PM laid foundation stone of Amaravati

On October 22, history was created in Andhra Pradesh when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for new state capital Amaravati. Amid chanting of Vedic hymns by the priests, PM Modi along with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu performed 'puja' and the associated rituals to formally lay the foundation stone of what is being promised a 'world-class' and 'people's capital'.   

During the ceremony, PM Modi also went around Amaravati Pavilion, a special exhibition arranged to highlight the glorious dynasty of Amaravati and the plans to develop the world-class capital.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announces India's INDCs

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on 2nd October. The main agenda was to cut the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.   

The main eight goals of India INDC's was sustainable lifestyles, cleaner economic development, reducing emission intensity of GDP, increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based electricity, enhancing carbon sink, adaptation and mobilising finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

India had committed to 40 percent of non-fossil fuel energy to be adopted by 2030. It has also set the target of generating 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent of carbon sinks in the form of forests.   


Ajay Jayaram won Dutch Open title

High point for Indian badminton came again when shuttler Ajay Jayaram won gold in Dutch Open. Jayaram, who had won the tournament in 2014, was playing to retain his title and he did so by displaying an outstanding performance and defeating his   opponent and World no. 48, Estonia’s Raul Must. This game was a reminder of 2010 when Jayaram had lost to Raul in Austrian International Challenge. It was certainly the best time in Jayaram's career as the player had also reached Super Series final for the first time at Korea Open.


India vs South Africa Twenty20 series

In a three match Twenty20 series, South Africa beat India by 2-0, proving that they are better than India which stands at number 2 spot in ICC Twenty20 ranking. Third game was washed away because of rain. South Africa won the first match by 7 and the second by 6 wickets. Indian batsmen proved to be unsuccessful in proving their worth as the highest score made by an individual batsman (Suresh Raina) was 22.   

Zaheer Khan announced retirement

Indian pacer Zaheer Khan formally announced retirement from all formats of international cricket on 15th of July. He will, however, play the next edition of IPL. Having taken 610 wickets, he is the fourth highest wicket taker of India. With 311 Test wickets, he stands second only to legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, who had taken 434. Zaheer'scareer was marred with injuries, his last ODI being against Sri Lanka three years back. He played his last Test against New Zealand in 2014. Zaheer has played 92 Tests, 200 ODIs and 17 T20s in his entire career.


Virender Sehwag announced retirement

Swashbuckling batsman and mostfeared Indian opener, Virender Sehwag announced retirement from international cricket on 20th October which also happens to be his birthday. Sehwag made the announcement through his twitter account where he thanked his teammates and seniors from supporting him through the highs and lows of his career. Sehwag was kept out of the national team for a long time, his last Test being against Australia in March 2013. Sehwag has played 104 Tests, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is, scoring over 17,000 international runs and picking up 136 wickets in his career. He is the only Indian cricketer to score a triple Test century and has twice scored a double hundred in ODIs.   

Third India-Africa Forum Summit

The third India-Africa Summit was held from October 26-30, 2015 in New Delhi. From seeking help in fighting terror group Al Shabab to inviting India to do business in diamonds, African leaders discussed a wide range of issues with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the third India-Africa Forum Summit.

Earlier the summit in a rotation basis was scheduled to be held in New Delhi India in December 2014. But lately the then official Spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin the told the media that the scheduled summit was postponed to 2015. Forty one leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari graced the occasion for the India-Africa forum summit on October 29-30.

Rashtriya Ekta Divas (31st October): Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year announced to observe birth anniversary of country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on 31st October as 'Rashtriya Ekta Divas'. This day was marked to pay tribute to the Iron man of our country Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

The official statement for 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' by Home Ministry cites “Provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to unity, integrity and security of our country.” Sardar Patel was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. He was extremely close to Mahatma Gandhi. His attachment was such that after the assassination of Gandhi, even his health started to get deteriorated and just after two months he suffered a major heart attack.


Swachch Bharat Abhiyan's first anniversary on 2nd October

The Swachch Bharat campaign was officially launched on 2nd October on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. This initiative was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He himself took to streets and cleaned the roads.

PM Modi said Indians have always thought the government has to do everything. “But this has to change now. Swachch Bharat programme will never be successful if it is taken as the government or Modi's programme. This has to be our programme," he said. PM Modi also nominated nine famous personalities for the campaign, and they took up the challenge and nominated nine more people and so on.

He also asked the country to focus on both  personal hygiene and social hygiene as well. Manohar Parrikar, Prakash Javadekar and Bollywood celebrities such as Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra also participated in the Swachch Bharat campaign.

The blooming of Dal Prices in India

The inflation hit the market on 19th October, leading to a high rise in the prices of pulses. Toor dal was among various other pulses, which reached the record high price of Rs 200 per Kg in the retail markets. The prices shot up as the deficiency of rainfall led to the shortage in production of pulses. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed the states for not doing sufficient work for cracking down on hoarders. In order to curb the inflated prices, various state governments purchased pulses from the centre. These imported pulses were sold at a subsidised price to curb the inflation.

Supreme Court strikes down NJAC

In a landmark judgement on October 16, the Supreme Court declared the law brought by the NDA government to replace the over two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary as unconstitutional. The Apex Court, which quashed the NJAC Act in an unanimous verdict, also declared the 99th amendment to the Constitution to bring in the Act to replace the collegium system as unconstitutional.

The unanimous verdict quashing the NJAC Act was delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising justices JS Khehar, J Chelameswar MB Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Goel which also rejected the plea of Central government to refer for review to larger bench the 1993 and 1998 verdict of the Apex Court on the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

Justice Khehar, who pronounced the verdict, said that the system of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice and judges of the High Courts and transfer of judges from one High Court to another has been existing in the Constitution prior to the 99th amendment.


Drought declared

On October 9, as many as 19,951 villages in 114 tehsils were declared as drought-hit in Madhya Pradesh that was a major concern for Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. Similarly on October 16, Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse declared 14,708 villages in the state are facing drought conditions where paisewari ('value of crops') is less than 50 percent.

He said that the majority of villages (8,522) of the total 14,708, where drought is declared, fall under Aurangabad division. For its part, the government will provide a concession of 33.5 percent to farmers in their agriculture pump bills, and will also waive off examination fees of their wards in schools and colleges.



Combat role for women in Air Force

In a historic announcement on 24th October, the Ministry of Defence approved induction of women as combat pilots in the Indian Air Force. This came as an experimental process for a period of five years. Earlier on 14th October, the Indian Navy had ruled out combat role for women for the time being citing government rules.  The Navy later pitched for inducting them as pilots for its fleet of maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Mark Zuckerberg's India visit

During his two-day trip to India, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised lot of things, including initiatives to provide better broadband connectivity through drones. Zuckerberg met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged his support to the latter's 'Swachh Bharat' campaign. Mark has also proposed a pilot project to bridge the digital divide during his meeting with communications and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. During the meet with Ravi Shankar Prasad. the minister sought Facebook as a partner in the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) programme, which aims to connect 2.5 lakh village panchayats through high-speed broadband by 2017.

Zuckerberg told the Prime Minister that he is extremely excited about the government's Digital India initiative. Modi, a prolific user of social media platforms with nearly 7 million followers on Twitter and around 23 million people following him on Facebook, has asked Zuckerberg to identify domains of the program that it can get involved in and work with the government.

 

Apple's major launch: Apple created record by selling more than 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in just three days. Apple  iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus brought a powerful new dimension to iPhone’s revolutionary Multi-Touch interface with 3D Touch, which senses how deeply you press the display, letting you do essential things more quickly and simply. Apple  iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was launched in India on 16th October 2015. Customers who'd pre-booked one of the two new iPhone models received their units, with stores expected to stay open through the night to to facilitate early birds. While Apple resellers in India don't see the crazy long lines that are common in other countries such as the US, the demand in India is significant. E-commerce websites took pre-orders, promising delivery on launch day. Although Infibeam is the only Apple authorised iPhone reseller in India, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal also allowed pre-orders of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

 

India vs South Africa ODI series: This five match series on Indian soil was won by South Africa, defeating India 3-2. First four matches were won by both the teams alternatively, while the last match was won by South Africa. The final match of the series witnessed a lot of records being broken or equaled, two of them being: Individual centuries by three batsmen of the same team in an ODI innings and Hashim Amla's completion of 6000 ODI runs, which is the fastest in the world (123 innings).

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