1. World Food Day Observed Every Year on 16 October
ii. The main objective of the World Food Day is to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development.
iii. The Theme of the World Food Day 2013 is Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition
iv: World Food Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979.
2. Eleanor Catton is youngest Man Booker winner
i. Eleanor Catton won the 2013 Man Booker prize for English fiction on Tuesday for her novel "The Luminaries" and became the youngest winner in the award's 45-year history.
ii. The 28-year-old New Zealand novelist won the award because her novel is “awesome in its structural complexity; addictive in its story-telling; and magical in its conjuring of a world of greed and gold," Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane said.
iii. The other shortlisted authors for the prize were Canadian Ruth Ozeki for "A Tale for the Time Being", Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri for "The Lowland", Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo for "We Need New Names", Briton Jim Crace for "Harvest" and Irish writer Colm Toibin for "The Testament of Mary.”
3. Arunendra Kumar appointed Chairman, Railway Board
i. The Railways today appointed acting Chairman of the Railway Board Arunendra Kumar as the head of the Board.
ii. Kumar, the Mechanical Member, was holding additional charge of Chairman, Railway Board (CRB) after the retirement of Vinay Mittal on June 30.
iii. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had cleared Kumar’s name for the post of Board Chairman and a formal order to this effect was today signed by Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
iv. However, after becoming Chairman, Kumar will still hold the charge of Member Mechanical (MM) for some time as a decision for selecting the new incumbent for the post is yet to be taken.
v. The final selection of the CRB witnessed intense lobbying and infighting among the aspirants in Railways.
vi. Appointments at higher posts in the Railways are in focus, particularly after the alleged cash-for-job scam unearthed by CBI in May.
4. RBI rejects takeout finance plan of IIFCL’s London arm
i. The Reserve Bank of India has rejected IIFCL’s proposal to provide takeout finance at the latter’s wholly-owned London subsidiary.
ii. This is despite the Centre giving its nod to IIFCL’s London arm to operate in the takeout finance segment.
iii. The RBI’s move is a setback of sorts for the state-owned infrastructure lender, IIFCL, which was betting big on takeout finance to speed up disbursements from its London subsidiary.
iv. Takeout financing at London was envisaged to be similar to IIFCL’s takeout scheme in India. Under takeout financing, loans made by banks to infrastructure firms are sold to IIFCL so that banks recover their funds ahead of the payment schedule under the loan agreement.
v. The RBI has contended that takeout at London will not be appropriate as it could end up benefiting foreign banks, which provided ECBs to Indian infrastructure developers.
vi. In 2012-13, IIFCL had, under its takeout finance scheme in India, disbursed Rs 2,126 crore.
5. World Bank lowers India’s GDP growth forecast for 2013-14
i. The World Bank has revised downwards India’s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 4.7 per cent.
ii. This is down from 6.1 per cent economic growth projected in April this year.
iii. India’s GDP growth is, however, expected to accelerate to 6.2 per cent in 2014-15, the World Bank said in the latest India Development Update released today.
iv. The World Bank’s latest India GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal is higher than the International Monetary Fund’s recent downward revised projection of 4.25 per cent for 2013-14.
6. Global Hunger Index Report 2013: India Ranked at 63rd Position
i. The 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released on 14 October 2013 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide- revealed that 842 million people were chronically under nourished across the world.
ii. The 2013 GHI is calculated for 120 countries, its scores are based on three equally weighted indicators.’
iii. India has moved from 65 to 63 in the Global Hunger Index, making a marginal improvement since 2012, but continues to suffering far behind other emerging economies.
iv. The score for India has improved slightly from 22.9 in 2012 to 21.3 in 2013. Within SAARC countries also, India continued to trail behind Pakistan and Bangladesh on the index.
The GHI combines three equally weighted indicators into one score:
i. The proportion of people who are undernourished.
ii. The proportion of children under five who are underweight.
iii. The mortality rate of children younger than age five.
7. MB Shah Commission submits final report on illegal mining
i. Justice M B Shah Commission, appointed to probe illegal mining across the country, has submitted its third and final report which is mainly on the menace in Goa.
ii. "The M B Shah Commission has submitted its report to the Mines Ministry, which will be tabled in Parliament after following necessary procedures," a source close to the development told media persons.
iii. The report would prove crucial as it dwells upon the financial transactions and losses through illegal mining from 2006-2011, another source said.
iv. The Commission has made a thorough probe into the bank transactions of exporters, traders and mining lease owners to track down the exact financial transaction, the source added. The term of the Commission expires on Wednesday.
v. The one-man panel had earlier submitted two interim reports based on which the Supreme Court imposed a temporary ban on mining activities in Goa, the largest exporter of iron-ore in the country. Of the two reports, one was on illegal iron ore mining across the country and the other was on illegal mining in Goa.
vi. The Commission had also recommended a total ban on iron ore and manganese ore exports. It had also made a few other suggestions on which the Mines Ministry has already initiated some actions.
vii. The Shah Commission has also been empowered to recommend remedial measures to prevent illegal mining, trade and export done illegally or without lawful authority.
8. PDS could be renamed after Indira Gandhi to roll out food law
i. The Government is considering a proposal to rename the public distribution system after Indira Gandhi to prevent Opposition parties from taking credit for implementing the National Food Security Act.
ii. “There is a proposal to rename the existing Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS),” Food Minister K. V. Thomas told: “There are many suggestions such as Indiramma Anna Yojana and Annapurna Scheme. We are considering Indiramma Anna Yojana and a final decision on it has not been taken yet.”
iii. The food security law, a brainchild of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, could be projected as the unfinished task of Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ campaign launched in the 1971 elections.
iv. The Minister said the name of the food law would not be changed because that would require an amendment.
v. Each eligible person would get five kg of foodgrains per month at Rs 3 per kg of rice, Rs 2 per kg of wheat and Re 1 per kg of coarse cereals through the State Government under the TPDS.
vi. Last month, Parliament passed the food law to give 67 per cent of the population the right to subsidised foodgrains.
9. Anand Mahindra elected as Chairperson of PHFI
i. The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) today said Mahindra group Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra has been elected as its Chairperson for a term of three years.
ii. Mahindra succeeds NR Narayana Murthy, Infosys founder, Executive Chairman, who has held the position since July 2011, PHFI said in a statement.
iii. Commenting on the unanimous election, Murthy said: “I am delighted that the PHFI Board has elected Anand Mahindra as Chairperson.
iv. Accepting the position as Chairperson PHFI, Mahindra said: “Since inception, the PHFI has contributed immensely to strengthening India’s public health capabilities and performance through a model public-private partnership.”
v. Established in 2006 as a public-private initiative, PHFI is an independent foundation headquartered in the Capital.
vi. It is managed by a governing board comprising senior government officials, eminent Indian and international academic and scientific leaders, civil society representatives and corporate leaders.
10. Powerful Typhoon Wipha caused destruction in Japan
i. A powerful typhoon Wipha on 16 October 2013 caused landslides and flooding on Izu Oshima Island, South of Tokyo.
ii. The storm brought strong winds and record rainfall - 122mm (4.8 inches) in one hour to Izu Oshima Island, which lies some 120km (75 miles) south of Tokyo. It caused damage to property and human lives.
iii. Wipha is the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane. Wipha is the 12th typhoon and 26th named storm of the west Pacific typhoon season. It was the strongest storm to impact the region since Typhoon Tokage in October, 2004.
11. Australia set 360-run target for India
i. Electing to bat, Australia scored a massive 359 for five against India in the second one-dayer of the seven-match series here today.
ii. Australia: 359 for five in 50 overs (George Bailey not out 92, Phil Hughes 83; R Vinay Kumar 2/73).