Current Affairs of 28 October 2015

1. Bidhya Devi Bhandari elected as first women President of Nepal
Bidhya Devi Bhandari was  elected as the President of Nepal. She is the first women president of Nepal.
She received 327 votes against her opponent’s 214 in the Nepal’s Parliament.
Election to the post of president became necessary as the first democratically-framed constitution was adopted on 20 September 2015 and consequently, the then incumbent president Ram Baran Yadav had to resign.
In Nepal, Bidhya Devi is long known for advocacy for women’s rights.
At present, she is the deputy leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)-CPN (UML) to which the Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli also belongs to.
2.  India ranks 130 in World Bank’s 2016 rankings of Ease of Doing Busines
India has been placed at 130th position among the 189 countries in the recently released World Bank’s 2016 rankings of Ease of Doing Business Report. In this edition of list, India has moved up by four spots in the global rankings compared to earlier 134th rank in recalculated 2015 rankings. 
Key highlights of report
 India is one of the countries that have made the most improvement, capturing the initiative of the government in a separate section. It has made the biggest improvement among the South-Asian countries in business regulations. India has made large improvements in two indicators, starting a business (155th rank) and getting electricity (70th rank).
 Top 10 Countries: Singapore (1st), New Zealand (2nd), Denmark (3rd), South Korea (4th), Hong Kong (5th), United Kingdom (6th), United States (7th), Sweden (8th), Norway (9th) and Finland (10th). 
BIRCS Nations: India ranks lowest in Doing Business among the BRICS nations. Russia (51), South Africa (73), China (84), Brazil (116) and India (130). 
India’s Neighbours: Bhutan (71), China (84), Nepal (99), Sri Lanka (107), Maldives (128), Pakistan (138), Bangladesh (174).

3. Sylvie Lucas appointed as Chair of IGN of UNSC Reforms
Luxembourg envoy to the United Nations (UN) Sylvie Lucas has been appointed as the next chair of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) of UN Security Council Reforms. She was appointed by 70th UN General Assembly session President Morgens Lykketoft and replaced Jamaican Ambassador to UN Courtenay Rattray. Her appointment comes ahead of the next round of negotiations UNSC Reforms to be held in UNGA after negotiating text was tabled in UNGA.

4. India and Sri Lanka began Joint Naval Exercise SLINEX 2015 at Trincomalee
Indian Navy and Sri Lankan Navy  began the 4th edition of Sri Lanka-India Exercise (SLINEX) at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The exercise will go on till 1 November 15. SLINEX 15 is expected to enhance the capability of two navies to work together and contribute towards maritime security.
The exercise will commence with a Harbour Phase, during which, the participants will engage in professional, cultural and social interactions. 
The Harbour Phase will be followed by the Sea Phase, which will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface exercises. 

5. Exim Bank announced setting up of project development firm KPDC in Africa
Exim Bank announced on 27 October 2015 that it will set up a development firm, the Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC), in Africa to facilitate Indian participation in infrastructure projects across the continent.
IL&FS Group, African Development Bank and State Bank of India are also the shareholders in KPDC.
KPDC aims to strengthen every partner, who will complement each other in building Indian project exports while simultaneously aiding the furtherance of economic and political ties between India and Africa.
The company is expected to provide specialist project development expertise to take the infrastructure project from the concept stage to the commissioning stage in the African continent.
It will provide the entire gamut of project development expertise to projects such as pre-feasibility or feasibility studies, project identification, preparation of detailed project reports, environmental and social impact assessment.

6. Britain's Curry King Lord Gulam Noon Died
One of Britain's most well-known Indian-origin peers, Lord Gulam Noon  passed away in London due to liver cancer. He was 79.
Known as the Curry King, Noon founded the Noon Products business, which is credited with the popularity of chicken tikka masala in Britain.
Lord Gulam Noon was born on 24 January 1936 in Mumbai. He travelled to Britain in 1964 and emigrated there permanently in 1972.  He established Noon Products in Britain in September 1987 and manufactured chilled and frozen Indian and Thai ready meals, mainly for UK supermarkets.
Noon was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2002 Birthday Honours. In November 2009, he was awarded with an Honorary Degree from the University of East London. In 2013, he was appointed as the chancellor of the University of East London.

7. Sub Group of Chief Ministers on Centrally Sponsored Schemes submitted its report
Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)  submitted its report to the NITI Aayog Chairperson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Sub-Group was appointed by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in March 2015 to examine the current CSS and recommend their suitable rationalisation.
Key recommendations of the report
• Flexi-fund component of the CSS, which is in-force since June 2014, should be increased to 25 per cent from the current 10 percent to give more flexibility to states to spend on development and social welfare schemes.
• Number of CSS, which are about 50 at present, should be reduced.
• Funding pattern should be maintained at the same level-90:10 (centre: states) for 11 special category States and 60:40 for remaining states for core schemes; for optional schemes-80:20 pattern for special category States and 50:50 for others.
• To take into account the rapidly changing socio-economic situation, CSS should be reviewed every two years.

8. YES Bank’s first IFSC banking unit at GIFT starts operations
YES Bank on Tuesday announced commencement of operations of its IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) coming up at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
Four more banks, State Bank of India, IDBI Bank, IndusInd Bank and Federal Bank, have received final approval from the Reserve Bank of India and are going to commence IBU operations shortly.



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