Current Affairs of October 2013

The Indian contestant who has been crowned Miss Asia Pacific World 2013 at a beauty pageant held in Seoul, South KoreaShristi Rana
The Russian President who has been ranked as the World's most powerful person for the year 2013 by the Forbes magazineVladimir Putin
The Chancellor of Germany who has been ranked as the World's most powerful woman for 2013 by the Forbes magazineAngela Merkel
The two cities in which airports have been granted international status by the Union CabinetBhubaneshwar and Imphal
The waterway (strait) connecting Black Sea and Sea of Marmara in Istanbul (Turkey) under which a tunnel has been opened connecting Asia and EuropeBosphorus Strait
The country in which Festival of India and Indian Chamber of Commerce (INCHAM) were inaugurated by the visiting Vice-President of India, Mr. Hamid AnsariPeru
The Indian film star who has been honoured with the 3rd Hridyanath Mangeshkar Award for his contribution to the film industryAmitabh Bachchan
The rank of India in the Global Gender Gap Index 2013 released by the World Economic Forum101
The German F1 Racing driver (racing for Red Bull Renault) who has won his fourth straight world title at the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International CircuitSebastian Vettel
The airfield in Bangladesh, where an Indian Air Force aircraft (helicopter Mi-17V5) made a historic landing after a gap of 42 years (last landing by an IAF aircraft was made in 1971)Jessore
The vintage steam locomotive (manufactured by Chittranjan Locomotive Works) which has been restored and overhauled to run a tourist train from Delhi to Alwar is namedAkbar
The Indian Human Rights and Animal Rights activist, founder and executive director of The Naz Foundation Trust who has been awarded France's highest civilian award 'Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur' for her work on transgenders and HIV positive patientsAnjali Gopalan
The country to which India has resumed supply of arms ending an eight-year old ban imposed in 2005Nepal
The eminent gastroenterologist and director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi who has been chosen for the 42nd Dhanvantri awardS.K. Sarin
The Indo-Russian joint military exercise to improve capabilities for carrying out anti-terrorist operations which is being conducted at Mahajan field firing range near India-Pakistan border in Thar desert of Rajasthan is namedIndra 2013
The Chinese Snooker professional who has won the Indian Open World Snooker Tournament held in New Delhi in Oct 2013 defeating Aditya Mehta of India in the finalsDing Junhui
The country which has rejected a seat in the United Nations Security Council to protest against a lack of international efforts to end world conflictsSaudi Arabia
The Indian cricketer who has become the fastest Indian to score a century off 52 balls (surpassing Virender Sehwag's record of century in 60 balls) in an ODI against Australia in JaipurVirat Kohli
The New Zealand author who has been awarded the Man Booker Prize 2013 for her second novel The LuminariesEleanor Catton
Indian Navy's largest offshore patrol vessel which was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command at Kochi is namedINS Sunanya
The place in M.P. where a stampede on a bridge over Sindh river (tributary of Yamuna) killed over 80 people and injured several othersRatangarh
The ship belonging to a US-based firm (and registered in Sierra Leone) which was detained by the Indian Coast Guard for carrying weapons in Indian waters is namedMV Seaman Guard
The cyclone which hit the eastern coast of India at Gopalpur in Odisha on 13 Oct 13 causing extensive damage to property was namedPhailin
The agricultural scientist and Father of Green Revolution in India, who has been chosen for the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 2012MS Swaminathan
The typhoon which hit the eastern coast of China forcing evacuation of lakhs of people and causing extensive damage to propertyFitow
The Indian industrialist who has been inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the US for his contributions to industrial development in India and across the worldRatan Tata
The Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer of SBI, who has been appointed as the first woman chairperson of State Bank of India, (also becomes the first woman to head a Fortune 500 company in India)Arundhati Bhattacharya
The Indian women's pair of snooker players who have won the team title in the 2013 IBSF World 6-red Snooker Championship after defeating Hong Kong in the final at Carlow, IrelandVidya Pillai and Arantxa Sanchis
India's first indigenous vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis launched by the health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and jointly developed by National Institute of Virology, Pune, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech Limited is namedJENVAC
The rank of India in the Human Capital Index as released by World Economic Forum78
The Govt of India has constituted a Council of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) to facilitate better coordination and synergy between the four NITTTRs located at Chandigarh, Bhopal, Calcutta and Chennai. The ex-officio Chairman of the Council will beMinister of Human Resource Development
The theme of International Day of Older Persons, 2013 chosen by the United Nations OrganisationThe future we want: what older persons are saying
The First National Award For Senior Citizens instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and presented by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the ocassion of International Day of Older Persons are namedVayoshreshtha Samman, 2013
The Indian badminton star who has been chosen as the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year 2013Saina Nehwal



Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

Introduction

The National Development Council (NDC) approved Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for reforming the state higher education system as part of the 12th Plan. It was subsequently included in the list of 66 schemes approved by the Cabinet on 20th June 2013, as part of the restructured CSSs for implementation in the 12th Plan. In Oct 2013, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the RUSA.

During the 12th Plan period, 80 new universities would be created by converting autonomous colleges/colleges in a cluster to State universities. 100 new colleges, including professional/technical colleges would be set up and 54 existing colleges would be converted into model degree colleges. Infrastructure grants would be given to 150 universities and 3,500 colleges to upgrade and fill critical gaps in infrastructure especially libraries, laboratories etc. RUSA would also support 5,000 faculty positions.

Important Objectives of the Scheme
  1. Improving the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework.
  2. Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and semi urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better quality institutions.
  3. Setting up of higher education institutions in unserved and underserved areas.
  4. Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to socially deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST and OBCs as well as differently abled persons.
  5. Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels.
  6. Create an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and innovation.
  7. Integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system through optimum interventions.

The scheme will be spread over two plan periods. Centre-State funding would be in the ratio of 90:10 for North-Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and 65:35 for other States and Union Territories.


Human Capital Index

The Human Capital Index, covering 122 countries, released by the World Economic Forum explores the contributors and inhibitors to the development and deployment of a healthy, educated and productive labour force.

The four pillars of the Index

The Health and Wellness pillar contains indicators relating to a population’s physical and mental well– being, from childhood to adulthood.

The Education pillar contains indicators relating to quantitative and qualitative aspects of education across primary, secondary and tertiary levels and contains information on both the present workforce as well as the future workforce.

The Workforce and Employment pillar is designed to quantify the experience, talent, knowledge and training in a country’s working–age population.

The Enabling Environment pillar captures the legal framework, infrastructure and other factors that enable returns on human capital.

Top 5 countries

Switzerland - 1; Finland - 2; Singapore - 3; Netherlands - 4; Sweden - 5

Major Countries and their ranks

U.S.A. - 16; U.K. - 8; France - 21; Germany - 6; Japan - 15; Russia - 51

India and its Neighbours

India - 78; Bangladesh - 110; Sri Lanka - 50; Pakistan - 112; China - 43


Booker Prize 2013 Shortlist

#BookAuthorNationality
1.A Tale for the Time BeingRuth OzekiCanada
2.HarvestJim CraceEngland
3.The LowlandJhumpa LahiriIndia
4.The LuminariesEleanor CattonNew Zealand
5.The Testament of MaryColm ToibinIreland
6.We Need New Namesnoviolet BulawayoZimbabwe

Nobel Prizes 2013

#FieldWinnersNationalityContribution
1.PhysicsFrancois EnglertBelgiumfor the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider
Peter W. HiggsUnited Kingdom
2.ChemistryMartin KarplusAustriafor the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems
Michael LevittSouth Africa
Arieh WarshelIsrael
3.MedicineJames E. RothmanU.S.A.for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
Randy W. SchekmanU.S.A.
Thomas C. SüdhofGermany
4.LiteratureAlice MunroCanadamaster of the contemporary short story
5.PeaceOrganization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons
6.Economic SciencesEugene F. FamaU.S.A.for their empirical analysis of asset prices
Lars Peter HansenU.S.A.
Robert J. ShillerU.S.A.