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Daily Current affairs - October 20th, 2017 for all competitive exams

October 20 - World Statistics Day 
World Statistics Day was celebrated for the first time on 20 October 2010 worldwide. The United Nations Statistical Commission declared the day.
  • As of 2010, 103 countries celebrate a national Statistics Day, including 51 African countries that jointly celebrate African Statistics Day annually on 18 November.

India tops list of pollution-linked deaths: Study
India has topped the list of countries with pollution-related deaths in 2015, with 2.51 million people dying prematurely in the country that year due to diseases linked to air, water and other forms of pollution, according to a new study published in the reputed medical journal, The Lancet.
  • The study is part of a two-year project that involved more than 40 international health and environmental authors, and the secretariat of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.
  • The aim of the Lancet Commission is to raise global awareness on pollution, end neglect of pollution-related diseases, and mobilise resources and political will to effectively confront pollution.
  • India accounted for about 28% of an estimated 9 million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015. It also topped the list of deaths linked to polluted air (1.81 million) and water (0.64 million).

Kolkata Municipal Corporation to use the drone to check on accumulated water on high-rises.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is contemplating the use of drones to monitor accumulated clean water on the terraces of high-rises in the city.
  • The officials say that the use of drones will help locate uncovered overhead, considered breeding grounds for dengue.

Punjab approves hike in OBC income limit
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has approved an increase in the gross annual income limit for the creamy layer of the Other Backward Classes and Backward Classes from Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh.
  • The decision is in line with the Central government’s directive to ensure greater social justice and inclusion of members of the Other Backward Classes and Backward Classes in the matter of reservation.
  • The Union Cabinet had, in August this year, decided to raise the income limit from Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh per annum for determining the creamy layer among the Other Backward Classes.
  • This was the fourth revision of the creamy layer, which was fixed at Rs. 1 lakh in 1993 and subsequently hiked to Rs. 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs. 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs. 6 lakh in 2013.

Sharifs indicted for corruption
An anti-corruption court in Islamabad indicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar for not declaring four expensive apartments in London to tax authorities.
  • Mr. Sharif did not appear before the accountability court as he is in London,

IN Ships Tir, Sujata, Shardul, and ICGS Sarathi are visiting Jakarta, Indonesia from 18 to 22 Oct 17. 
  • The visit is aimed to expose the trainees to the conduct of IN warship in foreign waters, port familiarisation and foster bridges of friendship between the two countries. 

U.S. approves 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer
U.S. regulators have approved a second gene therapy for a blood cancer, a one-time, custom-made treatment for aggressive lymphoma in adults.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed sales of the treatment from Kite Pharma.
  • It uses the same technology, called CAR-T, as the first gene therapy approved in the U.S. in August, a treatment for childhood leukaemia from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
  • The treatment, called Yescarta, will cost $373,000 per patient, according to drugmaker Gilead Sciences. Kite became a subsidiary of California-based Gilead this month. CAR-T treatment uses gene therapy techniques not to fix disease-causing genes but to turbocharge T cells, immune system soldiers that cancer can often evade.
  • The T cells are filtered from a patient’s blood, reprogrammed to target and kill cancer cells, and then hundreds of millions of copies are grown.
  • T cell, or T lymphocyte, is a type of lymphocyte (a subtype of white blood cell) that plays a central role in cell-mediated immunity. 

Catalonia crisis: Spain moves to suspend autonomy
Spain is planning to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy, as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence. The Spain government would soon meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.
  • Article 155 of the constitution, which cemented democratic rule three years after the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975, allows Madrid to impose direct rule in a crisis but it has never been invoked.
  • Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain in the north-east end of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. It has four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, which is the second most populated city in Spain.

Harvard rescinds 2014 medal awarded to Harvey Weinstein
The British Film Institute has stripped producer Harvey Weinstein of the BFI fellowship awarded to him in 2002
  • Harvard University has rescinded a 2014 medal it awarded to Weinstein for his contributions to African American culture.

New species of large gecko discovered from Eastern Ghats
Scientists have discovered new species of large gecko from Eastern Ghats. The Kanger valley rock gecko Hemidactylus kangerensis is the newest addition to India’s lizard species.
  • The gecko was discovered from Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park. Though named after this park, the species is also found in Jagdalpur and Sukma in Chhattisgarh and in Khamman in the adjoining State of Telangana, which are part of the Eastern Ghats.

Experian leads $30 mn funding in BankBazaar
Financial marketplace BankBazaar said it had raised $30 million in a funding round led by Experian, a leading provider of consumer credit rating services.
  • The Chennai-based company said the funds from this round would be used to further strengthen its position as the leader in secure paperless access to loans, cards, and mutual funds.
  • CEO of BankBazaar - Adhil Shetty

Man Booker Prize: George Saunders wins for Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo – becoming the second US author to take home the £50,000 fiction award.
  • The book tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s grief after the death of his young son, and his visits to his tomb.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson to visit India, Pakistan next week 
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to India and Pakistan next week as part of his five-nation tour that also includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Switzerland.
  • In New Delhi, Tillerson will meet with senior Indian leaders to “discuss further strengthening of our strategic partnership and collaboration on security and prosperity.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito may abdicate at end-March 2019.
Japan’s Emperor Akihito is likely to abdicate at the end of March 2019 and Crown Prince Naruhito.
  • Prince Naruhito will take the throne in April, the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in nearly two centuries.
  • He will be succeeded by Naruhito, 57, and a new era will start from April 1.

London stock exchange CEO Xavier Rolet to step down.
Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, will step down at the end of next year.
  • Xavier Rolet said last year that he would leave if a merger with Deutsche Boerse went through.
  • But the collapse of that deal in March meant he opted to stay on for longer.

Kenneth Chenault to step down as American Express CEO.
American Express Co said its chairman and chief executive Kenneth Chenault would step down early next year.
  • He will step down after ending a nearly 17-year tenure at the helm of the No. 1 US card issuer by spending.
  • The company says Mr. Chenault will be succeeded by vice chairman Stephen Squeri who will be effective from February 1.
  • Mr. Chenault joined the company in 1981.

India trashes Malaysia 6-2 in Super 4 encounter.
India produced a brilliant performance to beat Malaysia 6-2 in their second Super 4 encounter at the 2017 Asia Cup hockey tournament
  • The 2017 Asia Cup hockey tournament is taking place in Dhaka.
  • Six Indians scored a goal each to better their chances of qualifying for yet another final of the Asia Cup.

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