26-27 October 2017 Current Affairs

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27 Oct, 2017

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1) For the first time an Ichthyosaur fossil has been discovered in India, as was announced during October 2017. This first-of-its-kind fossil in India that looks like a mashup of a dolphin and lizard has been unearthed in which region? – Kutch (Gujarat)

Explanation: A near-complete Jurassic-era fossil of an intriguing animal that looks like a mashup of a dolphin and lizard has been unearthed in Kutch, Gujarat. The 5.5 metre ichthyosaur, believed to be at least 90 million years old, has been discovered by an Indo-German research team led by Guntupalli Prasad, a geologist at the University of Delhi.

The animal’s skeleton was first found in Kutch in 2016. Then it was suspected to belong to a dinosaur. But the bone was too long and later the whole skeleton was unearthed. It’s the first Jurassic ichthyosaur find in India.

Ichthyosaurs (or ‘fish- lizards’ in Greek) were large reptiles that lived at the same time as dinosaurs. While many ichthyosaur fossils have been found in North America and Europe, the fossil record in the Southern Hemisphere has mostly been limited to South America and Australia.

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2) Which corporate entity on 26 October 2017 became the first Indian company to cross Rs. 6 trillion market capitalization? – Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)

Explanation: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on 26 October 2017 became the first Indian corporate entity to cross Rs. 6 trillion market capitalization after its shares surged on 26 October 2017.

The stock of RIL touched a record high of Rs. 958.20 on the BSE on 26 October 2017 and gained as much as 1.3%. With this its market cap crossed Rs. 6.02 trillion mark.

The RIL stock added nearly Rs. 3 trillion market cap since April 2017 after its telecom arm Reliance Jio started charging its customers. The recent rally in the stock was due to tariff hike by its telecom arm Reliance Jio which, analysts expect, will improve the company’s profitability.

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3) The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail benefits of various government schemes is being extended till which date? – 31 March 2018

Explanation: The Union Government on 25 October 2017 told a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking to avail benefits of the schemes was to end in December and it has now been decided to extend it until 31 March 2018.

The counsel appearing for petitioners, who have challenged the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for these schemes, raised the issue of the mandatory linking of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers. The petitioners have questioned validity of making Aadhaar mandatory for many schemes.

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4) Which country’s passport was ranked as the World’s most powerful passport in a new ranking of world passports released on 26 October 2017 by website Passport Index? – Singapore

Explanation: A new ranking of world passports by website Passport Index found that citizens of Singapore can travel to the highest number of countries visa-free. Therefore the passport of Singapore became the World’s most powerful passport.

Singapore took the top spot after Paraguay removed restrictions which had been in place for Singaporeans. The 3.4m holders of Singaporean passports can now travel to 159 countries without a visa – or by obtaining a visa on arrival. It is also worth mentioning that for or the first time ever, an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world.

Germany is in second place, with citizens able to visit 158 countries without obtaining a visa first, while Sweden and South Korea are tied in third place. The UK is tied in fourth place along with Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, and Japan. US passport was in sixth place, alongside Malaysia, Ireland and Canada.

India’s passport was ranked 75th among 94 countries in the ranking. It was ranked at 78th place in the previous ranking. The least powerful passport continues to be Afghanistan, with just 22 countries allowing visa-free access to its residents.

Passport Index ranks passports in real time, based on the cross-border access of a passport-holder. It has been developed by a Canada-based global consultancy firm called Arton Capita.

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5) Which direct-to-home (DTH) operator announced shutdown of its DTH services on 25 October 2017? – Reliance Communications (RCom)

Explanation: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) has decided to shut down its direct-to-home (DTH) business under the brand Reliance Digital TV with effect from 18 November 2017.

The company, which started in 2008, cited expiry of its DTH licence as the reason behind the shutdown. It will not renew its license.

Currently, there are six private DTH firms – Zee group-owned Dish TV India Ltd, Reliance Digital Ltd, Tata Sky Ltd, Videocon d2h Ltd, Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd and Bharti Telemedia Ltd. In addition to these, state broadcaster Doordarshan also runs a DTH platform for free-to-air channels called DD Free Dish.

Reliance Digital TV is the smallest player with a market share of 2% in the 65.31 million DTH subscriber market (as of June 2017), according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

 

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The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.

 


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