Current Affairs, News & Facts of 28 Oct 2015

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  • US Senate passes Cyber Security Bill 

     

    US Senate passes Cyber Security Bill

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    The US Senate overwhelmingly passed a controversial cybersecurity bill which will facilitate sharing of cyber-attack threats by allowing  the government to collect sensitive personal data unchecked. The bill was passed by 74 votes in favour and 21 votes against it.

    Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) would make it easier to share information between the government and private sector on cyber threats. However the bill is being opposed by many tech giants and privacy activists.The bill was also opposed by tech trade groups representing Microsoft, Twitter, Yelp, Apple and other companies.

    Facts about the bill :-

    • The bill must be reconciled with two similar information-sharing measures passed by the government.
    • The bill intends to improve cybersecurity by encouraging companies and the government to share information about hacking threats.
    • Companies would receive legal protections from antitrust and consumer privacy liabilities for participating in the voluntary program.
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  • Sylvie Lucas appointed as the new chair of  UN Security Council reforms process 

     

    Sylvie Lucas appointed as the new chair of  UN Security Council reforms process

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    • Luxembourg envoy to the UN Sylvie Lucas has been appointed as the next chair of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on UN Security Council reforms ahead of the next round of negotiations. Lucas replaces Ambassador Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica. 
    • She was appointed by UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, who urged member states to build momentum and move forward the process of text-based negotiations on the long-pending reforms before the next round of negotiations begin next week. 

    Background :- 

    • 69th session of UNGA under previous UNGA president Sam Kutesa, had achieved a breakthrough of sorts in the UNSC reform process by adopting a negotiating text in September 2015.

    What was the text about ?

    • It contained the positions of various UN members on how the permanent and non-permanent seats of the UNSC should be expanded along with their proposals for use of the veto. 
    • In a landmark decision in September, the UN General Assembly had adopted by consensus the negotiating text, setting the stage for negotiations to begin on UNSC reforms on the basis of a text for the first time in nearly two decades. 

    Note :-  Luxembourg was a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council for the 2013-14 term. Luxembourg was also the part of  the BENELUX countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) which are advocating UNSC reforms.

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  • National Seed Congress begins in Hyderabad

     

    National Seed Congress begins in Hyderabad

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    The 8th National Seed Congress 2015  is being organized at Hyderabad in the Pearl City of Telangana at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre  to deliberate latest challenges of global seed scenario and cutting edge technologies in the Indian seed industry. The 8th National Seed Congress will be a three days event begining from 27th to 29th October, 2015.

    The event  organised by Union Agriculture Ministry was formally inaugurated by the Telangana state Agriculture Minister Shrinivasa Reddy. The  Seed Congress will be attended by about 600 participants from agricultural universities, government agencies and seed sector.

    Theme for 2015 :- The theme of the 8th National Seed Congress is “Quality Seed for Farmers' Prosperity”. 

    Key objectives of the 8th National Seed Congress :-

    • To create a platform for all major players and stakeholders in Seed Sector to come together and discuss critical issues impacting the seed supply.
    • To recommend a set of suggested interventions in policies for developing sustainable and globally competitive self-reliance in seed sector.
    • To discuss the scope of latest technologies to ascertain food security and to enhance the export of Seeds and Agriculture produce.

    National Seed Congress :-

    • The Indian Seed Congress, is an annual forum organized by national Seed Association of India, (NSAI). The Indian Seed Congress provides a platform for the Seed Industry to interact closely with technology developers, sector development officials and policy makers. 

    Aim :- It project the latest trends and views of the Seed Industry sector; voice their concerns; deliberate on the new technological advances and the barriers to technology development and introduction; showcase new product ranges and services and network for better business development.

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  • Britain’s "Curry King" Lord Gulam Noon passes away

     

    Britain’s

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    • Lord Gulam Noon, one of Britain's most prominent Indian-origin peers and "curry king" of the UK, passed away. He was at the age of 79. He had been battling with liver cancer for the past two years. He had briefly recovered following chemotherapy but his health deteriorated over the last six months.
    • Lord Gulam Noon was a British businessman originally from Mumbai, India. Gulam Noon, through his entrepreneurial ventures set up the iconic Noon Products, which went on to manufacture over 500 different chilled and frozen ready meals from factories at Southall in south-west London giving the country a taste for mildly spiced Indian food.

    Facts about Lord Gulam Noon :-

    • Noon was born in 1936, into a Muslim family which operated a sweet shop in Bombay. His father died when he was 7, and a relative ran the business until Noon took over its management at the age of 17. He renamed the shop "Royal Sweets", and expanded its clientele and size until it was capable of exporting internationally.
    • In 1964, Noon travelled to Britain and emigrated permanently in 1972. He established a sweet shop in Southall, producing such products as Bombay mix.
    • Noon founded and operated a number of food product companies in Southall, London, specialising in Indian cuisine. His main business was Noon Products which he established in September 1987, manufacturing chilled and frozen Indian and Thai ready meals, predominantly for UK supermarkets. 
    • Noon was a long-time supporter and donor of the Labour Party of UK. He had served as Chancellor of the University of East London in 2013.

    Awards and Honours: 

    • Noon was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1996 New Year Honours.
    • He was made a life peer in 2011 and was introduced in the House of Lords on 31 January 2011 where he sat on the Labour benches.
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  • India, Sri Lanka bilateral naval exercise SLINEX 15 begins

     

    India, Sri Lanka bilateral naval exercise SLINEX 15 begins

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    The fourth edition of Sri Lanka India bilateral Naval Exercise (SLINEX) began off Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee coast. The exercise is mainly focused on anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface operations. 

    SLINEX 15 will further enhance the capability of the two navies to work together at sea and contribute towards maritime security in the region. The exercise also seeks to reinforce the strong neighbourly ties underscored by extensive maritime interaction.

    Facts about SLINEX :-

    • SLINEX series of bilateral maritime exercises were initiated in 2005 and since then three successful engagements have been conducted.
    • Indian Navy is represented by Indian Naval ships Kora, Kirpan (both missile corvettes) and Savitri (offshore patrol vessel) along with ship-borne integral helicopters.In addition, an Indian Naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise.
    • The Lankan Navy will be represented by Sayura, Samudra, Sagara, 6 Fast Attack Crafts, 2 Fast Gun Boats and 1 Fast Missile Vessel. 
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