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October (3 - 9) Current Affairs

International Issues



Russia and China on 5 October 2011 vetoed UN Security Council draft resolution recommending sanctions against Syria for the ongoing crackdown on Protesters.The resolution was moved by EU (European Union) member countries and backed by USA.

There were nine votes in support of the resolution while two votes were against of it. Four countries abstained themselves from the voting. India along with other member countries of IBSA (Brazil and South Africa) abstained from voting. Lebanon was the fourth nation to abstain.





China became Russia’s biggest trading partner. The exports and imports between these two nations touched 50.8 billion US dollars from January to August 2011. The year 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of China-Russia Good neighborly, Friendly Relations and Cooperation Treaty.


On 7 October 2011, at a meeting on customs cooperation, Russia and China agreed to seize the new opportunities for speedy development of bilateral relations to achieve the bilateral trade targets of 100 billion dollars before 2015 and 200 billion dollars before 2020.





European Union on 11 October 2011 launched a Visa Information System (VIS) for Indians and other non-EU citizens applying for a Schengen visa.

It will help prevent fraud and process visa applications faster due to the use of biometrics (fingerprints and a digital facial image). The system will also help in quick and effective exchange of data on short-stay visas among Schengen countries.


National Issues


The Election Commission of India raised the cap of minimum votes a political party must secure in election to get the status of a State party or maintain it further.

The new minimum limit is 8 per cent of total valid votes polled in State Assembly or Lok Sabha polls. Earlier, the limit was 6 per cent.

In addition, the party must have returned at least two members to the Legislative Assembly in case of Assembly polls or at least one member in Parliament from the State in case of Lok Sabha elections.





India and the Czech Republic upgraded their economic cooperation and fixed a target of bilateral trade volume of two billion US Dollars by 2012. The current volume is 1.3 billion US Dollars.

The decision was taken on 10 October 2011 in New Delhi between the visiting Czech Minister for Industry & Trade, Martin Kocourek and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma. 

During the discussions, Anand Sharma stressed the need for a liberal visa regime for business people and suggested that a system of issue of long-term business visas on the recommendations of the apex business chambers should be put in place.


Bilateral Issues


India signed three agreements with Afghanistan for both the countries greater strategic partnership.

The agreements were singed between Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in new Delhi when President Karzai was on a two day visit to India.

Name of the Agreements
• Agreement on Strategic Partnership between India and Afghanistan
• MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Development of Hydrocarbons
• MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Mineral Resources Development

The Three Agreements signed were to create an institutional framework for our future cooperation in the fields of political and security cooperation, trade and economic cooperation, capacity building and education, and social, cultural, civil society and people- to-people relations.


Economic Issues



Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited on 3 October 2011 announced the launch of its Chola Critical Healthline Policy, which provides for a reasonable amount on being diagnosed with any of the named critical illnesses.

The Company is a joint venture between the Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Japan.

Some of the key features of Chola Critical Healthline are as following:
• Entry upto 65 yrs
• No medical check-up upto 55 yrs
• Lifetime renewal facility.





The credit rating of the State Bank of India was downgraded by the Global ratings firm Moody’s. The ratings agency took SBI's grading to D+ from C-.

SBI had a shortage of capital to cushion bad loans or contingencies and thus started weakening asset quality. High interest rates in a slowing economy results in shorthand for loans that do not yield interest. This led Moody’s to adopt a negative view on SBI’s creditworthiness. 

As a result, the borrowing companies suffer. Rating downgrades usually are caution signals to bond investors. The Banking customers do not have encounter risk.


Sports


Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 9 October 2011 launched the nationwide Come and Play scheme in New Delhi. Through this scheme, the ministry aims at opening SAI’s sporting infrastructure for the youth across India. The scheme is targeted at the 8-17 age group. 

The main objective of the scheme is to provide coaching primarily to sportspersons of young age.


Persons


Veteran ghazal singer Jagjit Singh passed away on 10 October 2011 in Mumbai. He was 70.

The veteran singer, popularly known as the Ghazal King had gained acclaim together with his wife Chitra Singh in 1970s and 1980s. 

He had sung in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Sindhi and Nepali languages.



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