1. 13th SCO summit begins in Kyrgyzstan today
i. The 13th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization opens in the Kyrgyz city of Bishkek today (Friday) to discuss ways and means to enhance cooperation in diverse fields among the member-nations.
ii. Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev being Chairman of the SCO will open the Summit.
iii. The SCO's objectives include promoting peace and stability in the region through building stronger and more productive relationship among the member countries.
Note: i. Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security‚ Sartaj Aziz will represent Pakistan at the Summit. Pakistan is an observer in the SCO and is seeking a full membership status of the Organization.
India’s participation at the SCO
i. India participated in the 2005 SCO Summit at the level of Hon’ble External Affairs Minister (EAM) and has since participated in subsequent Summits at the Ministerial or lower levels; except for the Yekaterinburg (Russia) Summit in 2009, which was attended by Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
ii. Since 2005, India has also been actively participating in all SCO fora open to Observers. This has included meetings of SCO Ministers for Trade, Transport, Culture, Interior/Home and Emergency Situations; SCO Business Forums; SCO ‘Energy Club’, etc. In particular, India has been cooperating in the field of counter-terrorism with SCO’s Regional Counter/Anti-Terrorism Structure (RCTS/RATS), based in Tashkent.
2. Delhi gangrape: All four accused sentenced to death
i. Four convicts in the December 16 gangrape-cum-murder case were on Friday awarded death penalty by a Delhi court which said the gravity of the offence cannot be tolerated.
ii. “Death to all,” Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said while delivering the verdict in the case that had evoked nationwide outrage and led the government to bring in a stringent anti-rape law.
iii. The offence committed by Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) falls under the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment, the judge said.
iv. The four were convicted by the court on September 10 for the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student.
v. “Court cannot turn a blind eye to such a gruesome act,” the judge said, while handing down the maximum punishment.
vi. He said, “When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis, so, at this point in time court cannot keep its eye shut.”
vii. He said, “When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis, so, at this point in time court cannot keep its eye shut.”
viii. “’Halak mein saans atki thi, jo ab bahar nikli hai. Mein dhanywaad karti hu desh ke logon ka aur media ka’ (We were waiting with bated breath, now we are relieved. I thank the people of my country and the media),” she said.
ix. Besides her, the victim’s father and two brothers were also present in the jam-packed court room when the sentence was pronounced.
x. Sixth convict was a juvenile at the time of the incident and has been given a maximum of three years sentence in a reformation home.
3. Delhi is the richest state in the country: govt statistical data
i. Delhi is the richest state in country with the per capita income of 2,01,083 rupees during 2012-13.
ii. It has increased by 27397 rupees as compared to 2011-12. This was revealed in the Delhi Statistical Hand Book-2013 released by Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit in New Delhi on Thursday.
iii. Briefing reporters, Ms. Dikshit said that the total literacy rate in the national capital has reached 86.20 per cent. She said, 41.45 lakh children were enrolled at different levels in schools during 2011-12.
iv. The Chief Minister said that the health infrastructure has expanded substantially and there are 940 hospitals with 43,643 beds in the city.
4. PMEAC lowers growth projection for 2013-14 to 5.3 pc
i. Prime Minister's key economic advisor C Rangarajan on Friday lowered the growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.3 per cent from 6.4 per cent projected earlier and listed out host of measures including further liberalisation of FDI norms to improve economic condition.
ii. "Economy will grow at 5.3 per cent in 2013-14," Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman Rangarajan said on Friday while releasing the Economic Outlook for 2013-14.
iii. The PMEAC had in April projected 6.4 per cent growth for Indian economy for current financial year. The GDP grew by 5 per cent in 2012-13.
iv. Referring to the external sector, Rangarajan expressed hope that the Current Account Deficit (CAD) in 2013-14 will come down to USD 70 billion or 3.8 per cent of GDP, from USD 88.2 billion or 4.8 per cent a year ago.
Note: i. RBI too had earlier lowered its growth projection for this fiscal to 5.5 per cent from 5.7 per cent.
5. India to buy $4.3 billion worth of World Bank bonds
i. The government on Thursday announced it decision to invest $4.3 billion (Rs 27,000 crore) the World Bank's special private placement bonds (SPPBs) so that the country could remain eligible for the global lender's low-cost funding for various domestic infrastructure projects.
ii. The investment will allow India to borrow $4.3 billion from the World Bank, over & above the single borrower limit of $17.5 billion.
iii. The government said that the additional borrowing space would help it complete its planned infrastructure projects with the assistance of the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD).
iv. Economist Dharmakirti Joshi, from ratings agency Crisil, said, "This is a confidence-enhancing measure. Keeping all funding sources accessible at a time when government finances are tight is a good move."
v. Joshi added that the move would increase supply of dollars and help in alleviating funding constraints for large investment projects.
vi. To fund the government's proposed huge investment; the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will use the country's foreign exchange (forex) reserves, which stood at $275 billion at the end of August this year.
6. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, first woman regional director of WHO
i. The World Health Organisation is set to get its first woman Regional Director, South-East Asia region, in Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
ii. Having worked with the World Health Organisation for 15 years, Khetrapal Singh has been nominated as regional head of the WHO’s South-East Asia region.
iii. She was nominated to the post of Regional Director for five years, by the 11 member states of the region, a WHO note said.
iv. The 32-member Executive Board of WHO will officially appoint Khetrapal Singh as Regional Director in January 2014 in Geneva. She is expected to take office as the regional director in India on February 1, 2014.
v. Khetrapal Singh started her WHO career in 1998 as a member of Gro Harlem Brundland’s Cabinet, the then WHO Director-General. She served as the Executive Director for sustainable development and healthy environment in Geneva.
vi. Khetrapal Singh is a senior civil servant, having held the post of Secretary and Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.
7. India-Chile to Enhance Cooperation in Renewable Energy
i. India and Chile on 13 September 2013 agreed to enhance their cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy at Ankara during India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah's visit to Chile.
ii. India plans to add over 30 GW of renewable energy to its energy mix in the next 5 years alone.
iii. Chile is almost entirely dependent on imports for its energy needs and is therefore extremely keen to diversify its energy mix by introducing a large component of renewables.
8. Ray Dolby, the pioneer of Noise Reduction in Audio Recordings died
i. Ray Dolby, the American Engineer and the pioneer of noise reduction in audio recordings died on 12 September 2013.
ii. He was the founder of Dolby Laboratories. The 80 year aged Ray Dolby in his end days suffered from Alzheimer disease.
iii. His works in noise reduction and surround sound has been appreciated across the world and have won recognitions too.
About Ray Dolby
i. Ray Dolby was born in Portland, Oregon in 1933 and grew up in San Francisco.
ii. He started his career working in Ampex Corporation, when he was a student. He helped in the early development of videotape recording systems
iii. Ray served as chairman of Dolby’s Board of Directors from 1965 until 2009, and retired from the board in 2011.
iv. He holds more than 50 US patents, and has written papers on videotape recording, long-wavelength X-ray analysis, and noise reduction.
9. Sreesanth gets life ban
ii. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday has handed cricketer Sreesanth a life ban for spot-fixing. Ankeet Chavan has been banned for 5 years.
iii. The fate of the cricketers implicated in the IPL spot-fixing scandal was taken up for discussion by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee which deliberated on Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani’s report on the scam that shamed the Twenty20 league.
iv. Mr Sawani has found the players embroiled in the scam guilty and has recommended bans ranging from five years to a lifetime.
v. All the cricketers played for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL but their contracts were terminated by the franchise after the scandal broke out.
10. Robert R. Taylor passes away at 77
i. Robert R. Taylor, who revolutionized hand soap by making liquid hand-wash soap, has died at the age of 77 in Newport Beach.
ii. Taylor's family said Thursday the entrepreneur died of cancer on 29 August, 2013.
iii. He created and sold more than a dozen businesses during his lifetime form toothpaste, shampoos, various kinds of soap and popular fragrances including Calvin Klein's Obsession.
iv. Taylor's reputation as a businessman rose with the invention of what he called, SoftSoap. He got a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University in 1959. He worked as a salesman for Johnson & Johnson for a few years and then formed a marketing company with his college friend.