2013 - October 13 to 17 - Current Affairs


International

The 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released on 14 October 2013 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide- revealed that 842 million people were chronically under nourished across the world. The 2013 GHI is calculated for 120 countries, its scores are based on three equally weighted indicators.

The GHI combines three equally weighted indicators into one score:
1.The proportion of people who are undernourished.
2.The proportion of children under five who are underweight.
3.The mortality rate of children younger than age five.

An increase in a country’s GHI score indicates that the hunger situation is worsening, while a decrease in the score indicates improvement in the country’s hunger situation.

Report Highlights:
The 2013 Index indicates that global hunger is decreasing; the 2013 world GHI score has fallen by 34 percent from the 1990 GHI score. Yet world hunger still remains “serious,” with 19 countries suffering from levels of hunger that are either “alarming” or “extremely alarming.”

South Asia has the highest regional GHI score, followed by Africa south of the Sahara while Burundi, Eritrea and Comoros have the highest levels of hunger.

India Performance:
• India has moved from 65 to 63 in the Global Hunger Index, making a marginal improvement since 2012, but continues to suffering far behind other emerging economies.
• The score for India has improved slightly from 22.9 in 2012 to 21.3 in 2013. Within SAARC countries also, India continued to trail behind Pakistan and Bangladesh on the index.
• The level of hunger in India remained at ‘alarming levels’ and the report also noted that it is one of the three countries outside Sub-Saharan Africa to fall in this category. The other two are Haiti and Timor-Leste.
• India continued to record one of the highest prevalence of children under five who are underweight, at more than 40 per cent.

1.Undernourished population 2010-12:  17.5 Per cent
2.Underweight children <5years 2008-12: 40.2 Per cent
3.Under-5 Mortality 2011: 6.1 Per cent

South Asia Region:
South Asia continued to have the maximum number of hungry people in the world, followed by sub-Saharan Africa.

Social inequality and the low nutritional, educational, and social status of women are major causes of child under-nutrition in the South Asian region.

Emerging economies Performance:

• Other emerging economies with high growth trajectories have done a much better job at pulling people out of hunger, when in comparison to India.
• China improved its ranking by 57.69 per cent between 1990-2012, while India showed a 34 per cent improvement in the same period.
• Brazil, in comparison, had a much better score to begin with and by 2012 entered the select block of nations doing the best to fight hunger.
• Countries that have achieved the highest progress on this front included Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Ghana, Thailand and Vietnam -all achieving more than 55 percent increase in their Global Hunger Index score.

About Global Hunger Index:
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger. By raising awareness and understanding of regional and country differences in hunger, the GHI aims to trigger actions to reduce hunger.

The theme of the 2013 GHI report is resilience in theory and in practice.
 
To reflect the multidimensional nature of hunger, the GHI combines three equally weighted indicators in one index number:
1. Undernourishment: the proportion of undernourished as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population with insufficient calorie intake);
2. Child underweight: the proportion of children younger than the age of five who are underweight (low weight for age reflecting wasting, stunted growth, or both), which is one indicator of child undernutrition; and
3. Child mortality: the mortality rate of children younger than the age of five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate dietary intake and unhealthy environments).

The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale. Zero is the best score (no hunger), and 100 is the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in practice.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI):
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries.

Welthungerhilfe:
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest nongovernmental aid organisations in Germany. It provides fully integrated aid from one source, ranging from rapid emergency relief to reconstruction programmes, as well as long-term projects with local partner organisations following the principle of help toward self-help. 

Since its foundation in 1962, more than 6800 projects have been carried out in 70 countries with a total funding of 2.39 billion euros, striving for a world without hunger or poverty.

Concern Worldwide:
 
Concern Worldwide is an international non-governmental humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. The mission is to help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives which last and spread without ongoing support from Concern. 

To achieve this mission Concern engages in long term development work, responds to emergency situations, and seeks to address the root causes of poverty through development education and advocacy work. Concern currently works in 27 of the world’s poorest countries.



The International Herald Tribune on 14 October 2013 published its final edition under its own brand name. This marked the end of 125-year-newspaper, which was the soul of American expatriates. The International Herald Tribune is headquartered in Paris and is printed throughout the world. It was re-branded on 15 October 2013 as the International New York Times. 

The International Herald Tribune was took over completely by the New York Times Co. in the year 2003. The New York Times Co. earlier declared that it would be re-branded in the online version as well as in the print version. 

History of International Herald Tribune: 
• The International Herald Tribune was found on 4 October 1887 by the New York Herald publisher Gordon Bennett. 
• The aim of the newspaper was to facilitate American expats living in Paris with the news. 
• The publication of International Herald Tribune was suspended just once for the Nazi occupation of Paris from 1940 to 1944. 
• It received its name- International Herald Tribune in the year 1967, after the Washington Post and the New York Times took their stakes in it, because of the collapse of the New York Herald Tribune. 
• Gradually it expanded across the world and at present, it is printed at 38 locations and distributed in over 160 countries with circulation of around 226000 in the year 2011. 



World Standards Day was celebrated on 14 October 2013 by SCS global services. This year's theme is - International Standards Ensure Positive Change. International standards represent the consensus view of the world's leading experts in industry sectors ranging from energy utilities and energy efficiency to transportation, climate change and healthcare. 

The standards are ensuring that products, services and environments become more accessible to persons with disabilities.

SCS conducts accredited certification to recognized sustainability and environmental leadership standards in fields such as responsible forestry, carbon offset verification, food safety, green building, life cycle assessment and more. 



International Day of Rural women was observed on 15 October 2013 across the world to recognize the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. 

The Day recognizes rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide. This International Day of Rural women, established by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007. The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008 by the United Nations. 

Significance of Rural woman: 
• Rural women play a critical role in the rural economies of developed and developing countries. 
• In most parts of the developing world they participate in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water and fuel for their families, and engage in off-farm activities to diversify their families’ livelihoods. 
• Additionally, they carry out vital functions in caring for children, older persons and the sick. 



World Food Day celebrated on 16 October every year across the world since 1981. 

The main objective of the World Food Day is to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development. 

The Theme of the World Food Day 2013 is Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition. 

About World Food Day:
• World Food Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979. 
• World Food Day on 16 October was first observed in 1981. 
• Organisations around the world mobilise advocacy campaigns and events on October 16 to strengthen the political will to end hunger. 
• World Food Day offers the opportunity to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development. 



The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed on 17 October 2013 to promote people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. 

Theme for the year 2013 is Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty. 

United Nations General Assembly in 1993 by resolution 47/196 designated International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda. 

Background: 

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that date, more than 100000 people gathered in Paris, France, to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. Since that moment, individuals and organizations worldwide observed October 17 as a day to renew their commitment in collaborating towards eradicating poverty. 

In December, 1992, the UN General Assembly officially declared 17 October as the date for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992). 

In December 1995, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997–2006), following the Copenhagen Social Summit. At the Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half the number of people living in extreme poverty by the year 2015. 



Syria on 14 October 2013 officially joined the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws production and use of chemical weapons. Syria is the 190th country to join the convention. Only six states have yet to sign the international treaty. The move comes as international inspectors are working to destroy the chemical weapon stockpile of the Assad regime in Syria. 

The six UN States are not signed the CWC are: 1.Israel 2.Myanmar 3.Angola 4.Egypt 5.North Korea 6.South Sudan 

About Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC): 

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a multilateral treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time. The title of the treaty is Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. 

The convention opened for signature on 13 January 1993, and entered into force on 29 April 1997. The CWC aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States Parties. States Parties, in turn, must take the steps necessary to enforce that prohibition in respect of persons (natural or legal) within their jurisdiction. 

The CWC is implemented by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is headquartered in The Hague. The OPCW receives states-parties’ declarations detailing chemical weapons-related activities or materials and relevant industrial activities. After receiving declarations, the OPCW inspects and monitors states-parties’ facilities and activities that are relevant to the convention, to ensure compliance. 

About the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): 
• The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an independent, international body set up in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. 
• The organisation is presently involved in destroying Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons - the first time the OPCW has worked in a war zone. 
• It carries out inspections of destruction procedures, as well as evaluating members' own declarations, in order to verify that the convention is being adhered to. 
• It is based in The Hague, Netherland and has 189 member states, covering around 98 percent of the world's population. These member nations have agreed to work together to create a world free from chemical weapons. 
• The OPCW employs around 500 people and has a budget of 75m Euros (102m Dollars, 63m Pounds) in 2010. 
• It is an autonomous organisation with a working relationship with the United Nations. 
• Ahmet Uzumcu is the Present Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 
• OPCW on 11 October 2013 won the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. 



Iran and P5+1(Group of six major world powers comprising the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) were agreed on 16 October 2013 first time to hold talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. TheP5+1 group was held two days intense, substantive and forward looking talks with Iran over its controversial nuclear program on 15-16 October 2013 in Geneva. 

According to the agreed plan between Iran and P5+1 Group, Iran ensured to the P5+1 group that it will use nuclear programme for peaceful purpose. 

According to the agreed plan all nuclear activities in Iran will supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agenc( IAEA) Javad Zarif ,Iran’s foreign Minister while accepting the proposal of P5+1 group hoped that the results achieved over two days of talks in Geneva will mark the beginning of a new phase in relations between Iran and the P5+1 countries. Iran and the P5+1 group were previously held talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan April 5-6 2012. The two sides had resumed negotiations in Almaty in February 2013 after a nine-month interval. Each side brought a proposal to the April talks, but failed to reach consensus on a way forward and no further meetings were scheduled. But Iran and P5+1 group were agreed first time to hold talks on Iran’s nuclear parogramme. 

About P5+1 Group: 
• The P5+1 Group, a group of six world countries (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France plus Germany). 
• It was formed in 2006 to resolve the nuclear progamme in Iran. 


National

The Ministry of Tourism partnered with Genesys International to create a Walking Tours platform, one of the first such initiatives to be undertaken in any country. Walking Tours is a unique and exciting product that will enable users to navigate and route their way through cities based on a number of interesting themes. 

Highlights of the Walking Tours platform: 
• The Walking Tours platform was launched at New Delhi on 15 October 2013. During the launch function, the representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Genesys International were present. 
• The website WoNoBo.com launched as part of this initiative is projected to be India’s first location-based service to offer walkthroughs of streets across 54 Indian cities. 
• The website supports user generated content (UGC), offers unique social media capabilities and facilitates creation of local communities online. 
• The aim of Walking Tours platform is to empower the tourists by facilitating them to plan their tour. 
• The Ministry of Tourism set the target of having one Walking Tour of each State within 2 years. 
• It is worth noticing that the Indian Tourism Ministry was the first in the world to launch such a service. 
• The new service would be available initially about the roads of 5 major Indian cities and will soon be expanded to the top 54 cities within a few weeks. 
• It would have mapped panoramic imagery of thousands of square kilometres and close to 10 million places of interest across the country. 
• The five cities whose tours were launched included Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Coastal Goa and Ahmedabad. 
• As part of the website, users get full blown 360-degree views of destinations and much more. 
• The tourists can access, tag and review points of interests i.e., locations, hotels, retail outlets, monuments, parks, etc and also view the interiors of several key locations, all powered by a database of millions of places. 



The Election Commission of India ordered on 13 October 2013 the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union territories to provide for None of the Above (NOTA) option in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers. 

The None of the Above option will be provided at the bottom of the panel on the EVMs or as the last row in the ballot paper after all the candidates have been listed with their respective symbols in the same language used to list the candidates. Likewise, the contours of the NOTA panel will be identical to that given to each candidate. In constituencies contesting more than 16 candidates in the fray, an extra EVM will be attached to the first balloting unit for the NOTA option as the EVMs currently in use can accommodate only 16 rows. 

The NOTA votes will be counted and indicated in the final result chart. The Election Commission of India clarified that in the extreme case of the NOTA option polling more votes than any of the candidates in the fray, the candidate who gets the maximum number of votes will be declared the winner. 

The NOTA option was made mandatory by the Supreme Court of India on 27 September 2013 and gave the direction to the Election Commission of India to provide none of the above options at the end of the list of candidates contesting an election in a constituency. 



The Union Government of India on 15 October 2013 decided to bring all the post offices across India under the core banking solution system to cover more people of rural areas with AADHAAR seeded accounts. 

The Adviser to the Planning Commission, Nidhi Khare explained that this will help the people to avail the benefits of various schemes including old age pension and MGNREGA through direct benefits transfer. 

Deputy Director General of UIDAI, Ashok Pal Singh, in context with the legality of AADHAR card explained that AADHAAR card can be used as an identity as well as a residential proof for opening bank accounts of any individual. 



The Union Cabinet of India on 17 October 2013 approved the setting up of six additional benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT). These benches include three at existing locations in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and three new benches at Chandigarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad. 

The setting up of six additional benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) will decrease pendency in the cases and increase the disposal cases. It will benefit both the Government and litigants. 

About The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT)
• The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) was constituted on the on 11 October 1982. 
• It was formerly known as Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal (CEGAT). 
• The headquarters as well as Principal Bench of the CESTAT are located in Delhi. 
• The main function of CESTAT is to provide an independent and impartial forum to hear the appeal against orders and decisions passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise under the Customs Act, 1962, Central Excise act ,1944 and Gold (Control) Act, 1968. 
• After coming into operation of the Service Tax vide Chapter V of the Finance Act, 1994, Service Tax Appeals also included in the Jurisdiction of the CESTAT. 
• The Tribunal is also empowered to hear the appeals against the orders passed by designated authority with regard to Anti Dumping Duties under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 


Bilateral

India signed an agreement with Finland on 15 October 2013 to produce indigenous ethanol and reduce country’s dependence on its import. It is a first-of-its-kind initiative to promote use of clean technology in India. 

The agreement was inked between Finnish Minister for European Affairs Alexander Stubb and India’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi in New Delhi. 

According to the agreement State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) and Finnish clean technology firm Chempolis will set up a pilot project to produce ethanol, bio-chemicals and bio-coal from biomass residual matters. 

While signing the agreement the ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva told that since 75 per cent of India’s ethanol requirements are met through imports, there is a large requirement which is not being met by indigenous production. 



The fourth annual meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership was held at the IMF headquarters in Washington DC on 13 October 2013. During the meeting, India and the US agreed to further strengthen bilateral economic ties and work towards a greater understanding of investment related issues. 

India and USA in a joint statement released after their meeting in Washington stated that India has become one of the fastest growing sources of investment into the US. 

The joint statement stated that despite a challenging global economy, US-India bilateral trade in goods and services grew from 59.9 billion dollars to 92.5 billion between 2009 and 2012. The two nations also agreed to continue to cooperate on deepening capital markets and strengthening financial regulation. 



Republic of Hungary has signed a bilateral agreement with India for promotion and development of traditional systems of medicine. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on behalf of India by Smt. Santosh Chowdhary, Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare and Mr. Zolton Banog, Minister of National Resources of Hungary in the presence of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and Mr. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, at Hyderabad House, on October 17,2013. The Republic of Hungary has considerable interest in Indian traditional systems of medicine especially Ayurveda. 

The main objective of this MoU is to strengthen, promote and develop cooperation in the field of traditional systems of medicine between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefits. 

The MoU encourages and promotes cooperation to enhance the use of traditional systems of medicine, exchange of regulatory information on operational licensing to practice traditional medicine and on marketing authorization of medicines in both countries, promote the exchange of experts for training of practitioners, para-medics, scientists, teaching professionals and students in traditional systems of medicine. 

The signing of MoU will give boost to bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional medicines which will open new vistas for exploring the potential of economic, commercial and tourism development in both the countries. Smt. Santosh Chowdhary has expressed hope that signing of such bilateral agreements, India will be able to establish the Indian systems of medicines namely Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga and Naturopathy, Siddha, Homeophathy and Sowa-Rigpa (Namchi) that will help in establishing the global recognition of India’s well established systems in the world over. It may be mentioned that India has already signed such agreements with Malaysia and Trininad and Tobago and is in the process of signing agreements with Russia, Nepal, Srilanka, Serbia and Mexico in near future. 



European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India are likely to sign Free Trade Agreement early next year. This was stated by the Swiss Ambassador to India, Linus von Castelmur in New Delhi on October 17,2013. He said if everything goes well, India will get market access for many goods and services after the Free Trade Agreement. 

India and EFTA had agreed to launch negotiations on trade and investment agreement following recommendations of a Joint EFTA-India Study Group set up in December 2006. 


Economy

As per the latest telecom subscription data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 31 July 2013, total Broadband subscriber base in India increased from 15.19 million at the end of June 2013 to 15.24 million at the end of July 2013. This is a monthly growth of 0.33 percent. Yearly growth in broadband subscribers is 3.79 percent during the last one year (July 2012 to July 2013). 

At present, there are 161 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which are providing broadband services in the country. Out of these, 121 ISPs (having 98.48 percent market share) have provided broadband subscription data for the month of July 2013, for the rest of the ISPs data from previous month has been retained. 

Top five ISPs in terms of market share (based on subscriber base) are:
  • BSNL (9.97 million), 
  • Bharti Airtel (1.43 million), 
  • MTNL (1.10 million), 
  • Hathway (0.37 million) and 
  • You Broadband (0.32 million). 


Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for all commodities in the month of September 2013 stood at 6.46 percent as compared to 6.1percent in August 2013 and 8.07 percent during the corresponding September of the 2012. This data was released by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India on 14 October 2013. 

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for all commodities (Base year 2004-2005) released by the Government on 14 October 2013 shows that the food inflation at 18.40 per cent in September over the same month September 2012. The food prices had shot up 18.18 per cent in August 2013. This is the highest inflation in Seven months. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) indicates the inflation in the Country. It is also called as Head Line Inflation. It shows all India inflation data. WPI basically consists of Primary Articles, Fuel and Power items and Manufactured Products covering all important items transacted in the economy. 

Primary Articles : The weightage of primary articles in WPI is 20.12percent. The index for Primary Articles rose by 1.5 percent to 251.6 (provisional) from 247.8 (provisional) for the August 2013. The Index contains Food articles, non food articles and Minerals. 

Fuel and Power: The weightage of fuel and power in WPI is 14.91 percent. The index for this major group rose by 2.6 percent to 207.5 (provisional) from 202.3 (provisional) for the August 2013. The main reason for the increase in this index was higher price of light diesel oil (11percent), furnace oil (8percent), aviation turbine fuel (7percent), naphtha (7percent), petrol (6percent), lubricants (3percent), kerosene and bitumen (3percent each), high speed diesel (2percent) and lpg (1percent). 

Manufactured Products : The weightage of manufactured products in WPI is 64.97 percent. The index for this major group increased by 0.7 percent to 151.0 (provisional) from 150.0 (provisional) the August 2013. 

Wholesale price index (WPI): WPI index is the most widely used inflation indicator in India. This is published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India. The base year for calculating WPI is 2004-05. WPI captures price movements in a most comprehensive way. It is widely used by Government, banks, industry and business circles. 


Business

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) acquired on 11 October 2013 an additional 12 per cent stake in a Brazilian oil blocks for 529 US million Dollars (Block BC-10). This would increase participating interest of OVL’s to 27 per cent. 

Earlier ONGC Videsh Ltd acquired 15 per cent interest in a Brazilian oil block from Brazil's Petrobras in 2006. The other partners in the block include Shell, which is the operator with 50 per cent stake. 

About The Block BC-10
• The Block BC-10, also known as Parque das Conchas, includes four offshore deep-water fields — Ostra, Abalone, Argonauta and Nautilus and a few identified exploration prospects. 
• The block is in the deep-waters of Brazil in the water depths ranging from 1500 to 1950 meters and 120 kilo metres from Vitoria town on the shore. 
• The licence for the fields expires in December 2032. 

About ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL): 
• ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) a Miniratna Schedule a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) of the Government of India under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 
• It is wholly owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the flagship national oil company (NOC) of India. 
• The primary business of OVL is to prospect for oil and gas acreages outside India, including exploration, development and production of oil and gas. OVL owns Participating Interests in 32 oil and gas assets in 16 countries and contributes to 12 percent and 7 percent of oil and natural gas production of India respectively. 
•In terms of reserves and production, OVL is the second largest petroleum Company of India, next only to its parent ONGC. 



The urities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is set to tweak a number of existing regulations to bring them in line with the new Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) regime. Sebi in its board meeting on October 17, 2013 made decisions regarding changes in regulations and disclosed about it on their website. 

According to Sebi there are at least five sets of regulations which will require changes to reflect the changeover from the Foreign Institutional Investor or FII framework to the FPI. 


Sports

Spain’s Rafael Nadal on 14 October 2013 topped the ATP rankings for the first time in more than two years. Serbian Novak Djokovic finished second. Nadal regained the top spot of the rankings with 11160 points while Djokovic got 11120 points. 

It is the first time Nadal has topped the ranking since July 2011. Djokovic managed to retain the number one position for 101 weeks. In women’s category Serena Williams finished the season as world number one for a third time. 

ATP top 10 as of 7 October 2013: 
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 11160 points 
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 11120 
3. Andy Murray, Britain, 6895 
4. David Ferrer, Spain, 6710 
5. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 4925 
6. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 4610 
7. Roger Federer, Switzerland, 4515 
8. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 3150 
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 3115 
10. Richard Gasquet, France, 3095. 

The WTA’s top 10 as of 14 October 2013: 
1. Serena Williams, United States, 13260 points 
2. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus, 8485 
3. Maria Sharapova, Russia, 6941 
4. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland, 6195 
5. Li Na, China, 5365 
6. Sara Errani, Italy, 4435 
7. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic, 4315 
8. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia, 3860 
9. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark, 3845 
10. Angelique Kerber, Germany, 3645. 



Novak Djokovic on 15 October 2013 defeated Juan Del Potro 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) to win a second straight trophy at the Shanghai Masters in China. Djokovic earned victory on the first of three match points in the third-set tiebreaker after Del Potro saved two Djokovic match-winners in the tenth game of the set. 

Novak Djokovic won a fourth Beijing trophy over the past five years when he beat Nadal last week. Djokovic is from Serbia. Djokovic, at present owns five titles this season and 39 in his career. 

Djokovic finished with 47 winners but converted on only two of his dozen opportunities. Djokovic has defeated Del Potro 10 times while has lost to him three times. Del Potro had defeated Nadal in the semi-finals of Shanghai Masters. 



Virat Kohli became fastest century scorer (in 52 balls) of India on 16 October 2013 in One day International (ODI) held at Jaipur. He was the seventh fastest century scorer in ODI in the world. He made the fastest Century in ODI's against Australia in Jaipur on 16 October 2013. 

Virender Sehwag was the second fastest century scorer (60 balls) in One day International (ODI) in India. 



Hockey India on 15 October 2013 announced the appointment of Terence Walsh as Chief Coach of the Senior Men National Hockey Team in New Delhi. 



Top English Premier League side Liverpool on 16 October 2013 launched a residential football academy in Pune in partnership with city-based DSK Shivajians FC. The academy was named as LFC International Football Academy DSK. It will have a world class residential complex, full size pitches, practice areas, classrooms, residential, medical facilities, lecture theatre and canteen. 

The academy will support young footballers up to the age of 18. It will provide the players with the opportunity to develop their game in a professional academy environment. Coaches from Liverpool FC will work on the project in India and will provide technical expertise to the players and coaches involved in the Academy. 

Over time, more full time coaches will come from Liverpool FC to oversee each age group players at the Academy. This is the first time an English football club has partnered with an Indian team to help them bring through local talent. 


Persons/Appointments

Arunendra Kumar was on 16 October 2013 appointed as Chairman of Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India. 

Prior to this appointment he was acting as additional charge of Chairman of Railway Board since 1 July 2013 besides his regular posting as Member (Mechanical) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India. 



United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed on 16 October 2013 Sigrid Kaag as head of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations. 

The main objective of the OPCW-UN Mission is to eradicate chemical weapons in Syria. 


Books

Brazilian football legend Pele on 16 October 2013 launched a new book titled 1283. It is the number of goals scored by Pele. It contains 1283 texts. The book documents his career. 

The 500-page limited edition book of the player widely regarded as the greatest ever weighs 15 kg and has a recommended retail price of 1700 US dollars. 

Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is regarded by many experts, football critics, former players, current players and football fans in general as the best player of all time. 


Awards

The Nobel Prize winners of 2013 in the different categories were announced in the month of October 2013. Nobel Prizes are announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences every year in the memory of Alfred Nobel.
The categories were the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, The Nobel Literature Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Prize winners of 2013 in the different categories were as follows:
CategoryName of the PersonContribution
Physiology or MedicineJames Rothmanfor their groundbreaking work on how the cell organises its transport system
Randy Schekman
Thomas Suedhof
PhysicsPeter Higgsfor the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles.
Francois Englert
ChemistryMichael Levittfor the development of multi scale models for complex chemical systems
Martin Karplus
Arieh Warshel
PeaceThe Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons
LiteratureAlice Munromaster of the contemporary short story
EconomicsEugene Famafor their work on creating a deeper knowledge of how market prices move
Lars Peter Hansen
Robert Shiller


Eleanor Catton, the New Zealand author, at the age of just 28 years, became the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries on 15 October 2013 at the London's Guildhall. Her 832-page novel The Luminaries is the story of 19th-century goldfields, which won 50000 Pound Man Booker Prize 2013 along with a trophy, and Emmanuel Roman. It is important to note that The Luminaries is also the longest work to win this prize in the history of 45 years of Man Booker Prize. She is the second New Zealander to win the Man Booker Prize, after Keri Hulme for The Bone People in 1985. 

The Man Booker Prize 2013 was announced live on the BBC News Channel and was presented by the Duchess of Cornwall. Other authors in the shortlist were Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland, NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names, Colm Toibin for The Testament of Mary, Ruth Ozeki for A Tale for the Time Being and Jim Crace for Harvest. 

The Luminaries is the longest ever book to win this Prize, beating Hilary Mantel's 672-page Wolf Hall which received the Man Booker Prize 2009. Prior to Eleanor Catton, the youngest winner of this Prize was Ben Okri, who was 32 when he grabbed the prize for The Famished Road in 1991. Prior to Ben Okri, Kiran Desai was the youngest woman to win the prize at the age of 35 years for her book entitled The Inheritance of Loss in 2006. 

About the winning novel- The Luminaries: 
• The novel entitled The Luminaries is set on the goldfields of New Zealand in 1866. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013 earlier and eventually also won the prize. 
• The Luminaries is the second novel by Eleanor Catton and was published by Granta in September 2013. 
• It is primarily a murder mystery set in New Zealand and has an astrology theme running throughout. 
• Robert Macfarlane, Chair of the panel of judges described it as “animated by a weird struggle between compulsion and conversion: within its pages, men and women proceed according to their fixed fates, while gold – as flakes, nuggets, coins and bars – ceaselessly shifts its shapes around them.” 
• Eleanor Catton was just 25 years old when she started the book The Luminaries. 

About the Man Booker Prize 2013 : 
• The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. 
• The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers. 
• The year 2013 marked the 45th year of the Man Booker Prize. 
• The last Prize was won by Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies, which was the sequel of the Wolf Hall. 
• It is important to note that in the year 2014, the Man Booker Prize will open its doors for the authors writing in English from all over the world. 
• At present, it is awarded to the English-language authors only from the Commonwealth nations, including the Zimbabwe, Ireland and the United Kingdom. 
• The Man Booker Prize was originally called the Booker-McConnell Prize, after the name of the company Booker-McConnell which sponsored this event in the year 1968. It was then known as the Booker Prize or just the Booker. 
• Thereafter, in the year 2002, the prize administration was transferred to the Booker Prize Foundation and the title was sponsored by the investment company Man Group. Thus the official title of the prize became the Man Booker Prize. 
• Originally, the prize money was 21000 Pound and in the year 2002, it became 50000 Pound under the Man Group sponsorship. 
• At present, the Man Booker Prize is one of the richest literary prizes of the world. 

First time in the history of the Man Booker Prize : 
• The Luminaries is the longest work to win this prize in the history of 45 years of Man Booker Prize. 
• Eleanor Catton is the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize. 
• It is also worth noticing that the 2013 shortlist for the prize was described as one of the best in the history of Man Booker Prize. 
• Eleanor Catton is also the last winner of the Man Booker prize which at present is confined to writers from the Commonwealth countries and Ireland only. From the year 2014, entries from all over the world will be welcomed in the Man Booker Prize. 



The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 14 October 2013 decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2013 to Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller for their empirical analysis of asset prices. 

1.Eugene F. Fama - University of Chicago, IL, USA. 
2.Lars Peter Hansen - University of Chicago, IL, USA. 
3.Robert J. Shiller - Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. 

The three American Economists awarded for their work on creating a deeper knowledge of how market prices move. The prize is worth 8m Swedish krona (775000 Pounds; 1.2m Dollars), which will be shared equally among the three winners. 

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences: 
•The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is not one of the original Nobel prizes. 
• It was created in 1968 by the Swedish Central Bank in memory of Alfred Nobel, who established the prizes for Chemistry, Medicine, Physics, Literature and Peace in 1895. The first Economics prize was awarded in 1969. 
• The Nobel Foundation does not officially recognize it as a Nobel Prize, but as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. 
• The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded 45 times to 74 Laureates between 1969 and 2013. 



The government of Canada on 16 October 2013 announced honorary Canadian citizenship for Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. The government recognized Malala’s contribution in risking her life promoting education for young women. 

Besides Malala, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi have been given honorary citizenship by the Canadian government.

Malala received death threats from the Taliban when she defied the Islamist militant group with her outspoken views on the right to education. She was shot in 2012 near her village in Swat in northwestern Pakistan. 



Hilary Clinton was awarded the first founders’ award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York on 15 October 2013 for her work to help HIV/AIDS victims. John’s foundation is celebrating its 21 year in USA. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, serving under President Barack Obama. 

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is a nonprofit organization, established by rock musician Sir Elton John in 1992 in the United States and 1993 in the United Kingdom to support innovative HIV/AIDS prevention, education programs, direct care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS. It has raised over 200 million US dollars to support HIV/AIDS programs in fifty-five nations. 

The organisation supports its work through special events, cause-related marketing projects and voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. In 1993, the organization began hosting the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party. 



The winners of 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition were announced on 17 October 2013 at the awards ceremony held at Natural History Museum in London. 

Photographer Greg du Toit was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 by the panel of international judges. He was given the award for his image Essence of elephants-an energetic and lively portrait of African elephants in the Northern Tuli Games Reserve in Botswana. Greg du Toit is from South Africa. He won the award beating almost 43000 contestants from across 96 countries. 

Chair of the judging panel was wildlife photographer Jim Brandenburg. 

Fourteen-year-old photographer from India Udayan Rao Pawar won the award as Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 for his image Mother’s little headful. This image depicts the gharial crocodiles on the banks of the Chambal River in Madhya Pradesh, India. This area is increasingly under threat from illegal sand mining and fishing. 


Defence

The Indian Navy on 15 October 2013 inducted into service its largest offshore patrol vessel (OPV), INS Sunayna, at the Southern Naval Command. The ship was designed and built by the public sector Goa Shipyard. 

The ship is equipped with the most advanced communication, navigation and electronic warfare equipment besides a 76-mm SRGM (Super Rapid Gun Mount), and close-in weapon system (CIWS). 

INS Sunayna will strengthen the Indian Navy capability to safeguard the maritime interests. The vessel is expected to fill the vital gap in the Southern Naval Command’s patrol capability. The vessel also has the ability to embark an advanced light helicopter (ALH) or a Chetak search and rescue helicopter. Two more vessels of this class will be delivered to the Navy between this year-end and mid-2014. 



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