Current Affairs of 3rd November 2015

1. RBI fixes gold bonds issue price at Rs. 2,684 per gram
The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the public issue price at Rs. 2,684 per gram for the sovereign gold bonds, for which applications will be accepted from November 5 to 20.
Aimed at providing an alternative to buying physical gold, the gold bond scheme will offer investors an interest rate of 2.75 per cent and a choice to buy bonds worth 2 grams of gold, up to a maximum of 500 grams.
The rate has been fixed on the basis of simple average of closing price for gold of 999 purity of the previous week (October 26—30, 2015) published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd (IBJA).
The bonds, which will be sold through banks and designated post offices, would be issued on November 26.
Applications for the bonds will be accepted from November 5 to November 20, 2015.
This is the first tranche of the gold bond scheme and subsequent tranches would be notified later.
The tenor of the bond will be for a period of eight years with exit option from 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates
The interest earned on gold bonds would be taxable, and capital gains tax shall be levied as in case of physical gold.

The bonds can be bought by resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, trusts, universities and charitable institutions.

2. Punjabi became third most common language in Parliament of Canada
Punjabi in the first week of November 2015 became the third most common language, after English and French, in the House of Commons of Canada after 20 Punjabi-speaking candidates were elected to the parliament in October 2015.
On 19 October 2015, 23 Members of Parliament of South Asian origin were elected to the House of Commons, Parliament of Canada during parliamentary elections, out of which 20 speak Punjabi.
Out of the 20 candidates, 8 are Liberals and two are Conservatives. Among the newly-elected Punjabi-speaking MPs, 14 are men and 6 are women. Twelve candidates were elected from Ontario, 4 from British Columbia, 3 from Alberta three and one belongs to Quebec.
As per the Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey, 430705 Canadians identified Punjabi as their mother tongue, making it the third most common language after English and French.

3. Nepal, US armies launched Joint Military training Balance Nail 16-01
To help strengthen bilateral defence tie, the special forces of the US and Nepalese armies on  launched a month-long joint military training codenamed Balance Nail 16-01 in Nepal’s mountainous regions.
According to Nepal Army headquarters, Mahavir Battalion, a specially trained ranger of the Nepal Army and A Company 1st battalion, 1st SFG (angel) group of the Special Forces of the US Army started Balance Nail 16-01 training at Nepal Army’s training centre Chhauni and Nagarkot area.
Participants of the training will receive training on tactical combat casualty care, long range marksmanship, breaching, combat markmanship, demolition, combined culmination exercise among others, during the training.
It is expected that the training will enhance combating capacity of Nepal Army as well as exchange knowledge, practice and experiences between the two armies. It will also help in strengthening mutual cooperation and bilateral relations between the two armies.

4. Odisha government banned fishing to protect Olive Ridley turtles
Odisha Government  imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along the coast. The ban will be in force from 1 November 2015 to 31 May 2016.
The forest department of the state imposed the ban with an aim to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that nests along the coast during winters.
The restriction has been imposed as per Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982 and provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

5. Meghalaya HC asked Union Government to enforce AFSPA 1958 in Garo Hills region
The Meghalaya High Court  asked the Union government to enforce the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, (AFSPA) 1958 in Garo Hills region in western part of the state.
The order was issued by the full bench comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice TNK Singh and Justice SR Sen following a hearing related to the pending case of militants calling bandhs in the state.
The Court further said that the Union Government can enforce AFSPA for the purpose of deployment of armed forces in the aid of civil administration in order to restore public order and maintain the law and order.
The ruling is significant following the series of kidnappings and killings in Garo Hills with specific reference to the abduction of Chokpot Block Development Officer Jude Rangku T Sangma by Garo National Liberation Army militants.

6. Former WB Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim passes away
Veteran CPI(M) leader and former Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly Hasim Abdul Halin passed away in Kolkata. He was 80. Halin was the Speaker of the State Assembly for a record time of 29 years from 1982 to 2011 during the Left Front rule in the state. Thus, he was the longest-serving Speaker of any Legislative Assembly in the country.

7. Fast patrol vessel ICGS Arinjay commissions in Kochi
The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of Aadesh-Class of Indian Coast Guard, ICGS Arinjay was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala. It was commissioned by the chief of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba. ICGS Arinjay is the 15th of the 20 vessels being constructed by Kochi Ship Yard under the of Aadesh-Class .

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