Health on GeM workshop organised
• The six-week long National Mission Series concluded with a workshop on Health on GeM in New Delhi.
• The workshop organised by Government eMarketplace (GeM), in partnership with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was aimed to sensitise vendors, suppliers and buyers from various parts of the country and different government agencies on the proven benefits of GeM.
• Presently, GeM records close to 15000 transactions for healthcare products which is about Rs 220 crore worth of business.
• Two panel discussions were held during the workshop. The first panel discussion focused on the challenges in transforming procurement of medical equipment, medical devices and drugs through GeM.
• The second panel discussed issues from sellers' perspective on how GeM can be a game changer in making the public procurement in the heath sector open, inclusive and efficient.
US announces fresh sanctions on Iran, targeting banks investment companies
• The United States Treasury announced fresh sanctions on Iran, targeting banks and investment companies.
• The new sanctions focused on Bank Mellat and Mehr Eqtesad Bank.
• The US is also imposing sanctions on Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company, Steel Company and others linked to investment, commodities and engineering.
• The announcement came two weeks before the US administration re-imposed some of the US' severe sanctions against Iran, including its oil sector.
• A second round of sanctions will be targeting Iran's energy sector and financial transactions.
• A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.
CVC suggests systemic improvements after analysing top 100 Bank Frauds
• The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) analysed top 100 Bank Frauds till 2017 in which it identified loop holes and suggests systemic improvements.
• The Vigilance Commissioner Dr T M Bhasin said, the study was done in 13 sectors comprising Gems and Jewellery, Manufacturing, Agro sector, Aviation, Service Sector, Trading sector, IT Sector, Exports sector, Fixed deposits and Demand Loan.
• With a view to maintain discreteness, the names of borrower accounts and the names of the Banks have not been disclosed in the report.
• However, steps are being taken for all encompassing actions such as investigation by the Premier investigative agencies, fixing staff accountability and recovery measures for effective action.
• The modus operandi of these loans has been thoroughly analysed and various loopholes have been identified.
• The measures suggested by the commission include strengthening of Standard Operating Procedures, monitoring system and also highlighting the role of controlling offices to examine the aspect of quality of business.
• The analytical study was initiated by the Commission as a Preventive Vigilance measure to minimise the occurrence of such type of frauds in future.
Nimesh Shah elected as AMFI Chairman
• Nimesh Shah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, was elected as the Chairman of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
• Shah was elected as Chairman on October 12, 2018, replacing A Balasubramanian who took over as AMFI Chairman in October 2016.
• Kailash Kulkarni, CEO of the L&T Mutual Fund, will continue to serve as the Vice-Chairman of AMFI.
China launched two more satellites
• China successfully launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space on October 15, 2018 to strengthen its satellite navigation network.
• The satellites were launched from a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
• The launch marked the 287th mission of the Long March rocket series.
• The BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.
West Bengal extends food security to more than 8.5 crore people
• The West Bengal government ensured food security to more than 8.5 crore people of the State under the ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme.
• As per this scheme, people would get rice and wheat at Rs 2 per kg.
• The Khadya Sathi Scheme was launched on January 27, 2016.
• Special assistance is also being given to the people of Jangalmahal and Hill areas besides Aila-affected areas and farmers of Singur.
World Food Day observed on 16 October
• World Food Day, held annually on the 16 October, is dedicated to tackle the problem of global hunger.
• The theme for the year 2018 is “Our Actions Are Our Future”.
• Every year, World Food Day is celebrated in the honour of the founding date of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
• FAO was launched by the United Nations in the year 1945.
Music composer Khayyam wins Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement
• Veteran composer, lyricist, writer and national award winning music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, famously known as Khayya, was 2018 Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement.
• The award will be conferred by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.
• This year, the award ceremony coincides with 81st birthday of Hridaynath Mangeshkar after whom award is named.
Shekhar Mande appointed as Director-General of CSIR
• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed Dr Shekhar Mande as the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Research (DSIR).
• He will succeed Girish Sahni who superannuated in August 2018.
• Dr Mande, a structural biologist, is Director of National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune.
• He worked at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad.
• He is also top functionary of Vijnana Bharati, a swadeshi science movement affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
• He is a fellow of all three major science academies and recipient of coveted SS Bhatnagar Prize (2005), most prestigious science honour in the country.
Government launches Swasth Bharat Yatra national campaign for food safety
• The Union Government launched national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ on occasion of World Food Day to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy.
• The campaign was launched in association with states and led by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
• Under it, pan-India cycle rally was organised to create consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food for becoming healthy and combating food adulteration.
• In this rally, about 7500 cyclists are participating in over 18,000 km travelling across six tracks through almost every state and UT over 100 days to propagate a powerful message ‘Eat Right India’.
• The cyclathon will culminate in the national capital on January 27, 2019.
• This campaign will not only mobilise masses but also create large pool of local community to sustain this movement.
Foreign tourists can now visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions
• Government allowed foreign tourists to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions.
• In this regard, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has modified its earlier order which made it mandatory for foreign tourists to register with Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) within 24 hours of their arrival.
• The step was taken on suggestion made by Union Tourism Ministry to boost foreign tourist arrivals in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
• This order follows earlier directive which allowed foreigners to visit 29 inhabited and 11 uninhabited islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which were prohibited as visitors under Foreigners (Restricted Area) Order, 1963, without any restrictions.
• However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries will continue to require Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit Union Territory.
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