20 October 2017 Current Affairs

20th October: World Statistics Day

At its 41st Session in February 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20th October 2010 as World Statistics Day. The theme for the year 2017 is Better Data, Better Lives. It emphasizes the critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making in support of sustainable development.

Indo-Russia joint exercise INDRA 2017 begins

Exercise INDRA 2017, the first ever tri services joint military joint exercise between India and Russian Armed Forces, began in the Eastern Military District of Russia. The exercise will be held till 29 October 2017. Previously, Exercise INDRA has been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. This year, the exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three services of the Armed Forces-Army, Navy & Air Force.

Jaipur and Srinagar Airports rated Best Airports in the world

The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport bagged the first and second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers. 2017 in Airport Service Quality (ASQ)-Airport Council International (ACI) survey. Jaipur won the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers for the second consecutive year. It had received the awrd in the same category in 2016 as well.

Sunny Verghese appointed as WBCSD from 2018

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has appointed NRI businessman Sunny Verghese, co-founder, and CEO of Singapore-based Olam International, as its new chairman from 2018. He succeeds Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever as the Chairman. It is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than $ 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.

Assam Govt launches new Tourism policy

The state government of Assam has launched a new Tourism policy- ‘Tourism Policy of Assam 2017’ with the aim of increasing tourist inflow in the state two to three folds within the next five years. The Tourism shall be accorded industry status in the state and all facilities and incentives applicable to industries shall be made available to Tourism industry also. The new policy will be effective starting January 2018 till December 2022.

South Africa clinches top spot in ODI, India slips to second

India lost its number one spot in International Cricket Council (ICC) One Day International (ODI) rankings to South Africa. South Africa’s 104-run win over Bangladesh in the second ODI in Paarl pushed it to the top spot. India had claimed the top rank in the ICC rankings as a result of its 4-1 win over Australia. While India and South Africa have equal 120 points against their name, India is placed second on the basis of decimal points. However, India has a chance to regain its top spot as it plays against New Zealand in a three-match ODI series scheduled to begin from 22 October 2017 in Mumbai.

Gitanjali Rao wins 2017 Young Scientist Challenge for water contamination detection device

Indian-American Gitanjali Rao, 11, was announced the winner of Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The sensor-based device detects the quality of water and shares the results to a mobile application via Bluetooth. There are over 5,000 water systems in the US alone with lead contamination issues. Detection and preventive action can help mitigate the problem.

World’s deepest lake under threat: Scientists

Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, according to experts. Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, the lake situated in Russia’s Siberia region is a natural wonder of exceptional value to evolutionary science. It is even listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The lake’s rich biodiversity includes over 3,600 plant and animal species, most of which are endemic to the lake. Since the past few years, the lake, which is a major international tourist attraction, has been crippled by a series of damaging phenomena such as disappearance of the omul fish, rapid growth of putrid algae and the death of endemic species of sponges across its vast 3.2 million-hectare area.

Most pollution-linked deaths occur in India

With 2.51 million deaths in 2015, India has been ranked No. 1 in pollution related deaths, according to a report by The Lancet Commission on pollution and health. China recorded the second highest number of such deaths (1.8 million). India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated nine million pollution linked deaths worldwide in 2015. This figure is three times more than the deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.

Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar resigns

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, the country’s second-most senior legal officer, has resigned citing personal reasons. The senior advocate was appointed Solicitor General in 2014, soon after the Narendra Modi government came to power at the Centre.

Grandmaster William Lombardy passed away

William James Joseph Lombardy was an American chess grandmaster, writer, teacher, and Catholic priest who passed away at the age of 79. He gave up the game at the height of his career and become a priest. Lombardy led the U.S. Student Team to Gold in the 1960 in World Student Team Championship in Leningrad. He was the only World Junior Champion to win with a perfect score.

Govt sets up expert group for suggestions on artificial intelligence policy

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) has set up an internal expert committee to advise the government on a policy on artificial intelligence (AI). The expert committee will advise the IT ministry on the most apt technologies for India as government’s main focus is to reduce cyber-attacks with AI. Its recommendations will be used to frame the policy.

Punjab govt approves hike in income limit of OBCs

Punjab Chief Minister 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. 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.

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