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1No appeal by PM Modi for using only India-made goods on Diwali

  • Narendra Modi has made no appeal asking people to use only India-made crackers, decorative materials and sweets during Diwali, senior government officials said on 23 oct 16.
  • The officials said in the wake of some commercial establishments displaying a ‘purported’ letter of Modi.
  • “Few appeals with PMs signature are circulated on social media. Such documents are not authentic.”

2Kashmir ‘core issue’ between India and Pakistan

  • Nawaz Sharif on 24 oct 16 said Kashmir is the “core issue” between India and Pakistan and its resolution would ensure durable peace in the region.
  • “Kashmir issue must be resolved according to the UN resolutions as per the commitments made by the Indian Government,” Sharif told British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant.

3John Key arriving today as NSG buzz is back

  • New Zealand PM will visit New Delhi ahead of key meetings with China on membership in Nov 16.
  • “There are still four or five countries that have not budged on their stand since June, and New Zealand is among those,” a western diplomat tracking the negotiations.
  • “We will tell New Zealand PM Key why membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group is important for India,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said ahead of the visit.

4China objects to US envoy’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh

  • China, on 24 oct 16, admonished the United States for sending its ambassador in India  Verma to Arunachal Pradesh, warning that a third party’s meddling would only complicate the dispute between Beijing and New Delhi.
  • China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Rebuffing China for the objection, India said on 24 oct 16 that there was “nothing unusual” about his trip to a State that was an integral part of the country.

5Cotton production expected to go up

  • India’s cotton production for this year (Oct 16 to Sep 17) is expected to be 351 lakh bales as against 338 lakh bales in the year that just concluded.
  • The Cotton Advisory Board, which met in Mumbai on 24 oct 16, estimated the production from northern zone (Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan) to go up to 47 lakh bales.
  • As against 37.5 lakh bales in 2015-16 (Oct to Sep) and from 187 lakh bales to 205 lakh bales in the central zone.

6ISRO starts landing tests for Chandrayaan-2 mission

  • Simulated lunar craters created in Chitradurga to plan Lander’s descent.
  • The Indian Space Research Organsiation started a series of ground and aerial tests linked to the critical Moon landing of Chandrayaan-2 on 29 oct 16.
  • Its new site at Challakere in Chitradurga district, 400 km from Bengaluru.

7Militants attack police training centre in Pakistan

  • 12 policemen were injured in an attack on a police training centre in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta in the early hours of 25 oct 16.
  • Six militants entered the complex through the front gate and have taken some police personnel hostage, said SSP Operations Mohammad Iqbal.
  • 5-6 terrorists attacked police training hostel. Operation is under way (sic), Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

8Microsoft develops first human-like speech recognition system

  • In a major breakthrough in speech recognition, researchers at Microsoft claim to have developed the first technology that recognises the words in a conversation as well as humans do.
  • Microsoft Artificial Intelligence Research created a speech recognition system that makes the same or fewer errors than professional transcriptionists.
  • They reported a word error rate (WER) of 5.9 per cent, down from the 6.3 per cent WER the team reported just last month.

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