1. Excise duty on petrol, diesel slashed
The government on Tuesday slashed the excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹2 per litre, effective from October 4, in an effort to infuse some festive cheer in a slowing economy and dispel the RBI’s worries about inflationary pressures that are holding back interest rate cuts.
2. U.S trio wins physics Nobel Prize for gravitational waves
The 2017 Nobel Physics Prize was divided, one half awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”.
Ripples in the fabric of space-time, first predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein, sparked a revolution in astrophysics when their first detection was announced in early 2016. The teams involved in the discovery quickly emerged as favourites for the prize.
3. Untrained teachers can now access training material
Fifteen lakh untrained school teachers have enrolled for a training course with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to get themselves trained by 2019 to be able to retain their jobs.
4. Soumya Swaminathan Appointed WHO Deputy Director General
The World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Soumya Swaminathan one of two deputy directors general, the first time such a post has been ever created within the organisation. The position is also the highest post held by an Indian in the WHO. Dr. Swaminathan is currently the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
5. India set to sign $4.5 billion LoC deal with Bangladesh
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reached Dhaka ahead of India and Bangladesh signing the third line of credit (LoC) agreement involving $4.5 billion to be spent on infrastructure and social sector development.
A Bangladesh finance ministry spokesman told reporters “His visit will be marked by the signing of the deal… that was announced during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s New Delhi visit”
6. Bakhshali, Jambudvipa and India’s role in science
London’s Science Museum on Tuesday unveiled a new exhibition that traces India’s contribution to science and technology over the past 5,000 years. Bringing together pieces from scientific institutes and museums across India as well as those held by British institutions, the Indian High Commission and the museum hope to be able to bring the exhibition to India too.
The highlight is a folio from the Bakhshali manuscript, loaned to the exhibition by the Bodleian Library in Oxford, which contains the oldest recorded origins of the symbol “zero”.
7. India Economic Summit to reflect India’s growing role in addressing global challenges
The World Economic Forum is holding its 33rd India Economic Summit in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 4-6 October in New Delhi.
The summit will host 650 leaders from 35 countries, including 370 business leaders, 20 senior public figures and leading representatives of civil society, arts and culture, science and academia.
8. China’s value-chain climb to help India, others: Fitch
According to Fitch Ratings “China’s move up the value chain and the relocation of low-end manufacturing to lower-cost countries will continue to create opportunities and support strong economic growth in some of Asia’s “frontier” emerging markets including India.”
9. Piaggio to export to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd (PVPL) which manufacturers two wheelers and commercial vehicles in India is planning to export these products to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh shortly.
A top company executive said “We are already exporting to Nepal and South America. We are now gearing [up] to export scooters and CVs to Nepal and Bangladesh,” Diego Graffi, MD & CEO, PVPL, said. About 10% of its production is exported”
10. 3-fold rise in extreme rainfall events in Central India
There has been an average 10% decline in summer monsoon (June to September) rainfall over central India between 1950 and 2015 as a result of weakening of the summer monsoon winds.
However, the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall (more than 150 mm per day for two-three days covering an area of 250 by 250 km) events during the same period over central India (from Gujarat in the west to Odisha and Assam in the east) has been on the rise.