23 October 2015




Modi lays foundation, new Amaravati is born  –    (Governance)

  • The first brick of the ‘People’s Capital’ of Andhra Pradesh was symbolically put in place by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday when he laid the foundation for Amaravati on the banks of the Krishna between Vijayawada and Guntur.
  • During his speech at the grand ceremony attended by several dignitaries, including Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and ministers from Japan and Singapore, Mr. Modi pledged to implement all provisions in the A.P. Reorganisation Act in letter and in spirit, but did not make any mention of the special category status or a special financial package for the State.


A life-saving drug in short supply in Kerala  –    (Health)

  • Patients suffering from liver diseases are reeling under the acute shortage of the life-saving drug Human Albumin serum. The drug is a protein which the affected liver can’t produce.
  • For those suffering from cirrhotic liver diseases, and kidney and liver transplant patients it is a virtual lifeline.


Surveillance camera project fails  –    (Security)

  • An ambitious project of the government to install high-resolution surveillance cameras along the China border has run into rough weather.
  • A pilot project undertaken in 2013 to monitor the movement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has failed to give the desired results and the government is now rethinking its strategy. China has a robust surveillance system on its side.


RSBY failing to provide risk cover  –    (Health)

  • An evaluation of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) has concluded that the government-financed health insurance scheme had little or no impact on medical impoverishment in India.
  • In fact, the study found that despite high enrolment in RSBY, catastrophic health expenditures (when medical expenses push a family into poverty), hospitalisation expenditure and the percentage of total household outgo on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses — medicines and other consumables that are not reimbursed by insurance — have steadily increased, for both in-patients and outpatients, over the last two decades.


U.S. not to broker India-Pakistan ties  –    (International Relation)

  • The United States says it “encourages” India and Pakistan to engage in a “direct dialogue,” but steers clear of Pakistan’s demand that it intervene to reboot bilateral relations.
  • This is a reiteration of the U.S. position that while it will encourage both countries to talk, it has no direct role to play.


India-Maldives ties at a peak: envoy   –  (International Relation)

  • The India-Maldives relationship has passed through “tough times”, says Maldivian High Commissioner to India, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed, and that after several months of tensions, relations have been restored to “a comfortable plane” with the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the joint commission meeting on October 10.



Money laundering: CBI, ED to submit report to RBI  –    (Governance)

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, which are probing alleged overseas remittances totalling Rs.5,100 crore through the Bank of Baroda, plan to send recommendations to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to check misuse of banking channels for money laundering.
  • “We intend to submit a report to the RBI on the findings once investigation is over ,” said a senior ED official. It is learnt that the Central government has already taken up the issue with the nationalised banks.




Our society now openly displays its prejudices  –    (Social Issues)

  • One expects people in positions of authority to be more responsible in their reaction to those who ignore the law and kill innocent people – Romila thapar.
  • We are now a country that has to contend with terrorists claiming loyalty to Islam, terrorists claiming to defend Hindu values and sentiments, terrorists claiming to defend caste status by burning Dalits.


Dalits as easy targets  –    (Social Issues)

  • The murder of two children of a Dalit family in Faridabad is part of a disturbing pattern of violence against the Scheduled Castes in Haryana. National Crime Records Bureau data put the number of incidents of crimes against Dalits in Haryana in 2014 at 830.
  • The corresponding figure for 2013 was 493; for 2012 it was 252. Haryana has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons so far as the question of caste-related incidents are concerned.


Nepal quake widens scope of Sino-Indian military ties  –    (International Relation)

  • The devastating earthquake in Nepal, to which troops from India and China were among the first responders, appears to have imparted fresh urgency among military planners of the two countries to include disaster relief on the agenda of joint military exercises.
  • Earlier editions of the Sino-Indian military drills have mainly focused on countering terrorism, but humanitarian assistance and disaster relief emerged as a top priority during the latest round of drills.


Digital India sectors attracting flow of foreign funds in big way  –    (Economics)

  • While FDI inflows into ‘Make in India’ industries have increased, the export focus of the campaign seems to have been diluted in favour of the Digital India sectors, suggests a report by brokerage firm Emkay Global.
  • The report, published on Wednesday, also adds that while recent media reports have said that India has outstripped China in terms of FDI, this is a limited view. In fact, China’s gross FDI inflows are far higher than India’s.


Japan offers India soft loan of $15 billion  –     (Economics)

  • Japan has offered to finance India’s first bullet train, estimated to cost $15 billion, at an interest rate of less than 1 per cent, officials said, stealing a march on China, which is bidding for other projects on the world’s fourth-largest network.
  • Tokyo was picked to assess the feasibility of building the 505-km corridor linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State, and concluded it would be technically and financially viable.
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