Current Affairs - 23 October, 2018

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World's longest sea crossing: Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge opens

BBC News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge, nine years after construction first began. Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge cost about $20bn (£15.3bn) and should have opened in 2016. Construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers have died on the project, officials say. Mr Xi attended the opening ceremony of the bridge, which took place in Zhuhai, along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau.

India is 58th most competitive economy in WEF index

The Hindu

India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index for 2018, which was topped by the US. India’s rank rose by five places from 2017, the largest gain among G20 economies, the WEF said. On the list of 140 economies, the US is followed by Singapore and Germany at the second and the third positions respectively. India was ranked 58th with a score of 62.0 in the latest Global Competitiveness Report. “This is the largest gain among all G20 economies,” WEF said.

N.D. Tiwari, former CM of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, passes away

The Hindu

Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand , N D Tiwari, passed away on Thursday afternoon after a prolonged stint of hospitalisation in New Delhi. Mr. Tiwari who began his career with the erstwhile Praja Socialist Party (PSP) to then serve his entire career in the Congress was 93 at the time of his death. Apart from serving as the Minister of External Affairs in the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet between 1986 and 1987, Mr. Tiwari was thrice elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in varied stints between 1976 and 1977, 1984 and 1985, 1988 and 1989, and was for one term the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, between 2002 and 2007.

VP confers Lal Bahadur Shastri award on Fali Nariman

Times of India

Stressing on probity in public life, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday hailed late PM Lal Bahadur Shastri for his “integrity and moral uprightness” and said the education system needed to highlight contribution of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Addressing a gathering after presenting the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman, Naidu said Shastri didn’t have two sets of principles — one for public consumption and other for personal life.

US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla wins Shakti Bhatt Prize

Business Standard

US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla's debut book, which takes readers through four generations of her family, at the centre of which is her uncle and People's War Group co-founder K G Satyamurthy, has been named the winner of this year's Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. The panel of judges, Sampurna Chattarji, Raghu Karnad and Githa Hariharan, chose "Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India" from a shortlist of six "because of its urgency, its revelations and its understated but seamless match of form with content". According to the judges, "It is a marvel how, with so little friction or strain, 'Ants' absorbs readers into undramatised lives of poverty, patriarchy, and rebellion, and the encounter with subaltern Communism.

Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award for Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

Business Standard

Grammy-winning Hindustani classical music instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will be honoured with the annual Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award, Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana has announced. The two-day Indian classical music festival scheduled to be held on October 22-23, this year, will be dedicated to saint-musician-composer Pandit Kunwar Shyam, and celebrate the rich 'Guru-Shishya' tradition. Best known for his Grammy award winning album "A Meeting by the River" with Ry Cooder, Bhatt, born in Jaipur, plays the Mohan Veena (slide guitar). He has also been part of several pan-cultural collaborations with western artists such as Taj Mahal, Bela Flack and Jerry Douglas, among others.

Arundhati Bhattacharya joins Reliance Industries board

The Hindu

Former chairman of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya has joined as additional director, designated as independent director, Reliance Industries. “Arundhati Bhattacharya is appointed for five years commencing October 17, 2018, subject to approval of the shareholders,” RIL said. It also said wholly-owned arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings has bought 12.7% in SkyTran Inc., which develops technology in the field of Personal Rapid Transit Systems. “Reliance has made a strategic investment in SkyTran as part of SkyTran’s recently concluded Preferred Stock financing, with an option to further invest an amount up to $25 million in convertible notes, subject to SkyTran's Board approval,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Khayyam named for Hridaynath Award for lifetime achievement

Business Standard

National Award winning music director Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, famous as 'Khayyam', has been named for this year's Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement, an official said here on Monday. Instituted by the Hridayesh Arts, the award carries a cash prize of Rs 100,000 and a memento and shall be conferred by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a function here on October 26 with Culture Minister Vinod Tawde and other dignitaries in attendance. Avinash Prabhavalkar, an official of Hridayesh Arts, said the award ceremony coincides with the 81st birthday of Hridaynath Mangeshkar after whom it is named.

Nobel chemistry laureate Shimomura passes away at 90

The Hindu

Japanese-born Marine biologist Osamu Shimomura, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, has died. He was 90. His alma mater Nagasaki University said on Oct. 22, that Shimomura died on October 19 of natural causes. Shimomura and two American scientists shared the 2008 Nobel prize for the discovery and development of a jellyfish protein that later contributed to cancer studies. Shimomura was born in northern Kyoto in 1928 and studied in Nagasaki, where he survived the Aug. 9, 1945, U.S. atomic bombing at age 16. His high school education was cut short during World War II as he was mobilized to work at a munitions factory.

Bajrang Punia wins silver to become first Indian with two World Wrestling Championship medals

Hindustan Times

Bajrang Punia entered the history books as he won silver and became the first Indian wrestler to win two medals at the World Wrestling Championships on Monday. Punia had won a bronze medal in the 2013 edition. Punia lost 9-16 to Takuto Otoguro of Japan in the final of the 65 kg freestyle event. The Japanese raced into a 5-0 lead at the start of the match and although Bajrang did cut Otoguro’s lead to one pointa at one stage he was always fighting an uphill battle against an opponent who had injury issues later in the match. “It was so near and yet so far,” was how the 24-year-old reacted, speaking from Budapest. “Having reached the final, I expected to win gold but I will have to be satisfied with a silver medal. I am happy to have bettered my bronze medal effort, achieved five years ago at the same venue,” added Punia.

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