chemical disasters to train their personnel.
Once trained the workforce of these organisations can effectively help NDRF as force multipliers during big challenges and they can render a relief and rescue task independently when any state government or local administration seeks their help.
For the purpose, the two sides also exchanged vital contact numbers after the meeting and agreed to initiate joint mock drills and disaster combat exercises in the future.
7. Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 US Grand Prix of F1 to clinch third world title
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain has won 2015 United States Grand Prix title of Formula One for the fourth time. Earlier he had won it in 2007, 2012 and 2014. This was his overall 10th victory of the season. Earlier he had won Australia, China, Bahrain, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Japanese and Russian 2015 Grand Prix titles. With this victory, he also won 2015 World Drivers’ Championship (WDC) for third time with total 327 points. Earlier he won it in 2008 and 2014 season of F1. He also equalled the record of Jackie Stewart as the only British drivers to win 3 WDC titles and the first to win two championships in succession.
8. China made copying in examinations a crime punishable up to seven years
As per the Ninth amendment of Criminal Law of China, students trying to copy in examinations in China will face a jail term of up to seven years. This new law will be effective from 1 November 2015. The information was published by China Radio International on 25 October 2015.
The law will make cheating on major exams in China a crime punishable with a jail sentence. Parents involved will also be seriously punished.
The amended criminal law stipulates that those who aid in cheating will be sentenced to three to seven years in prison and face penalties. The law also stipulates that people trying to impersonate during examinations will be detained by police.
9. Abhishek Verma wins Silver medal at Archery World Cup Final
Ace Indian archer Abhishek Verma has won Silver medal in the 2015 Archery World Cup Final in the men’s individual compound section. In the summit clash played in Mexico City, he was defeated by Turkey’s Demir Elmaagcli by winning gold medal by 145-143 score. It was India’s first ever ‘Archery World Cup Final’ medal in the compound section in this edition of World Cup. Earlier in the semifinals, Verma had defeated Mario Cardoso of Mexico by 150-142 score to enter in the Archery World Cup Final.
10. Renowned Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara passes away
Renowned Irish-American actress and singer Maureen O’Hara passed away in Boise, US. She was 95. She was one of the last living stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s. She was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines roles.