1. IOC DEADLINE FOR IOA: Drop tainted members, hold elections by December 15
i. The International Olympic Committee has asked the Indian Olympic Association to drop charge-sheeted members by October 31 to enable its return to the Olympic family.
ii. The international body wants IOA to hold fresh elections by December 15. If the IOA fails, India could face more punishment.
iii. The IOA has been in exile since last December when the IOC's executive board suspended India after Lalit Bhanot, who is facing corruption charges linked to the scandal-hit New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, was elected secretary-general of the IOA.
iv. In its latest directive to the IOA, the international body categorically says it will consider India's return "only after tainted members are dropped."
v. The IOC wants the IOA to amend its constitution so that officials facing criminal or corruption proceedings in court can be kept out of the IOA election process.
2. Parliament passes key Pension Bill
i. After a delay of nearly a decade, Parliament on Friday passed a key economic reforms legislation, the Pension Bill, that aims to create a regulator for the sector and allows at least 26 percent FDI.
ii. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 115 MPs voting in favour and 25 against including members form Left parties and TMC. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 4th September.
iii. The bill would make the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority a statutory authority, unlike its present non-statutory status.
iv. The bill provides subscribers a wide choice to invest their funds including for assured returns by opting for Government Bonds as well as in other funds depending on their capacity to take risk, a provision that came from opponents of the legislation.
v. It pegs the FDI in pension sector at 26 percent or such percentage as may be approved for the insurance sector, which ever is higher.
3. Veteran journalist HAri Dutt Pathak dies in Ghaziabad
i. Hari Dutt Pathak, a veteran journalist, died today after a fall from his 12th floor residence in Vaishali locality.
ii. 88-year-old Pathak was a senior journalist who had worked with some Hindi newspapers.
iii. He is survived by his journalist wife Manu Hari and two sons, one of whom Rakesh Hari was a journalist, and a daughter.
4. India, Japan to enhance currency swap arrangement to USD 50 bn
i. India and Japan have decided to more than triple their bilateral currency swap arrangement to USD 50 billion, a development that is likely to bring stability in financial markets in the country.
ii. Indian and Japanese governments have decided to expand their bilateral currency swap arrangement from USD 15 to USD 50 billion.
iii. It is expected that this will contribute to the stability of financial markets," the Reserve Bank said in a statement on Friday.
iv. The central government and the RBI will discuss and finalise the terms of the enhancement of the swap arrangement with their Japanese counterpart.
v. Earlier in December 2012, the two countries had entered into a bilateral currency swap arrangement for USD 15 billion.
vi. Earlier, the two countries had a similar arrangement for USD 3 billion for three years from June 2008.
vii. The rupee had almost touched the low of 69 against the US dollar last month on the back of huge capital outflows and high current account deficit.
5. Global Competitiveness Report: India slips to 60th rank
i. India has slipped to 60th position in terms of its competitiveness globally, while Switzerland has retained its top rank.
ii. This is India's lowest ever rank and also 31 places below its peer emerging market China.
iii. Releasing the annual Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) today said highly innovative countries with strong institutions continue to top the rankings.
6. Zubin Mehta conferred Tagore cultural harmony award
i. World acclaimed orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta was conferred the prestigious Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony on Friday by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.
ii. He is the second recipient after Sitar maestro late Pandit Ravi Shankar.
iii. Mr. Mehta (77), a maestro in western classical music who conducts the Bavarian State Orchestra, was described by the President as a “distinguished son of India” whose mission “has been to bring peace where there is misery and conflict.”
iv. The award citation pays Mehta rich tributes and says that “no other Indian has achieved such distinction in the world of Opera”.
7. Indian writer Sushmita Banerjee shot dead in Afghanistan
i. Indian national Sushmita Banerjee, whose memoir about her dramatic escape from the Taliban was turned into a Bollywood film, was shot dead in Afghanistan by militants, police said today.
ii. Banerjee, 49, was killed outside her home in Paktika province. She was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.
iii. Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital of Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Banerjee out and shot her, police were quoted as saying by BBC.
iv. Banerjee’s book Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou (A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife), about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, became a bestseller in India and was made into the Bollywood film “Escape From Taliban” in 2003.
8. Angelina Jolie to receive Honorary Oscar for humanitarian work
i. Angelina Jolie is to receive an Honorary Oscar in recognition of her humanitarian work, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday.
ii. Jolie, who was appointed as a special envoy to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012 has also travelled widely to promote other causes such as preventing violence against women.
iii. She previously won an Oscar for her role in the 1999 movie Girl, Interrupted.
iv. Honorary Oscars will also be presented to actress Angela Lansbury, comedian Steve Martin and Italian production designer Piero Tosi, in honour of their lifetime achievements, the Academy announced.
v. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on November 16.
9. US Open: Sania-Zheng suffer tame semi-final defeat
i. Sania Mirza’s US Open campaign ended with a tame semifinal defeat in the women’s doubles with partner Jie Zheng against Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.
ii. The 10th seeded Indo-Chinese pair, which came into the US Open with New Haven title, lost 2-6 2-6 in an hour and five minutes to the Australian eight seeds.
iii. However, Leander Paes has kept Indian title hopes alive after an upset win over Mike and Bob Brayn in the men’s doubles semifinal along with his Czech partner Radek Stepanek, last night.
10. Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch dies at 96
i. Rochus Misch, who served as Adolf Hitler's devoted bodyguard for most of World War II and was the last remaining witness to the Nazi leader's final hours in his Berlin bunker, has died. He was 96.
ii. Burkhard Nachtigall, who helped Misch ghostwrite his 2008 memoir, told The Associated Press today that Misch died yesterday in Berlin after a short illness.
iii. In a 2005 interview with the AP, Misch recalled Hitler as "a very normal man" and gave a riveting account of the German dictator's last days before he and his wife Eva Braun killed themselves in their bunker in Berlin.