1) Environment Ministry Launches ‘Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali’ Campaign

•Environment Ministry has launched Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign. This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 wherein a large number of school children participated and took a pledge to minimize bursting of crackers.

•The Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as a social mobilization for conservation and protection of the environment.

2) 27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference Starts In Gandhinagar, Gujarat

•The 27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) has started in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The FEC 2018 aims to provide a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion as a source of energy.

•The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fosters the exchange of scientific and technical results in nuclear fusion research and development through its series of Fusion Energy Conferences.

3) Gwalior Hosts 4-Day International Dance Festival
•Uzbekistan Ambassador to India Farhod Arziev inaugurated a four-day international dance festival titled “Udbhav Utsav” in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Dance troupes from Bulgaria, Turkey and Sri Lanka, apart from 25 teams from India, participated in the event. The dance festival was sponsored by the Greenwood group of schools.
4) India And Croatia Sign 2 Agreements

•India and Croatia signed two agreements to strengthen cultural and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries. The agreements were signed following External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Croatia Marija Pejcinovic Burić in New Delhi.

•Both leaders discussed ways to step up cooperation in trade and investment, health, science and technology, education, tourism and culture.

5) India, China Signed Agreement On Security Cooperation

•The first India-China high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation held in New Delhi recently. During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest including bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism and welcomed increased cooperation between India and China in the area of security.

•An Agreement on security cooperation was also signed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and State Councilor and Minister of Public Security of China, Zhao Kezhi.

6) World’s Longest Sea-Crossing Bridge Opened In China

•China has opened the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.  The $20-billion bridge spans 55 kilometers.

•The bridge, designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, has been built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers. Estimates suggest the bridge will be in use for 120 years but there are likely to be restrictions on usage.

7) Invest India Wins UN Investment Promotion Award

•The ‘Invest India’ initiative of the Union Government won the top United Nations Investment Promotion Award in recognition of its efforts to boost investments in the renewable energy sector in India.

•The award was presented by Armenian President Armen Sarkissian to Deepak Bagla, the CEO of Invest India, in Geneva, Switzerland at the inauguration of the World Investment Forum organised by the UN Convention on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

8) Joint Military Exercise ‘Druzhba-III’ Starts Between Pakistan And Russia

•A contingent of the Russian Army arrived in Pakistan to participate in joint training exercise ‘Druzhba-III’.According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), this will be the third joint military drill between Islamabad and Moscow under the bilateral training cooperation agreement.

•Russia and Pakistan have been holding the “Friendship” drills since 2016. In October 2016, they held their first-ever joint military exercise in Pakistan.

9) Paytm Launches ‘PayPay’ Mobile Wallet In Japan

•Paytm has launched a QR-based smartphone payment settlement service in Japan in collaboration with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan Corporation.  it is a smartphone-based settlement service that allows users to store money from a bank account in their ‘PayPay’ wallet and make payments with it.

•Paytm stated that it is built around its QRtech which it has deployed in India to allow customers to make offline payments. Paytm is also offering a ‘cashback’ to users of PayPay in Japan.

10) Bajrang Punia Bagged Silver At Wrestling World Championships

•Wrestler Bajrang Punia won the silver medal after he went down against Japan’s Takuto Otoguro in the 65kg final of the Wrestling World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. It is his second medal at the Worlds. Only the fourth Indian ever to make it to the World Championship gold medal match, 24-year-old Bajrang was rattled by the 19-year old Otoguro.

•In the process, Otoguru became Japan’s youngest World Champion at the age of 19. Bajrang had won a bronze in 2013 edition. Sushil Kumar, country’s greatest ever wrestler, is the lone Indian to win a gold medal at the Worlds, achieving the feat in 2010 in Moscow in the 66kg category.

 

1) United Nations Day: 24 October

•The United Nations Day is celebrated on 24th of October every year. The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

•24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day is observed by Member States as a public holiday.

2) World Development Information Day: 24 October

•The General Assembly in 1972 established World Development Information Day to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

•The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

3) 2018 UN Day Concert Held In New York

•The 2018 United Nations Day Concert was held in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Soulful music from the strings of the sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan reverberated in the iconic Assembly hall.

•The theme of this year’s concert, which is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is “Traditions of Peace and Non-violence”.

4) PM Modi Launches ‘Main Nahi Hum’ Portal In New Delhi

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with IT and electronic manufacturing professionals and key industry leaders from across the country in New Delhi. Professionals from about 100 locations across India joined the event through video-conference.

•The Prime Minister launched the “Main Nahin Hum” Portal and app on the occasion. The portal which works on the theme “Self for Society” will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform.

5) Narendra Modi Conferred With Seoul Peace Prize

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul.

•The award committee recognized his contribution to the growth of Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing the social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The Ministry of External Affairs stated that  Mr. Modi expressed his gratitude for the prestigious honor and in the light of India’ deepening partnership with the Republic of Korea, he has accepted the award.

6) 1st Trilateral Meeting Among India, Afghanistan And Iran Held In Tehran

•The first trilateral meeting among India, Afghanistan and Iran of the Coordination Council of the Chabahar Agreement took place in Tehran, Iran. The Indian delegation was led by Secretary (Economic Relations) TS Tirumurti. Detailed discussions were held between the three sides on full operationalisation of the trilateral Agreement for international transit and transport through Chabahar Port.

•During the meeting, it was decided to constitute a Follow-up committee that will hold its first meeting within two months in Chabahar Port, Iran. The next meeting of the Coordination Council will be held in India in the first half of next year.

7) Centre Sends CBI Director Alok Verma On Leave, Appoints M Nageshwar Rao As Interim Director

•The Union Government has sent CBI Director Alok Verma on leave. Verma was appointed as CBI Director in 2016 for two years and his tenure ends in December 2018. The decision was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

•The committee also issued an order appointing M Nageshwar Rao as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Rao is presently working as Joint Director at the CBI. Rao will take over the duties and functions of CBI Director with immediate effect.

8) RBI Lifts The Ban On Fino Payments Bank To Open New Accounts

•Fino Payments Bank, one of India’s first payments banks, has been allowed to open new accounts by RBI after it submitted a compliance report. It had been barred by the central bank from adding new customers since the end of May.

•An RBI audit revealed that some Fino accounts had deposits in excess of the stipulated amount of INR 1 lakh. Airtel Payments Bank were also barred from onboarding new customers earlier.  In July, the RBI had lifted the ban on Airtel Payments Bank.

9) Sachin Tendulkar Gave Away Prizes To The Winners Of South Asia Regional WASH Innovation

•India’s legend cricketer and UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar gave away prizes to the winners of South Asia Regional WASH innovation in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

•The event was organised by UNICEF in association with BRAC, a Bangladesh based international organisation. The basic aim of the challenge was to identify innovative solutions to promote the practice of hand washing with soap.

10) India Signs $777 Million Deal For Israeli Missile Defence Systems

•State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won an additional $777 million contract to supply LRSAM air and missile defence systems to seven ships in the Indian navy. The contract is with the Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is the main contractor in the project.

•The LRSAM, part of the Barak 8 family, is an air and missile defence system used by Israel’s navy as well as India’s navy, air and land forces. With this deal, sales of the Barak 8 over the past few years total over $6 billion.

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