1. FICCI in association with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced that the first phase of national optic fibre network christened as Bharat Net project will be completed by December 2017 in ‘i-Bharat 2017’ thus providing internet access to 100,000 gram panchayats. BharatNet is Union Government’s ambitious rural internet connectivity programme which is implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). It is world’s largest rural broadband connectivity programme using Optical fibre. The project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF).
2. The three-day conference of the 14th SAARCLAW ( South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law ) Conference was held in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka along with 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference which was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe . The SAARCLAW Conference provided platform for legal professionals to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests and emerging legal trends in the South Asian countries.
3. The Union Government has inked $65.5 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue interventions to check coastal erosion on the Western Coast in Karnataka. The loan is second tranche of $250 million financing facility under Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Program for 20-year term.
4. Country’s first-ever such defence vessel to be built in a private shipyard Larsen and Toubro (L&T) handed over offshore patrol vessel (OPV) named “Vikram” to the Indian Coast Guard. OPV Vikram is first of seven vessels for which by Ministry of Defence had awarded Rs. 1,432-crore contract to L&T in March 2015. It will be inducted into service by April 2018 after completion of extensive trials of equipment and machineries. The OPV Vikram is 97 metres long, 15 metre wide and has 2,140 tonne displacement capacity with range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speed of up to 26 knots (One knot is 1.852 km/hr).
5. Earlier it was believed that parasite Leishmania donovani (sandfly) alone is responsible for spread of the dreaded infection kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis). Now, Scientists have found that parasite called Leptomonas seymouri hosting virus called Lepsey NLV1 may be also responsible for this disease. Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as black fever and Dumdum fever is most severe form of leishmaniasis.
6. A team of researchers from India and Germany have discovered a 152 million year- old fossil of an ichthyosaur –an extinct marine reptile in the Kutch region of Gujarat.
7. The Uttar Pradesh government issued an order notifying Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district as ‘Sacred pilgrimage sites(‘pavitra teerth sthals’). With this Vrindavan and Barsana became the first two places to be notified as teerth sthal in government records,No meat and liquor shops will be allowed in these towns anymore.
8. Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) have awarded highest protection to several species of vultures including four from India on their migratory routes during CMS Summit held in Manila in submissions made by 24 countries from Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. Asian vultures are red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture, Indianvulture and slender-billed vulture. They are faced with threats such as poisoning, hunting, collision with electricity cables and habitat degradation. A subspecies of black noddy, yellow bunting and lesser and great grey shrike are other avians listed on CMS protected list.
9. India’s ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth (World no. 8) won French Open Superseries badminton title in men’s single category by defeating Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto. It was Kidambi Srikanth’s fourth Super Series Premier title in 2017 season after winning Australian Super Series title, Indonesia Super Series Premier title and Denmark Open Super Series title. Women’s single was won by Tai Tzu-ying from Chinese Taipei. Men’s double was won by Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-huei and Lee Yang. Women’s doubles title was won by Indonesia’s Greysia POLL and Apriyani Rahayu by defeating Lee Sottee and SHIN Seung Chen .Mixed Doubles title was won by Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana NATSIR by defeating Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.
10. BCAS, currently under the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is responsible for laying down standards, policies and measures with regard to security of all commercial flights. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to move a proposal before Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for taking over Bureau of Civil Aviation. The decision is based on security audit conducted by team of experts from MHA, IB, CISF and BCAS which had recommended change. Once CCS gives its approval, CISF will assume larger role in airport security.
11. India has flagged off shipment of wheat for Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port flagged off from Kandla port in Gujarat. The first consignment transfer was part of India’s commitment to send 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan on grant basis. Afghanistan will receive entire amount in six different instalments over coming months.
12. India will host next Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Conference of Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in year 2020 which was announced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The announcement was made during 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP12) to CMS held in Manila, Philippines. The theme of the CMS COP12 was “Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People”. This was for first time the summit was held in Asia. It was held from 23 to 28 October 2017 and was attended by over 500 delegates from more than 91 countries participated in the summit which is held once in three years. CMS COP is also known as a Global Wildlife Conference.
13. The Union Defence Ministry and Indian Army has finalised infantry modernisation plan to purchase large number of light machine guns (LMGs), assault rifles and battle carbines at cost of nearly Rs. 40,000 crore to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.
14. The 11th India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) Meeting was held in Washington D.C, capital city of US. Both sides held discussions on issues related to bilateral trade, areas of mutual cooperation, market access in agriculture, non-agricultural goods and services and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) which was chaired jointly by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
15. World’s shortest X-ray laser pulse with duration of just 43 attoseconds (1×10−18 of a second) was successfully created by Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Using this laser pulse, researchers can now observe in high detail how electrons movement within molecule and fully understand dynamics during chemical reaction.
16. Karnataka government has signed a MoU with tech giant Microsoft for empowering farmers with technology-oriented solutions like Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics.
17. Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore was honoured with 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) for her contribution in the field of cinema.
18. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Vikram Singh as Private Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind for a period of two years.
19. BJP MP B C Khanduri will head the recently constituted parliamentary standing committee on defence. The committee will examine operational preparedness of armed forces and review accidents involving strategic defence assets.
20. England won 17th edition of FIFA U-17 World Cup by defeating Spain by 5-2 goals in the final match held at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan/Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal. England’s Phil Foden was adjudged tournament’s best player and was awarded ‘Golden Ball’. Besides, Rhian Brewster of England who scored most goals in tournament (8 goals) was awarded ‘Golden Shoe’. Brazil’s goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao was awarded ‘Golden Glove’. 17th edition of FIFA U-17 World Cup was held in India from 6th – 28th October 2017. The official Mascot for FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 was clouded leopard named ‘Kheleo’.