1.    Voters have right to reject all candidates in polls: SC 
i. In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Friday held that citizens have right to cast negative vote rejecting all candidates contesting polls, a decision which would encourage people not satisfied with contestants to turn up for voting. 
ii. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam  directed the Election Commission to provide 'none of the above options' at the end of the list of candidates in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers to allow voters to reject those contesting polls. 

SC’s verdict – Important points 
i. Voters will have the option to register a negative vote to select none among the options without comprising secrecy of vote. 
ii. Negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates – SC 
iii. Negative voting would foster purity and vibrancy in elections – SC 
iv. Earlier, a voter who wished not to register his/her vote had to fill a form at the polling booth for the same. As the form would carry name and signature, the person’s fundamental right to secrecy of vote was compromised. 
v. The right to choose ‘None Of The Above’ on the EVM is not a negative vote, it should be construed as a positive vote in a democracy. 
vi. What happens if the percentage of votes for ‘None Of The Above’ option is more than the votes polled by candidates? Today’s judgement is silent on this – the law will have to be amended. 
vii. Only the Parliament has the right to make amendments in the People’s Representation Act. 
viii. With the concept of negative voting, the voters who are dissatisfied with the candidates in the fray would turn up in large number to express their opinion which would put unscrupulous elements and impersonators out of the polls.

Note: i. The court passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) which had submitted that voters be given the right to negative voting. 
ii. Agreeing with the NGO's plea, the bench passed the path- breaking verdict and introduced the concept of negative voting in the election process, saying that it would further empower the voters in exercising their franchise.

2.    World Tourism Day being observed
i. World Tourism Day is being celebrated today all over the globe.
ii. The 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism‚ it represents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of tourism’s role in water access and shine a spotlight on the sector’s contribution to a more sustainable water future.
iii. This year’s official celebrations will take place in the Maldives and include a Think Tank on the 2013 theme with the participation of top experts and policy makers in the field of tourism and water.
iv. Tourism has proven to provide environmentally sound solutions‚ as well as political and financial support‚ for the conservation and sustainable use of water sources.
v. But more must be done. With a record one billion international tourists travelling in a single year in 2012‚ now is the time to commit to a more sustainable tourism sector in order to protect our common future.

3.    GAAR to come into effect from April 1, 2016 
i. The controversial GAAR provision, which seeks to check tax avoidance by investors routing their funds through tax havens, will come into effect from April 1, 2016, a government notification said. 
ii. The provision of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) will apply to entities availing tax benefit of at least Rs 3 crore, according to the notification dated September 23. 
iii. It will apply to foreign institutional investors (FIIs) that have claimed benefits under any Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). 
iv. Investments made by a non-resident by way of offshore derivative instruments or P-Notes through FIIs, will not be covered by the GAAR provisions. 
v. A business arrangement can be termed 'impermissible' if its main purpose is to obtain tax benefit. Under the original GAAR proposals, the anti-tax avoidance provisions could be invoked "if one of the purposes" was to obtain tax benefit. 
vi. The notification is broadly in line with recommendations of the Parthasarathi Shome Committee, which was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July last year to address the concerns of investors. 

4.    RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan receives Deutsche Bank Prize 
i. Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram G Rajan has been awarded the Fifth Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics 2013, in recognition of his ground-breaking research work which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world. 
ii. The academic prize is sponsored by the Deutsche Bank Donation Fund and carries an endowment of euro 50,000.
iii. The Centre for Financial Studies (CFS) awards the prize bi-annually in partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt. 
iv. Presenting the prize to Rajan, Deutsche Bank co-chairman Juergen Fitschen on Thursday said that it would have been hard to find a more deserving winner for this year's award. 
v. Rajan was picked up for the prize from more than 260 nominations from top universities, central banks and research centres in 37 countries. More than half of the nominations came from the US.

5.    ADB to lend $500 m for Rajasthan clean energy projects
i. The Asian Development Bank will lend $500 million to set up a transmission network that will carry power from clean energy projects in Rajasthan.
ii. “ADB will provide $500 million to build a power transmission system needed to deliver clean electricity from wind and solar power projects in Rajasthan...to the state and national grids,” the Manila-based multilateral funding agency said in a release.
iii. The system will involve 1,850 km of transmission lines, mostly in western Rajasthan, three new 400 kilovolt substations and nine new 220 kilovolt grid substations. The transmission capacity of seven existing substations will also be increased.
iv. The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation is developing the Bhadla solar park to house photovoltaic and solar thermal projects as part of the state’s objective to reach about 8,000 MW of solar energy and wind generation capacity by 2018.
v. Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the central government aims to develop 20,000 MW of solar power capacity across India by 2022.

6.    Japan to promote 'womenomics', pledges over $3 bn ODA
i. Japan will promote "womenomics" -- a theory which asserts that the advancement of women in society is directly correlated with its growth rate -- and give over $3 billion of official development assistance (ODA) in the next three years targeting women's participation in society and the empowerment of women, says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
ii. Addressing the UN General Assembly on development and growth, Abe said creating an environment in which women find it comfortable to work and enhancing opportunities for them to be active in society would create a "society in which women shine".
iii. The ODA would also go towards health and medical care for women; and prevention and resolution of conflict as related to women.
iv. Japan would implement official development assistance (ODA) in excess of $3 billion over the next three years,

7.    Anti - chemical weapons activist wins Swedish rights prize 
i. US anti-chemical weapons campaigner Paul Walker, 67, was jointly awarded the Swedish Right Livelihood Award on Thursday honouring those who work to improve the lives of others.
ii. "Chemical weapons are easy to manufacture but very difficult to get rid of. Walker has 20 years of experience in how to eliminate them both politically and technically," Ole von Uexkull, director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation said.
iii. Walker, from the environmental group Green Cross, shares the prize with three other activists who the prize jury said work to "secure the fundamentals of human life".
iv. They include Palestinian human rights activist Raji Sourani, Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Swiss food security expert Hans Herren.
v. Swedish-German philatelist Jakob von Uexkull founded the donor-funded prize in 1980 after the Nobel Foundation behind the Nobel Prizes refused to create awards honouring efforts in the fields of the environment and international development.
vi. The awards were to be formally handed over at a ceremony in the Swedish parliament on December 2, 2013. 

8.    First Ever Allard Prize for International Integrity Presented to Anna Hazare
i. The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law on 25 September 2013 presented Anna Hazare with the inaugural Allard Prize for International Integrity at Vancouver, Canada.
ii. The Allard prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing efforts to combat corruption and to promote human rights. 

About Allard Prize
The Allard Prize established in October 2012 by UBC Law alumnus Peter A. Allard, QC and the Allard Prize is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has shown exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law. The prize money for the award is 100000 US Dollars.

9.    Ravindra Kumar elected new INS President
i. The Indian Newspaper Society ( INS) was today elected Ravindra Kumar, Editor of ‘The Statesman’ newspaper as its president for the year 2013-14.
ii. Kumar, who succeeds K N Tilak Kumar of Deccan Herald and Prajavani was chosen at the 74th Annual General Meeting of the society.
iii. At the meeting, Kiran B Vadodaria (Sambhaav Metro) was elected as Deputy President while P V Chandran of ’Grihalakshmi’ as Vice President.
iv. Sanjay Gupta (Dainik Jagran, Varanasi) was chosen as the honorary treasurer of INS for the year 2013-14. V Shankaran is the Secretary General of the Society.

10.  Anupam Shah takes over as EEPC Chairman
i. Anupam Shah has taken over as the new Chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC). Prior to this, he was the Senior Vice-Chairman of EEPC and has also been the past president of the Merchant Chamber, Kolkata.
ii. Shah succeeds Aman Chadha. Shah has done his BE (Electrical Engineering) from the Boston University, USA and an MBA from the University of Michigan, USA .
iii. He is taking over at a time when the engineering sector faces difficult times in the export markets. Although engineering exports, the second largest contributor to the country’s overall export basket, have turned positive by 2.27 per cent in August, the cumulative figure for April-August remains negative (-) 4.19 per cent.

11.  Sundeep Sikka  Appointed as new Chairman  of Association of Mutual Funds in India
i. The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) on 26 September 2013 appointed Sundeep Sikka, Reliance MF President and Chief Executive, as its Chairman.
ii. In the meanwhile, Sandesh Kirkire, Chief Executive Officer of Kotak Asset Management Company was elected as the vice-chairman.

About the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)
i. The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) is the industry association of mutual funds. 
ii. It interacts with SEB, the market regulator, in context with the mutual fund related issues. 
iii. AMFI is also representative of the industry of mutual funds to the Union Government of India, Reserve Bank of India as well as other organisations.
iv. AMFI serves as the self- regulatory body for mutual funds.

12.  Supreme Court gets dedicated customized pin code
i. The Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India allotted Customized Pin Code to the Supreme Court of India for the first time.
ii. The Customized Pin Code of the Supreme Court is 110 201.
iii. The event took place on the occasion that marked the completion of 41 years of the introduction of Pin Code in the country.
iv. The Department of Posts also started a Locality Based Online Pin Code Search Directory of Delhi on this occasion for the first time in India.

About Postal Index Number (PIN)
i. Postal Index Number (PIN) or PIN Code is a 6 digit code of Post Office numbering used by India Post. 
ii. The PIN was introduced on 15 August 1972. 
iii. There are 9 PIN regions in the country. 
iv. The first 8 are geographical regions.
v.  The digit 9 is reserved for the Army Postal Service.
vi. The first digit indicates one of the regions. The first 2 digits together indicate the sub region or one of the postal circles.
vii. The first 3 digits together indicate a sorting / revenue district. The last 3 digits refer to the delivery Post Office.

13.  Navneet Kaur Dhillon won the Multimedia Award at the Miss World 2013
i. Pond's Femina Miss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon on 27 September 2013 won the Multimedia Award at the Miss World 2013 in Indonesia.
ii. India won this award for the second time in a row. The award was first introduced by the Miss World Organization in 2012 and India's Vanya Mishra was its first winner.
iii. The Multimedia Award is given on the basis that how contestants presented their web section of the Miss World website and a Facebook page wherein they interact with fans through status updates, photos and videos.
iv. The contestants earn fast track points through maximum updates, interactions, likes and shares by fans and it ultimately helps the contestant win the Multimedia Award.
v. Navneet, formed partnership with Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Pureit Brand to create awareness about the importance of safe drinking water in India. This also helped her winning the award.

14.  The Tomtato- Plant Which Produces Potato and Tomato, Launched in the UK
i. Horticultural mail order company Thompson & Morgan developed a plant called The TomTato, which can produce not just the tomatoes, but also potatoes.
ii. The TomTato is described as the veg plot in a pot and it was launched in UK. The TomTato has the capability of growing over 500 sweet cherry tomatoes and also the white potatoes. 
iii. Thompson & Morgan sells the plants at a cost of 14.99 Pounds each. Thompson & Morgan explained that the hybrid plants were not a result of genetic engineering, but were hand-crafted.
iv. The grafted tomato-potato plants were earlier produced in the UK as well, but it is for the very first that such plants were produced commercially. 
v. Paul Hansord, horticultural director at the company explained that the idea of The TomTato struck 15 years ago in the US. Various trials of The TomTato took place for several years.
vi. It became difficult to produce this plant because the tomato stem and the potato stem needed to have the same thickness for the graft to work. 

15.  Centrally sponsored National Urban Health Mission to be launched in UP soon
i. In Uttar Pradesh, the Centrally sponsored National Urban Health Mission will be launched soon.
ii. Over 3 crore urban population will be benefitted from the scheme. The state Health Minister Ahmad Hasan has said that the scheme is being launched in 131 cities of the state. He said, medical and paramedical staff will be recruited on contractual basis to man 265 Primary Health Centres in these cities.
iii. Mr Hasan said that urban poor, daily wagers, building and brick kiln workers, street children and others will be treated free of cost under the scheme.

16.  Serena bags world number one year-end crown for third time
i. Serena Williams has clinched the year-end women`s world number one ranking for the third time in her career after winning two grand slam titles during an excellent 2013.
ii. The American has compiled a 67-4 record this season and won nine singles titles on the WTA Tour, including the French Open and the US Open crowns.
iii. The 32-year-old, who became the oldest women`s player to clinch the top ranking when she returned to number one in February, has won more than $9 million in prize money in 2013 so far, the WTA said in a statement on their website.
iv. "Serena has proven time and time again throughout her career that she is an incredible champion, both on and off the court," WTA Chief Executive Stacey Allaster said in the statement.
v. Williams, who has 55 singles titles and 22 doubles crowns in her career, will be presented with her world number one trophy during the prestigious WTA Championships in Istanbul next month.
vi. Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska have booked the other four spots.
vii. China`s Li Na became the fifth player to qualify for the October 22-27 event, where the world`s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for a $6 million purse.

17.  U-21 Johor Cup Hockey: India enter finals
i. India have entered the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup, Under-21 hockey tournament by virtue of points.
ii. India will now face hosts Malaysia in the final match. India defeated Korea 6-1 in their fourth round-robin match yesterday at Johor Bahru in Malaysia.
iii. The win leaves India unbeaten in the tournament so far and they are on top of the table with 12 points from four games.

18.  Vidit Gujrathi wins bronze at World Junior Chess Championship
i. Former Under-14 World Champion and Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi won the bronze medal at the World Junior Chess Championship after settling for a quick draw with winner Yu Yangyi of China in the 13th and final round that concluded at Kocaeli in Turkey.
ii. With this win, Gujrathi has joined the list of elite Indians winning medals in the world junior champions.
iii. World champion Vishwanathan Anand had won a gold medal in 1987 in the Championship.

19.  India to build its first strategic oil storage by January 2014
i. India will build its first strategic oil storage by January in an effort to insulate itself from supply disruptions, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said today.
ii. India, which is 79 per cent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, is building underground storages at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka to store about 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil.
iii. This is enough to meet nation's oil requirement for 13-14 days.
iv. Visakhapatnam facility would have the capacity to store 1.33 million tonnes of crude oil in underground rock caverns. 
v. With the commissioning of Visakhapatnam storage, India will join nations like the US, Japan and China that have strategic reserves.
vi. These nations use the stockpiles not only as insurance against supply disruptions but also to buy and store oil when prices are low and release them to refiners when there is a spike in global rates.

20.  Sania Mirza-Cara Black enter Pan Pacific Open final
i. Sania Mirza and Cara Black beat the top-seeded duo of Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Shuai Peng of China in the semi-finals to reach final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Friday.
ii. The Indo-Zimbabwean pair brushed aside the Wimbledon champions 6-4 6-2 at the Centre Court.
iii. Sania and Black will face the winners of the other semi-final between Hao-Ching Chan/Liezel Huber and Alla Kudryavtseva/Anastasia Rodionova in the summit clash.

21.  Formula One: Indian Grand Prix to start from October 25
i. The Formula One (F1) motor race would be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida between October 25 and 27, officials said on Wednesday.
ii. The state government cleared the proposal of the JP Sports International Limited late on Tuesday.
iii. Keeping in mind, the presence of international and film celebrities for the event, the home department has divided the Forumla One racing event into four 'security zones' - track area, spectator area, paddock and the outer peripheral rings, an official said.

Note: i. Formula One Grand Prix was first held in India at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida Oct 30, 2011.
ii. The 5.14 km long circuit has been designed by world-renowned German architect and racetrack designer, Hermann Tilke, who has also designed other race circuits in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, the UAE, South Korea and the US and was seen as a big achievement of then UP chief minister Mayawati.

22.  Google introduces new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm
i. The company launched its latest "Hummingbird" algorithm about a month ago and that it currently affects 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google.
ii. "Hummingbird" is the company's effort to match the meaning of queries with that of documents on the Internet, said Singhal from the Menlo Park garage where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived their now-ubiquitous search engine.
iii. "The world has changed so much since then: billions of people have come online, the Web has grown exponentially, and now you can ask any question on the powerful little device in your pocket."
iv. Page and Brin set up shop in the garage of Susan Wojcicki-- now a senior Google executive -- in September 1998, around the time they incorporated their company. This week marks the 15th anniversary of their collaboration.