1. Alice Munro wins Literature Nobel Prize
i. Alice Munro won Nobel Prize 2013 in literature and became the first Canadian woman to take the Nobel Prize since its launch in 1901.
ii. Canada's Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for her short stories that focus on the frailties of the human condition. Munro is just the 13th woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize since it was first awarded in 1901.
iii. Munro is the author of 14 story collections; her latest is "Dear Life," which includes four autobiographical tales. Earlier this year, the 82-year-old writer announced plans to put down her pen and retire.
iv. Munro is the 17th Nobel laureate born in Canada. She is also a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction and the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.
v. Munro will receive the prize sum of eight million Swedish kronor (USD 1.24 million).She will be presented with her award at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.
vi. Ms. Munro, the daughter of a fox farmer and a teacher, was born Alice Anne Laidlaw. She was a literary person in a nonliterary town, concealing her ambition like a forbidden passion.
vii. Last year’s Nobel literature award went to Mo Yan of China.
viii. The 2013 Nobel announcements continue Friday with the Nobel Peace Prize, followed by the economics prize on Monday.
2. MS Swaminathan gets Indira Gandhi National Integration Award
i. Eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, known as the father of Green Revolution, will be conferred the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, it was announced today.
ii. The Award for the year 2012 consisting of a citation and Rs five lakh will be presented to the 88-year-old scientist by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at a function here on October 31, the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi, Member Secretary of the award committee Motilal Vora said.
iii. Aruna Asaf Ali, P N Haksar, M S Subbulakshmi, A P J Abdul Kalam and Shankar Dayal Sharama are among some of the recipients of the Award which was also given to Rajiv Gandhi posthmously.
iv. Winner of many a award, Swaminathan has served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi (1966-72), Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (1972-79).
v. A plant geneticist by training, Professor Swaminathan's contributions to the agricultural renaissance of India have led to his being widely referred to as the scientific leader of the green revolution movement.
3. World Mental Health Day Observed on 10 October
i. The World Mental Health Day Observed on 10 October 2013 across the world to raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on people.
ii. The theme for the year 2013 isMental health and older adults.
iii. World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
4. RBI forms panel to expand reach of mobile banking
i. To boost mobile banking, the Reserve Bank of India has formed a technical committee to examine the feasibility of encrypted SMS-based fund transfers. Transfers that can be facilitated using an application that can run on any mobile handset.
ii. B. Sambamurthy, Director, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, will chair the committee and Vijay Chugh, Chief General Manager at RBI will be the member secretary.
iii. The committee will study challenges faced by banks in mobile banking. It will consider the advantages/ challenges of having a single application across all handsets in an SMS-encrypted environment, the RBI said.
iv. The committee will also look at any other solution to expand the reach of mobile banking and accordingly, draw a roadmap to implement those solutions.
v. The members of the committee will include officials of State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank and Chief Information Officer of Vodafone India, Anthony Thomas.
5. UN lend $80 m to India for peacekeeping operations
i. The UN owes $80 million to India, the most it has to pay to any country, for costs relating to peacekeeping operations, a top official said.
ii. Apart from India, among the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions, the other top countries which are owed outstanding payments for such operations are Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Rwanda and Nigeria.
iii. India is followed by Ethiopia, to which the UN owes $54 million, Bangladesh ($50 million), Pakistan ($49 million), Rwanda ($37 million) and Nigeria ($35 million).
iv. On the other hand, the United States owes $795 million to the UN for the regular budget, and $651 million for peacekeeping operations assessment.
v. Secretary-General for Management Yukio Takasu said the UN is urging member states to expedite payment of outstanding dues to the world body so that it could in turn pay to countries like India for their services.
6. IFC launches $1-billion bond programme for India
i. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a $1-billion offshore bond programme, touted as the largest of its kind in the offshore rupee market, to strengthen India’s capital markets and attract greater foreign investment.
ii. Under the programme, IFC will issue rupee-linked bonds and use the proceeds to finance private sector investment in the country.
iii. As Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s CEO, noted: “Vibrant domestic capital markets ensure access to long-term, local currency finance for the private sector, the key engine of job creation in emerging markets.
iv. India accounted for $4.5 billion of IFC’s committed investment portfolio as of June 30, 2013, more than any other country. In FY13, IFC invested $1.38 billion in India, to support low-income States.
v. The aim was to promote inclusive growth, address climate change impact and support inter-regional trade to boost growth of small businesses. The investment was 43 per cent over the previous year.
7. Janet Yellen to be first woman to head U.S. Fed Reserve
i. The U. S. Federal Reserve is going to exit the list of top power institutions in the country where the top position has never been held by a woman.
ii. President Barack Obama's administration has nominated Janet Yellen to run the central bank
iii. Yellen remained the governor and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 1994 to 1997 and from 2004 to 2010, respectively. Currently, she is the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.
iv. She is going to be the first woman to be the chairperson of the Federal Reserve. But, she is not the world's first woman to head a central bank.
v. A number of countries have already positioned women as the heads of their respective central banks.
vi. The list of top power positions in the US government that have never been held by a woman includes the president, vice president and chief of the Supreme Court.
8. Malala awarded European Parliament's Sakharov human rights prize
i. Pakistan's teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for fighting girls' rights to education, was today awarded the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize.
ii. The 16-year-old who has become an emblem of the fight against the most radical forms of Islamism has also been nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
iii. She was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban on October 9 last year for speaking out against them and has gone on to become a global ambassador for the right of all children to go to school.
9. MNREGA has unleashed a revolution in rural India: World Bank
i. The government’s ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA has not only unleashed a revolution in rural India but has also established the country as a model of inclusive development worldwide, says a new World Bank report.
ii. Hailing MNREGA, ‘The World Development Report 2014 (WDR 2014), Risk and Opportunity – Managing Risk for Development’ says the scheme illustrates how good governance and social mobilisation go hand-in-hand.
iii. One of the key achievements of the scheme has been that it has provided the rural poor with a safety net during times of adversity such as droughts, floods or a failed harvest.
iv. Citing that the Act also provides for social audits and redress of grievances, the report says the demand for work is massive, mostly from poor and disadvantaged groups, and at times of the year where no other work is available.
v. A state such as Rajasthan, which promotes transparency and accountability and has a long history of popular mobilisation, performs relatively better. In Rajasthan, 84 percent of job seekers report being successful (against 56 percent nationwide), receiving 71 days of employment (against 37 nationwide), on average,” it says.
10. Bengal accepts IndianOil bid for Haldia Petro
i. The West Bengal Government today confirmed accepting IndianOil’s bid for state shareholding in sick Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd.
ii. “IndianOil is the sole bidder for the State Government’s shares. They have quoted higher than the reserve price. The bid is accepted,” the State Commerce and Industry Minister, Partha Chatterjee, said in a quick response in the middle of a meeting with IOC officials.
iii. Bengal holds nearly 40 per cent stake in the joint sector company. The state holding includes 9 per cent disputed holding which is now pending a Supreme Court verdict.
11. Star batsman Jayasurya among new Ministers in Lanka cabinet
i. Sri Lanka’s cabinet was expanded today with the inclusion of nine new Deputy Ministers, including former star batsman and Chairman of the Selection Committee, Sanath Jayasuriya.
ii. According to the local news agency, the nine Members of Parliament who were accommodated in the 66 member cabinet of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are - Sanath Jayasuriya, Lakshman Perera, Sarath Weerasekara, Y.G. Padmasiri, Anthony Victor Perera, Hemal Gunasekera, Mohan Lal Grero, Nishantha Mutuhettigama and Sarath Mutukumarana.
12. Wilfried Martens, Nine-Time Prime Minister of Belgium Died At 77
i. Wilfried Martens, nine-times Prime Minister of Belgium and who led the European Union's Christian Democrat group, died on 9 October 2013 at Lokeren, in East Flanders. He was 77 years old.
13. Well-known Telugu Film Actor Srihari Died
i. Well-known Telugu film actor, Srihari died on 9 October 2013 at a private hospital in Mumbai.
ii. He was shooting for a Hindi film Rambo Rajkumar being directed by Prabhu Deva with Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. Srihari, was suffering from a liver ailment for some time.
iii. He had acted in 98 movies. He made his debut in 1986 with the filmThirugbaatu. Subsequently, he performed the roles of a stunt performer and villain before making his debut as a hero in ‘Police’in 1999. He had acted as hero in about three dozen films. Srihari was a fitness freak by nature. He was 49 years old
14. Heal INDIA: Leprosy awareness campaign to be launched today
i. In an effort to remove the stigma attached to leprosy, the Leprosy Mission Trust of India is launching a nationwide campaign on Thursday to reach out to over a million people by bringing together corporates, governments, schools and people affected by the disease.
ii. The campaign Hire Educate Accept Leprosy-affected (HEAL) will be reaching out to people through 40,000 children in schools across Delhi, NCR, and also colleges through workshops, films and music.
iii. The organisation is also advocating that leprosy awareness becomes a part of school curriculum. As a part of the programme, an anthem will be composed to highlight the issue. The campaign has also tied up with student bodies and other clubs and associations to spread the message.
iv. The campaign will be opening up avenues of employment for leprosy patients by building their skills, connecting them to employment opportunities and creating an inclusive hiring environment through a corporate charter with industry bodies.
v. India accounts for 58 percent of new leprosy cases worldwide.
15. Today is the birth anniversary of one of India's most loved authors, R K Narayan
i. R K Narayan whose works gave the generation one of its most cherished tele-serials, Malgudi Days, and Bollywood, one of its most celebrated movies, 'Guide'.
ii. R. K. Narayan, full name Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, is one of three leading figures of early Indian literature in English (alongside Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao), and is credited with bringing the genre to the rest of the world.
iii. Narayan broke through with the help of his mentor and friend, Graham Greene, who was instrumental in getting publishers for Narayan’s first four books, including the semi-autobiographical trilogy of Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts and The English Teacher.
iv. Narayan’s works also include The Financial Expert, hailed as one of the most original works of 1951, and Sahitya Akademi Award winner ‘The Guide’, which was adapted for film and for Broadway.
v. The setting for most of Narayan's stories is the fictional town of Malgudi, first introduced in Swami and Friends.
vi. Narayan's short story writing style has been compared to that of Guy de Maupassant, as they both have an ability to compress the narrative without losing out on elements of the story.
vii. Narayan has also come in for criticism for being too simple in his prose and diction.In a writing career that spanned over sixty years, Narayan received many awards and honours.
viii. These include the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's parliament.
16. Jignesh Shah, Joseph Massey quit MCX-SX board
i. Jignesh Shah, Vice-Chairman and Shareholder Director of the MCX-SX, and Joseph Massey, Managing Director and CEO, have resigned from the board of the exchange.
ii. According to a press release, market regulator SEBI has nominated Thomas Mathew, a former Chairman of LIC, as Public Interest Director of the exchange.
iii. As an interim arrangement, U. Venkataraman, Whole-time Director, will assist a Special Committee of Public Interest Directors in carrying out the functions of the exchange.
17. Akshay's 'Boss' enters Guinness World Records
i. Akshay Kumar's upcoming film "Boss" has entered the Guinness World Records for having the largest poster in the world.
ii. The width of the poster is 193 feet and 1 inch while its height is 180 feet and 2 inches.
iii. Created by a group of Akshay's fans called Team Akshay, it was unveiled at the Little Gransden Airfield, Britain, Oct 3. It took them four months to prepare the poster.
iv. Tweeting his happiness, Akshay said, "A humbling experience to be a part of the world's largest poster. Thank you for the love."
v. Boss" broke the record of Michael Jackson's "This Is It", a documentary-concert film
18. Sachin Tendulkar to retire after playing 200th Test match
i. Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket, today called it quits from Test cricket, announcing his retirement after his 200th match against the West Indies next month, bringing the curtains down on an extraordinary career spanning a marathon 24 years.
ii. Struggling with form for the last two years, 40-year-old Tendulkar today informed the BCCI about his decision to retire from Test cricket, putting an end to the intense speculation about his future.
iii. With his poor form, there has been increasing pressure on him to pave the way for a younger player and the decision may not have been all that surprising.
iv. Tendulkar, who has scored a monumental 15,837 runs in 198 Tests at an average of 53.86, said it was hard to imagine a life without playing cricket.
v. Tendulkar said“All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years. It’s hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I have ever done since I was 11 years old.
vi. Tendulkar’s 200th Test match is most likely to be held at his home ground in Mumbai from November 14. The Eden Gardens in Kolkata is also a contender for hosting that historic match. The BCCI has not yet announced the venues for the two Tests against the West Indies.
19. McDonald’s to launch McCafe in India
i. Widely-popular fast-food chain McDonald on Wednesday announced its decision to launch its international coffee format McCafe in India.
ii. McDonald's Indian arm, WestLife Development Ltd. (WDL), will first launch McCafe in western and southern parts of India, followed by an expansion of the new coffee format in the remaining parts of the country by Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd.
iii. Estimates suggest that McCafe helps the fast-food chain generate 15 per cent more revenue in an already established market. However, Jatia didn't reveal how much he expected the new format to add to the company's revenues.
iv. The coffee-cafe market in India grew at 30 per cent year-on-year over the past three years to an estimated value of around Rs 2,000 crore.