Current Affairs,31 October 2019
- October 31, 2019
- Posted By : upliftlife
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- India to become the fourth country to sign Strategic Partnership Council agreement with Saudi Arabia
- ‘Exercise SHAKTI’
- Indian Railways has a clear commitment to recruit Divyangjan against the posts identified for them
- Sukhbir Singh Sandhu Takes Over as Chairman, National Highways Authority of India
- Address by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind On the occasion of presentation of the national corporate social responsibility awards
- Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde to be the next Chief Justice of India
- Data on Police Organizations (DoPO 2018)
- ‘one touch ATVM’
- Guinea Bissau’s President announces sacking of govt with immediate effect
- World Mole Day: 23 October
- TikTok surpasses Facebook, Instagram in app downloads
- 2024 Olympic Games logo unveiled in Paris
- Sri Lanka: Violence & conflict at low level compared to last presidential election
- British Parliament again rejects PM Johnson′s latest bid for election
- US House of Representatives to vote on impeachment procedures against Prez Trump
- Shiva Thapa, six others enter semifinals of Olympic Test event
1. India to become the fourth country to sign Strategic Partnership Council agreement with Saudi Arabia
- The signing of the agreement on the Strategic Partnership Council by India and Saudi Arabia would strengthen the already robust relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
- This is second visit of Prime Minister Modi to the Kingdom in three years.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries have been working together within the G20 to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development.
- Saying stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, he praised the Kingdom’s role as an important and reliable source of India’s energy requirements.
- Talking about the excellent personal relations between him and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia HRH Mohammad Bin Salman, the Prime Minister said, “Since my first visit to the Kingdom in 2016, I have personally witnessed a remarkable growth in our bilateral relations. I have met His Royal Highness (HRH) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman five times. I recall with warmth my previous meetings with him, and look forward to meeting him again during this visit.
- I am confident that under the leadership of His Majesty King Salman and HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia will only grow stronger.”
- Prime Minister said, “Neighbourhood First” continues to be the guiding vision for my government’s foreign policy. India’s relations with Saudi Arabia are one of the most important bilateral relationships in our extended neighbourhood.”
- On the agreement on Strategic Partnership Council which is going to be signed during this visit, he said, “will begin a new era of cooperation across sectors. Our ties across various dimensions such as trade, investment, security and defence cooperation are robust and deep, and will only strengthen further.”
- “I believe that Asian powers like India and Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighbourhood. In that respect, I am happy that our cooperation, particularly in the field of counterterrorism, security and strategic issues, is progressing very well. My national security adviser just visited Riyadh for a very productive visit.”
- On the question of turmoil in several regions of West Asia, the Prime Minister called for ‘a balanced approach to resolve the conflicts, while respecting the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal matters’.
- On his outlook on the current global economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The global economic outlook is strongly dependent on the path chartered by the large developing countries such as India. As I mentioned in my speech at the UN General Assembly in September, we sincerely believe that we need collective efforts, for the growth of all, with everyone’s trust.”
- He said, “Economic uncertainty is an offshoot of unbalanced multilateral trade systems. Within the G20, India and Saudi Arabia have been working together to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development. I am happy to note that Saudi Arabia will be hosting the G20 Summit next year and India will host it in 2022, which is also the 75th anniversary of our independence.”
- In his message to the Indian Diaspora in Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister said, “Nearly 2.6 million Indians have made Saudi Arabia their second home, contributing to its growth and development. Many Indians also visit the Kingdom every year for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, and for business purposes.”
- One of the most important outcomes of the visit is expected to be the establishment of a Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) between the two countries. India will become the fourth country with which the Kingdom has formed a strategic partnership, the others being the UK, France and China.
The SPC will have two parallel tracks: Political, security, culture and society, headed by both countries’ foreign ministers; and economy and investment, headed by India’s commerce and industry minister and the Saudi energy minister.
- Energy security is one of the prime areas of India’s engagement with Saudi Arabia. New Delhi appreciates the Kingdom’s vital role as a reliable source for India’s long-term energy supplies; the Kingdom supplies 18 percent of India’s crude oil requirements and 30 percent of its liquefied petroleum gas needs. Both countries are keen to transform the buyer-seller relationship in this sector into a much broader strategic partnership based on mutual complementarity and interdependence.
- ‘Exercise SHAKTI’
- Series of ‘Exercise SHAKTI’ between India and France commenced in year 2011. Its a biennial exercise and is conducted alternately in India and France. As part of Exercise SHAKTI – 2019, French Army troops arrived in India on 26 October 2019 for training with Indian Troops.
- The bilateral training exercise will be conducted at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan. A contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent Indian Army in this exercise.
- The French Army delegation will be represented by troops of 21stMarine Infantry Regiment of 6th Armoured Brigade. The bilateral exercise will be conducted from 31 October 2019 to 13 November 2019.
- The joint exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate. The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other. The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies. The exercise will culminate in a 36 hrs long validation exercise which will involve neutralization of terrorists in a village hideout.
3. Indian Railways has a clear commitment to recruit Divyangjan against the posts identified for them
- Several ‘Divyangjan’ and their supporters had staged a sit-in protest near Mandi House in New Delhi since October 23rd, 2019 against perceived irregularities in the filling up of posts reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) in the recent Level-1 recruitment exercise of the Indian Railways.
- Indian Railways had issued a centralized recruitment notification in February 2018 for around 63,000 posts on different Railways. This notification also included posts for persons with benchmark disabilities (PwBD).
- Subsequently, based on the provisions of the revised PwBD Act that mandated 4% reservation for PwBD categories (including newly introduced Multi Disability category), an additional window was notified for candidates to apply. Thereafter a clear 1% distribution of vacancies for each of the four PwBD categories for the recruitment exercise was made increasing the total number of vacancies reserved for PwBD to around 2500.
- Complaint of the protesters before the Court of Chief Commissioner For Persons With Disabilities (Divyangjan) was about this revision in the vacancy percentage and specific grievances of some Divyangjan candidates in some Railway zones as regards communication on qualifying marks and calling for Document Verification.
- Five written representations in this connection came up for hearing before the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPWD) on 23rd October 2019.
- A detailed meeting with representatives of the protesters with senior Railway Board officers was also held in the office of Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice on 24-10-2019 to understand the grievances, explain the Railways’ position and actions taken, and assure the protesters that all grievances would be examined and those genuine addressed in a time-bound manner. Indian Railways reiterated its commitment to follow the all extant instructions regarding recruitment of persons with benchmark disabilities (PwBD).
- The matter was thereafter heard in the Court of CCPWD on 25-10-2019.
- The qualified PwBD candidates would be appointed as per their merit/turn in their respective Railway zones as per vacancies notified for the different classes of Divyangjan.
- Position regarding category-wise qualifying marks/cut-offs for each Railway/RRC will be displayed on relevant websites.
- Candidates can give their grievances and it will be examined carefully and expeditiously. The recruitment process is still underway and more PwBD candidates, would come up for appointment in the coming weeks. Under no circumstances will any vacancy for Divyangjan be filled by any other categories. In certain circumstances, where the vacancies of PwBDs are not filled up, the same is carried forward to the next recruitment cycle/notification.
- Indian Railways has a clear commitment to recruit Divyangjan against the posts identified for them as per quota prescribed.
4. Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu Takes Over as Chairman, National Highways Authority of India
· Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu has taken over as Chairman, National Highways Authority of India today. He is an IAS Officer of 1988 batch Uttarakhand Cadre, who has held important positions in the Central Government and the Government of Uttarakhand, Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of Punjab.
· Dr. Sandhu has done his MBBS from Government Medical College, Amritsar and Master’s Degree in History from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and is also a Law Graduate.
· Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Sandhu was Additional Secretary in the Department of Higher Education, Govt. Of India where he looked after Technical Education.
· He has vast experience in field of State Roads, Infrastructure development, PPP Projects, Finance, Urban Development, Environment, Health & Family Welfare, Tourism, Revenue Administration, Rural Development, Power, New & Renewable Energy, Information Technology, Industries and Science & Technology.
5. Address by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind On the occasion of presentation of the national corporate social responsibility awards
· First of all, let me compliment the Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister and her team for this initiative to recognize excellence in CSR through National Awards. I congratulate all winners and those who have found honourable mentions in the various categories of the National CSR Awards. I commend the whole corporate sector for its contributions towards society over and above creation of wealth and jobs. It is heartening to see companies competing in good deeds.
· The term ‘CSR’ is a recent coinage, but the spirit behind it has a long history in our land. All religious traditions that flourished here propagated the कर्म-सिद्धान्त, that is, Theory of Karma. For us, this principle of Karma is in consonance with the principles of nature that nurture harmony and peace. In India, every child has heard inspiring tales of legendary greats like ‘daanveer’ Karna, known for his generosity. Thus, what is now called CSR is very much in our DNA.
· The legacy was carried forward by entrepreneurs of early industrialism. Illustrious business families like Tata, Birla and Bajaj and many others associated with our freedom struggle were sensitive to their social responsibilities. Mahatma Gandhi developed the principle of trusteeship, not only from his deep understanding of our various religious traditions, but also on the basis of the generosity of industrialists associated with him.
- It is befitting that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is launching the National CSR Awards in this year of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary. I am happy to learn that henceforth these Awards will be conferred every year on October 2, the Mahatma’s birth anniversary. Gandhiji found the seeds of the principle of trusteeship especially in the Ishavasya Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita offers this advice on the best way of giving:
दातव्यमिति यद्दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे |
देशे काले च पात्रे च तद्दानं सात्विकं स्मृतम् | [Chapter 17, verse 20]
“Charity, given as a matter of duty, without expectation of any return, at the right place and time, and to the right person is said to be sattvika.”
· After independence, more and more business families and industries started following Gandhiji’s advice and returned a part of their profits to society, when the nascent republic needed all help. They complemented the efforts of the government and the public sector, especially in education and healthcare.
· In order to build on our rich tradition of CSR and to engage the whole of corporate India as agents of social transformation, a policy was brought in. The Companies Act was amended in 2013-14, making it mandatory for companies with a specified level of profit to spend two percent of it on social welfare. I am told it is one of the world’s largest experiments in promoting CSR.
· During this early phase of implementation, the response of companies to the CSR framework has been highly commendable. Every fiscal year since 2014-15, the corporate sector has set aside a total of more than Rs 10,000 crore for social welfare. A diverse range of social sectors have benefitted from this effort. I am especially glad to see among them education, environment, health, poverty eradication and nutrition, safe drinking water, and sanitation.
· The National CSR Awards aim to encourage competition and infuse excellence in CSR activities. The three categories for the awards are well chosen – excellence in CSR, contribution of CSR in challenging circumstances/ aspirational districts and contribution of CSR in National Priority Areas. The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ has been a policy priority of the government. Under this innovative programme, 131 districts have been selected for a more focused development initiative. I am glad that the Awards recognize the exemplary CSR work done in these Aspirational Districts. I am also happy to see that the winners and honourable mentions of National CSR Awards represent the full diversity of industry sectors as well as regions.
· It is indeed heartening to note that those sections of society that need the helping hand most are among the main beneficiaries of the CSR activities. The corporations have, thus, made a worthy contribution towards the national goals. They are helping the nation progress towards the cherished goal of building a more equitable society. They have focused on sustainable projects creating a long-term impact.
· Broadly, CSR initiatives have been aligned with the national priorities such as public health, education, livelihoods, water conservation, sanitation, and natural resource management. They are also in tune with the global priorities. I am referring here to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The 17 goals with 169 targets are to be achieved by 2030. I am confident that we will achieve all targets well in time. In fact, on the parameter of sanitation, India has achieved the target far ahead of the time. The advent of an effective CSR regime is indeed a timely development in this context. I sincerely hope that innovative solutions to persisting development challenges will emerge from the CSR activities.
· As you all are aware, India has been consistently improving its rank among the nations on the ease of doing business thanks to the efforts of our government. The government is also sensitive about the need to calibrate the CSR regime to make it more effective. In September, the scope of the CSR activities was widened to include more categories of research incubators. This thrust on research and development will immensely help innovators.
- It is equally important to internalise social welfare in the corporate culture. Hence I will also urge upon you to motivate your employees and sensitise them to this higher calling in service of the marginalised sections of society. This single step will generate enough goodwill for wealth creators among ordinary people.
- On this occasion, I want to share a vision I have with you. When it comes to helping those in the need in our society, we have the resources, we have the will and now we have a framework too. Whom shall we help most? I have in my mind orphan children and Divyang. While the government has done what it can to give them a helping hand, society and especially the corporate sector can still do more for them. Can we plan in such a way that within a foreseeable future, every orphan child can get personal care? We can set 2030 as a deadline to ensure providing care to every child and reap the benefits of demographic advantage that we have. I leave this suggestion to you as food for thought and action. t is my pleasure to participate in the celebrations of the First National CSR Awards. I once again congratulate all award winners and those who have achieved honourable mentions as well as the jury and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. You all have shown that it is possible to be profitable, while being socially and environmentally responsible. Standing before you here today, I see ancient sages were right when they said:
गौरवं प्राप्यते दानात् न तु वित्तस्य सञ्चयात्
स्थितिरुच्चैः पयोदानां पयोधीनामधः स्थितिः
“Respect is achieved by donating the wealth, and not by storing it. Clouds attain a higher position by giving away water whereas the oceans remain at a lower position by storing water.”
6. Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde to be the next Chief Justice of India
· The President has appointed Shri Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Judge of the Supreme Court as the next Chief Justice of India with effect from November 18, 2019.
· Shri Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde has been a Judge of the Supreme Court since April 12, 2013. Earlier he served as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court for about six months since October 16, 2012. He has also been an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court from March 29, 2000 and a Permanent Judge from March 28, 2002.
· Shri Justice Bobde, born on April 24, 1956, was enrolled as an Advocate on September 13, 1978. He started his practice at the High Court Bench at Nagpur and the District Court at Nagpur and occasionally at the High Court at Bombay and the Supreme Court of India in civil, constitutional, labour, company, election and taxation matters. He specialized in constitutional, administrative, company, environmental and election laws.
7. Data on Police Organizations (DoPO 2018)
- Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy has released the Bureau of Police Research and Development’sflagship publication “Data on Police Organizations” (DoPO 2018) in New Delhi.
- The Data on Police Organisation in India is an important compilation of information on police infrastructure, manpowerand other resources from all States, Union Territories, CAPFs and CPOs.
- There has been an increase of 19,686 Police personnel in the sanctioned strength of the State Police and 16,051 in the strength of CAPFs
- There has been 95% increasein the strength of Woman Police which brings the total percentage of women in the Indian Police to 8.73%.
- The overall Police Population Ratioat the state level stood at 95 policemen per lakh population.
- Police Stations have increased from 15579 to 16422. This includes Cyber Police Stations whose number has risen from 84 to 120.
- Electronic surveillance has improved with addition of 2,10,278 CCTV Cameras.
- ‘one touch ATVM’
- Indian Railwayshas launched ‘one touch ATVM’ at 42 suburban stations of Central Railway over Mumbai Suburban Network.
- The machine has been launched to render fast ticketing to millions of commuters. This new machine will reduce the waiting time of the passengers and allow passenger to avoid standing in long queues.
- The new machine is loaded with the user friendly procedure which will greatly ease the load on ticketing system of Mumbai Suburban Network. A total of 92 ATVMs has been installed at 42 suburban stations.
9. Guinea Bissau’s President announces sacking of govt with immediate effect
· In West African country Guinea Bissau, President Jose Mario Vaz has announced sacking of the government with immediate effect, throwing the country into further chaos and casting doubt over next month’s election.
· It is the latest move in a months-long confrontation between the presidency and the government and comes days after Prime Minister Aristide Gomes denounced a coup attempt and police violently repressed an opposition protest.
· President Jose Mario Vaz’s decree, read out over national radio yesterday, said the serious political crisis in the country prevents the normal operation of some institutions and led to his decision to sack the government.
· On Saturday, a protester was killed and several were injured when police blocked opposition supporters from holding a demonstration calling for a delay to the November 24 presidential election.
· The opposition wants the vote postponed in order to allow an overhaul of the electoral register to limit potential voter fraud.
- World Mole Day: 23 October
- Mole Day is celebrated among chemists, chemistry students, chemistry enthusiasts and Design & Technology teachers and students on October 23, between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m.
- It marks the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates.
- The time and date are derived from the Avogadro number, which is approximately 6.02×1023, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in one mole (mol) of substance, one of the seven base SI units.
- Mole Day originated in an article in The Science Teacher in the early 1980s.Inspired by this article, Maurice Oehler, now a retired high school chemistry teacher from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, founded the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) on May 15, 1991
- Many high schools around the United States, South Africa, Australia, and Canadacelebrate Mole Day as a way to get their students interested in chemistry, with various activities often related to chemistry or moles.
- The American Chemical Societysponsors National Chemistry Week, which occurs from the Sunday through Saturday during which October 23 falls. This makes Mole Day an integral part of National Chemistry Week.
- TikTok surpasses Facebook, Instagram in app downloads
- Video creating and sharing app, TikTok, has surpassed top social networking apps including Instagram, Snapchat, Helo, and Twitter, in terms of downloads on the Google Play Store.
- The Sensor Tower Report 2019 ranked TikTok as the most downloaded social media app worldwide for September 2019 with close to 60 million installs.
- Downloads from India constitute about 44 per cent of its total downloads.
- Facebook was the second most installed app, with the highest installs from India at 23 per cent.
- Instagram, Likee, Snapchat were among the top five apps in terms of overall downloads.
- TikTokis an iOS and Android social media video app for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, for markets outside of China. ByteDance has previously launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016.
- TikTok and Douyin are the same but run on different servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. The application allows users to create short music and lip-syncvideos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. It is popular in Asia, the United States, and other parts of the world. TikTok is not available in China, and its servers are based in countries where the app is available.
- In 2018, the application gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to do so. As of 2018, it is available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China.
- 2024 Olympic Games logo unveiled in Paris
- The logo for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games unveiled at a ceremony in the French capital.
- The circular design with Paris 2024 in the art deco style which was in vogue in 1924 when Paris last hosted the Games, also incorporates the lips and outline of Marianne, the personification of the French Republic since the revolution in 1789.
- The 2024 Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in Paris, France.
- The 2024 Summer Olympics officially known as the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Paris 2024, is a forthcoming international multi-sport eventthat is scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in Paris, France.
- Having previously played host in 1900and 1924, Paris will become the second city to host the Olympics three times, after London (1908, 1948 and 2012). 2024 will mark the centenary of the Paris Games of 1924. These will be the sixth Olympic Games hosted by France (three summer and three winter).
- The bidding process for these Games began in 2015. Five cities submitted their candidature, but Hamburg, Romeand Budapest withdrew, leaving only Paris and Los Angeles in contention. A proposal to elect the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities concurrently was approved by an Extraordinary IOC Session on 11 July 2017 in Lausanne. On 31 July 2017, the IOC agreed a deal that would see Paris host the Games in 2024 and Los Angeles four years later. The formal announcement of this decision took place at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on 13 September 2017.
13. Sri Lanka: Violence & conflict at low level compared to last presidential election
· In Sri Lanka, an election monitoring organization has said violence and conflict in the country are at a low level compared to the last presidential election but misuse of power and state properties is observed. People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) executive director Rohana Hettiarachchi said there is a reduction in election violence this time and 14 incidents have been reported so far. However, Mr. Rohana said the misuse of resources of the provincial councils and local authorities continue to be reported in this year’s election.
· Meanwhile, Elections Commission has requested the Health Secretary to conduct an investigation into the incident where a government doctor was seen at the manifesto launch of SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Multiple parties, including election monitors, lodged complaints with the Elections Commission to conduct a fair investigation into the incident.
14. British Parliament again rejects PM Johnson′s latest bid for election
· In Britain, Parliament again has rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest bid for a general election on December 12. The motion failed, with 299 votes in favor and just 70 against. However, it fell shy of the 434 votes which is two-thirds of all MPs, required to pass.
· The Prime said, this House can no longer keep this country hostage and Parliament had become dysfunctional.
· Boris Johnson has attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to back a general election.
· Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party abstained in the vote, making it impossible to secure the necessary two-thirds majority.
· Boris Johnson is to try again for a pre-Christmas election after MPs rejected his plans for the third time.
15. US House of Representatives to vote on impeachment procedures against Prez Trump
· The US House of Representatives controlled by the opposition Democratic party will vote on impeachment procedures against President Donald Trump for the first time later this week.
· In the letter released to the press yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that they will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by House committees as part of this impeachment inquiry.
· The House Speaker said that the step is being taken to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.
- The Trump administration reacted sharply to the move, accusing the Democrats of conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding.
16. Shiva Thapa, six others enter semifinals of Olympic Test event
· Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg) secured himself a medal at the Olympic Test event for boxing in Tokyo by winning his quarterfinal bout today. Six other Indians made the last-four stage without even stepping inside the ring.
· Thapa overpowered local favourite Yuki Hirakawa in a 5-0 verdict to fight his way into the medal rounds.
· He will be up against another Japanese, Daisuke Narimatsu, in the semifinals tomorrow. Narimatsu got a bye in the opening round.
· However, for his six other compatriots, including former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg), a medal was guaranteed without a fight as they either got byes or were helped by the small size of their respective draws.
· Apart from Zareen, Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan (91kg), Ashish (69kg), Vanhlimpuia (75kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) have made the semifinals.