Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for the Month of October 2019 – Set 1

  • The Nation pays homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary i.e. 2nd October 2019. A series of activities are being organized across the country and by Indian Missions abroad. The nation is also remembering Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 115th birth anniversary. Under Shastri’s leadership, India won the 1965 war against Pakistan. He gave the nation the powerful slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan to enthuse soldiers and farmers.
  • Kerala has topped the “School Education Quality Index” launched by NITI Aayog. Uttar Pradesh was ranked at the bottom of the list. Chandigarh has topped the list of Union Territories. The School Education Quality Index assesses States on the basis of learning outcomes, access, equity and infrastructure and facilities, using survey data, self-reported data from States and third-party verification. Tamil Nadu was the top performer in access and equity outcomes, while Karnataka led in learning outcomes. Haryana had the best infrastructure and facilities.
  • The State Bank of India opened its Melbourne office and becoming the first Indian bank to have a branch in the Australian state of Victoria. The Melbourne office will assist the growing trade and investment relations between Victoria and India and is the outcome of the state’s 10-year India Strategy. This investment by India’s largest commercial bank is a testament to our thriving financial services sector and our highly skilled workforce.
  • India’s Kallie Puri has been awarded with “India’s Most Powerful Women in Media” award at the famed Confluence Excellence Awards. She received the prestigious award at the British Parliament. She is the Vice-Chairperson of the India Today Group.
  • Airport Council International has recognised Cochin International Airport Limited as the best airport in terms of services offered to passengers. As per the annual Airport Service Quality survey conducted by the ACI, CIAL was ranked amongst the best airports in the 5-15 million category in the Asia Pacific region for the year 2018.
  • Joint Military Exercise KAZIND-2019 between India and Kazakhstan will be conducted at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. The exercise will comprise of nearly 100 soldiers from both Indian and Kazakhstan Army who would be sharing their experience gained during conduct of various counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the past.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off country’s first private train Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express started its maiden journey from Lucknow. It will be the first train of Indian Railways that will be entirely run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
  • Bengaluru-based IT services company Wipro Ltd has completed the acquisition of US-based International TechneGroup Inc (ITI) for $45 million.
  • The star actors Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor were announced officially as the faces of a potato chips brand Lay’s and it happened days after a short clip from their television commercial made rounds on the internet.
  • World Teachers’ Day or International Teachers’ Days is celebrated on October 5 with an aim to improve teachers’ situation in the world.
  • Air Force Day is celebrated every year by the Indian Air Force on 8th of October. This year Indian Air Force celebrated its 87th anniversary. The IAF was founded on October 8, 1932.
  • World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. The day is observed with an aim to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. It also aims to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The Day aims to provide an opportunity for all organizations, NGOs and stakeholders who work on mental health issues to discuss and promote their work to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
  • 15 October is celebrated as the World Students’ Day every year. The day marks the birth anniversary of the former Indian President and great scientist, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have joined hands to set up the country’s first e-waste clinic in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This clinic would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units. The electronic waste will be collected door-to-door or can be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee.
  • A new book titled “150 Years of Celebrating the Mahatma the South African Legacy”, by Fakir Hassen launched in Johannesburg, South Africa. This book released on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The book chronicles commemorations of Gandhi’s activities, including his birth and death anniversaries & his visit in South Africa, which was stifled by the apartheid-era minority white government and revived after former president Nelson Mandela.
  • The 2019 Nobel Prize were awarded in different categories as follows:
    • Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to scientists William G Kaelin, Jr, Peter J Ratcliffe and Gregg L Semenza. They received the award jointly for their discoveries of “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”. They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. The award is of nine million kronor ($914,000).
    • Literature for 2018 is awarded to the Polish author Olga Tokarczuk. She has been awarded “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” Literature for 2019 is awarded to the Austrian author Peter Handke. He has been awarded “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” Both winners will receive a full cash prize, valued this year at 9-million kronor ($918,000), a gold medal and a diploma.
    • Economics 2019 was awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee is an American citizen while Esther Duflo is French-American. Michael Kremer is also from the US. Abhijit Banerjee, 58, was born in India and has a PhD from Harvard University. He is a Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
    • Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
  • The business magazine Forbes has released “The Forbes India Rich List 2019” which has been topped by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani with net worth of $51.4 billion.  Mukesh Ambani remained the richest Indian for the 12th year in a row. Industrialist Gautam Adani jumped 8 spots on the list to become the 2nd richest Indian with net worth of $15.7 billion. The magazine stated that it was ‘a challenging year’ for the Indian economy. 5 of the Richest Indians in Forbes India Rich List 2019 are:
    • Mukesh Ambani with net worth of $51.4 billion
    • Gautam Adani with net worth of $15.7 billion
    • Hinduja Brothers with net worth of $15.6 billion
    • Pallonji Mistry with net worth of $15 billion
    • Uday Kotak with net worth of $14.8 billion
  • World Economic Forum has released the Global Competitiveness Index report. In total, there are 103 indicators distributed across the 12 pillars on which the performance of the countries was evaluated. As per the WEF’s released report, India has moved down 10 places to rank 68th on an annual global competitiveness index which was topped by Singapore.
  • Antonio Costa has been re-elected as the Prime Minister of Portugal after winning the general elections. Antonio Costa, the Socialist leader and incumbent prime minister, got the most votes in Portugal’s general election, leaving it poised to continue leading the government for another four years.
  • Ecuador has announced that it is to leave OPEC, the 14-nation bloc, from 1 January 2020. The move is based on the issues and internal challenges that the country must take on related to fiscal sustainability. Ecuador is one of the smallest members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
  • Singapore imposed a ban ad for the unhealthiest sugary drinks in its latest move to combat rising diabetes rates. It became the first country in the world to ban such ads. The ban was announced by the health ministry of Singapore.
  • The 31st Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the years 2017 and 2018 will be awarded to the pioneer of the Chipko Movement Chandi Prasad Bhatt for his services in promoting and preserving the national integration. He is a Ramon Magsaysay award recipient for the year 1982. He was also awarded Padma Shri in 1986, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Gandhi Peace prize in 2013.
  • The founder of Microsoft Corporation and American philanthropist Bill Gates’ new book titled “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” will be released on June 2020. It will be published by UK-based Allen Lane publishers. The book is about climate change and the possible solutions to prevent an environmental crisis.
  • Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space passed away. He was the legendary Soviet cosmonaut who became the first human to walk in space 54 years ago. During this mission, on 18 March 1965, Leonov exited the spacecraft and walked for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
  • Typhoon Hagibis strikes Tokyo, capital of Japan after fierce rain and wind paralysed the capital. The cyclone Hagibis which caused floods, landslides and emergency disaster warnings, could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958.
  • Saturn overtakes Jupiter as planet with most moons. A team of astronomers has discovered a haul of 20 new moons orbiting the ringed planet, Saturn. This discovery has brought its total to 82 moons, while Jupiter, by contrast, has 79 natural satellites. The moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii.
  • M C Mary Kom has won the bronze medal in the 51kg event of World Women’s Boxing Championships held in Ulan-Ude, Russia.
  • Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has become the 1st athlete to run sub 2-hour marathon. He busted the mythical 2-hour barrier for the marathon on a specially prepared course in a huge Vienna park. He finished the marathon with an unofficial time of 1 hr 59 min 40.2 sec and became the first ever to run a marathon in under 2 hours.
  • Simone Biles of USA has clinched a record-extending 15th World Gymnastics Championship title in Stuttgart, Germany. With the victory, she has become the event’s most decorated woman. She defeated Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina to win the title
  • Manju Rani settled for silver medal in World Women’s Boxing Championships at Ulan-Ude in Russia. Russian Ekaterina Paltceva defeated Rani 4 -1 in the 48-kilogram category in the final match of the tournament.
  • Alyssa Healy, Australia women’s cricket team opener, created a world record by scoring the highest T20I score in Women’s cricket on 2 October 2019. She scored an unbeaten 148 runs off just 61 balls against Sri Lanka. She broke the previous record which was held by Australia women’s cricket team skipper Meg Lanning (133 not out).
  • Ben Stokes voted Players Player of the Year at the Professional Cricketers Association awards. Stokes played a starring role in England’s first 50-over World Cup triumph culminating in his dynamic man-of-the-match display in their dramatic final win against New Zealand in July.
  • Virat Kohli became only the fifth Indian batsman to score 250 in a Test innings after Virender Sehwag, Karun Nair, VVS Laxman, and Rahul Dravid on the second day of the second Test match against South Africa in Pune. Virat Kohli scripted his name in the record books by becoming the first Indian captain to score 250 plus in a single Test inning.
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