1.    RBI launches new RTGS system
i. The Reserve Bank of India today launched the new Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system for large-value funds transfer.
ii. The system has several new functionalities including advance liquidity features, gridlock resolution mechanism and hybrid settlement facility, facility to accept future value-dated transactions and options to process multi-currency transactions.
iii. The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system is a large-value funds transfer system which banks use to settle inter-bank transfers for their own accounts as well as for their customers.
iv. “With its advanced liquidity and queue management features, the new RTGS system is expected to significantly improve the efficiency of financial markets,” said Rajan.

Note: i. The new ISO 20022 compliant RTGS system provides three access options to participants — thick-client, Web-API (through INFINET or any other approved network) and Payment Originator module.
ii. Participants can decide the mode of participation in the system based on the volume of transactions and the cost of setting up the infrastructure.

2.    Financial inclusion can be better achieved through self-help groups: Nabard
i. According to a Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) report, though the SHG-BLP (self-help group-bank linkage programme) is a step towards bringing the ‘unbanked’ poor into the mainstream banking channel, its formal acceptance as a financial inclusion channel by the central bank is still awaited.
ii. An SHG is a homogeneous group, comprising 15-20 members (mostly women), where members first pool in their savings and give out small loans to needy members.
iii. Once the SHG successfully undertakes savings and credit operations from its own resources, it can borrow from a bank (SHG-BLP) to enhance its pool of resources.
iv. The ‘Status of Microfinance in India’ report observed that a successful programme such as the SHG-BLP, which could link millions of rural poor to the formal banking system, could have been the main instrument for financial literacy and financial inclusion in the country.
v. “There are a number of plausible ways by which matured SHGs could have been participants in the financial inclusion initiative, including being agents of providing direct banking services to the poor at their doorsteps, as a low-cost and efficient alternative.

Note: The Government and the RBI hold 99.50 per cent and 0.50 per cent stake, respectively, in Nabard.
ii. The institution was promoted in 1982 for ensuring sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural prosperity through effective credit support, related services, institution development and other innovative initiatives.

3.    Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban visited India
i. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary visited India on 16-17 October 2013.
ii. During his visit, India and Hungry signed several important agreements to further strengthen cooperation which includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of traditional Indian medicine systems.
iii. Earlier this year, India’s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid had visited Hungary where he discussed regional, bilateral and international issues with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Martonyi.

4.    Infosys wins award for resource management
i.  IT bellwether Infosys Ltd Friday announced it has won the 'Corporate Sustainability Stewardship' award for efficient management of energy, waste and water resources in its production processes and operations.
ii. The Parivartan sustainability leadership awards, instituted by Sustainability Outlook, a not-for-profit social organisation, recognise corporates and their executives who contribute in the field of sustainability every year.
iii. "Our infrastructure and green initiatives head Rohan Parikh was declared finalist in the 'sustainability trailblazer' category at the 2013 annual summit of the sustainable business leadership forum in New Delhi Thursday,
iv. The event also showcased efforts of organisations in conservation, innovation and leadership in sustainability

5.    BCCI Anti-Doping tribunal bans Pradeep Sangwan
i. Pacer Pradeep Sangwan was on Saturday slapped with an 18-month ban from cricket after being found guilty of consuming a banned anabolic steroid by the BCCI’s Anti-Doping Tribunal.
ii. The ban on the 23-year-old Delhi cricketer has been imposed with retrospective effect from May this year when the IPL took place.
iii. The Tribunal has found that the Player has committed an Anti-Doping Violation under Article 2.1 of the Code for the presence of the Prohibited Substance Stanozolol, an Anabolic Steroid,” it added.
iv. Sangwan, who played a stellar role in India’s victorious U-19 World Cup campaign back in 2008 represented Kolkata Knight Riders during the last two editions of the IPL. He has taken 123 wickets in 38 first-class matches.
v. Sangwan, who hails from Najafgarh, played two matches in the IPL against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He could not get a single wicket during the two games.

Note: Sangwan is only the second cricketer in the history of IPL after Pakistani speedster Mohammed Asif to have been found guilty of consuming banned drugs.

6.    Ding Junhui won Indian Open Snooker Title 2013
i. Ding Junhui of China won the 2013 Indian Open Snooker title with a 5-0 victory over Aditya Mehta of India in New Delhi on 18 October 2013.
ii.  Ding Junhui, world number four, 26, scored two century breaks as he earned the 50000 Pounds first prize.
iii. Aditya Mehta, 72nd in the world, became the first Indian player to make the last four of a major ranking event when he reached the semi-finals on 17 October 2013 and he was also first Indian ever to reach the final of the event.

7.    Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre takes oath as new Chief Justice of Gauhati HC
i. In Assam, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre today took oath as the new Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court at Rajbhawan in Guwahati. Governor J B Patnaik administered the oath to him. Justice Sapre earlier served as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court.

8.    Noted Malayalam Music Composer K. Raghavan Passed away
i. Noted Malayalam music composer K Raghavan died at Thalassery in Kannur district of Kerala on 19 October 2013. He was 99.
ii. Raghavan infused the folk element into Malayalam film music and his rustic melodies replaced the then prevailing trend of imitations of popular Hindi tunes of the day.
iii. K Raghavan was born to M. Krishnan and Narayani in 1913 at Thalassery, Kannur of Kerala.
iv. The music mastero, who is credited with giving a new direction and identity to Malayalam film music, has scored music for over 60 films in a career spanning for about four decades.

9.    The Largest Air Traffic Control Tower of India Inaugurated at Mumbai Airport
i. The largest Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower of India was inaugurated outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai on 18 October 2013.
ii. The tallest ATC tower stands at the length of 84 metres or around 30 storey building. 
iii. The ATC tower is spread over an area of 2800 square metre area and is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as electronic flight strips that can reduce the workload of controllers and enhance safety and capacity of the airport. 
iv. It is important to note that India is the 9th largest aviation market of the world and has the traffic increasing at 10 percent annually. 
v. The designing of the ATC was done by Hong Kong-based architectural firm HOK as well as the international engineering designer ARUP. These were chosen after the global competition.

10.  Eminent Telugu Writer Dr. Ravuri Bharadwaja Passed away
i. Eminent Telugu writer and Gyanpeeth award recipient, Dr. Ravuri Bharadwaja passed away in Hyderabad on 18 October 2013. He was 86. 
ii. Ravuri Bharadwaja won Gyanpeeth award for the year 2012 for his well known Telugu novel, Paakudu Raallu, which reflected real life behind the silver screen of the film industry. 

11.  Dhoni powers India to 303/9 in 3rd ODI against Australia
i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni led from the front by smashing an unbeaten 139 as India recovered from a poor start to post a massive 303 for nine against Australia in the third cricket one-dayer of the seven-match series, in Mohali on Saturday
ii. Dhoni rescued India after early jitters as he played a responsible and sensible innings that came off just 121 balls, including 12 fours and five sixes.
iii. The skipper also shared two significant partnerships -- putting on a solid 72-run stand for the fifth wicket with Virat Kohli (68) before joining hands with Ravichandran Ashwin (28) to put up 76 runs for the seventh wicket.
iv. Dhoni, mostly picked on James Faulkner and Watson. He began an over of Faulkner with two consecutive fours and then topped it up with a boundary and a six in Watson’s over to release the pressure.