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Daily Current Affairs for 25th & 26th Oct 2017 (English)

1.       Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief Dineshwar Sharma was appointed by the Union government as its Representative (or special interlocutor) to initiate and carry forward sustained dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with all stakeholders.
2.       India’s first ever circumnavigation expedition of globe by all-women crew entered west Australian port of Fremantle. INSV Tarini carrying all-women crew members of Navika Sagar Parikrama So far, the vessel has covered 4,800 nautical miles from Goa, crossing Equator and Tropic of Capricorn. It is first stop over of INSV Tarini since the expedition was flagged off by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Goa in September 2017.
3.       The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted high-level task force chaired by Y M Deosthalee on public credit registry (PCR) for India. It will review current availability of information on credit in country, assess gaps in India that could be filled by a comprehensive PCR and suggest roadmap including priority areas for developing a transparent, comprehensive and near-real-time PCR for India.
4.       The Second West Bengal Development Finance Program which aims to further deepen reforms with focus on expenditure rationalization, improvement in revenue administration, and facilitation of more private investment in the state. The Union Government has inked $300 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank for this program.
5.       The Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu has launched the official website of Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) was launched in New Delhi. The website will  provide regular updates on latest IP trends – statistics on applications filed, examined, grants and disposal for various IPRs. It will also provide information on various initiatives being taken by Government to strengthen IPR regime in country.
6.       Oct 24-World Polio Day is observed annually to create awareness about the hazards of the crippling Polio disease. Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5. The virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route. There is no cure for polio, however it can only be prevented by immunization. Polio vaccine is given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life.
7.       Ministries of Power and Textiles have joined hands under SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries) initiative. The SAATHI initiative will be jointly implemented by EESL and office of Textile Commissioner on pan-India basis. It will be implemented in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc. Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a PSU under Ministry of Power, will procure energy efficient powerlooms, motors and rapier kits in bulk and provide them to small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost.
8.       A maritime astrolabe, a navigation tool that guided Portuguese explorers on perilous voyage to India in 16th century was found by Britain-based shipwreck hunter. The maritime astrolabe was discovered during from a shipwreck off coast of Oman in 2014 and recently was confirmed world’s maritime oldest by Warwick University based on laser scans. It dates between 1495 and 1500.
9.       Queen of thumri- Eminent classical singer Girija Devi passed away following a cardiac arrest. Thumri is common genre of semi-classical Indian music originated in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. The term ‘thumri’ is derived from Hindi verb thumakna which means to walk with dancing steps so as to make ankle-bells tinkle.
10.   CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) of Thiruvananthapuram based have developed organic filter that allows only near-infrared (NIR) light to pass through it. The researchers developed filter by mixing organogel with transparent polymer (polydimethylsiloxane). The filter was found to absorb light from 300-850 nm (both ultraviolet, visible and part of NIR light) and transmit NIR light from 850-1500 nm.
11.   In a bid to reduce air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme Court banned use of pet-coke and dirty furnace oil in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from November 1, 2017.
12.   The first phase of new umbrella programme BharatMala Pariyojana that involves construction of 34,800 km highways by 2022. The Union Government has announced to build 83,677km of roads, highways, greenfield expressways and bridges with investment of Rs.6.92 lakh core in next five years i.e. by 2022 to further optimise efficiency of movement of goods and people across the country.
13.   The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has decided to develop Integrity Index of 25 Government Organizations in line with its broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance. The Integrity Index will bring out annual scores and rankings of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Financial Institutions/Ministries/Departments of Central Government.
14.   Bank Recapitalisation Plan to infuse Rs. 2.11 lakh crore ( $32.4 billion) capital over next two years into public sector banks (PSBs) and prioritised financing support for MSMEs in 50 clusters was announced by the Union Government. The capital infusion will be accompanied by a series of banking sector reforms that will be revealed in the coming months.
15.    New mission-based deployment plan for deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications and choke points in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) was approved by Indian Navy. Under this mission-based deployment plan, Indian Navy’s 14-15 ships will be deployed year-round in region to meet any eventuality across spectrum of operations ranging from acts of maritime terrorism and piracy to Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions.
16.    New tool for objectively defining onset and demise of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) have developed by the Scientists from Florida State University in the US. The new method uses rainfall rates to mark span of ISM at any given location throughout affected region.
17.   Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) had cleared transgenic mustard, DMH-11 for commercial cultivation. Though GEAC gave its approval for commercial cultivation of DHM-11, but the final release will be only after approval of Environment Minister. If it gets final approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), GM mustard DMH-11 will be first GM food crop to be commercially cultivated in India. Right now, only GM cotton is allowed.
18.   10 oil and gas PSUs have setup Rs. 320-crore venture capital fund to encourage start-ups based on innovative ideas in the energy sector under Start- up Sangam initiative to develop new business models, marketing plans, technology and innovations in heavy oil and gas industry sector by supporting 30 start-ups by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas .
19.   Global Passport Power Rank 2017 was released recently by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital . India’s passport was ranked 75th among 94 countries. Singapore has world’s most powerful passport, making it first Asian country to top it. Singapore is followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea.
20.   Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won the gold medal at the International Shooting Spot Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi.The dup struck the gold in 10 m air pistol mixed team event on the opening day.They will make their Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games.
21.   US President Donald Trump has ended the 120 day temporary ban imposed on US refugee program. The administration has however called for an additional 90 day review of the program for 11 countries identified as “high risk” most of which are situated in the Middle East and Africa.
22.   Russia has vetoed a UN resolution that was to extend the work of international inspectors to determine who was behind the chemical weapon attacks in Syria.
23.   Qatar has announced that it would be introducing a minimum wage for its workers.
24.   India has imposed anti-dumping duty on certain stainless steel products from the European Union and other nations including China and Korea, in order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports.
25.   The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its in-principle stage-1 forest clearance fort the construction of Kaleswaram project  satge-1. The project cross the river Godavari near Kaleswaram  in Karimnagar district was proposed by the Telangana state government at an estimated cost of over Rs 80,500 cr.
26.   DoT introduced three new methods to link the registered mobile number with the Aadhaar number. These simplified methods are OTP (one time password) based, App based, IVRS based facility.

27.Indian Origin activist Gina Miller named UK’s most influential black person of the year on 25th Oct 2017. Gina took a legal action against British PM Therasa May demanding that individual members of the cabinet have no legal power to trigger Article of the Lisbon treaty which states that any member state may leave “ in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”.

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