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Person Current Affairs
Person Current Affairs October 4th Week 2017
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Person Current Affairs October 4th Week 2017

1. PM Modi to launch Indias first Ro Ro ferry service in Gujarat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday inaugurate the first phase of the Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service between Saurashtra and the South Gujarat region of his home state.

This is Modi’s third visit to Gujarat, where assembly elections are to be called in coming days.

A few things to know about the “roll-on, roll-off” (Ro-Ro) ferry service described by Modi as his dream project:

1. The Rs 615 crore Ro-Ro ferry service will connect Ghogha in Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district with Dahej in Bharuch district across the Gulf of Khambhat, also known as the Gulf of Cambay, along the Arabian sea coast.

2. The service is expected to reduce the distance between the two coastal towns from 310km by road to 30 km, saving time and money. The travel time will be cut by at least five hours.

3. The service will come particularly handy for those working in the diamond cutting and polishing hub of Surat in South Gujarat, as most of these workers belong to the Saurashtra region in the western part of the state.

4. The first phase to be inaugurated on Sunday would be a passenger-only service, Ajay Bhadoo, the chief executive officer of Gujarat Maritime Board that is executing the Ro-Ro project, said.

5 In the second phase, which would be ready in two months, cars, too, would be carried between the two towns.

6. In the final phase, ferries would be able to carry trucks as well.

7. The service was thought of in early 1960s but the foundation stone was laid in 2012 by Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.

2. Nirmala Sitharaman Left for Philippines to Attend Southeast Asian Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
Nirmala Sitharaman Left for Philippines to Attend Southeast Asian Defence Ministers’ Meeting
In her first foreign visit as defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will travel to the Philippines on Monday to attend a Southeast Asian defence ministers’ meeting which is likely to review the regional security architecture including China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.

During her three-day visit, Sitharaman is likely to hold bilateral talks with her counterparts from a number of countries, defence ministry officials said. The ADMM (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting)-Plus meeting on 23 and 24 October is expected to deliberate extensively on the situation in Afghanistan and Syria besides China’s growing military presence in the disputed South China Sea.

The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region. The two-day meeting will discuss ways to enhance defence and security cooperation among the member nations to effectively counter various transnational security challenges facing the region.
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Sitharaman is likely to assert India’s position on the issues at the gathering. China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, a number of ASEAN member countries including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei have counter claims. India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The ADMM-plus is also likely to discuss enhancing maritime cooperation among the member countries, officials said.

The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi in 2010. The defence ministers then had agreed on five areas of practical cooperation to pursue under the new mechanism, including maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping operations.
 
3. HSBC Appoints Jayant Rikhye as CEO India.
HSBC Appoints Jayant Rikhye as CEO India
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) today announced the appointment of Jayant Rikhye as the chief executive officer for India. The appointment would be effective from December 1 subject to regulatory approvals, HSBC said in a statement.

In his new role, Rikhye will lead HSBC’s next phase of growth in the country, where he first joined the Group in 1989, it said.

An HSBC Group General Manager, Rikhye is currently Head of International, Asia-Pacific, responsible for 11 markets in the region. He succeeds Stuart Milne, who is also a Group General Manager, after five years in the role, it said.

During his career with HSBC, he worked in a number of countries and territories in a variety of functions, including corporate banking in Taiwan, institutional fund services in Hong Kong and Head of securities services for the Middle East and North Africa, based in the United Arab Emirates.
 
4. Rakesh Asthana Appointed as CBI Special Director.
 Rakesh Asthana Appointed as CBI Special Director
In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the government on Sunday promoted senior IPS officers Rakesh Asthana and Gurbachan Singh as Special Directors of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) respectively.

Deepak Kumar Mishra and Sudeep Lakhtakia have been promoted as Special DG in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Rajesh Ranjan and A.P. Maheshwari have been promoted to the ranks of Special DG in the Border Security Force (BSF).

This was announced by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training.

Gurbachan Singh was earlier Additional Director in IB and Asthana was Additional Director in CBI.

Lakhtakia and Mishra were earlier Additional DG in CRPF, while Ranjan and Maheshwari were Additional DG in the Border Security Force (BSF).
 
5. IPPB appoints Suresh Sethi as its MD & CEO.
IPPB appoints Suresh Sethi as its MD & CEO
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) appointed Suresh Sethi as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on Monday.

Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from top contenders for the post, including public and private sector banking and fintech professionals, the company said in a statement.

He was the former Managing Director of Vodafone M-Pesa and has broad international experience of over 27 years in the banking and financial services industry with Citigroup and YES Bank, across India, Kenya, the UK, Argentina and the US.

He has also worked in the financial inclusion space, where he leveraged digital-led innovation. Sethi takes over from AP Singh, who has been the interim Managing Director and CEO of IPPB since January.

IPPB has been incorporated as a public limited company under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent Government of India equity.

The company plans to leverage the reach of the India Post network to achieve a pan-India rollout of 650 branches by early next year.
 
6. Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh appointed as member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram.
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh administered oath of office and secrecy to Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh, here today, on his appointment as member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram. The JERC is a two-member Commission, each member representing the respective participating State.

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh has been appointed as the member from the Manipur side for a period of 5 years, with effect from the date of his taking charge of the post or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest.

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh holds B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and has retired from the post of Superintending Engineer (Electrical) in the Electricity Department of Government of Manipur.
 
7. Union Government appoints ex-IB chief Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor.
Union Government appoints ex-IB chief Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor
The government on Monday said it has decided to start a sustained dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said former director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Dineshwar Sharma would be the central government’s representative to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Who is Dineshwar Sharma?

Dineshwar Sharma, a 1979-batch (retired) Indian Police Service officer of Kerala cadre, served as the IB director between December 2014 and 2016. Sharma was the head of state Intelligence Bureau of Uttar Pradesh when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief minister, along with heading the “X” branch, which looks after all the vital intelligence collection in the country, including the political desk.
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Originally from Bihar, Sharma never served in his home state. He did his primary education from Pali village in Bihar and later went to Gaya for his graduation. He first qualified for Indian Forest Service and later for IPS. Sharma was the third officer from Bihar after former CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha and former SPG IG Vivek Srivastava to head a central agency.

Sharma had also worked with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during the latter’s stint as the IB chief.

Interlocutor for a sustained dialogue in J&K 

Sharma, who will be visitng the state in 8-10 days, told news agency ANI, “It’s a big responsibility, hope I live up to expectations.” The former IB chief cleared that his priority is to find a permanent solution and restore peace in J&K.
 
8. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in India.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in India
India will host Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday for consultations on stabilizing his war-torn country as well as coordinating strategy amid separate moves by countries in the region to broker peace between Kabul and the Taliban rebels.

Ghani is the third among a list of key visitors from Afghanistan in the past several weeks—chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani were in India last month. India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval was in Kabul on 16 October to meet his counterpart Hanif Atmar.

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson will also arrive in India on Tuesday, almost two months after the US unveiled a revamped strategy to defeat the Taliban in which India is seen as key to bringing economic stability to Afghanistan.

On Monday, Tillerson made a surprise stopover in Afghanistan to discuss Washington’s new strategy with Ghani, the US embassy in Kabul said. Tillerson reiterated the US’ commitment to working with the Kabul government and regional partners “to achieve peace in Afghanistan and deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal,” a statement posted by the embassy on Twitter said.

A statement from the Indian foreign ministry said Ghani will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.

“Both sides will have the opportunity to review the entire gamut of the multifaceted bilateral strategic partnership, including the New Development Partnership; hold consultations and coordinate on furthering the shared objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and efforts to combat the menace of terrorism; and discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

Ghani’s visit comes amid moves by the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan to revive peace talks with the Taliban. The four countries—known as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group—met in Oman’s capital Muscat last week after a previous round of talks in Islamabad early last year. The group has been trying to ease the path to direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban, with little success.

Another group of countries led by Russia and including Pakistan and China, has also been trying to broker peace between Kabul and the Taliban.

The frequency of attacks by the Taliban showed a sharp spurt last week with 56 people being killed in one incident alone on Friday,

“There are a lot of diplomatic moves being made vis-a-vis Afghanistan and there appears to be a a much higher degree of coordination between Afghanistan and India and I would see the Ashraf Ghani visit in this context,” said Sushant Sareen, a Pakistan-Afghanistan analyst with the Vivekananda International Foundation think tank in New Delhi.
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“Afghanistan is keeping India in the loop on recent developments like the talks in Oman,” Sareen said, noting that Russia’s special envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov was in New Delhi for consultations in September. “These developments show that India now is a country that cannot be ignored when it comes to discussing Afghanistan’s future,” he added.

Once left out of consultations on Afghanistan thanks to its rivalry with Pakistan, India was in August named by US President Donald Trump as a country that the US looked to for stabilizing Afghanistan economically. Trump in his speech also berated Pakistan for providing safe havens to the Taliban and affiliated groups on its soil.

India has considered Afghanistan as part of its extended neighbourhood and extended $3.1 billion in aid to the country. Last month, India announced 116 new high-impact projects in Afghanistan with the aim of shoring up goodwill. New Delhi hopes to have a neutral government in Afghanistan that will not tilt towards Pakistan, while Islamabad is keen to have a government in Kabul that it can fall back on, in case of a war with India.

“The messaging from these visits from Kabul, from the US and from Russia to Pakistan is that India will be involved when discussing the future of Afghanistan. Some countries like Russia and India may not be on the same page on the challenge posed by the Taliban but nevertheless, India will be consulted and it very much has a role to play in Afghanistan,” Sareen said.
 
9. Scott Fleming Joins NBA India as Head of Basketball Operations.
Scott Fleming Joins NBA India as Head of Basketball Operations
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced Scott Fleming, former India men’s national team head coach, has joined NBA India as Head of Basketball Operations. He will oversee the league’s youth and elite basketball development in India, including the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, NBA Academy India and NBA Basketball School.

Fleming, who was earlier head coach of the Crusaders Basketball team at the Northwest Nazarene University, served as India men’s head coach from 2012-2015. He spend two years as an assistant coach for Texas Legends of the NBA G League, the NBA’s official minor league.
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He has 25 years collegiate coaching experience, including 20 seasons as head coach and athletic director at Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio), where he won two National Coach of the Year awards and a Christian College National Championship.

Fleming said: “Basketball in India is poised for significant growth, and the NBA has done a tremendous job increasing participation in the sport in India. I am thrilled to be back in India, a country that holds a special place in my heart, to help expand the NBA initiatives and the talent level across the country”

The NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training centre at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex for the top male and female prospects, officially opened May 9 for top elite male prospects from throughout the country. It builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India.

10. Virat Kohli Overtakes Lionel Messi in Forbes List by $1 Million.

Virat Kohli is turning out to be a cricketer that any country would love to have in its ranks, and the India captain has worked hard to earn that reputation on the back of stupendous performances tearing apart record books. And talking about earning, his valuation as a brand has now surpassed football icon Lionel Messi.

In the list of most valuable sportspersons released by Forbes on Wednesday, Kohli sits at No. 7; but what will stun most sports enthusiasts is that he is ahead of No. 9 Messi by $1 million and golf superstar Rory McIlory by 0.9 million.

The top-10 list is headed by 19-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer and includes just one cricketer in Kohli.

  •  Roger Federer $37.2m
  •  LeBron James $33.4m
  •  Usain Bolt $27m
  •  Cristiano Ronaldo $21.5m
  •  Phil Mickelson $19.6m
  •  Tiger Woods $16.6m
  •  Virat Kohli $14.5m
  •  Rory McIlroy $13.6m
  •  Lionel Messi $13.5m
  •  Steph Curry $13.4m

Kohli is fast becoming India`s next milestone man after Tendulkar having already scored 31 ODI centuries, going past Australia`s Ricky Ponting and now only behind Tendulkar`s 49 tons in 50-over internationals.
 
11. Gokul Natesan Second Indian-Origin Player to be Signed by NBA G-League Side.
Gokul Natesan Second Indian-Origin Player to be Signed by NBA G-League Side
For several years, Gokul Natesan spent a major part of his week developing mobile applications and software. Last Saturday, he got his first big break. But not as a software developer. Instead, he was the 97th pick in the NBA draft to became only the second Indian-origin player to be signed by an NBA G-League side. Natesan, 23, was picked by Canton Charge, a minor league affiliate team of Cleveland Cavaliers, completing a remarkable journey of the computer science graduate, who shuffled between playing college basketball and designing apps.

“During the last four years in my college, I would practice daily and would head to the college library straight after that. I spent more than 15 hours per week developing mobile applications and software. We made an android test application for users who wanted to go and eat out and had certain type of choices in food,” said Natesan, who lives in a small town sandwiched between Santa Clara and Cupertino, the Apple headquarters.

He is the only person in the Natesan family to be born in the USA. His parents, Ramasawamy and Sumathi, moved from Salem district in Tamil Nadu to Santa Clara in the USA in 1990 while his elder sister Amlu was born in India. Natesan started playing basketball at the age of five and later played in YMCA League for Cupertino High School.
The youngster also played for the Bay Area Ballers in the local leagues in Bay Area, which is famous for its software industry worldwide. Having missed out on the top 351 Division I colleges, Natesan opted for the Colorado College of Mines to play for their Division II team Orediggers under coach chief coach Pryor Orser. He ended his college career with a 14-point score in Orediggers’ match against Bellarmine in the NCAA Division II Elite 8 tournament in March this year.

Natesan was also adjudged as the RMAC defensive player of the year in 2016 and started in all 35 games in Division II scoring 648 points and ended on fourth spot on the team’s most points score list till now with a total of 2014 points starting 2013. The youngster would also attend the NBA G league invitational tryouts in Chicago in August this year before he was drafted in the NBA G league Draft.
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“My father wanted me to play basketball and he would take me to show some basketball youth leagues when I was a kid. I was little disappointed when I missed the chance to get into top 351 graduate colleges but when I got through Colorado School of Mines, I was enthusiastic playing in the second division too,” said Gokul, whose father works in the California State Software department and mother is a second language teacher.

Natesan said he is keen to play for India but the government’s rule, which does not allow PIOs and OCIs to represent India unless they give up the second passport, has come as a hinderance. “I often talk with my family to get a chance to play for India. But as OCI (Overseas Citizen of India), I am not eligible for playing for India. Playing for India is a dram for me and I hope there are some rules changes for OCI. I also tried for the NBL in Australia but they also told is that they have a quota for Indian team players. I hope to impress more teams via the G league,” shared Natesan.

A Chennai Super Kings and MS Dhoni fans, Natesan, who last visited Chennai in 2013, hopes to meet the former India captain some day. “I am a big MS Dhoni fan and I admire his leadership qualities. I wish I can play in NBA someday so that I can meet him one day as a player and he too knows about me,” said Natesan.
 
12. Piyush Goyal launches first set of solar plants with capacity of 5 MW.
Piyush Goyal launches first set of solar plants with capacity of 5 MW
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday launched the railways’ first set of solar plants with a total capacity of 5 megawatt peak (MWp), an ambitious project aimed at reducing the national transporter’s carbon footprint. The project is part of the government’s National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission 1,000 MWp solar plants across its network.

The minister launched the plants at the inauguration of the ‘International Conference on Green Initiatives and Railway Electrification’ in New Delhi. “We are working in a time-bound manner to skillfully and effectively transform the Indian Railways into a world class transporter. We shall be able to accomplish 100 per cent electrification at lower prices with an incentive-cum-penalty scheme,” he said, adding that all payments of the railways will be done within a span of 30 days.
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The plants on the roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations will generate 76.5 lakh units of solar power cumulatively per year, and shall meet about 30 per cent of the energy requirement of these stations. Through the project, the railways will save Rs 421.4 lakh annually and will reduce 6,082 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The project was awarded in December 2016. The cost of the project is Rs.37.45 crore and has been bought in by the developer under the PPP model. The developer will also maintain it for 25 years and the Railways will only pay energy consumed at Rs 4.14 per unit, officials said.

Goyal added that the railways has targeted 10 per cent reduction in energy consumption in non-traction operations, thereby saving about Rs 250 crore annually. The two-day International Conference on Green Initiatives and Railway Electrification will deliberate on finding new ways to increase the use of renewable energy by the national transporter.
 
13. Karnataka cabinet approves transgender policy.
Karnataka cabinet approves transgender policy
Karnataka state cabinet on Thursday approved a policy to safeguard transgender individuals from social, sexual exploitation, and integrate them into mainstream of the society.

The policy aims to remove the stigma attached to the transgender community, and allow them to be an equal participant in the society, by providing them legal protection.

In pursuance of the aim, sensitisation of the general public through awareness programmes, as well as at the classroom-level by way of a reformed curriculum, will be implemented.

The policy also entails provision of reservation to transgender individuals in all levels of education, and setting up of redressal cells for cases of harassment and discrimination of the individuals.

The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state will roll out the policy within 36 months.

As per India census, 2011, the population of transgenders is 4,87,803, of which 20,266 reside in Karnataka.
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In 2015, the Supreme Court recognised transgender as a third gender.

At the national level, a parliamentary panel in its report on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, in July suggested the exemption of transgender community from criminalisation under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex or marriage with persons of the same gender punishable by law, which conflicts with the sexual practices of transgenders.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 seeks to bring social, educational and economic empowerment to the transgender community.

The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, and is pending for approval in Lok Sabha since August, 2016. The bill however, suffers with loopholes as pointed out by trans activists and several others.

 14. Jeff Bezos Replaces Gates as World`s Richest Person with $90.6-bn Fortune.

The uptick Amazon shares registered on Wall Street this Friday has directly affected the fortune of its founder, Jeff Bezos, who immediately replaced Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.

Two hours after the stock market opened on Friday, Amazon shares were up 11.9 per cent, on the first day since it announced its third-quarter results at the close of trading on Thursday.


Microsoft shares had climbed close to 7 per cent at the same time, also as a result of its third-quarter earnings announced on Thursday at Wall Street`s closing bell.

But according to Forbes magazine, which closely follows the world`s greatest personal fortunes, taking into account, among other aspects, the value of their stock market assets, Bezos surpassed Gates on Friday as the richest person in the world.

According to Forbes, the fortune of Amazon`s founder reached some $90.6 billion, compared with the $90.1 billion that the online edition of the magazine attributes to Gates.

This is not the first time that Bezos has outpaced Gates - it previously happened last July 27 when Amazon shares hit a historic high, though Gates took back the lead hours later.

Jeff Bezos has been on the Forbes list of the richest billionaires since 1998, a year after his e-commerce giant went public.
 
15. Jacinda Ardern Officially Sworn in as Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Jacinda Ardern Officially Sworn in as Prime Minister of New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern was sworn in as New Zealand prime minister on Thursday and said she will lead a government that`s active, focused, empathetic and strong.

Ardern and other senior lawmakers attended the ceremony in Wellington and took their oaths before Patsy Reddy, the governor-general. They then greeted several hundred well-wishers in front of the parliament.

"I want to start by saying it is an enormous privilege and an honor to stand with these wonderful people here in front of you today, in front of your house with your government," Ardern told the crowd. "I want to put emphasis on the word `your` government."

At 37 years old, Ardern is the South Pacific nation`s youngest leader in more than 150 years. She is the nation`s third female prime minister and 40th leader overall.

Her liberal Labour Party did not win the most votes in the September election but managed to find enough common ground with two smaller parties to form a government.

The conservative National Party won the previous three elections and finished with the most votes but now finds itself on the opposition benches.
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Ardern told the crowd she understood that not everyone voted for her but vowed to be a leader for everyone.

"This will be a government for all New Zealanders," she said.

Ardern has promised to make significant changes in the nation of nearly 5 million people, including banning foreign buyers from purchasing homes, holding a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana, and reducing immigration.

She has also outlined an ambitious environmental agenda. It includes planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2050.

Ardern`s Labour Party formed a coalition with the small, nationalist New Zealand First party. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, 72, will serve as deputy prime minister and foreign minister. The coalition will also get support from the liberal Green Party.

Ardern has been compared to other young, charismatic leaders such as President Emmanuel Macron in France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada.

 

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