Current Affairs – October 2015

Punjab to set up bio-ethanol refinery to stop menace of straw burning

Punjab Government has announced to set up bio-ethanol refinery in the state to tackle the menace of wheat and paddy straw burning.

In this regard, state government has inked MoU with consortium of Beta Renewables, Novozymes and CVC India Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. for project estimated worth Rs. 950 crore during the Progressive Punjab Investor Summit, 2015.

Benefits of bio-ethanol refinery

  • Would play an important role in solving the chronic problem of straw burning of leftover agro-based produce especially from wheat and rice feedstocks.
  • Benefit farmers economically, as they would be paid for their agro-based produce to extract bio-ethanol.
  • It would also help in preventing the loss of fertility of soil and damage to environment by reducing air pollution.

What is Bioethanol?

  • It is an alcohol derived by process of fermentation mostly from carbohydrates of plant produce and feedstocks.
  • Commonly obtained from crops such as sugarcane, cassava, corn, potato, beetroot and recently grapes, banana and dates etc.
  • Uses: As a quasi-renewable energy it can be blended with petrol or diesel making it a sustainable transport fuel. It can also be used an alternative fuel in manufacturing processes and cosmetic products etc.


October 31: Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) was observed across India on 31 October 2015 to commemorate the 140th birthday of Independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Run for Unity at Rajpath in New Delhi. It was followed by similar marathons across different parts of Country to pay tribute to the efforts made by Sardar Patel to unite India.


In October 2014, NDA Government led by PM Narendra Modi had declared 31 October as National Unity Day to mark the birth anniversary of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

  • Born: 31 October, 1875 at Karamsand, Gujarat.
  • He is known as the Iron Man of India or Bismarck of India.
  • By profession, he was a barrister and had successfully practiced law. Later he left law practice and joined the Indian national movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • In the India’s independence struggle, he played a major role in organizing peasants’ movements on Gandhian principles in Bardoli and Kheda in Gujarat and during the Quit India movement.
  • His biggest contribution to India was his role in the integration of the over 500 princely states with India during 1947-49.
  • He is also remembered as the Patron Saint of India’s civil servants for establishing modern All-India services.