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Daily Current affairs - October 19th, 2017 for all competitive exams

Diwali Gift to the Soldiers of the Country 
Soldiers to speak with their families and Headquarters, They use only DSPT(Digital Satellite Phone Terminal)  service provided by BSNL because there is no other means of communications available in those areas.
  • The soldiers & officers at present are required to pay monthly fee of Rs.500/- and call charges of Rs.5/- per minute.
  • From Diwali day (19th October, 2017), no monthly fee will be taken for using DSPT service, that is, the current monthly fee of Rs.500/- will be ‘Zero’. And also, the present telephone charges of Rs.5/- per minute is being reduced to Re.1/- per minute.


Centre plans new Integrated Check Posts
A Cabinet proposal to set up 13 new Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) is being mooted by the Union Home Ministry to encourage India’s engagement with its neighbours belonging to SAARC region.
  • Among the 13 ICPs, seven will be along the India-Bangladesh border, apart from the three already operational there.
  • Among the new ICPs, only one will be on the India-Pakistan border while four will be on the India-Nepal border and one on the India-Myanmar border.


Center plans to build water aerodromes for seaplanes.
The government is planning to build water aerodromes for operating seaplanes after some firms expressed interest to operate them.
  • A water aerodrome is any water body that complies with certain minimum requirements for landing an aircraft.
  • A joint team comprising officials from the ministry, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will conduct a “preliminary feasibility study.
  • Seaplanes also have to meet certain standards under Indian aviation rules.


Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas conferred with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) has been awarded with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award by Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
  • The award in the inter-Ministerial category was presented to MoPNG on the basis of the activities undertaken in the past three years and was received by Senior Adviser (PNG).
  • This event was organized to mark the third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Swachh Bharat Diwas, and the conclusion of Swachhata Hi Seva fortnight.


NHAI to get power to speed up Bharatmala programme
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to get the power to approve projects with a construction cost of more than Rs 1,000 crore to ensure faster implementation of the Bharatmala programme.
  • Under the proposal, only public private partnership (PPP) projects under the build-operatetransfer (BOT) model, where viability gap funding (VGF) is to be provided by the government, will need CCEA clearance.
  • Bharatmala envisions 44 economic corridors across the country at a cost of at least Rs 5 lakh crore. The programme, along with the proposal to enhance NHAI’s powers, is likely to get Cabinet clearance soon.
  • The project includes construction of feeder routes alongside national highways. Around 80% of Bharatmala will be based on a government funded, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) model while the rest will be a hybrid-annuity public private partnership.


Maharashtra govt rolls out loan waiver
Maharashtra government has rolled out the loan waiver scheme and announced the first list of 8.4 lakh beneficiaries across the state, for whom the government will pay banks Rs 4,000 crore under the scheme.
  • The release of funds under the scheme, announced in June, will be a continuous process and by November 15, the government hopes that 75-80% of the disbursement will be completed.
  • According to the Economic Survey 2016-17, the burden of farm loan waivers could be as much as `2.2-2.7 lakh crore if all states start offering the relief and would stoke short-term deflationary shock in the economy.


Taj Mahal finds the place of pride in UP government’s 2018 calendar.
The Taj Mahal, which has been the centre of controversies, has finally found a place of pride in the 2018 calendar brought out by the Uttar Pradesh government.
  • The 17th-century architectural marvel is included in the month of July in the calendar brought out by the state information department.
  • The world-famous monument has recently been in the news after BJP MLA Sangeet Som questioned the monument’s place in India’s heritage.


India, European Union restart talks on civil nuclear.
India and the European Union have restarted negotiations on a civil nuclear agreement that was virtually mothballed after being signed way back in 2009.
  • European Union experts from Brussels held discussions with officials from the department of atomic energy last week in Mumbai.
  • The India-EU civil nuclear agreement, unlike others, focusses on nuclear safety and non-power technologies in the areas of water healthcare & medicine, environment.


Signing of MoC on Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) between India & Japan 
On the occasion of the visit of the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to Tokyo, India and Japan concluded the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) on 17th October 2017.
  • The MoC on TITP is expected to significantly expand the bilateral cooperation between India and Japan in the field of skill development. 
  • India is the third country with which Japan has signed the MoC as per the requirements of the Technical Intern Training Act scheduled to enter into force in November 2017.


First floating wind farm starts operation in Scotland
The world’s first floating wind farm started operations off the coast of Scotland.
The 30MW Hywind farm, operated by Norwegian oil group Statoil in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar.
  • It is located 25 kilometres (16 miles) off the Aberdeenshire coast.
  • It will power approximately 20,000 households.


Vedanta’s Agarwal setting up $1bn fund for startups.
Metals billionaire Anil Agarwal, who made a surprise $2-billion investment in blue-chip miner Anglo American Plc earlier this year, now intends to launch a $1-billion venture capital fund.
  • He is launching the capital fund to help young Indian entrepreneurs build their businesses from the ground up.
  • Agarwal joins industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, N R Narayana Murthy and Azim Premji in the startup financing play.


BSNL-Micromax launch JioPhone rival with unlimited calling, data for Rs. 97 a month.
State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is now offering unlimited calling and data for Rs. 97 per month for users of Micromax’s 4G VoLTE enabled Bharat phone.
  • Priced at Rs. 2,200, the Bharat 1 phone will support 3G connection as well.


Airports Council International-ASQ Survey
The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport are ranked First and Second respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ Survey.
  • This is for the second consecutive time that Jaipur Airport has been rated the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year.
  • The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards are the aviation industry’s most prestigious accolades.
  • The awards recognize the airports which have achieved the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey – the world’s benchmark measure of airport excellence.
  • It is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airports on their day of travel.


Harvey Weinstein resigns from Weinstein company board
Harvey Weinstein has resigned from the board of The Weinstein Company.
  • He resigns as he faces allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over three decades in the film business.
  • A source close to Weinstein confirms that he had resigned from the board and had no further comment.
  • Weinstein’s executive producer credit and the Weinstein Co logo were removed from “Project Runway” last week.


Bengaluru FC fails to reach AFC Cup final.
Bengaluru FC’s bid to reach the AFC Cup final for the second consecutive year.
  • They ended in a 2-2 draw by FC Istiklol of Tajikistan in the second leg of the Inter-Zone final.
  • In the summit clash on November 4, Istiklol faces defending champions Air Force Club if Iraq to whom Bengaluru had lost in last year’s final.


Atletico Champions League bid suffers blow in Azerbaijan.
Atletico Madrid suffered a fresh blow to their chances of reaching the Champions League last 16.
  • Football club Atletico now have just two points from their opening three games and remain third in Group C behind Chelsea and Roma.


Messi reaches 100 European goals with a win over Olympiakos.
Lionel Messi reaches 100 goals in European competition with a stunning free-kick to put Barcelona closer to victory against Olympiakos.
  • Messi becomes only the second player to attain the milestone after Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Cristiano Ronald has scored a total of 113 in all European club competitions.



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