Monthly Current Affairs

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Monthly Current Affairs Question

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

October 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

World’s first Hydrogen Tram begins operation in China

The world’s first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China, marking a big step in the application of green energy in public transport. The tram was put into commercial operation for the first time in Tangshan, north China’s Hebei Province. With water being its only emission, the tram emits no pollutants. No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius. The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.

 

Burundi becomes first country to leave International Criminal Court

African country Burundi has withdrawn from International Criminal Court (ICC) with effect has thus become the first nation. International Criminal Court is an international tribunal (located in Hague, Netherlands) having authority to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In recent years, governments of three African countries, South Africa, Gambia and Burundi expressed their intent to leave ICC citing the reason that it focuses too much on African nations.

 

Chile named best country to visit in 2018

 

Lonely Planet, the travel guide company, ranked Chile as the number one country to visit in 2018, in its Best in Travel 2018 list. In the top 10 countries category, Chile was ranked the number one country. It was followed by South Korea and Portugal in the 2nd and 3rd positions. In the top 10 cities category, Seville of Spain was ranked as number one. In the top 10 regions category, Belfast & the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland was ranked number one. In the top 10 best value, Tallinn of Estonia was given the number one rank.

 

Saudi Arabia, first country to grant Citizenship to a Robot

 

Saudi Arabia has become the first country to give a robot citizenship. The move is an attempt to promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence and, presumably, allow it to become a full citizen. The Robot is named as ‘Sophia’. Sophia was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during a business event named Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.

 

Kilogram will get new measure set by value of Planck constant from 2019

 

The International Conference of heads of Metrology Institutes held in Sevres, France has decided that the measure of kilogram will no longer be pegged to cylinder. From 2019 onwards, it will be set by value of Planck constant in combination with definitions of meter and second. Till now, the kilogram is the only one among units of measures pegged to real object. It was pegged to a cylinder (shown in fig) made up of 90% platinum and 10% iridium (In India, salt-shaker-sized cylinder weighing exactly a kilogram in National Physical Laboratory was used as ideal measure of kilogram since 1957). It was serving as reference for variety of industries to keep their weights accurate. But this cylinder’s weight in kilogram is known to fluctuate due to surface contamination with time, making it tricky to define its exact mass.

 

World’s first track-less train

 

China began test runs of its world’s first track-less train in Zhuzhou city, China. The train runs on virtual track and is being considered as the ‘World’s First smart train’. This train could travel at the speed of 70 kmph and is called Autonomous Rail Transit (ART). This train was created to reduce urban traffic problems. This train is a hybrid between a bus and tram.

 

Singapore Passport named ‘Most Powerful’, India ranks 75

 

Singapore’s passport has become the most powerful in the world with a Visa-Free Score of 159, according to the Passport Index developed by advisory firm Arton Capital. This is the first time an Asian country has been announced as having the most powerful passport. India secured the 75th rank in the index with a Visa-Free Score of 51. Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Afghanistan was on bottom most position (94th) with the score of 22. Pakistan was on 93rd Position with Iraq with the score of 26.

 

Russia vetoes UN resolution to extend inspection of chemical attacks in Syria

 

Russia used its veto power on the United Nations Security Council to block a UN resolution that would extend the work of International inspectors to determine who was behind the chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The chemical attack, which took place on 4 April 2017 on a town in violence-hit Syria- Khan Sheikhoun, has lead to the killing of many civilians. The attack was an instance of the deadliest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war since the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013. Russia vetoed the US-backed resolution accusing the United States of calling the vote to dishonour Russia.

 

Nepal tops Asia Pacific list of nations elected to UNHRC

 

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected 15 States to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of which Nepal topped the countries representing the Asian Group in the 47-member council. UNHRC, Geneva-based highest intergovernmental body looking into matters relating to protection and promotion of human rights globally, elects its members through a secret ballot. Nepal topped the Asia-Pacific group with 165 votes followed by Qatar with 155, Pakistan with 151, and Afghanistan by 130. All got elected. Malaysia lost with 129. The newly elected countries are Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

 

WHO removes Robert Mugabe as Goodwill Ambassador

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s appointment as its Goodwill Ambassador has been cancelled. He was just recently appointed as the WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador. After days of scathing criticism from around the globe for naming Robert Mugabe a Goodwill Ambassador for health, WHO decided to cancel the opportunity given to him.

 

Suu Kyi’s name removed from Oxford

 

Students at the St Hugh’s College voted to remove Aung San Suu Kyi’s name from the title of their Junior Common Room, in North Oxford, England. Her name was dropped owing to her inability to stop severe human rights abuses against Rohingyas in Myanmar. She had graduated from St. Hugh’s College in 1967 and was granted an honorary doctorate from the university in 2012.

 

Lebanon’s parliament approves country’s first budget since 2005

 

Lebanon’s parliament approved country’s first budget in 12 years. It is aimed towards reforming the fragile economy and preventing rising debt from becoming a crisis-like situation.Political crisis gripped Lebanon since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005, thereby preventing the successive government from passing the budget. This year’s budget was considered a necessity to bring the Lebanese economy on track which has been negatively affected by the inaction of previous Governments and also by six years of war in neighboring Syria.

 

State of World Population 2017: report

 

According to ‘State of World Population 2017′ released by United Nations Fund for Population Activities 27% of India’s children get married by age 18 as compared to 28% the world over. Among its neighbours, Bangladesh is worst off, with 59% of the married couples being under-age, followed by Nepal (37%). The report, notes India’s total fertility rate lower than the world average of 2.5.

 

Robert Mugabe named goodwill ambassador by WHO

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador to help tackle non-communicable diseases.

 

Peru approves medicinal use of marijuana

 

The Peruvian Congress has approved a bill to authorises the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis (marijuana) in the country. It makes production, import and commercial sale of marijuana and its derivatives legal. With this Peru became sixth country in Latin America to legalise cannabis. Uruguay was first in 2013, allowing sales of cannabis any purpose. It was followed by Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

 

World’s deepest lake under threat: Scientists

 

Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, according to experts. Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, the lake situated in Russia’s Siberia region is a natural wonder of exceptional value to evolutionary science. It is even listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The lake’s rich biodiversity includes over 3,600 plant and animal species, most of which are endemic to the lake. Since the past few years, the lake, which is a major international tourist attraction, has been crippled by a series of damaging phenomena such as disappearance of the omul fish, rapid growth of putrid algae and the death of endemic species of sponges across its vast 3.2 million-hectare area.

 

Jacinda Ardern to be next New Zealand PM

 

New Zealand will get its youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years after the small, nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a new government with Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern, ending the National Party’s decade in power. The 37-year-old will be the youngest Prime Minister of the country which had been ruled by the National Party for a decade.

 

Pakistan, 14 other nations elected to UN rights body

 

Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly. In a vote, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected. They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018.

 

Fairy Queen, “World’s Oldest Functional Steam Engine” commences journey

 

Indian railways will be running of steam hauled tourist train “Fairy Queen” between Delhi Cantonment and Rewari on second and fourth Saturday of month beginning from 14 October 2017. The operation will continue till April, 2018. The train has a capacity of 60 passengers and the tickets can be booked at IRCTC website as well as at various tourist facilitation centres of IRCTC, National Rail Museum (NRM) and through travel operators. The Fairy Queen also known as the East Indian Railway 22 class, was built in the year 1855 and is the World’s oldest steam locomotive as certified by Guinness Book of Records in 1998.

 

US and Israel withdraw from UNESCO

 

The US withdrew from the UNESCO, accusing UNESCO of “anti-Israel bias”. Following US, Israel has also quit from UNESCO. The withdrawal of the US, which is supposed to provide one fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a great blow for UNESCO. UNESCO which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization is headquartered in Paris, France.

 

Mongolian Parliament confirms new Prime Minister

 

The Mongolian Parliament has confirmed Ukhnaa Khurelsukh as the country’s new Prime Minister. His confirmation comes after Jargaltulga Erdenebat was voted out of office last month over allegations of corruption and incompetence.

 

Suu Kyi stripped of Oxford honour over Rohingya criticism

 

An honour bestowed on Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi by the city of Oxford has been withdrawn as a reaction to her perceived inadequate response to the plight of Rohingya muslims in the country. The “Freedom of Oxford” has been granted to the de facto leader of Myanmar in 1997 for her “long struggle for democracy” by the Oxford City Council. While the exact reasons for the portraits removal were attributed to a new replacement, there is a wider view that the allegations of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims fleeing their homes to Bangladesh is likely to be behind the move.

 

UAE begins collecting ‘sin’ taxes on tobacco, energy drinks

 

The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new “sin” taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks. Beginning October 1, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 per cent and soft drinks at 50 per cent. All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

Iran slaps fuel embargo on Iraqi Kurdistan

 

Iran has embargoed exports and imports of fuel products to Iraqi Kurdistan in response to its controversial independence referendum. Iran strongly opposes independence for the Iraqi Kurds, fearing it will provoke separatists among its own Kurdish population. Gas oil is one of Iran’s main exports to the autonomous Kurdistan region, which imported 110 million litres of it from Iran last year. Iran is one of the main exporters of fuel products to Kurdistan.

 

Burqa Ban comes into effect in Austria

 

Austria’s law banning face veils such as burqas or niqabs has come into effect from now. According to the government, acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority Austrian population and people from third countries living in Austria. Exemptions under certain conditions include items like clown disguises at cultural events, work wear such as medical masks, and scarves in cold weather. There are around 7 lakh Muslims in Austria.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

India sends 1st Wheat Shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar port

 

Iran’s key strategic port of Chabahar became operational with the maiden shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan. It was flagged off from Kandla port in Gujarat. This is a major push for India’s Afghan outreach bypassing Pakistan for the first time under the 2016 Indo-Afghan-Iran trilateral pact. Chabahar port is strategically located in Sistan-Balochistan province on energy-rich Iran’s southern coast in Gulf of Oman near its border with Pakistan and can be easily accessed from India’s western coast.

 

Indian Air force contingent leaves for Israel to Participate in ‘Ex Blue Flag-17’

 

A 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel to participate in exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’. Blue Flag is a bi-annual multilateral exercise which aims to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations. Indian Air Force is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos.

 

India jumps 30 ranks to 100th in World Bank’s ease of doing business list

 

In accordance with the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business index’, India has risen as much as 30 positions to rank 100th amongst 190 countries. The World Bank Group’s latest report ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ recognises India as one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment, though the report does not take into account the big bang reform of Goods and Services Tax (GST) which rolled out on July 1. The index is topped by New Zealand followed by Singapore and Denmark.

 

India tops list of new TB cases in 2016: Global TB Report

 

India tops the list of seven nations, accounting for 64 per cent of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016, said a Global TB Report 2017, released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. The report states that an estimated 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016, including nearly 400,000 people who were co-infected with HIV, recording a drop of 4 per cent in comparison to 2015.

 

India, Japan begin anti-submarine warfare exercise

 

The naval forces of India and Japan initiated an intensive air anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean. The exercise will conclude on 31 October 2017. The exercise would witness participation from a P-8 I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti Submarine Warfare of Indian Navy and two P-3 Orion Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMDSF).

 

India and US to implement HOSTAC to strengthen maritime security

 

India and the United States have agreed to implement the programme for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC). This decision was taken during a meeting between Indian Defense Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. The meeting between Ms. Sitharaman and Mr. Mattis was held on October 25, 2017, in the Philippines on sidelines of ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting – Plus.

 

India overtakes US to become Second Largest Smartphone Market: Report

 

India overtake the US to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market, trailing only China, according to a new report by analyst firm Canalys. In the second quarter of 2017, India’s smartphone market recovered quickly with shipments growing 23% year-on-year in the third quarter to reach just over 40 million units. Low smartphone penetration and the explosion of LTE (long term evolution, or 4G) are the main drivers behind this.

 

SAP launches Asia Pacific Japan Region’s first Leonardo Centre in Bengaluru

 

Tech major SAP announced the launch of Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region’s first SAP Leonardo Center in Bengaluru. The fourth SAP Leonardo Center globally, the facility is a go-to place for SAP’s ecosystem for digital inspiration and co-innovation. Other SAP Leonardo Centers locations include New York-US, Paris-France, and Sao Leopoldo-Brazil. It combines a high concentration of customers and partners with one of SAP’s largest market units.

 

US Senate confirms Ken Juster’s nomination as US envoy to India

 

A crucial Senate Committee, confirmed the nomination of Kenneth Juster as the next American envoy to India, paving the way for a full Senate confirmation of the old India hand, who played a key role in the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal. The nomination of Juster, 62, now moves to the full Senate before he can be sworn in as America’s new Ambassador to India. Most recently, Juster had served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. He would replace Richard Verma as the top American diplomat to India if confirmed, The position has been lying vacant since January 20 after Verma resigned from the post with the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

 

70 Indian words added to Oxford English Dictionary

 

Indian words like ‘Dadagiri’, ‘Jugaad’, Surya Namaskar’, ‘Anna’, ‘Achcha’, ‘Bapu’ and few others were added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in the month of September 2017. These words are among 70 Indian words from various regional languages like Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati that were added to the dictionary. The dictionary added over 1000 new words in its September edition.

 

India imposes anti-dumping duty on stainless steel from US, ES and China

 

India has imposed anti-dumping duty on certain stainless steel products from the European Union and other nations including China and Korea, in order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports. The duty was imposed by the Revenue department following the recommendation by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

 

World’s oldest maritime astrolabe that guided ships to India found

 

Britain-based shipwreck hunter has found maritime astrolabe, a navigation tool that guided Portuguese explorers on perilous voyage to India in 16th century. It dates between 1495 and 1500 and has been confirmed as world’s oldest astrolabe. The maritime astrolabe was discovered during from a shipwreck off coast of Oman in 2014 and recently was confirmed world’s maritime oldest by Warwick University based on laser scans.

 

30th Edition of CORPAT begins between Indian-Indonesian Navy

 

Indian Navy Ship Sukanya under the command of Commander SA Deodhar has arrived at Belawan Indonesia to participate in the 30th edition of CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) and 3rd Bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy. The exercise is aimed to foster closer maritime ties with countries located on the rim of the Indian Ocean. The two navies have been carrying out CORPAT on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002.

 

Bangladesh signs Gas Oil deal with India

 

Bangladesh has signed a long-term sales and purchase agreement with an Indian refiner to import gas oil to meet the country’s energy demand. The deal between Bangladesh Petroleum Corp. (BPC) and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) was signed in presence of India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who arrived in Dhaka recently on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues. Under the deal, BPC will take up to 250,000 tonnes of gas oil each year from NRL for the first three years of the deal to the BPC’s northern fuel depot via a 131-km (79 mile) pipeline, which will be built by India.

 

Sri Lankan Coast Guard commissions OPV SURAKSHA gifted by India

 

Sri Lankan Coast Guard has commissioned Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) SURAKSHA gifted by India at Colombo port. It is first OPV of Sri Lankan Coast Guard. Sri Lankan Coast Guard Ship (SLCGS) Suraksha earlier belonged to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and was known as Varuna. It was officially handed over to Sri Lanka Navy at ceremony held at Kochi Port in India in September 2017.

 

North Korea, Pakistan not invited for consumer protection conference in India

 

India has not invited Pakistan and North Korea to attend the first global conference on consumer protection to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The two-day Regional Conference on Consumer Protection will be held on October 26-27 and will see the participation of 23 countries, besides India, which is organising the event at the request of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

 

Indo-Russia joint exercise INDRA 2017 begins

 

Exercise INDRA 2017, the first ever tri services joint military joint exercise between India and Russian Armed Forces, began in the Eastern Military District of Russia. The exercise will be held till 29 October 2017. Previously, Exercise INDRA has been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. This year, the exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three services of the Armed Forces-Army, Navy & Air Force.

 

India among five countries responsible for 50% newborn deaths

 

India is among the five countries – Pakistan, Nigeria, Congo and Ethiopia being the others – responsible for half of all new-born deaths in the world, according to a UN report. The report, “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017″, revealed that 5.6 million children died before reaching the age of five in 2016. However, this is a marked decrease compared to 2000 when nearly 9.9 million children had died before turning five. While India was accountable for 24 per cent of these new-born deaths, Pakistan accounted for 10 per cent, Nigeria 9 per cent, the Democratic Republic of Congo 4 per cent and 3 per cent of the deaths occurred in Ethiopia. Also, according to report, India has witnessed 66 per cent decline in the under-five mortality rate from 1990 to 2015 but most of the new-born deaths – 24 per cent of all – still occur in the country.

 

USA to provide EMALS technology to India for aircraft carriers

 

Donald Trump Government has promised to provide the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS) technology to India for aircraft carriers. S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be visiting India soon and before his visit, Trump administration has informed of its decision to give EMALS to India. EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter. This EMAL will help to launch heavy combat planes from the short runway of an aircraft carrier using electromagnetic force, instead of the old steam-powered catapults.

 

India signs pact to send Interns to Japan for Training

 

India signed a Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) with Japan to send youngsters there as technical interns for on-the-job training for a period of three to five years. The MoC on Technical Intern Training Programme was signed by Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Japanese Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare with Katsunobu Kato in Tokyo. India is the third country with which Japan has signed the MoC.

 

HPCL, First Indian OMC to launch Lubricants in Myanmar

 

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has become the first Oil Marketing Company (OMC) from India to mark its presence in the lubricant market in Myanmar and to lend more visibility and awareness to the brand. Having achieved the number one position in the domestic market, HP Lubricants sought to prove itself in foreign shore by venturing into Myanmar.

 

INS Satpura, Kadmatt participates in Passage Exercise in Japan

 

Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmatt participated in Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Japanese Marine Self Defence Force (JMSDF) held at Sasebo, Japan. These ships are participating in the exercise in pursuance of India’s Act East Policy and demonstration of India’s commitment to peace and stability in formal calls and also professional, social and sporting interactions.

 

Safe Cities Index 2017 denotes Tokyo Safest and Delhi ranked 43rd Position

 

Japanese capital city Tokyo has topped The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2017 which ranked 60 cities on parameters including personal and health security. Singapore and Japanese city Osaka have ranked second and third, while Indian cities Delhi and Mumbai have ranked 43rd and 45th respectively.

 

India-Sri Lanka training exercise on counter-terrorism begins

 

The fifth India-Sri Lanka joint training exercise “Mitra Shakti 2017” focusing on counter-terrorism operations kicked off at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. The exercise will be conducted for next 14 days till October 26 and will involve sharing and learning from each others’ experiences.

 

Make in India: Sweden 2017

 

Make in India: Sweden 2017, organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in Stockholm, from October 12-13 aims to enhance Indo-Swedish cooperation. Delegation is led by the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu. The meeting was held to further strengthen Indo-Swedish economic relationship and explore new avenues of collaboration.

 

Global Hunger Index 2017: India ranks 100th among 119 nations

 

India ranked 100th position among 119 countries on Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017 report released by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). This year slipped by three positions as compared to 97th rank in 2016 GHI. In 2017 GHI, India scored 31.4 and was placed in high end of “serious” category. India’s low ranking also influences South Asia’s regional score as three quarters of South Asia’s population reside in India. India’s neighbours ranking are Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Bangladesh (88), Sri Lanka (84) and China (29) – except Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107). Even North Korea (93) and Iraq (78) fared better in hunger parameters and GHI rankings.

 

India is second largest market for pharma: LinkedIn Report

 

The 13.7 percent contribution to the global pharmaceuticals and biotechnology workforce India has emerged as the second largest market for the industry, a report by professional networking giant LinkedIn has revealed. The report, detailed in the newly released e-book “The Indian Pharma and Biotech Industry”, showed that while New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chandigarh are thriving grounds for talent in this sector in India, talent migration is highest to the US. Talent migrating to other countries mainly comprises of researchers, scientists, quality assurance professionals, statistics programmers and data analysts.

 

Germany to help Indian Railways to increase speed of trains on existing corridors

 

German Railways will assist Indian Railways to make country’s existing rail corridors semi high speed. The semi high speed trains will run at 200 km per hour. A joint declaration of Intent was signed between Ministry of Railways and Germany regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing 643 km Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways by German Railways for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph on 50.50 percent cost sharing basis.

 

India and South Africa Celebrating 20 years of Cooperation

 

The “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017″ was started in India’s 1st World Heritage City i.e Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It is a 3 day long diversified cultural carnival. Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015. Its intent is to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all its rich and varied dimensions, all in one place.

 

BRICS-themed subway train debuts in China

 

A BRICS-themed subway train with carriages representing the five member nations including India has started test operations in China’s southeastern Xiamen city. The subway train, which started its test run, has six carriages, five of which represents different cultures of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Indian carriage depicts elephants and yoga.

The Chinese carriage is red and displays icons such as the Great Wall and Tian’anmen Square.

The Brazilian carriage is green and decorated with images of footballs and football stars.

The Russian carriage shows off the country’s ballet and matryoshka dolls.

The South African carriage displays pictures of diamonds.

The sixth carriage combines cultural elements from all the five BRICS countries.

 

India to help Myanmar in police training

 

The Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to a MoU between India and Myanmar on upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar. It covers upgradation of the Police Centre to further augment the capabilities of the Myanmar government to build capacities of its police force with technical and financial assistance from the Indian government.

 

First US Crude Oil shipment arrives in Paradip

 

The first United States crude oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels bought by Indian Oil Corporation from the US reached Paradip Port, Odisha. Indian Oil became the first Indian public sector refiner to source US crude has placed a cumulative order 3.9 million barrel from the US. They will process the crude at its East-Coast base refineries, located at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni and Bongaigaon.

 

India to be guest country at World Government Summit

 

India will be the guest of honour during the sixth edition of the World Government Summit scheduled from February 11th – 13th, 2018 in Dubai. The summit is the largest movement to review and share the best experiences, and the first global forum for governments, countries, organizations and private sector leaders interested in the industry of the future.

 

Nepal, India to conduct joint tiger census in November

 

Nepal and India will be conducting in November a joint head count of tigers in the national parks, forests and sanctuaries along the international border between the two neighbours using a similar camera tapping method. The tiger is regarded as an endangered animal and is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

 

India opens two border crossing points

 

India has opened 2 immigration check posts along the borders with Myanmar & Bangladesh. Zorinpui check post of Mizoram has been authorised as immigration check post for entry into or exit from India for all passengers to or from Myanmar. Kawrpuichhuah post of Mizoram has been authorised as immigration check post for entry into or exit from India for all passengers to or from Bangladesh.

 

NATIONAL

 

Union Minister launches Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana in Mumbai

 

Union Minister for state for social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawale has launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana during the fourth workshop of “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” in Mumbai. The workshop was organised by Pratishtha and Sanjivani trust.

 

Indian Army finalises mega procurement plan to replace ageing weapons

 

Indian Army finalized one of its biggest procurement plans for infantry modernization at a cost of nearly Rs 40,000 crore to replace its aging and obsolete weapons. Under this plan, around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines will be procured. Indian Army has been insisting to fast-track the procurement in backdrop of evolving security threats along India’s borders with Pakistan and China. Besides, Union Government has directed Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to expedite its work on various small arms, particularly on Light Machine Guns.

 

India to host UN wildlife summit CMS COP13 in 2020

 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that India will host the next CMS Conference of the Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in the year 2020. CMS COP is a global wildlife conference. The announcement was made during the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in Manila, the Philippines. CMS COP12 was held from 23-28 October 2017 and was attended by over 500 delegates from more than 120 countries. The theme of the Conference was ‘Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People’.

 

External Affairs Ministry launches AsktheSpokesperson on Twitter

 

The Ministry of External Affairs launched the “#AsktheSpokesperson” initiative on Twitter, to create better awareness and understanding of foreign policy issues to general public. #AsktheSpokesperson initiative will be a regular feature to engage and educate the public about foreign policy matters in simplified terms. It will be held every 2 months. The Ministry invites questions from the public on India’s foreign policy and selected questions would be responded by the Official Spokesperson. It also launched its LinkedIn profile.

 

L&T handovers first defence vessel built in private shipyard to Coast Guard

 

Larsen and Toubro (L&T) handed over offshore patrol vessel (OPV) named “Vikram” to the Indian Coast Guard. It is country’s first-ever such defence vessel to be built in a private shipyard The vessel was indigenously developed in-house at L&T’s Kattupalli shipyard. Its entire design and construction processes have undergone dual certification from American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.

 

Indian Railway’s first set of solar plant of 5 MW capacity launched

 

Indian Railway’s first set of solar plants with total capacity of 5 megawatt peak (MWp) was launched on roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. This project was launched as part of Union Government’s ambitious National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission 1000 MWp solar plants across its network.

 

SC asks UP, Haryana, Rajasthan to ban use of Pet coke to curb air pollution

 

The Supreme Court (SC) directed the governments of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Haryana and Rajasthan to ban the use of petroleum (pet) coke and furnace oil in the industries with an aim to fight air pollution. The ruling was made by a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. The bench also clarified that it will ban the use of pet coke and furnace oil in these three states from 1 November 2017, if the respective governments did not prohibit their use in the industries by then.

 

Paika rebellion to be named as 1st War of Independence: Government

 

The Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that Paika rebellion (Paika Bidroha) of 1817 will be named as First War of Independence against British Rule in history books from next academic session. Earlier, 1857 Sepoy Mutiny was regarded as the First War of Indian Independence, but Paika Bidroha predates it.

 

No need to stand up in movie halls to prove patriotism: SC

 

People not required to stand up in the movie halls to prove their patriotism, the Supreme Court of India ruled and asked the Central Government to consider amending the decree for regulating playing of the national anthem in the cinema halls. The Apex court also noted that “We don’t have to wear patriotism on our sleeves”, and that it cannot be believed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, then he is “less patriotic”. While observing the decree, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the society doesn’t require “moral policing” and this can’t be done on the whims and fancies of government.

 

Ministries of power and textiles jointly announce new scheme ‘SAATHI’

 

Ministries of power and textiles have jointly announced a new scheme SAATHI under which Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) will provide energy efficient power loom equipment to small and medium units at no upfront cost. The use of the efficient equipment would result in energy and cost savings to the unit owner and he will repay in installments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period. The SAATHI initiative of the government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis. Sustainable And Accelerated Adoption Of Efficient Textile Technologies To Help Small Industries.

 

India’s first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra launched

 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated India’s first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for skilling in Smart Cities on 23 October 2017 at New Delhi. The inauguration was done in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The main aim behind the development is to bring momentum in skilling through collaborative efforts.

 

Govt de-affiliates 400 Industrial Training Institutes for failing quality norms

 

The Union Government has de-affiliated around 400 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) following quality inspections that revealed that the institutes lacked requisite infrastructure and trainers for imparting vocational training to students. If an institute has to be an ITI at the National Council for Vocational Training level, there are certain minimum conditions that need to be followed.

 

Maruti becomes top exporter of passenger cars from India

 

According to latest data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has become largest passenger cars exporter from India in first half (April-September) of ongoing fiscal. It exported 57,300 units of passenger cars and dethroned Hyundai Motor India Ltd (exported 44,585 units) which has now been pushed to fourth spot behind Volkswagen (50,410 units) and General Motors (45,222 units).

 

PM Modi inaugurates first phase of Ghogha-Dahej RORO ferry service

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first phase of ambitious Ghogha-Dahej Roll-on Roll-off ferry service at Ghogha in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat. With the opening of this 615-crores rupees ferry service, the distance between Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions could be covered in less than an hour via-sea route. This passenger movement service reduced the distance between the Ghogha and Dahej from 310 kilometres by road to just 30 kilometres, which can be covered in one hour.

 

GSTN Launches excel-based offline tool to file initial GSTR-3B Returns

 

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has launched an excel-based offline tool for businesses to file initial GSTR- 3B returns. GSTN, in a statement in New Delhi, stated that taxpayers can download the offline utility from the GSTN portal and after fill in the data the file can be uploaded on GST portal. After uploading of the return to the GST Portal, the taxpayer has to preview the form, complete formalities like submit, offset the liability and file their GSTR-3B Return using digital signature or electronic verification code.

 

Most pollution-linked deaths occur in India

 

With 2.51 million deaths in 2015, India has been ranked No. 1 in pollution related deaths, according to a report by The Lancet Commission on pollution and health. China recorded the second highest number of such deaths (1.8 million). India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated nine million pollution linked deaths worldwide in 2015. This figure is three times more than the deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.

 

Income Tax dept launches ‘Online Chat’ to answer taxpayers queries

 

The Income Tax Department has launched an ‘online chat’ service for taxpayers so that they can seek answers to their basic queries and doubts relating to direct tax issues. A window has been hosted on the main page of the department’s website www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ – with a prominent icon stating ‘Live Chat Online – ask your query’. A team of experts from the department and independent tax practitioners has been deputed to answer the general queries of a taxpayer. The first-time initiative is aimed to enhance taxpayer services in the country.

 

Ministry of WCD launches campaign on ‘women for women’

 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is undertaking an online campaign #IamThatWoman. The main aim seeks to highlight the various aspects of women standing ‘by’ and ‘for’ women. Ministry of WCD has urged people to shun stereotypes associated with women harming other women. Twitter and Facebook users have been encouraged to tag and share stories of women helping women with a photograph and post online with the hashtag #IamThatWoman. A woman manager can easily empathize with her female juniors and help her climb the ladder of success.

 

Google viewed as Most Authentic Brand in India: Survey

 

Indian consumers regard Google as the most authentic brand, even though Amazon.com tops the list globally, reveal results of the 2017 “Authentic Brands Study” by the new survey of global communications agency Cohn & Wolfe. In India, Google is followed by Microsoft, Amazon.com, Maruti Suzuki and Apple. Globally, Apple takes the second spot after Amazon in the authenticity race.

 

Mahindra launches ‘Prerna’ project for women farmers

 

Auto manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra celebrated ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’ and launched a programme, ‘Prerna’ to empower women working in the agriculture sector. Prerna’ project is aimed at promoting the use of efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment by women who work long hours in the fields. It is first launched in Odisha, with an aim to positively impact the lives of over 1,500 families across 30-plus villages.

 

Defence Minister to commission INS Kiltan into Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam

 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has commissioned an indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kiltan into the Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam. According to Defence Minister, INS Kiltan strengthens India’s defence system and will be a shining armour in ‘Make in India’ programme as it is totally built indigenously.

 

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

 

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the government started PMKSY to provide a permanent solution from drought. Three ministries are implementing this scheme in mission mode. PMKSY aims not only to create irrigation sources but also to create protected irrigation by harnessing rainwater through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’.

 

Mastercard Launched its First Innovation Centre in India

 

US-based fintech company Mastercard has announced the launch of its global research and development arm Mastercard Labs in Pune, India. After Singapore, this will be the second Mastercard Labs in Asia-Pacific, and ninth in the world. The initiative aims to bring and harness new commerce, payment and technology ideas at a fast pace in the country.

 

IAF launches Mobile Health app “MedWatch”

 

On the occasion of its 85th anniversary, the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched an innovative mobile health app named ‘MedWatch’. The concept and content of the app is by the Directorate General of Medical Services (Air) and its has been developed in house with zero financial outlay by the Directorate of information Technology (DIT). ‘MedWatch, available on the IAF’s AFCEL network, comprises a host of features that will provide authentic health information to all IAF personnel. ‘MedWatch’, the first mobile health app in the three armed services was launched by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

 

Union Govt launches Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

 

Union Government launched Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana and expansion of Postal Life Insurance, in New Delhi. Under the Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana, at least one village having a minimum of 100 households will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country. The base of Postal Life Insurance been decided that its benefits will no longer be confined to government and semi-government employees. It will be available to the professionals such as doctors, engineers, management consultants, chartered accountants, lawyers, and bankers.

 

44th Indian Handicrafts and Gifts-Delhi Fair inaugurated in New Delhi

 

The 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gifts (IHGF)-Delhi Fair was held at India Expo Centre and Mart on outskirts of Delhi in Greater Noida. It was organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) and was inaugurated by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. The five-day B2B IHGF Fair was biggest platform in National Capital Region (NCR) for promotion of handicrafts business. It will showcase nearly three thousand exhibitors under 14 product categories. More than 100 countries including US, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and Korea are participating in the fair.

 

Govt to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

 

Government of India will commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi during the period from 2nd October, 2019 to 2nd October, 2020. The event will be celebrated at both national and international levels to propagate the message of the Mahatma. A National Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been constituted for the purpose. This Committee includes the Chief Ministers of all the states of the country, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers and eminent persons from all walks of life. The Committee will guide and approve policies, programmes, activities for the commemoration and will also supervise implementation of the decisions taken from time to time.

 

Govt imposes anti-dumping duty on certain Chinese steel products

 

The Union Finance Ministry has imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of certain steel wire rods from China for five years to guard interest of domestic players from cheap in-bound shipments. The duty will be difference between landed value of steel products and US $535 per tonne while for others, it should be gap between landed value and US $546 per tonne. Steel wire rod products are used in many sectors such as automotive components, railway, engineering and construction.

 

Rajnath Singh inaugurated First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise

 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the four-day First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017′ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) in New Delhi. The Exercise will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR). The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.

 

India slips to 8th among most valuable brands

 

India is ranked the eighth most valuable nation brand while the United States retained its top position and China took the second spot in the league of nations according to Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2017. India went down one spot over the previous year, the report said, because the economy grew at its slowest pace.

 

India’s Coffee Output Pegged at Record 3.5 lakh Tons in 2017-18

 

Coffee output in India is pegged to be a record 3.50 lakh tonnes in the 2017-18 marketing year started this month on higher acreage. According to the Coffee Board, the final output stood lower by 10.34 percent at 3.12 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 marketing year from 3.48 lakh tonnes in the previous year. Coffee Board stated that the crop’s forecast for 2017-18 is placed at 3.50 lakh tonnes, comprising 1.03 lakh tonnes of Arabica and 2.47 lakh tonnes of Robusta varieties. Higher output is mainly attributed to the additional bearing area of about 13,500 hectares in traditional growing areas of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

 

President launches Mata Amritanandamayi Math Project Jeevamritham

 

President Ram Nath Kovind has launched 100 crore rupees Mata Amritanandamayi Math Project “Jeevamritham” to provide filtration system for cleaning drinking water to 5000 villages across India, in kollam district in kerala. The President also distributed the certificates to three village out of 12 villages in the States of Bihar, UP, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chatisgarh, Uttarakand, Maharashtra and kerala, which were adopted by the Math, verified as Open Defecation Free by Swatch Bharat Abhiyan.

 

India’s first Marine Police Training Institute to be set up at Dev Bhoomi Dwarka

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the setting up of India’s first marine police training institute at Gujarat’s Devbhumi Dwarka district. This announcement was given at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka, during PM Narendra Modi’s two day visit to Gujarat.

 

Prasar Bharati launches Online Application System for AIR Auditions

 

Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash has launched an online application system for music auditions across all genres for the All India Radio. The initiative was launched on the occasion of 64th Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan in New Delhi. It is believed that with the introduction of this facility, the aspirants who want to apply and get themselves graded will have a better experience in terms of accessibility and availability.

 

Prime Minister launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI)

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI). At the launch he said, “Let no child suffer from any vaccine-preventable disease”. Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme. The special drive will focus on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018. The achievement of full immunisation under Mission Indradhanush to at least 90% coverage was to be achieved by 2020 earlier. With the launch of IMI, achievement of the target has now been advanced.

 

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2017 started in Ahmedabad

 

The “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017″ was started in India’s 1st World Heritage City i.e Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It is a 3 day long diversified cultural carnival. Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015. Its intent is to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all its rich and varied dimensions, all in one place.

 

First ASEAN India Music Festival to be held at Purana Qila, New Delhi

 

The first-ever The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) India Music Festival will be held at Purana Quila in New Delhi. The 3 day festival is being organized by External Affairs Ministry in collaboration with Culture Ministry to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations. The main aim is to boost cultural influences among the peoples of the ASEAN member states and India. Famous Indian bands like the Raghu Dixit Project, Avial, Papon LIVE, Bipul Chettri and the Travelling Band, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will also participate in the festival.

 

India ranks highest in online harassment in APAC region: Norton

 

India reported the highest levels of online harassment through cyberstalking and threats of physical violence in the Asia Pacific region, higher than countries like Australia and Japan, a report by Norton by Symantec. The report, which surveyed 1,035 adults in India, found 8 among 10 surveyed saying they had encountered some form of online harassment. The most common forms of online harassment were abuse and insults (63 percent) and malicious gossip and rumours (59 percent).

 

Modi temple with 100-foot tall statue of PM to be built in Meerut

 

A grand temple worth Rs. 30 crore is going to be built in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. The temple would be built in the Sardhana area of Meerut where a 100-foot statue of Prime Minister Modi would be installed. Follower and supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a retired engineer from the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department, J. P. Singh, announced the decision to erect Prime Minister Modi’s statue. Singh said he was inspired by the PM’s love for the country.

 

Centre organising Paryatan Parv across the country to promote tourism

 

The Union Ministry of tourism is organising Paryatan Parv, a festival of tourism, from 5 October 2017 in collaboration with other central ministries, state governments and stakeholders. The main objective behind organising the festival is to draw focus on the benefits of tourism and showcase the cultural diversity of the country and to reinforce the principle of ‘Toursim for All’. The 20-day festival begins at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. It will end on 25 October 2017.

 

Indian Railways announced No service charge on train e-tickets till March 2018

 

The Union Government waived service charges in November last year after demonetization to encourage digital modes of booking. The facility had been extended from June 30 and then to September 30. The Railway Board directed Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) that the benefits be extended till March next year. The Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.

 

Union Government launches SECURE Himalaya Project

 

The Union Government launched SECURE Himalaya, a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity and land. The Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states namely Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. The system was launched by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

 

NHAI launches new website and PMIS Mobile App

 

The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India Shri Deepak Kumar launched a world-class, new multilingual website of the organization. He also launched a Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) Mobile App that will facilitate close, in-house monitoring of NHAI projects on a mobile phone. The system is now digitally monitoring them through a state-of-the-art Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) which has been developed in-house along with The Boston Consulting Group.

 

Govt unveils third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031

 

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has unveiled third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031 to chalk out future road map for wildlife conservation. The plan was unveiled by Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on inaugural day of Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference. It is third action plan after first released in 1983 to 2001 and second from 2002 to 2016, that had protected area-centric approach to wildlife conservation.

 

NHAI launches countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign

 

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has launched countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers. It was launched by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari at Panjari Toll Plaza, Nagpur Bypass, Nagpur in Maharashtra. Eyesight is basic requirement for safe driving. Poor vision increases risk of collisions due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time to hazard or behaviour of other road users.

 

Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurates Pratham-Shyok bridge in Leh

 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated ‘Pratham-Shyok’ bridge in Leh that will connect Leh to Karakoram in north eastern Ladakh. The Defence Minister on her two-day-visit to Jammu and Kashmir, also visited forward locations of Leh, Ladakh and Siachen, reviewed the security situation in the regions, and interacted with the soldiers.

 

WCD Minister inaugurates the 3rd edition of ‘Women of India Organic Festival’

 

The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the 3rd annual ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ at Dilli Haat (INA). For most women, this is the first time that they are travelling to Delhi from remotest parts of the country to showcase their unique merchandise to the people of Delhi and surrounding areas. With the theme ‘Good for Women; Good for India; Good for you’, the Ministry intends to highlight the health and environmental advantages of organic goods, provide a platform for women engaged in it and boost the development of sustainable and easily accessible sales outlets for women producers from the remotest corners of India.

 

STATES

 

Karnataka cabinet approves transgender policy

 

Karnataka state cabinet approved a policy which seeks to provide legal protection to the transgender community and thereby safeguard them from social and sexual exploitation. The objective of this policy is to remove the stigma attached to the transgender community and integrate them into the mainstream of the society. Under the policy, an awareness drive will be conducted to sensitize general public about the rights of transgenders.

 

Vrindavan, Barsana declared as Sacred Sites, no meat and liquor shops allowed

 

The Uttar Pradesh government has issued an order notifying Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district as ‘Sacred pilgrimage sites’ (‘pavitra teerth sthals’). With this, Vrindavan and Barsana became the first two places to be notified as teerth sthal in government records. No meat and liquor shops will be allowed in these towns anymore. As per the state government, the main objective behind declaring Vrindavan and Barsana as pilgrimage sites is to honour the sentiments of devotees, who are hurt by the operations of liquor and meat shops. The move will help in restoring the age-old traditions of these people.

 

Rajasthan Assembly passes bill increasing OBC quota to 26 per cent

 

The state government of Rajasthan has passed a bill that increased reservation quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 21 per cent to 26 per cent. The Backward Classes (reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Bill will provide reservation to the five most backward OBC communities:

– Gujjars

– Banjara Baldiya, Labana

– Gadiya Lohar, Gadoliya

– Raika, Rebari, Debasi

– Gadariya, Gadri, Gayari.

 

Chhattisgarh: 51 Hindu families migrated from Pak get Indian citizenship

 

As many as 51 Hindu families who had migrated from Pakistan several years ago and have been living on the outskirts of Raipur were granted Indian citizenship. With this, Chhattisgarh has become the first state in the country to award citizenship after Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted the power to states to do so.

 

MP govt shelves plan to shift to Jan-Dec fiscal format

 

Madhya Pradesh, which was the first state to announce that it would switch to January-December financial year from the existing April-March cycle starting 2018, has put the plan on the back burner. The state government will follow suit once the Centre shifts to the January-December fiscal cycle.

 

Punjab decides to close 800 govt schools which have fewer than 20 students

 

The Punjab government will shut down 800 primary schools with less than 20 students, and merge them with schools nearby. The students and staff will be accommodated in adjoining schools situated within a one kilometre-radius. The decision is aimed at improving the utilisation of the teaching staff in the state.

 

Karnataka to ban Pillion Riding on Two-Wheelers With Engine Capacity up to 100 cc

 

Karnataka government has decided to ban pillion riding on two-wheelers with less than 100 cc engine. It will not affect the existing two-wheelers but will be applicable for new vehicles. The ban comes in the backdrop of safety of the pillion riders, who are often victims of the road accidents.

 

Assam Govt launches new Tourism policy

 

The state government of Assam has launched a new Tourism policy- ‘Tourism Policy of Assam 2017′ with the aim of increasing tourist inflow in the state two to three folds within the next five years. The Tourism shall be accorded industry status in the state and all facilities and incentives applicable to industries shall be made available to Tourism industry also. The new policy will be effective starting January 2018 till December 2022.

 

Punjab govt approves hike in income limit of OBCs

 

Punjab Chief Minister has approved an increase in the gross annual income limit for the creamy layer of the Other Backward Classes and Backward Classes from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. This was the fourth revision of the creamy layer, which was fixed at Rs 1 lakh in 1993 and subsequently hiked to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs 6 lakh in 2013.

 

Chhattisgarh govt reduces interest on loan under Saksham Yojna

 

Chhattisgarh State Government has reduced the rate of interest on loan given to women and their self-help groups (SHGs) under ‘Saksham Yojna’ from 6.5 percent to 5 percent. Saksham Yojana too is operated by Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh, under which loans to the tune of Rs 72 lakh had been distributed to about 111 SHGs during the current fiscal year 2017-18.

 

Assam to host Global Investors Summit in February 2018

 

Assam would be hosting its first Global Investors Summit in Guwahati from 3-4 February 2018. It would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The state government plans to utilise the event to showcase Assam’s business potential with attractive policies in order to attract more investments. The decision was taken during the state’s cabinet meeting, which was held recently.

 

Arunachal Assembly approves Kamle as 23rd district

 

The Arunachal Assembly has passed a bill paving way for creation of a new district to be named Kamle. With the official creation of the new district, the total number of districts in the state shot up to 23.

 

Madhya Pradesh CM launches ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana’

 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated the ambitious ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna’ for the farmers of the state. Madhya Pradesh is the first state to lend money to farmers at zero percent interest. The government has approved a web of irrigation projects across the Sagar District which will cover 96-hectare fields.

 

Kerala HC restores life ban imposed on Sreesanth by BCCI

 

A division bench of the Kerala High Court has restored the life ban imposed on cricketer S Sreesanth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. The bench gave the verdict on a petition filed by the BCCI against the ruling by a single judge bench that lifted the life ban imposed on the 34-year-old pacer in August 2017.

 

Punjab police launches foot patrolling in all districts

 

Punjab police has launched a foot patrolling an initiative whereby police personnel will patrol designated areas on foot to keep a watch on anti-social elements. The main Objective of foot patrolling is to reduce incidence of crime by increasing the presence of police in vulnerable locations. All foot patrol officers will be wearing jungle boots, specially designed arm-band and will carry weapons, baton, handcuffs, and wireless sets.

 

Telangana’s “tGST” app to detect fake GST

 

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Hyderabad) has come out with a technology solution to the problem of GST calculation. The institute has developed an app, tGST, for the Commercial Taxes Department of Telangana. Take a photo of the bill and uploaded it to the app. It will let you know whether the GST paid by you is going to the government or not.

 

Rajasthan assembly first in India to call motions online

 

Going digital, the Rajasthan assembly has become the first in India to call attention and adjournment motions and proposals online from legislators to send them to the state government. The system is expected to save time, labour and use of paper in the functioning of the assembly, and also help legislators in bringing attention to urgent public issues.

 

West Bengal to set up Scheduled Caste advisory council

 

The West Bengal cabinet has decided to set up a Scheduled Caste advisory council to look into the development of the Scheduled Caste population in the state. The scheduled caste advisory council, according to the state government, will be the first in an Indian state.

 

Gujarat Govt announces Garments & Apparel Policy 2017

 

Gujarat Government has announced the Garments and Apparel Policy-2017, with the aim of creating more opportunities in the garment sector of Gujarat and to create huge employment opportunities for women through the apparel industry. This Policy is prepared with an aim to make Gujarat number 1 in textile which produces more of cotton. The State government will also provide incentives for garment unit owners for generating employment by providing subsidy in wages. The women workers will get Rs 4,000 subsidy, while their male counterparts will get Rs 3,500.

 

Gujarat govt to set up 16 new GIDC townships to encourage SMEs

 

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the setting up of 16 new Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) townships, in Gujarat. The 16 new GIDC townships would be set up in 2400 hectare area to encourage the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).This township would attract 15,000 industrial units. They will create job opportunities for 1 lakh people.

 

MP CM announced Rs. 2 lakh aid for widow remarriage

 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a slew of measures for women in the State, including a financial assistance of Rs. 2 lakh for remarriage of widows. Speaking at his monthly radio broadcast ‘Dil Se’ Mr. Chouhan appealed to people to come forward to encourage remarriage of widows. It will help in eradicating social evils like dowry and child marriages.

 

Bihar Cabinet approves reservation for ‘Divyangs’ in Govt Jobs

 

The Bihar Cabinet approved reservations for persons with disabilities in government jobs and educational institutions. The cabinet gave its approval during a meeting presided by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The provision has been brought in accordance with the Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016. The cabinet also approved the establishment of a state advisory board for the empowerment of ‘Divyangjan’ as envisaged in the Act.

 

Himachal Pradesh implements Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme

 

Himachal Pradesh government implemented the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) to provide easy access to curative geriatric health care services by way of additional cover. The scheme would provide top-up coverage of Rs 30,000 per senior citizen to all existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) smart card holders. This would be in addition to the basic coverage of Rs 30,000 in Trust and Society mode.

 

UP govt launches Sankalp Seva bus service

 

Uttar Pradesh government launched Sankalp Seva bus service of 50 buses to connect as many as 6,000 villages. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off the buses in function at Lucknow. On this occasion he announced to construct ‘Gaurav Marg Path’ to honour the sacrifices of the martyrs.

 

Maharashtra launched Web Portal with Information on New Govt Schemes

 

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis launched ‘MahaLabharthi‘ web portal that will help people get information about all the government schemes that they are eligible for. The web portal, https://www.mahalabharthi.in, works on the basis of personal, educational and professional information provided by a person while registering on it.

 

U’khand Govt launched ‘Solar Briefcase’ to provide Electricity in Remote Areas

 

Uttarakhand State Government and a charitable funding agency named Swan Cultural Center and Foundation launched ‘Solar Briefcase’ in Kedarnath Dham. The initiative was taken to provide electricity to far-flung areas in the hill state.

 

Manipur celebrates ‘Mera Houchongba’ festival

 

Manipur’s traditional Mera Houchongba festival which endeavors to promote brotherhood and unity among indigenous communities, was celebrated at the Manipur Royal palace (Sana Konung) in Imphal in the presence of titular monarch Leishemba Sanajaoba recently. The royal palace, which usually is deserted, was filled with a riot of colours as hundreds of people, both from the hills and the valley, took part in the festivities attired in their traditional colourful dresses.

 

Chhattisgarh bans use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride

 

In Chhattisgarh, the state government has banned the use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride -PVC. The advertising and promotion materials like PVC banners, flex, and hoardings have also been banned with immediate effect. Chhattisgarh government decision is with an objective to conserve and improve the environment.

 

Mizoram has highest number of clouded leopards in Southeast Asia

 

Mizoram’s Dampa Tiger Reserve now holds the distinction of housing the highest number of clouded leopards in Southeast Asia, the state government has claimed. The density of population of clouded leopards, locally known as ‘Kelral’, is 5.14 per 100 sq km in the reserve, situated along the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Tripura.

 

PM Modi lays Foundation Stone for Bridge in Dwarka, Gujarat

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a four-lane cable-stayed bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka. The bridge is a link between old and new Dwarka. The 2.32 km bridge, including 900 metres of central double span cable-stayed portion, will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 962.43 crore. The four-lane 27.20-metre wide bridge will have 2.50 metre wide footpaths on each side. Solar panels installed on the roof of footpath will produce 1 MW power for street lights on the bridge.

 

UP govt launches ‘Mukhyamantri Samoohik Vivaah Yojana’

 

Uttar Pradesh State Government launched a mass marriage scheme called ‘Mukhyamantri Samoohik Vivaah Yojana’. Under the scheme, Uttar Pradesh social welfare department will conduct mass marriages. The District magistrates of respective districts will authorize Urban local bodies like Nagar panchayat, Nagar Palika and Nagar Nigam, kshetra panchayats, Zila panchayats, government/ semi-government organizations and NGOs to organize programmes in this regard.

 

Chhattisgarh CM flags-off Cancer detection ambulance to cure patients free-of-cost

 

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh has flagged-off ‘Cancer diagnosis Ambulance’ at his official residence. The vehicle is fitted with ultra-advanced equipment to detect cancer. The patients will be treated free-of-cost. The Akhil Bharatiya Marwari Yuva Manch is organizing the cancer detection camps. About Rs Two crore had been invested in the ambulance. The patients who are suffering from oral, throat, breast, prostate, intestinal, liver and other forms of cancer will be medically examined.

 

Turtle Sanctuary to be set up in Allahabad

 

The Union Ministry of Water Resources has approved project to set up Turtle sanctuary in Allahabad along with River Biodiversity Park at Sangam in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh under Namami Gange programme. The purpose of the Turtle sanctuary is to protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures.

 

Foundation stone for National waterway on Krishna River laid

 

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone to develop Muktyal to Vijayawada waterway stretch on River Krishna as part of National Waterway 4 at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh. The 82-km inland waterway stretch is Phase-1 of National Waterway-4 developed under Sagar Mala project. It will be used mainly for transportation of cement and construction material for new capital city Amaravati.

 

Country’s First ITI for Divyangans in Assam

 

Foundation stone for the first ever Industrial Training Institute for the Divyangans exclusively was laid at Dibrugarh ITI Complex at Borboruah, Dibrugarh by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. As per the guidelines of National Council for Vocational Training, the ITI will have sixty seats for three different trades with 20 seats per trade. The three different trades included in the curriculum are Computer Operator and Programming Assistant, Cutting and Sewing Technology and Hair & Skin Care.

 

Meenakshi Temple named Best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in India

 

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple has been adjudged best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in India. Madurai District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar will receive the award from Uma Bharati, the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation. A total of 63 compact bins have been placed and four compactor trucks do the rounds around the temple premises. There are 25 e-toilets and 15 water ATMs for tourists to use. There are two road sweepers and battery operated vehicles specifically purchased to clean this stretch.

 

GIFT City’s IFSC bags 10th place in Global Financial Centres Index

 

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City)’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) has bagged the 10th spot in the latest edition of Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), London. GIFT IFSC is ranked tenth, ahead of Luxembourg, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Toronto and Beijing in the list of the GFCI report, which has 15 centres that are likely to become more significant in the next few years. Including GIFT City’s IFSC, six of the top ten emerging centres are in Asia.

 

Chandrababu Naidu launches ‘Swachh Andhra Mission’

 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu launched Swachh Andhra Mission on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Shuttle Player PV Sindhu chosen as the brand ambassador of Swachh Andhra. The government is working hard to achieve the seven-star scheme that includes current, gas, drinking water toilet, CC roads, schools, playground, Anganwadi center and internet facility, pond, and planting, at least Rs. 10,000 income for every family in the village.

 

UP Govt removes Taj Mahal from Tourism list

 

Taj Mahal has been dropped from the list of tourist destinations published by the government of Uttar Pradesh. The new booklet issued by UP government has removed Taj Mahal and instead carries the name of temples from Mathura, Ayodhya and Gorakhpur in the list. UP Govt also neglected the World Heritage site by not including it in the special section ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (Our Cultural Heritage) of the annual budget for 2017-2018. The exclusion faced criticism from all sectors of the nation, especially from academicians and historians who slammed the government for not promoting the multi-cultural faith of the country.

 

Odisha Government creating land bank for industrial allocation

 

The Odisha Government is creating 1.2 lakh acre land bank across state for allocation to industrial sector in order to avoid repeat of Posco fiasco. The purpose of the land bank is to cut red tape and avoid local issues in the land acquisition process. Under it, state government is acquiring government land for industrial use. The land bank is based on plug-and-play kind of model wherein facilities related to water, power, roads and all clearances are in place. The companies need to only make payment of base premium upfront for land and annual rent for rest of the 90 years lease period.

 

‘No helmet, no petrol’ rule comes into force in Andhra Pradesh

 

No helmet, no petrol’ rule for two-wheeler riders to reduce road accident deaths has come into force in Andhra Pradesh, with chief minister Chandrababu Naidu urging all the petrol bunk dealers to cooperate. Chandrababu has sanctioned Rs 10 crore for equipment to implement this rule.

 

Karnataka unveils scheme to feed 12 lakh pregnant women

 

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the “Mathru Purna” scheme, which aims to provide nutritious meals to about 12 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state. Besides nutritional supplements, counselling and other maternity benefits will also be provided at the Anganwadi centres under the scheme.

 

MP CM launches ‘Single Click Pension Delivery’ scheme

 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched ‘Single Click Pension Delivery’ scheme, wherein the money will go directly into the account of the beneficiaries. More than 35 lakh people of the state will be benefited from this move. Chauhan also honoured the elderly who completed the age of 100 years with the “Shataayu” award.

 

CONFERENCES

 

UN conference on nuclear energy begins in UAE

 

The United Nations conference on nuclear energy started at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The objective of the conference is to engage in dialogue on the role of nuclear power in meeting future energy demand, contributing to sustainable development and mitigating climate change. The meeting is also discussing key issues related to the development and deployment of nuclear power. Also, Iran has boycotted the conference, as Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, avoided speaking about the nuclear deal at all in his address at the venue.

 

14th SAARCLAW Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

The 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference was held in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka along with 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference. The three-day conference was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and saw participation from South Asia’s top Judges, legal practitioners and academics.

 

PM Modi inaugurates Global Conference on Consumer Protection

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a global conference on consumer protection in New Delhi. This is the first time that an international conference on consumer protection is being organized by India for countries of the region. The conference is deliberated upon steps taken by Asian countries to implement the UN guidelines on consumer protection as well as challenges faced by consumers of financial services and e-commerce. Twenty-two countries from East, South and South-East Asia are participating in the international conference. These include China, South Korea, Singapore, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

 

Arun Jaitley Attends G-20 Finance Ministers Meeting

 

The Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley participated in the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting in Washington D.C. The discussion focused on the agenda items pertaining to Global Economy and Framework for Growth, Compact with Africa and International Financial Architecture. As co-chairs of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG), India made the lead intervention during the Second Round of the Session on ‘Global Economy and Framework for Growth’, which discussed the IMF’s G-20 Report on ‘Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth(SSBG)’.

 

PM Modi’s Economic Advisory Council holds its first meeting

 

The recently constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) held its first meeting in New Delhi to deliberate upon and lay out a roadmap to give a leg up to the Indian economy in the short term after GDP growth for the first quarter fell to a three-year low of 5.7%. The EAC-PM is chaired by Dr. Bibey Debroy. Key issues for the discussion include ways to boost consumer demand, attract private investments and measures to incentivize job creation in the country, people familiar with the agenda said.

 

Vice President inaugurated 3rd International Conference on Yoga

 

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the third International Conference on Yoga in New Delhi. The theme of this year’s conference will be ‘Yoga for Wellness’. The two-day conference has six technical sessions and experts will deliberate on the scope of yoga in integrated medicine, and control of cancer, depression and gynaecological disorders and pain management. Around 500 delegates, including those from 44 countries, will attend the conference.

 

Andhra CM Naidu inaugurates Blockchain Business Conference

 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a two-day International Blockchain Business Conference, which will also have sessions on Blockchain in banking, insurance and capital markets. Blockchain is the latest technology in the field of cyber space that is generating huge interest globally.

 

First meeting of India-Australia joint steering committee held

 

The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held in New Delhi. Shri TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Mr. Stephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General’s Department led the respective delegations. This meeting was a follow-up to the MoU on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime exchanged between the two sides during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull to New Delhi in April 2016.

 

Global Wildlife Programme Conference held in New Delhi

 

The Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) Conference was recently held in New Delhi. It was jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), World Bank and United Nations Development Programme. The Theme of the conference was – “People participation in wildlife conservation”.

 

LS Speaker to lead Indian delegation at 8th Conference in Sri Lanka

 

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will attend a special parliamentary session in Sri Lanka that is being convened to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Parliament. The association of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Speakers and Parliamentarians is a platform for the parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for “Sustainable Development”. It promotes parliamentary diplomacy and open Parliament in the digital age, encourage parliamentarians’ role in preserving cultural and archaeological heritage in South Asia, support women to uplift themselves from poverty and build a better future for their communities, and attempts to counter violent extremism among the youth to prevent terrorism among other things.

 

 AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Girish Karnad to be honoured with Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement Award 2017

 

Versatile actor and playwright Girish Karnad will be honoured with Tata Literature Live Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 on 19 November 2017. The award will be presented to the veteran actor at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point in Mumbai. The actor will receive the award as a playwright.

 

Cleartrip named ‘Best Mobile App for Travel’ at Mobexx Awards

 

Online travel solutions provider Cleartrip was named the ‘Best Mobile App for Travel and Leisure’ at the Mobexx Awards 2017. The award was conferred for the success that it has had on the mobile platform, seen by many as the future of advertising and brand marketing. IIT-Roorkee won Schneider’s ‘Go Green in the City’ contest held in Paris.

 

Anupam Kher receives Parmod Mahajan Smriti Award

 

Anupam Kher has received Parmod Mahajan Smriti Award in Pune. He is the current Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India. Saira Banu, who moved Supreme Court seeking a ban on instantaneous ‘Triple Talaq’ among Muslims is the second recipient of Pramod Mahjan Smriti Award. The awards were presented by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. The award was instituted by Pune-based organization ‘Muktachhand’ in memory of Late Pramod Mahajan who was the leader from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former Union Cabinet Minister.

 

Sharmila Tagore honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore has received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 72-year-old actor was bestowed with the recognition by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi for her contribution in the field of cinema. Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari presented the award to Tagore. The celebrated actor debuted in movies with legendary director Satyajit Ray’s Bengali film Apur Sansar in 1959. Her breakout role in Hindi cinema was Shakti Samanta’s 1964 film Kashmir Ki Kali.

 

L&T Technology Services Conferred with CII Industrial Innovation Award

 

L&T Technology Services Ltd (LTTS), a leading global pure-play Engineering Services Company was conferred with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Industrial Innovation Award, 2017. This award recognized it as one of the most innovative Indian companies in the services category at the CII Industrial Innovation Awards ceremony in New Delhi.

 

Choti Kumari Singh won ‘Women’s Creativity in Rural Life Award’

 

A 20-year-old girl Choti Kumari from Bihar won International acclaim for her efforts to uplift the Musahar community, considered one of the lowest and most downtrodden in the state’s caste-ridden society. Choti Kumari Singh, hailing from an impoverished upper caste Rajput family, has won ‘Women’s Creativity in Rural Life’ Award’ from the Switzerland-based Women’s World Summit Foundation. Choti started helping with social and educational work among Musahars in her own village of Ratanpur in 2014, after joining a programme run by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math of the spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). Choti initiated self-help groups wherein every woman saves Rs 20 a month, which is deposited in a common bank account for starting home-based activities.

 

Andhra CM Naidu receives Golden Peacock Award

 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been honoured with the prestigious Golden Peacock Award in the 17th London Global Convention held in London. The Chief Minister was awarded in the category of “Global Leadership in Public Service and Economic Transformation”.

 

South African Indian-origin couple wins top US award for AIDS research

 

A globally-acclaimed South African Indian-origin researcher couple was honoured with a prestigious US award for their exceptional contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS. Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim received the award from the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) in Baltimore in the US.

 

Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan to get Lata Mangeshkar Award

 

Noted music composers Usha Khanna, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik and playback singers Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan have been selected for the Madhya Pradesh government’s prestigious National Lata Mangeshkar Award. The artistes will be honoured for their contribution in the field of music composition and singing. The award is given every year alternatively to music directors and playback singers.

 

Javed Akhtar to be honoured with Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award

 

Veteran writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar is to be honored with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award will receive Rs.1,00,000 along with a memento. The programme is being presented to celebrate the 75-year-old music career of singer Lata Mangeshkar.

 

Environmental scientist Schellnhuber receives Blue Planet Prize

 

The world’s most prestigious award for pioneers in environmental science was given to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber in Tokyo. The Blue Planet Prize, coming along with 50 million yen, honors outstanding thinkers who help to meet challenges of planetary dimensions.

 

US author George Saunders wins 2017 Man Booker Prize

 

American author George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker Prize, a high-profile literary award for his first full-length novel “Lincoln in the Bardo”. With this, he became second consecutive American writer to win prize after Paul Beatty (for his novel The Sellout), after rules were changed in 2014 to allow authors of any book written in English and published in UK to compete.

 

Indian peacekeepers in Sudan awarded with UN medal

 

Fifty Indian peacekeepers stationed in South Sudan were awarded with the UN Medal for their professionalism and service in protecting civilians and building durable peace in the conflict-ridden country. The peacekeepers were presented with the award by UNMISS Force Commander General Frank Mushyo Kamanzi. These Indian peacekeepers are part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Indian peacekeepers were deployed with the Indian battalion stationed at Bor in the Jonglei region of South Sudan.

 

Indian-American Attorney awarded 3rd American Bazaar Philanthropy award

 

Noted Indian-American attorney Ajay Raju has been honoured with the third American Bazaar Philanthropy award in recognition of his philanthropic activities in the United States. Raju was honoured for his commitment to revive Philadelphia through the Germination Project. The Germination project is a signature initiative of the Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation that recruits talented teenagers and prepares them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

 

Eminent Poet Prabha Varma chosen for Padma Prabha Puraskaram

 

Eminent poet, lyricist and journalist Prabha Varma has been selected for the Padma Prabha Puraskaram for 2017. The announcement was made by the chairman-cum-managing director of ‘Mathrubhumi’ daily, M P Veerendra Kumar. A jury headed by ace novelist M Mukundan chose Varma for the prestigious award, considering his contribution to Malayalam literature. The award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 75,000, a plaque and a citation, was instituted by the Padma Prabha Memorial Trust.

 

Poorvi bags ‘best performer’ award at ‘Little Miss World’

 

12-year old Indian girl Poorvi G B has been awarded the ‘best performer’ subtitle at the ‘Little Miss World 2017’ pageant held in Greece. Poorvi G B has become the first Indian kid to win the title in the international beauty pageant and talent competition. At the event, Poorvi G B gave a Kathak dance performance and also showcased the rich culture of Karnataka.

 

Singer T M Krishna wins Indira Gandhi National Integration

 

The 30th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2015 and 2016 has been awarded to Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna, for his services in promoting and preserving National Integration in the country. Krishna is not only one of the pre-eminent vocalists in the rigorous Carnatic tradition of Indian classical music, but also an activist who has worked on creating egalitarian spaces for music and breaking down caste-barriers in the form. Others winners include the Kasthurba Gandhi National Memorial trust (Indore, Madhya Pradesh), musician A R Rehman and Ramakrishan Mission Ashram, Narainpur, Chattisgarh (jointly), poet Gulzar, scientist Dr M S Swaminathan and activist P V Rajagopal.

 

Namita bags Centenary National Award

 

Eminent writer Namita Gokhale has been nominated for the first Centenary National Award for Literature, for her outstanding literary contributions. The award has been conferred by the Asam Sahitya Sabha, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious literary bodies in India. This award has been instituted as part Asam Sahitya Sabha’s centenary celebrations.

 

M K Sanu chosen for Mathrubhumi Literary award

 

Eminent critic, biographer and orator M K Sanu has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for 2016 in recognition of his rich contribution to the Malayalam literature.

 

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak gets Lal Bahadur Shastri award

 

President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for the year 2017 to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. Dr. Bindeshwar also received the Padma Bhushan in 1991. The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award is an annual prestigious award instituted from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Delhi.

 

GCMMF Awarded Best FMCG in Food Sector by IAA

 

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which manages brand AMUL, has been awarded as the best FMCG in the food sector at the 5th International Advertising Associations (IAA) Leadership Awards in Mumbai. Amul is India’s largest food brand with the annual brand turnover of Rs 38,000 crore. It is a cooperative milk federation of 3.6 million milk producers of Gujarat.

 

Radhakrishnan selected for Vayalar award

 

Noted Novelist T D Radhakrishnan’s has been selected for this year’s prestigious Vayalar award. The award will be presented to him on October 27, 2017, the death anniversary of poet and lyricist Vayalar Ramavarma. Vayalar Award was instituted in 1977 by the Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Trust in memory of Malayalam poet and lyricist Vayalar.

 

Rajesh Nath gets Germany’s Highest Civilian Honour

 

Rajesh Nath, Managing Director of VDMA India, has been conferred the ‘Cross of the Order of Merit’, the highest civilian honour awarded to individuals for their services to Germany. The award, also known as Bundesverdienstkreuz or Federal Cross of Merit was instituted in 1951 and is Germany’s only honour that is awarded to both Germans and foreigners for achievements in the economic, social, political or intellectual realms.

 

Nobel Prize 2017 in Economic Sciences announced

 

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler for his contributions to behavioral economics. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.

 

ICAN awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2017

 

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. The Prize calls upon nuclear-armed states to initiate negotiations to the gradual elimination of the world’s 15,000 nuclear weapons adding that ICAN has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigor.

 

Gauri Lankesh, First Indian Journalist to win Anna Politkovskaya Award

 

Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead by unknown assailants recently, has been posthumously accorded with the prestigious Anna Politkovskaya Award, instituted by Reach All Women (RAW) in War. It was honoured to award the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award for women human rights defenders from war and conflict zones jointly to Gauri Lankesh posthumously and to a brave Pakistani activist Gulalai Ismail, who similarly is fighting against Islamic extremism.

 

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for method to visualise biomolecules

 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to confer the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 to three scientists for developing a technique to produce detailed images of life’s complex molecular machinery. Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson have thereby received a £825,000 prize for developing an effective method for generating 3D images of life-building structures. The technique they developed, called cryo-electron microscopy, has allowed the structure of biomolecules to be studied in high-resolution for the first time, an advance that revolutionised the field of biochemistry.

 

2017 Nobel Physics Prize awarded to Gravitational Wave Detectors

 

The 2017 Nobel Physics Prize has been awarded “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves” to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. The Prize announced by Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences comes with 9 million kronor ($1.1 million). For the past 25 years, the prize has been shared among multiple winners.

 

Jeffrey, Michael Rosbash & Michael win 2017 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine

 

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has decided to award the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to the American trio of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. All three winners are from the US. It is the 108th time the prize has been awarded and was announced at the Nobel Forum at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners will share a prize of 9m Swedish kronor (£825,000), and each receives a medal engraved with their name.

 

Indian entrepreneur wins UK business award for innovative IT solutions

 

A Ghana-based Indian entrepreneur has won a prestigious business award in the UK for his efforts to bring innovative IT solutions to Africa. Birendra Sasmal, CEO of Subah, bagged the International Business Person of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards in London for turning the company into a thriving IT, telecoms and manufacturing success story with operations across West Africa.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Jasprit Bumrah secures top spot in ICC T20 Rankings

 

Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah climbed to the number one spot in the latest ICC T20 rankings while his fifth-ranked team could go as high as second if it beats New Zealand in the three-match series beginning. Bumrah, who attained a career-best third position in the ODI rankings, has regained the T20 top spot after Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim slipped one place.

 

Heena Sidhu wins Air Pistol Gold at Commonwealth Shooting Championships

 

Ace Indian shooter Heena Sindhu has bagged gold in women’s 10m Air Pistol event at Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane, Australia. Heena shot a score of 240.8 in the finals to beat Australia’s Elena Galiabovitch, who has to settle for silver after posting 238.2. Kristy Gillman of Australia picked up the bronze medal with a score of 213.7. India also picked up their second medal through Deepak Kumar as he won bronze in men’s 10m Air Rifle event.

 

Indian Junior team win Bronze Medal in Johor Cup Hockey

 

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team beat hosts Malaysia 4-0 in the Bronze medal match of the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, in Malaysia. Goals from Vishal Antil (15’, 25’), Vivek Prasad (11’) and Shilanand Lakra (21’) were enough for India to finish their tournament with the Bronze medal.

 

Mithali Raj and Virat Kohli tops ICC ranking

 

India captain Mithali Raj moved up one place to occupy the number one spot in the latest ICC ODI rankings for batswomen. Ellyse Perry of Australia and Amy Satterthwaite of New Zealand also jumped one place each to be at second and third spots. Mithali has 753 points. Also, Indian captain, Virat Kohli returned to the top of the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen after logging career-high rating points, going past the iconic Sachin Tendulkar in the process. The 28-year-old Delhi batsman has reached 889 points, which is the best ever by an India batsman.

 

Federer wins 8th Basel Title, 95th Overall

 

The Swiss superstar won his eighth Basel title, after defeating Juan Martin del Potro, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his ATP World Tour-leading seventh title of the year. It was Federer’s first success against the Argentine in a Basel final, after the South American beat him in both 2012 and 2013. Federer moved ahead of Ivan Lendl into standalone second place on the Open Era titles list, only trailing Jimmy Connors, who owns 109 trophies. He now owns eight or more trophies at three different events: Halle (9), Wimbledon (8) and Basel (8).

 

Lewis Hamilton secures 2017 F1 title, Max Verstappen wins Mexico Grand Prix

 

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton has been crowned Formula One world champion after he finished ninth in a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix. The race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen but Mercedes’ Hamilton clinched his fourth drivers’ championship after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was unable to win the race following collisions between the trio on the first lap.

 

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to reach 9000 ODI runs, a century

 

India skipper Virat Kohli became the fastest to reach 9000 ODI runs, taking just 194 innings to achieve the feat. He achieved the feat even as he scored his 32nd century in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand in Kanpur at the Green Park stadium. Kohli also became the first batsman to amass 2000 runs in international cricket in 2017.

 

Shuttler Srikanth wins French Open title

 

Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has defeated Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in straight games to win the men’s singles title at the French Open Superseries, becoming the first-ever Indian shuttler to win 4 Superseries in a year. With this he also became the first Indian to win the Indonesia Super Series. He has also won Indonesia Open, Australian Open and Denmark Open this year.

 

Sangram wins Silver in Double Trap in ISSF World Cup final

 

Sangram Dahiya won a silver in the ISSF World Cup Final, in New Delhi. Double trap exponent Sangram clinched his first-ever senior medal in International Shooting Sports Federation tournament. He was taking part in the prestigious event for the first time.

 

Amanpreet wins Bronze at ISSF World Cup final

 

India’s Amanpreet Singh clinched a bronze medal in his maiden appearance in an ISSF World Cup Final, in New Delhi. Jitu Rai fizzled out to finish seventh on the fourth day of competition. World Cup silver medallist Amanpreet shot 202.2 to win the bronze in the final of men’s 50m pistol. Rai could manage only 123.2 to finish last in the seven- man final. This was India’s first individual medal in the ongoing edition of the prestigious tournament.

 

Patna Pirates clinched Third Pro Kabaddi successive title

 

Pardeep Narwal scored incredible 24 points to steer Patna Pirates to third consecutive Pro Kabaddi title. Pardeep, who had scored 76 points in three playoffs, helped Patna come from behind and thump Gujarat Fortunegiants 55-38 in the summit clash of Pro Kabaddi season 5. Gujarat’s Sachin Tawar was the only player who had managed to break through Patna defence and scored 11 points. The 20-year old raider finishes the 2017 edition as the highest raider with 369 raid points and 19 Super 10s.

 

England beat Spain 5-2 to Win First-ever U-17 Title

 

England scripted a dramatic turnaround in Kolkata to win the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup for the very first time after a 5-2 win over European U17 champions Spain. Spain appeared to throw in the towel after letting slip a commanding lead, and their woe was compounded by further strikes from Marc Guehi and Foden to round off a comprehensive 5-2 victory.

 

Jitu Rai and Heena Sindhu win gold in air pistol mixed team event

 

Jitu Rai and Heena Sindhu won gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi. The duo struck gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event on the opening day of ISSF World Cup in the capital. They will make their Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Both Rai and Sindhu picked their gold together in the mixed team event.

 

Scott Fleming joins NBA India as Head of Basketball Operations

 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that former India men’s national team head coach Scott Fleming has joined NBA India as Head of Basketball Operations. Scott Fleming will oversee the league’s youth and elite basketball development in India, including the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, NBA Academy India, and NBA Basketball School.

 

Thakkar first Indian to top ITTF

 

Manav Thakkar has become the first Indian to occupy the top spot (3,455 points) on the ITTF World Junior Circuit standings. Manav Thakkar hails from Surat. He was previously placed at No. 5 position. He has reached the top position of top ITTF Junior Circuit standings after finishing runner-up at the 2017 Serbian Junior and Cadet Open, Belgrade.

 

Divij & Scott crowned EO champions

 

India’s Divij Sharan and America’s Scott Lipsky won the European Open trophy in Antwerp, Belgium. Divij Sharan and Scott Lipsky defeated Santiago Gonzalez and Julio Peralta by 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 in the finals. They won the 2017 European Open title. Divij Sharan has won his first title of the 2017 season on the ATP World Tour, and third overall, by winning the European Open trophy.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo Named Best FIFA Men’s Player

 

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten Lionel Messi and Neymar to win the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for the second year running. Ronaldo was presented the award at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London, UK. The award, which covers the period of November 2016 to July 2017, is voted by national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans.

 

Kidambi Srikanth lifts Denmark Open Superseries Trophy 2017

 

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lifted the Denmark Open Superseries trophy at Odense, Denmark. He defeated South Korea’s Lee Hyun-il in straight games, 21-10, 21-5 to bag his third Super Series title of the year and fifth overall. He recently (June 2017) won Australia Open Super Series title.

 

Indian Women’s compound team bags silver at World Archery Championships

 

The Indian women’s compound team has bagged a silver medal after losing to Colombian rivals in the World Archery Championships. This was India’s fifth medal at the World Championships and all of them have been silver. It was also the first time India won any medal in the compound team archery section at the World Championships.

 

Lewis Hamilton wins USA Grand Prix

 

Lewis Hamilton won the U.S. Grand Prix. The victory was the 62nd of Hamilton’s career and his ninth of the season. Lewis Hamilton needs to finish in top five in Mexico to become Britain’s first four times world champion.

 

India defeats Malaysia to win their 3rd Hockey Asia Cup title

 

India defeated Malaysia 2-1 in final of the Hockey Asia Cup in Dhaka, to win the tournament for the third time. India, who have finished as the tournament’s runners-up five times previously, have now won the joint second-most number of Asia Cup titles, alongside Pakistan. India had last won the Asia Cup back in 2007.

 

Kohli becomes top run scorer at 200 ODIs and 14th Indian player to play 200 ODIs

 

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has become the top run-scorer at the 200 ODI-mark, after taking the field against New Zealand in the first ODI at Mumbai. In his 200th ODI, Virat has 8,767 runs, 146 more than second-placed AB de Villiers. Virat is the 14th Indian cricketer to play 200 ODIs.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo retains top spot in Forbes’ wealthiest athletes list

 

Forbes released the top 20 richest sportsmen in the world for 2017 with Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo leading the chart. Ronaldo earned £70m in the last year, making him the highest paid European sports personality. Meanwhile, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the only cricketer to feature in the Top 100 list.

 

South Africa clinches top spot in ODI, India slips to second

 

India lost its number one spot in International Cricket Council (ICC) One Day International (ODI) rankings to South Africa. South Africa’s 104-run win over Bangladesh in the second ODI in Paarl pushed it to the top spot. India had claimed the top rank in the ICC rankings as a result of its 4-1 win over Australia. While India and South Africa have equal 120 points against their name, India is placed second on the basis of decimal points. However, India has a chance to regain its top spot as it plays against New Zealand in a three-match ODI series scheduled to begin from 22 October 2017 in Mumbai.

 

Kavita Devi, India’s first woman wrestler to sign for WWE

 

Kavita Devi, a former competitive powerlifter, has become the first ever Indian woman to be signed by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Jinder Mahal, the current WWE champion, confirmed the news in a special visit to New Delhi. Hailing from Haryana, Kavita underwent training to be a professional wrestler under the guidance of The Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana) at his Punjab based wrestling promotion and training academy. She also won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games.

 

Mohun Bagan lifts Governor’s Gold Cup

 

Football club Mohun Bagan has won the 37th All India Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament. Mohun Bagan defeated Partha Chakra by a narrow 1-0 margin to win the 37th All India Governor’s Gold Cup. With this victory, Mohun Bagan won the Governor’s Golden Cup for the 10th time. The final match was played at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok, Sikkim.

 

Shakib first from Bangladesh in MCC World Cricket Committee

 

Premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan became the first cricketer from Bangladesh to be inducted in the MCC World Cricket Committee under the chairmanship of Mike Gatting. Also added to the committee are Suzie Bates, Ian Bishop and Kumar Dharmasena. Shakib Al Hasan is regarded as one of Bangladesh’s finest players since they were awarded the Test status in 2000, with the all-rounder having played 51 Test matches and 177 one-day internationals.

 

Maria Sharapova wins Tianjin Open, her first title since doping ban

 

Former world number one tennis player Maria Sharapova won her first title since returning from a 15-month doping ban, clinching the Tianjin Open. Sharapova defeated Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 7-6(8) to win her career’s 36th title and her first since Italian Open in 2015.

 

Roger Federer Cruises to Shanghai Masters Title

 

Roger Federer has brushed aside world number one Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters and register his fourth victory of the year over his Spanish rival. The Swiss world number two beat Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open and Miami Masters and in the last 16 at Indian Wells earlier this year, and never looked like losing to his long-time rival in Shanghai, firing 10 aces as he cruised to victory. Federer, the only man who can still stop Nadal ending the year as number one, took an hour and 12 minutes to claim his sixth title of the year and his second Shanghai crown with a clinical performance.

 

India bows out from FIFA U-17 World Cup after 0-4 defeat against Ghana

 

India’s run at the FIFA under-17 World cup came to an end s they went down 0-4 against two time champions Ghana in their final group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. In the earlier matches India lost to US and Colombia. However, looking back at young team India’s performance in the tournament, they did show much resilience and tact in their second group match against Colombia, giving the team a tough competition.

 

Gurusaidutt wins Bulgarian International Tournament

 

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt clinched the men’s singles title at the Bulgarian International Future Series tournament. Gurusaidutt has defeated Muhammed Ali Kurt (Turkey) in a 35- minute match. Gurusaidutt will also participate in Senior Nationals Championship in November 2017.

 

Staubli first female referee to officiate in U-17 World Cup

 

Switzerland’s Esther Staubli will become the first female referee to officiate a match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup when Japan clash with New Caledonia in the final round group E match in Kolkata on 14th October 2017. This is in line with FIFA’s objective to further develop women’s football. Staubli is one of seven women referees invited to the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.

 

Compulsory Yo-Yo test for cricketers

 

According to BCCI, every cricketer will now need to have a yo-yo test, prescribed by the Indian team management. In a yo-yo test, players have to pace themselves to and fro between two rows of cones kept 20 metres apart. For every round the player has to sync his sprint with the beeps that are played. This test is widely used by selection bodies in various sports including hockey, football.

 

Indian Pair Win Gold at World Archery Youth Championship 2017

 

Mixed pair of Jemson Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat clinched the gold medal as India returned with three medals from the World Archery Youth Championship in Rosario, Argentina. This is India’s first world title at the youth championships since Deepika Kumari’s victories in 2009 and 2011. India also bagged one silver and one bronze in a promising show by the youngsters.

 

FIFA suspends Pakistan Football Federation

 

FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council on account of undue third-party interference. The national and club teams will not be allowed to take part in international competitions till the suspension is lifted. FIFA suspended PFF since its accounts were in control of a court-appointed administrator, which is against FIFA rules. The suspension will be lifted when the body becomes independent.

 

Iceland becomes smallest nation ever to enter FIFA World Cup

 

Iceland becomes the smallest country ever to qualify for the final stage of the FIFA World Cup, after topping its qualifying group. The island nation has a population of over 3,34,000 with over 20,000 registered football players. Last year, Iceland played its first major tournament, the UEFA European Championship, where the team defeated England and reached the quarter-final stage.

 

Dhayal Sisters win bronze in Youth World Championship

 

Pune girls Divya Dhayal and Khushbu Dhayal won bronze medal in the Youth World Championship in Rosario, Argentina. The three-member Indian team of Khushbu Dhayal, Divya Dhayal and Delhi’s Sanchita Tiwari defeated Russia in the quarterfinals but lost the semifinals to US. The Youth World Archery Championship, held from October 2 to 8, in Rosario, Argentina, is held after two years.

 

Tyrrell Hatton retains Dunhill Links Championship title

 

Tyrrell Hatton became the first man to retain the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title. He won by three shots after a six-under-par final round. It is the second year in a row that Fisher had finished second at the Dunhill Links.

 

Rafael Nadal wins China Open title

 

World number one Rafael Nadal (Spain) won his China Open Title that is sixth title of this year. He defeated Nick Kyrgios (Australia) at the China Open 2017. He won a 16-time Grand Slam winner and came to the Chinese capital Beijing on the back of winning his third US Open.

 

Anupama clinches World Open Under-16 Snooker Championship title

 

India’s Anupama Ramachandran has clinched the World Open Under-16 Snooker Championship title at St. Petersburg in Russia. In the girls category, second seed Anupama Ramachandran of India knocked out her compatriot and top seed Keerthana Pandian 3-1 to become World Open Under-16 champion.

 

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 started in India

 

The much-awaited FIFA U-17 World Cup started with four opening day matches to be played in Delhi and Mumbai. The opening matches would be played by teams in Group A and B. In Delhi, the inaugural match would be played between Group A teams Colombia and Ghana at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, followed by hosts India who would take on Team USA in the second match. In Mumbai, Group B team New Zealand would be taking on Turkey in the first game at DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai.

 

India’s first portal dedicated to para-sports launched

 

In a bid to create awareness about para-sports and provide a platform to para sportspersons to narrate their stories of triumph and adversity,thenationspride.com, the country’s first portal dedicated to para-sports has been launched in Mumbai, Maharashtra. thenationspride.com is a non-profit initiative, helmed by 17-year-old Mumbai student and sports enthusiast, Saachi Munot. The portal brings readers inspiring stories of Indian para-sportspersons, who have consistently delivered stellar performances on domestic and global arenas alike, but whose stories have largely gone untold or unheard.

 

Rangana Herath, 1st left-arm spinner to pick 400 wickets

 

Rangana Herath has became the 14th bowler overall to take 400 wickets in Test cricket. Herath also became the first left-arm spinner to bag 400 wickets in Tests. Daniel Vettori of New Zealand, with 362 wickets, is second in the list of left-arm spinners with most wickets. He also became the second Sri Lankan after the great Muttiah Muralitharan to pick 400 wickets.

 

2018 Commonwealth Games Baton arrives in New Delhi

 

The Queen’s Baton for the 2018 Commonwealth Games arrived in New Delhi, India. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in Australia. The Baton was received by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) joint secretary Rakesh Gupta and it will travel to Agra. It will then be taken to Nainital in Uttarakhand on October 5. The main CWG Baton Relay event will be held on October 8 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

 

Pooja Kadian hands India its first gold in Wushu World C’ships

 

Pooja Kadian created history as she bagged India’s first ever gold medal at Wushu World Championships in Russia. Pooja, an ace Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) Wushu champion, finished on top of the podium in the 75 kg women’s Sanda Category after defeating Evgeniya Stepanova of Russia in the final.

 

Jagan Wins sixth title in a row at National Motorcycle Racing

 

TVS Racing’s mascot Jagan Kumar notched his sixth straight title in the premier Super Sports Indian class on a rain-affected day to bring down the curtain on the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The event was organized by Madras Motorsports Club. It was sponsored by MRF Tyres.

 

Viswanathan Anand finishes second at Isle of Man Championship

 

Five time World Champion Viswanathan Anand finished second at the Isle of Man Chess Championship at Douglas. He defeated the Chinese grandmaster Hou Yifan in the 9th and final round. Anand shares second position with America’s Nakamura Hikaru. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the title with 7.5 points after a short draw against Nakamura.

 

Max Verstappen wins Malaysian Grand Prix

 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen gave himself a perfect 20th birthday present by winning the last Malaysian Grand Prix. The victory was the second of Verstappen’s Grand Prix career, after a first in Spain last year. Verstappen’s Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, last year’s winner at Sepang, finished third.

 

Russia, China & other 9 Countries hit with doping ban

 

Russia & China were among 9 countries suspended from weightlifting for a year in an attempt to combat an epidemic of doping. The decision by International Weightlifting Federation followed re-testing of anti-doping samples from 2008 & 2012 Olympics. Countries with at least 3 doping offenses from those Olympics were suspended. Russia was also banned from weightlifting event at 2016 Olympics in Rio.

 

ECONOMY

 

RIL, first Indian company to cross Rs 6 Trillion Market Capital

 

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) became the first Indian company to cross Rs 6 trillion market capitalization after its shares surged over 75% so far this year and hit a fresh lifetime high. Currently, its market cap is at Rs 6.02 trillion. The recent rally in the stock was due to tariff hike by its telecom arm Reliance Jio which, analysts expect, will improve the company’s profitability. Jio increased its tariff by 15% for its popular 84-day plan at Rs 459, under which subscribers get 1GB 4G data at high speed per day.

 

Zimbabwe bans Fruit, Vegetable imports as Forex Crunch Deepens

 

The east African landlocked country Zimbabwe, with immediate effect, banned the import of fruits and vegetables to preserve the scarce foreign currencies. Last year Zimbabwe spent more than $80 million on fruit and vegetables which included tomatoes, onions, carrots, grapes, apples and oranges. Many of the Zimbabweans are keeping U.S. dollars at home or they are spending in buying Hard Currency on the black market. This same situation was prevailing during the period of hyperinflation a decade ago.

 

SBI to set up country’s largest Innovation Centre at Mumbai

 

The nation’s largest lender State Bank of India is creating a 15,000-sqft innovation center in Navi Mumbai investing around Rs 100 crore. The center, to be built at its Global IT Centre in Belapur in Navi Mumbai, will be the largest innovation center by any financial services company in the country. The innovation center is part of a Rs 200-crore allocation that the bank has earmarked for innovation 2016.

 

IMF Trims India growth Forecast for Current Financial Year to 6.7 %

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed India’s growth forecast for Financial Year 2017-18. In its latest World Economic Outlook released, the IMF lowered India’s growth forecast for 2017 to 6.7% from its earlier estimate of 7.2 percent. As per IMF, India is expected to regain the fastest growing major economy tag next year when it is forecast to grow 7.4 per cent, slower than earlier estimate of 7.7 per cent but higher than China’s 6.5 per cent.

 

RBI to soon launch Financial Literacy Drive in 9 States

 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is to launch a financial literacy drive in 80 blocks in nine states on the pilot basis to educate people on e-transactions, formal sector borrowings, and insurance purchases. According to RBI, it commissions 9 states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by the 6 NGOs in collaboration with the sponsor Banks. The main aim is to inculcate the habit of making a household budget and recording financial transactions, encourage transactions in savings accounts, and active saving by depositing in banks through fixed deposits and recurring deposits.

 

U.S. approves sale of Rs. 98,000 crore THAAD missiles to Saudi Arabia

 

U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile defence system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $15 billion (Rs. 98,000 crore). The deal includes 44 THAAD launchers and 360 missiles along with fire control stations and radars.

 

Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement released by RBI

 

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 per cent. Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the LAF remains at 5.75 per cent, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 per cent. The projection of real Gross Value Added (GVA) growth for 2017-18 has been revised down to 6.7 per cent from the August 2017 projection of 7.3 per cent, with risks evenly balanced.

 

India’s holdings of American securities

 

India has sharply increased its exposure to US government securities with holdings worth $135.7 billion at the end of July. Neighbouring China continued to top the charts withholding to the tune of $1.166 trillion, followed by Japan with exposure worth $1.113 trillion. India is the 12th largest holder of US government securities just behind Saudi Arabia.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

World’s fastest, shortest laser pulse created

 

Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland have successfully created the world’s shortest X-ray laser pulse with duration of just 43 attoseconds (1×10−18 of a second). This laser pulse is the shortest controlled event that has ever been created by humans.

 

Scientists develop futuristic military watch that can survive nuclear blast

 

Scientists have developed a new military watch for the Russian army kit, which is capable of resisting high impact and can even survive a nuclear explosion. The watch has been developed by research experts of the Central Scientific – Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering (TsNIITochMash) – a part of the Rostec State Corporation in Russia.

 

Japan launches fourth Michibiki satellite for hi-tech GPS

 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched Michibiki-4 satellite (QZSS-4) onboard of H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre. It was fourth satellite in Michibiki series i.e. Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which is a satellite-based high-precision global positioning system similar to US operated GPS. Moreover, it was 36th H-IIA vehicle to be launched so far and fifth launch of an H-IIA rocket in 2017.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

 

YC Modi took charge as Director General of National Investigation Agency

 

Senior IPS officer Yogesh Chander (YC) Modi took charge as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Modi succeeds Sharad Kumar, who retired on 30 October 2017. Modi is an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of the Haryana cadre.

 

Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar assumes charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff

 

Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, AVSM, VSM has assumed charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) from Vice Admiral Karambir Singh AVSM at a formal ceremony held in New Delhi. Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, AVSM, VSM is an alumni of the National Defence Academy. The Flag Officer was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 81 and is a specialist in Missiles & Gunnery.

 

Gangte appointed as the next High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia

 

N.J.Gangte has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Zambia. He is presently the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

 

Raina made ambassador of Ghaziabad

 

Cricketer Suresh Raina has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) and also the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission.

 

Alok Kumar Pateria appointed as ADG, CISF

 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Alok Kumar Pateria, IPS as Additional Director General, CISF. He has been appointed on deputation basis for a period up to May 2020.

 

AMFI Appoints NS Venkatesh as New CEO

 

NS Venkatesh has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). The post was lying vacant after CVR Rajendran stepped down from the position in December 2016. Prior to joining AMFI Mr. Venkatesh was executive director at Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

 

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh appointed as member of the JERC for Manipur and Mizoram

 

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh, here today, on his appointment as a member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram. It is a two-member Commission, each member representing the respective participating State.

 

HSBC appoints Jayant Rikhye as CEO India

 

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) announced the appointment of Jayant Rikhye as the Chief Executive Officer for India. He succeeds Stuart Milne. Mr. Rikhye is currently Head of International, Asia-Pacific, responsible for 11 markets in the region.

 

Rakesh Asthana appointed CBI Special Director

 

Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was appointed the special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer, had been serving in the Central Bureau of Investigation as additional director. He is among eight senior police officers promoted by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

 

Suresh Sethi is India Post Payments Bank’s MD and CEO

 

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has appointed Suresh Sethi as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He was the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd. Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from amongst the top contenders for the post, from both public and private sector banking and fintech professionals. The IPPB has been incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent Government of India equity.

 

Govt. appoints ex-IB director as interlocutor

 

The Centre has decided to start a sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir and added that former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Dineshwar Sharma will be the representative from the Government of India. Rank of Dineshwar Sharma will be equivalent to that of a Cabinet Secretary. Sharma will initiate the dialogue with the elected representatives of Jammu and Kashmir, political parties, different organisations and public.

 

Sibi George appointed as the Ambassador of India to Switzerland

 

Sibi George is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1993 batch. He has also served as deputy chief of mission of Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia. Sibi George will replace Smita Purushottam as the ambassador of India to Switzerland. He is presently serving as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. He would to take up this assignment shortly.

 

Sunny Verghese appointed as WBCSD from 2018

 

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has appointed NRI businessman Sunny Verghese, co-founder, and CEO of Singapore-based Olam International, as its new chairman from 2018. He succeeds Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever as the Chairman. It is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than $ 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.

 

Govt appoints MK Gupta, DK Gayen as New Railway Board Members

 

The government of India has appointed Mahesh Kumar Gupta and D K Gayen as the two new members in the Railway Board. D.K. Gayen, presently posted as General Manager East Central Railway, has been appointed as new Member (Staff) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India. Meanwhile, M K Gupta, presently General Manager, Modern Coach Factory Raibareli has been appointed as new Member(Engineering) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India.

 

1st Woman to head Saudi sport federation

 

For the first time, a princess has been named to head a Saudi multi-sports federation. Princess Rima Bandar bin Sultan has become “the first woman to lead a federation” covering sporting activities for men and women. In August 2016, the princess scored another first for women in Saudi Arabia, when she was named by the cabinet to a senior post in the kingdom’s equivalent of a Sports Ministry.

 

Audrey Azoulay elected as Director General of UNESCO

 

Former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay (45) was elected as new Director General of UNESCO – the UN’s education, science and culture agency. With this, she becomes first Jewish Director of UNESCO. Azoulay defeated Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari in the final 30-28 vote after she won a runoff with a third finalist from Egypt. She will succeed outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria.

 

Mobikwik appoints Rukaiya Rangwala as the business head of its payments gateway

 

Digital wallet major MobiKwik has appointed former Jabong vice-president Rukaiya Rangwala as the business head of its payments gateway business. Recently, MobiKwik had re-launched Zaakpay as MobiKwik Payment Gateway. Rangwala, a technology and e-commerce industry veteran with over 15 years of experience, has worked across the US, Singapore, Japan and India.

 

Gautam Bambawale appointed as India’s Ambassador to China

 

Gautam Bambawale was appointed as India’s new Ambassador to China. Bambawale in an Indian Foreign Service Officer of the 1984 batch. He will succeed Vijay Gokhale. Bambawale is familiar with Mandarin Chinese and has earlier served in Hong Kong and Beijing.

 

Yuvraj Singh named Laureus’ first Indian ambassador

 

Flamboyant Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been appointed as Laureus’ first Indian ambassador, joining the host of cricket legends in the Laureus family, including Indian Academy members Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Kapil Dev. The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honoring remarkable individuals from the world of sports along with the greatest sporting achievements throughout the year.

 

Anupam Kher appointed as Chairman of FTII

 

Veteran actor Anupam Kher (62) was appointed as new Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. He will succeed Gajendra Chauhan whose tenure ended in March 2017. Earlier he had held post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama in India. He is currently the chairman at Actor Prepares.

 

Nisha Desai Biswal appointed as President of US-India Business Council

 

Nisha Desai Biswal was appointed as the President of the US-India Business Council (USIBC). The US-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization that was formed in 1975 at the request of the US and Indian governments. It is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States and has presence in New york, Silicon Valley and New Delhi.

 

V M Kwatra appointed ambassador to Principality of Monaco

 

Shri Vinay Mohan Kwatra has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Principality of Monaco, with residence in Paris. Mr Kwatra is presently Ambassador of India to France.

 

PNB MetLife appoints Ashish Srivastava as MD & CEO

 

PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Ltd (PNB MetLife), a life insurer, has appointed Ashish Srivastava as a new Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the company. Prior to this elevation, Srivastava was an interim CEO at PNB MetLife. Srivastava joined PNB MetLife in 2013 as the Head of HR for the India business.

 

Axis Bank acquires Freecharge, appoints Sangram Singh as CEO

 

The country’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has acquired payments wallet Freecharge for Rs. 373 crore in an all-cash deal and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO. Sangram Singh has been appointed as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Private Ltd.

 

Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Pakistan’s New Navy Chief

 

Pakistan appointed Vice-Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi as new Chief of Naval Staff. He will replace Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah who will retire on 6 October. President Mamnoon Hussain approved the appointment of Abbasi on the advice of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. In Pakistan, all services chiefs are appointed by the president at the recommendation of the prime minister who has final say in such appointments.

 

Soumya Swaminathan appointed as New Deputy Director General at WHO

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Soumya Swaminathan one of two Deputy Directors General. This is the first time such a post has been ever created within the organization. The position is also the highest post held by an Indian in the WHO. She is currently the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

 

Government Names Rajnish Kumar as SBI’s Next Chairman

 

The Government named Rajnish Kumar as the new chairman of State Bank of India, for a three-year term. Kumar will succeed Arundhati Bhattacharya. At present, Rajnish Kumar is one of the managing directors of SBI. The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) had interviewed four managing directors for the post at the end of June and had recommended a name to the government. The government had extended Bhattacharya’s tenure for a year, with effect from October 7, 2016.

 

Param Shah appointed as FICCI UK Director

 

The apex industry body, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) announced the appointment of Param Shah as the new Director for the United Kingdom (UK) operations. Shah will succeed Pratik Dattani whose tenure with FICCI ended recently.

 

Baishya elected as Chairmen of two sub-committees of IWF

 

Indian Weightlifting Federation President, Birendra Prasad Baishya has been elected as the chairman of two sub-committees of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). Baishya was elected as the chairman of International Weightlifting Federation’s Ethics Commission as well as of Anti-Disciplinary Commission at the world body’s Executive Committee Meeting, which was held at Bucharest, Romania.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Nepal’s ambassador to India resigns

 

Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Nepal’s ambassador to India has resigned from his position to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections. He handed over his resignation to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara on 6th October 2017. Upadhyay has filed his nomination for the upcoming parliamentary election from Kapilastu district in western Nepal.

 

Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar resigns

 

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, the country’s second-most senior legal officer, has resigned citing personal reasons. The senior advocate was appointed Solicitor General in 2014, soon after the Narendra Modi government came to power at the Centre.

 

Anup Vikal resigns as CFO of Snapdeal

 

Anup Vikal has resigned as Snapdeal’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and General Counsel. Vikas is likely to join Essar Oil as its Chief Financial Officer. His resignation came two months after e-commerce dealer Snapdeal cancelled its merger talks with online retailer Flipkart.

 

Arjen Robben announced his retirement from International Football

 

Netherland’s Football Player Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from international football following the Netherland’s failure to make the 2018 World Cup. Robben scored 37 times and provided 29 assists in 96 appearances, averaging a goal or assist every 112 minutes for his country.

 

Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun Resigns

 

Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun has resigned citing an “unprecedented crisis” Mr Kwon is one of three co-chief executives of Samsung Electronics. His resignation comes on the same day the firm forecast record quarterly profits, citing higher memory chip prices.

 

Nehra confirms his retirement from all forms of cricket on Nov. 1

 

Veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra confirmed that he would be retiring from all forms of cricket after the opening Twenty20 International of the three-match series against New Zealand, which is to be held at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on November 1.

 

Facebook India MD Umang Bedi Resigns

 

In just over a year of joining Facebook as India MD, Umang Bedi has resigned from his position at the social networking giant. Sandeep Bhushan has been appointed as the interim Managing Director. Facebook had roped in Umang Bedi as its Managing Director, India from Adobe. Prior to joining Facebook, Umang served as Managing Director of the South Asia region at Adobe.

 

PepsiCo India Chairman and CEO D Shivakumar resigns

 

PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd’s Chairman and Chief Executive officer D. Shivakumar has resigned. He will be joining Aditya Birla Group as president (corporate strategy and business development). Ahmed El Sheikh, currently senior vice-president and general manager for PepsiCo Egypt and Jordan, will succeed Shivakumar as PepsiCo India CEO.

 

John Hastings retires from Test and ODI Cricket

 

Australian fast bowler John Hastings has called it quits from Test Match and ODIs, citing recurring injuries as the reason. The 31-year-old wants to solely focus on T20 cricket. He has represented Australia in one test, 29 ODIs and 9 T20Is. In 2016 Hastings was the world’s leading ODI fast bowler after picking up 29 wickets in 15 matches, the equal second-most dismissals alongside South Africa’s Imran Tahir and behind teammate Adam Zampa.

 

C). DEATHS

 

Malayalam writer Punathil Kunjabdulla passes away

 

Renowned Malayalam writer Punathil Kunjabdulla passed away in Kozhikode following a prolonged illness. He was 77. Kunjabdulla is regarded as one of the major figures of modernism in Malayalam literature. He won the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Smarakasilakal in 1980 and the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award twice for the same novel in 1978 and for Malamukalile Abdulla in 1980.

 

Queen of Thumri’ Girija Devi passes away at 88

 

Indian Classical singer Girija Devi, who was the recipient of India’s second highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan, passed away in Kolkata after suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was 88. She was from the “Benaras Gharana”. Popularly considered as the Queen of Thumri, Devi is survived by a daughter.

 

Legendary Filmmaker I V Sasi Passes Away

 

Veteran Malayalam director I V Sasi, best known for his films “Avalude Ravukal” and “Devasuram” died. He was 69. His debut directorial venture was “Ulsavam”, which released in 1975. I V Sasi won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration in the year 1982 for his movie “Aaroodam”.

 

Filmmaker and Rani Mukerji’s father Ram Mukherjee passes away

 

Indian film director and screenwriter in Hindi and Bengali cinema Ram Mukherjee, father of Bollywood star Rani Mukerji has passed away. He was 84. Ram, one of the founders of Filmalaya Studios, had directed films like Hum Hindustani and Leader.

 

Grandmaster William Lombardy passed away

 

William James Joseph Lombardy was an American chess grandmaster, writer, teacher, and Catholic priest who passed away at the age of 79. He gave up the game at the height of his career and become a priest. Lombardy led the U.S. Student Team to Gold in the 1960 in World Student Team Championship in Leningrad. He was the only World Junior Champion to win with a perfect score.

 

Veteran British actor Roy Dotrice passes away

 

Roy Dotrice, a veteran British actor, died in London. He was 94. Dotrice was known for his role as Leopold Mozart in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus and his many theater and TV roles. He won many accolades throughout his lengthy career including a Tony Award in 2000 for his role in the Broadway revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten.

 

Poet Punyaslok Dasgupta passes away

 

Poet Punyaslok Dasgupta, died of kidney ailment at a hospital in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. He was 66 years old. Dasgupta did not follow any particular poetry style. Some of his important works are ‘Kuashar Bagan’ and ‘Chander Sangeet’. He was widely known for his hospitality. Poets and eminent persons used to often visit his house at Dhupguri area, in West Bengal.

 

India’s first Olympic swimmer Shamsher Khan passes away

 

India’s first Olympic swimmer Shamsher Khan has passed away. A forgotten sports hero, he was the first swimmer to represent India in Olympics. He narrowly missed a medal, finishing fourth in 200 meter butterfly and breaststroke events in Melbourne Games.

 

Richard Wilbur dies at age 96

 

Richard Wilbur, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and translator died. He was 96. He intrigued and delighted generations of readers and theatregoers through his rhyming editions of Moliere. He received numerous literary honors, including the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, for “Things of This World,” released in 1956, and for “New and Collected Poems,” which came out in 1989.

 

Historian Satish Chandra Passes Away

 

Veteran and one of India’s eminent historian Satish Chandra passed away the age of 95. Satish’s important works include Mughal Empire and its downfall. He was also the author of NCERT’s leading history book ‘History of Medieval India’. Chandra has founded JNU’s Centre for Historical Studies. He was also the chairman and vice chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India during the 1970s.

 

Noted Journalist Bismoy Kumar Mohanty dies

 

Noted journalist Bismoy Kumar Mohanty has died following a heart attack at Puri. he was 62. Owner and Editor of Odia daily “Ajikali” published from Balasore, Mohanty was the president of Odisha Small and Medium Newspaper Organisation. He was also associated with a number of social and cultural organisations. His wife Bijay Laxmi Mohanty is also publisher and editor of language daily “Sambad Bahika”.

 

Purushottam Lal Kaushik passes away

 

Former Union minister and socialist leader Purushottam Lal Kaushik died due to age-related ailments. He was 87. He had served as tourism and civil aviation minister in the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s cabinet during 1977- 1979. He headed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the then Prime Minister Charan Singh’s cabinet during July 1979-January 1980.

 

Filmmaker Kundan Shah passes away

 

Veteran director Kundan Shah, best known for the dark comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, passed away at his home, family sources said. He was 69. Shah passed away after suffering a heart attack. He made his directorial debut on television in 1986 with the popular series Nukkad.

 

D). VISITORS

 

Bhutan King arrives in New Delhi for four-day visit

 

King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, arrived in New Delhi on a four-day visit to India. He is accompanied by his wife, Queen Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.

 

Italy PM Paolo Gentiloni on two-day visit to India

 

Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni arrived in New Delhi on a two day visit to India. The visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. The last visit of the Italian Prime Minister to India was in February 2007.

 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in India

 

Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani arrived in New Delhi this morning on one day visit to India. He will meet with President Ram Nath Kovind and have delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both sides will review the entire gamut of multifaceted bilateral strategic partnership. The two countries will discuss the efforts to combat the menace of terrorism. They will also hold consultations and coordinate on furthering the shared objective of promoting peace, security, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan.

 

Nirmala Sitharaman left for Philippines to attend ADMM

 

In her first foreign visit as Defence Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman left for the Philippines to attend the Southeast Asian Defence Ministers’ Meeting. The two-day ADMM (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting)-Plus meeting will discuss ways to enhance defense and security cooperation among the member nations. During her three-day stay, Ms. Sitharaman is also likely to hold bilateral talks with her counterparts from a number of countries.

 

President of India reaches Djibouti

 

Indian President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind reached Djibouti in the first leg of his state visit to two African countries – Djibouti and Ethiopia. This is President Kovind’s first overseas visit after assuming office. The two leaders engaged in a short round of talks on bilateral relations and themes of common interest to both countries.

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

Jeff Bezos replaces Gates as World’s Richest Person with $90.6-bn Fortune

 

According to Forbes magazine, Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world. The fortune of Amazon’s founder reached some $90.6 billion, compared with the $90.1 billion that the online edition of the magazine attributes to Gates. This is not the first time that Bezos has outpaced Gates – it previously happened in July 2017 when Amazon shares hit a historic high, though Gates took back the lead hours later.

 

Indian origin activist named UK’s most influential black person of the year

 

Indian origin campaigner Gina Miller was named Uk’s most influential black person of the year. Gina won a legal challenge seeking Parliamentary approval for triggering Brexit. The Supreme Court ruling came in her favour in January 2017.

 

Virat Kohli overtakes Lionel Messi in Forbes list by $1 Million

 

According to the list released by Forbes, Virat Kohli ranks ahead of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi when it comes to brand value. The captain of the Indian cricket has a brand value of $14.5 million which puts him ahead of Messi on the 7th spot in the top 10 list revealed by Forbes. The brand value is an athlete’s earnings (excluding salary and bonus from their sport and all investment income), minus the average income of the top 10 athletes in the same sport. Tennis legend Roger Federer leads the list with a brand value of $37.2m.

 

Meghalaya Election Department enters Limca Book of Records

 

The Meghalaya Election Department has entered Limca Book of Records for the formation of the biggest human logo comprising young voters in the state. The logo formation was part of Mission Unite (U and I towards Enrolment) as part of the Special drive to enroll young and left out voters in the age categories of 18 to 21 years held in July at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex.

 

Jaipur and Srinagar Airports rated Best Airports in the world

 

The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport bagged the first and second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers. 2017 in Airport Service Quality (ASQ)-Airport Council International (ACI) survey. Jaipur won the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers for the second consecutive year. It had received the award in the same category in 2016 as well.

 

Gitanjali Rao wins 2017 Young Scientist Challenge for water contamination detection device

 

Indian-American Gitanjali Rao, 11, was announced the winner of Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The sensor-based device detects the quality of water and shares the results to a mobile application via Bluetooth. There are over 5,000 water systems in the US alone with lead contamination issues. Detection and preventive action can help mitigate the problem.

 

Shastri is World’s Highest Earning Cricket Coach

 

Ravi Shastri has emerged as the world’s highest earning cricket coach with salary close to 1.17 million dollars per year, according to ESPNCricinfo. Shastri’s remuneration is higher than Lehman ($0.55 million) and Bayliss ($0.52 million) by a huge margin. In fact, the current Indian coach earns less only than what the top players from Australia, England and India take home in a year.

 

Indian-origin teenager Akshay Ruparelia is UK’s Youngest Millionaire

 

Indian-origin teenager Akshay Ruparelia has became one of UK’s youngest millionaires at the age of 19. Ruparelia made a fortune by selling houses through his online estate agency business during his school lunch breaks. Ruparelia’s school friends nicknamed him “Alan Sugar” after Baron Sugar, the business tycoon.

 

Varun Dhawan Youngest Indian Actor to get Statue at Tussauds

 

Actor Varun Dhawan will get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, making him the youngest Indian actor to have his statue at the museum. Varun Dhawan had made his acting debut with 2012 romantic comedy Student of the Year and since then, his success rate is 100 percent with all the movies like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya and the recent Judwaa 2 entering Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore clubs.

 

New Guinness Record at IISF Chennai 2017

 

At the second day of the India International Science Festival in Chennai, a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Biology Lesson was created. One thousand forty-nine students participated in the record-breaking session. The World record had students from Class 9 and Class 10. The biology lesson was delivered by Ms Lakhsmi Prabhu from Shri Shankar senior Secondary School.

 

Donald Trump is Most Followed World Leader on Twitter, PM Modi Third

 

Donald Trump is the world’s most followed leader on Twitter, while Narendra Modi is the third, according to the latest report by Twiplomacy, a Burson Marsteller research project that tracks the use of Twitter by governments and international organizations. He overtook Pope Francis by a few thousand followers to occupy the first place in Diplomacy’s October report. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has kept his third place consistently since 2016. Modi’s own account.

 

Forbes India Rich List 2017: Mukesh Ambani Richest With $38 Billion

 

Forbes Magazine has released its India Rich List for 2017, with Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani topping the charts for the 10th consecutive year with a net worth of $38 billion. Mr Ambani is followed by tech czar Azim Premji who jumped two places with the net worth of $19 billion. Ranked third are the Hinduja brothers who added $3.2 billion to their net worth. According to Forbes, the combined net worth of the 100 richest Indians stood at $479 billion, a jump of 26% from $374 billion in 2016. Acharya Balkrishna, CEO of Patanjali Ayurved, figures at No. 19 with net worth of $6.55 billion.

The Top 10 Indian in the List are as follows-

  1. Mukesh Ambani-38 ($ Billion) – Reliance Industries
  2. Azim Premji-19 ($ Billion) – Wipro
  3. Hinduja brothers-18.4 ($ Billion) – Ashok Leyland
  4. Lakshmi Mittal-16.5 ($ Billion) – Arcelormittal
  5. Pallonji Mistry-16 ($ Billion) – Shapoorji Pallonji Group
  6. Godrej family-14.2 ($ Billion) – Godrej Group
  7. Shiv Nadar-13.6 ($ Billion) – HCL Technologies
  8. Kumar Birla-12.6 ($ Billion) – Aditya Birla Group
  9. Dilip Shanghvi-12.1 ($ Billion) – Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
  10. Gautam Adani-11 ($ Billion) – Adani Ports & SEZ

 

Sikh man becomes first minority politician to lead major party in Canada

 

A 38-year-old Sikh lawyer was elected the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, becoming the first non-white politician to head a major political party in the country. Jagmeet Singh, the Ontario provincial lawmaker, was elected on the first ballot to lead the party into the 2019 election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens in Netherlands

 

A town called Gemert in the Netherlands has became home to the first 3D-printed cycling bridge ever. With this, Dutch cyclists can now pedal over the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge. 3D printing is a method of manufacturing an object using a computer by placing layers of material one over the other.

 

BOOKS IN NEWS

 

Rajasthan CM launches Rajiv Mehrishi’s ‘India 2017 Yearbook‘

 

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje launched an e-book titled ‘India 2017 Yearbook‘, compiled by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) and former Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. Mehrishi said that the e-book includes a plethora of information on important dignitaries, state policy, public schemes and important data about demographics, trade, economy and many other topics.

 

Hema Malini’s Biography ‘Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl’ launched

 

Actress Deepika Padukone launched Hema Malini’s biography ‘Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl’ on the occasion of Hema’s 69th birthday. The biography has been penned by journalist turned writer Ram Kamal Mukherjee and also contains a short foreword written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

The Coalition Years 1996-2012: Pranab Mukherjee’s Political Autobiography

 

Former President Pranab Mukherjee has released the third part of his memoir ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012’, speaking candidly about believing he could have been the Congress choice for the Prime Minister’s post. Mukherjee’s memoir is the third in the series. The other two are — The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years and The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996.

 

Book on Kalam’s inspirational words released

 

An illustrative book titled “Dreamnation: Uniting a Country with Handwritten Dreams” containing inspiring words of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has been released. The book includes a collection of 200-plus handcrafted and handwritten postcards from across India and takes readers through the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of a nation as envisioned by Dr Kalam. The book is co-authored by Saji Mathew and Jubie John and published by Bloomsbury in collaboration with NGO LetterFarms.

 

Nepali version of Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography released

 

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti the Nepali version of Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography ‘The Story of My Experiments’ with Truth was released at Kathmandu. Renowned Gandhian Pradeep Giri, Former Prime Minister of Nepal Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri jointly released the book. The autobiography of Gandhiji is translated by Shri Shekhar Giri. The event was organised by the Embassy of India and BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation.

 

COMMITTEES

 

RBI Sets up Task Force on ‘Public Credit Registry’

 

The Reserve Bank of India has constituted a 10-member ‘High Level Task Force on Public Credit Registry (PCR) for India’, which will suggest a roadmap for developing a transparent, comprehensive and near-real-time PCR for India. The committee will be Headed by YM Deosthalee, ex-CMD, L&T Finance Holdings. The terms of reference of the task force include reviewing the current availability of information on credit in India and assessing the gaps in India.

 

5-member Committee to select Editor-in-Chief of RSTV

 

A five-member committee, headed by Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash, has been formed to select the candidate for the post of editor-in-chief of Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV). Rajya Sabha Secretariat stated in an order that other members of the Search-cum-Selection Committee are Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, Additional Secretary (Personnel) in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat PPK Ramacharyulu and journalist Rahul Srivastava.

 

Govt sets up expert group for suggestions on artificial intelligence policy

 

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) has set up an internal expert committee to advise the government on a policy on artificial intelligence (AI). The expert committee will advise the IT ministry on the most apt technologies for India as government’s main focus is to reduce cyber-attacks with AI. Its recommendations will be used to frame the policy.

 

Haj Committee recommends abolishing of subsidy

 

The government was appointed Committee on Haj Policy has recommended phasing out of subsidy for Haj pilgrims and allowing women devotees above 45 years of age to travel in a group of at least four without a male. In view of the Supreme Court direction, the Ministry had set up the Panel under the Chairmanship of former Secretary Afzal Amanullah to review the existing Haj Policy and to suggest a framework for new Haj policy 2018-22.

 

T K Viswanathan Committee report on Sec 66A of IT Act

 

An expert committee, headed by T K Viswanathan on Section 66A of the IT Act submitted its report. It was constituted by the Centre after the Supreme Court struck down the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act in 2015. According to its recommendations IPC, CrPC and the IT Act be amended to introduce stringent provisions, specifying punishment, to deal with cases of hate speech.

 

Govt constitutes high-level committee for water management in northeast

 

The Government has constituted a high-level committee for proper management of water resources in North Eastern Region (NER) under Chairmanship of Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog. The Committee is tasked to facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in form of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, hydro-electric power, reduced flood damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism.

 

President appoints Commission to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs

 

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed a Commission to examine the sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The sub-categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs. The Commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 

World Cities Day 2017 observed globally

 

The World Cities Day was observed across the world on 31 October 2017 with the theme ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities’. While the general theme of World Cities Day is ‘Better City, Better Life’. Every year, a different sub-theme is selected to celebrate the day to promote successes of urbanization and to address specific challenges resulting from urbanization. This year’s sub-theme Innovative Governance, Open Cities highlights the important role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion.

 

31 October: Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

 

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) is observed every year across India on 31 October to commemorate birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel who had played important role in unifying the country. Observance of day provides an opportunity to re-affirm inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand actual and potential threats to unity, integrity and security of our country. To mark this occasion various activities and events are being organised across ministries and departments all over the country. Besides, Run for Unity was organised in New Delhi from the National Stadium. The idea of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was mooted by PM Narendra Modi in October 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of Independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

 

27 October: World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

 

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed globally on 27 October. “Discover, remember and share” is the theme of this year’s celebration of the WDAH. The General Conference of UNESCO approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2005 as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need to preserve and safeguard important audiovisual material for future generations.

 

Infantry Day observed on 27 October

 

Infantry Day was observed across India on 27 October 2017 to commemorate the sacrifices made by the infantry who fought against Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. This was the first infantry action by the Indian Army after independence.

 

Disarmament Week 24-30 October

 

Disarmament Week is celebrated every year from October 24-30. It was founded by the United Nations in 1978 with the purpose to control, reduce, limit and abolish weapons of mass destruction. The purpose of celebrating this week is to create awareness about the dangers of arms race, need of reducing weapons and how it affects the environment.

 

24 October: United Nations Day

 

United Nations Day is observed globally on 24 October. It marks the 72nd anniversary of the UN Charter’s entry into force and celebrates everything that the UN represents and has achieved since its establishment in 1945. All the member states of the United Nations contribute finances to its operation to help further its goals.

 

October 24: World Development Information Day

 

The World Development Information Day (WDID) is observed every year on October 24 to draw attention of world to development problems and necessity of strengthening international cooperation to solve them. To celebrate this day, many events are organized to focus attention on work that UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for range of media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines and internet sites.

 

56th Raising Day of ITBP observed

 

The 56th raising day of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was celebrated 24 October. It was raised on 24th October in 1962. ITBP is deployed on guarding 3488 kilometer long India-China Border from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. Its protects and manages outposts located on altitudes ranging from 9000 feet to 18700 feet in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the India-China Border.

 

24 October: World Polio Day

 

Every year 24th October is observed as the World Polio day across the nations. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio virus). This development had led to widespread use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequently use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin. It also had led to establishment of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which has helped to reduce polio worldwide by 99%.

 

21st October 2017: The National Police Commemoration Day

 

The National Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on 21st October remembering the brave policemen who sacrificed their lives while discharging their duties. Rich tributes are paid to the martyrs on this day. On October 21st 1959, twenty Indian soldiers were attacked by the Chinese troops in Ladakh. This altercation between the troops led to the death of ten policemen. Seven of the others who were also imprisoned, managed to escape from the Chinese troops.

 

20th October: World Statistics Day

 

At its 41st Session in February 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20th October 2010 as World Statistics Day. The theme for the year 2017 is Better Data, Better Lives. It emphasizes the critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making in support of sustainable development.

 

17 October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) is observed globally on 17 October. The theme of this year’s IDEP is ‘Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies’. This year’s celebration also marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the day by the UN General Assembly, which had adopted the resolution on 22 December 1992.

Ayurveda 2nd Day is celebrated on 17 October

 

This year’s 2nd Ayurveda Day is celebrated on 17 October in New Delhi by the Ministry of AYUSH. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the Chief Guest and will also inaugurate the country’s first All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi. The All India Institute of Ayurveda, set up on a total area of 10.015 acres on a budget of Rs 157 crore, is the first medical institute under the AYUSH ministry to hold the coveted National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation.

 

16th October: World Food Day

 

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The Theme for World Food Day 2017 is “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development”. World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. It’s also a day for us to celebrate the progress we have already made towards reaching #ZeroHunger.

 

15th October: International Day of Rural Women

 

The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15th October 2008. This new international day, established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18th December 2007, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty”. In agriculture, climate change exacerbates the existing barriers to gender equality faced by women farmers. Globally, women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural workforce and play a critical role in supporting the household and community food security.

 

October 14: World Standards Day

 

The World Standards Day is observed every year on 14 October across the globe to mark the development of voluntary engineering and scientific standard. The theme for year 2017 is “Standards make cities smarter”.

 

International Day for Disaster Reduction observed globally

 

The International Day for Disaster Reduction was observed across the world on 13 October 2017 with the theme ‘Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement’. The 2017 campaign aims to raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing to saving homes and livelihoods. The same can be accomplished only through coordination, cooperation and collaboration among many stakeholders.

 

11 October: International Day of the Girl Child

 

Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. This year’s theme is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″.

 

10 October: World Mental Health Day

 

The World Mental Health Day was observed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 10 October 2017 with the theme ‘Mental health in the workplace’. the Day is observed with an aim of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression and more than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. a recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy USD 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

 

India Water Week inaugurated by President

 

President Shri Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated India Water Week 2017 on October 10, 2017 in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari and Union Ministers of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Shri Dr. Satya Pal Singh. About 1500 delegates from India and 13 other countries will attend the five-day international event. The theme of India Water Week – 2017 is “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth”.

 

Ministry of WCD is celebrating the BBBP Week

 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th October, 2017. The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017. The theme of the program will be “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India”. The BBBP districts have been requested to organize activities in a campaign mode to observe the Week starting from 9th October – 14th October 2017 to create awareness and sensitize community in their respective districts.

 

08 October: Indian Air Force Celebrates 85th Anniversary

 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 85th anniversary on 08th October 2017. The celebrations would be marked by a stellar show in the skies by various aircraft at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad. President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted the Indian Air Force on its 85th Anniversary. Defence Ministry stated that the air display has commenced with flag bearing skydivers of famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies.

 

05 October: World Teachers’ Day

 

World Teachers’ Day is observed annually on 5 October since 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The theme of 2017 World Teachers’ Day is “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”. The 1966 Recommendation constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale. The Day is organised by the United Nation’s body UNESCO.

 

World Space Week is observed from October 4th to October 10th

 

The World Space Week is observed from 4th to 10th October. The theme of 2017 is ‘Exploring New Worlds In Space’. On October 4th1957 Sputnik 1 was launched. It was the first human-made, Earth-orbiting satellite. Second, the signing of The Outer Space Treaty on October 10th 1967.

 

02 October: World Habitat Day

 

Every year 2nd October is observed as the World Habitat day. The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every years as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our own towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

 

02nd October: International Day of Non-Violence

 

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly of United Nations resolution of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

 

01 October: World Vegetarian Day

 

World Vegetarian Day is observed annually on the planet on October 1. The day brings global attention to the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism and focuses on the ethics of following a vegetarian lifestyle. World Vegetarian Day initiates the month of October as Vegetarian Awareness Month, which ends with November 1, World Vegan Day, as the end of that month of celebration.

 

01 October: International Day of Older Persons

 

On 14th December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons. This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing – which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing – and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly. In 1991, the General Assembly (by resolution 46/91) adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. The theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2017 is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society”.

 

 

 

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

September 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

China operationalises stealth fighter J-20

China has announced commissioning its first radar-evading J-20 stealth fighter jets into military service, giving its air force an edge in the region. The Chengdu J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet.

Saudi Authorises Women to Issue Fatwas

Saudi Arabia women can now issue fatwas after the historic recommendation was approved by 107 votes in the Shoura Council. With this, the 45 years old tradition of only specialist men being able to issue fatwas in the Kingdom ended. The ruling comes just days after Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on women’s driving.

Russia destructed its last Chemical Weapons

Russia has liquidated the last arsenals of chemical weapons in the Southwest of the country, 3 years ahead of schedule. In 2010, Moscow set a 2015 target date for eliminating its chemical stockpile and later extended it to 2020. Russia & United States are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required them to destroy their stockpiles by 2007 with a potential extension until 2012.

Russia and US partner to build 1st ever Space Station near Moon

Russian and the United States space agencies, Roscosmos and NASA, have agreed to jointly build a “deep space gateway”, the first-ever astronaut-tended space station around the Moon. It would help prepare for manned missions to deep space destinations including Mars. NASA and Roscosmos are two of the major partners in the $100-billion Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS).

Angola swears in its First New President after 38 years

Angola swore in Joao Lourenco as the country’s President making him the first new President of the country in 38 years. He served as Angola’s Defence Minister earlier, vowed to attract more foreign investment. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) governed since Angola’s hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975 with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.

Russia launches world’s biggest, most powerful icebreaker

Russia has launched the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker ship, designed to transport cargo via the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean. The nuclear-powered vessel, capable of breaking ice fields up to three metres thick, will also carry out rescue work in ice conditions and ice-free waters.

China bans export of key petroleum products to North Korea

China ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea and as well as imports of textiles from the isolated North, in line with a UN Security Council resolution, passed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test. The USA and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

DRUZBA 2017, Pak-Russia joint Military Drill started

The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russian Armies started in Mineralnye Vody, Russia. Pakistan and Russia are holding two-week long joint military drill focussing on counter-terrorism operations to enhance military ties between the two countries.

Saudi allows women into stadium

Saudi Arabia has allowed women into a national stadium for the first time as it launched celebrations to mark the 87th anniversary of its founding. This marks a shift from previous celebrations in the kingdom where women are effectively barred from sports arenas. This measure represents another step into relaxing some norms as part of its “Vision 2030″ plan for economic and social reforms.

China, Australia joint military training exercise Panda Kangaroo 2017

China and Australia joint military training exercise called “Panda-Kangaroo 2017″ concluded in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province. This exercise kicked off on September 10, China and Australia each sent 10 soldiers to participate in the joint training.

Britain and Saudi Arabia sign Military Cooperation deal

Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a framework deal for military cooperation. The agreement came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed security ties with visiting British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. The agreement comes as Britain seeks to explore lucrative trade deals outside Europe, including energy-rich Gulf monarchies, after voting to leave the European Union.

Qatar Airways becomes World’s First Airline to launch Double beds in Business Class

Qatar Airways has launched double beds in the business class sections of aeroplanes from London to Doha in Qatar. Such cabins, called Qsuites will be rolled out next in flights from Paris and New York.

China bans use of anti-Islam words on social media

Islamophobic terms used by Chinese internet users to stigmatise Muslims have been blocked by authorities to prevent bias against Islam. The move is aimed at removing radical phrases that discriminate against Islam and are biased against Muslims to prevent worsening online hatred towards the group. The ban came after an alleged brawl involving Muslim people at a toll booth went viral. Following which netizens inundated the official Weibo accounts of Tangshan city government departments with complaints of partial treatment of Muslims for the sake of social stability.

China launches fastest bullet train in the World between Beijing and Shanghai

China launches the world’s fastest bullet train ‘Fuxing’ between Beijing and Shanghai at 350 kms per hour, covering the 1,250-km-long distance in just 4 hours and 30 minutes. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometres, about 60% per cent of the world’s total.

50 Nations inks UN Nuclear Ban Treaty

Fifty countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless. More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July 2017 over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. Among 50, Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban yesterday, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela.

Russia unveils statue of AK 47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov

The nine-metre (30ft) statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, has been unveiled in Russian capital Moscow in a controversial ceremony. Kalashnikov designed “Avtomat Kalashnikova”, which became the standard issue rifle of the Soviet army, in 1947 – hence the abbreviation AK-47.

The world is running out of antibiotics: WHO Report

The World Health Organisation has released a report titled “Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis”. The report shows a serious lack f new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on internet calling applications

Saudi Arabia will lift ban on voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype will be widely available to users, in a move aimed at improving business confidence as the kingdom transitions into a post-oil era. Access to VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) will reduce operational costs and spur digital entrepreneurship. Saudi Arabia, with its bulging youth population, is among the world’s top per capita users of social media. More than half of Saudi Arabia’s citizens are under 25, who spend much of their time on social media platforms.

China opens dual-use highway to Nepal through Tibet

China opened a dual-use highway in Tibet to the Nepal border which could be used for civilian and defense purposes in China. The highway is 40.4 km long and 25 m wide. It has 4 double lanes. It is classified a first-tier highway. It connects Xigaze airport and Xigaze city center in Tibet. The road helps to ease the congestions and export economy of China.

Russia and Iraq Restore Air Travel after 13-Year Freeze

Russia and Iraq restored commercial airline services for the first time since 2004, with an Iraqi Airways plane leaving for Moscow from Baghdad. Russia suspended flights to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion pushed the Arab country into war. It is a signal on the part of the Iraqi authorities that Russian nationals can safely visit Iraq.

Iron Union 5: US and UAE Joint Military Exercise

The US and UAE’s ground forces had begun a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi, as part of efforts to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise. Code-named Iron Union 5, the drill is an extension of a series of Iron Claw exercises. The exercise aims to upgrade and boost the readiness of the UAE’s armed forces and to allow both armies to promote their international co-operation in joint military operations.

Nepal begins its first attempt to remeasure Mount Everest

Nepal has begun its first-ever survey to remeasure Mount Everest to check if the world’s tallest peak’s height was altered by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country in 2015. Notably, the official height of Mount Everest, which lies in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), first recorded by an Indian survey in 1954.

Cassini spacecraft ends 20-year journey

NASA’s $3.9 bn Cassini spacecraft ended its 20-year-long groundbreaking journey with a fiery plunge into Saturn’s crushing atmosphere. Cassini began its mission to Saturn in 1997, reaching the ringed planet in 2004. Its aim was to take pictures, giving the most detailed look at Saturn’s rings & it’s moons. Cassini found new moons orbiting the planet, signs of possible life on existing moons.

Tunisia abolishes ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims

Tunisia has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims. Until now a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. The announcement comes a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to scrap the ban dating back to 1973. Human rights groups in the North African country had campaigned for the ban’s abolition, saying it undermined the fundamental human right to choose a spouse.

World Economic Forum released Human Capital Report 2017

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the Global Human Capital Report 2017. The Global Human Capital Report 2017 proposes a new benchmark for leaders to build the workforces of the future. The index provides a means of measuring the quantifiable elements of the world’s talent potential so that greater attention can be focused on delivering it. The Global Human Capital Index aims to provide a holistic assessment of a country’s human capital-both current and expected-across its population.

London tops in 2017 Global Financial Centres Index

London topped in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) among 92 financial centres released by the Z/Yen and China Development Institute. It was ranked at 60th position, up by three positions compared to the previous edition. The index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on an aggregate of indices from five key areas: business environment, the financial sector.

UNSC unanimously adopts new sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed new set of tougher sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test (claimed to be Hydrogen bomb). It was overall the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by UNSC since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The new sanctions imposes ban on North Korea’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil. New sanctions include:
It limits on imports of crude oil and oil products to North Korea. It bans exports of textiles, which is North Korea’s second-biggest export worth more than $700million a year. It also limits North Koreans from working overseas, which may cut off $500 million of tax revenue per year.

British Parliament passed EU Withdrawal Bill

The Union Government to extract the UK from EU law in time for Brexit passed its first Parliamentary test. The EU Withdrawal Bill was backed by MPs by 326 to 290. The bill which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK now moves onto its next Parliamentary stage. It was previously referred to as the Great Repeal Bill, the EU Withdrawal Bill overturns the 1972 European Communities Act which took the UK into the then European Economic Community.

Shaheen VI: China-Pakistan Air Forces Joint Exercise

The air forces of China and Pakistan began a joint training exercise named “Shaheen VI” and deployed their latest fighter jets and AWACS aircraft. China has dispatched J-11 fighters, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and ground forces including surface-to-air missile and radar troops. The exercise will run in China. AWACS is Airborne Warning And Control System, a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control centre for air defence.

Saudi Arabia suspend dialogue with Qatar

Saudi Arabia says it has suspended dialogue with Qatar, shortly after a phone call between the Qatari leader and the Saudi crown prince. The two sides had discussed holding talks to resolve the Qatar crisis, which has seen Doha cut off from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. The development came after US President Trump spoke separately with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar & UAE.

Pakistan PM opens China backed 5th nuclear power plant

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant (C-4 plant) located at Chashma in Mianwali district of the Punjab province. This 340 MW Chasma – IV (C – 4) nuclear power plant is developed in collaboration between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991 cannot be revoked

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for “her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while standing up against military rulers. An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on Change.org is calling for her prize’s removal over the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. The Norwegian Nobel Institute announced that prize awarded to Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi cannot be revoked.

North Korea claims successful test of Hydrogen bomb

North Korea has announced that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that can be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile. The announcement was made by the state news agency after geological agencies registered a man-made quake in the north-east of the country. As per the analysts, previous North Korean nuclear tests have resulted in earthquakes, however, a 6.3 magnitude tremor indicates that the size of the nuclear test was larger than previous one.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns Earth after 288 days in Space

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Peggy Whitson finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space. The oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration was the first female International Space Station commander and holds the record for number of spacewalks by a woman.

Lebanon gets first animal protection law

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has signed the country’s first animal welfare bill into law, guaranteeing that domestic and wild animals will be legally protected from abuse. The bill is the culmination of years of lobbying for the protection of animals in the Mediterranean country. The law, passed by parliament on August 16, outlines requirements for keeping domestic pets, regulations for zoos and pet shops, and penalties for violations – including jail time and fines.


INDIA & WORLD

India and Norway sign Letter of Intent to bilateral extend health cooperation

India has signed Letter of Intent (LoI) with Norway to extend cooperation within health sector through Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) for period of three years starting from 2018. Through this LoI, cooperation between both countries will continue to be aligned with development goals of India as outlined in its National Health Policy, 2017 for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

India jumps to 14th rank as best country for expats: HSBC

India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in, says a HSBC survey. The list, which is topped by Singapore, is part of HSBC’s latest ‘expat explorer survey’ that covered 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories in March and April this year.

Resolution introduced to support India’s UNSC membership

In the United States, two influential Democratic lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representative to support India’s permanent membership to the UN Security Council. Introduced by Congressman Ami Bera and Congressman Frank Pallone, the resolution would put the House officially on record in support of India’s bid. Ami Bera, Vice Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and longest serving Indian-American in Congress stated that securing a permanent spot for India on the UN Security Council would strengthen democracy around the world.

India ranks 40th in 2017 Global Competitiveness Index

India was placed at 40th spot among 137 countries in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2017-18. India has slipped by one position compared to 39th spot in 2016 GCI.
Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), United States (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Germany (5th).
BRICS Countries: China (27th), Russia (38th), India (40th), South Africa (61st) and Brazil (80th).

‘Incredible India’ Campaign Launched in Cairo

India launched a campaign to woo Egyptian travellers and make them aware of magnificent holiday options in the country. The month-long “Incredible India!” campaign has been organised by the Embassy of India in Cairo. As a part of the campaign, 12 buses of transport authority will showcase various tourist destinations in India, including culture, festivals, monuments, landscape, wildlife, people and food.

Railway line between India, Nepal

After remaining non-functional for the last 3 years the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway line connecting Nepal and India is expected to become functional by 2018. It is the only railway line that once used to link India with Nepal but after 2014 its service got discontinued. The project will be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost Rs. 5.48 billion, mostly aided by Indian Government.

India to collaborate with Russia for Bangladesh nuclear power plant

India announced a collaboration with Russia to build a nuclear plant in Bangladesh. The move is the first initiative under the Indo-Russia deal to undertake atomic energy projects in the third-world nations. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.

India replaces China as Top Retail Destination in 2017

India has replaced China as the top retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index. The change in ranking was an outcome of four factors including increased consumer spending beyond essentials, rising mobile and internet penetration, favorable foreign investment climate and bold action on cashless transaction and GST. In addition to the bigger retailers and brands, the mid-size brands from across the world are also looking to cash on the relaxed retail policy in India.

Japan releases postage stamps on Indian Yoga experts

Japanese postal department released postage stamps on Yoga Expert Mr.Bishnu Charan Ghosh and his family members, in Kolkata. The country released postage stamps on Indian Yoga experts Mr.Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son Mr.Biswanath Ghosh, daughter Ms.Karuna Ghosh and Karuna’s father in law Mr.Asutosh Ghosh. These stamps were officially displayed in Kolkata by the Japanese Consul General in Kolkata, Masayuki Taga. He is a Bengali bodybuilder and a Yoga expert.

Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2017 commences

The 13th edition of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2017, a joint military exercise between Indian and US armies commenced at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA. During the two week long exercise soldiers from both countries will hone their tactical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under a joint brigade headquarter. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations. The Yudh Abhyas series of joint military exercise started in the year 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program.

India and Pakistan begin high-level talks on Indus Waters Treaty

The two-day high-level talks on technical issues of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) began between India and Pakistan in Washington, United States. According to the World Bank, the meetings between two countries are taking place between 14 and 15 September. The talks are a continuation of a discussion on how to safeguard the traety for the benefit of the people in both the countries.

Govt launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

The Ministry of External Affairs has started Operation Insaniyat to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crises being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Under this operation, India will provide relief material consisting of items including rice, sugar, salt, pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets to the affected people. The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments. The first tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane. Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations.

INDRA 2017: India-Russian to conduct first tri-services military exercise

India and Russia have begun discussions to work out modalities for conducting their first tri-service military exercise INDRA 2017 in October 2017 in Russia. It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services. The Final Planning Conference (FPC) of exercise will be held from September 2017 in Russia to finalise all logistical issues and modalities.

India, Belarus sign 10 pacts to expand cooperation

India and Belaru have inked 10 agreements to expand cooperation in range of areas including oil and gas, education and sports and also decided to explore joint development and manufacture of military platforms. The agreements were signed after extensive delegational levels talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President A G Lukashenko in New Delhi. Both leaders agreed to focus on ramping up economic engagement between two countries and held that their is huge scope for boosting trade and investment.

India & Afghanistan sign four pacts in areas of health and transport

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi signed four agreements recently. The four agreements were exchanged in areas like health and transport. India’s commitment to support Afghanistan as a secure, stable, united and prosperous nation. Both the nations remain united in overcoming challenges posed by cross border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries of terrorism.

India imposes countervailing duty on some Chinese steel products for 5 years

The Union Finance Ministry has imposed 18.95% countervailing duty (CVD) on certain Chinese flat steel products for period of five years to protect domestic players from cheap subsidised imports. The decision to impose CVD was taken by finance ministry based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).This is first case of imposition of CVD on any steel product in India.

India refuses to sign Bali Declaration over Rohingya issue

India has refused to be a part of Bali Declaration adopted at conclusion of World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bali, Indonesia to show of solidarity with Myanmar. It was not adopted because it carried “inappropriate” reference to violence in Rakhine State from where 1,25,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and was not in line with agreed global principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UJALA scheme launched in Melaka, Malaysia

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) of India launched UJALA (Unnati Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All) Scheme in the State of Melaka, Malaysia. With this, Malaysia becomes the second country after the United Kingdom (UK) where EESL has launched the UJALA scheme. Under this scheme, each household in Melaka will get 10 high quality 9-watt LED bulbs at a cost of only RM 10. With this initiative Melaka will be able to reduce carbon emissions by around 19,000 tonnes per year.

SLINEX 2017: India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise

The seventh edition of India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise SLINEX 2017 was held near Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) in Bay of Bengal. It will be conducted from 7th to 14th September 2017. The seven days exercise aimed to reinforce strong neighbourly ties between both countries underscored by extensive maritime interaction and improved understanding. SLINEX 2017 focuses on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at Sea, Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) operations as well as helicopter operations.

Trump revokes Obama’s amnesty programme, 7000 Indian Americans to be affected

US President Donald Trump has scrapped an amnesty programme introduced during Obama’s term that granted work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as Children. The move is likely to impact over 800,000 undocumented workers including more than 7000 Indian-Americans. The announcement was made by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said that the programme known as DACA (Deferred Action for Children Arrival) that was effectuated under the Obama Administration is being withdrawn.

Surya Kiran: Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise

The 12th edition of India-Nepal joint military exercise- Surya Kiran XII was held at Nepal Army Battle School (NABS) in Saljhandi, Nepal. The 14 day exercise (from 3 to 16 September 2017) focused on skills required counter-terrorism and counter-terror, forest fighting and natural disaster management operations.

Five banks of BRICS nations sign pact for credit lines

Five banks of the BRICS Bank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish credit lines in the national currencies and cooperate on credit ratings. The agreement to this effect was signed ahead of the BRICS Summit in China’s Xiamen city. Brazilian Development Bank, Vnesheconombank, Export-Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa signed the agreement in Beijing. Ahead of the BRICS summit, the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved 1.4 billion US dollar loans for sustainable development projects in India, Russia and China.

India most corrupt Asian country, Vietnam second: Forbes

A recent survey by the Transparency International states that India is the most corrupt country in Asia. Depicting how pervasive the problem is across Asia, a list released by Forbes – Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries – says that India beats Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan and Myanmar, when it comes to bribery rate. India is closely followed by Vietnam at 65 per cent bribery rate.


NATIONAL

Union Cabinet approves installation of telecom towers in cantonments and military areas

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for revision of policy of Ministry of Defence for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure. The Decision in this regard was taken based on experience in implementing policy and guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the issue of clearance for installation of Mobile Towers. The revised policy will cover allotment of Defence land on lease and grant of permission in Defence areas and Cantonments to Access Service Licensees and Companies registered with DoT as IP-I (Infrastructure Providers – Category-I for setting up shared communication towers and allied infrastructure.

Directorate General of Quality Assurance celebrates its Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee of Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) observed on 28 September 2017 as it completed 60 years of its existence. To commemorate the occasion, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence, Dr Subhash Bhamare released the ‘First Day Cover’ of DGQA. He also launched portal for e-registration of vendors. The main aim is to provide Quality Assurance (QA) cover for an entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipment, and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.

CARA launches monthly Jan Sampark Program to facilitate adoption

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) launched monthly Jan Sampark program to enable public to interact with its officials to obtain information related to child adoption. The first of its kind programme under it was held recently in New Delhi. Nearly 150 Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs), adoptive parents and representatives of agencies participated in the session.

INS TARASA commissioned into Indian Navy

INS Tarasa (T94), the fourth and last ship in series of Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. It is an improved variant of Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built indigenously by Kolkata (West Bengal) based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), for the Indian Navy. INS Tarasa has been named after the picturesque island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in Bay of Bengal. It is powered by the latest 4,000-series MTU engines and has displacement capacity of 315 tonnes.

Rajnath Singh unveils ‘PENCIL’ Portal on Child Labour Elimination

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched a web portal called ‘PENCIL’ for effective implementation of the National Child Labour Project, (NCLP) in the National Conference on Child Labour organized by Ministry of Labour & Employment. PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) – an electronic platform for no child labour in the country is being developed by the Labour Ministry. PENCIL portal has five components – Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence.

Government launches Divyang Sarathi Mobile Application

The Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment has launched Divyang Sarathi-The accessible and comprehensive mobile application for easy dissemination of information to ‘Divyangjans’. The mobile app aims to empower Divyangjans by providing them easier and convenient access to information pertaining to schemes, scholarships, statutes, institutional support systems, jobs and other crucial information.

PM Narendra Modi launches ‘Saubhagya’ scheme

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana-Saubhagya’ in New Delhi to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Listed on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting held, the scheme is expected to cover all rural families after expected electrification of all villages by the end of 2017. The Yojana mainly aims to provide last mile power connectivity to all rural and urban households.

Sports Ministry recommends P.V. Sindhu for Padma Bhushan Award

Olympic silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu recommended for the prestigious Padma Bhushan, country’s third highest civilian award, by the Sports Ministry. She is two-time bronze medallist at World Championship. She was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri.

India third in nuclear power installations: study

According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at 6, while China is leading at 20. The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017. In India itself, five out of the six reactors under construction is behind schedule.

Govt launches Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched country-wide Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat scheme to distribute LPG connections among rural areas where conventional fuel is used for domestic purposes. The scheme was launched by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district in Gujarat. It is backup scheme to existing Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Tihar Jail, largest jail in India got its first open air gymnasium

Open-air gyms for prisoners has now been set up in jail number 1 of Tihar in west Delhi, which is the largest and the most populated prison in India with over 14,400 inmates. This gym is mostly used by elderly prisoners facing problems, like obesity or arthritis.

PM Narendra Modi releases Postage Stamp on Lord Ram in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a postage stamp on different aspects of Lord Ram’s life at the historic Tulsi Manas Mandir Varanasi. The Tulsi Manas temple holds great historical and cultural importance in Hinduism as it is believed that Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas was originally written by poet-saint Goswami Tulsidas in Varanasi.

Govt launches campaign to Sensitise Women about Cancer

Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel launched a nationwide health campaign to sensitise women about the early screening and the preventive care for cancer. Themed ‘Nurturing the Nurturer’, the campaign was launched by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in partnership with the Apollo Hospitals group.

INS Kalavari: India’s first home built submarine handed over to Indian Navy

India’s first indigenously built INS Kalavari submarine was handed over to Indian Navy by state-owned Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This is Indian Navy’s first new conventional submarine in two decades. Its induction will be landmark milestone in India’s bid to build its underwater warfare capabilities with an eye on China and Pakistan. INS Kalavari is first of six Scorpion class submarines built in India under Project-75 by Mazagon Docks Limited with technology transfer from France’s DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services), a naval shipbuilder.

‘Newton’ India’s Official Entry for Oscars 2018

‘Newton’ will be India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars 2018, according to the Film Federation of India. The movie directed by Amit Masurkar movie, starring Rajkummar Rao, tells the story of a polling officer Newton Kumar who is bent on conducting free and fair elections in the conflict ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.

India third among countries that faced most natural disasters

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres India ranked third among the countries that have faced the most natural disasters in the last half century. United States, followed by China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia, have experienced the most disasters since 1995 – more than 1,600, or once every five days. Climate change was among the seven global threats that listed needing immediate global action.

Govt to introduce ‘Food Street’ global food fair in New Delhi

With an aim to attract investment in the food processing sector under the Make in India initiative, the government has decided to introduce a curated food experience zone ‘Food Street’ at the global food fair in November in New Delhi. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the brand ambassador of the event at the World Food India 2017 that will be held between 3 November and 5 November 2017. The experiential platform will bring together culinary practices, flavours, fragrances from cuisines across the world.

India joins quantum computing race

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund project to develop quantum computers in order to tap into the next big advance in computing technology. In India, Physics departments at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, so far have only forayed into theoretical aspects of quantum computing. Experts from across country are expected to gather in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such computer.

6th international Textile and Apparel Fair, ‘VASTRA’ inaugurated

The sixth edition of the 4-day international textile and apparel fair “Vastra’ was inaugurated at Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC) in Sitapura. It was inaugurated by Union Textiles & Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Over 250 exhibitors from 13 states will showcase their products. Around 300 overseas buyers from more than 50 countries and 200 representatives from around 100 Indian buying houses/ agents are slated to attend the event.

Zero Hunger Programme to be launched in October

India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in farm sector will be launched on occasion of World Food Day (October 16) with focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner. The Programme will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The programme consists of organisations of a farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants and initiation of ‘Zero Hunger training. The program will be launched in three districts namely Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Koraput (Odisha) and Thane (Maharashtra).

Vice President released Commemorative Coin on MS Subbulakshmi

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has released a commemorative Coin on Bharat Ratna Dr MS Subbulakshmi on the occasion of the Birth Centenary Commemoration of M.S. Subbulakshmi. M.S. Subbulakshmi was a legendary and iconic figure who said that what defines India is this rich heritage of music and its unifying role in bringing people together. Subbulakshmi was not only a singer but was an encyclopedia of singing. She was the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour and first Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly on 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations.

Union Government to launch mobile app for retiring govt staff

Union Government will launch a mobile application for central government employees to help them to monitor the progress of their pension settlement cases. Retired employees will also be able to assess their superannuation funds and record complaints through the pension calculator. Minister of State for Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh will launch the app in New Delhi. He will also inaugurate the first Pension Adalat.

BCCI nominates MS Dhoni for Padma Bhushan award

The Indian cricket board nominated Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the country’s third highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the game. Two World titles (2011 50-over World Cup and 2007 World T20), nearly 10,000 runs, 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated, a senior condition of anonymity. The BCCI not sent any other nominations for the Padma awards this year. The 36-year-old has scored 9737 runs in 302 ODIs besides 4876 runs in 90 Test matches. He has also played 78 T20 Internationals, notching up 1212 runs.

Railways cuts down Sleeping Hours for passengers

According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit in the seats for the rest of the time. Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am. The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I. This provision is applicable to all reserved coaches with sleeping accommodation.

Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam, Called ‘Gujarat’s Lifeline’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Sardar Sarovar Dam – the world’s second biggest – on the river Narmada in Gujarat. The 1.2-km-long dam, which is 163 metres deep, will irrigate over 18 lakh hectares in the state, according to officials; the water from Narmada will flow into over 9,000 villages through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL). After inaugurating the dam, PM Modi will head to Sadhu Bet, an island in the river Narmada where a 182-metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – called the ‘Statue of Unity’.

President launches Swachhata Hi Campaign

President Ram Nath Kovind launched the nation-wide ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ (Cleanliness is Service) campaign. The fortnight long campaign will conclude on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, 2017. The campaign is an initiative under Swachch Bharat Mission and it was launched from Ishwari Ganj village, Kanpur. He administered nation-wide Swachhta Hi Seva pledge initiating parallel action in all the two lakh 50 thousand plus Gram Panchayats and cities in India. It is being coordianted by the Ministry of Drinking water and sanitation and will focus on mass mobilisation and reinforce ‘jan andolan’ for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gnadhi’s dream of a clean India.

Nation-wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack launched

Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a nation-wide hackathon #OpenGovDataHack. As part of the Startup Eco-system Development program, NIC and IAMAI have collaborated to conduct Nation wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack across seven states of India. It aims to Support & Showcase potentially great Ideas./ Talent from Inner India. It is to enable them making their ideas developed into Apps/ Infographics primarily by use of Open Government Data around the themes of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Transport, Education, Crime and Health.

Chennai-Vladivostok sea route: India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR

India is planning to launch major connectivity initiative, connecting Chennai with key Russian port Vladivostok via sea route with an aim to harness natural resources from Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region. The Chennai-Vladivostok sea route will enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.

PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe lay foundation stone for bullet train

Foundation stone of India’s first high-speed rail project (bullet train) project was jointly laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Sabarmati Station ground in Ahmedabad. The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022. (It was recently advanced by year from earlier deadline of 2023).

India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata

India’s first state of art virology laboratory was inaugurated at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata, West Bengal. The lab will play important in developing new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.

RBI to Introduce Rs 100 Coin to Mark MG Ramachandran’s Birth Centenary

As per the notification of Finance Ministry, the Reserve Bank of India will introduce 100 rupees coin to mark the birth centenary (hundredth anniversary) of AIADMK founder Late Dr. M G Ramachandran. On the obverse, the face of the coin will bear Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the center with Satyamev Jayate inscribed below on it in Devanagari script. It will also bear the rupee symbol and denominational value of 100. On the reverse side, the portrait of Dr. MG Ramachandran will be in the center. The standard weight of the coin will be 35 grams.

National Pension Scheme Upper age limit raised to 65

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) announced that the upper age limit for joining the National Pension Scheme (NPS) had been raised to 65 years, from the current 60. NPS is currently open for people between 18 and 60, and the Board has approved raising the age limit for joining to 65.

Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation of Country’s First ‘Green-Field’ Smart City

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for Ranchi Smart City coming up on the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) land. According to the Urban Development Minister CP Singh, this would be the country’s first ‘green-field’ smart city. The smart city is coming up on 656 acres of HEC land which would be fully wi-fi, carbon free, garbage free locality with modernized housing, traffic management system, education hub and equipped with facilities like round the clock power and water supplies.

All Women-crew “Navika Sagar Parikrama” flagged off

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged off Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini) with an all women crew from INS Mandovi boat pool, Goa. This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. With aim to empower women and also to discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India, the expedition is titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’. The crew is expected to return to Goa in April 2018, on completion of the voyage. During the voyage, the crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas, as also interact extensively with local PIOs during various port halts to promote Ocean sailing.

Nestle sets up First Food Safety Institute in India

The new FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute in Manesar, Gurugram. It will provide guidance and training on food safety. The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar. While this is the first such institute in India, Nestle already runs a similar Institute each in China and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Johnson & Johnson India introduces paternity leave

Johnson & Johnson India has announced that new and adoptive fathers would be entitled to eight weeks of paid leave during the first year of birth or adoption. For new mothers, the company has been offering up to 26 weeks of maternity leave for the past six years.

Indian Army to induct women in military police

The Indian Army has finalised plan to induct women in military police. The plan is seen as major step towards breaking gender barriers in force. Under this plan 800 women will be inducted initially with yearly intake of 52. The decision to induct women in Corps of Military Police will help in investigating allegations of gender specific crimes. Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as medical, educational, legal, signals and engineering wings of Indian Army.

NITI Aayog launches the National Nutrition Strategy

To make sure that malnutrition (Kuposhan) bids a goodbye to India, NITI Aayog has launched the National Nutrition Strategy aimed at Kuposhan Mukt Bharat. Under the strategy, the problem of malnutrition will be eradicated in a phased manner. The strategy intends at bringing nutrition to the center-stage of the National Development Agenda. The strategy was launched jointly by the leader of the Green Revolution, Cr. M S Swaminathan, Padma Shri H Sudharshan and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Member Dr. Vinod Paul in New Delhi.

Union Health Ministry launched two New Contraceptives Antara and Chhaya

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched two new contraceptives- an injectable contraceptive MPA under the ‘Antara’ program and a contraceptive pill ‘Chhaya’ in the public health system to expand the basket of contraceptive choices for couples. These contraceptives have been launched in 10 states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha and Goa. The ‘Antara’ injectable is effective for three months and the ‘Chayya’ pill is effective for one week.

Modi Cabinet reshuffled- 9 New Faces as Ministers

Nine new Ministers of state were inducted into the Union Council of Ministers. Four Ministers of state were elevated to the cabinet rank. They are Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State For Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to them at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The portfolios of the Ministers will be announced later.
Cabinet Ministers:

  • Nirmala Sitharaman: Former Minister of State for Commerce was given the portfolio of Defence Minister. Sitharaman is the first woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the portfolio of Defence Minister. Also, along with Sushma Swaraj, she is the only other woman in Narendra Modi’s cabinet.
  • Piyush Goyal: He was given the portfolio of Railways Minister and he also retains the Ministry of Coal.
  • Dharmendra Pradhan: He will continue to have charge of Petroleum and Natural Gas and will also be Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which Rajiv Pratap Rudy gave up two days ago.
  • Muqtar Abbas Naqvi: He will continue to handle the charge of Ministry of Minority Affairs but as a Cabinet Minister.
  • Council of Ministers Reshuffled:
  • Suresh Prabhu: Former Railways Minister will be handling the charge of Ministry of Commerce.
  • Nitin Gadkari: Apart from Transport Ministry, he was given the charge of Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Uma Bharti: She was moved away from the Water Resources Ministry and was given the charge of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • Vijay Goel: He was moved from Sports Ministry and was given the charge of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation.
  • Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: He was given the charge of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

New Faces in the Council of Ministers:

  • Hardeep Puri: Former diplomat was given the charge of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as Independent charge.
  • RK Singh: Former Home Secretary and first time MP from Arrah in Bihar was given the charge of Ministry of Power and MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) as independent charge.
  • K J Alphons: Veteran bureaucrat, who led Kottayam to be first 100% literate town in India, was given the charge of Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).
  • Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur (Rajasthan) is the new Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Shiv Pratap Shukla: Lok Sabha MP from Buxar in Bihar, was given the charge Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Satya Pal Singh: Former Mumbai Police Commissioner and first time MP from Baghpt (Uttar Pradesh) was given the charge of Development, and Minister of State in the Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Virendra Kumar: Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh (Madhya Pradesh) was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority affairs.
  • Anant Kumar Hegde: Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada (Karnataka) was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Outgoing Ministers:

  • The six outgoing ministers from the Cabinet include Kalraj Mishra (MoS MSME), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (MoS Independent Charge of Skill Development), Bandaru Dattatreya (Labour), Faggan Singh Kulaste (MoS Health), Sanjiv Balyan (MoS Water Resources) and Mahendra Nath Pandey (MoS HRD). Pandey was recently named BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh.

Nirmala Sitharaman: India’s first full time woman Defence Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman (58) became first full time woman Defence Minister of India after she was promoted to the Union Cabinet. She takes charge of the crucial ministry from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Ms Sitharaman is second woman to become Defence Minister of India. First was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was holding additional portfolio as Defence Minister from 1980-82.

CERT-In issues alert on spread of new malware Locky Ransomware

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) issued an alert on spread of new malware “Locky Ransomware” that can lock computers and demand ransom for unlocking them. The alert, issued on Cyber Swachhta Kendra , is a new wave of spam mails is circulating with common subject lines to spread variants of Locky.


STATES

Gujarat to be first big state to use EVMs with VVPAT

Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent. It was announced by Election Commission  of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state. The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.

Madhya Pradesh bags ‘Best Tourism State’ Award

Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the award, named as ‘Hall of Fame Award’, to Minister of State for Tourism Surendra Patwa at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day (27 September). Madhya Pradesh also received a national award for Film Promotion Policy in the category of Best Film Promotion Friendly State/Union Territory.

Kandla Port renamed as Deendayal Port

The Kandla Port one of the top 12 major ports in the country renamed as Deendayal Port from Monday in the name of Hindutva icon Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, earlier this year while laying the foundation stone for Rs 933 crore projects at Kandla Port. The port’s journey began in 1931 with the construction of a jetty by Maharao Khengarji. It became the number one port in India and created history by handling 100 million tonnes cargo in a year.

Maharashtra Govt signs MoU with South Korea

The Maharashtra government signed a MoU with South Korea for increased co-operation in infrastructure projects like development of smart cities, roads, airports, and metros on the first day of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ visit to that country. It helps with implementation strategy, legal systems, policies, technologies and information in infrastructure development. Fadnavis embarked on a three-day tour to South Korea and Singapore.

New Underground Water Treatment Plant in Agartala

In Tripura, a new underground water treatment plant has been commissioned at Sadhutilla in the southern part of Agartala. The plant has fulfilled the need for drinking water free from iron and other contamination. The plant has started functioning with supply of quality treated water initially to 565 households through pipeline. It has treatment capacity of 4 point 8 million litre per day. It has two Over Head Storage Reservoirs with capacities of 1,130 Kilo Liter and 450 Kilo Liter.

Odisha govt launched ‘Sampurna Yojana’

Odisha Government launched ‘Sampurna (Sishu Abond Matru Mrityuhara Purna Nirakaran Abhijan) Yojna’ scheme for pregnant women, in Odisha. Under the scheme, Odisha government will provide Rs.1,000 as transport cost for pregnant women to travel to the hospital from inaccessible areas arranging their own vehicles. The main objective of this scheme is to reduce the death ration of the newborn child and mother mortality rate. Around 7853 villages will be covered from 30 districts of Odisha, under this scheme.

Karnataka Govt launches Vision-2025 project

Karnataka Government to launch The Nava Karnataka 2025 or Vision 2025 was launched for charting out a development roadmap for the next seven years. The main aim of the government on several developmental goals, whether it was eliminating hunger, creating employment or decreasing malnutrition among children. The Vision 2025 exercise will cover 13 sectors including agriculture and allied sectors, infrastructure, industrial development, education, employment, health and nutrition, rural development, social justice, urban development.

UP Govt to release 100 prisoners on birth centenary of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya

Uttar Pradesh government will release 100 inmates from various jails of the state to mark the birth centenary of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. The prisoners will be released from Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad, Mathura, Agra, Kanpur, Naini, Aligarh, Banda, Mirzapur, Orai, Hardoi, Maharajganj, Bahraich, Saharanpur and Gorakhpur jails, Bareilly, Varanasi, Agra, Fatehgarh, Naini and Gorakhpur jails.

Seven States of Northeast India to launch Mission Indradhanush

Seven states in North-East India will launch ‘Mission Indradhanush’, a flagship immunization scheme of the Government of India, in an intensified manner from October 7, 2017. Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) will focus on select urban areas and other pockets where immunization coverage has been low. Under IMI, the Centre aims to reach every child under two years and pregnant women with all available vaccines under Universal Immunization Programme by 2018.

NITI Aayog’s SATH Program launched in Assam

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program was launched in in Guwahati, Assam. The SATH program aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of state.

Telangana govt releases music video on 9 day Bathukamma festival

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has released a new music video prepared by Telangana Jagruthi to celebrate the nine-day Bathukamma festival, which began on September 20. This Exclusive Bangaru Bathukamma song featuring Anchor and Actress Udaya Bhanu and TRS MP Kavitha. Telangana government recently began free distribution of over one crore sarees for women below the poverty line on the occasion of Bathukamma.

Himachal Pradesh becomes first state to launch Electric Bus service

The Himachal Pradesh government has launched first-of-its-kind electric bus service in the ecologically fragile 51 km – long stretch between Manali and Rohtang Pass. The bus service was flagged off by State Transport Minister GS Bali along with Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus. The move was made amidst concern over increasing environmental degradation in the Rohtang Pass area due to plying of diesel taxis. With this initiative, the state has become the first in the world to ply electric buses at an altitude of 13 thousand feet.

Andhra CM Naidu releases ‘People First’ mobile app for grievance redressal

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has released ‘People First’ mobile application for grievance redressal at the Collectors’ conference in Vijayawada. Under this application, people of Andhra Pradesh can dial 1100 to register complaints about government services and schemes. The citizens of Andhra Pradesh can now ride the wave of technology and use the medium of mobile to register their complaints.

Puducherry to ban plastic of less than 51 microns

The Puducherry Government decided to ban manufacture and use of plastic packaging materials of less than 51 microns as these were found to be injurious to health and a source of menace during monsoon in the Union Territory. The Welfare and Environment Minister M Kandasamy informed officials of departments concerned with solid waste management that the ban would come into force in the next six months. The Government advised hotel and restaurant owners to abstain from packing ‘ready to eat’ food items in ‘butter paper’ or such plastic transparent sheets. They also directed shop owners not to use newspapers for supplying such food items.

International Yoga Festival starts in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra inaugurated the second International Yoga Festival and International Yoga Sports Championship 2017 in which about 300 people from across the world are participating. The festival is being organized by the Yoga Society of Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre. About 300 participants from various parts of India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Bulgaria, USA, and Nepal are participating in the festival.

Special canteen for labours in Chhattisgarh and Meals at just Rs.5

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh launched the ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shram Anna Sahayata Yojna’ under which nutritious meal will be provided to laborers at price of Rupees five. As many as 60 such food centers will be set up in 27 districts of the states which will provide food to nearly 60,000 laborers on a daily basis. The programme aims to reach 7000 laborers across 27 districts in Chhattisgarh. The government has also registered 21 lakh workers from the organized and the unorganized sectors.

Tripura becomes first state to set up District Family Welfare committees

Tripura has became the first state in India to set up family welfare district committees. State Governor Tathagata Roy formally launched the family welfare committees in all eight districts in Tripura at a function in Tripura High Court. The committees have been set to deal with the issue of fake and biased complaints by women against their husbands, in-laws and husband’s relatives. The decision to set up the committees came following an order of the Supreme Court to form such committees in all states.

Jharkhand Government launches Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana

Jharkhand Government has launched Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana aimed at developing villages of freedom fighters in the state. It was launched from Ulihatu Village, birthplace of freedom fighter Birsa Munda. Under this scheme, villages of many tribal freedom fighters will be developed and their habitants will be provided basic amenities. These villages had remained inaccessible for long time after Independence because of Left-wing extremism. Now they will be provided with 136 pucca houses.

India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat

Suzuki Motor invest more than Rs 1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India’s first lithium-ion battery facility in Gujarat. The announcement by the parent of the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is a major boost to the government’s ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives. It will hold half the stake and meanwhile, Toshiba will own 40% and Denso the remaining 10%.

Two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh to be commissioned in 2018

The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) its two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh are on the verge of completion and they would be commissioned next year. The commissioning of the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project and the 110 MW Pare Hydro Electric Project was delayed by about a couple of months due to floods and landslides. According to the officials, the Pare Hydro Project is set to be commissioned by February end next year, while the Kameng project would take another two months.

India’s First Centre for Animal Law set up in Hyderabad

India’s first Centre for Animal Law established at the city-based NALSAR University of Law. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the centre according to a release issued by Humane Society International (HSI). The Centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research. It will also conduct workshops on animal laws and animal welfare issues with judicial magistrates, animal welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the government.

Odisha to set up the first Odia language university

The Odisha government passed a bill to launch the first-ever Odia language university for post-graduation in literature and linguistics among other subjects. The university which will be established in Bhubaneswar will also devise ways to make Odia script more adaptable to technology. It mainly aims at making Odia script more adaptable to computer technology. It would also administer PG courses in literary criticism, the evolution of East Indian language scripts, historical scripts, archaeology, musicology and translation into and from Odia.

Maharashtra CM launches Maha Mission 1 Million

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today launched the ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative under which over 10 lakh students across the state will play football. It is the first time in the country and Maharashtra to support was decided by Tawde. The entire Maharashtra becomes Pro football the Mission will not only create football players and lovers of the game but will also help in overall development of the state. Under the initiative, the state government aims to ensure that children come out in open spaces and play.

Karnataka, 1st Indian State to approve e-vehicle Policy

Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of Electrical Vehicles, but also setting up charging infrastructure and special manufacturing zones. Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking at R&D and manufacturing of electric vehicles in the state.

Kerala to open India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics

Kerala opens India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics at government medical colleges across the state. They are planning to open Transgender Clinics in all government medical colleges in the state. We also plan to provide facilities for their surgery at least in two medical colleges. The first clinic will be set up at the government medical college of Kottayam within the next two months and will be one of the first clinics to provide the sex-change surgery.

Sachin Tendulkar launches project to develop the poorest ward in Mumbai

Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has launched Mission-24 a programme aimed at improving the quality of life in one of Mumbai’s poorest wards through collaborative efforts in the next 24 months. The main aim of the program to provide basic amenities to residents of M-East ward that includes slums of Shivaji Nagar, Deonar and Mankhurd. Through this project, the organisations aim to provide amenities like secondary schools and colleges, Anganwadi’s, maternity homes, health posts and dispensaries in the ward. It also aims to improve sanitation, create more open spaces and look at computer safety.

Netaji statue unveiled at Naval base in Kolkata

An eight feet bronze statue of Indian freedom struggle leader Subhash Chandra Bose was unveiled at the Naval base INS Netaji Subhash at Kolkata. The statue was unveiled by Netaji’s niece-in-law Krishna Bose and Eastern Naval Command Chief, Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht by cutting the ribbon together.

Assam govt to provide skill training to 30000 surrendered militants

The Assam government would be providing skill development training to around 30,000 surrendered militants. The training will also be extended to jail inmates. Along with providing training to the surrendered militants, the Assam government would be training over 24000 Assamese youth under the Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna. The Assam Skill Development Mission would be providing skill training in 40 sectors. The training sessions would be starting by the end of September 2017.

New species of edible fish found in Pampa river in Kerala

A group of researchers discovered a new species of edible freshwater fish while exploring the waters of the Pampa river in Pathanamthitta in Kerala. As per the researchers, the newly found fish could possibly be farmed on a commercial scale. The two researchers, Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor, government college, Chavara, Kollam, and Primoz Zupancic from the Dinaric Research Institute, Slovenia, Europe, have reported the discovery in the latest issue of an open access research journal Bioscience Discovery.

Telangana Home Minister inaugurates water ATMs

Safe Water Network, an international NGO has partnered with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to launch water ATMs, providing affordable, 24×7 safe water access in Hyderabad. The first of the ATMs was inaugurated by Telangana State Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy at Nalgonda X Roads. A total of 200 ATMs will be set up to reach a targeted 150,000 people. In the first phase 50 water ATMs will be operationalised by next year. The initiative is supported by USAID under the Urban WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Alliance Partnership and funded by Honeywell India.

Amazon’s Largest Fulfilment Center in Hyderabad

American e-commerce company Amazon opened its largest fulfillment center (FC) in the country at the GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. The new facility has a carpet area of around 4 lakh square feet, along with a storage space of close to 2.1 million cubic feet. Amazon’s fifth fulfillment center in Telangana, thereby increasing the firm’s overall storage capacity to 3.3 million square feet in the state.

Andhra Pradesh Signs MoU to Build India’s First Hyperloop

The Andhra Pradesh government has signed an MoU with the US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT)to build India’s first Hyperloop system. The planned project is aimed at connecting cities Amaravati and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, supposedly covering the distance of over 35 km in just five minutes. The AP Economic Development Board (AP-EDB) and HTT signed the MoU in Amaravati. Under the MoU, a six-month feasibility study would be conducted from October.

Jharkhand Governor gives assent to Religious Freedom Bill, 2017

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu gave her assent to the Jharkhand Religious Freedom Bill, 2017. The state government will now issue notification on the Religious Freedom Bill, after which it will become an Act. With this Jharkhand, become seventh state in the country to have anti-conversion law. Other six states with similar law are Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

President to lay foundation stone for Link-4 of SAUNI Scheme in Rajkot

President Ramnath Kovind will today lay the foundation stone for the link – 4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme -SAUNI- Yojana in Rajkot district. The project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat aims to fill up 115 major dams by diverting overflow of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River. Three phase of SAUNI Yojana already dedicated to the people following completion of the work.

Gurugram Metro stations to get 1,000 new e-rickshaws

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in collaboration with Smart-E company will launch 1,000 e-rickshaws at five metro stations across the city. Smart-E is uniquely poised to address the last-mile connectivity challenge faced by millions of people every day. The launch of 1,000 e-rickshaws in exclusive partnership with DMRC is an important step towards making last-mile commute easy, safe, affordable and eco-friendly for the citizens.

Assam for first time extends AFSPA orders on its own

Assam Government has extended term of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 and declared entire state a Disturbed Area for six more months under Section 3 of AFSP Act. This is for first time state government has extended AFSPA and Disturbed Area provision on its own. In the past, AFSPA provisions in state were always extended by the Centre. The law and order situation in Assam continues to be matter of concern due to violent incidents carried out by the underground groups, as many as 16 incidents involving these groups were reported between May and July 2017. These incidents had resulted in deaths of civilians, security personnel and militants.

Friday declared ‘Day of Helping Hand’ in Andhra Pradesh by CM Naidu

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has declared Friday as the day of the week when he will meet with the poor and underprivileged sections of Andhra Pradesh society to hear their grievances and try to resolve them. The day has been declared as the “Day of Helping Hand”. Recently, an amount of nearly Rs.9 lakhs was disbursed from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the poor.

Arunachal Pradesh and J&K are Fastest Growing Economies

Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh were the fastest expanding State economies in 2015-16, according to a new series of gross State domestic product data with 2011-12 as the base year published by the Central Statistics Office. The two States also reported the fastest rise in per capita income in the same year. Arunachal Pradesh’s gross State domestic product (GSDP) expanded 16.5 per cent and that of Jammu and Kashmir 14.7 per cent at constant 2011-12 prices.


CONFERENCES

3-day India Mobile Congress 2017 starts in New Delhi

The first ever mobile, Internet and technology event in India – India Mobile Congress 2017 has started in New Delhi from 27th September. India Mobile Congress is a dedicated platform for B2B and B2C interaction and developing a network with various experts from the industry. The exhibitors include Google, Reliance Jio, Qualcomm, BSNL, Airtel, and many other companies.

7th ASEM Economic Ministers Meeting held in South Korea

The 7th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Economic Ministers’ Meeting was held in Seoul, South Korea. Theme for this year’s meeting was ‘Innovative Partnership for Inclusive Prosperity’. The meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea. 51 member countries signed a Joint Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trade System.

India, US, Afghanistan join hands for 1st Trade Show in Delhi

For the first time, India, US and Afghanistan will hold a joint trade and investment show in Delhi, as New Delhi steps up to its role of being a bigger development partner to Afghanistan. The trade event, sponsored by the US and hosted by India, will be inaugurated by Afghan CEO Dr Abdullah. Abdullah’s visit will follow the first visit to India by US defence secretary James Mattis who will be holding high level talks with India on the Trump Administration’s new South Asia policy.

13th Inter-Governmental Commission Meeting in Kazakhstan

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan is in Astana, Kazakhstan to co-chair the 13th Meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) with Kazakhstan. Mr Kanat Bozumbayev, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan will co-chair the meeting from Kazakhstan side. The IGC meeting aims to follow up on the agenda set between India and Kazakhstan during the two visits of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan.

India-US-Japan trilateral talks held in New York

Foreign ministers of India, US and Japan held a trilateral meeting in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd annual session of the UN General Assembly. The meeting was held to give momentum to their cooperation amid China flexing its muscles in the region. The three ministers, namely Sushma Swaraj (India), Rex Tillerson (US) and Taro Kono (Japan), emphasised on the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes. The decision to hold the trilateral meeting was taken at the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. the first India-US-Japan trilateral meeting was held in December 2011.

South Asian Women Development Forum to organize summit at Kathmandu

The South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) would be organising ‘Across Barriers-International Business Women’s Summit’ on 11th & 12th September 2017 at kathmandu, nepal. The two-day event aims to encourage partnerships between women entrepreneurs from the SAARC and ASEAN member countries and China. The Ministry of Agriculture, US Embassy in Nepal and the Department for International Development (DFID), UK would be providing financial support to the event.

9th BRICS summit held in Xiamen, China

The 9th Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit was held in Xiamen, China. The summit is hosted by China for the second time after the 2011 Summit.The theme of the 2017 BRICS Summit is “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.
The four documents were signed in the presence of BRICS Leaders and they are:
Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation
BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation(2017-2020)
BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation.

PM inaugurates annual conference ‘Rajaswa Gyan Sangam’ in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the annual conference, Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The conference jointly organised by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise and Customs. The Prime Minister addressed the tax administrators during the conference. The closing function would be conducted on 2 September 2017.


AWARDS & HONOURS

Mahtab Bamji selected for living legend award of IUNS

Mahtab Bamji selected for the Living Legend Award of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences ((IUNS). The award will be presented at its General Assembly to be held at the IUNS-ICN in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 18th October. The IUNS Council presents Living Legend Awards to individual members of Adhering Bodies in good standing who are eighty (80) years or above.

President of India presents the National Tourism Awards 2015-16

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented the ‘National Tourism Awards 2015-16′ to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry at a function organised by the Ministry of Tourism on the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day’ at New Delhi. The event also saw the launch of ‘Incredible India 2.0 campaign’ and ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project and new Incredible India website by the President.

CNR Rao selected for 2017 Von Hippel Award

Eminent Scientist and Bharat Ratna Prof C.N.R. Rao was awarded 2017 Von Hippel Award, the highest international prize in materials research. He is first Indian and first Asian to win this honour. The award will be presented to Prof Rao for his interdisciplinary contributions to development of novel functional materials, including nanomaterials, graphene, superconductivity, 2D materials and colossal magnetoresistance at Boston in November 2017.

Anushka, Ranveer Singh, Rajkummar Rao, Aamir won GQ Men of the Year 2017 Awards

GQ Men of The Year Awards 2017 kicked off in Mumbai. The Award Winners are:
Irrfan Khan – Outstanding Achievement
Anushka Sharma – Woman of the Year
Karan Johar – Producer of the Year
Rajkummar Rao – Actor of Year
Ranveer Singh – Entertainer of the Year
Sridevi – Excellence in Acting
Aamir Khan – Creative Maverick

Nigerian Zannah Mustapha wins UN award

Zannah Mustapha won the annual Nansen Refugee Award for his ‘crucial mediating’ role and efforts to help children affected by the insurgency in the country. Mustapha is the founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, a school that provides free Islamic-based education to children orphaned by insurgency. The school also provides free meals, uniforms and health care to its pupils.

JNPT wins “Rajbhasha Kirti Award” for 11th consecutive time

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) won the “Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar” for the year 2016-17 in the category of ‘B’ region for autonomous bodies and boards, for its excellent implementation of the Official Language. Ram Nath Kovind gave away the award at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the occasion of Hindi Divas celebration. This is the 11th consecutive year that JNPT has won this award.

69th Primetime Emmy Awards announced

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was announced at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, U.S. The Handmaid’s Tale became the first web television series to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Westworld and Saturday Night Live were the most nominated programs, each with 22 nominations.
Complete list of the winners:
Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep
Outstanding Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Limited Series: Big Little Lies
Outstanding Television Movie: Black Mirror: “”San Junipero””
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover as Earnest “”Earn”” Marks on Atlanta
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on This Is Us
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne/ Offred on The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Atlanta (Episode: “”B.A.N.””), Directed by Donald Glover
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “”Offred””), Directed by Reed Morano
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Master of None (Episode: “”Thanksgiving””), Written by Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe

Indian start-up wins award in Israel

An Indian startup has won a prestigious award in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers steady & dependable income. Kheyti, was chosen among 10 finalists in MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies. Kheyti design, adapt & implement low-cost farming solutions that help farmers increase yield & predictability of produce.

Salman Khan honoured at Britain’s House of Commons

Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons. The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of diversity in the world, and he is certainly one of them. The Being Human NGO is run by the Salman Khan.

3 India-born scientists to be awarded by US’ Marconi Society

Bengaluru-born 28-year-old Google research scientist Ananda Theertha Suresh in New York has won the Paul Baran Young Scholar award for 2017. Kailath, 82, from Pune and a former professor at Stanford, is the Hitachi American Professor in Engineering Emeritus at the reputed university. He was also conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2009. Netravalli, 71, a native of Ankola on Karnataka’s west coast, studied at Mumbai’s Elphinstone College and graduated in electrical engineering from IIT-Bombay before migrating to the US in 1967 for his post-graduation and doctorate from Houston’s Rice University.

74th Venice Film Festival Awards 2017

The 74th annual Venice International Film Festival was held from 30 August to 9 September 2017. The most important award is the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and considered one of the most prestigious film awards, like the Golden Palm in Cannes and the Golden Bear of Berlin.
The awards are listed below:
Best Film – Nico, 1988, directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli
Best Director – Vahid Jalilvand, No Date, No Signature
Special Jury Prize – Caniba, directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
Best Actress – Lyna Khoudri, Les Bienheureux
Best Actor – Navid Mohammadzadeh, No Date, No Signature
Best Screenplay – Los Versos Del Olvido, directed by Alireza Khatami
Best Short Film – Gros Chagrin, directed by Céline Devaux
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jusqu’à la Garde, directed by Xavier Legrand.

2 US Scientists, Indian Economist among 2017 Balzan Prize awardees

The International Balzan Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Balzan Prize. This year, Indian Economist Bina Agarwal was recognised among other awardees for her work on women’s contributions to agriculture in India.
List of 2017 Balzan Prize awardees:

  • James P Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Robert D Schreiber of the Washington University School of Medicine were awarded for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy that enhanced the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.
  • Indian Economist Bina Agarwal of University of Manchester (UK) was recognised in the Gender Studies category for her heroic work studying women’s contributions to agriculture in India.
  • Belgian astrophysicist Michael Gillon was awarded for his work that has helped in finding new solar systems of planet Earth using robotic telescopes, instead of much more costly satellites.
  • German couple Germans Aleida and Jan Assmann were recognised for presenting collective memory as a requirement for the formation of the identity of religious and political communities.

Tahir Mahmood awarded N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award

Eminent jurist Tahir Mahmood was awarded the prestigious N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award 2017 for his distinguished services to legal education and the legal profession on the occasion of Law Teachers’ Day celebrations. The function was organized by the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT). The awards are bestowed every year to honor the most deserved law teachers and institutions in India and across the SAARC region.

World University Rankings 2018: IISc ranked highest from India

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) retained top position among Indian Universities in the Times World University Rankings 2018, but its position fell in global rankings compared to its last year position. Top 10 in Universities in World are Oxford University (1st, UK), Cambridge University (2nd, UK), California institute of Technology (3rd, US), Stanford University (4th, US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5th, US), Harvard University (6th, US), Princeton University (7th, US), Imperial College London (8th, UK), University of Chicago (9th, US), ETH-Zurich (10th, Switzerland). IISc slipped from the 201-250 band to the 251-300 one due to drop in its research influence score and research income. IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur, which were among best Indian institutions, slipped down from previous year’s position of the 401- 500 club to 501-600 band. IIT Bombay was placed in t351-400 club, same as in 2017 ranking and. IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee also retained their positions in 501-600 bracket.

GIFT City wins ASSOCHAM Services Excellence Awards

India’s first operational Smart City and IFSC, Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT City), has won the prestigious Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Services Excellence Award. At a summit held in New Delhi, GIFT SEZ was honored for its contribution to the growth of the International Financial Services and Technology Hub in India.

Narayana Murthy receives PLuS Alliance Prize

N R Narayana Murthy and Mumbai-born scientist veena Sahajwalla have been conferred the PLuS Alliance Prize – a prestigious honour that recognises research Innovation, Education Innovation, Global Leadership and Global Innovation. Both winners were recognised for the development and implementation of innovation solutions to significant global issues. Murthy was presented the PLuS Alliance Prize for Global Leadership while professor Sahajwalla was awarded the PLuS Alliance Prize for Research Innovation for her project.

Vice President honours 219 teachers with National award

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu gave away the National awards for teachers on Teachers day Function. A total of 219 teachers, including 124 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teachers, were awarded. He also launched DIKSHA, a national digital infrastructure for teachers. DIKSHA is a customisable national digital infrastructure that states, Teacher Education Institutions (TEI) and private entities can use for their respective teacher-centric initiatives.

NHAI Awards First International Project in Myanmar to Punj Lloyd-Varaha

The National Highway Authority of India has awarded its first international project in Myanmar to a joint venture of Punj Lloyd-Varaha. This is for the upgradation of the Yagyi-Kalewa section in Myanmar to two lanes with earthern shoulder in the engineering, procurement, and construction mode. The 120-km-long project was estimated to cost Rs. 1,177.02 crore and is to be completed within 36 months. Punj Lloyd-Varaha’s bid was identified as the most competitive among four qualified bidders. It was at Rs. 1,177 crore.

UNESCO announces winners for Girl’s and Women’s Education Prize 2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) in September 2017 announced the winners of 2017 edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girl’s and Women’s Education. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova announced the names of the two laureates from Peru and Thailand recommended by an International Jury. Each of the two organisations was honoured with the prize money of USD 50000 at an official ceremony held in Xiamen, People’s Republic of China.

UNESCO announces winners of International Literacy Prizes 2017

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced the winners of the 2017 International Literacy Prizes that honour excellence and innovation in the field of global literacy. The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are divided into two categories namely the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy that is sponsored by China and the King Sejong Literacy Prize that is sponsored by South Korea.

Hyderabad Airport bags Energy Efficiency Award

Hyderabad International Airport Ltd has bagged the National Award for ‘Excellence’ in Energy Management at a conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event held here focused on recognizing companies that are engaged in energy efficiency initiatives and displaying commitment towards energy conservation.


SPORTS & GAMES

For the First Time, Five Indian Shuttlers in Top-20 of BWF Men’s Rankings

For the first time, Five Indians are in the top-20 of the BWF men’s singles rankings with H S Prannoy being the biggest gainer after his quarterfinal showing at the Japan Open. Prannoy has jumped four places to be world no.15.
The 5 Indian Shuttlers in the top 20 BWF men’s singles rankings are-
Kidambi Srikanth (8th)
HS Prannoy (15th)
B Sai Praneeth (17th)
Sameer Verma (19th)
Ajay Jayaram (20th)

India to host South Asian boxing Championship in Guwahati

Boxing Federation of India (BFI) announced that India will be hosting the South Asian boxing Championship for the first time in Guwahati from December 6 to 10. The championship will see a potential blockbuster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan besides other SAARC countries – Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, among others. The South Asian Championship will be followed by the India International Open Tournament in the third week of January 2018.

Lakshmanan Wins 5,000m gold in Athletics Nationals

Reigning Asian champion Govindan Lakshmanan of Services cruised to victory in the men’s 5000-metre race on the opening day of the 57th National Open Athletics Championships at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Lakshmanan has recently won gold in the 3,000m event at the Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Laver Cup 2017: Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal win first doubles match

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played as doubles partners for the first time on the second day of the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague. They beat Americans Sam Querrey and Jack Sock to win Laver Cup 2017 in men’s doubles. Also, Roger Federer, ranked No. 2 in the world, defeated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to win men’s singles in Laver Cup 2017.

ICC launches Anti-Corruption Probe into Sri Lanka Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an anti-corruption investigation in Sri Lanka. The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officers had recently visited the country as part of the probe. The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and this includes conducting investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so.

India become World No. 1 in both ODIs and Tests

India beat Australia by 5 wickets in the third ODI played between the two sides at Indore. The victory helped them to pip South Africa to claim the no. 1 spot in the ICC ODI rankings. This now means that India is now at the top of both the Test and ODI rankings. This was India’s ninth consecutive ODI win while it is Australia 11ts successive defeat away from home.

Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar nominated for 2017 FIFA Best Mens Player award

Famous Football players Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar Jr are the final three players in contention for FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year 2017 award. The final three nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year 2017 award are Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte.

India bags 4 more Medals at 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan

In the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, India bagged four medals. Sajan Prakash of India finished second with the silver medal in the Men’s 100-metre butterfly event. Divya Gurling Shilwant and Pratiksha Chandrakant Parhar bagged a bronze each in women’s Alysh classic in 70 kg and 75 kg categories in the Belt Wrestling Discipline. Wrestler Keduovilie Zumu from Nagaland won the bronze medal in the 90 kg category of Kazakh Kuresh style belt wrestling. Meanwhile, Sourav Kothari assured himself of a medal after winning his semifinal contest in men’s billiards singles against Thailand’s Thawat Sujaritthurakaran 3-0. India is at 11th spot in the medals tally with 5 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze.

First Indian team for FIFA U-17 World Cup announced

The first ever Indian squad to participate in the a FIFA World Cup, U-17 World Cup Squad has been announced. The 21 players who will participate in the World Cup Squad include Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin and Hendry Antonay. FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to start in Panaji from 6 October. India will take on USA on 6 October, followed by Colombia and Ghana on 9 and 12 October respectively at New Delhi.

Kuldeep Yadav becomes First Indian spinner to take hat trick in ODIs

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (22-year-old from Kanpur) became the first Indian spinner to take a hat-trick in ODI cricket during the second match of the ongoing series against Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Yadav took the wickets of Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in consecutive balls in his eighth over. This was the first ODI hat-trick by an Indian in over 26 years. He becomes the third Indian to achieve this feat, after Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma. Yadav had also become the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the U-19 World Cup, achieving the feat against Scotland in 2014.

Australia invited for 2022 Asian Games for 1st time in history

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) invited Australia to compete at Asiad (Asian Games) in 2022, for the first time. The invite is for selected sports like football and basketball to enable athletes to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Australia, New Zealand and a group of Pacific islands – has not taken part in the Asian Games before, but sporting ties with Asia (Olympic Council of Asia) have been growing.

Sindhu jumps to World No 2 in BWF women’s singles rankings

India shuttler P V Sindhu has jumped two places to second spot in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) women’s singles rankings, riding on her Korea Open Series title. This is the second time in her career that Sindhu, the Olympics silver medalist, occupied the second spot. Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying retained her top spot.

Asian Indoor Games: Chitra, Lakshmanan win Gold

Asian champions G. Lakshmanan and P. U. Chitra won gold medals in the athletics events of the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Tamil Nadu’s Lakshmanan won the men’s 3000m while Kerala’s Chitra, who was not cleared by the national body Athletics Federation of India for the recent World Championships in London despite making the cut, took the women’s 1500m title.

FIFA Women World Cup France 2019 official slogan, emblem launched

The official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 were unveiled in Paris, France. The emblem features the competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy symbolizing the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The slogan of the tournament “Dare To Shine” reflects the development of football, especially women’s football. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel le Graet attended the unveiling event.

Asian Indoor Games: Purnima Wins Gold in Pentathlon

India won its first athletics gold, through Purnima Hembram in women’s pentathlon, in the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. India also got two silvers, through Sanjivani Jadhav in women’s 3000m and Tejinder Singh Toor in men’s shot put, and a bronze through Kerala’s V. Neena in women’s long jump.

India wins four medals at Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games

India won its first athletics gold through Purnima Hembram in women’s pentathlon in the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The one gold two silver and one bronze through track and field athletes on the third day of fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, in Ashgabat. India is now at a 11th spot in the medals tally, which is led by hosts Turkmenistan (26 gold, 21 silver, 12 bronze). It is being represented by 203 athletes in 15 sports disciplines in the Games and it is second biggest multi-sporting event of the continent after the Asiad.

Lewis Hamilton won Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes’ British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton registered his 60th career won at the Singapore Grand Prix. He defeated Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel score and reached the top of the table with 28 points. Daniel Ricciardo won the second place in the race.

PV Sindhu wins gold

PV Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win the Korea Open Superseries with an outstanding 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 win over Nozomi Okuhara in the much-talked-about women’s singles final in Seoul. Olympic silver medallist shuttler P V Sindhu beat world champion Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling final to clinch the women’s singles title at the Korea Open Super Series.

Shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improve BWF ranking

Shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improved a rung each to reach the 16th and 25th spots respectively in the latest BWF ranking. Female Shuttler PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were static at the fourth and 12th positions respectively. Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy slipped a place to be at the 25th spot, while mixed doubles pair of Pranav Jerry Chopra and Sikki was steady at the 20th position.

Goa to host 36th National Games

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formally awarded the rights to host the 36th National Games to Goa in November 2017. The announcement was made by the state sports minister Manohar Ajgaonkar. The National Games of India comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. The National Games were formally known as the Indian Olympic Games.

Prakash Padukone to get badminton’s first lifetime award

Badminton Prakash Padukone conferred with the first Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for his rich contribution to the sport. He is the first recipient of the lifetime achievement award. He won the 1980 All England and won a bronze at the 1983 World Championship in Copenhagen. He also won a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He was bestowed with the Arjuna award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.

BWF World Senior Badminton Championships- First Time in India

The coastal city of Kochi is hosting the BWF World Senior Badminton Championships. The championship is been held in India for the first time. The week-long tournament will see a total of 665 players from 40 countries battle it out. A total of 175 players will represent India including Olympians – Abhinn Shyam Gupta, Nikhil Kanetkar, and V Diju. The Indian contingent will also have Arjuna awardee and Kerala player George Thomas and Commonwealth medallist and former India doubles players Sanave Thomas and Roopesh Kumar.

Nadal wins US Open for his 16th Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal has won his third US Open Grand Slam title in New York. Nadal defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to grab the prestigious title. The Spaniard has now won two Slams in the same year for the first time since 2013, having won 5the French Open in June 2017.

India finishes 5th at Moscow Shotgun World Championships

India has finished fifth in the medals tally with one gold and two silver medals at the Moscow Shotgun World Championships. Only 16 of the 76 participating nations got amongst the medals and Italy topped the tally with nine gold medals for a total of 17 medals in all. Both their Olympic skeet champions Gabrielle Rossetti and Diana Bacosi were also crowned world champions in the process. The USA stood second with five gold medals for a total of 12. Hosts Russia were third in the overall tally with two golds for a total of eight.

Martin Hingis, Chan Yung-Jan wins US Open Women’s Doubles title

Defeating the Czech partnership of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova, Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan won the US Open Women’s Doubles title. The win was Hingis 13th Grand Slam women’s doubles title and overall 25th Grand Slam title. On the other hand, the win gave Chan her first Grand Slam.

India wins 37 medals at 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship

India won 37 medals, including 23 Gold, in the just-concluded Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Gold coast Australia. India on the penultimate day of 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships bagged two gold medals, one silver and two bronze to wrap up their successful campaign in style. In the last five days of the Championships, 34 new records were created by the Indians.

India wins 2nd SABA U-16 Championship

India has won 2nd South Asian Basketball, SABA, Under – 16 Championship. India defeated Bhutan by 131-50 in its last league match at Kathmandu in Nepal. India remained unbeaten in its all four matches and accumulated 8 points. Bangladesh finished second and host Nepal third. The championship was played in a round robin league format. India has now qualified for 2017 International Basketball Federation, FIBA, Under-16 Asian Championship to be played in Malaysia later this year.

Sloane Stephens lifts US Open Women’s Singles Title

Unseeded American Sloane Stephens lifted the US Open women’s singles title. Sloane ranked 83rd completed a spectacular return from injury to beat 15th seed Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the finals. The 24-year-old was ranked as low as 957th six weeks ago went on to become only the fifth unseeded woman to win a major title in the Open era. Sloane stunned Venus Williams in the semifinal.

India retains top position, Australia slips in latest ICC Test rankings

India continued to be at the top in the latest ICC Test rankings but Australia slipped one rung to fifth in the latest list after drawing the series against Bangladesh. India with a score of 125 points is on the top of the table, Australia just decimals behind New Zealand with a score of 97 holds for fifth position. South Africa is at second place with 110 points, England is third with 105 points.

Sjoerd Marijne Named New Coach of Indian Men’s Hockey Team

Women’s national hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne was named chief coach of the men’s side. He has replaced Roelant Oltmans. Besides, World Cup-winning junior team coach Harendra Singh was appointed High-Performance Specialist coach of the senior women’s team. The decisions were announced by newly-appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

India’s Sonam wins Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship

India’s Sonam 43 kilogram weight category wins Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship. Wrestler Neelam also bagged Bronze Medal in the 43-kilogram weight category. Meanwhile, Four other wrestlers Simran, Manisha, Minakshi, Karuna will also fight for Bronze Medal in different weight categories.

India’s Ankur Mittal wins silver at ISSF World Shotgun Championship

India’s Ankur Mittal won silver medal in the men’s double trap event at the ongoing ISSF World Shotgun Championship. Sangram Dahiya ended in 20th place with 135, while Md. Asab came in 23rd with 133 hits in the qualifying round. The trio combined for a fifth spot in the Team category with 413 points, where Italy won Gold with 418. In the junior category, 17-year-old Ahvar Rizvi also won a silver medal in the same event.

India to host Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in 2019

India will host the 2019 edition of the Commonwealth (Youth, Junior and Senior) Weightlifting Championships. The Executive Board of Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation met at Gold Coast, Australia and decided to allot the 2019 edition of the competitions to India. The current edition of the tournament is being held at the Gold Coast, Australia.

FIFA U-17 World Cup song officially launched

The official song for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup football tournament was formally launched by the Local Organising Committee and Sony Pictures Networks India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The song, “Kar Ke Dikhla De Goal”, is written by lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and is composed by Pritam.

Wrestler Satish Kumar awarded Rs 25 lakh for being barred from 2002 Asian Games

Decorated wrestler Satish Kumar has been awarded Rs 25 lakh as compensation by a Delhi court for being wrongly restrained from taking part in the 14th Asian Games in Busan, South Korea in 2002. Kumar was barred from participating in the games due to mistaken impression that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs. The court directed the government to ensure that such incidents are never repeated and no other sportsperson goes through the humiliation which he has undergone.

Konsam Ormila Devi bags Gold at Commonwealth Young Weightlifting Championship

India’s Konsam Ormila Devi has bagged a gold medal in 44kg weight category on the opening day of the Commonwealth Young (boys & girls) weightlifting championships, held at Gold Coast, Australia. Ormila lifted 57kg in snatch and 76kg in clen and jerk for an overall effort of 133kg, to finish on the top of the podium. With this effort, Ormila has registered her best lift so far.

World Chess Cup: Viswanathan Anand wins, Harikrishna suffered defeat

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand started off with a clinical victory over Li Tian Yeoh of Malaysia in the first round of the first game of World Chess Cup in Tbilisi. The second highest rated Indian, P Harikrishna, however suffered a defeat at the hands of Yuri Vidal Gonzales of Cuba. Harikrishan now needs to win the return match and then win the tie-breaker as well to remain in this 128-player knockout event.

Amritpal Singh: first Indian signed by Australian Basketball team

Former Indian basketball team captain Amritpal Singh will be seen shooting and guarding the Sydney King’s rim in Australia’s National Basketball League. He is the first Indian-born player to take to the court in Australia’s National League. Amrit, has been signed by the Australian club as a back-up centre, and Sydney Kings managing director.

MS Dhoni, 1st Wicketkeeper to effect 100 Stumpings

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first wicketkeeper in world cricket to effect 100 stumpings in One Day Internationals (ODIs). Dhoni achieved the feat in his 301st ODI in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 36-year-old Dhoni has also taken 281 catches apart from scoring 9,657 runs so far. In 90 Tests, Dhoni has taken 256 catches and effected 38 stumpings. In T20 Internationals, Dhoni has taken 43 catches and affected 23 stumpings.

Tejasvi Duduka wins women’s singles of US Open Grand Slam Carrom tournament

25-year-old Tejasvi Duduka from Hyderabad won the women’s singles of U.S. Open Grand Slam Carrom tournament. Earlier, she had won the Telangana State Women’s singles title in Nizamabad. In the men’s singles, Vemuri Anil Kumar of India finished runner up for the second year in the U.S Open. It was won by former National Champion Radhakrishnan.

India wins bronze at World Boxing Championships

Wildcard entrant Gaurav Bidhuri’s remarkable run at the World Boxing Championships ended with a bronze medal after he lost his semi-final clash to American Duke Ragan. India thus ended the tournament with a bronze medal, equalling the performance of 2009 (Vijender Singh), 2011 (Vikas Krishan) and 2015 (Shiva Thapa).


ECONOMY

US fines HSBC $175 mn for Lax Forex Oversight

The US central bank has fined global banking giant HSBC $175 million for failing to oversee foreign exchange traders who misused confidential client information and colluded with traders at competing banks. Between 2008 and 2013, the bank failed to detect misconduct by senior traders, including its global head of foreign exchange cash trading, according to the Federal Reserve. The enforcement action comes two months after the Fed also fined BNP Paribas USD 246 million over similar violations. HSBC was one of six major US and European banks fined a total of $4.2 billion by global regulators in a November 2014 crackdown for attempted manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Govt keeps interest rates unchanged

The government has kept the interest rates unchanged on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra & Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter. Investments in public provident fund scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8%, while Kisan Vikas Patra investments will yield 7.5%. Since April last year, interest rates of all small saving schemes have been recalibrated on a quarterly basis.

Syndicate Bank cuts Savings Account interest rate by 0.5%

Public sector Syndicate Bank has cut savings account interest rate by 0.50 percent to 3.50 percent for deposits up to Rs 25 lakh. The bank has revised rate of interest on savings bank deposits with effect from October 10 to 3.50 percent from 4 percent existing rate. For the deposits above Rs 25 lakh, the interest rate is unchanged at 4 percent. With this, Syndicate Bank has joined over two-dozen banks, both from the public and private sector, who have cut the interest rate on deposits in various quantum.

ICICI Bank launches ‘Cashback’ Home Loans

India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank announced a new home loan scheme that offers borrowers the benefit of 1% cashback on every EMI, for the entire tenure of the loan. The offer will be valid for home loans with a minimum tenure of 15 years and maximum tenure of 30 years. Customers can choose to adjust the cashback against principal outstanding of their home loan. The cashback will start to accrue from the first EMI itself. It will first get credited to the customer after completion of the 36th EMI.

SBI eases Minimum Balance rules on Savings Accounts

State Bank of India lowered the Minimum Average Monthly Balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 and also revised downwards penalties for not maintaining such a balance. From July 1, tax on banking has been revised to 18 percent under Goods and Services Tax (GST), the new indirect tax regime. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to levy charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance in normal savings accounts.

Apple, Google and Microsoft top list of the 100 most valuable brands

Apple and Google respectively have once again take the two top spots in a list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, according to rankings by consultancy group Interbrand. This is the fifth consecutive year with Apple and Google at the top of the list.

Masala Bonds to be Treated as ECB: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that Masala bonds will be treated as External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) from 3rd October 2017 thereby freeing up more investments by FPIs. Masala bonds are rupee-denominated overseas bonds. Currently, the limit for investment by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds is Rs 2,44,323 crore. This includes masala bonds of Rs.44,001 crore.

SBI launches Indian bond index series in London

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with global index provider FTSE 100, which will give tools to investors from India, the UK and globally to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market. This index, launched in collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, will ensure that international investors have an international benchmark that is transparent, that is well governed and that is something they can easily rely on.

WHO grants $175,000 for Rohingyas

WHO has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide lifesaving healthcare to “vulnerable population” in Bangladesh. Grant will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months. WHO is working closely with UNFPA, UNICEF & other health, partners in ensuring that adequate health services are provided to the vulnerable population.

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund hits $1 Trillion value for first time

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, reached the value of $1 trillion for the first time. This amount equals nearly $189,000 (157,000 euros) for each of the 5.3 million people living in Norway. The fund mainly invests in stocks (accounting for 65.1 per cent of the portfolio at the end of the second quarter), but also in bonds and real estate. With stakes in nearly 9,000 companies, it owns 1.3 per cent of the world’s market capitalization, and 2.3 per cent in Europe.

India signs 76 Million US Dollar loan deal with JICA

The Union Government of India signed a loan deal worth $76 million with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total cost of the project will be $ 111 million, out of which $76 million will be provided as a soft loan from JICA. The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022. The JICA is the governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for Government of Japan.

HDFC Bank is India’s Top Brand: BrandZ Top 50 Report

India’s second largest private sector bank HDFC Bank topped the list of the country’s top 50 brands according to a report released by marketing and advertising conglomerate WPP Plc and Kantar Millward Brown. The bank has retained the top slot for the fourth year in a row. Banks and telcos dominate the listing, WPP’s BrandZ Top 50. Airtel is at 2nd spot and State Bank of India is at 3rd. According to the report, consumption of packaged consumer goods fell 4.2% and 2.4% year on year in November and December 2016 respectively, but recovered 0.6% in March this year and 3.9% in April.

India’s Forex Reserves Top $400 billion for the First Time

According to the RBI Data, India’s foreign-exchange reserves rose past $400 billion for the first time ever, strengthening policy makers’ buffers ahead of an expected reduction in US stimulus. The stockpile stood at $400.7 billion. With the Federal Reserve set to shrink its balance sheet-details of which could be announced recently, the holdings may help the rupee withstand any volatility even if global funds turn away from India’s slowing economy.

Amazon ties up with Bank of Baroda to attract more sellers

Online marketplace giant Amazon India is racing against time to bring in more sellers so that they sell more on its platform during the festive season. Amazon tied up with the Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers. The firm’s arm, Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd (ASSPL), is bringing in more financial partners so that it can cater to its 225,000 seller base. The company had last year announced the launch of a seller lending programme in India for small and medium businesses to get fast and easy access to working capital.

New Plastic Jane Austen 10-pound note launched in Britain

In an effort to tackle counterfeiting, Britain launched a new plastic 10-pound note featuring Jane Austen, one of Britain’s most renowned authors. Apart from the Queen, whose portrait is on all U.K. currency, Austen is only the third woman to feature on a modern-day British banknote, after medical innovator Florence Nightingale and social reformer Elizabeth Fry. The new ‘tenner’, as it’s commonly known, is the first British banknote with a tactile feature, a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted users. In 2016, it launched a similar five-pound note that showcases Winston Churchill. A new 20-pound note featuring artist JMW Turner will follow in 2020.

Force Motors, Rolls-Royce Power Tie up

Pune-based auto firm Force Motors Ltd has entered into a non-binding joint venture agreement with Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG to produce engines for power generation and rail application and complete power generation systems, including spare parts, for Indian and global markets. The joint venture with Rolls-Royce will be the company’s first step towards diversifying into the non-auto segment. In the joint venture, Force Motors will hold a 51% stake and Rolls-Royce the rest.

Paytm Partners with NPCI

Paytm Payments Bank (PPB) has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a RuPay-powered digital debit card. With the PPB Digital debit card, customers will now be able to transact at all merchants who accept credit and debit cards. Existing Paytm users need to complete a KYC process to become an account holder with PPB. Following this, they will be issued a free digital RuPay card.

Infosys completes Brilliant Basics acquisition

India’s second largest software services firm Infosys has completed the acquisition of London-based Brilliant Basics. Through this acquisition, Infosys further expands its worldwide connected network of Digital Studios that are focused on fulfilling the needs of global clients for end-to- end digital transformation solutions. Infosys had acquired the company in a cash deal worth GBP 7.5 million, including earn-out and employee retention amounts.

Fiscal deficit touches 92.4% of budget estimates at July-end

India’s fiscal deficit at July- end touched 92.4 % of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit- difference between expenditure and revenue – was Rs 5.04 lakh crore during April- July 2017-18, according to the data of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). During the same period of last financial year, 2016-17, it was 73.7 % of the target. For 2017-18, the government aims to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.2 % of the GDP. Last fiscal, it had met the deficit target of 3.5 % of the GDP.

Pakistan’s Habib Bank to pay $225-mn New York fine for compliance failures

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced a fine of USD 225 million on Pakistan’s Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and its New York branch for failure to comply with New York laws and regulations designed illicit financial transactions. Earlier, the bank facing a possible $630 million fine over compliance failures by its New York branch. The bank also announced that it would close its branch in New York after the United States financial regulator imposed a penalty of nearly USD 630 million.

RBI releases 2017 list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released its 2017 list of the Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). The list identifies private sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd as a D-SIB. With this, inclusion in the list, the HDFC has joined State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI bank Ltd, which has been tagged as D-SIBs or too-big-to-fail for the consecutive third year.

DBS Bank Gets RBI Nod for Subsidiary in India

DBS Bank India, part of Singapore-based financial services group DBS Group Holdings, has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India. In its guidelines, the RBI had pointed out that the WOS model for foreign banks in India would involve local incorporation, a local board of directors, and a ring-fenced capital and assets profile that would not be affected by the impact of global events on its parent.

SAAB ties up with Adani Group to build Gripen E fighter jets in India

Swedish defence major SAAB announced its tie-up with Adani Group to manufacture the Gripen E fighter jets in India under the Defence Ministry’s $10 billion single-engine fighter jet procurement programme. The announcement comes within months of US’ Lockheed Martin announcing its joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems for producing the latest version of F-16 in India.

99 per cent of demonetised notes returned: RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the Status of the Return of SBNs- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Annual Report 2016-17. The report states that around 99 per cent of the demonetised notes that is Rs 15.28 lakh crore have been returned to the bank. The high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were banned by Union Government in November 2016 as a means to combat counterfeiting, black money and the financing of terrorist activities. RBI was under intense scrutiny since January 2017 after the window for depositing the withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes was closed.

SEBI bans Orion Capital, Orion Broking from Markets for 10 years

Markets regulator SEBI barred Orion Capital as well as Orion Broking and their partners from the securities markets for 10 years for failing to redress several investor grievances pertaining to non- settlement of funds due to the clients. The nature of investor complaints received against both the firms are predominantly on non-settlement of the funds and securities and balances due to their clients. The claim amount is more than Rs 6 crore against Orion Capital and over Rs 4 crore against Orion Broking.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Isro’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

India’s rendezvous with the red planet continues as its celebrated Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completes three years in orbit. The country had on 24 September 2014 successfully placed the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft in the orbit around the red planet, in its very first attempt, thus breaking into an elite club.

Google launches mobile wallet and payments app ‘Tez’ in India

Google launched a mobile wallet and payments app ‘Tez’ in India that will let users link their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods in physical stores and online. It is available for both Android and iOS users, the app also allows person-to-person money transfers. Google linking up with several major banks in the country by way of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) a payment standard and system backed by the government in its push to bring more integrated banking services into a very fragmented market.

IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully conducted developmental trials of indigenously developed Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). Total of seven trials of Astra BVRAAM conducted in various missions and two of them were against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully fired. It is one of the smallest weapon system developed by DRDO, having a length of 3.8-metre and weighing 154kg. It is a single stage solid fuelled missile.

NASA finds ‘Shape-shifting’ bacteria on the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) has uncovered in a report that microscopic organisms bacteria “shapeshift” in space to counteract any harm to itself. Experiments on the ISS (International Space Station) has been undergoing for a long while to see the response of microscopic organisms under different conditions. ISS noticed that the bacteria cells when treated with a common antibiotic, changing its shape to survive in near-zero gravity environments. It may pose a serious threat to astronauts getting treated for infections.

Scientists create first global map of water on Moon

Scientists from Brown University in US have created first map of water trapped in uppermost layer of Moon’s soil. The was build using NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper onboard of India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. The map builds on initial discovery of water and related molecule – hydroxyl (consists of one atom each of hydrogen and oxygen) in lunar soil in 2009. It may prove useful to future lunar explorers.

3rd Generation Anti Tank Guided Missile NAG successfully test-fired

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired NAg, the 3rd generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), against two different targets in the ranges of Rajasthan. The ATGM NAG missile successfully hit both the targets at different ranges and it marks the successful completion of development trials of NAG Missile. The missile is equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal.

Scientists make cheap and clean fuel from air

Scientists from Cardiff University, UK have discovered a new way to produce methanol from methane using oxygen from the air. Methanol is an important chemical often used as fuel in vehicles. The discovery has major implications for cleaner, greener industrial processes worldwide. The new technique uses freely available air, inexpensive chemicals and an energy efficient methanol production process.

President to lay foundation stone for Link-4 of SAUNI Scheme in Rajkot

President Ramnath Kovind will today lay the foundation stone for the link – 4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme -SAUNI- Yojana in Rajkot district. The project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat aims to fill up 115 major dams by diverting overflow of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River. Three phase of SAUNI Yojana already dedicated to the people following completion of the work.

Launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H unsuccessful: ISRO

The launch of ISRO’s eight navigation satellite IRNSS-1H onboard of PSLV-C39 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh was unsuccessful. The heat shield did not separate as a result of which satellite did not complete the 4th stage. The IRNSS-1H was being sent to space to backup and replace the functions of India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A (launched in July 2013) as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning. The rubidium atomic clocks on board of IRNSS-1A that stopped working were imported from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium. The atomic clocks are used to find satellite’s position with an accuracy of 0.5 metre.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

President appoints five new Governors for states and Lt Governor for Andaman

President Ram Nath Kovind, has appointed five new Governors. The appointments are as:

  • B. D. Mishra (Retd.) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. Took over from Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya.
  • Banwarilal Purohit as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Took over from C. Vidyasagar Rao.
  • Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar. Took over from Keshari Nath Tripathi.
  • Professor Jagdish Mukhi as the Governor of Assam. Took over from Banwarilal Purohit.
  • Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya. Took over from Banwarilal Purohit.
  • Devendra Kumar Joshi as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Took over from Jagdish Mukhi.

Rajiv Sabharwal to take charge as Tata Capital CEO

Tata Capital announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as Managing Director & CEO designate of the company. Sabharwal will be joining Tata Capital in January 2018 and would be taking over from the company’s current Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle. Mr Kandle will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group effective April 1, 2018. Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors. He was an Executive Director on ICICI Bank’s board before joining True North.

Bilal Dar, ambassador for Swachhata Hi Seva

Bilal Dar, a young boy from Srinagar has become the brand ambassador for Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Dar has been contributing to the ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’ since the age of 12. ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign has turned out to be monetarily beneficial for residents and scrap buyers/dealers, besides helping in enhancing preventive measures against vector-borne diseases.

Shashi Shankar appointed CMD of ONGC

Shashi Shanker has been appointed as the chairman and managing director of India’s biggest oil and gas producer ONGC. Shankar, at present director (technical and field services), ONGC, will take over the charge as CMD from October 1. He will replace Dinesh K Sarraf, who retires on September 30, upon attaining superannuation age. Shankar will have a nearly 4-year term until March 2021.

Angela Merkel wins 4th term as Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel won a fourth term as chancellor in Germany elections that lifted the far-right party Alternative for Germany into parliament for the first time since the immediate aftermath World War II. Her nearest rivals, the Social Democrats, and their candidate Martin Schulz came in the second position with a post-war record low 20.8 percent.

Rajiv Mehrishi sworn in as CAG of India

Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was sworn in as new Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India. He was administered oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind. He succeeded Shashi Kant Sharma. Mr Mehrishi is 1978 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre. He has worked for both Union and State governments at top positions and his bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years. Before retirement from service, he had served as Home Secretary.

Balraj Joshi appointed CMD of NHPC

Balraj Joshi has been appointed as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NHPC, the country’s premier hydro power utility. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post till December 31, 2019. Joshi is at present Director (Technical) in the organisation. NHPC is among the TOP TEN companies in the country in terms of investment.

B Sambamurthy Appointed as NPCI Interim Chairman

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed B Sambamurthy as interim Chairman of the board. He will replace M Balachandran, who was Non-Executive Chairman of NPCI. Sambamurthy was formerly Director and CEO of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) and Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank prior to that.

Akshay Kumar appointed Uttarakhand Swachh Bharat Mission Brand Ambassador

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced the appointment of actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the state. Akshay was also appointed as the brand ambassador for the cleanliness campaign in Uttar Pradesh in August 2017 and his film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” was made tax-free in the state.

India appoints Ajay Bisaria New High Commissioner to Pakistan

India’s ambassador to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale will now head the Indian mission in China, while envoy to Poland Ajay Bisaria will replace him in Islamabad. The reshuffle was necessitated by appointment of India’s ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale as Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA. Gokhale played the lead role in defusing the Doklam crisis with Beijing.

Robbins as Executive Chairman of Cisco

Cisco has announced that its CEO Chuck Robbins will be appointed as the Executive Chairman of the company. The announcement came after John Chambers, present Executive Chairman, notified the Board of Directors that he will not stand for re-election. Robbins had joined Cisco in 1997 & assumed the role of CEO in July, 2015. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Bambawale is new envoy to China

India’s high commissioner to Pak Gautam Bambawale has been appointed as the ambassador to China. He has served as joint secretary of East Asia division where he handled both China & Japan. Reshuffle was necessitated as India’s current ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale was appointed as Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA. Gokhale played a lead role in defusing the Doklam crisis with Beijing.

Raquel Dodge became first woman General Prosecutor of Brazil

Raquel Dodge was appointed the first woman General Prosecutor of Brazil. She took over the position, replacing Rodrigo Janot, who held the position for four years. Raquel Dodge was sworn in as the new prosecutor general in the presence of President Michel Temer and Supreme Court President Carmen Lucia.

Rajni Kant Mishra appointed new DG of SSB

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IPS officer Rajni Kant Mishra (58) as new Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). He will succeed Archana Ramasundaram, who holds distinction of being first woman IPS officer to head a para-military force in the country. Mr. Mishra is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He is native of Bihar and had joined Border Security Force (BSF) as Inspector General in 2012. He was elevated to Additional Director General of the BSF in November 2014. He was recently elevated to Special Director General rank in the BSF.

Y C Modi appointed as Director General of National Investigation Agency

Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Y C Modi was appointed the new Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA). The order regarding the appointment was issued by the Union Ministry for Home Affairs. Modi will replace Sharad Kumar, who is will retire on 30 October 2017. Modi is an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of the Haryana cadre. He had also been part of a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed 2002 Gujarat riots case. He has also served as the Additional Director General of Police in Shillong, and Additional Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Peruvian President appoints Mercedes Araoz Fernandez as New PM

The President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has appointed a former Economy Minister Mercedes Araoz Fernandez as new Prime Minister of Peru. Mercedes Araoz, who is also a lawmaker and one of Peru’s two Vice Presidents, is the new Chief Minister in a reconstituted Cabinet. She served as an economy minister during part of the 2006-11 administration of President Alan Garcia. Araoz replaced Fernando Zavala, who lost the vote of confidence by lawmakers on 15 September 2017.

Former UN Secretary-General elected as Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission

Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was elected as Chair of Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a four-year term. Ban succeeds Youssoupha Ndiaye of Senegal whose term has come to an end. His appointment was proposed by the IOC Executive Board and was approved during the IOC Session in Lima with a 74-4 majority.

Mahendra Pratap Mall Appointed IRCTC CMD

Mahendra Pratap Mall was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. He is at present director (finance) in the same organisation. The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years, as per the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

M Nagaraja Sarma is the new CMD of United India Insurance

M. Nagaraja Sarma appointed the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the United India Insurance Co. Ltd. He is at present the general manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. He is appointed for five years.

Trump appoints Indian-American Raj Shah to key position in Communications team

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Raj Shah to a key position in his Communications team. Shah will serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Formerly, Shah was served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director. Trump also appointed Hope Hicks as his Communications Director. Earlier, Hicks was served as Assistant to the President and Interim Communications Director.

Halimah Yacob- 1st Female President of Singapore

Halimah Yacob was sworn-in as the 8th President of Singapore. She became the country’s first female President and the first in five decades to come from the Malay ethnicity. She was certified by the Presidential Elections Commission as the only eligible candidate, and since she has no opponent, there was no election held.

UN Secretary-General appoints Peter Thomson as 1st Special Envoy for Oceans

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Peter Thomson, the outgoing president of the UN General Assembly as the first Special Envoy for the oceans. Peter Thomson had played a leading role in the first-ever UN conference on oceans, which was held in June 2016. The conference saw 193 UN member states issue an urgent call for action to reverse the decline in the health and productivity of the world’s oceans.

Viveck Goenka elected as chairman of Press Trust of India

Viveck Goenka, chairman and managing director of Express Group was unanimously elected as Chairman of Press Trust of India (PTI). N Ravi, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu was elected vice-chairman. They were elected at meeting of board of directors of PTI following the company’s 69th annual general meeting. Goenka who was earlier vice-chairman, will succeed Riyad Mathew of Malayala Manorama group.

Parineeti First Indian Women Ambassador for Tourism Australia

The Tourism Australia has roped in Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra to be its first Indian woman Ambassador to encourage Indians to visit the country. She was presented the Friend of Australia (FOA) recognition by Australian COnsul General Tony Huber for her contribution to promote Australia. Chopra will be the first Indian woman ambassador to be a part of the FOA advocacy panel. The panel also includes influential personalities like Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.

Dr Inder Jit Singh appointed Chairperson of NACWC

Dr. Inder Jit Singh has been given the additional charge of the post of Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC). Dr. Inder Jit Singh is a 1985-batch IAS officer of Kerala Cadre and at present he is serving as the Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat.

N Baijendra Kumar CMD of National Mineral Development Corporation

N Baijendra Kumar, the IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre take charge as Chairman-Cum-Managing Director (CMD) of the state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). He was additional chief secretary to the Chhattisgarh chief minister and held the charge of power, commerce & industries.

Sankara Narayanan takes charge as MD & CEO of Vijaya Bank

R A Sankara Narayanan has taken charge as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vijaya Bank. He has taken over the reigns of the bank from Kishore Sansi, who reached superannuation on August 31. He joined Bank of India as a direct recruit officer in 1983 and has headed various branches.

Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank gets new CEO & MD

KV Rama Moorthy took charge as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank. He succeeds HS Upendra Kamath. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to joining TMB, he was Executive Director of United Bank of India.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore appointed as New Sports Minister

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is appointed as the new Youth Affairs and Sports Minister. The 47-year-old Rathore was up until now serving as the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting. Rathore served as a commissioned officer in The Grenadiers regiment of the Indian Army before retiring in 2013 as a colonel. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005.

Hockey India sacks chief coach Roelant Oltmans

Hockey India sacked national coach Roelant Oltmans of the Netherlands after a string of unimpressive outings at the international level. High Performance Director David John will be in charge till a suitable replacement is found for a smooth transition of the men’s team. The most notable performance for India under Oltmans was a silver medal at the Champions Trophy last year. He also guided the junior team to World Cup gold as an advisor.

Indian-origin Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay appointed as Interim President of Singapore

Indian-origin civil servant Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay was appointed as Interim President of Singapore until the new President is sworn-in. Pillay succeeds Tony Tan Keng Yam who completed a six-year term on 31 August 2017. At present, Pillay is serving as the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA). This is the first time that the office of the President of Singapore has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991. As per Singapore law, when the office of the President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman followed by the Speaker of Parliament.

Rajiv Kumar assumes charge of Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog

Noted economist Rajiv Kumar took over as the vice-chairman of government think tank Niti Aayog. Kumar succeeded Arvind Panagariya, an Indian-American Economics Professor at Columbia University. Kumar had also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.

Kenneth I. Juster Named U.S Ambassador to India

Kenneth I. Juster, deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House, has been nominated as the next U.S ambassador to India. The appointment will take effect once the U.S Senate confirms him. The post has been vacant since January 20, 2017.

Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General

Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Mehrishi retired as Union Home Secretary on 30 August 2017. Mehrishi will succeed incumbent Shashi Kant Sharma who will complete his tenure on 23 September 2017. sharma assumed the office of CAG in May 2013. Mehrishi is the first Home Secretary who completed his two-year tenure after the NDA government came to power.

Sunil Arora appointed Election Commissioner

Former bureaucrat Sunil Arora was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. Arora’s appointment will be effective from the day he assumes charge. After Nasim Zaidi retired as Chief Election Commissioner in July 2017, there was a vacancy in the Election Commission of India. While Achal Kumar Joti is the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner. Before being appointed as the Election Commissioner, Arora had been the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Anita Karwal replaces RK Chaturvedi as CBSE Chairperson

IAS officer Anita Karwal was appointed as the new Chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE. The 1988-batch officer from Gujarat cadre is currently serving as additional secretary in HRD Ministry. She was the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer during the Lok Sabha election in 2014. She would be replacing Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, who has been appointed as Director General of the National Skill Development Agency.


B). RESIGNS

Infosys Senior VP Sanjay Rajagopalan Quits

Infosys Senior Vice President Sanjay Rajagopalan has resigned from his post. The decision has come a month after Vishal Sikka stepped down as the company’s MD and CEO. He was employed with Infosys from August 2014 to September 2017.

Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson resigns

Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson gave his resignation to President Gudni Th. Johannesson. Th resignation paves the way for new election to be held on November 4, 2017. Benediktsson took office in January 2017, uniting his Independence Party, the Reform Party and the centrists. Benediktsson lost his nine-month-old, center-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the prime minister’s father to help clear the name of a convicted pedophile.

Stephane Cottalorda, India’s first foreign coach for Women Boxers resigns

Indian women’s boxing’s first foreign coach, Stephane Cottalorda, has resigned after just one month of appointment, alleging delay in salary and other payments. Cottalorda has claimed in his resignation letter that he hasn’t been paid his salary for the first month in full and has also cited ‘lack of professionalism’ on part of Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as his reasons for not coming back to India.

NITI Aayog’s Rajiv Kumar resigns from DHFL board

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has reigned from his post of independent director in the board of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), the third largest home loan & housing finance company in India. The move came after Kumar got the top post at NITI Aayog, the government think tank.

Uruguay Vice President resigns amid allegations of credit card graft

Uruguay’s Vice President Raul Sendic resigned amid allegations of corruptions stemming from his tenure as head of state oil company ANCAP. He has been accused of engaging in unacceptable use of public funds. As per allegations, he used corporate credit cards to make purchases at jewellery, electronics, furniture and other stores apparently unrelated to his official business between 2010 and 2013. It is the first time a vice president has stepped down in the South American nation.

Ashish Kashyap resigns as President and Co-founder of MakeMyTrip

Ashish Kashyap resigned as the President and Co-founder of MakeMyTrip with effect from 30 September 2017. As per the settlement agreement, kashyap will be under non-solicitation and non-competition obligation for the next two year. Kashyap had assumed the role of President and Co-founder after MakeMyTrip acquired Ibibo Group in October 2016. Kashyap was earlier designated as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ibibo Group.


C). DEATHS

Veteran actor Tom Alter dies at 67

Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter has died at aged 67. The renowned actor and one-time sports writer and author had been battling stage four skin cancer. Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s. In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s. He was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV when the cricketer was yet to debut for India. Alter has written three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passes away

Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol Hugh Hefner has passed away. He was 91. He died at his home of natural causes. He founded the magazine in 1953. Hefner built a brand that defined the sexual culture of the second half of the 20th century.

Former world’s heaviest woman Eman Abd El Aty dies

Eman Ahmed, the world’s heaviest woman who made news when she arrived in Mumbai earlier this year for a weight-loss surgery, passed away in Abu Dhabi. She had lost more than 300kg (660lb) of her 500kg but had died from complications from other health conditions.

Liliane Bettencourt, Richest Woman in the World dies at 94

French businesswoman and heiress of cosmetics giant L’Oreal Liliane Bettencourt, 94, has died. In March 2017, Forbes ranked Bettencourt the world’s richest woman, putting her net worth at $39.5 billion.

Yesteryear Bollywood actress Shakila passes away

Yesteryear Bollywood actress Shakila was passed away following a massive heart attack. She was 82. Shakila was best known for her roles in Aar Par and CID. Shakila’s nephew Nasir Khan announced the death of her aunt on social media website Facebook.

Legendary Boxer, Jake LaMotta passes away

Jake LaMotta, former boxing champion whose life of violence in and out of the ring was portrayed in the movie “Raging Bull” passed away in Miami. He was in his 90s and died of complications of pneumonia. Fighting mostly as a middleweight and known as the “Raging Bull” and “Bronx Bull,” LaMotta finished his 13-year career with 83 victories (30 by knockout), 19 losses and four draws. He was ranked 52nd in the list of 80 best fighters in the year 2002.

Kirpal Chugh, India’s father of nephrology dies

Dr Kirpal Chugh, fondly called father of nephrology in India, passed away at 85. He is fondly called father of nephrology in India for single-handedly first separating this discipline from medicine & then developing this into super-specialty in India. He was awarded Padma Shri, 4th highest civilian award in 2000. He produced 72 Doctorate in Medicine in his career of 3 decades at PGIMER.

Arjan Singh: Sole marshal of IAF passes away

The sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Arjan Singh passed away following cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He was 98. He was known for shaping IAF in its early years as well as during some of its most difficult junctures. In 2002, on the occasion of Republic Day, he was granted honorary rank of Marshal, highest military rank attainable, which before him only two Army chiefs, K M Carriappa and Sam Manekshaw, had achieved.

World’s Oldest Person Dies at 117

The world’s oldest person Violet Mosse-Brown from Jamaica has died at the age of 117. She was born on March 10, 1900, in Jamaica. The prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, informed about Mosse-Brown’s death. Brown had been given the honor in April 2017 when Italy’s Emma Morano died, also at the age of 117. With the death of Brown, Japanese 117-year-old Nabi Tajima is now the known oldest human on the planet.

Frank Vincent, Veteran Actor passes away

Frank Vincent, who played tough guys and mobsters in “The Sopranos” and a number of director Martin Scorsese movies, died at age 80. In 2006, Vincent wrote the nonfiction book ‘A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man’. “The Death Collector,” was his debut movie.

Constitutional law expert Pavani Parameswara Rao dies

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Pavani Parameswara Rao passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He wa 84. Widely considered a doyen of Constitutional Law, Rao argued a number of landmark cases before the Supreme Court. He had helped develop the argument against the legal challenge to President’s Rule in four Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, after demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor passes away

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor, whose same-gender marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, passed away. She was 88. It was Windsor’s efforts that Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.

Noted Journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bengaluru

Noted journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead. She was shot down from close range by unidentified persons at her residence at Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Gauri Lankesh was the editor of popular Kannada tabloid Lankesh Patrike founded by her father and well-known writer P Lankesh. Gauri Lankesh was also part of a panel formed by State government to help Surrender Naxals to reform.

Former Union Minister Shri Sultan Ahmed passes away

Sultan Ahmed, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 64. Ahmed had served as the Union Minister of State for Tourism in the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Uluberia constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket and was elected to the West Bengal Assembly twice.

Arunachal Pradesh Health Minister passes away

Arunachal Pradesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Kena died at a private hospital in Guwahati after a prolonged illness. 52-year-old Kena, a resident of Gensi village in Lower Siang district was undergoing treatment at Guwahati for the past one month.

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Poet John Ashbery Passes Away

Pulitzer-prize winning poet John Ashbery, a post-modern American trailblazer, has passed away at age of 90 in Hudson, New York. His 1975 collection “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” made history when he became the lone writer to earn three major accolades the same year for the same work: the Pulitzer in addition to a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.


D). VISITORS

 Japan PM in Ahmedabad for India-Japan Annual Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Mr. Abe is in India on a two-day visit to attend the India-Japan annual summit meeting. The 12th edition of the summit will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The two leaders will review the recent progress in the multifaceted co-operation between India and Japan under the framework of their ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. They will also attend a function to mark the commencement of work of India’s first high-speed rail project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Belarus President on Two-Day Visit in India

India and Belarus are signed agreements on their bilateral cooperation, including in defence and security, as the Eastern European country’s President Alexander Lukashenko is on a two-day visit to New Delhi. Belarus and India are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Bilateral trade between India and Belarus stands at $200 million, with pharmaceutical products being India’s main exports to the East European nation.

List of MoUs signed during Visit of PM Modi to Myanmar

After attending the BRICS Summit in China, PM Modi left for his three-day visit to Myanmar. He was received by the Myanmar President Htin Kyaw. Following set of agreements were signed between the two nation.

  • MoU on Maritime Security Cooperation
  • Cultural Exchange Programme for the year 2017-2020.
  • MoU on Enhancing the Cooperation of the Upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar.
  • MoU for Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy
  • Technical Agreement for providing Coastal Surveillance System
  • MoU between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India and Food and Drugs (FDA), Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar on Cooperation in Medical Products Regulation.
  • Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of MIIT
  • Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of India-Myanmar Center for Enhancement of IT-Skill
  • MoU in the field of elections between the Election Commission of India and The Union Election Commission of Myanmar.
  • MoU on Cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and the Press Council of India.

Sushma Swaraj arrives in Russia for third Eastern Economic Forum

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Russian port city of Vladivostok on a three-day visit to attend the third Eastern Economic Forum which will deliberate on pressing issues relating to global trade. She holds bilateral talks with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during which various issues relating to trade, investment, and defense cooperation. The Eastern Economic Forum is considered as the biggest international communication platform for cooperation between businesses leaders and senior government representatives from Russia, the Pacific Region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Swiss President on 3-Day Visit to India

President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard is on the three-day visit to India. A number of agreements are expected to be signed in several areas after the talks. India and Switzerland enjoy robust economic ties, with Switzerland being seventh largest trading partner and eleventh largest foreign investor for India.


E). MISCELLANEOUS

 Aparna Kumar, First Indian woman to scale Mt Manaslu

An Indian Police Service Officer of UP Cadre, Aparna Kumar became the first Indian woman to scale Mount Manaslu, which is the 8th highest mountain peak in the world. Exactly at 10.00 am on September 25, Kumar took up a mission to climb Mount Manaslu in the west-central part of Nepal. She has already successfully scaled the highest peaks of six continents out of seven continents.

CISF Security at Mumbai Airport rated Best in World

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai has been recognised as the best service in this domain by a global quality rating agency. The latest initiative of doing away with the tagging and stamping of hand baggage, handling increasing passenger footfalls smoothly, and feeling of being safe and secure by passengers, etc, were taken into account while deciding the award.

Priyanka is eighth highest paid TV actress, Sofia Vergara tops the list

According to Forbes, Priyanka Chopra came in at number eight as the ‘Quantico’ star made USD 10 million ( INR 65 crore) between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017, while ‘Modern Family’ star Sofia Vergara earned a whopping USD 41.5 million (Rs 271 crore) during the same period, topping the list for the sixth consecutive year.

Sebi chief Ajay Tyagi named among world’s top 10 regulators

Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi has been named among the top ten regulators in the world, according to a report. He has been ranked at the seventh position among the top 10 regulators worldwide. The rankings are part of the World’s Most Influential People in Market Structure. The list of ten regulators is topped by European Union’s Commissioner (Competition) Margrethe Vestager.

Nooyi, Kochhar, Shikha on Fortune’s most powerful women in business list

Two Indians – Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma – have made it to the rankings of most powerful women in business outside the United States drawn up by the Fortune magazine while Indra Nooyi featured in the top three on the US edition list. The Most Powerful Women in Business Outside the US list, which was topped by Banco Santander group executive chairman Ana Botin, placed ICICI Bank’s Kochhar at the fifth spot while Axis Bank’s Sharma has been ranked 21st. PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi came in at No. 2 on the US Most Powerful Women in Business list, led by General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Patanjali CEO among top 10 richest Indians with ₹70,000 cr wealth

Patanjali Ayurved CEO Acharya Balkrishna has been named among India’s top 10 richest people for the first time in Hurun Rich List 2017, with a wealth of ₹70,000 crore. Now India’s 8th richest person, Balkrishna saw a 173% increase in his wealth in a year. Notably, he is the most followed entrepreneur on the Indian social media. Mukesh Ambani retains the richest Indian title for the sixth year.

Mary Kom to be AIBA representative at IOC athletes’ forum

Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medalist M C Mary Kom has become the first Indian to be picked as the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) representative for the 8th IOC Athletes’ Forum, which will take place in Lausanne from November 11 to 13, 2017. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Mary Kom as the brand ambassador for 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

China Hui Ka Yan becomes the Richest Man in Asia

According to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, Hui Ka Yan, the chairman of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group, has become Asia’s richest man, with a net worth of $41.1 billion. Hui ranks No. 15 globally. The Asia’s second and third richest persons are Tencent Holdings Chairman Ma Huateng ($39.1 billion), Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma ($38.9 billion) respectively.

Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu becomes first woman minister in Mizoram in 30 yrs

The 38-year-old Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu became the first woman minister in Mizoram in 30 years, since the 1987 state assembly elections. She is the president of the Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee and was elected from Hrangturzo seat in central Serchhip district in a bye-election. In Mizoram’s political history, Chawngthu became the fourth woman legislator. Lalhlimpui Hmar was the first woman to hold a ministerial post in Mizoram, in 1987.

Three Indians among World’s ’100 Greatest Living Business Minds’
Three Indian entrepreneurial legends, Ratan Tata, Lakshmi Mittal and Vinod Khosla have been included in Forbes’s special list of the world’s ‘100 Greatest Living Business Minds. Some of the notable honorees alongside Blank are- Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and more.

Cyclist Mark Beaumont Breaks the World Record

Mark Beaumont broke the world record for cycling around the world – by 44 days. The 34-year-old, from Perthshire, arrived in Paris one day ahead of schedule having cycled the 18,000-mile route in 79 days. He set a new world record of 194 days in 2008. He was on his bike for more than 16 hours a day and only slept for five hours each night.

Prince Charles becomes Longest-serving Prince of Wales

Prince Charles has become the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. The 68-year-old broke the record of Queen Victoria’s son Albert, who went on to become King Edward VII after holding the title of Prince of Wales for more than 59 years before becoming monarch. The milestone came a day after his wife, Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall, named a Royal Navy aircraft carrier after her husband.

Mother Teresa declared as co-patron of Archdiocese of Calcutta

Saint Teresa, also known as Mother Teresa, was declared as the co-patron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, 131 years after St Francis Xavier was declared as first patron. the declaration was made by Vicar General, Archdiocese of Calcutta in the presence of the Vatican’s ambassador to India Giambattista Diquattro, bishops from across the state and nuns of the Missionaries of Charity which was founded by Mother Teresa in 1950 within Archdiocese of Calcutta.


PLACES IN NEWS

Parali I island: Uninhabited Lakshadweep island vanishes

According to a study, Parali I island, one of biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has disappeared due to coastal erosion and another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea are shrinking fast. The researcher had conducted studies on assessment of biodiversity confining to five uninhabited islands– Parali I, II and III, Bangaram, Thinnakara in Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands in Lakshadweep sea.

Ahmedabad gets India’s first ‘World Heritage City’ tag from UNESCO

The city of Ahmedabad, known as the commercial hub of Gujarat, was formally accorded the status of India’s first ‘World Heritage City’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The certificate for the same was handed over by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to the state’s Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani.

World’s Highest Sandcastle Built in German City

The world’s highest sandcastle is now standing 16.68 meters tall in the German city of Duisburg. A German travel operator organized the construction of the mammoth sandcastle, bringing in 3,500 tons of sand over the past three and a half weeks to the site at a former steelworks in the inland city. It takes the title from a 14.84-metre sandcastle built early this year in India by sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik.


BOOKS IN NEWS

Union Finance Minister releases book on Financial Management

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley along with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu released a book on financial management in New Delhi. The book titled “A to Z of Financial Management in Autonomous Institutions” is authored by Dr. Rajat Bhargava and Shri Deenanath Pathak.

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

The book titled “The Golden House” by Salman Rushdie is “NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER”. It ranks among Rushdie’s most ambitious and provocative books and displays the quicksilver wit and playful storytelling of Rushdie’s best work. It is a modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture – a hurting, page-turning mystery. The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention- a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache.

The Shershah of Kargil: the biography of Kargil war hero Vikram Batra

The book titled “”The Shershah of Kargil” is a biography of Kargil war hero Late Captain Vikram Batra, who was posthumously awarded Param Veer Chakra (PVC) – the highest gallantry award of India. The book written by Deepak Surana is an inspiring story of the young captain Vikram Batra, which takes you through the various dimensions of Captain Batra’s life.

Book titled “India: Priorities for the Future” by Bimal Jalan

Book title “India: Priorities for the Future” authored by Bimal Jalan is a formadable analysis of the last four decades of India’s economic journey. The book illuminates the nation’s transition from a strictly regulated, slow-growth state enterprise to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Unstoppable: My Life So Far authored by Maria Sharapova

The book titled “Unstoppable: My Life So Far” authored by tennis star Maria Sharapova was unveiled in September 2017. The book talks about Sharapova’s rise from nowhere to tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top. The book tells how a seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova became an overnight sensation by defeating the two-time defending champion Serena Williams to win the prestigious Wimbledon.


COMMITTEES

 PM Modi forms Economic Advisory Council

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to guide him on economic issues and appointed economist Bibek Debroy as its chairman. Debroy is a member of government think tank Niti Aayog. The four other part-time EAC members are Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal.

Centre decides to form inter-ministerial committee to monitor schools

The Union Government has decided to form an inter-ministerial committee to monitor implementation of safety measures in its schools across the country. The committee was formed in the wake of the brutal killing of a student in Gurugram and rape of a girl by a school peon in the national capital, Delhi. The decision was taken during a meeting between Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and Women & Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi. The WCD minister also informed that a committee of six secretaries will be constituted to monitor the implementation and progress of the guidelines.

AIMPLB to form committee to examine Supreme Court’s verdict on Triple Talaq

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to constitute a committee comprising experts that would look into the method and process for undertaking large scale community reform program within the Islamic Sharia (Islamic Law). The board passed a resolution in this connection in its one-day-long marathon meeting that was held in Bhopal to discuss the way forward after Supreme Court of India recently adjudged the popular Islamic divorce practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.


IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 30 September: International Translation Day

The observance of this day seeks to recognize contribution of unsung heroes behind international diplomacy who work as language professionals to facilitate dialogue and contribute to development and strengthens world peace and security. International Translation Day 2017 theme is Translation and Diversity.

28th September: World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention. This day also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine. World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. The 2017 World Rabies Day theme is ‘Rabies: Zero by 30′.

World Maritime Day is observed on 28 September

The World Maritime Day is celebrated across the world on 28 September across the world. The theme for 2017 World Maritime Day is ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’. The main aim is to do so by focusing on helping International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach.

27 September: World Tourism Day

The World Tourism Day is celebrated across the world on 27th of September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The theme for World Tourism Day 2017 is ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

PM Modi salutes brave Indian soldiers on occasion Haifa Day

On the occasion of Haifa Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the brave Indian soldiers who fought for the liberation of Haifa city in modern day Israel in 1918. On his visit to Israel in July 2017, Modi had visited the Indian cemetery in Haifa, along with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to lay wreaths. In the Battle of Haifa, the India’s 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division and part of the Desert Mounted Corps attacked rear guard forces of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in the capture of the towns of Haifa and Acre.

International Day of Peace is observed around the world

Every year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. This day was established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations (UN) resolution. Theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.

16th September: World Ozone Day

The International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day) is observed every year on September 16 for the preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme of the year 2017 is ‘Caring for all life under the sun’. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Ozone Secretariat will launch a communication campaign ahead of World Ozone Day to be marked on 16 September 2017.

15 September: International Day of Democracy

The International Day of Democracy is observed on September 15th across the world. The theme of the year 2017 is Democracy and Conflict prevention. This year’s theme of democracy and conflict prevention focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability.

15th September: Engineer’s Day

The Indian nation celebrates Engineer’s Day to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, one of the greatest engineers India produced and a person behind many iconic constructions in India. He will mark the 49th anniversary of the Engineers Day in India. He began his career as an Assistant Engineer with Public Works Department (PWD) at Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1884 and was later requested to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. As a Public Works Department engineer, he accomplished several projects related to maintenance of public buildings, road construction and laying out city developments plans in several important towns.

14 September: National Hindi Day

Hindi Day is being celebrated across the country on 14 September 2017. It was on this day in 1949 that the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the country. On this occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind gives away Rajbhasha awards for the year 2016-17 at a function in New Delhi. The Rajbhasha awards were instituted by the Department of Official Language of Home Ministry to recognize the excellent contribution of Ministries, Departments and Nationalized Banks in the field of Hindi.

International Day for South-South Cooperation 2017 observed globally

The International Day for South-South Cooperation was observed on 12 September 2017 by United Nations (UN). The day celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the south. It also highlights UN’s efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries. South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.

8 September: International Literacy Day

The International Literacy Day (ILD) is being observed every year on 8 September to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society and communities. The day was established in 1966 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This year it is 51st International Literacy Day. The theme announced by UNESCO for this year is `Literacy in a digital world’. In India to observe this day, several functions were organised by the National Literacy Mission Authority. It included distribution of Saakshar Bharat Awards to best performing States, Districts, Gram Panchayats and NGOs. Government uses occasion of ILD for raising public awareness to eradicate illiteracy and create environment in favour of adult education programmes.

September 5th: National Teachers Day

In India, National Teachers Day is celebrated on September 5th to honor Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Birthday. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan a great scholar, philosopher, and teacher of modern India and was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954. He became the first Vice President of India (from 1952 to 1962) and the second President of India (from 1962 to 1967). Since 1962, India has commemorated his birth anniversary. Teachers Day is an occasion to pay reverence to the teachers and convey them that they hold special respect in our hearts. Celebrating Teachers Day is acknowledged by UNESCO and fairly popular in several countries across the globe.

September 5: International Day of Charity

The United Nations (UN) observes September 5 every year as International Charity Day. The Day calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. The Day also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

 

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

August 2017 Current Affairs 

01 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Central Government has launched ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ to rank cities and towns of India. How many cities and towns will be covered under this survey?

(A) 2041

(B) 3041

(C) 4041

(D) 5041

(2) A nearly 500m (1,640ft) bridge for hikers billed as the longest hanging pedestrian bridge in the world has opened near which town of Switzerland?

(A) Basel

(B) Zermatt

(C) Bern

(D) Geneva

(3) Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into how many Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) with Indian taxpayers in the month of July, 2017?

(A) Six

(B) Seven

(C) Eight

(D) Nine

(4) Who among the following is the first person to receive the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump?

(A) James McCloughan

(B) Nathan McElroy

(C) Julius Callaghan

(D) Peter Melenick

(5) Which state government is going to launch ‘streets with cycle track’ to encourage the use of bicycle?

(A) Gujarat

(B) Maharashtra

(C) Uttar Pradesh

(D) Karnataka

(6) Who has been appointed as Chief of Eastern Command?

(A) Lt General Abhay Krishna

(B) General Bipin Rawat

(C) Lt General Cherish Mathson

(D) None of the above

(7) Union Government has ordered state-run oil companies to raise subsidised cooking gas, LPG prices by how much?

(A) Rs 5

(B) Rs 10

(C) Rs 4

(D) Rs 8

(8) For the first time when was Los Angeles hosted Summer Olympics?

(A) 1984

(B) 1932

(C) 1924

(D) 1936

(9) Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, a classical vocalist and one of the leading exponents of Dhupad tradition, passed away at the age of?

(A) 78

(B) 76

(C) 79

(D) 77

(10) The new bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and which country came into force?

(A) Bhutan

(B) Nepal

(C) Bangladesh

(D) Sri Lanka

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) B   (3) D   (4) A   (5) B   (6) A   (7) C   (8) B   (9) A   (10) A

 

02 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Airtel Payments Bank has signed an agreement with which oil and gas company?

(A) ONGC

(B) IOC

(C) BP

(D) HPCL

(2) Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has announced a package of Rs ——— crore for relief, rehabilitation and building flood mitigation infrastructure in the flood-affected North-Eastern states including Assam.

(A) 1350 crore

(B) 2350 crore

(C) 3350 crore

(D) 4350 crore

(3) Which Asian country has formally launched its first overseas naval facility in Djibouti, an East African nation?

(A) China

(B) South Korea

(C) North Korea

(D) Japan

(4) What was the theme of ‘World breastfeeding week 2017’celebrated from 1st to 7th August 2017?

(A) Sustaining Breastfeeding Together

(B) Creating Awareness about Breastfeeding Together

(C) Creating Awareness about Breastfeeding through Social Media

(D) Propagating Breastfeeding for New Born

(5) Marian Diamond known for studies of Einstein’s brain, passes away recently. She hailed from which country?

(A) Canada

(B) Brazil

(C) United States

(D) Russia

(6) Which state government is planning to relocate tigers to the state of the sanctuaries?

(A) Andhra Pradesh

(B) Maharashtra

(C) Gujarat

(D) West Bengal

(7) Renowned scientist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away at the age of 89. He was hailed from which state of India?

(A) Telangana

(B) Maharashtra

(C) Tamil Nadu

(D) Rajasthan

(8) Who has been appointed as the Secretary General of the Freedom of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with effect from 1 September 2017?

(A) Ambika Sharma

(B) Pankaj Patel

(C) Sanjaya Bar

(D) Amit Mitra

(9) According to the research done by the scientists from US, chemical from which thing holds the power to treat cancer in children?

(A) Turmeric

(B) Neem

(C) Aloe vera

(D) Olive

(10) Which football Club honoured Former Indian Hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay with ‘Bharat Gaurav’?

(A) Bharat FC

(B) Eastern Railway FC

(C) Navi Mumbai United

(D) East Bengal Football Club

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) B   (3) A   (4) A   (5) C   (6) B   (7) D   (8) C   (9) A   (10) D

 

03 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Name the head of panel set up by the government to study issues related to data protection in the country.

(A) M Vasudeva

(B) B N Srikrishna

(C) Balakrishnan

(D) T V Prasad

(2) Union Cabinet has given approval for an MoU signed by India and other _____ nations for setting up of an agriculture research platform.

(A) SAARC

(B) ASEAN

(C) BRICS

(D) NATO

(3) Rajya Sabha Elections in which state will see None Of The Above (NOTA) option available for the first time in the country?

(A) Uttar Pradesh

(B) Maharashtra

(C) Gujarat

(D) Karnataka

(4) Under the chairmanship of whom, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has set up a committee “on fair market conduct”?

(A) Shreyas Iyer

(B) K. Viswanathan

(C) Venkata Swami

(D) Subramaniya Siva

(5) Who has been appointed as the new Chairman of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)?

(A) Mukesh Pradhan

(B) Bikram Verma

(C) Sanjaya Baru

(D) Dhirendra Swarup

(6) The World Bank allowed India to construct hydroelectric power plants on the ——— and ———— rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty.

(A) Doda and Dras

(B) Poonch and Galwan

(C) Ravi and Sind

(D) Jhelum and Chenab

(7) A team of astronomers discovered that the Sun’s core rotates 4 times faster than the solar surface. The discovery was made using which telescope?

(A) SOHO

(B) ADAHELI

(C) GREGOR

(D) TRACE

(8) Punjab government has decided to appoint which cricketer as DSP with the state’s police?

(A) Mithali Raj

(B) Veda Krishnamurthy

(C) Smriti Mandhana

(D) Harmanpreet Kaur

(9) Name the mobile app that was developed by the Indian Army to enable serving soldiers to track details like postings, promotions and monthly slips as well as form 16?

(A) Upkaran

(B) Humraaz

(C) Humvatan

(D) On Duty

(10) Scientists have developed a technique to edit embryos of a piece of faulty DNA that causes heart disease in families. Name the technique.

(A) CRISPR

(B) Angioplasty

(C) CABG

(D) None of the above

Answers:-

(1) B   (2) C   (3) C   (4) B   (5) D   (6) D   (7) A   (8) D   (9) B   (10) A

 

04 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

 (1) Santosh Mohan Dev who dies at the age of 83 is a?

(A) Politician

(B) Cricketer

(C) Singer

(D) Actor

(2) Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd. has signed an agreement with which exchange for agriculture related price information?

(A) National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange

(B) Multi Commodity Exchange

(C) National Spot Exchange

(D) Forward Markets Commission

(3) Which bank has raised interest rates on savings bank account for large balance above Rs 1 crore to 5% while for small balances below Rs 1 lakh reduced it to 3%?

(A) Bank of Baroda

(B) Andhra Bank

(C) Karnataka Bank

(D) Karur Vysya Bank

(4) Name the state government that has decided to give compulsory retirement to the non-performing head masters, teachers and education department officials above the age of 50 years.

(A) Delhi

(B) Bihar

(C) Punjab

(D) Rajasthan

(5) Aadi Perukku is celebrated in which state of India?

(A) Tamil Nadu

(B) Kerala

(C) Telangana

(D) Karnataka

(6) The National Company Law Tribunal has approved the merger of Telenor with ——-

(A) Idea

(B) Airtel

(C) Vodafone

(D) MTNL

(7) Who was appointed as the new Air Oficer-in-Charge Administration of Indian Air Force?

(A) Air Marshal R.K. Sharma

(B) Air Marshal P H Roy

(C) Air Marshal Anil Khosla

(D) Air Marshal Hemanat Narayan Bhagwat

(8) Indian Railways has announced a cash on delivery scheme under the ———–

(A) Ladies

(B) Tatkal

(C) Main

(D) Physically Handicapped

(9) Which city hosted the 2nd AGRI-UDAAN programme, launched by the Government of India?

(A) New Delhi

(B) Lucknow

(C) Bangalore

(D) Hyderabad

(10) By which year ISRO, NASA will complete NISAR mission?

(A) 2018

(B) 2020

(C) 2019

(D) 2021

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) B   (3) C   (4) B   (5) A   (6) B   (7) D   (8) B   (9) A   (10) D

 

05 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which online portal has been launched by Maharashtra Government to ease the process of direct benefit transfer (DBT)?

(A) MahaDBT

(B) MahaSuvidha

(C) MahaPAHAL

(D) MahaSeva

(2) India has recently signed how much amount of loan pact with AIIB for Gujarat road project?

(A) $429 million

(B) $329 million

(C) $229 million

(D) $529 million

(3) Who among the following veteran actress has been selected for this year’s Prem Nazir Award?

(A) Laxmi

(B) Smitha

(C) Sharada

(D) Priya

(4) Who among the following has topped this year’s Forbes ranking of the highest paid author?

(A) Dan Brown

(B) J K Rowling

(C) Stephen King

(D) John Grisham

(5) Who among the following has been named as Chairman of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Transfers Dispute Committee?

(A) Souvik Sen

(B) Indraneil Sengupta

(C) Pankaj Das

(D) Ushanath Banerjee

(6) India’s first private missile production facility, KRAS was unveiled in Hyderabad. The unit is a joint venture of two companies. While one company is India’s Kalyani Group, the other one belongs to which nation?

(A) Japan

(B) Germany

(C) Israel

(D) Russia

(7) Who has been appointed as the new Ambassador of India to the Republic of Kazakhstan?

(A) Rajesh Kumar Sachdeva

(B) Manoj Mittal

(C) Ajay Bisaria

(D) Prabhat Kumar

(8) Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, former Union Minister was elected as the ______ Vice President, after he defeated the Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

(A) 11th

(B) 12th

(C) 13th

(D) 14th

(9) Which Bank has launched an Aadhaar-based integrated outward forex remittance solution for both customers and non-customers?

(A) Kotak Mahindra Bank

(B) Yes Bank

(C) HDFC Bank

(D) ICICI

(10) Who has been roped as Brand Ambassador for Swachh Bharat Mission in Uttar Pradesh?

(A) Akshay Kumar

(B) Shah Rukh Khan

(C) Salman Khan

(D) Abhishek Bachchan

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) B   (3) C   (4) B   (5) D   (6) C   (7) D   (8) C   (9) A   (10) A

 

06 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Name the Indian professional boxer outslugged his Chinese opponent Zulpikar Maimaitiali to retain the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.

(A) Shiva Thapa

(B) Jitender Kumar

(C) Akhil Kumar

(D) Vijender Singh

(2) Who has will be the new Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog?

(A) Rajiv Kumar

(B) Vinod Paul

(C) Ritesh Gupta

(D) S L Shivappa

(3) Which satellite has been jointly launched by France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and Israel’s space agency for monitoring the effects of climate change on vegetation?

(A) Mercury

(B) Venus

(C) Jupiter

(D) Saturn

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) A   (3) B

 

07 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the strongest evidence to date for a stratosphere on an exoplanet, WASP-121b. The exoplanet is similar to which planet in our solar system?

(A) Jupiter

(B) Earth

(C) Saturn

(D) Mars

(2) Aparna, who has been appointed as Executive Director of World Bank, will represent the constituency of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and —————?

(A) Nepal

(B) Sri Lanka

(C) Pakistan

(D) China

(3) Which day is observed as National Handloom Day?

(A) 8 August

(B) 8 August

(C) 18 August

(D) 7 August

(4) An all-women team of researchers from which IIT has developed a new drug delivery platform using nanoparticles?

(A) IIT Roorke

(B) IIT Bangalore

(C) IIT Delhi

(D) IIT Madras

(5) IISc researchers have developed a highly sensitive, low cost nanometre-scale ——– sensor, with potential applications in environmental pollution monitoring.

(A) Methane

(B) Carbon Monoxide

(C) Nitrogen Dioxide

(D) Sulfur Dioxide

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) B   (3) D   (4) C   (5) B

 

08 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Customers of which public sector bank will have to pay charges for depositing cash above Rs 5,000 in a non-base branch even if it is located in the same city?

(A) State Bank of India

(B) Bank of Baroda

(C) Indian Bank

(D) Punjab National Bank

(2) The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG) will help which state government raise $270 million from the Green Climate Fund?

(A) Karnataka

(B) Uttarakhand

(C) Maharashtra

(D) Andhra Pradesh

(3) Two Iranian companies have signed the country’s biggest-ever car deal with multinational automobile manufacturer Group Renault to produce 150,000 cars, beginning in 2018. Renault belongs to which country?

(A) Canada

(B) France

(C) Japan

(D) South Korea

(4) Central government has declared which state as a “disturbed” area under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for one more month?

(A) Assam

(B) Nagaland

(C) Arunachal Pradesh

(D) Sikkim

(5) Usain Bolt has been stunned as he finished third in the 100 meters final of World Athletics Championship held at ______.

(A) France

(B) Japan

(C) Germany

(D) London

(6) Which state government has announced that it would be spending around Rs 1 lakh Cr on development works with special emphasis on education and road connectivity over the next five years?

(A) Tripura

(B) Telangana

(C) Jharkhand

(D) Jammu and Kashmir

(7) UNESCO has shown worry about that damage caused to which of the following heritage sites in India?

(A) Elephanta Caves

(B) Keoladeo National Park

(C) Western Ghats

(D) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

(8) Who has been awarded the prestigious Himachal Pradesh Environment Leadership Award 2017 for excelling in the promotion of environmental conservation and sustainable development?

(A) Madhu Chitkara

(B) Radhika Menon

(C) Bhavya Sethi

(D) Kamini Singh

(9) Which two companies have extended their partnership into Asia Pacific to enhance the consumer experience?

(A) Mastercard and PayPal

(B) Visa and PayPal

(C) Mastercard and Paytm

(D) Visa and Paytm

(10) The dawn of cruise tourism in India’, a special event held to promote cruise tourism in the country was inaugurated in which city?

(A) Kolkata

(B) Bengaluru

(C) Mumbai

(D) Pune

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) C   (3) B   (4) A   (5) D   (6) D   (7) D   (8) A   (9) A   (10) C

 

09 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) India celebrated the 75th anniversary of which historic movement on 09th August 2017?

(A) Non-cooperation movement

(B) Civil Disobedience movement

(C) Dandi March

(D) Quit India movement

(2) A high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale struck China recently. The epicenter of this quake was in?

(A) Tangshan province

(B) Chuetsu province

(C) Sichuan province

(D) Tianjin province

(3) 8th meeting of the Regional Technical Group of Confidence Building Measure on Trade, Commerce & Investment Opportunities under the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was held on August 7, 2017, in:

(A) New Delhi

(B) Mumbai

(C) Bengaluru

(D) Jaipur

(4) Who was honoured with Asia Society Game Changers Award 2017?

(A) Amitabh Bachchan

(B) AR Rehman

(C) Anil Kapoor

(D) Dev Patel

(5) Health and wellness startup Cure.fit has roped in which Bollywood actor as its Brand Ambassador?

(A) Salman Khan

(B) Hrithik Roshan

(C) Ranbir Kapoor

(D) Ranveer Singh

(6) Which company is launching a programme under which it will provide financial assistance to employees who wish to participate in national or international challenges in any field of interest?

(A) ITC

(B) Reliance Industries

(C) Flipkart

(D) Jubilant Foodworks

(7) Who was appointed as Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs in New York?

(A) Rikin Shah

(B) Darshan Shukla

(C) Dilip Chauhan

(D) Richard Verma

(8) Which bank on August 9, 2017 launched instant credit cards?

(A) Axis

(B) ICICI

(C) HDFC

(D) KVB

(9) Which company has announced that it has acquired Millarworld, a comic book company?

(A) Facebook

(B) Google

(C) Apple

(D) Netflix

(10) Which day is observed as Nagasaki Day?

(A) 9 August

(B) 19 August

(C) 6 August

(D) 16 August

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) C   (3) A   (4) D   (5) B   (6) C   (7) C   (8) B   (9) D   (10) A

 

10 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) In which year was the Kyoto Protocol adopted?

(A) 1997

(B) 1996

(C) 1998

(D) 1993

(2) Sitaram Panchal, who passed away recently, was associated with which field?

(A) Journalism

(B) Politics

(C) Film Industry

(D) Sports

(3) The 15th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC countries has started in which city?

(A) New Delhi

(B) Colombo

(C) Naypyidaw

(D) Kathmandu

(4) According to a survey undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June 2017, almost all rural households in which two states had access to a toilet and thus topped the sanitation survey?

(A) Haryana and Kerala

(B) Kerala and Assam

(C) Telangana and Madhya Pradesh

(D) Goa and Tamil Nadu

(5) Under ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH)’ initiative, NITI Aayog has selected which three states to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes within those States?

(A) Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka

(B) Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh

(C) Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka

(D) Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, and Karnataka

(6) Which company has announced the launch of Virtual Customer Service (VCS) model in India?

(A) Apple

(B) Alibaba

(C) Walmart

(D) Amazon

(7) On the global retirement index of 43 countries, India has ranked:

(A) 23rd

(B) 28th

(C) 33rd

(D) 43rd

(8) Who among the following has won a Bronze medal at 7th Asian Shotgun Championship, being held at Astana, Kazakhstan?

(A) Kynan Chenai

(B) Zoravar Singh Sandhu

(C) Birendeep Sodhi

(D) Gagan Goswami

(9) Name the first state in the country to implement coal utilisation between power units.

(A) Telangana

(B) Odisha

(C) Gujarat

(D) Manipur

(10) SoftBank has announced to invest $2.5 billion in __________.

(A) Snapdeal

(B) Flipkart

(C) CaratLane

(D) Myntra

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) C   (3) A   (4) A   (5) A   (6) D   (7) D   (8) A   (9) C   (10) B

 

11 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which state government has launched a new awareness drive “Namami Gange Jagriti Yatra”?

(A) West Bengal

(B) Bihar

(C) Uttar Pradesh

(D) Uttarakhand

(2) SEBI has launched online registration for custodians of __________.

(A) Derivatives

(B) Equities

(C) Commodities

(D) Securities

(3) Facebook has launched Youtube competitor called:

(A) ‘Scene’

(B) ‘Watch’

(C) ‘Scren’

(D) ‘MyVideos’

(4) The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has launched Android Skill Development programme with which tech giant?

(A) Microsoft

(B) Kerala and Assam

(C) Facebook

(D) Wipro

(5) India and the United States of America will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in November 2017 in which of the following cities?

(A) Mumbai

(B) Chennai

(C) New Delhi

(D) Hyderabad

(6) Former Union Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was sworn in as Vice President of India. With this he became ———— in person vice president of India

(A) 11th

(B) 12th

(C) 13th

(D) 14th

(7) National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved how many projects in Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of about Rs 2,033 crore?

(A) Ten projects

(B) Fifteen projects

(C) Twenty projects

(D) Twenty five projects

(8) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 10, 2017 announced a ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags in Delhi less than _____ microns.

(A) 40

(B) 30

(C) 50

(D) 20

(9) Which public sector bank has recently introduced a biometric attendance register in the place of the existing system of signing attendance in the attendance register?

(A) Punjab National Bank

(B) Bank of Baroda

(C) Indian Bank

(D) Bank of India

(10) Which team has won the 2017 UEFA Super Cup football tournament?

(A) Real Madrid

(B) Barcelona

(C) Manchester United

(D) Chelsea

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) D   (3) B   (4) B   (5) D   (6) C   (7) A   (8) C   (9) A   (10) A

 

12 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) What is the theme of 2017 International Youth Day (IYD)?

(A) Change Our World

(B) Youth and Mental Health

(C) Youth Building Peace

(D) Youth Civic Engagement

(2) Who has been appointed as the new chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)?

(A) Shyam Benegal

(B) Prasoon Joshi

(C) Naresh Chandra Lal

(D) Vivek Agnihotri

(3) Ruth Pfau, popularly known as Pakistan’s Mother Teresa has passed away. She hailed from which country?

(A) Italy

(B) United States

(C) Germany

(D) France

(4) Which Indian sportsperson has been appointed as the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for physical activity in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR)?

(A) Mary Kom

(B) Milkha Singh

(C) Pullela Gopichand

(D) Abhinav Bindra

(5) Name the supercentenarian who passed away on August 11, 2017.

(A) Yisrael Kristal

(B) Yasutaro Koide

(C) Jack Lockett

(D) Georg Olafsson

(6) Who has won the 2017 Kenya Presidential election?

(A) William Ruto

(B) Raifa Odinga

(C) Yoweri Museveni

(D) Uhuru Kenyatta

(7) Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has signed an agreement with _______ to promote technical assistance and facilitate cross-border co-operation in the area of securities regulations.

(A) Australian Securities an Investments Commission

(B) Securities and Exchange Organization

(C) China Securities Regulatory Commission

(D) Financial Services Board

(8) National Payments Corporation of India has appointed Dilip Asbe as its _______.

(A) Chief Executive Officer

(B) Chief Operating Officer

(C) Chief Technology Officer

(D) Chief Revenue Officer

(9) Which nationwide campaign has been launched by the Union Government to protect elephants?

(A) Gaj Kesari Yatra

(B) Gajanan Yatra

(C) Gajraj Yatra

(D) Gaj Yatra

(10) Which Bank has offered a 2-tier interest rate for savings account?

(A) Corporation Bank

(B) Indian Bank

(C) Bank of Maharashtra

(D) Dena Bank

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) B   (3) C   (4) B   (5) A   (6) D   (7) B   (8) A   (9) D   (10) B

 

13 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has launched a new video of the National Anthem in sign language, featuring disabled and partially disabled children. Who among the following has directed this video?

(A) Govind Nihalani

(B) Karan Johar

(C) Anurag Basu

(D) Imtiaz Ali

(2) Which State Assembly passed Religious Freedom Bill, 2017 aimed to stop the forced conversions in the state?

(A) Chhattisgarh State Assembly

(B) Jharkhand State Assembly

(C) Bihar State Assembly

(D) Kerala State Assembly

(3) Who among the following has become the first female actor ever to hoist the Indian National Flag at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)?

(A) Kangana Ranaut

(B) Deepika Padukone

(C) Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

(D) Priyanka Chopra

(4) Who among the following African-American author has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2017 for her work ‘The Obelisk Gate’?

(A) Laura Haley

(B) Jamie Rice

(C) Amy Winters

(D) Nora Jemisin

(5) Who among the following has been appointed as Managing Director of Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank)?

(A) Victor Fernandes

(B) Vincent Lewis

(C) Naresh Agarwal

(D) David Rasquinha

(6) Which among the following Indian company has become the third most funded private company globally?

(A) Paytm

(B) Flipkart

(C) FreeCharge

(D) Infibeam

(7) Which Bangalore-based start-up has been recently acquired by messaging app Hike?

(A) Novo

(B) Cosmo

(C) SupraNex

(D) Creo

(8) Who among the following has won a bronze medal at the ongoing seventh Asian Shotgun Championship in Kazakhstan, handing India its first women’s skeet individual medal at a top international competition?

(A) Geeta Siddhu

(B) Kritika Malhotra

(C) Minal Deshmukh

(D) Maheshwari Chauhan

(9) Which ministry has issued norms for Central offices to retrofit energy efficient appliances?

(A) Power

(B) Finance

(C) Information and Broadcasting

(D) Urban Development

(10) Scientists around the globe has stated that the year ——— was the warmest on record for the planet as a whole.

(A) 2016

(B) 2015

(C) 2014

(D) 2013

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) B   (3) C   (4) D   (5) D   (6) B   (7) D   (8) D   (9) B   (10) A

 

14 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) The Ministry of Culture organized the Sankalp Se Siddhi Programme in _______ .

(A) Coimbatore

(B) Chennai

(C) Salem

(D) Madurai

(2) Who among the following veteran journalist has bagged the first Kesari Media Award?

(A) T J S George

(B) N K Ragahavan

(C) G V Gupta

(D) Sharmila Parihar

(3) Which three Indian firms have featured in Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies?

(A) Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints and Patanjali Ayurved

(B) Patanjali Ayurved, Asian Paints and Bharti Airtel

(C) Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints and Bharti Airtel

(D) Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints and Infosys

(4) World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared which country as polio free?

(A) Pakistan

(B) Iran

(C) Uganda

(D) Somalia

(5) Usain Bolt who retired on August 14, 2017 is from which country?

(A) Grenada

(B) Trinidad and Tobago

(C) Bahamas

(D) Jamaica

(6) Which club won the 2017 Nehru Trophy Boat Race?

(A) Kumarakam Vembanad Boat Club

(B) Navajeevan boat club

(C) Kollam Jesus Boat Club

(D) Thuruthippuram Boat Club

(7) Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan commissioned which Indian Coast Guard ship in Goa?

(A) Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’

(B) Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Suraj’

(C) Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shoorvir’

(D) Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Sanjay’

(8) Who was appointed as the CEO of Rajya Sabha TV?

(A) Gurdeep Singh Sappal

(B) A. Surya Prakash

(C) Mohanlal Joshi

(D) Shashi Shekhar Vempati

(9) Which state government has launched “Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra” for unemployed youth?

(A) Tamil Nadu

(B) Gujarat

(C) Maharashtra

(D) Rajasthan

(10) Which Indian pair has won gold in the skeet mixed team event at the 7th Asian Championship Shotgun?

(A) Ankur Mittal and Shreyasi Singh

(B) Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Rashmmi Rathore

(C) Kynan Chenai and Shreyasi Singh

(D) Maheshwari Chauhan and Mairaj Ahmad Khan

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) A   (3) C   (4) D   (5) D   (6) D   (7) A   (8) D   (9) C   (10) B

 

15 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) On 15th August 2017 India celebrated ———— Independence Day.

(A) 70th

(B) 72nd

(C) 69th

(D) 71st

(2) Who was banned for five matches for pushing the referee?

(A) Lionel Messi

(B) Cristiano Ronaldo

(C) Neymar

(D) Eden Hazard

(3) Who among the following resigned as president of the Nagaur District Association, marking an end to his presence in the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA)?

(A) Abhijeet More

(B) Rajeev Shukla

(C) Lalit Modi

(D) Raj Kundra

(4) How many medals did India win at the 6th Golden Glove women’s Boxing Tournament at Vojvodina, Serbia?

(A) 10

(B) 11

(C) 12

(D) 13

(5) Who has launched the live twitter wall for promoting ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ portal on the eve of 71st Independence Day?

(A) Rajnath Singh

(B) Narendra Modi

(C) Venkaiah Naidu

(D) Ramnath Kovind

(6) The Indian government on August 15, 2017 asked Facebook and other social networking sites to remove content regarding the ____ Whale Challenge.

(A) Red

(B) White

(C) Blue

(D) Black

(7) Who among the following has become the youngest person to reach the summit of the 6,153 metres-high Mt Stok Kangri in Kashmir?

(A) Koyal Sengupta

(B) Shikha Pannu

(C) Kaamya Karthikeyan

(D) Isha Pandya

(8) Who on August 15, 2017 launched a website to honour gallantry award winners?

(A) Arun Jaitley

(B) Ramnath Kovind

(C) Narendra Modi

(D) Venkiah Naidu

(9) Who was appointed as chairman and managing director (CMD) of Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL)?

(A) Emandi Sankara Rao

(B) Santosh Sharma

(C) Debasis Jana

(D) Shekhar Gurera

(10) Who is going to be the new Managing Director & CEO of IFCI Ltd, a government company?

(A) Megha Patil

(B) Sankara Rao

(C) Vipin Rawat

(D) Swapnil Shah

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) B   (3) C   (4) A   (5) A   (6) C   (7) C   (8) C   (9) B   (10) B

 

16 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which country to host the steering committee of the proposed TAPI Gas pipeline?

(A) Turkmenistan

(B) Afghanistan

(C) Pakistan

(D) India

(2) Who among the following beat Roger Federer by 6-3, 6-4 in the Rogers Cup final?

(A) Stan Wawrinka

(B) Alexander Zverev

(C) Novak Djokovic

(D) Rafael Nadal

(3) According to broadband testing app Ookla which country has trhe fastest mobile internet in the world?

(A) Netherlands

(B) Norway

(C) Hungary

(D) USA

(4) The Aurora Solar Energy Project is being constructed in which country?

(A) Egypt

(B) Australia

(C) Oman

(D) Brazil

(5) Which country has been declared the world’s most liveable city by The Economist’s Global Liveability Report-2017?

(A) Melbourne

(B) Sydney

(C) London

(D) Perth

(6) India’s first museum on the Partition of the Indian Sub-continent will open in which state?

(A) Uttar Pradesh

(B) Odisha

(C) Punjab

(D) Assam

(7) Recently, which two Asian countries signed three pacts to boost their ties in power and energy sectors?

(A) China & Sri Lanka

(B) China & Pakistan

(C) Pakistan & Nepal

(D) Nepal & China

(8) Which state government has launched “Indira Canteen” for urban poor?

(A) Karnataka

(B) Himachal Pradesh

(C) Puducherry

(D) Punjab

(9) NABARD has conferred the ‘best performance award’ for 2016-17 to which regional rural bank?

(A) Telangana Grameena Bank

(B) Allahabad UP Gramin Bank

(C) Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank

(D) Madhyanchal Gramin Bank

(10) Which country to host 2017 G7 Interior Ministers summit on security issues?

(A) Germany

(B) Canada

(C) Italy

(D) Japan

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) B   (3) B   (4) B   (5) A   (6) C   (7) D   (8) A   (9) C   (10) C

 

17 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which among the following bank has bagged the best performance awards for SHG-bank linkage programme for Karnataka for 2015-16 and 2016-17 from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)?

(A) Syndicate Bank

(B) Bank of Baroda

(C) Corporation Bank

(D) Indian Bank

(2) National Company Law Tribunal has approved the merger of Reliance Communications with _______.

(A) Idea

(B) Telenor

(C) Aircel

(D) Airtel

(3) The Reserve Bank of India has advised banks to make which linkage mandatory for availing short- term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh in 2017-18

(A) Aadhaar

(B) Ration Card

(C) Driving License

(D) Voter ID

(4) The CCEA has approved the proposal of DIPAM for strategic disinvestment. What does “DIPAM” stands for?

(A) Department of Investment and Proper Asset Management

(B) Department of Investment and Proper Asset Management

(C) Department of Investment and Property Asset Management

(D) Department of Investment and Private Asset Management

(5) The government on August 15, 2017 imposed a fine of $____ million on Reliance Industries Ltd and its partners for producing less than the targeted natural gas from eastern offshore KG-D6 fields in 2015-16.

(A) 234

(B) 224

(C) 214

(D) 264

(6) Which bank has appointed P R Seshadri as MD & CEO?

(A) State Bank of India

(B) Union Bank

(C) Karur Vysya Bank

(D) Andhra Bank

(7) 2017 IAAF World Championships was held from 4th to 13th August 2017 in:

(A) Beijing, China

(B) Moscow, Russia

(C) Vienna, Austria

(D) London, UK

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) C   (3) A   (4) B   (5) D   (6) C   (7) D

 

18 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) MyFASTag, a consumer App through which consumers can purchase or recharge FASTags has been launched by

(A) Government of India

(B) National Payments Corporation of India

(C) National Highways Authority of India

(D) None of these

(2) Name the veteran photographer who was described as the Henry Cartier-Bresson of India by B&W Magazine of India. He died on 16 August 2017.

(A) S Paul

(B) K. Narayanachari

(C) Pranlal Patel

(D) None of the above

(3) Which of the following ministry has launched a campaign named “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” urging people to celebrate a pollution-free Diwali?

(A) Ministry of Science and Technology

(B) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

(C) Ministry of Women and Child Development

(D) Ministry of Culture

(4) Vishal Sikkan has resigned as Managing Director and CEO of which software company?

(A) Wipro

(B) Mindtree

(C) Infosys

(D) HCL Technologies

(5) Who has been appointed as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India?

(A) Sohail Qureshi

(B) Abdul Basit

(C) Abdul Rehmat

(D) Sohail Mahmood

(6) Who has topped the Fortune’s annual list of 40 young and influential people in the field of business inspiring others with their work?

(A) Leo Varadkar

(B) Shinzo Abe

(C) Emmanuel Macron

(D) Geraldine Buckingham

(7) Name the Indian shuttler who has won the men’s singles title of Bulgaria Open International Series title?

(A) Vimal Kumar

(B) Chetan Anand

(C) Lakshya Sen

(D) Syed Modi

(8) Name the Hollywood Actress who has topped the Forbes magazines World’s Highest-Paid Actresses 2017 list?

(A) Emma Stone

(B) Jennifer Aniston

(C) Melissa McCarthy

(D) Emma Watson

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) A   (3) B   (4) C   (5) D   (6) C   (7) C   (8) A

 

19 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which day is observed as the World humanitarian Day across the world?

(A) August 19

(B) May 16

(C) June 15

(D) April 18

(2) Who was appointed as Russia’s Ambassador to India?

(A) Caroline Wozniacki

(B) Simona Halep

(C) Madison Keys

(D) Nikolay Kudashev

(3) Which currency notes are going to be released by the Reserve Bank of India recently?

(A) 50

(B) 100

(C) 200

(D) 1000

(4) Recently, a team of scientists discovered two new species of earthworms in which state?

(A) Karnataka

(B) Kerala

(C) Maharashtra

(D) Uttarakhand

(5) Indian Athletes bags how many medals at 7th edition of the World Dwarf Games?

(A) 31

(B) 32

(C) 36

(D) 37

(6) Which country appoints First Tamil Navy Chief After Four Decades?

(A) Sri Lanka

(B) Russia

(C) Australia

(D) Africa

(7) Who has been appointed as Executive Director of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI)?

(A) Kashish Patel

(B) Bhavya Nanda

(C) Mamta Suri

(D) Reema Sen

(8) Who has been appointed as the goodwill ambassador for Handicap International?

(A) Lionel Messi

(B) Ronaldinho

(C) Neymar Jr

(D) Cristiano Ronaldo

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) D   (3) A   (4) B   (5) D   (6) A   (7) C   (8) C

 

20 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Who has been awarded with the Global Agriculture Leadership Award by the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA)?

(A) Devendra Fadnavis

(B) N Chandrababu Naidu

(C) K Chandrasekhar Rao

(D) Shivraj Singh Chouhan

(2) Which day is observed as Sadbhavana Diwas?

(A) August 19

(B) August 20

(C) August 18

(D) August 17

(3) Where is the India’s first university in the field of Holistic Education named Dr Vishwanath Karad MIT World Peace University is inaugurated where?

(A) Mumbai

(B) Pune

(C) Nagpur

(D) Nanded

(4) “Champions of Change” initiative, an effort to bring together diverse strengths for the benefit of the nation and society was organised by _______ in August 2017.

(A) NITI Aayog

(B) Ministry of AYUSH

(C) Ministry of Women and Child Development

(D) Ministry of Culture

(5) Name the Indian-origin boy who has been crowned as UK’s ‘Child Genius’ in a popular television quiz competition?

(A) Sahil Vashisht

(B) Veer Khandelwal

(C) Ankul Narang

(D) Rahul Doshi

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) B   (3) B   (4) A   (5) D

 

21 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Jerry Lewis, the famous comedian passed away. He hailed from which country?

(A) United Kingdom

(B) Germany

(C) United States

(D) France

(2) Which country launches First Cyber Court in e-commerce Hub?

(A) China

(B) North Korea

(C) South Africa

(D) Australia

(3) India and which country will start a two-by-two ministerial dialogue to enhance “peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region”?

(A) Australia

(B) Japan

(C) USA

(D) Indonesia

(4) The law and Judiciary Department has issued an order for the setting up of first three of the total 24 fast track courts for Maharashtra in which of its two cities?

(A) Mumbai & Thane

(B) Mumbai & Pune

(C) Nagpur & Pune

(D) Navi Mumbai & Ahmednagar

(5) Where was the Junior Shotgun World Cup 2017 held?

(A) Belgium

(B) Italy

(C) Turkey

(D) Qatar

(6) Who won the Gold of the men’s doubles event at the Bulgaria Open Table Tennis in Panagyurishte?

(A) Soumyajit Ghosh and G Sathiyan

(B) G Sathiyan and Jin Ueda

(C) Maharu Yoshimura and Soumyajit Ghosh

(D) Jin Ueda and Yoshimura

(7) Who among the following has topped the Forbes’ list of highest paid female athletes of 2017?

(A) Angelique Kerber

(B) Serena Williams

(C) Ronda Rousey

(D) Venus Williams

(8) Which country will be building a stadium resembling an Arabian skull cap for the 2022 World Cup?

(A) Saudi Arabia

(B) UAE

(C) Egypt

(D) Qatar

(9) Where is the first regional centre of the New Development Bank being opened?

(A) New Delhi

(B) Johannesburg

(C) Moscow

(D) Brasilia

(10) Which of the following space agency has launched the latest in a series of satellites aimed at ensuring astronauts at the International Space Station can communicate with Earth?

(A) ISRO

(B) NASA

(C) SpaceX

(D) Roscosmos

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) A   (3) C   (4) A   (5) B   (6) D   (7) B   (8) D   (9) B   (10) B

 

22 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which State government has launched the cloud seeding operation, ‘Project Varshadhari’ ?

(A) Maharashtra

(B) Andhra Pradesh

(C) Karnataka

(D) Jharkhand

(2) A research team led by Dr Pinaki Panigrahi has found Probiotic Bacteria that could protect newborns from a deadly infection at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. Name the infection.

(A) Strep B

(B) Pneumonia

(C) Necrotising Fasciitis

(D) Sepsis

(3) Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’ campaign was launched with the objective of?

(A) Providing a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children

(B) Improving sanitation conditions across the country

(C) Eradicating illiteracy

(D) Cleaning the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country

(4) Supreme Court has struck down the practice of Triple Talaq in Muslim Community by saying that the practice violates certain articles of Indian Constitution. Which of the two articles were being violated?

(A) Article 14 and 16

(B) Article 16 and 20

(C) Article 14 and 21

(D) Article 19 and 22

(5) Who has launched a digital police portal under CCTNS project, which aims to create a national database of crimes & criminals?

(A) Ram Nath Kovind

(B) Arun Jaitley

(C) Rajnath Singh

(D) Narendra Modi

(6) Google has launched its new android operating system _____.

(A) Ice cream

(B) Oreo

(C) Eclipse

(D) Donut

(7) Who has become the second Indian female footballer to win the Arjuna Award?

(A) Ngangom Bala Devi

(B) Nongm Ratanbala Devi

(C) Okram Roshini Devi

(D) Oinam Bembem Devi

(8) ________ and International Vaccine Institute on August 21, 2017 signed an agreement to collaborate on vaccine research and development.

(A) ICMR

(B) DMRC

(C) NTI

(D) AIIMS

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) D   (3) A   (4) C   (5) C   (6) B   (7) D   (8) A

 

23 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which of the following has launched “Mentor India” Campaign, an initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs?

(A) Ministry of Ayush

(B) CCI

(C) NITI Aayog

(D) Human Resource Development Ministry

(2) Which state former Chief Minister Rishang Keishing Passes Away recently?

(A) Manipur

(B) Kerala

(C) Tamil Nadu

(D) Andhra Pradesh

(3) Who tops the Forbes Asai’s Richest Man List 2017?

(A) Sun Pharmaceuticals founder Dilip Shanghvi

(B) Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani

(C) Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng

(D) Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma

(4) Indian student Dacharla Panduranga Rohith develops Nano Missile for Indian Army, he hails from which state?

(A) Tamil Nadu

(B) Andhra Pradesh

(C) Telangana

(D) Karnataka

(5) Which day is observed as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition?

(A) 24 August

(B) 23 August

(C) 22 August

(D) 25 August

(6) Name the British Sci-fi writer who died aged 92 in August 2017?

(A) Martin Landau

(B) Brian Aldiss

(C) Lain Banks

(D) Douglas Adams

(7) Who resigned in the Railway Board Council recently ?

(A) Ashok Mittal

(B) Suresh Kumar

(C) Rajesh Kumar

(D) Vijay Prakash

(8) Which Indian Actor got 8th Position in the World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2017 Forbes List?

(A) Laksmi Menon

(B) Vijay Kumar

(C) Amitabh Bachaan

(D) Shah Rukh Khan

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) A   (3) D   (4) A   (5) B   (6) B   (7) A   (8) D

 

24 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which right is declared as the Fundamental Right recently by the Supreme Court?

(A) Right to Privacy

(B) Right to Speech

(C) Right to Education

(D) Right against exploitation

(2) Which scheme was renamed by the Union Cabinet recently?

(A) Atal Pension yojana

(B) SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters)

(C) Sukanya Smriti Account

(D) National Social Assistance Scheme

(3) Wayne Rooney announced his retirement.  He played which sport?

(A) Cricket

(B) Hockey

(C) Football

(D) Athletics

(4) Which state government has launched a grid-connected rooftop solar programme through net-metering system at the State Secretariat in capital city?

(A) Andhra Pradesh

(B) Kerala

(C) Odisha

(D) Gujarat

(5) Which country has launched its climate-smart snow leopard landscape management plan?

(A) Nepal

(B) India

(C) China

(D) Pakistan

(6) Who has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India for 3 Months?

(A) Rajiv Bansal

(B) Ashwani Lohia

(C) Vinod Hejmadi

(D) None of these

(7) Who has been appointed as the chairman of Syndicate Bank?

(A) Mr Melwyn Rego

(B) Jayant Purushottam Gokhale

(C) Vandana Kumari Jena

(D) Ajay Vipin Nanavati

(8) Which state power discoms has become the India’s first state-owned discoms to accept payments through Bharat QR?

(A) Andhra Pradesh

(B) Chattisgarh

(C) Rajasthan

(D) Odisha

(9) According to RBI, Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank and Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank recorded net profit of more than Rs 150 crore during 2016-17. Currently, there are total how many RRBs in India?

(A) 46

(B) 34

(C) 44

(D) 56

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) B   (3) C   (4) C   (5) A   (6) A   (7) D   (8) A   (9) D

 

25 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Who has been appointed as the new non-executive Chairman of Infosys?

(A) Ravi Venkatesan

(B) R. Seshasayee

(C) Nandan Nilekani

(D) U B Pravin Rao

(2) Which company launches the ‘Project Brainwave’ for Real-Time AI ?

(A) Samsung

(B) Vodafone

(C) Apple

(D) Microsoft

(3) Which former RBI governor has authored the book “I Do What I Do”?

(A) Duvvuri Subbarao

(B) Rahguram Rajan

(C) Manmohan Singh

(D) Amitav Ghosh

(4) In which country Indian Navy band participates in International Military Music Festival?

(A) Russia

(B) Britain

(C) USA

(D) Japan

(5) Which Senior BJP leader became a member of the parliament for the first time after being sworn into the Rajya Sabha on 25 August 2017?

(A) Smriti Irani

(B) Amit Shah

(C) Manohar Lal Khattar

(D) N. Biren Singh

(6) With which country, Qatar in August 2017 restored its diplomatic relations?

(A) Israel

(B) Iran

(C) Saudi Arabia

(D) Egypt

(7) Tony de Brum, the well-known climate awareness activist has passed away. He hailed from which country?

(A) Tonga

(B) Tuvalu

(C) Vanuatu

(D) Marshall Islands

(8) Who to be named as First to be named Men’s Player of the Year for Three Times?

(A) Cristiano Ronaldo

(B) Lionel Messi

(C) Gareth Bale

(D) Thomas muller

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) D   (3) B   (4) A   (5) B   (6) B   (7) D   (8) A

 

26 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Name the country who’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment will lead a major mission to India to deepen collaboration in the fields of agribusiness and food, higher education among others in August 2017.

(A) Britain

(B) Brazil

(C) Russia

(D) Australia

(2) Which State has launched e-waste disposal process in its schools?

(A) Telangana

(B) Kerala

(C) Karnataka

(D) Uttar Pradesh

(3) Which ministry sets up Task Force on Artificial Intelligence recently?

(A) Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

(B) Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

(C) Ministry of Commerce and Industry

(D) Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

(4) Which Indian Coast Guard Ship was decommissioned with full armed forces honours?

(A) Samrat

(B) Aryaman

(C) Varuna

(D) Sarathi

(5) What is the colour of the new Rs. 200 note?

(A) Red

(B) Green

(C) Blue

(D) Yellow

(6) Recently, The Indian government has restricted import of gold, silver items from __________.

(A) China

(B) Kuwait

(C) Saudi Arabia

(D) South Korea

(7) Which among the following has become India’s second 100% computer literate village?

(A) Akodara

(B) Chamravattom

(C) Nungthaang Tampak

(D) Barsimaluguri

(8) Which bank appoints Committee to Link Home Loan Rates to Repo Rate?

(A) Reserve Bank of India

(B) Dena Bank

(C) Federal Bank

(D) State bank of India

Answers:-

(1) D   (2) B   (3) C   (4) C   (5) D   (6) D   (7) C   (8) A

 

27 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Whom did Floyd Mayweather beat to win boxing superfight?

(A) Conor McGregor

(B) Augie Sanchez

(C) Genaro Hernández

(D) Justin Juuko

(2) A NASA rocket mission named —— will form night-time white artificial clouds visible by residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands during two rocket flights between 29 August 2017 and 9 September 2017.

(A) WINDY

(B) WIND

(C) VINDI

(D) VINDE

(3) Who becomes First Ever Football Player to score 350 La Liga Goals?

(A) Paul Pogba

(B) Wayney roonee

(C) Jamie Vardy

(D) Lionel Messi

(4) Who has been appointed as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force?

(A) Sunil Rajput

(B) Dharmendra Kumar

(C) Mahendra Singh Rathore

(D) Rajiv Ranjan Verma

(5) Which bank announced a software upgrade to create a single PoS machine which will accept payments through UPI, BharatQR, SMS Pay and the bank’s mobile wallet, in addition to the traditional mode of swiping cards?

(A) SBI

(B) ICICI

(C) HDFC

(D) IDFC

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) A   (3) D   (4) B   (5) C

 

28 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Where was India’s first ‘Videsh Bhawan’ inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj?

(A) Bengaluru

(B) New Delhi

(C) Mumbai

(D) Ahmedabad

(2) To whom the Union Minister Arun Jaitley hands over LRSAM?

(A) Indian Army

(B) Indian Navy

(C) Indian Airforce

(D) Indian Police Force

(3) Who has been selected as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uber?

(A) Dara Khosrowshahi

(B) Travis Kalanick

(C) Garrett Camp

(D) None of these

(4) For Which country Union Government imposes anti-dumping duty on sodium nitrate imports recently?

(A) China

(B) Pakistan

(C) Nepal

(D) Sri Lanka

(5) Who was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India?

(A) Justice Dipak Misra

(B) Justice J Chalameswar

(C) Justice Ranjan Gagoi

(D) Justice Madan Lokur

(6) Who won Belgian Grand Prix recently ?

(A) Lewis Hamilton

(B) Kimi Raikkonen

(C) Valtteri Bottas

(D) Daniel Ricciardo

(7) To whom did PV Sindhu lost in the final of World Badminton Championship to settle for Silver medal?

(A) Carolina Marin of Spain

(B) Nozomi Okuhara of Japan

(C) Li Xuerui of China

(D) Tai Tzu Ying of China

(8) Which country with India Agree to Disengage at Doklam?

(A) Pakistan

(B) China

(C) Nepal

(D) Sri Lanka

(9) Who of the following was crowned as the 2017 Miss TransQueen India?

(A) Loiloi

(B) Ragasiya.K

(C) Nitasha Biswas

(D) Laeticia Raveena

Answers:-

(1) C   (2) B   (3) A   (4) A   (5) A   (6) A   (7) B   (8) B   (9) C

 

29 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) Which hockey player’s birth anniversary is celebrated on 29 August as National Sports Day?

(A) Mandeep Singh

(B) Dhyan Chand

(C) Dhanraj Pillay

(D) Mohammed Shahid

(2) Ahmed Khan passed away recently at the age of 90. Who was he?

(A) Journalist

(B) Football Player

(C) Carnatic Musician

(D) Actor

(3) Which country Imposes World’s Toughest Law Against Plastic Bags recently?

(A) Kenya

(B) India

(C) Iraq

(D) Pakistan

(4) Where was Sports Talent Seacrh Portal launched by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu?

(A) Mumbai

(B) Chennai

(C) New Delhi

(D) Kolkata

(5) Which country won the U-15 SAFF Football Championship recently?

(A) Nepal

(B) China

(C) India

(D) Pakistan

(6) Who launched the host city logo for Kochi, one of the venues of FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017?

(A) Shri Vijay Sekar

(B) Shri Narayana Swamy

(C) Shri Ram Narayan

(D) Shri Pinarayi Vijayan

(7) Who dedicates to nation 11 completed highway projects in Rajasthan?

(A) Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi

(B) Shri Arun Jaitley

(C) Shri Naresh Iyer

(D) Shri Prakash Javadekar

(8) Which Mission will be launched for improving India’s position in ocean research field?

(A) Clean Ocean Mission

(B) Deep Ocean Mission

(C) Marine Research Mission

(D) Samudri Shodh Abhiyaan

(9) Where was an atomic fuel reserve established by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?

(A) India

(B) Uzbekistan

(C) Azerbaijan

(D) Kazakhstan

Answers:-

(1) B   (2) B   (3) A   (4) C   (5) C   (6) D   (7) A   (8) B   (9) D

 

30 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) The International Day of the victims of Enforced Disappearances was observed on which date?

(A) 30 August

(B) 29 August

(C) 26 August

(D) 31 August

(2) With which city Police Department the skill development program YUVA is associated?

(A) Delhi Police

(B) Ahmedabad

(C) Mumbai

(D) Bengaluru

(3) How many crores Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced GST earnings cross target in maiden month?

(A) Rs 92,283 crore

(B) Rs 50,000 crores

(C) Rs 45,000 crores

(D) Rs 39,000 crores

(4) Which organisation announced the Women Transforming India Awards 2017?

(A) Ministry of Women and Child Development

(B) NITI Aayog

(C) UN Women

(D) None of these

(5) Which state government has decided to end interview in all the non-gazetted posts of Group B, C and D categories?

(A) Haryana

(B) Maharashtra

(C) Uttar Pradesh

(D) Manipur

(6) Sri Lankan selection panel of Cricket team was resigned, Who of the following was Chairman/ Head of the selection panel?

(A) Kumar Sangakkara

(B) Sanath Jayasurya

(C) Mahela Jayawardene

(D) Marvan Atapattu

(7) Where was the fourth session of India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee (JTC) held?

(A) New Delhi

(B) Ahmedabad

(C) Mumbai

(D) Dodoma

(8) How many medals were won by India at the World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles?

(A) 324

(B) 323

(C) 322

(D) 321

(9) Which of the following has not won the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2017?

(A) Premlata Agrawal

(B) Ved Prakash Sharma

(C) Harbhajan Singh

(D) Ashok Abbey

Answers:-

(1) A   (2) A   (3) A   (4) B   (5) C   (6) B   (7) A   (8) D   (9) C

 

31 August 2017 Current Affairs Quiz

(1) For Which issue 10th India-European Union Counter meeting took place recently?

(A) Trade

(B) Terrorism

(C) Agriculture

(D) Medicines and Health Care

(2) Which of the following will implement the Karnataka government’s ‘Ksheera Bhagya’ Scheme in Bengaluru, wherein school children would be provided a glass of milk each five days a week?

(A) Amazon

(B) Bharti Airtel

(C) Flipkart

(D) BSNL

(3) Who got the 2016 Saraswati Samman recently ?

(A) Mahabaleshwar Sail

(B) A.A. Manavalan

(C) Govind Mishra

(D) v

(4) Which cabinet minister confers National Level Awards to Anganwadi workers?

(A) Narendra Singh Tomar

(B) Maneka Gandhi

(C) Prakash Javadekar

(D) Rajnath Singh

(5) Who was appointed as the first brand ambassador for Bridgestone India?

(A) Pullela Gopichand

(B) Saina Nehwal

(C) PV Sindhu

(D) Sachin Tendulkar

(6) India and which country have jointly submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling for the elimination of the most trade-distorting form of farm subsidies, known as Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS)?

(A) China

(B) Pakistan

(C) Nepal

(D) Russia

(7) Which bank receives scheduled bank status from Reserve Bank of India recently ?

(A) Equitas Small Finance Bank

(B) Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

(C) Janalakshmi Small Finance Bank

(D) Suryoday Small finance bank

(8) Who took over as the Union Secretary of Home Affairs recently?

(A) Shri Rajesh Sharma

(B) Shri Vijay Sekhar

(C) Shri Ram Kumar

(D) Shri Rajiv Gauba

(9) Who is appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Cyprus ?

(A) Dr. V. K. Vijayan

(B) Dr. Ramesh Kumar

(C) Dr. Narayana Moorthy

(D) Dr. R. K. Raghavan

Answers:-

(1) B   (2) A   (3) A   (4) B   (5) C   (6) A   (7) B   (8) D   (9) D

 

 

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

July 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

Russia asks 755 US diplomats to leave country following American sanctions

Russian President Vladmir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country. The action was taken three days after the US Congress approved sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the US Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin in an interview to a Russian TV channel said, more than 1000 people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said 755 of them should stop their activities and return.

Four Arab States ready for dialogue with Qatar

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar have announced willngness to initiate a dialogue with the country, bringing the hope of some sort of resolution to the gulf crisis. The foriegn ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue with Doha if it agrees to some of their demands including showing genuine willingness to stop funding terrorism. The same was revealed by Bahrain’s foreign minister, after a two-meet with his counterparts from the other three nations.

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Paintings Exhibition begins in Nepal

The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event. These events provide platform to artists for exchanging ideas with fellow artists and helping in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

US tests missile-defence system after North Korea missile launch

The United States (US) has tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in Alaska by launching a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The missile-defence system test came after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was launched by US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean and the THAAD weapon system detected, tracked and intercepted the target. This was the 15th successful intercept out of the 15 tests carried out for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD interceptors are meant to help guard the US against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

China produces natural gas from flammable ice

China successfully produced natural gas from flammable ice, also known as methane hydrate, in an experimental project conducted in the South China Sea. As a part of the experiment, a drilling platform was deployed off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days. It produced around 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, which is a record extraction volume from gas hydrate. According to China’s Ministry of Land and resources, China has made a historic breakthrough. The ministry stated that the country has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations after nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos overtakes Gates to become world’s richest

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man in Forbes magazine’s tracking of wealth, as stock in his e-commerce company hit an all-time high. Mr Bezos, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth almost $91bn (£70bn) after Amazon’s share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in New York. That put his fortune ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’. The latter has a net worth of around $90.7bn and has been at the top of Bloomberg’s rich list since 2013. But Mr Bezos slipped back into second place later in the day.

BRICS nations sign memorandum to facilitate taxation cooperation

Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries have signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation. The BRICS Taxation Cooperation Memorandum, signed at the fifth meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities, is the bloc’s first document that elevates taxation cooperation to the institutional level. The authorities also agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency, boost taxation capacities and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies and tax collection. The meeting comes ahead of the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Fujian province’s Xiamen city from September 3 to 5.

Bolivian President declares ‘Total Independence’ from World Bank & IMF

Bolivia’s President Eva Morales has declared that his nation has achieved “total independence” form the IMF and the World Bank. President Morales declared the news on his official twitter account. The socialist leader published his comments following a meeting with his peers at a gathering in Argentina of the Mercosur, a sub-regional economic bloc.

Trump administration urges NSG members to support India’s application

Donald Trump’s administration has urged other members of the Nuclear Suppiers Group to support India’s membership bid to the elite grouping. The NSG controls international nuclear trade. The US Department of Defence and Department of State said in a report that the United States welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for membership. It also added that the US has called upon other NSG members to support India’s application.

BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing

The 2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened in Beijing, China to discuss the development of the youth in the countries of the grouping. The theme of three-day forum is ‘Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development’. It gathered 50 youth representatives working as civil servants, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and journalists from the BRICS countries. The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa.

World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

The world’s first floating windfarm has taken to the seas in a sign that a technology once confined to research and development drawing boards is finally ready to unlock expanses of ocean for generating renewable power in Scotland. The £200m Hywind project is unusual not just because of the pioneering technology involved, which uses a 78-metre-tall underwater ballast and three mooring lines that will be attached to the seabed to keep the turbines upright. It will bring power to 20,000 homes.

World’s largest supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford commissioned in USA

US Navy commissioned world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford into the fleet. The commissioning ceremony was held at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia in presence of US President Donald Trump. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in this new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford and has been built by Newport News Ship Building Company. The massive 1,106-foot-long carrier displaces a staggering 100,000 tons fully loaded and is powered by two new generation nuclear reactors.

UAE Minister tops most powerful Arab women: Forbes

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance has topped a poll of the most powerful Arab women in government for 2017, according to Forbes Middle East. Ms. Qasimi was followed by two women from Egypt – Sahar Nasr, the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation and Ghada Wali, the minister of social solidarity. Forbes has also released a list of the top 100 most powerful Arab business women for 2017, and the UAE represents the highest number of women, with 18, followed by Egypt, with 16. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the businesswoman list. The rankings were compiled by taking into account scope of the role or ministry, years of experience and company revenues, or GDP in the case of government.

Indonesia bans Islamic organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Indonesia has banned Islamic organization Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia under a contraversial presidential decree. The step has been taken to safeguard the existence of the Island nation’s pluralist state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. The legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which compaigns for the country to adopt Islamic law and become a caliphate, was revoked to protect Indonesia’s unity. On the other hand, the Islamic organization condemned the ban and said it “will not remain silent”, vowing to challenge the decision in court.

Google introduces recruiting app ‘Hire’ for business

Google launched ‘Hire, a recruiting app for small and medium sized businesses that integrates seamlessly with G Suite. The launch of Hire app is seen an apparent move to compete with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. Hire makes it easy to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end. It integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calender that are being used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts.

Indonesia Renames its portion of the South China Sea

Indonesia has named waters in its exclusive economic zone that overlap with China’s expansive claim to the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea. The part of the renamed area falls in China’s “nine-dash line” waters extending hundreds of miles to the south and east of China’s island province Hainan. Several South-East Asian states dispute China’s territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea’s abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources.

Japan’s men only island gets UNESCO Heritage tag

Japan’s Okinoshima island, an ancient religious site where women are banned, has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN’s cultural body Unesco. Okinoshima is home to the Okitsu shrine, built in the 17th century to pray for the safety of sailors. Before setting foot on the island, men must take off their clothes and undergo a cleansing ritual. When they leave they are not allowed to take away any souvenirs, or disclose details of their visit. Okinoshima, which is a part of the city of Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan, is located in south-west Japan between the main island of kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. Referred as the men only island, the island is permanently manned by a Shinto priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up for centuries.

Govt to organise global food fair in Nov to boost food sector

The government of India will organize a global food fair in November 2017 to provide a platform to Indian farmers and manufacturers to showcase their products and explore partnerships with foreign companies. The three-day international level fair ‘World Food India 2017′ is being organized on November 3-5 by the Food Processing Ministry, where industry body CII will be an event partner. The World Food India is a step aimed at creating India a ‘Global Food Factory’ and ‘Global Food Retail Market’. The food processing sector received USD 5.76 billion in FDI equity inflows from 2010-11 to 2015-16. In 2016-17 (April-December), the food processing sector in the country has received USD 663.23 million worth of FDI.

Brazil’s Archaeological Site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List. The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent. It is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting. Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously. The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

European Parliament approves first ever EU-Cuba agreement

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal between the European Union and Cuba. MEPs in the eastern French city of Strasbourg approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016. With the deal, Cuba joins other Latin American countries with similar agreements with the EU, whose relations with the island had previously been conducted in the so-called Common Position that linked ties to improvements in human rights.

INDIA & WORLD

India, Pakistan to hold talks on hydropower projects under Indus Waters Treaty

India and Pakistan will hold talks on two hydrpower projects, namely Kishenganga and Ratle, under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh is leading the Indian delegation during the talks. The delegation will include officials from ministries of external affairs and water resources. World Bank Vice President for South Asia resion Annette Dixon – in a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna – has welcomed the participation of both the countries in the dialogue. The meet at Washington is being held as part of efforts by the World Bank to resolve the issues raised by Pakistan over India’s hydroelectricity projects.

Delhi Metro declared as world’s first green metro

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) was declared as the owrld’s first green metro after it added a green certification for all its major buildings and installations. Apart from depots and sub stations, DMRC was also awarded the platinum rating for its 10 residential colonies for adherence to green building norms by the IGBC. The declaration was made during National Conference on Green Metro Systems by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The conference was attended by delegates from all other Metro systems in the country.

India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways

India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh. Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Brahmaputra in Assam. He said, the services are expected to start by the end of this year.

India ranks 132 in commitment to narrow income inequality

India has ranked 132nd out of 152 countries on the inaugural “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” released by international NGO Oxfam in association with Developmental Finance International. Sweden topped the index while Nigeria took the bottom most spot. Sweden is followed by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany. Among India’s neighboring countries, China’s rank is 87; Pakistan fared worse than India at 146 while Bangladesh ranked at 148.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force recently. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes in this regard. The agreement was signed on 11th November 2016 in Tokyo during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between the two sides and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.

Australia joins International Solar Alliance led by India & France

Australia became the 35th country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015 in Paris. It is co-led by India and France. The aim of ISA is to support developing countries to boost their solar production capacity. India on its part through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is contributing $1 million to the ISA fund. The larger aim of ISA is to mobilize over $ 1000 billion by 2030 towards promoting solar power on all fronts generation and storage. The solar alliance, whose head office is in India, has grown stronger in the past two years with more countries joining the group and signing the agreement.

India & Sri Lanka sign MoU to develop village in Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU to develop a village in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka at a cost of 30 crores Sri Lankan rupees. The village in the name of a famous Buddhist monk Sobitha Thero, envisages construction of 153 new houses, a multi-purpose community building, internal water supply system and renovation of monk’s quarters & library. The project is in line with Government of Sri Lanka’s policy of rehabilitation of rural villages for economic development. It will benefit 153 families residing in the village.

India launches solar project to electrify the remote village of Agaween in Egypt

India has launched a solar project with state-of-the-art technology to electrify a remote village in Egypt. The Solar Electrification Project is an off-grid system that is ideal fr remote locations. The project has been launched at Agaween village in the Western Desert in Matrough Governorate, close to the Libyan border. The project was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharya and Major General Alla Fathi Abou Zeid, Governor of Matrough. To successfully launch the Solar Electrification Project, India provided all the solar panels and sub-systems, machinery, equipment and technical support, as well as training for technicians. The Egyptian Government provided the location for implementation of the project.

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on 2017 SDG index

India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDG Index and Dashboards Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that world leaders need to strengthen their joint efforts to realise the 17 global goals. India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122. Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively.

US House of Representatives passes Bill on defence co-operation with India

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India. India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law. The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India. The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence. Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.

India Rise to 96th in FIFA World ranking, Best in Two Decades

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World Ranking released recently. This is the country’s second-best ranking and its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996. India has moved 77 positions up from the 173rd rank on March 2015. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

India ranked 23rd in second Global Cybersecurity Index

India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. The Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India has been listed in the “maturing category” of the index with a score of 0.683. Around 77 countries have been placed in the maturing category as they have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. Singapore has topped the index with a score of 0.925. Singapore is followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th.

India and Israel sign 7 Agreements

India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
MoUs between India & Israel are:
MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
MoU for conservation of water in India.
MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India India-Israel Development Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020).
Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.
MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.

India’s TERI ranked second among world’s climate think tanks

New Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) was ranked second among world’s best climate think tank by the International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG). TERI was ranked number two under the category ‘2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World-Absolute Global Rankings’ during ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens, Greece. ICCG is an internationally-renowned body whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and related governance issues. It rankings helps to highlight the scale and magnitude of work done by the think tanks working in the field of climate change.

Indo-Thai joint military exercise Maitree 2017 begins in HP

A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand started in Himachal Pradesh. The joint exercise of the Indian Army with the Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district. The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies. ‘Exercise Maitree 2017′ is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016. The Maitree series of bilateral exercises has been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand.

Two Indian-Americans to be honoured with Great Immigrants award

Two Indian-Americans, Adobe Chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy. Narayen and Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence day. Murthy, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country. Narayen, a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

India contributes Rs. 3 Crores to UN Peacebuilding Fund

India has contributed $500,000 (Rs. 3 Crores) to the UN Peacebuilding Fund, expressing hope that more funding by nations will boost efforts by the world body to build and sustain peace. India has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in December 2005 and has so far contributed $5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. The fund was launched to support activities, actions, programmes and organisations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.

NATIONAL

Union Govt launches Sagar Vani to alert coastal community

Union Minister of Science & technology Harshavardhan has launched Sagar Vani application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences. The portal was launched with an aim to alert the coastal communities. This Integrated Information Dissemination System (IDS) was developed by ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). It is aimed at disseminating the advisories effectively and timely, directly from the lab to the end user.

Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has approved 6 transport proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. It includes high-tech mass rapid transportation technologies such as metrino, hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses and freight rail road. The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially. Following the go-ahead from NITI Aayog, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and their best global practices.

No immediate arrest under dowry harassment law:SC

The Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest the accused without conducting a preliminary inquiry under dowry harassment cases. With this, the court puts an end to immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases, under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ruling was made by a bench of Justices A K Goeal and UU Lalit.

National Centre for Seismology launches app ‘India Quake’

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change has launched an app Inida Quake for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination. The minister launched the application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) for real time data communication.

Union Govt plans to open over 100 new post offices by 2018

The Union government is planning to open 81 sub-post offices and 100 branch post offices during the 2017-18 fiscal year under the “Rural Business & Access to Postal Network” scheme. The same was notified to the Parliament. The Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that under the scheme, the Department of Posts plans to open 66 new branch post offices during the current fiscal year by creation of new post offices in 32 worst affected Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit districts in the country.

Delhi Govt constitutes State Names Authority

The Delhi government constituted the state Names Authority, a seperate body mandated to name government roads and institutions under the state purview. The State Names Authority (SNA) will be headed by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. While, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain will be the Vice-Chairman of the Authority. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has gave his approval for the formation of the authority. The authority will have a total of 34 members including the Union home secretary, the Union HRD secretary, the DDA vice-chairman, the Delhi PWD secretary and the Delhi Principal secretary (Home). Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers Rajesh Gupta, Nitin Tyagi, Vishesh Ravi, Sanjeev Jha, Rakhi Birla, Bhavna Gaur and Adarsh Shastri will also be the members of the Authority.

Union Home Minister chairs first meeting of IDA

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA). The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation. After detailed consultations with key stakeholders, 10 islands namely Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep have been identified for holistic development in the first phase. With this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of Islands of India received a major boost.

Right to Education is Right to Quality Education says SC

The Supreme Court quashed the regularisation of 1.78 lakh Shiksha Mitras as teachers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) or not holding adequate qualification as fixed under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit ruled that their jobs could not be regularised at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers. It ruled that Right to Education means to right to quality education. The court held that appointment of Shiksha Mitras was not as per qualification prescribed for a teacher and they could not be regularized as teachers.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which was promulgated in May 2017.
Provisions of the Bill:
1. It authorises the RBI to direct the banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed asstes.
2. It also allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.
3. It empowers RBI to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.
4. The recovery proceedings will be carried out under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 that provides for a time-bound process to resolve defaults.

Union Govt launches SHe-box portal

The union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched an online patform ‘SHe-box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box) to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the work place. The Ministry also instructed officials to make the ‘SHe-box’ portal as interactive as possible. The e-platform will be hosted on the WCD ministry’s website and the complaints will then be taken up with the respective ministries or departments. Once a complaint is registered, it will be forwarded to the concerned ministry or department where the woman works. Initially, only the central government women employees can file complaints through the portal, but later its ambit will include the private sector as well.

Supreme Court asks Centre & States not to protect any kind of vigilantism

The Supreme court of India asked the Union Government and the states not to protect any kind of vigilantism. It alsom sought their response on violent incidents of cow vigilantism. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice M M Shantanagoudar was informed by the Centre that law and order is a state subject but it does not support any kind of vigilantism in the country. The bench also sought the assistance of the Centre and states for removing violent content related to cow vigilantism uploaded on social media. The centre’s response was on a petition filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala, who in his plea seeks a direction to states and centre to take action against so-called Gau Rakhasks, who profess to protect cows.

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan. The WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was a major milestone for the global trading system. This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA. According to a Finance Ministry statement, all actions covered under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short, mid and long term.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formally launched the Pradhan mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the Union Government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The scheme is available from 4 May 2017 to 3 May 2018. The scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme. The scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent per annum and is payable monthly for 10 years. The pension is payablle at the end of each period during th policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-early/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner. This scheme is exempted form Service Tax or GST.

UIDAI launches mAadhaar app with biometric check

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched new app for Android called mAadhaar. The mobile Aadhaar app lets users carry their Aadhaar information such as name, date of birth, gender, address as well as the photos linking to their Aadhaar card on their smartphones, making it easily accessible when needed. The app is currently only available for Android devices and is available via the Play Store. There is no information on an iOS Aadhaar app so far. For added security, the mAadhaar app also comes with biometric locking/unlocking that should keep users’ personal information safe. There is only a Time-based One-Time Password system (TOTP) that can be used to create a temporary password, which can be used in place of a traditional SMS-based OTP. Users will also see their updated profile after they have successfully filed an update request. They can also share QR codes and password protected eKYC data to retrieve information. UIDAI has noted that the app is currently in beta, and some of the features will be made available in the future via updates.

Cabinet Approvals on 19th July 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields.
The Cabinet has approved:
MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology.
IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).
Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines.
Cadre Review of Indian Defence Accounts Service, IDAS.

Smriti Irani gets I&B ministry, Narendra Singh Tomar Urban Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Information and Broadcasting portfolio to Smriti Irani, a day after M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was handling the Ministry, was picked to be the NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate. The Urban Development Ministry, which was also being handled by Naidu, has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar. Naidu had resigned from his ministerial responsibilities.

PM Modi to inaugurate APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating a memorial for former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam at his birthplace, Peikarumbu near Rameswaram on 27 July 2017. The same was announced by Union Minister of State for Road Transport Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan in Madurai. The minister stated that the Prime Minster will come to Tamil Nadu next week to open the memorial.

Matunga becomes India’s first railway station with All-Women Staff

Central Railway has taken a step towards women empowerment by appointing an all-female work staff at the suburban Matunga station. Matunga station has now become the first such ladies special station. According to the official, women have been manning this station, which falls on the Central Railway, since the past two weeks. A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks. This is not the first time the Central Railway is taking the lead in empowering women. In 1992, its staffer Mamta Kulkarni became the Mumbai’s first woman station master. Kulkarni was posted in Kurla. Currently, the all-women staff at Matunga Railway Station has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock. Matunga railway station, which is located in central Mumbai, gets a huge number of student population as a lot of colleges are located in the area.

Railways launches mobile app ‘Rail SAARTHI’

Indian Railways launched an integrated mobile application to cater to various passenger requirements including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform. The app is called Rail SAARTHI and was launched by Railway Minister. The Rail SAARTHI (synergised advanced application rail travel help and information) such as safety for women, complaint facility and suggestion for improvement. One can also book air ticket through the app and give feedback. Railway Minister also announced a quota facility for differently- abled people in 3AC coach and extending the advance booking period for foreigners to 365 days from present 120 days. Now a lower berth in a 3AC coach will be reserved for physically-challenged people and the middle for the individual accompanying them. However, there will be only one such berth in the 3AC coach of a train.

Indian Railways launches RailCloud, NIVARAN & CTSE Scheme

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has launched RailCloud project, NIVARAN-Grievance Portal (First IT Application on Rail Cloud), Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) Scheme and Handing over of 1st CTSE Card.
1. RailCloud: Indian Railway has started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations. To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first, establishment of RailCloud is one such project.
2. NIVARAN-Grievance Portal First IT application on RailCloud: ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees. The existing application was hosted on a conventional server; it has been made cloud-ready and being migrated as the first cloud application of Indian Railways. It will save significant revenue and at the same time user experience will also improve.
3. Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE): Railway provides Comprehensive Health Care Facilities to its beneficiaries through in-house health Institutions, supplementing with referrals to recognized hospitals whenever necessary. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their dependent family members. Large no. of retired beneficiaries lives in the newly developed suburbs of various cities. These parts of the city are often far away from the established Railway Health Institutions. In this scenario the RELHS beneficiaries coming to Railway Health Institutions in routine is acceptable, however in emergency situations, precious time (Golden Hour) is lost in travel.

National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22 launched by Nadda

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years. This plan focuses on the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.

Govt empowers Army to procure weaponry for short intense wars

Tne Union Government empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain cmbat readiness for short duration intense wars. This decision will help the Army to complete the procurement process for such ammunition and equipment in a faster way. The Army vice-chief Sarath Chand has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. The decision was made after an internal review found that the optimum holding state was not maintaine in a proper way. As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.

Mithali Raj Creates Women’s Cricket History

Mithali Raj has been India’s premier player ever since she made her debut in 1999. Her exploits in the international stage in both Tests and ODIs have made her India’s premier player. She created a world record by smashing seven consecutive fifty-plus scores, making her the first woman player to achieve the feat. In the crucial game against Australia, Mithali became the woman cricketer who has scored most runs in ODIs. Mithali Raj became the first women’s player to reach 6000 ODI runs. England’s Charlotte Edwards was the previous leading run-getter in ODIs with 5992 runs. 164 – Number of innings that has taken Mithali to achieve this feat. She has 48 not-outs to her name, which is the most in women’s cricket.

Union Govt launches new tax payer service module Aaykar Setu

The Union Finance Ministry has launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax payer service module. The new e-initiative literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in android phones. It compiles various tax tools, dynamic updates, live chat facility and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department (ITD) in a single module. Aaykar Setu has been launched in mobile responsive android application and also in desktop version to enhance mobile access as well as desktop access. This e-initiative aims provide better taxpayer services and also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

Prez launches 3 digital initiatives over e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee has launched digital initiatives – Swayam, Swayam Prabha and National Academic Depository – in New Delhi to push e-education in the country. The aim of the initiatives is to raise the Gross Enrollment Ratio in the higher education from 24.5 to 30 by 2020.
Swayam will host courses taught in classrooms from Class 9th to post-graduation, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It will target those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
Swayam Prabha is the platform of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting high-quality educational programmes 24X7 using GSAT-15 satellite.
National Academic Depository will facilitate online verification of certificates. All the courses are interactive and available free of cost. Students from various recognised institutes in India will be able to earn credits on clearing these online courses.
He also launched the National Digital Library which containing 6.5 million books.

GST Rates Finder’ App launched by Govt to allow consumers verify accurate tax rate

Ministry of Finance has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the app in New Delhi. Through this app, user can determine GST rate by entering the name of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the Goods and Services containing the name which was typed in the search box. A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. This mobile app can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The application has been launched on Android platform, and is expected to be unveiled for iOS users shortly.

STATES

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, has launched the Jiyo parsi Publicity hase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. While launching the Phase-2, Naqvi said that Parsi community has immense contribution in nation building and Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi Community has given so many great people who have been ‘architects of nation building”. The main aim of the Jiyo Parsi scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. The scheme also aims to stabilize their population and increse the population of Parsis in India.

Punjab launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme

The Punjab government has recently announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes. Under the scheme, the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidized rates. Though Uber will be able to operate easily with in Punjab, but it may not have a smooth ride with in the Chandigarh Central Region. Since Haryana is charging a high entry tax on commercial passenger vehicles entering from Chandigarh and Punjab. Uber and Ola- both have taken up the matter with Monahar Lal led BJP government. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab. Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.

Mumbai Metro launches ‘OnGo’, India’s first mobile ticketing system

Mumbai Metro announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’ which will help commuters pass the AFC gates using their mobile phones. The system is in the final advanced stage of testing and will be implemented by mid-August. Through the Mumbai Metro App, commuters will be able to buy their token or pass and generate a QR Code which will be used to gain access through the automated fare collection (AFC) gates. Commuters will be able to generate a QR Code through ‘OnGo’ service for current or future journeys upto a week in advance by clicking the mobile app wherein they would pay for their journey.

PM Modi inaugurates Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former President. Mr Modi unveils a statue of Dr. Kalam and hoisted the National flag at the memorial. Mr. Modi will flag off Kalam Sandesh Vahini, an exhibition bus which will travel across the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th of October, which marks the birth anniversary of the former President. The majestic memorial for the missile man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organization.

Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India

The count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017. the news was announced by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. In addition, 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, in the state. While announcing the statistics, the Chief Minister congratulated the forest department for the great work being done for the conservation of tigers and added that in terms of area and tiger population ratio. Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.

Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, private & govt offices

The Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu atleast once in a week and in government and private offices atleast once in a month. while issuing order, Justice MV Muralidharan stated that to instil a sense of patroitism in each and every citizen of Tamil Nadu, the National song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all educational institutions atleast once a week, preferably on Monday and Friday.

Rajya Sabha passes Maritime Admiralty Bill, 2017

The Rajya Sabha passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017. The Bill was presented by the Minister of State or Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861 and the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890. The bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017.

AAI, Uttarakhand Govt ink MoU on Aviation Development

Airports Authority of India (AAI), has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA). The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development), AAI. The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing the commercial potential of various airports of the State, and identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the State.

UP Govt to launch all-women ‘Pink’ AC busses with CCTV cameras

The Uttar Prasedh (UP) Government announced to launch ‘Pink’ air-conditioned buses installed with CCTV cameras exclusively for women. The staff including the conductor in these buses, will be women only. The ‘Pink’ buses will have panic buttons installed for emergencies. The presentation in this regard was made before the Union Ministry of Women Child Development by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) authorities. Following this, the Union Ministry sanctioned funds for the 50 buses from its ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for the ‘Pink’ buses in UP. The ministry permitted the state government to buy the buses and install CCTV cameras in the other 12500 busesn owned by the UPSRTC.

Literary Festival themed ‘Tolerance’ to be held in Kerala

At a time when the country witnesses raging debate over intolerance, Kerala is getting ready to host a literary festival with tolerance as the core theme. Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at the fifth edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE), to be held at Chengannur, a sleepy town in coastal Alappuza district, from July 24. Organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art-cum-cultural outfit, the three-day annual literary gathering is aimed at bringing about an enriching interaction between writers from different languages and regions.

Castor plant can reduce soil pollution: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad, Castor bean plants can prove useful in fighting soil pollution. It was found that these plants can absorb toxic heavy metals from soil from these polluted areas due to industrial pollution. The roots, leaves and stem of these plants from the polluted areas contain heavy metals such as lead. It was also observed that these plants accelerate the remediation of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators which enhances the capability of the plant to accumulate heavy metals. Castor seed plants are generally known to be one of the sturdiest plants that can grow in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out. Traditionally, Castor oil (also known as ‘Arandi ka tel’ in Hindi) has been an age old home remedy for a variety of ailments in India.

Kamal Haasan is the brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of team Tamil Thalaivas in the fifth season of Pro Kabbadi League. Tamil Thalaivas is owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The tournament starts from 28 July in Hyderabad.

Prez inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion of Odisha

The President of India Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture. The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East Inida Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company’s forces. The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

Odisha CM dedicates longest bridge to nation, names it after Netaji

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the nation the state’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 2.88 km bridge connects Barang on the outskirts of capital city Bhubaneswar with Judicial Academy Chhak in Cuttack. It reduces the distance between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by almost 12 kms. Although the construction work of the bridge started after Mr. Patnaik laid the foundation in February 2011, the completion missed the deadline by over three years.

Telangana launches ‘Janahitha’ for speedy redressal of public grievances

The Telangana government launched a special portal called “Janahitha” to receive complaints from the public. The programme was inaugurated in Suryapet district on a pilot basis by Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy. The portal, which has been developed by Telangana’s IT department is a single window for all grievances and their redressal management. It is aimed at facilitating the public to submit their complaints online and get speedy redressal.

Maha govt revamps scheme for girl child welfare

The Maharashtra government has approved a revised policy of the ‘Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree’ scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited. The scheme was launched by the state government on April 1, 2016 in place of ‘Sukanya’ scheme. It is aimed at improving the skewed girl child ratio, prevent sex determination and female foeticide, and support female education.

In a first, Telangana to have eco-friendly bridges for movement of tigers

In a first of its kind, the Indian state of Telangana will soom have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers. The state will have the bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the dforstsrs in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. the inttcention requioires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.

J-K govt launches weekly festival ‘Culture on Cruise’ at Dal Lake

The spectacular Dal Lake here hosted first ever ‘Cultrue of Cruise’, a weeekly cultural programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir government aimed to bring artists from various fields on one stage. The innovative programme series brings writers, performance artistes, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates. The inaugural programme of the series saw artistes such as Mohammed Yaseen Gundpuri, Mohammed Subhan Shah, and Bashir Kotur perform before a select gathering of audience comprising singers, artists, writers, and poets.

Karnataka Govt appoints panel to design its own state flag

The Congress-led Sidsaramaiah government in Karnataka has constituted a nine-member committee to study the possibility of designing its own ‘state flag’. The panel headed by Principal Secretary, department of Kannada and Culture is expected to prepare a design for a seperate state flag and soon submit a report looking into the legal sancity of the same to the state government. If the move does get legal sanction then it would make Karnataka the only second state in the country to officially have its own flag after Jammu & Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Raipur, the most customer-friendly airport

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 53 non-metro airports in the country. Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI (Customer Service Index) survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017, followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively. Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of AAI which is evaluated through Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness, etc

Maharashtra passes law against social boycott

Maharashtra has become the first state to make social boycott a crime after President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the legislation. The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act prescribes a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of Rs1 lakh. It aims to prevent atrocities carried out by extra-judicial courts and caste panchayats. The Act also provides for compensation to victims. The fines imposed on violators will be used to compensate them. The Act also has a provision to withdraw cases with the consent of victims and permission from a court. In case of a withdrawal, the accused will have to perform community service.

Delhi Police to get ‘super cop belt’

National capital police will be the first state police in India who will get ‘super cop belt’, a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch. According to the Delhi Police, currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability.

Maharashtra launches free injectable contraceptive for women

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to provide women an injectable contraceptive for free. The state’s public health department launched a program called Antara to offer women an injection of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a birth-control hormone. According to state health officials, the injection, a safe means of birth control, is effective for three months. The injection will be given intramuscularly to women in the age bracket of 18-45 years. Currently, the injections are available for free at public health facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Beed.

Rajasthan fixes min education qualification for cooperative body poll

Rajasthan has laid down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. With this, Rajasthan became India’s first state to fix minimum educational qualification for cooperative body poll. In this regard, the Rajasthan Gvernment amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The new rules would benefit about 10000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as their management will go to expert hands.

Delhi becomes second state to accept online RTI applications

Filing an RTI application with the Delhi government is now just a click away. Delhi became the second state to launch e-RTI portal that will enable citizens to file online Right to Information (RTI). Maharashtra is the first state to launch the online RTI platform. The portal launched recently will enable citizens to file RTI and seek information related to 172 departments of the Delhi government including the office of the CM and his ministers. The e-RTI portal, which has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), includes filling of application, payment of fees and getting replies online. An applicant will also be able to track the status of RTI application. The e-RTI application fee will have to be paid through net banking. Citizens can file the e-RTIs by logging at www.rtionline.delhi.gov.in. You can also call at 011-23392726 and 011-23392421 for any queries related to the process of filing the RTI.

Kerala Govt proposes Stray Dog Zoos

The Kerala government is planning “stray dog zoos” to keep them off the streets in the State. The State government informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that it had asked all district panchayats to keep aside two to three acres and notify them as ‘stray dog zoos’. The State government, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population, which has increased aggressively over the years and become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and activists refused to be convinced by the solution Kerala has arrived at concerning stray dogs.

J&K Assembly passes resolution to implement GST in the state

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly adopted a resolution to implement the goods and services tax (GST), bringing the state’s indirect taxation into the new unified tax regime that the rest of the country adopted on 1 July at a landmark ceremony in Parliament. The resolution moved by state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state. With this Jammu and Kashmir has become the last state to pass the GST bill in the state.

CONFERENCES

India to host 2017 Global Conference on Cyber Space

India will host Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017, the world’s largest conference on cyber space and related issues in New Delhi in November 2017. This is for the first time GCCS is taking place outside Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. It will be the fifth edition the conference. The theme for the GCCS 2017 is ‘Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace‘. The cyber security will be one of the major focus areas in GCCS 2017. It will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas with global think thanks and promote closer co-operation among the international community. The GCCS is a prestigious international conference that aims at encouraging dialogue among stakeholders of cyberspace. It was incepted in 2011 in London.

22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) held in Istanbul

The 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference was held recently in Istanbul, Turkey. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul to represent India at the Conference. The theme for 22nd World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. WPC was first organized in year 1993. Currently, it is being held at the interval of three years. “This time – Istanbul!” was the motto for the Turkish delegation as they faced the USA with Houston, Kazakhstan with Astana and Denmark with Copenhagen in the election to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in 2017. In a tightly run competition, Istanbul won the right to host the prestigious Congress with 55% of the votes in the third round against its strongest rival Houston with 45%.

Model UN Regional Conference begins in Kathmandu

A Model United Nations (MUN) Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker’s Society. Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5-day conference. The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelize energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world. The conference simulate four UN committees-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Danfoss India conferred with Golden Peacock Award

Climate and energy efficiency solutions company Danfoss India has been conferred with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ for Environment Management. The award was presented in Hyderabad during the 19th World Congress on Environment Management’ in the presence of Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph. Acknowledging its commitment towards the environment, the company has been recognized for its LEED Platinum rated constructed the manufacturing facility in Chennai. Danfoss’s commitment towards sustainable development via its energy-efficient products, green initiatives at the Oragadam campus and its ongoing pan India CSR Programmes driving Sustainability are some the key contributing factors for the award.

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is hosting the twelfth G20 Summit on 7th and 8th of July, 2017. The G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg. The theme of the German presidency of the G20 is ‘Shaping an interconnected world’. Leaders of the G20 countries agreed to swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and its financing. In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders also decided that the private sector will also be involved in the global efforts to counter terror financing.

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers held in Beijing, China

Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held in Beijing, China. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar. The delegation of all the five BRICS countries participated in the two-day deliberations. Javadekar highlighted some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education. He specifically spoke about the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), SWAYAM platform which has already hosted over 480 courses online, research initiative IMPRINT and Smart India Hackathon. He also appreciated the creation of institutional mechanism in the form of BRICS Network University and BRICS Think Tank Council. Under BRICS Network University proposal, 12 universities from each of the 5 countries will engage with each other in education research and innovation. The 5 areas of cooperation which have been prioritised are–Communication and IT, Economics, Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution, and BRICS study.

10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee held in New Delhi

The 10th India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, (India) and Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply (Jordan). The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between India and Jordan, aiming at boosting and diversifying bilateral trade relations, in addition to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation based on the principle of equity, non-discrimination. On the sidelines of the TEJC, business federations from both sides also met and discussed the roadmap for the promotion of trade and investment through a B2B mechanism.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theater group and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino. The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

Jhulan Goswami and Subrata Bhattacharya felicitated by Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan was conferred former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya with prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award at the club’s annual day programme in kolkata. The city football gaint also felicitated India Women’s cricket team veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami with a special award. On the other hand, former club striker Balwant Singh was awarded the Best Football Player of the Year prize. Debabrata Das was honoured with the Best Cricket Player of the Year award. Former Bengal batsman Shyam Sundar Mitra was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organized by the Lokmat Media Group to honor distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. The awardess were selected by a jury headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil. The criteria for choosing the awardees included whether the parliamentarians followed the rules of procedures of the house. The jury also considered if these parliamentarians spoke only about their constituencies, their states or the nation as a whole. They also considered if parliamentarians took into account the situation developing across the world in terms of economic situation, international relations, cultural relations, war and peace and science & technology.

IIFA Awards 2017: Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film

The 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards was held in New York. Sonam Kapoor’s film Neerja won the best film award. Actor Shahid Kapoor earned the Best Actor award for his role in Udta Punjab, while Alia Bhatt won the Best Actor (Female) award for the same film.
Here is the list of winners of the IIFA Awards 2017:
Best Actor: Shahid Kapoor (Udta Punjab)
Best Actress: Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab)
Best Film: Neerja
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Varun Dhawan (Dishoom)
Best Actor in a Negative Role: Jim Sarbh (Neerja)
Style Icon of The Year: Alia Bhatt
Best Debutante: Disha Patani (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Debutant: Diljit Dosanjh (Udta Punjab)
Woman of The Year: Taapsee Pannu
Special Contribution to Indian Cinema: AR Rahman
Best Supporting Actress: Shabana Azmi (Neerja)
Best Supporting Actor: Anupam Kher (M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (Pink)
Best Story – Shakun Batra and Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon (Kapoor & Sons)
Best Music Director: Pritam (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Male: Amit Mishra (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Female- Tulsi Kumar (Airlift) and Kanika Kapoor (Udta Punjab).

NABARD celebrates 36th Foundation Day

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the 36th National Bank For Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) Foundation Day and Silver Jubilee of SHG Bank Linkage Programme, in New Delhi. Self Help Group Bank Linkage Programme (SHG BLP) is a pioneering initiative of Financial Inclusion by NABARD. The pilot stage of this programme was started in year 1992.

Sindhu bags ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu was bestowed with the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award during the ‘Maruti Suzuki Sportsperson of the Year’ Charity Gala Awards. Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand received the Coach of the Year award while the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh was given the Living Legend of the Year award. Young India cricketer K L Rahul, who made a mark in the last Test series against Australia, was awarded Gamechanger of the Year award. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist and the country’s sole gold medal winner in individual events at Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Para athletes Devendra Jhajaria, Mariappan Thangavelu, Varun Bharti and Deepa Malik also received awards.

Kambala’ Buffalo Race Gets President’s Assent

The President gave his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’. In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017′ by the Governor of Karnataka. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February with all parties backing the move. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended in its application to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu. Kambala, held from November to March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person.

SPORTS & GAMES

Caeleb becomes first ever to win three gold medals in one night

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool recently, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours – and won every time. Dressel’s sprint heroics were compiled in just over 90 minutes, interspersed by Sarah Sjostrom’s world record in the women’s 50 metres freestyle on another stunning night’s racing at the Duna Arena.

Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar strike gold at Czech Boxing tourney

Indian boxers packed quite a heavy punch at the 48th Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem, clinching five gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the event in the Czech Republic. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg), Amit Phangal (52kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed gold medals after winning their respective summit clashes. Kavinder Bisht (52kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg), on the other hand, settled for silver medals.

India clinch Division B crown in front of sellout home crowd

India defeated Kazakhstan, 75-73, to clinch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup’s Division B title. The thrilling final was held at the Kanteerava Inddor stadium in Bengaluru. To celebrate the win, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian team. On the other hand, Japan defeated Australia 74-73 in the Division A summit clash.

Sebastian Vettel wins 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the Ferrari driver won the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod. The second and third place was taken by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland respectively. The 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2017 Formula One season and the 32nd running of the Hungarain Grand Prix.

Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship in 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018. The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 4 of 2018. The committee felt that Indonesia was regarded as the most favourable among the bidders.

India finishes 7th in Youth Commonwealth Games with 11 medals

The Indian contingent finished an impressive seventh in the recently-concluded 6th Youth Commonwealth Games at the Bahamas with a total tally of 11 medals including for four gold, one silver and six bronze medals. England topped the medal list with atotal of 51 medals including 23 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze followed by Australia at the second position with atally of 39 medals that includes 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. The other countries to finish ahead of India include New Zealand, Scotland, Soth Africa and Singapore.

Sachin Siwach strikes gold at Commonwealth Youth Games

World Youth Champion Sachin Siwach clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Bahamas after defeating Welsh boxer James Nathan Prober 4-1 in the final. Siwach, who won gold last year, was the only one of the 103 boxers to have clinched a gold so far in the tournament, taking place in Bahamas. He had stormed into the finals after defeating SA Kuse 5-0. The World Youth Champion was also the flag bearer of India for the tournament.

India lose Women’s World Cup 2017 final to England by 9 runs

Indian eves lost to England by a narrow margin of nine runs in the ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s in London. Chasing a target of 229, Indian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards, being bowled out for 219 in 48.4 overs. India put up a tough fight but England lift the World Cup. It is the fourth time England has won, following successes in 1973, 1993 and 2009. Opener Poonam Raut was top scored with 86, while Harmanpreet Kaur contributed 51. Earlier, Natalie Sciver’s 51 and Sarah Taylor’s 45 laid the foundation for England’s decent total of 228 for 7. For England, it was their fourth Women’s World Cup.

CM Mukul Sangma launches ‘Mission Football’ in Shillong

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma launched ‘Mission Football’ at a grand ceremony at JN Sports Complex, Shillong recently. During the occasion, Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that through this mission the future of Meghalaya can be foreseen when the State will be connected with the rest of the world because of the love and passion for the game. Mission Football is an initiative to help develop skills of football enthusiasts and develop young footballers for the country. It is a dedicated program for talent identification and nurturing of talents to develop national and international players. A total of eight grounds will be developed and the development of football stadiums in seven districts with an investment of Rs 5 crores per stadium.

Prannoy Clinches 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton title

Rising shuttler H S Prannoy defeated Parupalli Kashyap to clinch the $120000 US Open Grand Prix Gold in Anaheim, Calfornia. Prannoy defeated Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the summit clash, which lasted an hour and five minutes. In the women’s singles category of the tournament, Aya Ohori of Japan won the final by defeating Michelle Li of Canada. The 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold was the eleventh Grand Prix’s badminton tournament of the 2017 BWF Grand Prix and overall eight Grand Prix Gold title of 2017 BWF Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

Karamjyoti Dalal bags Bronze at World Para Athletics

India’s Karamjyoti Dalal has won bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 in the discus-throw. In the women’s F55 category of discus-throw, she managed a throw of 19.02 m. Earlier, Sundar Singh Gurjar had opened India’s account at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships by winning gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event. Later, Amit Saroha won silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category. Dalal is currently ranked World No. 8 and had finished fourth at the 2015 IPC Para-athletics championships.

FIFA lifts suspension of Sudan Football Association

World football’s governing body FIFA lifted the ban on the Sudan Football Association (SFA) imposed on it for the failure to abide by agreements mentioned in articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA statute. The SFA and its member officials are now eligible to benefit from the FIFA development program, course or training. It does mean that Sudan will be able to continue their campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers. They have already been knocked out of the 2018 World Cup preliminaries.

Roger Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon Title

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title and became the tournament’s oldest champion with a straight-sets victory over injury-hit Marin Cilic who dramatically broke down in tears midway through the final. Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title beating Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. The 36-year old Federer is also Wimbledon’s oldest men’s winner of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976. This was his 11th Wimbledon final and 29th title at the majors. With this victory, Federer also became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

Lewis Hamilton wins record fifth British Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the fifth time – matching the record of Jim Clark and Alain Prost to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just a single point. They allowed Valtteri Bottas to grab second from Kimi Raikkonen to secure a Mercedes one-two, as Vettel trailed home seventh. Hamilton was 1.6 seconds clear after the first lap before the race was neutralised by a safety car following a collision between the Toro Rosso drivers.

Muguruza defeated Venus to clinch Maiden Wimbledon

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her maiden Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over five-time champion Venus Williams. It was 23-year-old, the 14th seed Muruguza’s first Wimbledon title. Also Muruguza’s 2nd Grand Slam title – the first was in French Open 2016 defeated Sarena Williams. Muruguza, playing her 4th Wimbledon Tournament, reached the final two years ago as nearly unknown player and was stricken in straight sets by Venus’ sister Serena. She saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5, 6-0 victory under the Centre court roof.

Sundar Singh Strikes Gold at 2017 World Para Athletics Championships

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar claimed gold medal in men’s javelin throw event at the World Para Athletic Championships taking place in London on the opening night of the tournament itself. He attempted his personal best, an effort of 60.36m in the men’s javelin throw F46, which was enough for him to take the top spot and open India’s medal tally. Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath came second with 57.93 meters while defending champion Guo Chunliang of China was third with a season’s best 56.14 meters.

In a First, India to Host 8th Theatre Olympics in 2018

Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018 simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held. In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world. The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.

India tops medal tally at Asian Athletics

India has topped the medal tally for the first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships. In a stunning show of dominance on the fourth and final day of competitions in Bhubaneshwar, India clinched five gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. With that, the hosts ended the championships on top with a haul of 29 medals which included 12 gold, 5 silver, and 12 bronze. India’s earlier best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze). India pushed China to the second spot (20 Medals). China ended this edition with a tally of 8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze. Kazakhstan finished third (8 Medals) with 4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze while Iran ended on fourth with 4 gold and 1 bronze.

Harinder wins South Australian Open title

India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Rhys Dowling of Australia in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title. Sandhu was down 1-7 after winning the first game comfortably as the Australian fought back strongly. He mounted a comeback to win it on extra points. The third game was a no-contest as the Indian, a former national champion, shut out Dowling’s challenge 11-4 to wrap up the victory. It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas roared to the second victory of his career when he won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. The Finn, in his first season with Mercedes after replacing 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, came home 0.658 seconds clear of Vettel who increased his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship to 20 points. Bottas finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second and third respectively. Three-time Formula One champion, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the race.

Pankaj Advani-led Indian beat Pakistan to win Asian Snooker Championship

India’s leading cueist Pankaj Advani teamed up with Laxman Rawat to demolish Pakistan in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Advani drew first blood by putting on a sterling performance against Mohammad Bilal. After the Pakistani scored the first solitary point and benefited from a foul from Advani, the Indian bounced back to piece together a brilliant break of 83 to seal the first tie of the best-of-five final. To complete a whitewash, the Indian pair maintained their superlative performance in the doubles tie. Advani remained the only player not to lose a single individual match in the team event. This title brings up Advani’s second Asian title this season and 8th overall while it was a first major first international title for Rawat.

Germany Defeats Chile to Win Maiden Confederations Cup Title

Germany was crowned 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup champions after a hard-fought 1-0 final victory over Chile in Saint Petersburg. In the final played, the four-time World Cup winners defeated Chile by a solitary goal. Lars Stindl put Germany ahead in the first half against the run of play, and Germany then held on to the lead. Earlier, in the third-place play-off match in Moscow, Portugal defeated Mexico 2-1. The match was held at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

ECONOMY

Canara Bank launches its first digital branch ‘CANDI’

Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ named ‘CANDI’ in Bengaluru. The branch will provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. The bank has introduced customer-friendly mobile apps which help customers get most of the information related to their accounts from the app without the need to visit the branch. The most attractive feature of the Digital Branch is a humanoid robot that addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services. This is a first-of-its kind initiative by a public sector bank in the country.

SBI cuts savings bank rate on deposits up to Rs. 1 cr

The decline in rate of inflation and high real interest rates have prompted State Bank of India to cut the savings bank deposits rate from 4 per cent to 3.5 per cent on deposits below Rs. 1 crore. This cut in savings bank rate will prompt many banks to follow suit. The savings bank deposits above Rs. 1 crore will continue to earn 4 per cent interest. The cut in SB rate will enable it to maintain the marginal cost of funds based lending rate at the current level.

Union Bank slapped with Rs. 1 crore penalty by RBI for KYC non-compliance

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on state-owned Union Bank of India for “non-compliance” with the directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers. The central bank said it had examined the documents regarding the complaint and notice was issued to the state-owned lender. The bank was asked to show cause “as to why penalty should not be imposed” for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI. The RBI said after considering the bank’s reply, oral submissions, additional information and documents, it concluded that the charge was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

NPCI gets RBI nod to operate Bharat Bill Payment System

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems has received a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and operate the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). The final clearance from RBI comes almost a year after NPCI launched the BBPS pilot project to make payment of utility bills easier. The pilot started on 31 August 2016 with eight BBPS operating units that had received in-principle approval from RBI.

Six Scheduled Commercial Banks got Supervisory Colleges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up Supervisory Colleges for six Scheduled Commercial Banks which have sizeable international presence. The six Scheduled Commercial Banks are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd., Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank Ltd. and Punjab National Bank. The objectives of the colleges are to enhance information exchange and cooperation among supervisors, to improve understanding of the risk profile of the banking group and thereby facilitate more effective supervision of internationally active banks.

IOB goes live with Bharat Bill Payment system

Public sector Indian Overseas Bank has offered Bharat Bill Payment System, introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India, for its customers. BBPS is an integrated bill payment system that offers inter-operable online bill payments to customers. The services include online payments of electricity, telecommunication, DTH, water and gas bills, the Chennai headquartered bank said in a statement. Indian Overseas Bank is one of the three public sector banks (apart from Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India) to get the approval from RBI for providing the service.

PNB ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution

Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products through the branches. Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer personal lines of insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine and engineering insurance, etc to the bank’s customers.

BSE inks pact with Egyptian Exchange

Leading bourse BSE joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas. Through this MoU a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.

Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme revised

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.
Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
1. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
2. Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification.

CAC adopts universal standards for pepper, cumin and thyme

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. The decision was taken during the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s 40th session in Geneva. The step is seen as a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade.

Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs. 385 crore

Axis Bank announced the acquisition of Snapdeal-owned mobile payments provider Freecharge in an all-cash deal worth Rs. 385 crore. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the indicative time-frame to complete the acquisition is two months, the private sector lender said in an exchange filing. With this buyout, Axis Bank will get over 50 million customers of Freecharge along with its niche and patented technology and human resources. Founded in 2010 by Mumbai based entrepreneur Kunal Shah, FreeCharge started as a recharge deal coupons platform before turning into a full-scale mobile wallet. Amazon had in fact placed a higher bid for FreeCharge, however the Snapdeal-owned payments platform opted for the Axis Bank offer.

Yatra acquires Air Travel Bureau

Yatra Online Inc, India’s second-largest online travel operator, has acquired corporate travel service provider Air Travel Bureau (ATB). ATB is India’s ‘largest corporate travel services provider’ with gross bookings of Rs 1,500 crore and a client base of 400 companies in the country. Yatra has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ATB and assume its debt. The debt amount has not been disclosed. ATB specialises in corporate travel management, MICE operations and leisure tourism. Its web site says it has been in this business for 54 years with a pan-India presence through a team of over 700 travel experts.

Sidbi starts merchant banking operations for MSMEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.

BoB signs MoU with DGS&D for services to govt’s e-marketplace

Bank of Baroda has entered into an agreement with Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) for extending various banking services to Government e-Marketplace (GeM). DGS&D has been mandated to set up GeM, an initiative intended to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurements. The relationship of the bank with GeM will immensely benefit all stakeholders and ensure a support system including a dedicated team for seamless functioning of the portal.

Karnataka Bank, PNB MetLife launch Met Loan and Life Suraksha

Karnataka Bank, in association with its PNB MetLife, has launched Met Loan and Life Suraksha (MLLS), a single premium plan covering the loan liability of a customer. In the year of celebrating 15 years of its partnership with M/s PNB MetLife, the bank also introduced ‘KBL MLLS’ app exclusively for KBL employees to instantly calculate insurance cover and premium based on loan liability of their borrowers.

ADB projects 7.4% growth for India in 2017

According, to Asian Development Bank supplement report India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2017 and further up to 7.6 per cent next year on strong consumption demand, with South Asia leading the growth chart in Asia and the Pacific. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7 per cent in 2017 and 7.2 per cent in 2018.

SBI to cut NEFT, RTGS charges by up to 75%

To encourage more customers to transact digitally, State Bank of India will slash charges for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by up to 75 per cent with effect from July 15. The reduced charges will be applicable on the transactions done through the internet banking (INB) and mobile banking (MB). Additionally, the bank has also waived off charges for fund transfer of up to Rs. 1,000 done through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) effective July 1, 2017.

SBI waives off IMPS charges for fund transfer up to Rs 1000

Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions. State Bank of India had been charging Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs

Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. Halli Labs was founded in 2017 by Pankaj Gupta with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Halli Labs becomes the latest AI start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple among others. Over 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year. Google has been the most aggressive buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

Finance Ministry launches next gold bond tranche

The next tranche of sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme was launched by the Government. This time, provided a 2.5 percent annual interest to investors. The bonds will be available in banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges namely National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Finance Ministry has announced the sixth tranche of gold bonds applications for which will be accepted from July 10 to July 14, 2017. The bonds will be issued to eligible applicants on July 28. The investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of the investment. The minimum investment will be 1 gram of gold. The maximum limit can be subscribed up to 500 grams per person per fiscal year. A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained. Payment options available are cash payment (up to a maximum of Rs 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.

ICICI Bank ends joint venture pact with Fairfax Financial

In pursuance of the proposed sale of a part of its shareholding in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) via an initial public offering, ICICI Bank said its joint venture agreement with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings has been terminated. In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18 per cent in ICICI General to a clutch of investors, including Warburg Pincus, Tamarind Capital Pte and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, for ₹2,473 crore. In 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings had increased its stake in the Indian insurance firm to 35 percent by picking up an additional 9 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard for about Rs. 1,600 crore. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.

FINO becomes payments bank

FINO Payments Bank has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017 according to the Reserve Bank of India. FINO PayTech Ltd, Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Paytm Payments Bank.

India’s economic growth rate at 7.3% in 2017-18 – RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Service Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added – GVA in the current fiscal year (2017-18). The Financial Stability Report 2017 released, going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. According to the RBI report, GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3 per cent in 2017-18. On inflation, it paints a rosy picture and projects CPI inflation to be in the range of 2-3.5% in the first half of the year and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops India’s first indigenous unmanned tank

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India’s first unmanned remotely operated tank, which has three variants – surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab. The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear radiation or bio weapon risk.

Scientists journey to the world’s hidden 8th continent

A group of scientists set sail in a new expedition aimed at unlocking the secrets of the lost continent ‘Zealandia’. The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, is said to have sunk after breaking away from Australia 60-85 million years ago. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today in February 2016, scietists argued that the Earth has a hidden eighth continent, which should be reflected on the maps. The researchers said that the submerged continent met all the criteria applied to Earth’s other continents including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.

Iran successfully launches rocket designed to carry satellites

Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket called ‘Simorgh’ into space. The launch took place at the Imam Khomeini National Space Station in Semnan, some 220 kilometers (138 miles) east of Tehran. The development marks a significant step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program. It also raises alarm among the nation’s adversaries who fear that the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles. the U.S. State Department has termed the launch as “provocative”. The rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds).

In a first in USA, scientists edit DNA of human embryos

A group of scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University edited the DNA of viable human embryos efficiently and apparently with few mistakes. However, the experiment was just an exercise in science and the embryos were not allowed to develop for mor than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.

Researchers generate human antibodies in the lab

A team of scientists developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The revolutionary technique could speed the production of antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases and facilitate the development of new vacancies. Antibodies are produced by the body’s B cells to fight off infections by bacteria, viruses, and other invasive pathogens. When an individual B cell recognizes a specific pathogen-derived “antigen” molecule, it can proliferate and develop into plasma cells that secrete large amounts of antibody capable of binding to the antigen and fending off the infection.

US Navy tests world’s first drone-killing laser weapon

The U.S. Navy recently tested the world’s first-ever active laser weapons system, which is now deployed and ready for war. The system has special materials that release photons and at the speed of light, it silently hits an object, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees. Each strike travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In the test, the system was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets in the Persian Gulf. With its addition, USS Ponce becomes the first ship in the world to be deployed with such an advanced weapons system.

Scientists discover galaxy 1000 times brighter than Milky Way

A group of researchers discovered a very distant galaxy, which is about a thousand times brighter than the Milky Way. As per the researchers, it is the brightest of the submillimetre galaxies, a class of ultraluminous infrared galaxies. To measure this galaxy, the researchers used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garfia, La Palma) in Spain.

Indian scientists discover ‘Saraswati’, a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists have discovered Saraswati, a large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation Pisces, and at a distance of 4,000 million (400 crore) light years away from Earth. A team of astronomers from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and members of two other Indian universities, have discovered this supercluster of galaxies. Supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies, consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies. This newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster, extends over a scale of 600 million light years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

Pakistan successfully test fires ‘Nasr’, a short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully test-fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’. NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘NASR’ with an enhanced range of 60-70 kilometers and flight maneuverability.

India Successfully Test-Fires Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) added another feather to its cap by successfully test-firing the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from ITR Chandipur, off the Odisha Coast. The technologies and subsystems incorporated in the missile met all the mission requirements. All the radars, Electro Optical Systems, Telemetry Systems and other stations have tracked the Missile and monitored all the Parameters. The missile has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km. Designed to be a quick reaction missile, it involves an all- weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing. The missile was test-fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Ravi Mittal appointed part-time member on IRDAI board

Ravi Mittal, who has joined as additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachi, is now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI, who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS officer. Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director.

Shehbaz Sharif to succeed Nawaz Sharif as PM of Pakistan

Shehbaz Sharif, The Chief Minister of Punjab and the brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Nawaz as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The name of Shehbaz was announced during a high-level PML-N meeting. The decision came following Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as Prime Minister of the country on 28 July 2017. He resigned following a decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office on corruption charges. Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the Senate.

Shikha Sharma re-appointed MD & CEO of Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma has been re-appointed as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018. Her current term was to end in June 2018. Axis Bank informed Bombay Stock Exchange that board of directors has approved the re-appointment. Sharma began her career with the erstwhile infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business. She joined Axis from ICICI Prudential Life where she was the managing director and chief executive and replaced the first chairman and chief executive of the bank P J Nayak.

PV Sindhu appointed Group-I officer by Andhra Pradesh Govt

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu has been appointed a Group-I officer in Andhra Pradesh. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu handed over the government order to the Rio Olympics silver winning shuttler. Chandrababu Naidu had promised a Group-I post to Sindhu when she won the silver medal in Olympics. Accordingly, she was appointed the deputy collector. The 21-year-old shuttler has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office. Although Sindhu had missed out on gold in Rio de Janeiro, she scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete ever to win silver at the Olympics.

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM, Sushil Modi as his Deputy

Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar iting circumstances prevailing in Bihar, was sworn-in as the Cheif Minister of the state on 27 July 2017. He took oath as Bihar Chief Minister with Bharatiya Janata Party as a partner of his Janata Dal-United. With this, the JD(U) President Nitish Kumar has sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the sixth time. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi adminstered the oath of office to Nitish Kumar at the Raj Bhavan in Patna. In addition to this, BJP’s Sushil Kumar was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Subhash Garg appointed on ADB Board of Governors

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has been appointed as Indias Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Finance Ministry announced recently. Garg has been appointed in place of former DEA Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The appointment came into effect from July 12.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet Board of Directors

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has led the company for the past two years, is joining the board of directors of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The move represents a vote of confidence in Pichai, who has led Google through a period of sustained growth. Alphabet shares have risen by more than 50% since Pichai, following a lighting fast ascent through Google’s managerial ranks, became CEO of Google in August of 2015. Google accounts for the vast majority of Alphabet’s revenue and virtually all of its profits. Alphabet is the second most valuable U.S. company behind Apple. Pichai is best known for doubling down on Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence, which has led to a long list of improvements for Google’s consumer and enterprise services. Pichai becomes the fifth insider to join the Alphabet board, which now has 13 members.

Janalakshmi Financial Services appoints TPG’s Ajay Kanwal as CEO

Gearing up for the launch of their small finance bank, Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), the largest microfinance company, has announced the appointment of its new CEO Ajay Kanwal. Kanwal, a veteran banker having 27 years of experience in both consumer and commercial banking sector, will take charge of office from August 1. V. S. Radhakrishnan, the current CEO, will take over as Vice-Chairman and R. Srinivasan, the current Vice-Chairman, having reached the age of superannuation, will retire but will continue his association with Janalakshmi.

Mithali Raj named Captain of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team

India Skipper Mithali Raj was named as the Captain of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team by the International cricket Council (ICC). Besides Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma were the other two Indians included in the ICC’s team. This is the second time that Mithali has been named in the team of the tournament at a World Cup. She was first included in the team in 2009.

Ramnath Kovind takes oath as 14th President of India

Ramnath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Parliament. After swearing-in ceremony of kovind, he was given 21-gun salute. With this, Kovind has become the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan. The ceremony was attended by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of the Cabinet. Kovind was elected as the President on 20 July 2017 after he defeated the Opposition parties nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin.

Brenda Hale to be First Woman President of UK SC

The UK government has appointed 72-year-old Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female president of the Supreme Court, the head of the highest court in the country. Hale will take charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current President, Lord Neuberger. She has served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013. Three new justices have also been appointed to the Supreme Court – Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Brigg – who will take up the role when Lady Hale is sworn in officially as President on 2nd October.

Gopal Baglay appointed Joint Secretary in PMO

Senior diplomat and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Baglay, a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Baglay’s appointment to the post for three years. He has been appointed in place of Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who has been already named as India’s Ambassador to Paris.

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secy to new Prez Ram Nath Kovind

Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB.

Lord Mervyn Davies appointed as Chair of UK India Business Council

Lord Mervyn Davies was apponted as the Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) with effect from 1 September 2017. He will succeed Patricia Hewitt, who is stepping down after 8 years. Davies will serve a three- year term. UK India Business Council is the leading market entry advisory and advocacy consultancy fcused on the United Kingdom and India trade opportunity. It supports the UK Government in its volume services as well as providing a business voice in Government to Government discussions.

Bharat Arun appointed Team India bowling coach until 2019 World Cup

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Bharat Arun as the Indian Cricket team’s bowling coach. BCCI’s acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary announced that the cricket body has also decided to retain Sanjay Bangar as an assistant coach and R Sridhar as fielding coach till the 2019 ODI World Cup. The confirmation of their appointment came after newly appointed Indian coach Ravi Shastri met the four-member committee comprising of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji in Mumbai.

T R Zeliang appointed new CM of Nagaland by Governor

TR Zeliang has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya. This will be the second term for Zeliang, his earlier term was from 2014 to 2017. Zeliang’s appointment came after Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and nine ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators failed to appear for the floor test. Zeliang was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before 22 July 2017. Zeliang claims the support of 43 MLAs including seven independents.

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj elected as President of Ramakrishna Math

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj was elected as the 16th President of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission. The office of the President fell vacant following the death of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 18 June 2017. Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are twin organizations which form the core of a worldwide spiritual movement Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement.

Parajuli to be Nepal’ new SC Chief Justice of Nepal

Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli will be the new Chief Justice of Nepal. The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) unanimously endorsed Justice Parajuli’s name for the post of Chief Justice of Supreme Court. After endorsement by PHSC the President will now appoint him as the Chief Justice. He will head the judiciary till April 28, 2018. Parajuli, the senior-most Justice at the Supreme Court, has taken up the responsibility of acting Chief Justice since June 7, this year after the retirement of then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 6.

Lilly Singh appointed UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador

UNICEF appointed Indian- origin Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador at a special event in New Delhi. Lilly was in the capital to support UNICEF’s Youth4Change initiative, a programme for youth that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on issues such as health, hygiene, child labour and gender equality. As the UNICEF ambassador Lilly, who has 11.9 around million subscribers on the video sharing website, will use her channel to showcase the organisation’s work and urge millions of her followers to work for children’s rights.

Mukesh Kumar Jain appointed MD & CEO of Oriental Bank

The Centre has appointed Mukesh Kumar Jain as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce, a public sector bank. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, Jain was an Executive Director at Punjab & Sind Bank. At OBC, Jain comes in the place of Animesh Chauhan, who has superannuated.

Aarthi Subramanian appointed as Chief Digital Officer of Tata Sons

Tata Sons, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has appointed Aarthi Subramanian as the group’s Chief Digital Officer. Subramanian, currently the Executive Director at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will join Tata Sons in august. She will, however, continue with TCS in a non-executive capacity. Subramanian is the second TCSer whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay.

Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed as Chairperson New BCCC

Justice Vikramajit Sen was appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting foundation (IBF). Justice Sen succeeds Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end. Justice Vikramajit Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier’s School (Delhi) and St Stephen’s College (Delhi). He earned his degree in Law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After a long tenure as a Judge of the Delhi High court, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012, an office he served till December 2015.

Ravi Shastri named new India coach

Former skipper Ravi Shastri has been named as the new coach of the Indian cricket team. The appointment was confirmed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Shastri will take charge from India’s upcoming three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting July 26. Shastri, was chosen by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that included former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and veteran batting star VVS Laxman. Shastri, who has represented India in 80 Tests and 150 One-Day Internationals between 1981 and 1992, he had initially not applied for the post but when the BCCI extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9, the former skipper jumped into the fray and suddenly became the hot favourite.

GST intelligence agency gets new chief John Joseph

A key intelligence agency tasked with checking evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has got its new chief. Senior bureaucrat John Joseph has been appointed Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DG GSTI). Joseph, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has worked in the Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The DG GSTI is the new name given to the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion. The post of chief of central excise intelligence (now GST intelligence) was lying vacant for over a month after R K Mahajan took charge as Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Saima Wazed made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism

Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder has been appointed as the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for autism in the world body’s Southeast Asia region. Her appointment is for a period of two years. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu Declaration which emphasizes on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are life- long disabilities that affect brain functioning, and when left without proper support can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Achal Kumar Joti Appointed Next Chief Election Commissioner

Achal Kumar Joti has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry informed. Mr. Zaidi will demit office on July 5. Mr. Joti, a 1975-batch IAS officer joined the three-member Commission as an Election Commissioner on May 8, 2015, will be in office till January 17, 2018. He was retired as the Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013. A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Mr. Joti, who will be the 21st CEC, has also served as the Gujarat Vigilance Commissioner and worked in various capacities in the State, including as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL).

New chiefs of Union Bank of India & Syndicate Bank take charge

Rajkiran Rai G & Melwyn Rego has been assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank respectively. Prior to joining Union Bank of India, Rai was Executive Director of Oriental Bank of Commerce & Rego was MD & CEO of Bank of India. Rajkiran Rai started his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Finance Officer in Central Bank of India. Rai has been appointed by the government to head Union Bank of India for a period of three years from the date of his taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to a finance ministry notification. Melwyn Rego started his career with IDBI Bank Ltd in 1984 and rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director. Rego will be at the helm of the bank till the remainder of the term up to August 13, 2018, according to a finance ministry notification.

Trump appoints Indian-American as US Ambassador to Peru

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Krishna R. Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru. The appointment of Urs, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, would have to be approved by the Senate. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned. Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. During his three decades of State Department service, Mr. Urs has specialised in economic issues and developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.

B). RESIGNS

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passes away

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passed away recently. He was 44. Inder Kumar suffered a heart attack at his residence in Andheri’s Four Bungalows. He has worked in more than 20 films. He also shared the screen space with Salman Khan in Wanted and Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge among others. He was currently shooting for his next film Phati Paid Hai Yaar. The cremation will be held today evening at Yaari Road Shamshaan Bhoomi.

Nawaz Sharif resigns as Pakistan PM in Panama Papers case

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s children to offshore companies. Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are the new contenders for the post of Pakistan Prime Minister. Pakistan’s stock market fell by 3.4 percent after Supreme Court ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has resigned from his office. He resigned on 26 uly 2017 after citing differences with ally RJD in the issue of corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. After submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Nitish said under the circumstances prevailing in Bihar, it bacame difficult to run the grand alliance government. He said, I tried to work it out and didn’t ask for anybody’s resignation but asked Tejashwi Yadav to explain the charges of corruption.

Renowned Indian Scientist Yash Pal passes away

Renowned Indian Scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Professor Yash Pal passed away at his residence in Noida in the National Capital Region of India. He was 90. Though the cause of death is not yet known, he had reportedly recovered from cancer a few years ago. Known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder, he was awarded India’s thrid highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. In his later years, he became one of the leading science communicators of the country.

Sean Spicer resigns as Press Secretary of US White House

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, resigned from his position following the appointment of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as Communications director by President Donald Trump. After the appointment of Scaramucci, Spicer was asked to stay on as the Press Secretary and was asked to report to Scaramucci. However, Spicer rejected the offer and resigned. Following his resignation, Spicre’s top deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders was appointed as Press Secretary. Sacramucci is a Fox News contributor and is known for his on-air defence of President Trump.

C). DEATHS

Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away

  1. Dharam Singh, former Chief Minister of Karnataka, passed away following a heart attack. He was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of the state. He headed the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from May 2004 to February 2006. Dharam Singh represented the Karnataka Legislative Assembly seven times without a defeat and was a member of the Lok Sabha from Bidar constituency once (2009).

Former ISRO Chief U R Rao passes away at 85

Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away due to age related ailments. He was 85. He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram. Professor Rao, who served as ISRO Chairman for 10 years during 1984-1994, was inducted into International Aeronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame last year during the closing ceremony of IAF Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Under the 2017 Padma Vibhushan award winning scientist, India carried out at least 20 satellites project including the country’s first, Aryabhatta.

Sr Congress Leader & Freedom Fighter Shivajirao Patil passes away

Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, Senior Congress Leader, freedom fighter and former Maharashtra Minister passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai. He was 92. The father of late national Award winning actress Smita Patil, he began his social activism at an early age when he took part in the Indian Independence movement. Patil like his daughter had always displayed a staunch commitment to social causes across sectors with unwavering resolve and contribution in the fields of education and agriculture through the cooperative sector. He was married to Vidyatai Patil, a social worker, who passed away in March 2015 after 77 years of marriage. He served as an active politician since a very young age and had been associated with several political parties including CPI, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away

Nar Bahadur Bhandari, the former Chief Minister of Sikkim who served the state from 1979 to 1994, died at a Delhi hospital. He was 77. Born on 5 October 1940 at Malbasey in Sikkim, Bhandari was serving a givernment school as a teacher before joining the active politics. He became the Chief Minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Sikkim Janata Parishad ticket, a party founded by him in 1977. In 1984, he dissolved the Sikkim Janata Parishad and formed a new party known as Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP). In 1985 and 1989, he became Chief Minister of the state. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. Bhandari was the first Gorkha to ever hold the office of the Chief Minister in the history of Indian polity. He remained the President of SSP until his death.

China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at 61

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo has died at the age of 61 while still in custody following a battle with cancer, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad. Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Chinese intellectual and activist is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

Syrian Observatory says ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has died. Observatory sources in Syria’s eastern town of Deir al-Zor had been told by IS sources that Baghdadi had died but they did not specify when. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s original name is Ibrahim Awad al-Samarrai born in Tobchi in a poor area near Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad. Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni Salafi-Jihadist militant, a jihadist organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

D). VISITORS

Navy chief begins visit to Mozambique, Tanzania

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had begun an eight-day-long two-nation tour of Mozambique and Tanzania with an aim of exploring new avenues of bilateral defence cooperation. Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will visit first Mozambique. Later on his tour, Admiral Lanba will begin his five-day-long visit to Tanzania on July 26. He is scheduled to meet President of Tanzania John Magufuli, Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi and other higher delegations. Indian Armed Forces cooperate with the armed forces of Mozambique and Tanzanian on many fronts, which include training and hydrography, besides participating in each other’s defence events. India and Mozambique have a Joint Defence Working Group (JDWG) for defence and security cooperation.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app

Technology giant Microsoft has officially launched ‘Kaizala’, a productivity app that has been designed to enhance the collaboration and communication experience for Indian enterprises. The ‘Made for India’ app is designed for large group communications and work management and works even on 2G networks. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with people within the organization as well as outside like partners and vendors in a seamless manner.

Scientists discover glow-in-the-dark shark in Pacific Ocean

A group of scientists identified a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean off the coast f the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The shark has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo measures less than a foot. TThe new species is a member of the lantershark family. The species has been named Etmopterus Lailae.

World’s oldest emoji discovered on 3700-year-old pot in Turkey

A group of archaelogists working on a site in Southern Turkey discovered a 3700-year-old smiley face, which is drawn on the side of a jug. A team of Turkish and Italian archaeologists have been exploring a site on the Turkish-Syrian border, but they have never encountered such an object before. The site depicts the era of the Hittities, an ancient civilisation and empire that is beleived to have existed in the north-central Anatolian region. the ancient smiley jug will be displayed at the nearby Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.

Neil Armstrong Moon Bag sold for USD 1.8 million in New York

Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million in New york. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone. The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samaples from the Moon during the 48th anniversary of that mission. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm ffrom five different locations at th Sea of Tranquility.

Study indicates Mars soil may be toxic to alien life

As per a research conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, surface of Mars has chemical compunds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms. The discovery has major implications for hunt for alien life on the red planet as it means any evidence is likely to be buried deep underground.

Hubble telescope spots two dozen groups of newborn stars

Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found a new dsk-shaped galaxy surrounded by clusters of newborn stars. They compared the sighting as if the universe launched fireworks. Apparently, the cosmic event took 11 billion years before reaching the Hubble’s lenses, which is just 2.7 billion year after the Big Bang. The data comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which features the sightings made during the Hubble Telescope’s four-year mission. The sum of all image data from the survey adds up to one-fourth of the observable sky.

Britain’s first pregnant man gives birth to girl

Britain’s first pregnant man has given birth to a girl. Hyden Cross, 21, made headlines around the world earlier in 2017 when he announced that he was pregnant by a spem donor. Three years ago, Cross had legally become male through gender assignment. Reports suggest that his daughter, Trinity-Leigh, was born on 16 June 2017 by caesarian at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. With her birth, Cross became the first transgender man to give birth in the United Kingdom.

India declares itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)

India has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence. It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The surveillance was carried out throughout the country since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus. India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicenters in different states across the country between October 2016 and February 2017. Avian Influenza known avian flu or bird flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

BOOKS IN NEWS

Amartya Sen releases ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen released a book titled “Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives” at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee, who received the first copy of the book. The book is the academic and research work of scholars, educationists and practitioners from India and abroad. It aims to provide international and comparative perspectives on higher education and highlights issues being faced by Inidan Universities. The book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ has been complied by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU University and is published by Oxford University Press.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 observed

The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 was observed across the world on 30 July 2017. This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC) selected ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’ as the focus of the Day. The theme emphasizes one of the most pressing issues of the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts focus on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. In addition, it addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

29 July: International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is observed annually on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation. This year’s International Tiger Day would be celebrated with the slogan ‘Fresh Ecology For Tigers’ Protection’. The goal of observance of the day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation. Many international organisations are involved in the celebration of this day, including the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) etc. The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022. The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face. It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared, with only around 3,000 left alive.

28 July: World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The Theme for World Hepatitis Day 2017 is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year – that’s as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.

26 July: Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas

The country is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ today. On the occasion, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services will lay floral tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July, commemorates India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and honors the war heroes. On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.

18th July: Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all. Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically Elected President of a free South Africa.

15 July: World Youth Skills Day

The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is observed golbally on 15 July every year to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development. This year, the United Nations along with WorldSkills.orgorganised campaigns #SkillsForAll and #WYSD to raise awareness about the importance of youth developing skills. #SkillsForAll campaign was aimed at creating awareness that everyone should have the oppurtunity to discover and develop their talents. Through skills individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future. The theme of this year is “Skills for the Future of Work”. The World Youth Skills Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 11 November 2014. The Assembly designated 15 July as the World Youth Skills Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

11 July: World Population Day

World Population Day is being observed globally on 11th July. The objective of the day is to increase the awareness of the people towards the worldwide population issues. The theme of this year is ‘Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations’. This year’s celebrations coincide with the Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020. The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries.

Bank unions to observe July 19 as ‘Save public sector banks’ day

The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day. All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/ demonstrations at all centres across the country.

 

 

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

June 2017 Current Affair

INTERNATIONAL

British PM Theresa May narrowly wins Parliament confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won the confidence vote in the parliament, winning her first major test as the Prime Minister of a minority government in the United Kingdom (UK). With this, May was finally confirmed as the British Prime Minister three weeks after the election, after winning the vote on her legislative program known as the Queen’s Speech was approved by 323 votes in favour and 309 against in the 650-seat parliament.

 

UN Votes to Sharply Reduce Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur

 

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution sharply reducing the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. The British-drafted resolution will reduce the number of peacekeepers by 44 per cent and the number of international police by about 27 per cent in the Darfur mission, whose current budget is over USD 1 billion annually. The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans in the vast western region rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. The UN-AU force was established in 2007 with a mandate to help protect civilians in Darfur.

 

Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin designated ‘Global Terrorist’ by US

 

The USA designated Pakistan-based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist. The move by the US state department came before the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at the White House. The move has been welcomed by India. The US designation of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and result in denial of access to the US financial system.

 

China unveils World’s first track-less train that runs on virtual rails

 

China has unveiled the world’s first train that operates on a virtual track using sensor technology instead of metal rails. China has unveiled world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails. The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered. The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes. The train which is only about 32 metres long can carry up to 307 passengers. The new trains are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. So it can run without the presence of tracks. The new trains will make use of rubber wheels on a plastic core and can be automatically guided without rails. This new technology has been copyrighted by the Chinese rail corporation. The train will be rolled out for public use in 2018.

 

China to have second biggest International Yoga Day celebrations in the world after India

 

In China, ahead of the third UN International Day of Yoga, thousands of Chinese would participate in scores of events organized across the country. It will be the second biggest yoga day celebration in the world after India. The Indian Embassy in Beijing besides Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou are also organizing dozens of events commemorating the events featuring Chinese officials. However, yoga has become immensely popular over the years in China vying with ancient indigenous physical fitness martial art form Tai Chi. China also backed India’s move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organizations.

 

AIIB approves Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members

 

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga at its second annual meeting of Governors. The AIIB’s Board of Governors adopted resolutions approving the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju. The first meeting was held in Beijing in 2016. The approved applicants included one regional prospective member of Tonga and two non-regional members of Argentina and Madagascar. The three prospective members will officially join the AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.

 

World’s largest floating Solar Farm launched in China

 

China has launched world’s largest floating solar farm in Anhui province. The 40-megawatt power plant has 160,000 panels resting on a lake that emerged after the collapse of a coal mine in central Anhui province. As per the Reports, China has been the world’s largest investor in clean energy since 2012, spending $88 billion on the wind and solar power in 2016. The plant has been built in Huainan City, Anhui Province, bySungrow Power Supply, a Chinese company specialized in renewable energy.

 

Montenegro becomes NATO’s 29th member

 

Montenegro has officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and hence became the 29th member country of NATO. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department. The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO’s steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Balkans.

 

Nepal signs MoU with China for construction of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project

 

Nepal has signed a major deal with a China to develop a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its perennial power crisis. Nepal’s Ministry of Energy has signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project. The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 5.33 billion for the project’s development in the current fiscal year. The project will be developed in Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) model, as per which, the concerned construction company itself generates the required fund for the project, Minister for Women Children and Social Welfare Development Kumar Khadka told The Himalayan Times. “The EPCF is a new model to develop hydel projects in Nepal,” Minister Khadka said. “So far we have been developing projects in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model”.

 

UN chief announces new talks on Cyprus reunification

 

The agreement to resume negotiations on a historic deal was reached during a meeting between Greek Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Guterres at UN headquarters on 5th June. UN Chief said all agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance to the two communities and agreed to reconvene the conference on Cyprus in the month of June.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

India becomes 1st country to contribute $100000 to UN Tax Fund

 

India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to help developing countries actively participate in the discussion of tax issues, becoming the first country to make the contribution. The UN Tax Trust Fund aims to support the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. The UN Tax Committee, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC), has provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services. The committee also provides a framework for dialogues with a view to enhancing and promoting international tax cooperation among national tax authorities, while making recommendations on capacity-building and the provision of technical assistance to developing counties and countries with economies in transition.

 

India, Portugal sign 11 MoUs in various fields

 

India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 11 MoU’s were exchanged in the meeting and there was the announcement of the launch of a joint science fund for which both India and Portugal will contribute Euros two million each. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology. One of the MoU’s was signed for the creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and for advancing collaborative research. These agreements will promote India’s science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago – the Atlantic International Research Centre.

 

India, Russia Sign ‘Military Cooperation Roadmap’

 

India and Russia have agreed to a roadmap for the development of bilateral defense cooperation. The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training of military personnel. The agreement was reached at the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation which was held in Moscow. The meeting took place was held under the Co-Chairmanship of the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the Defence Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu.

 

US approves sale of Predator Guardian drones to India

 

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India. This deal has been termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2 to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department. The sale of 22 predator drones being manufactured by General Atomics is “a game changer” for US-India relations as it operationalises the status of “major defense partner.” The Indian Navy had made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year.

 

India, Russia identify areas to boost cooperation in S&T sector

 

India and Russia have identified key areas to bolster cooperation in the science and technology sector, including space and marine technologies, IT and deep ocean engineering. The areas were chosen at the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The meeting was co- chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitryi Rogozin. The India-Russia high-level committee on Science & Technology is a newly established committee and it was established to discuss cooperation in high technologies. Inspired by India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Moscow has launched a “Do It In Russia” initiative to promote local manufacturing and technology development.

 

India and Portugal inks Agreement to Promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

 

India and Portugal have signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal. As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighbouring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

 

India becomes 71st country to ratify UN TIR Convention

 

India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations International Convention on Road Transports, TIR, a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories. TIR is managed and developed by IRU – the world road transport organisation. The TIR Convention is part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. TIR will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. China was the last TIR contracting party who acceded to the Convention in July 2016.

 

Afghan Prez inaugurates first air corridor with India, bypassing Pak

 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport. The corridor is a direct route that will bypass Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce in Afghanistan. The aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes. Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighboring countries. The first India-bound flight included 60 tons of medicinal plants and a second flight will carry 40 tons of dry fruits from the southern Kandahar province.

 

India 60th most-innovative globally: GII rankings

 

India continued to rise in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings for the second year in succession, after four consecutive years of decline. In 2017 rankings released in Geneva (Switzerland), India improved its position from 66 to 60. It highlighted the continual improvement of India in terms of investment, tertiary education, quality of its publications and universities, its ICT services exports and innovation clusters. Its improvement is part of a trend both in the middle-income countries and Asian countries, many of which have improved their innovation capacities in recent years. The GII was first developed 10 years ago by the business school INSEAD in Paris.

 

India top remittance-receiving country in 2016: UN report

 

India has claimed the top spot among the remittance-receiving nations, surpassing China. The United Nations, in its report, stated that Indians working across the globe sent home 62.7 billion US dollars in 2016. According to the ‘One Family at a Time’ study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, about 200 million migrants globally sent more than 445 billion dollars as remittances in 2016 to their families. Remittance flows have grown over the last decade from 296 billion in 2007 to 445 billion dollars in 2016. It said 80 percent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, and Pakistan. India, while retaining its top spot as the world’s largest remittance recipient, led the decline with remittance inflows amounting to $62.7 billion last year, a decrease of 8.9 per cent over $68.9 billion in 2015.

 

India-Australia naval exercise ‘AUSINDEX 17’ begins

 

Indian warships began a week-long naval exercise off the coast of Western Australia. The second AUSINDEX exercises are aimed at increasing interoperability between Australian and Indian naval forces, executing complex naval manoeuvres. The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. As the only countries with the largest Indian Ocean coastline, Australia and India are natural partners in maritime security, particularly in the region where India has its greatest strategic interests.

 

India ratifies two key ILO conventions on child labour

 

India ratified two key ILO conventions on child labor, according to a statement issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who is in Geneva stated that the ratification reaffirmed India’s “commitment to a child labor free society”. According to ILO, the Government of India deposited with the International Labour Office the instruments of ratification of the two fundamental ILO Conventions concerning the elimination of child labor, the Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182). India is the 170th ILO member state to ratify Convention No 138, which requires states to set a minimum age under which no one shall be admitted to employment or work in any occupation, except for light work and artistic performances. In addition, India is the 181st member to ratify Convention No. 182, which calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, forced labour and trafficking; the use of children in armed conflict; the use of a child for prostitution, pornography and in illicit activities (such as drug trafficking); and hazardous work.

 

India, Mauritius sign MoU to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments

 

India and Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments of the two countries. The MoU was signed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Speaker of National Assembly of Mauritius Santi Bai Hanoomanjee in Port Louis. Mrs. Mahajan was on a five-day visit to Mauritius from 6th of June with a Parliamentary delegation. She stated that the MoU on a joint framework for parliamentary support and capacity building is a visionary step forward.

 

EU, France grant 3.5m euros to curb emissions in India

 

Aiming to reduce emissions and promote sustainability to help India’s smart city programme, France and the European Union have extended a grant of 3.5 million euros under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative. Three Indian cities- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad — will get the grant as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement according to French Development Agency (AFD). More funds would be provided to India as the loan to take forward the smart city and sustainable transport initiatives in the three cities on the pilot basis. The MYC, supported by the French and German government, also has financial support from the European Union (EU).

 

India, Pakistan Become Full Members Of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

 

India and Pakistan became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the first-ever expansion of the China-dominated security grouping after 2001. With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, SCO now represents over 40% of world population and nearly 20% of the global GDP. 2017 SCO summit was based on the theme “Future Energy”. The document was signed at Astana, Kazakhstan during the SCO Summit. (SCO) member-states viz. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

 

India signs OECD pact to check tax evasion by MNCs

 

India signed the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) multilateral convention that aims to check cross-border tax evasion by multinational companies. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention in Paris, France to implement tax treaty- related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting. More than 65 countries, including India, signed the convention. As per the Finance Ministry, the Convention will modify India’s treaties in order to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where the value is created. The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD/ G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

 

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery”

 

An agreement for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project ‘Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery’ was signed recently. Loan agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Manager, Operations (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.

 

India signs agreement with Sri Lanka for developing Railway sector

 

India signed an agreement to provide fresh assistance of 318 million US Dollar credit line to Sri Lanka for the development of the railway sector in the country. The agreement was signed in Colombo amidst the presence of senior officials of Sri Lanka’s finance and transport ministries. The Indian side was represented by Managing Director of the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of India David Rasquinha and Deputy High Commissioner Arindam Bagchi. India has already provided four Lines of Credit for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM Bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

 

India overtakes China to top global retail index: Study

 

India has surpassed China to secure the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, according to a study that cited India’s rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and a consumption boom as the key drivers. The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), now in its 16th edition, ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. India’s rapidly expanding economy easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules and a consumption boom are the key drivers for India’s top ranking in the GRDI.

 

India slips to 45th spot in IMD’s World Competitiveness list

 

India has been ranked 45th, down four notches from last year, in terms of competitiveness in the annual rankings compiled by IMD which saw Hong Kong topping the list. US was pushed out of the top three slots while Hong Kong consolidated its dominance of the annual rankings for the second year in the list compiled by the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Center. Switzerland and Singapore were ranked second and third respectively, with the USA at the fourth spot – its lowest position in five years and down from third last year. The IMD World Competitiveness Center is a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland. It has been publishing the rankings every year since 1989. This year’s list comprises 63 countries with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia making their first appearance.

 

India ranked 137th in the Global Peace Index 2017

 

India has ranked 137th out of 163 countries on Global Peace Index 2017 published by The Institute of Economics and Peace. This is the eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). Iceland has been named the world’s most peaceful country, topping the Global Peace Index for the tenth consecutive year followed by New Zealand and Portugal at second and third position while Syria has been named the least peaceful country.

 

India, Spain strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism: PM

 

PM Modi has said that India and Spain should strengthen their bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism.Both the nations have faced the security challenge. Modi met Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace, the official residence of the president and the king of Spain in the first engagement during his stay in the country. Modi said, the focus of his discussion in Spain will be on the international developments. The prime minister praised the Spanish president saying under Rajoy’s leadership the country has undergone economic reforms “which is also the biggest priority of my government.

 

NATIONAL

 

Govt launches National Data Repository (NDR) & Open Acreage Licensing Process

 

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan introduced a new oil and gas block licensing policy that is expected to open up 2.8 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins to exploration and production activities. The OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government. OALP is a fundamental shift and a very transformative step in India’s E&P history. This policy reiterates GoI’s commitment to reduce administrative & regulatory burden, thus enhancing ease of doing business.

 

New training programme ‘COMMIT’ was launched for State Govt officials

 

The Minister of State for Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched a new training program ‘Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training’ (COMMIT) for State Government officials. The objective of this training program is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen- centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact with the citizens on day-to-day basis. COMMIT will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal initially on the pilot basis during the current financial year 2017-18 and within next year it is expected to cover all India level. The COMMIT programme, developed by DoPT in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will supplement the existing 12-Day ITP launched in 2014-15 for newly recruited state Government officials to develop in them Generic & Domain specific competencies. The programme will cover approximately 74,000 State Government officials in the financial year 2017-18.

 

PM Modi inaugurates filling of Aji Dam under Sauni Yojana

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various irrigation and water-related initiatives at Aji Dam in Rajkot, Gujarat including the filling of Aji dam with Narmada waters under Sauni Yojana. PM recognized the role of younger generation in finding solutions to the everyday problems. PM on the occasion launched Smart Rajkot Hackathon where urban local body will engage with young students to find innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of various government departments. The Narmada water reaching the dam will resolve the water woes of the people of this city in Saurashtra region which has been facing perennial water shortage due to deficient rains.

 

EC joins hands with FB to Launch First Time Nationwide “Voter Registration Reminder”

 

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has joined hands with Facebook to launch nationwide voter registration reminder aimed at reminding eligible Indian voters to register themselves on the electoral rolls. As a part of the initiative, Facebook will activate a unique ‘Register Now’ button reminding all the eligible Indian users to enroll themselves as voters. The reminder will be made available for four days beginning July 1. When the users click the button, they will be redirected to National Voters’ Services Portal, where they can register themselves as voters. The reminder will be available in 13 languages-English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.

 

MSME Ministry launched ‘Digital MSME Scheme’ & exchanged three MoUs

 

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Mr. Kalraj Mishra has launched the Digital MSME Scheme and also exchanged three MoUs with SAP India, Intel and HMT. The MSME has a total budget of Rs. 85.705 Crore including Government of India’s contribution of Rs. 58.105 crore during 2017- 18 to 2019-20.

 

Finance Ministry sets up ‘War room’ to battle GST crises

 

Equipped with multiple phone lines and computer systems and manned by tech-savvy youngsters, a “mini war room” has been set up in the finance ministry to deal with crises related to the implementation of GST. The unit will act as a quick resource centre for central and state government officials to address their queries on the historic tax reform scheduled to be implemented from July 1. The action room will function from 8 am to 10 pm. It will provide prompt response to queries raised by states and central government officials. The room will act as a single-window for anything and everything related to the GST.

 

Centre clears proposal for setting up new airport in Greater Noida

 

The Government has cleared the proposal for setting up a new airport in Jewar in Greater Noida. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju stated that in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar has been granted to cater to the growing flying requirements of National Capital Region. The Noida International Airport will cater to 30 to 50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years.

 

Aadhar not valid ID proof for travelling to Nepal, Bhutan: Govt

 

Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians traveling to Nepal and Bhutan, according to the Union home ministry. Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan- both countries for which they don’t need visas – if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission. Moreover, to ease travel, persons over 65 and below 15 years can show documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity. These include PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card and ration card but not Aadhaar. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad. The Aadhaar card, which has a 12-digit unique identification number and personal details like name and address, acts as a proof of identification and residence.

 

MeitY launches Web Portal for smooth GST implementation

 

In order to ensure smooth GST implementation from 1st July 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a dedicated Webpage for facilitating taxpayers with regard to addressing issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods. The webpage can be accessed through Ministry’s Web Portal www.meity.gov.in. Individuals, Companies, and Entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information. It also enables filing of grievances in relation to the implementation of GST.

 

Union Govt launches VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad

 

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) scheme in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India. The web portal of VAJRA was launched by Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan. The motive behind the launching of VAJRA scheme is to bring the best of the world to India and conduct research in the country itself. It aims to convert brain-drain into brain-gain.

 

Cabinet aprroves agreements & MoUs on different fields

 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields. Those includes:

  1. Amendment of the Bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the ‘Country of Residence’ Principle into the said SSA.
  2. MoU between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the

Netherlands for bilateral cooperation in the field of water resources management.

  1. Constitution of Indian Naval Material Management Service (INMMS) as an Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service.
  2. MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia.
  3. MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia.
  4. MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka.

 

Union Government launched Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”

 

Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga” developed by Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi. The Mobile App has been developed by DST on the occasion of International Yoga Day (21 June) 2017. The purpose of the App is to popularize Yoga and encourage people to participate in it for a scientifically healthy living. The App will enable in capturing both mass events being organized in public places, schools and office complexes across the country and individual enthusiasts who are performing yoga to promote the celebration of the day and yoga performances. The App “Celebrating Yoga” can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

 

Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017

 

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines has launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India. The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

 

DIPP sets up GST facilitation cell

 

The government has set up a GST facilitation cell in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to facilitate the rollout of Goods and Services Tax. The cell is headed by Sudhansu Sekhar Das Economic Adviser of the department. The cell will remain in constant touch with major industry and business associations relating to the Department. It will be the first point of contact for addressing any issue being faced by any sector related to the Department.

 

Pensioners can now subscribe digitally for APY through APY@eNPS

 

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now introduced “APY@eNPS” which involves a complete digital enrolment process. This is the latest in the series of various initiatives taken by PFRDA for expansion of outreach of Atal Pension Yojana (APY), to give the additional push to cover the as yet unreached population with greater ease. PFRDA has conducted meetings with Banks and Dept of Post at Kolkata, Bengaluru & Mumbai respectively for the earliest roll out of the facility call. The APY was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 9th May 2015 and became operational from 1st June 2015. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

 

External Affairs Minister inaugurates KIP for Young Overseas Indians

 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for NRI and PIO youth with a view to provide them with an exposure to the country of their origin so that they can understand India better and more closely. External Affairs Minister has also launched a portal for the Know India Programme (KIP). Know India Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs for the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) between the age group of 18 to 30 years. The Know India Programme is a three-week orientation programme which is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India as well as the progress made by the country in fields such as economic and education.

 

Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates Kochi Metro

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Kochi Metro & dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation. He took a ride on the Metro from Palarivattom station to Pathadippalam station. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan also travelled with Mr Modi. Kochi Metro is the first public transport system to reserve jobs for members of the third sex and it will be manned mainly by women a self-help group. Modi also launched the PN Panicker National Reading Day – Reading Month Celebrations. Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a 50-50 Joint Venture of Centre and the Kerala government. The estimated completed cost of the metro touched Rs 5, 181.79 crore.

 

Health Ministry launches IDCF to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea

 

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF) in order to intensify efforts to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea. The Ministry has made it a national priority to bring health outcomes among children to a level equitable with the rest of the world. Through this initiative, the Ministry will mobilize health personnel, State Governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of diarrhea, one of the most common childhood illnesses. It aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost diarrhoea treatment, a combination of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) solution and Zinc tablets. Nearly 12 crores under 5-children will be covered during the program across the country. ASHA worker would undertake distribution of ORS packets to households with under-five children in her village. ORS- Zinc Corners will be set-up at health care facilities and non-health facilities such as Schools and Anganwadi centres.

 

India to be Co-Partner Country in ANUGA 2017

 

Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed a Joint Press Conference with the organizers of ANUGA – an international business platform for Food Industry to be held in Cologne, Germany. She also signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Participation in the ANUGA Exhibition with Ms Katharina C Hamma, Chief Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmBH (Organizers of ANUGA).

 

Recent Cabinet Approvals-14th June 2017

 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval in the various fields and has also approved some important MoUs. The important approvals of the Cabinet are as follows-

 

The Cabinet has approved-

 

* The Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18: This will help farmers getting short term crop loan up to Rs. 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 20,339 crore for this purpose.

* Ex-post facto approval to the MoU between Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture in the State of Palestine on agriculture cooperation.

* The proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017: The Bill would provide for a comprehensive resolution framework for specified financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies, and financial sector entities.

* The signing of MoU between India and Armenia on cooperation on youth matters

* The signing of MoU between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics.

 

Railway Ministry launches Mission Retro-Fitment to enhance the passenger experience

 

To enhance the passenger’s experience by upgrading existing fleet of coaches with better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features with a view to provide a safe and comfortable travel, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu has launched MISSION RETRO-FITMENT in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. Mission Retro-Fitment is an ambitious program to upgrade the level of furnishing & amenities in the coaches of Indian Railways. This is one of the largest retro fitment project in the world as Indian Railways’ 40,000 coaches will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next five years.

 

India’s first canal top solar PV system at NTPC Mouda

 

State-run power giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has energized India’s first 150 kWp canal top solar PV System on cooling water (CW) channel inside power station premises at its 2,320 MW, Mouda Thermal Power Project, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. This novel Solar PV system makes use of side walls of CW channels as load bearing structure thereby significantly decreasing cost of civil and mounting structure. It also has several other unique advantages such as land and water conservation due to reduced evaporation, increased PV generation due to cooling and reduction in dirt, leaves thereby reducing chemicals for water treatment.

 

GST Council revises rates for 66 items

 

India’s most comprehensive indirect tax reform the goods and services tax (GST) is inching towards a July 1 rollout with the GST Council cutting the rate on household goods and other essential items, raising the threshold for the scheme that requires lesser compliance and approving another key set of rules relating to audit and accounts. At its meeting in New Delhi, the council revised rates on 66 items such as pickles, sauces, fruit preserves, insulin, cashew nuts, insulin, school bags, coloring books, notebooks, printers, cutlery, agarbattis and cinema tickets, following representations from industry. Restaurants, manufacturers and traders having a turnover of up to Rs 75 lakh can avail of the composition scheme with lower rates of 5%, 2%, and 1%, respectively, with lower compliance, against Rs 50 lakh previously. A GST rate of 5% will be applicable on outsourcing of manufacturing or job work in textiles and the gems and jewelry sector. Bleaching and cleaning of human hair, a big industry in Midnapore, will not face any tax.

 

Dr. Jitendra Singh announces “Hill Area Development Programme” for Northeast

 

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh announced the launch of “Hill Area Development Programme” (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal, Manipur. He announced the launch of the program to address a meet of Investors and Entrepreneurs, organized by NEDF (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd), with joint participation of the Union Ministry of DoNER and the Government of Manipur. The program aims to bridge the gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education. HADP was launched during the Fifth Five Year Plan aimed at balanced regional development.

 

Govt launches Tele Law to provide legal aid in rural areas via video conferencing

 

The government of India has launched ‘Tele Law’ service to provide legal aid for the people living in rural areas through video conferencing. The service has been launched to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas. The Ministry of Law and Justice partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres, CSC at the panchayat level, spread across the country. The service was launched by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Under the scheme, the Tele-Law portal will be available across the CSC network connecting the citizens to legal service providers. In the first phase, the Tele-Law scheme will be tested as a pilot across 1000 CSCs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

 

NITI Aayog launches SATH programme

 

Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI. NITI Aayog invited all States and Union Territories for the three-stage selection process out of which 16 responded. Five States were shortlisted post project presentation by 14 States. Subsequently, three States will be selected through further assessments. SATH programme will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with global consultancy McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium in the three selected States after the signing of MoUs.

 

Ayush Ministry launches yoga awareness drive using attractive mascots

 

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, has initiated a Yoga Awareness Drive through Mascots and Flash Mobs (YogMob) prior to International Yoga Day (21st June) to increase the popularity of Yoga, especially among the youth. The campaign is underway at Delhi NCR, Haryana and Lucknow. The first such event was held in Rohini area of the National Capital. According to the Ministry, illustrative Yoga sessions with the help of mascots were organised where the Mascots demonstrated a few Yoga asanas to the crowd. The mascots Provide an eye-catching way of helping boost the awareness of International Day Of Yoga. They are connecting with families by providing added entertainment and interactivity, especially at Malls, Public Places, Events & Recreational Tourist Areas.

 

Indian Overseas Bank launches retail mart in Thiruvananthapuram

 

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), the Lead Bank for Thiruvananthapuram district, has launched the Retail Mart, a retail lending concept, in Kerala’s capital city. The exclusive facility that handles retail products has started functioning at the main branch. The Retail Mart has been designed with an aim to complete all the pre-release formalities at the customer’s doorstep and sanction quality retail loans at a competitive rate of interest with a minimum turnaround time.

 

President Pranab Mukherjee launches ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile app

 

President Pranab Mukherjee today launched the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile application, aimed at raising awareness about female foeticide and sex selection. The President urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload them to make the campaign a success. The campaign was started by Sunil Jaglan in June 2015 in village Bibipur in Haryana’s Jind district. The former sarpanch had been working in the field of women empowerment and village development. The aim of the campaign is to motivate society to feel proud to be parents of a girl child, which, in turn, will result in improving child sex ratio.

 

Civil Aviation Ministry to roll out ‘DigiYatra’ for air travellers

 

Civil Aviation Ministry is adding a digital experience for Air travelers through ‘DigiYatra’ Platform in New Delhi. This initiative aims at bringing together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver customers a seamless and paperless service experience at every stage of journey. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha stated that the initiative envisages providing airline travelers in India, a digitally unified flying experience across all stages of their journey. The initiative will help passengers plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking. Passengers will also get relevant information pertaining to various facilities, protocols, airline timings, queue lengths at airports.

 

Nadda launches Skill for Life, Save a Life initiative to promote skill development in the health sector

 

Shri J P Nadda has launched ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative to promote skill development in the health sector. ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ Initiative’ aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system. Under this initiative, various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for the general public. Shri Nadda further informed that the curriculum has been designed by National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) and AIIMS, Delhi.

 

Health Secretary inaugurates ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre

 

Shri C K Mishra, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) inaugurated the ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in New Delhi. The Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh will be the largest milk bank and lactation counseling center available in the North India. It is established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). It is a national human milk bank and lactation counseling center that will collect, pasteurize, test and safely store milk that has been donated by lactating mothers and makes it available for infants in need.

 

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Korea for export credit of USD 9 billion

 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries. The MoU is proposed to be signed between the two banks during the forthcoming visit of the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, to Seoul, the capital city of South Korea during 14-15 June 2017 for the Annual Financial Bilateral Dialogue. The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India and South Korea.

 

Elections for India’s 15th President on July 17

 

The process for electing the 15th President of India will begin on June 14 with the Election Commission issuing the notification for the polls. As per the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi (in Picture), the Presidential elections will take place on July 17. The Commission has set June 28 as the last date for filing nominations, while July 1 will be the last date for their withdrawal. Polling will take place in Parliament House and in the Assemblies of the States. Counting of votes will take place in Delhi. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee will come to an end on 24 July 2017. He assumed the office of President in July 2012. The electors, drawn from elected Members of Parliament and State legislatures will be required to use a “particular pen” provided by the Commission to mark their choice(s). The pen uses a particular ink. “The use of any other pen, apart from the particular pen provided by the Commission, will see the vote being declared invalid,” Zaidi said.

 

SEBI gets nod for MoU with Iran, EU counterparts

 

The Union Cabinet recently gave its nod for Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter into two separate memoranda of understanding (MoU) with securities market regulators of the European Union and Iran. These MoUs are expected to strengthen cooperation between India and the respective countries on matters pertaining to securities market. In the case of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the MoU is likely to establish cooperation arrangements as a precondition for ESMA to recognise Central Counter Parties (CCPs) established in India and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union and to provide ESMA with adequate tools to monitor the ongoing compliance by the covered CCPs with the recognition conditions.

 

Narendra Modi government to scrap UGC, AICTE soon with HEERA

 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will soon be a thing of the past as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is planning to replace the two education regulators with a new Higher Education Regulator. This is being done to bring one single education regulator named HEERA in place. Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency or HEERA is the name of the new proposed regulator. This new body will be implemented with the aim of eliminating the overlaps in the jurisdiction and also to remove the irrelevant regulatory provisions. The Human Resource and Development Ministry (HRD) is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body. They are working to bring the technical as well as the non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.

 

Vijaya Bank set to develop 100 digital villages

 

Vijaya Bank is going to develop as many as 100 digital villages in various States of the country as part of its initiative to promote digital banking among the rural population. Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the bank’s 2031st ATM at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in the Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Bank Executive Director B.S. Rama Rao stated that Vijaya Bank is the only public sector financial institution to develop digital villages with focus on rural areas and it has already developed five villages including the one in Guntur district.

 

India will be first in world to run all government ports on green energy

 

All 12 major domestic ports will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. As part of this the government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at the ports by 2019. A high-level conference attended by shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari, top officials and chairmen of several port trusts was held at JNPT in Mumbai to discuss the road map of implementing the green ports project. These renewable energy projects will help in reduction of carbon emission and lead to improvement of environment around the ports.

Few major Government Ports are Listed Below:

Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh.

Kochi Port, Kerala.

New Mangalore Port, Karnataka.

Mundra Port, Gujarat.

Kandla Port, Gujarat.

Port of Quilon – The oldest and second largest port in Kerala

 

India’s GDP slows to 6.1% in fourth quarter, is 7.1% for 2016-2017

 

India lost its fastest-growing major economy tag in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, with GDP growth coming in at 6.1% compared with China’s 6.9% in the same period. Data from the Ministry of Statistics on Wednesday showed GDP grew 7.1% in the financial year 2016-17, slower than the 8% registered in 2015-16.

 

Indian Railways to launch ‘buy now, pay later’ feature for tickets

 

Railways have decided to provide the ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ service for any Express trains, According to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for adding the new service option. Through this service a passenger can book a ticket five days prior to the journey with a service charge of 3.5 per cent and pay it in the next 14 days.

 

STATES

 

Odisha to set up India’s first blood bank for Cattle

 

Odisha is all set to become the first state in the country to have a blood bank for the cattle. It is the first of its kind blood bank established on the premises of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore. After approval from the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP), the OUAT is now awaiting approval from the state government. The project will have a 60:40 sharing between the Centre and the state government. The cattle farmers will provide blood voluntarily. The blood bank will also go and collect blood from centers. This will prevent the death of cattle during deliveries and other ailments.

 

UP Govt signed an agreement with ADB for strengthening of Roads

 

Uttar Pradesh Government has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of 1950 crore rupees for strengthening of roads in different districts. As per agreement, ADB will provide the loan amount for Uttar Pradesh Main District Roads Development Project of 2782 crore rupees cost. State government will spend 832 crore rupees form its own resources on the project. Project is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and ADB will provide the loan for the period of 25 years on the interest rate of 2 percent.

 

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2017: Odisha’s biggest festival begins

 

In Odisha, the most awaited biggest annual festival of Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival at Puri commences today (25th June 2017). This is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals of the country as well as the whole world. Rath Yatra (chariot festival) marks the annual journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the three to their temple. The rituals started early in the morning. Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath, popularly known as Lord Krishna, and his siblings – Lord Balbhadra and deity Subhadra – in the Jagannath Puri temple.

 

‘Mypetrolpump’ of Bengaluru becomes 1st in India to deliver diesel at home

 

Bengaluru has become the country’s first city where one can have fuel delivered at one’s doorstep, just like milk and newspapers, only weeks after oil ministry announced that the Centre was thinking of rolling out such a system. Mypetrolpump, a one-year-old startup launched this home delivery system with three vehicles, each with the capacity of 950 liters. Diesel is delivered at home at the price declared for that day. The startup is charging Rs. 99 as one-time delivery charges for up to 100 litres whereas for additional one liter of fuel, the customer has to pay Re. 1 each as delivery charge. The order for the supply of fuel can be placed online, through app or through a phone call.

 

Uttarakhand 4th & Haryana 5th ODF States in the country

 

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India, respectively. The two states joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF. Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats – all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.

 

Odisha Govt approves 53 projects under AMRUT scheme

 

The state government approved 53 urban projects with a total investment of Rs 538 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). The scheme, launched in nine urban places in the state since 2015-16 fiscal, has aimed at strengthening drinking water distribution network, development of sewerage system, storm water management, up-gradation of city transport system and development of amusement parks. The scheme will be implemented with fund sharing patter of 50:50 between the Centre and state government.

 

Indore gets India’s first traffic control robot

 

The number one clean city of India – Indore has got another milestone to its name. This commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh has reportedly become the first city in India where the robot is being used on an experimental basis to control its ever growing and unruly traffic. The traffic police in association with a private engineering college of the city for the first time has installed a metallic robot at a busy MR 9 intersection on an experimental basis to control the chaotic traffic in the locality. This traffic controller robot has been designed by 2 professors of an engineering college of the city Prof Rahul Tiwari and Aniruddh Sharma.

 

Free Education for girls in Punjab from Nursery to PhD

 

The Punjab Government has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D, free textbooks, as well as Nursery and LKG classes in government schools from the next academic session. This is the major step towards women empowerment by Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. The CM also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

 

Telangana launches PashuBazar website for online cattle sale

 

Soon, farmers in the state will be able to sell and purchase cattle online. The Telangana government has launched a website to facilitate this service. The online sale or purchase of cattle through pashubazar.telangana.gov.in website will help farmers as the cattle need not be brought to shandies every time and farmers can save on transportation cost on cattle. Special Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Suresh Chanda launched the website developed with NIC’s support. The Pashu Bazaar platform was developed to help farmers to sell their animals without physically taking them to weekly markets. The farmer can keep maximum five registrations for sale at any time.

 

Sikkim govt signs MoU with British Council

 

The Human Resource Development department of Sikkim government signed an MoU with the British Council to enhance quality of education in the state. The MoU will improve the educational structure of the schools of Sikkim. The purpose of the MoU is to support the aims and aspirations of the young people of Sikkim through collaborative projects in the area of English, education and skills by strengthening the capacity of the teachers and other professionals, working with youth in the state and support its cultural economy.

 

UP tops the list with maximum child labor in the state-CRY report

 

According to the Child Rights and You (CRY) report, over 8 lakh children in India between the age group 5 and 6 years are engaged in child labor. A large percentage, over 5 lakh of these children do not attend school. The majority of these kids are engaged in family-based employments. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 2,50,672 children engaged in labor, followed by Bihar with 1,28,087 children and Maharashtra where the number stands at 82,847. The report has outlined that reach of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), which was introduced with the intent of providing a strong base to these children, is quite limited as it covers only 50% percent of this population.

 

Kolkata to get India’s first underwater Metro

 

Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’ is about to experience a wonder in the form of an underwater Metro train which will run beneath the Hooghly river. It’s one of the path-breaking projects in India as never before a tunnel has been dug beneath a flowing river. The entire project is 16.6 km long, out of which 10.8 km runs under the ground. Of this 10.8 km, 502 meters is under the water. The project connects Howrah to the west and Salt Lake to the east. The stretch of 16.6 km will have 12 stations, six of which will be under the ground, while the remaining six stations will be on elevated tracks. The train is said to run without a driver. The train would carry around 1,000 passengers in one go and will have six air-conditioned coaches. With the cost of Rs 60 crore, the project is expected to be completed by December 2019.

 

UDAN scheme: Tamil Nadu govt signs MoU with Aviation Ministry

 

The Government of Tamil Nadu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the implementation of the UDAN scheme in the state. The MoU has been signed at the Secretariat in Fort St George, Chennai, by the officials in presence of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the Airports Authority of India Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. Under the Regional Air Connectivity scheme UDAN, three of the tier-two industrial towns such as Hosur, Salem and Neyveli are to be developed in the first phase where airstrips are available, though not in use.

 

Kerala government implements ‘green protocol’ for weddings

 

Wedding ceremonies in Kerala are all set to become ‘green’, with the state government coming out with a green protocol to make auspicious occasions more nature-friendly. With the implementation of the protocol, plastic and other non-biodegradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will be kept at bay from marriage functions. Instead of this, people would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals.

 

Centre approves modifications to ‘kambala’ Bill

 

The Centre has approved the modifications to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017 to pave way for organizing ‘kambala’ in the coming season, according to PP Chaudhary, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice. Now, the Bill will be placed before the President for his approval. The approval by the President will help in the smooth conduct of ‘Kambala’ (the traditional slush track buffalo race) in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. The Bill proposes to exempt ‘kambala’ from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

 

Telangana launches single-woman pension scheme

 

Telangana government launched the single-women pensions scheme across the state. Single women will be given 1,000 per month in what is being described as the first such scheme in India.

 

AP’s Vizianagaram bags MGNREGA national award

 

The Ministry of Rural Development has selected Vizianagaram as one among the 17 districts across the nation for the MGNREGA annual award for effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act during 2015-16. The award would be presented at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan to the district programme coordinator and District Collector on June 19 in New Delhi.

 

Odisha to have first automatic coastal warning for disasters

 

Come the next independence day, Odisha can warn the vast population residing along its 480 km-long coast by pressing a single button from a control room in the State capital in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or a cyclone. The State government is likely to commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) that would enable loud sirens go off simultaneously from towers at 122 locations by August 15.

 

Telangana launches T-Wallet for people with and without mobile phones

 

The Telangana Government has launched a digital wallet, named T-Wallet, which doesn’t charge transaction fee from consumers. The government is planning to use the wallet, available in Google Play, for remittances under job guarantee scheme MNREGA and scholarships for students. Telangana became the first state in the country to launch official e- wallet.

 

Inauguration of MITS Mega Food Park at Rayagada

 

The first Mega Food Park in the state MITS Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Rayagada has been inaugurated today by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries. This is the 7th Mega Food Park operationalized in the last 3 years by the present government. On this occasion Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, MoS (Food Processing Industries), Government of India, were also present. Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the food processing industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and become a major contributor to doubling the farmer’s income and ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government.

 

Arun Jaitley inaugurates Telangana solar plant

 

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated a grid-connected solar power plant of 16 MW capacity at the Ordinance Factory in Telangana’s Medak district. The solar power plant at Medak set up at a cost of Rs 105 crore by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEML) with the commissioning of 9 Mega Watt windmill project at Dammit. The excellence awards in the institutional category for 2014-15 was given to Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bengaluru. The best performance award in exports for 2014-15 was given to Goa Shipyard Limited while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru.

 

CONFERENCES

 

6th Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held between India & Myanmar

 

The 6th India – Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting co-chaired by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar was held in New Delhi. The Joint Trade Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to the enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries. Myanmar shares a long land border of over 1600 Kms with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. During the meeting discussions were held on exploring the feasibilities of direct shipping lines with Sittwe port and Vizag/ Chennai. Similarly, the need for direct air connectivity with Chennai/ Guwahati was discussed.

 

G7 environment ministers meeting 2017 held in Bologna, Italy

 

Group of Seven (G7) Environment Ministers Meeting was held in Bologna, Italy to discuss issues ranging from climate change to sustainable development and litter at sea. The meeting was attended by the Environment Ministers of the seven countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) and the Commissioners of the European Union for Environment and Climate. The Bologna meeting focused on the priority themes of the global environmental challenge, such as the state of implementation of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda. ‘5-year Bologna Roadmap’ was adopted at the meeting, which focuses on important issues such as resource efficiency indicators, citizen involvement, awareness on food waste and economic analysis of the efficient use of resources.

 

Minister of Railways Inaugurates 1st Indian Railways HR Round Table Conference

 

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Indian Railways’ 1st HR Round Table Conference in New Delhi. The Conference was organized around three themes i.e.,

(i) Stakeholders Expectations from HR.

(ii) The Future of Work – HR Role

(iii) Creativity Within Constraints

HR experts and leaders of industry held round table discussion on each of the above mentioned themes.

 

Ministry of AYUSH inaugurates 2nd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga

 

The second National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga has begun in New Delhi. The conference aimed at giving insight to the journalists about the scientific aspects of yoga and its benefits for health. The theme of the conference is ‘Yoga for Health and Harmony’. Eminent experts of yoga and modern medicine present highlights from recent research work on aspects of yoga. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik. It is being organized by Ministry of AYUSH in association with Press Information Bureau as a part of celebrations of the 3rd International Day of Yoga on 21st of June.

 

Rajnath Singh inaugurated conference on disaster management

 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a two-day national level conference on “Capacity Building of SDRF-2017″ in New Delhi. The conference was organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), holded discussions to develop a synergy and to highlight the way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF). In the conference, various agenda points like streamlining the training process of SDRFs and conducting it in a planned and coordinated manner, integrations of operational efforts between NDRF and SDRF, requirement and creation of training infrastructure in each state, improving response time by SDRF’s was discussed.

 

70th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland

 

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Adi Godrej & Andrew Liveris bag USIBC Global Leadership Awards

 

Adi Godrej Chairman of Godrej Group and Andrew Liveries CEO of Dow Chemical have been awarded the Global Leadership Awards of the US-India Business Council for their role in integrating India in the global supply chain. Both were honored for creating inclusive business environments, integrating India in the global supply chain and advancing core values such as manufacturing, innovation and scale in tough market conditions. Liveris and Godrej were presented with the prestigious annual award at the USIBC’s annual gala.

 

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at International meet

 

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at the 2nd Global Skill Development Summit held in Paris recently for innovations and extensive use of IT for skilling the state’s youth. Project Director of Uttarakhand Skill Development Committee Pankaj Kumar Pandey received the honor on behalf of the state.

 

Hyderabad- based man awarded ‘Best Astrologer of world’

 

City-based astrologer and numerologist TS Vineeth Bhatt has been conferred with the ‘Best astrologer of the world’ award at the ‘Russian-Indian economic dialogue’ round-table meet held in Moscow. The event was organized by Peacemakers International, a charity that works for the advancement of conflict resolution through mediation services and training. Bhatt, 37, is from Kerala and lives in Bowenpally. Three generations of his family have been practising astrology. He is a personal astrologer to ministers, ambassadors, senators across the globe.

 

West Bengal’s Kanyashree initiative Honoured with UN Public Service Award

 

The West Bengal Government’s Kanyashree Prakalpa was awarded the first prize in United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific. Out of 552 initiatives from 62 different countries, West Bengal Government’s initiative was chosen the best. The award was presented at The Hague, Netherlands. Kanyashree Prakalpa is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational and skill development institutions and preventing child marriage. The scheme has already enrolled more than for million adolsecent gilrs and the State Government has till date transferred about USD 500 million directly to the beneficiaries bank account. The scheme is being implemented through 16000 institute and schools.

 

Indian agri microbiologist given environment award in Japan

 

Indian agricultural microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi has been conferred the Ministry of Environment Award for 2017 in Japan for developing cutting edge technologies to address burning environmental problems. Chandraghatgi, who is President and CEO of EcoCycle Corporation, is the first foreigner to be given the Ministry of Environment Award, the highest award in the environmental sector in Japan. The Ministry of Environment Award is the highest honour given in the environmental sector every year jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan and The Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun (a media group).

 

Qatar Airways named best airline in the world by Skytrax

 

Qatar Airways has been named Best Airline in the World for 2017 by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at World Airline Awards at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways was voted Best Airline by travelers across the world in the annual passenger survey. The Doha-based carrier has now won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time. Qatar Airways also won the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best First Class Lounge and the Best Airline in the Middle East awards. On the other hand, Malaysia-based Air Asia won awards for being the Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia for a month year in the row, and also as World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin 2017.

 

Member of the British Empire Award for Annabel Mehta

 

Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law and social activist Annabel Mehta, a British national, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work and service to the underprivileged. The award will be presented to her at Buckingham Palace in London later this year. Annabel has been recognized and honored for over 40 years of service to underprivileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within the NGO, Apnalaya, of which she has been President since 2013. Mehta was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics where she met her Indian husband, Anand Mehta. Annabel moved to India in 1966.

 

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags first PM’s Yoga award

 

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga 2017. The Institute has worked to spread Yoga, internationally, over a period of four decades. The institute has published several books on yoga and these have been translated into multiple languages. There are thousands of Iyengar Yoga teachers popularizing and propagating yoga across the world. The selection was done from among 85 nominations received and 15 more recommended by the Screening Committee. The institution of the award was announced by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Second International Day of Yoga at Chandigarh in 2016.

 

Israeli author David Grossman wins Man Booker Prize

 

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017 for his novel ‘A Horse Walks Into a Bar’. Grossman beat out five other finalists, including fellow Israeli author Amos Oz for the counterpart to Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize. Grossman’s novel is about a failing standup comic and his final performance. The award has a prize of 50,000 pounds ($64,000) that is split evenly between Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen.

 

Bhupen Hazarika Award conferred to Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi

 

The Fifth Bhupen Hazarika National Award, 2017 has been conferred to an eminent writer from Arunachal Pradesh Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi. This is the fifth edition of the award which was first conferred in 2012. The prestigious Award, instituted by Sarhad, a Maharashtra-based organization, is honoring a person every year since 2012, who has rendered an outstanding literary work at national and international level. The award consists of 51,000 rupees, a memento and a certificate. His most important novel is Mauna Onth Mukhar Hriday (Silent lips, murmuring hearts) which won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2005.

 

NASA confers Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn posthumously

 

NASA has posthumously awarded the Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn, one of the world’s leading comet scientists. A’Hearn died at the age of 76. The NASA Medal is for “fundamental work on comets and small bodies of the solar system, leadership in space missions, and ensuring public access to data from NASA missions and related projects.”

 

Nalanda model of water conservation chosen for National Award

 

A model of water conservation adopted successfully by the authorities in Nalanda district of south-central Bihar, has been selected for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee program (MGNREGP), by the ministry of rural development. The award for excellence will be conferred on ‘Project Jal Sanchay’, the water conservation model developed in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s native district, at a function to be organized at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on June 19.

 

Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar Make It to Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities List

 

The Forbes list of world’s highest-paid celebs is out and has Sean Combs right at the top. On the list, Bollywood big stars with Shah Rukh Khan leading the charge at the 65th position with $38 million in earnings this year. On his heels is Salman Khan at the 71st spot with $37 million earned in 2016-2017. Akshay Kumar is at 80th position with $35.5 million. Unlike last year, Amitabh Bachchan has not made to the list.

 

Indian girl bags Little Miss Universe Internet 2017 crown at Little Miss Universe in Georgia

 

A 12-year-old Padmalaya Nanda from Odisha has created history by becoming the youngest girl to bag the “Little Miss Universe Internet 2017″ and “Little Miss Actress” crowns at the Little Miss Universe 2017 at the port city of Batumi in Georgia. This is the first time that a 12 yr Indian girl has won this beauty pageant title. She will now participate in the “Little Miss World 2017″ competition that will be held at Greece from Sept 25 to Oct 1, 2017. The award received by the girl was a golden crown which is valid only for a year and will be returned to the Little Miss Universe 2018 competition.

 

Poet, essayist Haraprasad Das gets Kalinga Literary Award

 

Legendary poet and essayist Haraprasad Das was conferred with the covetous Kalinga Literary Award for his work and contribution to literature at the fourth edition of Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF). The three-day literary festival was inaugurated by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. This year the KLF introduced two new awards – the Kalinga International Literary Award, which was received by Anand Neelakantan for his contribution towards literature, and the Kalinga Karubaki Award, which was given to Paramita Satpathy for her contribution to Odia poetry.

 

Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee to receive Legion d’ Honneur

 

Thespian Bengali actor, Soumitra Chatterjee has been conferred with the France’s highest civilian honour, the coveted Legion of Honour. The award will be presented to the Kolkata-based actor by the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler. The award comes with the octogenarian Bengali screen legend exactly 30 years after Satyajit Ray got the honour by the then French President Francois Mitterrand in 1987. Dadasaheb Phalke award winner, Chatterjee featured in some of Ray’s most talked about movies such as Apur Sansar, on one of the famous Apu trilogy, Charulata, Aranyer Din Ratri and Sonar Kella.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

ISSF Jr World Championship: India finish second with 8 medals

 

The Indian shooting squad has finished a creditable second at the ISSF Junior World Championship with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals in Suhl, Germany. India picked up a gold and silver in the team and individual sections of the 25m pistol junior men’s event. India also won team bronze in the 25m pistol junior women’s event to shore up their tally on the fourth and final day of competitions. Anish Bhanwala won three medals, one of each colour. The fourth and final day of the tournament saw Anish Bhanwala winning all the three colours in medals for India. His wins included both individual events and team, in which he teamed up with Anhad Jawanda and Shivam Shukla to total 1733 in the 25m pistol to win gold. With 19 medals in their kitty, China topped the medal tally to finish first in the tournament. They claimed eight gold medals in the tournament.

 

Roger Federer defeats Alexander Zverev to lift Ninth Halle Open title

 

Swiss legend Roger Federer has clinched his ninth Halle Open title after beating Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the final. The top seed Roger Federer showed no mercy with fourth seed Alexander Zverev after wrapping up his ninth title in his 11th Halle final. The final took place at the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle, Germany. With this result, Federer won, for the first time in his career, one tournament nine times. The match was the quickest final in the history of the Halle Open.

 

Ankush claims gold, Devendro wins silver at Mongolia tourney

 

The fast-rising Ankush Dahiya (60kg) clinched a gold while the experienced L Devendro Singh (52kg) settled for a silver medal on the final day of the Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing tournament in Mongolia. The 19-year-old Ankush, who is a former Asian youth silver-medalist, defeated Korean Man Choe Chol in a split verdict, while Devendro lost to Indonesia’s Aldoms Suguro, again a split decision. India thus signed off with a gold, a silver and three bronze medals from the tournament. K Shyam Kumar (49kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) and Priyanka Chaudhary (60kg) – lost their respective semi-final bouts to settle for bronze medals.

 

India set record for most 300-plus totals in ODI cricket

 

India became the team to score the most 300-plus totals in One Day International (ODI) Cricket. India did so when they scored a total of 310 for the loss of five wickets in the second ODI against West Indies. It was the 96th time that India crossed the 300-run mark, surpassing Australia’s 95. India went on to win the match by 105 runs, the highest winning margin they have ever enjoyed against West Indies in the Carribeans. The other teams posted 300+ scores in ODIs as follows: Australia 95, South Africa 77, Pakistan 68, Sri Lanka 62, England 57 and New Zealand 51.

 

Anish Bhanwala bags gold medal in ISSF Junior Shooting World Championship

 

Haryana’s Anish Bhanwala gave a robust start for the Indian challenge by clinching the 25-metre standard pistol gold with a world junior record in the Junior World Shooting Championship in Suhl, Germany. The 15-year-old Anish shot 579 to win the gold seven points ahead of Florian Peter of Germany. In the process, Anish also bettered the junior world record of 574 set by Denis Koulakov of Russia in Lahti, Finland, in 2002. Anish’s score was seven points clear of second-placed German Florian Peter who shot 572, while Ukraine’s Pablo Korostylov won the bronze in the event shooting a score of 570.

 

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Australia Open Super Series title

 

In Badminton, ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has lifted the Australian Open Superseries trophy in Sydney. In the summit clash, 11th world ranked Srikanth stunned former world number one and Rio Olympics Gold medalist Chen Long of China in straight games, 22-20, 21-16. It was Srikanth’s first victory over the Chinese in 6 matches. The trophy is Srikanth’s second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier.

 

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Indonesia Open title

 

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lifted the Indonesia Super Series Premier men’s singles title, beating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in the final by defeating Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in straight games 21-11, 21-19. World No.22 Srikanth won in a 37-minute clash against the Japanese qualifier in the $1,000,000 event. This was the 24-year-old’s second Super Series Premier title. His last Super Series Premier triumph had come in the 2014 China Open.

 

Virat Kohli becomes No.1 ranked ODI batsman

 

In a major shakeup in the top of the rankings after the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Indian captain Virat Kohli displaced South Africa’s AB de Villiers as the No.1 ranked ODI batsman in the world while Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood took over from Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada as the No.1 ranked bowler.

 

  1. Top three ODI Batsman are-

* Virat Kohli (IND)

* David Warner (AUS)

* AB de Villiers (SA)

 

  1. Top Three ODI Bowlers are-

* Josh Hazlewood (AUS)

* Imran Tahir (SA)

* Mitchell Starc (AUS)

 

Rafael Nadal rises to second in ATP world rankings

 

Rafael Nadal’s magnificent run to a 10th French Open title has earned the Spaniard a move into second in the latest ATP world rankings. The 31-year-old clinched his record- breaking Roland Garros crown by demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a one-sided final for a 15th Grand Slam crown. The Top three players in the list are- 1. Andy Murray, 2. Rafael Nadal, and 3. Stan Wawrinka.

 

Lewis Hamilton wins Canadian GP for sixth time

 

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the sixth time. He won against Sebastian Vettel’s overall championship and lead to 12 points. It was Hamilton’s third victory of the season and also his third in a row. It was the three-time champion’s sixth victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was the 56th title of his career.

 

Jitu Rai-Heena Sidhu clinch gold medal in ISSF World Cup

 

India’s Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to clinch the gold medal in mixed team 10m air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, beating Russia in the final in Gabala, Azerbaijan. France beat Iran by an identical score to win the bronze in the event. 430 athletes from 45 countries are competing for medals in the ongoing World Cup, which is the last chance for rifle and pistol shooters to qualify for the ISSF World Cup Finals.

 

Shashikant Kutwal wins gold at world chess championship for differently-abled

 

Shashikant Kutwal has won the gold medal at the 17th World Individual Chess Championship for differently-abled. The World Chess Championship was held in Slovakia. Shashikant Kutwal is a railway employee with Pune Division.

 

The French Open 2017- Complete list of Winners

 

The French open title 2017 was held recently from 22 May-11 June 2017 at Roland Garros in Paris, France. Numbers of records were shattered and created during the tournament. The game has witnessed so many turnovers in the matches that have made it one of the most exciting tournaments in the World. Here is the complete list of all the winners in different categories of The French Open 2017.

 

* French Men’s Singles Open Title- Spain’s Rafael Nadal (10th French Title) defeated Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland).

* French Women’s Singles Open Title- Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko (1st Grand Slam Title) defeated Simona Halep (Rome).

* French Men’s Doubles Title- Michael Venus (New Zealand) and Ryan Harrison (USA) defeated Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young.

* French Women’s Doubles Title- Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) defeated Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.

* French Open Mixed Doubles title- Rohan Bopanna (India) and Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah.

 

Rafael Nadal wins 10th French Open title

 

Spain’s Rafael Nadal made history by winning a record 10th French men’s Open title with victory over Stan Wawrinka in the Paris final (French Open 2017). Nadal came through 6-2 6-3 6-1 against the Swiss third seed to claim his 15th major title. He becomes the first man or woman in the Open era to have won a Grand Slam tournament 10 times. Rafael Nadal won his first French Open title at the age of 19 in 2005. Only Australia’s Margaret Court has more victories at a single Grand Slam tournament, with 11 Australian Open wins between 1960 and 1973. He extended his record at Roland Garros to 79 wins and two losses since his first victory in 2005, the only defeats coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2014.

 

Jelena Ostapenko won French Open title 2017

 

Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title by beating Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours in the women’s final of the French Open 2017. With this win, the unseeded Latvian became the youngest women’s champion at Roland Garros in 20 years. Ostapenko also recovered from a break behind in the third set and finished the contest with a flashing backhand winner to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933.

 

Michael Venus-Ryan Harrison clinch French Open men’s doubles title

 

Michael Venus became New Zealand’s first Grand Slam champion since 1974 when he partnered American Ryan Harrison to the French Open men’s doubles title. Venus and Harrison defeated Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and American Donald Young 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the final at Roland Garros. The 29-year-old is just New Zealand’s second Grand Slam winner in the modern era after Onny Parun teamed up with Australian Dick Crealy to win the men’s doubles crown in Paris 43 years ago.

 

IOC approves new events for 2020 Tokyo Game

 

The International Olympic Committee has approved new events for the 2020 Tokyo Games, including a number of mixed gender competitions. The IOC’s Executive Board made the decision at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. The choices reflect the IOC’s focus on gender equality and appeal to young people. The additions include a mixed team event for judo. Table Tennis will also get a mixed doubles competition. The event was featured in the recent world championships in Germany. Three-on-three basketball is an example of the IOC’s focus on youth and urban sports. The IOC has recommended awarding the hosting rights for both the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time.

 

Muttiah Muralidaran becomes first Sri Lankan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

 

Muttiah Muralidaran, the most successful bowler in Tests and One-Day Internationals, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in London. The Sri Lankan spin great was honored during the innings break of the India versus Sri Lanka Champions Trophy match at The Oval. He became the first player from Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when ICC CEO Dave Richardson presented him with a commemorative framed cap.

 

Ramkumar Ramanathan lifts ITF men’s Futures tennis title

 

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan lifted the ITF (International Tennis Federation) men’s Futures tennis title after outplaying Raymond Sarmiento of the USA in straight sets in Singapore. The top-seeded Indian beat the second seeded player 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the event. It was the first title of the season for Ramkumar. A regular in India’s Davis Cup team, Ramkumar had recently competed in the qualifying event of the French Open but failed to make it to the main round of the Grand Slam tournament.

 

Virat Kohli sole Indian in top 100 of Forbes list of world’s highest paid athletes

 

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature in the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Virat Kohli has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $ 22 million that includes $ three million from salary and winnings and another 19 million from endorsements. The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of 93 million dollars. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3rd) and tennis star Roger Federer (4th). Tennis star Serena Williams, who comes in at the 51 spot with $ 27 million, the lone female athlete to make the cut this year.

 

Rohan Bopanna wins French Open mixed doubles title to clinch maiden Grand Slam

 

Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris, France. Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court. Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

 

Real Madrid wins UEFA Champions League title

 

Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final 2017 to successfully defend the title. Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro and Marco Asensio all scored to take their side to the 12th title in the tournament. It was a historic day for the French manager Zinedine Zidane as well as the Spanish giants, which became the only club to retain the title in the Champions League era.

 

B Sai Praneeth wins Thailand Grand Prix Gold

 

B Sai Praneeth came back from a game down to beat Indonesian Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19. It is Praneeth’s second title of the year after the victory at the Singapore Super Series earlier in the year.

 

West Indies cricket team’s official name changed to WINDIES

 

The cricket board for West Indies, on its 91st anniversary, has re-branded themselves as Cricket West Indies from the former West Indies Cricket board. The board also announced in a media release on their official website that the cricket team from now on will be officially known as ‘WINDIES.

 

ECONOMY

 

India signs loan agreement with World Bank for projects in Assam

 

An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 35 Million from World Bank for “Assam State Public Financial Institutional Reforms Project” was signed in New Delhi. The agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. John Blomquist, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The program duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam. The project will benefit the citizens of Assam through efficient processes, enhanced transparency and better service delivery (such as electronic payments and collections for services, better public procurement, and enhanced taxpayer services) provided by public institutions.

 

EU fines Google a record 2.42 billion euros

 

The European Union has handed Google a record-breaking €2.42bn (£2.14bn) fine for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service, in a dramatic decision that has far-reaching implications for the company. It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06- billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009. The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty. However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of five percent of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

 

RBI amends Banking Ombudsman Scheme

 

The Reserve Bank has extended the scope of Banking Ombudsman Scheme under which banks could be penalised for mis-selling third-party products like insurance and mutual funds via mobile or electronic banking. Under the amended scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to mobile banking/ electronic banking services in India The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an Award has been increased from existing rupees one million to rupees two million. Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority functioning under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006. The authority was created to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to services rendered by the lenders.

 

World Bank sanctions 44 million dollars for ASPIRe Project

 

World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan assistance of 44 million dollars for the Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms (ASPIRe) Project. The loan was sanctioned by World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in its meeting held at Washington DC, USA. The project aims at improving predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam.

 

Hike partners with Yes bank to launch UPI-based wallet

 

Hike Messenger has launched the new version of the app with a completely new interface and the addition of a mobile wallet, in partnership with YES Bank. With Unified Payments Interface support enabled in Hike 5.0, users can now do free and instant bank-to-bank transfers with their friends. The feature works even if your friends aren’t on Hike. For those who don’t actively use a bank account, Hike still allows them to send and receive money with your friends through the Wallet. The app now also allows users to recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill right from inside Hike.

 

Meghalaya signs two MoU with SBI for online payments

 

Meghalaya government has signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India as a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode. With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax(GST), these MoUs are expected to give dealers and other citizens the desired platform for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform. The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury, which dedicatedly handles all online transactions of government receipts across the state centrally for a few selected departments. The state government will now escalate its transactions for the collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system – Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) covering all departments in a phased manner.

 

Lockheed signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India

 

The defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick- starting a mega ‘Make in India’ project. The agreement has been signed at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed to produce F-16 fighter planes in India. It is the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter.

 

SBI, Tirumala Milk Products tie up for providing loans to dairy farmers

 

State Bank of India has entered into a tie-up with Tirumala Milk Products, a South- based company which was acquired by Groupe Lactalis in 2014, to provide loans to dairy farmers who supply milk to the latter. France-based Groupe Lactalis, which also acquired Indore-based Anik Dairy in 2016, wants to double the number of dairy farmers under its fold to three lakh and ramp up the amount of milk it procures daily to 25 lakh litres by 2020 from 14 lakh litres now. Under its scheme for financing dairy units, SBI offers loans for, among others, construction of shed, and purchase of milch animals, milking machine, and chaff cutter.

 

CCI slaps Rs 87 Crore fine on Hyundai Motor for unfair business ways

 

The country’s competition watchdog has imposed a penalty of Rs 87 crore on Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India for anticompetitive conduct. According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the carmaker imposed arrangements upon its dealers that resulted in resale price maintenance – a deal not to sell a product below a specified price – in the sale of passenger cars manufactured by it. Such arrangements also included monitoring of the maximum permissible discount levels through a Discount Control Mechanism, in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(4)(e) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

 

Aadhaar must for bank accounts, transactions over Rs 50,000

 

Stepping up its fight against tax evasion, the Centre has made it mandatory to quote the Aadhaar number for opening bank accounts and for transactions exceeding Rs.50,000. With the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 notified earlier this month, banks will have to demand both Aadhaar and the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for verification of identity, starting June 1. By the Finance Act, 2017, the Government had made it mandatory to seed PAN with Aadhaar and quote it in income-tax returns. However, the Supreme Court had held that only those individuals who possess an Aadhaar card need to link it with PAN. The new rules mandate existing bank account-holders to provide their Aadhaar details by December 31, while new applicants will be expected to quote either the 12-digit number or offer proof that they have applied for Aadhaar enrolment.

 

AIIB grants USD 150 mn loan for India Infrastructure Fund

 

China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects. The Board of Directors of the AIIB, who met in Jeju in South Korea has approved USD 150 million equity investment to the India Infrastructure Fund. The bank, in which India is a lead partner, has approved two loans and one equity investment totalling USD 324 million to support infrastructure projects in India, Georgia and Tajikistan. This initiative will benefit local infrastructure development by enhancing private capital inflows from global long-term investors, such as public pension funds, endowments and insurance companies.

 

TerraPay partners with Yes Bank to enable instant cross-border money transfer service in India

 

Private sector lender Yes Bank has partnered with mobile payments switch TerraPay to enable real-time money transfer to bank accounts in India. Powered by TerraPay’s global clearing and settlement service, the partnership will make it faster and convenient for consumers to send money to any bank account. TerraPay has partnered with Yes Bank in a Rupee Drawing Arrangement which enables TerraPay’s network partners to make instant cross-border money transfer to bank accounts in India. This means that Indian migrants worldwide can walk into TerraPay’s partner outlet anytime and send money to their family and friends back home, instantly in their bank account. For bank accounts other than Yes Bank accounts, Yes Bank will disburse funds using the immediate payment service, popularly known as IMPS. The service is available 24X7.

 

World Bank approves over $500 million for Afghanistan to boost economy

 

The World Bank has approved financing worth more than 500 million dollars for Afghanistan to support a string of projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan. The international troop withdrawal, which began in 2011, and political uncertainties have impacted Afghanistan’s economy deeply. The largest chunk of the package, some 205.4 million dollars, will go toward supporting communities affected by refugees returning from Pakistan.

 

RBI Issues New Rs. 500 banknotes with inset letter ‘A’

 

In continuation of issuing of Rs500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series from time to time which are currently legal tender, a new batch of banknotes with inset letter “A” in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel Governor, Reserve Bank of India; with the year of printing ’2017’ on the reverse, are being

issued. The new series earlier released and currently, in circulation has the inset letter “E”. They will continue to be valid. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to the Rs500 banknotes.

 

Microsoft signs agreement to acquire Israeli security firm Hexadite

 

Ransomware attacks have prompted Microsoft to sign an agreement to acquire Hexadite. This deal cost $100 million. Hexadite is an Israeli startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to identify and protect against cyber attacks.

 

Canara Bank ties up with New India Assurance Company

 

Canara Bank has inked pact with the state-owned general insurer The New India Assurance Company Ltd. to sell policies through its branches. The pact allows Canara Bank to offer non-life insurance products to its customers across metros and tier II and III cities through the bank’s extensive network of over 6,000 branches. The pact also strengthens distribution network of New India Assurance. Under the agreement, New India Assurance will make offer a bouquet of products such as motor, home, health, travel, fire, marine, and engineering insurance policies through branches of Canara Bank.

 

SBI cuts interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 bps

 

The State Bank of India, country’s largest lender cut the interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 basis points (bps) to 8.60 percent. For salaried women borrowers, the loans will be offered at 8.55 percent. According to SBI, the new rates will be effective from June 15. The home loan rates offered are lowest in the industry. The statement added that taking a cue from the recent RBI reduction in risk weightage on home loans, SBI is passing on the benefit to its customers by reducing its interest rates on home loan above Rs 75 lakh. SBI has the largest share on the home loan market.

 

Axis Bank to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards

 

Axis Bank Ltd has announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards on the occasion of World Environment Day (05th June). With this, the bank has become the first to introduce biodegradable cards in the country. The card has the look and feel of regular plastic cards and can be used in PoS terminals and ATMs. Biodegradable cards can also be recycled.

 

RBI keeps Repo Rate unchanged in Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18

 

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:

 

Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 per cent.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.0 per cent, and

The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.50 per cent. The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth.

NHB approves merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance

 

The proposed merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance has hit the final lap with it got the nod from housing finance regulator National Housing Bank (NHB). Aadhar Housing Finance Chief Executive Officer Deo Shankar Tripathi stated that it had applied to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the next stage approval. Both the companies are owned by Wadhawan family promoted Wadhawan Global Capital Pvt Ltd. International Finance Corporation owns 20% in Aadhar Housing, while DHFL Vysya is fully owned by Wadhawan family. According to the merger plan, Aadhar Housing will merge into DHFL Vysya, making it a pan-India company. Both the companies operate in mutually exclusive locations at present. Post merger, the Wadhawan family would own 82% in the merged entity and the balance 18% will be with institutions including IFC. The merged entity is proposed to be named as Aadhar Housing Finance, subject to NCLT’s approval.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

India’s communication satellite GSAT-17 successfully launched from French Guiana

 

India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-17 has been successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana. GSAT-17 with a lift-off mass of about 3,477 kg carries payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services. The Satellite also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites. This was third satellite launch by ISRO, the other two being first developmental flight of GSLV MkIII and PSLV C-38 missions launched from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

 

Scientists created the Brightest Light ever made on Earth

 

Scientists have created the brightest light ever produced on the Earth, shining a billion times stronger than the surface of the sun. The researchers discovered that it could be used as a new type of X-ray, capable of taking higher resolution images than the traditional kind. These could be used in hospitals but also by engineers, scientists and for security purposes. When light strikes an object, it scatters – an effect that enables our eyes to see it. Normally an electron scatters just one photon of light at a time but the light beam produced in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extreme Light Laboratory saw nearly 1,000 photons scattered at a time.

 

ISRO’s PSLV-C38 Lifts Off From Sriharikota With 31 Satellites

 

Adding another feather in its cap, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse rocket PSLV C-38 blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite – a dedicated satellite for the defense forces – along with 30 co-passenger satellites. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is about 955 kg. The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nano satellite from India.

 

DRDO successfully test fires third generation anti-tank ‘Nag’ missile in Rajasthan

 

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired the anti-tank missile “Nag” in a desert in Rajasthan’s western sector. The Nag missile is a third generation “fire and forget” anti-tank missile. It has reportedly also been equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal.

 

India successfully test-fires 1st all weather tracked-chassis QR-SAM

 

India on 4th June successfully test-fired its first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. The Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QR-SAM) was jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited.

 

Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired

 

India today successfully test-fired its indigenous developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at around 9.50 am, official sources said. The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision and accuracy.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

 

Beijing Envoy Vijay Keshav Gokhale is New Secretary (Economic Relations)

 

Vijay Gokhale, currently Indian Ambassador to China, has been appointed as the Economic Relations Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Vijay Keshav Gokhale, a 1981-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Gokhale has served as Ambassador of India to Germany and also in Indian missions in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. He has also held the posts of Director (China and East Asia) and then Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the ministry.

 

Rajiv Kumar appointed as new Chief Secretary of UP

 

Rajiv Kumar was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment was approved by the Uttar Pradesh Government. Prior to this appointment, Kumar was a Secretary in the Union Shipping Ministry. He is a 1981 batch IAS Officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr. Kumar has replaced Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar. Rahul Bhatnagar was shifted to Greater Noida as chairman, with additional charge of investment commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, in New Delhi.

 

Union Govt appoints Rajesh Shah as NIFT Chief

 

The Union Government (Ministry of Textiles) has appointed Shri Rajesh V. Shah as Chairperson on the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). He has replaced Shri Chetan Chauhan as per the provisions of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006. Set up in 1986, the institute, which has centres across the country, comes under the Union Ministry of Textiles.

 

Kaushik Basu takes over as president of IEA

 

Former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). Mr. Basu has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016 and as the chief economic adviser to the Government of India from 2009 to 2012. He is currently the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell. The IEA is a leading organisation for professional economists and it seeks to shape global economic policy and research.

 

Priyanka Chopra appointed as ambassador for Govt’s Skill India campaign

 

Actress Priyanka Chopra has been appointed as the ambassador for government’s flagship Skill India campaign, with the National Skill Development Corporation. Priyanka will use her celebrity status to motivate youngsters to hone their abilities through a media campaign. Earlier, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra and Shabana Azmi and singer Mohit Chauhan had also become goodwill envoys for Skill India.

 

Mihai Tudose designated Romania’s new PM

 

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appointed Social Democrat Mihai Tudose, candidate proposed by the parliamentary majority, as prime minister and mandated him to form a new government. Mihai Tudose, the outgoing economy minister of Romania, has been appointed as prime minister, days after the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) removed its own government following an internal power row. The 50-year-old Tudose now has 10 days to gain the vote of confidence in his government and his program.

 

J-K Governor N N Vohra is new president of IIC

 

Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has been appointed the president of the India International Centre (IIC). IIC is one of the premier cultural institutions in the country. The appointment was made after eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee quit the presidential post.

 

IDFC Bank elevates Sunil Kakar as MD & CEO

 

IDFC Ltd announced the elevation of its CFO Sunil Kakar as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company for three years. Mr. Kakar has also been appointed as additional director. Both the appointments are subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting (AGM). Kakar joined IDFC as the Group Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for finance and accounts, business planning and budgeting and investor relations, among others. Besides, the company announced that the Board has approved the resignation of veteran banker Vikram Limaye from the post of MD and CEO who is set to join leading stock exchange NSE as its new Managing Director and CEO.

 

UN Appoints Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of UN Counter-Terrorism Centre

 

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia. The office is established under the General Assembly resolution 71/291 on 15 June 2017. The Under-Secretary-General will provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations. He had served as Russia’s ambassador to Vienna and has been serving as an ambassador to UN organisations since 2011.

 

Jeevandas Narayan appointed as MD of Manappuram Home Finance

 

Manappuram Finance has announced the appointment of Jeevandas Narayan as the Managing Director and Subhash Samant as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance. Prior to this Narayan, who has more than 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, was Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore. The company also announced the appointment of Subhash Samant as CEO of Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd.

 

Ayurveda specialist appointed special secretary in Ayush

 

Ayurveda physician ‘Vaidya’ Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush Ministry. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha’s appointment for three years on a contract basis, according to an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Vaidya (physician) Kotecha is the chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur. The appointment is in line with the Centre’s efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government.

 

UNICEF appoints teenage refugee as its latest Goodwill Ambassador

 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan, a 19-year-old education activist, and Syrian refugee, as its newest – and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador. The appointment makes Muzoon the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF. Muzoon, who received support from UNICEF while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child. She lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom.

 

Govt ropes in Amitabh Bachchan to promote GST

 

The Union government has roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Services Tax (GST), ahead of the sweeping tax reform’s implementation scheduled from July 1. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will make the 74-year-old star the brand ambassador of the GST. A 40-second video featuring him had been shot and is being circulated. In the video, Mr. Bachchan explains the GST as an unifying force just like the three colours in the national flag. The megastar has been roped in just as the rollout of the biggest tax overhaul since independence entered its final phase. Ace badminton star PV Sindhu was previously the GST ambassador.

 

Govt appoints Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission

 

The government of India has appointed a senior executive of Tata Consultancy Services Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission, its initiative to promote entrepreneurship in the country. Ramanathan Ramanan, senior vice president at TCS, has been appointed as mission director of Atal Innovation Mission, under the government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog, in the rank of additional secretary on secondment basis from the IT bellwether for two years initially. According to the notification, Ramanan’s appointment will be without pay and allowances. The Atal Innovation Mission is the Centre’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

Government announces Indian envoys to European Union, Italy, Belgium and Denmark

 

India has announced a number of new diplomatic appointments in its missions abroad, including envoys to the European Union, Italy, Belgium, and Denmark.

 

* Gaitri Issar Kumar, joint secretary in the President’s Secretariat, was named as India’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union which has its headquarters in the Belgian

capital of Brussels.

* Reenat Sandhu was named as India’s new Ambassador to Italy. He has replaced Anil Wadhwa.

* Ajit Vinayak Gupte, joint secretary in the external affairs ministry, has been named India’s Ambassador to Denmark. He will take over from Rajeev Shahare.

 

Indian-origin Leo Varadkar becomes Ireland’s youngest PM

 

Leo Varadkar, a 38-year-old Indian-origin doctor, scripted history by becoming Ireland’s youngest and the first openly gay Prime Minister of the Catholic-majority country. Varadkar, the country’s first Indian-origin premier, officially took over from Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known, after a parliamentary vote in Dublin confirmed him as the leader by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstentions.

 

Lakshmi Vilas Bank appoints B K Manjunath as part-time chairman for 3 years

 

Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has appointed B K Manjunath as a part-time chairman for three years. Lakshmi Vilas Bank has informed the stock exchange that subsequent to an approval granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Board of Directors of the bank at their meeting have co-opted B K Manjunath as additional director in the category of Non-Executive and Independent Director. Manjunath is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a practicing charted accountant for the last 25 years.

 

K G Karmakar, Gauri Shankar appointed directors of IPPB

 

K G Karmakar and Gauri Shankar were appointed as Independent Directors of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved their appointment to the post on the board of directors of the bank for a period of three years. The IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100 percent equity of the government of India.

 

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

 

Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights. The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others. The competent authority has approved the appointment of Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service, as Registrar, Copyrights Office, for a period of five years. The Copyright Office is under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights, who acts under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government, according to norms.

 

Sher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time

 

Veteran Nepalese politician Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected as Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time. Deuba, 70, was the sole candidate to contest in the Prime Minister election as the main opposition UML or any other party didn’t register their candidacies. He secured 388 votes in his favour and 170 votes against him. A total of 558 were cast during the voting. He needed 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority. Mr. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005. He was sacked by the then King Gyanendra Shah in 2005 over failure to hold elections and bring Maoist rebels to a round table negotiation.

 

Leo Varadkar to be next Ireland PM

 

The son of an Indian immigrant who came out as gay in 2015 will be the next Irish prime minister, after he was voted leader of the country’s main governing party. Leo Varadkar’s victory in the Fine Gael leadership contest on Friday, which took place after outgoing PM Enda Kenny announced his resignation last month, marks another significant step forward for equality in the country, after 2015’s gay marriage referendum. As well as becoming Ireland’s first gay prime minister, Varadkar, 38, will also become the country’s youngest leader, and the first from an ethnic minority background.

 

UN General Assembly elects Slovakian Miroslav Lajcak as new president

 

The United Nations General Assembly picked Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak to be its next president. The 193-member assembly, the U.N.’s most representative body, burst into applause when current President Peter Thomson of Fiji announced that Lajcak had been elected by acclamation to lead its 72nd session beginning in September.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s Head Coach

 

Anil Kumble, the former Indian Captain, resigned from the post of Head Coach of the Indian Cricket team. His resignation came before the limited-overs tour of the West Indies team. During this trip to the Caribbean, the team management will be supervised by M V Sridhar, the general manager of cricket operations. The batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar will continue in their roles. Under Kumble, India enjoyed a great record in all formats of the game. In Tests, the Men in Blue attained the No 1 ranking with series victories over West Indies, New Zealand, England and Australia. In ODIs, India edged New Zealand and England on home soil before finishing runners-up in the Champions Trophy, while in the shortest format of the game, Kumble endured his only loss in a bilateral series, when India went down to world champions West Indies in a two-match series, before beating England 2-1 in India.

 

Ram Nath Kovind resigns as Bihar Governor

 

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has resigned from his gubernatorial post. The resignation follows his nomination as the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties. BJP announced the name of 71-year-old Mr. Kovind, a low-profile Dalit leader and a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, as its nominee for President.

 

C). DEATHS

 

Harry Potter actor Sam Beazley dies at 101

 

British Actor Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has passed away at the age of 101. Beazley passed away in his sleep. Beazley began his professional acting career as a teenager in 1930s and featured in films like Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. He most recently did guest roles on Foyle’s War, Kingdom, and Casualty, all in 2007.

 

Former CJI PN Bhagwati Passes Away

 

Former Chief Justice of India PN Bhagwati, considered a pioneer of judicial activism in the country for introducing the concept of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) was passed away in New Delhi after the brief illness. Justice Bhagwati, 95, is survived by his wife Prabhavati Bhagwati and three daughters. The 17th Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati remained on the highest judicial post between July 1985 and December 1986. He was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973. As a Supreme Court judge, Bhagwati introduced the concepts of public interest litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system.

 

German reunification architect Helmut Kohl dies at 87

 

Former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification, died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the western state of Germany. He was 87. Mr. Kohl, who led the centre-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving German chancellor of the 20th Century. As Germany’s leader for 16 years, Kohl was remembered for reuniting the country and for making a huge political and economic contribution to Europe’s integration. Kohl was credited with bringing East and West Germany together after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Together with his French ally President Francois Mitterrand, he was responsible for the introduction of the Euro.

 

Veteran Telugu Poet, Writer C Narayana Reddy Passes Away

 

Legendary Telugu poet and writer C Narayana Reddy passed away. He was 85. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1977 and Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India. He had received the Jnanpith Award for the year 1988. He was also the president of the Telangana Saraswatha Parishath. He was also a former Rajya Sabha MP.

 

Adam West, TV’s Batman dies at 88

 

A well known US actor, Adam West died in Los Angeles. He was suffering to leukaemia for some time. He was 88. Adam West rose to prominence in the 1960s for a TV series Batman. First appearing in season two in 2002, he voiced Quahog’s eccentric Mayor Adam West, described by series creator Seth MacFarlane as an “alternate universe”, satirised version of the actor.

 

Eminent rights activist Mehrunnisa Dalwai passes away

 

Mehrunnisa Dalwai, a noted social activist and author, and the wife of one of modern Maharashtra’s most remarkable and formidable social reformers, Hamid Dalwai, passed away. She was 87. Her autobiography, “Mi Bharun Pawle” is considered an inspirational piece for progressive movement.

 

D). VISITORS

 

PM Modi’s Three-Day Tour

 

  1. PM Modi in Portugal- The Journey of PM started on 24th June. In the first leg of his tour, he reached Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Over there, India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology.
  2. PM Modi in The USA- In the second day of his three-nation tour PM arrived in US capital Washington D.C. This was the first Meet of Mr. Modi with the newly appointed President of USA Mr. Donald Trump. India and the United States agreed to enhance cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation.
  3. PM Modi in The Netherlands in his 3rd day- In the final day of his three-nation tour, PM Modi arrived in Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands, after concluding his visit to the US. The Netherlands has backed India’s early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, NSG, and other multilateral export control regimes. In a joint communique issued after the meeting between PM Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Hague. The Netherlands also supported the country’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat. India and Netherlands also signed three MOUs on water management, cultural cooperation and on amending social security arrangement.

 

PM Narendra Modi leaves for Netherlands after concluding US trip

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for the Netherlands in his last leg of the three-nation visit after completing his two-day US tour. The Prime Minister will reach Amsterdam where he will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Mr. Mark Rutte. Both countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of Indo-Dutch diplomatic relations this year.

 

PM Modi leaves for three-nation tour, Portugal to be first stop

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-nation visit. In the first leg of his tour, he will reach Portuguese capital, Lisbon. After Portugal, the Prime Minister will depart for the US capital, Washington DC. During his two-day US visit, the Prime Minister will meet its President, Donald Trump. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. In the last leg of his tour, Mr. Modi will visit The Netherlands for bilateral talks with his counterpart, Mr. Mark Rutte.

 

Arun Jaitely’s four days visit to South Korea

 

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley was on a four-day official visit (from 14th to 17th June) to Republic of Korea (ROK) and participated in the India-Korea Strategic Economic Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The Key Points of the visit are:

  1. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects.
  2. India, South Korea agree to increase investment to push infrastructure, bilateral trade

The two countries have signed agreements to establish 9 billion US dollar in concessional credit and 1 billion dollars in Official Development Assistant, ODA funding for infrastructure development projects in India. With this, Republic of Korea became one of the first non-G-7 countries to become an ODA contributor in India.

  1. India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul

Both sides agreed that in the face of uncertainty and the risk of rising protectionism, there was a need for the two countries to increase efforts to stimulate investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others. The dialogue was followed by the signing ceremony of Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) agreement between India and South Korea and thereafter, an MOU was signed between EXIM Bank of India and South Korea’s KEXIM Bank.

  1. 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the AIIB

The second annual meeting of the AIIB was held on June 16, 2017, in South Korea’s Jeju Island. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Sustainable Infrastructure”. During this second annual meeting of governors, AIIB approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga.

  1. India to host AIIB Annual Meeting 2018

The Board of Governors of the AIIB announced that the Bank’s third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors will be held in Mumbai, India in June 2018. India is the Bank’s second largest shareholder (China is the 1st) and is becoming an increasingly important geography for AIIB investments.

 

PM of India leaves for Kazakhstan to attend SCO summit

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for Kazakhstan, where he will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and meet some foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will become full members of the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Ahead of his two-day visit, PM Modi stated that he looked forward to deepening engagement with the SCO countries. At this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which the SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of the global GDP. On the evening of June 9, he will also attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo with the theme of “Future Energy”.

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

UNESCO declares Sharjah as World Book Capital 2019

 

Sharjah, a city in the United Arab Emirates was named ‘World Book Capital for the year’ 2019 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee which met at the Headquarters of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) at La Haye. The city was selected because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population. The program runs with a slogan ‘Read – you are in Sharjah’. It focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing, and children. The Sharjah is the first in the GCC and third in the Arab world and Middle East, to have received this recognition. The GCC countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

Dangal becomes 1st Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 at globally

 

The Aamir Khan starrer Dangal has become the first Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 crore worldwide. Recently, Dangal also created the record of being the fifth highest-grossing non-English film ever. Based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, the sports drama film is also the highest grossing Indian film in China. According to a report by Forbes, on its 53rd day of release in China, Dangal made Rs 2.5 crore ($390,000) at the China box office taking its worldwide total to Rs 2000 crore. The movie has already beaten movies like ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘xXx: Return Of Xander Cage’, ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’, ‘Titanic 3D’ and ‘The Jungle Book’. ‘Dangal’ is now behind world’s biggest blockbuster ‘Avatar’ and Chris Pratt’s ‘Jurassic World,’ which are positioned at number 15 and 14, respectively at the China box office.

 

SpiceJet becomes world’s top airline stock with 124% gain in 2017

 

Two and a half years after Indian air carrier SpiceJet Ltd was forced to ground its entire fleet on its inability to pay a mere $2.2 million in fuel bills, the budget airline has become the world’s best-performing airline stock – with $26 billion in plane orders to boot. The company’s co-founder and chairman, Ajay Singh, has played the white knight, injecting capital, cutting loss-making routes and aggressively adding capacity in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. SpiceJet shares are the best performers on a Bloomberg Intelligence index of airline stocks this year.

 

Maharashtra man Gokulnath becomes 1st Indian to finish solo Race Across America

 

Srinivas Gokulnath from Maharashtra created history by becoming the first Indian to complete the 4,941-km Race Across America (RAAM) in solo category. Srinivas, 37, completed the toughest cycle race in the world in 11 days and 11 hours in the 18-49 age category. The time given was 12 days to complete the race, that is 13 hours earlier than the scheduled time. The race concluded at Odenton. In a feat that marks the Indian arrival on the endurance cycling scene globally, another Maharashtrian, Dr. Amit Samarth followed Gokulnath at the finish line at Annapolis on American east coast. Among the nine men who finished, Gokulnath stood 7th while Samarth was right on his heels at number 8. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.

 

Doon girl wins Miss World title in bodybuilding championship

 

Bhumika Sharma, another Indian has become Miss World in bodybuilding championship. Dehradun’s girl gained maximum points in three categories – individual posing, body posing and fall in that eventually bagged her the Miss World title and the gold medal at the world championship in Venice, Italy. The championship drew 50 competitors from different countries. But bodybuilding wasn’t her original choice. During a shooting event in New Delhi three years ago, a chance meeting with a bodybuilding coach changed the life of the 21-year-old.

 

Manushi Chhillar from Haryana takes the crown of Miss India 2017

 

The 54th Femina Miss India World 2017 winner is Manushi Chhillar from Haryana, while the first runner-up is Sana Dua from Jammu and Kashmir and the second runner-up is Priyanka Kumari from Bihar. The event was held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. This is the first time the participants wore an Indian dress at the finale designed by Manish Malhotra. The show was hosted by Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh. Besides, Vinali Bhatnagar won the Miss Active crown whereas Vamika Nidhi won the special award of ‘Body Beautiful’. The pageant judged by Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle, along with Bollywood stars like Arjun Rampal, Bipasha Basu, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Abhishek Kapoor, Vidyut Jammwal, Ileana D’Cruz among others.

 

Rajiv Gauba is new Home Secretary after Major reshuffle in central bureaucracy

 

Urban development secretary Rajiv Gauba will be the new home secretary after the completion of the tenure of Rajiv Mehrishi on August 30. The 1982-batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre will join immediately as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the home ministry. The government also has transferred 17 IAS officers. In another significant change, N.K. Sinha has been appointed as Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Ajay Mittal who has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training. Sinha is currently serving as Culture Secretary.

 

Mumbai The Most Expensive City In India For Expatriates

 

Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India and is ranked higher than major global cities such as Paris, Canberra, Seattle and Vienna. According to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is placed 57th on the list while New Delhi was placed at 99. Chennai (135), Bangalore (166) and Kolkata (184) were the other Indian cities on the list. Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively. The improvement of ranking of Indian cities was not just on account of internal factors, but also because some global cities fell in ranking following currency volatility, especially in Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

 

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince

 

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. A royal decree removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57- year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince. The newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defense minister. The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy

 

India Re-Nominates Dalveer Bhandari to the ICJ

 

India has re-nominated Justice Dalveer Bhandari as its candidate for another term as judge at the International Court of Justice or ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Bhandari, 69, was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court. His current term runs through February 2018. The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years. During his term at the ICJ, Mr Bhandari has been engaged actively in the work of the Court and has delivered individual opinions in eleven cases covering a broad spectrum of subjects such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, crime of genocide, delimitation of continental shelf, nuclear disarmament, financing of terrorism and violation of sovereign rights.

 

BankBazaar.com opens its office in Malaysia

 

Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar has begun its operations in Malaysia to strengthen its presence in South East Asia. Further, to scale and steer its international operations, BankBazaar has appointed former Visa employee Vipin Kalra to lead the business growth internationally. In line with this vision to expand its foothold across south east Asia, last month, BankBazaar announced an investment of Rs. 5 crore in the Malaysian market and an additional Rs. 10 crore in its Singapore business.

 

ISRO’s Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit

 

Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also called Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit. The interplanetary mission of ISRO was launched on 5th November, 2013. It was inserted into Martian orbit on 24th September, 2014 in its first attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realisation, miniaturisation of five heterogeneous science payloads completed 1000 Earth days which corresponds to 973.25 Martian Solar day. Scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress. According to ISRO, the satellite is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

 

Delhi’s Connaught Place 9th costliest office market, Mumbai lags

 

Connaught Place in the national capital is the most expensive prime office market in India and the ninth most expensive office market in the world, with an occupancy cost of $153.89 per square feet, according to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey of US-based CBRE. This makes Connaught Place costlier than Dubai, downtown Boston and Shanghai. According to the survey, Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) moved one place up from nineteen to 20 while the CBD of Nariman Point ranked thirty-third on the list of the top 50 most expensive office markets around the world. Hong Kong (Central) became the world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq ft per annum. Asia continues to dominate the list of the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for seven of the top ten markets, according to the survey.

 

Katy Perry Becomes First to Hit 100 Million Twitter Followers

 

Katy Perry just keeps soaring in popularity. The Witness singer and pop culture lightning rod became the first person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, making her the most-followed person on the platform, Twitter reports. Perry joined Twitter back in 2009, making her something of an early adopter as a celebrity. Since then, she’s been an active user, sending out over 8,500 tweets in her time on the service; that’s about a thousand each year. She’s also been at the center of many memorable conversations and pop culture moments on the platform, from the 2015 Super Bowl’s viral “Left Shark” debacle during her performance to her participation in the 2016 election.

 

China’s First X-Ray Space Telescope To Study Black Holes

 

China successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts. The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named ‘Insight,’ was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi desert. It was delivered into orbit, 550km (341 miles) above the Earth, by the Long March- 4B rocket. Beijing aims to send a probe to the dark side of the moon by 2018 and to put astronauts on the moon by 2036. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named Insight, will allow Chinese scientists to observe magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars and better understand the evolution of black holes.

 

Neeru Chadha becomes 1st Indian woman as member of ITLOS

 

Indian nominee Neeru Chadha became the first Indian Woman to be elected as the Member of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Chadha, the international law expert, got 120 votes with the highest in the Asia-Pacific group. She will have a nine-year term as the Judge at ITLOS from 2017 to 2026. Currently, an eminent jurist from India P Chandrasekhara Rao is a judge at the tribunal. He was elected as the member of the tribunal in 1996 and his term will expire in September 2017. Neeru Chandha is an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the Chief Legal Adviser in the Union Ministry of External Affairs and has advised the government on diverse issues relating to the law of the sea involving interpretation of various provisions of the UNCLOS. With an extensive international arbitrattion and ligitation experience, she had served as an agent for the Indian government in its maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh.

 

IDBI Bank only PSB to get ‘high’ rating for code compliance

 

According to the Code Compliance Rating of banks done by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) 2017, only one (IDBI Bank) out of 26 public sector banks and eight out of 17 private sector banks got ‘high’ rating for their adherence to code compliance. The eight private sector banks that got ‘high’ rating are- Axis Bank, DCB Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank and YES Bank. The three foreign banks are Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, that were surveyed got ‘high’ ranking. The code compliance rating, which is based on five parameters viz. information dissemination, transparency, grievance redressal, customer- centricity, and customer feedback may be considered an indicator of the level of implementation of important code provisions at the grassroot level of a bank.

 

IRDAI takes over management of Sahara Life Insurance

 

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken over the administration of Sahara India Life Insurance, a first of its kind move in the insurance sector. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions. R.K. Sharma, general manager, IRDA has been appointed as the administrator with “immediate effect” to manage Sahara India Life Insurance Company. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions under the Insurance Act, 1938 and manage the business with the greatest economy, compatible with efficiency and regular reporting to the regulator, the order states. The current board of Sahara India Life is headed by Chairman OP Srivastava. Sanjay Agarwal is whole-time director and CEO.

 

World’s smallest & cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ launched in USA

 

The World’s smallest and cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ was launched in the USA recently. The Vision Jet can haul five adults up to 1,150 miles at 28,000 feet. It is the first Private Jet with a single engine and can be conveniently operated by a single pilot, thus keeping production and maintenance costs low for the users. The jet can fly at a speed of 345mph and has an operating altitude of 28,000 feet.

 

Indian American Raja Chari among 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA

 

NASA has chosen 12 new astronauts, including an Indian American named Raja Chari, from a record number of over 18,000 applicants, who will be trained for missions into Earth orbit and to deep space. The 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX and a NASA research pilot. Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the first Indian American after Kalpana Chawla to be chosen by NASA for one of its missions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is the largest group NASA has selected in almost two decades. Lt Col Raja “Grinder” Chari, 39, is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

Mumbai’s Taj Palace becomes first Indian building to get trademark

 

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the Mumbai City has acquired an ‘image trademark’, making it the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. This makes the 114-year-old building the first in the country to get such a registration. The hotel, which has been a defining structure of Mumbai’s skyline, has joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House. Usually, logos, brand names, combination of colours, numerals and even sounds are trademarked but the registration of an architectural design has never been attempted since the Trademark Act came into force in 1999.

 

BOOKS IN NEWS

 

Venkaiah Naidu launches Book on democracy’s darkest

 

Venkaiah Naidu has launched the book which titled ‘The Emergency – Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ a book written by Surya Prakash, chairman of Prasar Bharati. The book was launched at a conference to mark the anniversary of the Emergency and to honor all those who fought for the restoration of democracy in the country in the mid-1970s.

 

Ex-Uttarakhand CM Pokhriyal authors book on Vajpayee ‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’

 

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank, has officially handed over the first copy of the 450-page book titled -‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’ to the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. However, the book will be launched soon in the market for all.

 

COMMITTEES

 

BCCI forms seven-member Committee to oversee Lodha Panel Reforms

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the formation of a special seven-member committee to identify the ‘few critical points’ for the general body of the cricket board to consider before they are submitted to the Supreme Court. The decision to form the panel was arrived at the BCCI’s Special General Meeting in Mumbai. This committee will be responsible for identifying those points that are difficult to be implemented, in regards to the Justice RM Lodha Committee reforms. The seven-member Lodha committee has been formed under the head of Rajeev Shukla. The other members of the committee include former India captain Sourav Ganguly, T.C. Mathew (Kerala Cricket), Naba Bhattacharjee (North East representative), Jay Shah (Gujarat Cricket Association), BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.

 

Ex-ISRO head K. Kasturirangan to head panel on National Education Policy

 

Ex-ISRO Chief & Padma Vibhushan awardee Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan has been appointed the Chairman of the committee to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy. The Chairperson apart, the committee has eight members. The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. These include Vasudha Kamat, K.J. Alphonse, Manjul Bhargava, Ram Shankar Kureel, TV Kattamani, KM Tripathy, Mahzar Asif & M.K. Shridhar.

 

RBI expands oversight committee with three more members for faster bad loan resolution

 

The Reserve Bank of India reconstituted the Oversight Committee by appointing three more members and empowered the panel to approve stressed asset cases where lenders have more than Rs 500 crore exposure. The high-level panel was formed to examine the process to resolve mounting bad loans in the banking sector. According to the RBI former chief vigilance commissioner, Pradeep Kumar will head the now reconstituted 5-member panel. Besides Kumar, the other members of the committee are former SBI Chairman Janki Ballabh, former Canara Bank Chairman and MD MBN Rao, former Chairman of L&T Finance YM Deosthalee and S Raman, member SEBI. Raman would be inducted into the panel from September 7, 2017 after he completes the term at SEBI. The expansion follows promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 last month.

 

Govt sets up 18 sectoral groups for smooth GST rollout

 

The government has set up 18 sectoral groups, comprising senior members from the Centre and the States, to ensure the smooth rollout of the Goods and Services Tax. The 18 groups pertain to sectors such as banking and insurance, textiles, exports, information technology, transport, and oil and gas. As per the Finance Ministry, these 18 sectoral groups containing senior officers of the Centre and the States are being set up to timely respond to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 

26 June: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

 

By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The theme for 2017 is- “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”. It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

 

21 June: International Day of Yoga

 

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated across the world on 21 June. It aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for the 2017 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is ‘Yoga for Health.’ The theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.

 

20 June: World Refugee Day

 

The World Refugee Day is observed across the world on 20 June to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. The day is celebrated by United Nations. The Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families that are forced to flee for their lives each day. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

 

World Oceans Day- 8 June

 

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. The overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017 is ‘Our Oceans, Our Future’. Conservation action focuses on Encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future. World Oceans Day helps raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.

 

World Environment Day: 5 June

 

Once again UN Environment seeks to make the biggest global call and mobilization for action on 5 June, World Environment Day (WED). World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests. “Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017.

 

World Milk Day: 1st June

 

In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) selected June 1 as World Milk Day, which celebrates the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, livelihoods and nutrition. The Global Dairy Platform coordinated global celebrations on June 1, 2017.

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Daily-Current-Affairs sbp

INTERNATIONAL

Russia asks 755 US diplomats to leave country following American sanctions

Russian President Vladmir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country. The action was taken three days after the US Congress approved sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the US Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin in an interview to a Russian TV channel said, more than 1000 people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said 755 of them should stop their activities and return.

Four Arab States ready for dialogue with Qatar

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar have announced willngness to initiate a dialogue with the country, bringing the hope of some sort of resolution to the gulf crisis. The foriegn ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue with Doha if it agrees to some of their demands including showing genuine willingness to stop funding terrorism. The same was revealed by Bahrain’s foreign minister, after a two-meet with his counterparts from the other three nations.

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Paintings Exhibition begins in Nepal

The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event. These events provide platform to artists for exchanging ideas with fellow artists and helping in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

US tests missile-defence system after North Korea missile launch

The United States (US) has tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in Alaska by launching a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The missile-defence system test came after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was launched by US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean and the THAAD weapon system detected, tracked and intercepted the target. This was the 15th successful intercept out of the 15 tests carried out for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD interceptors are meant to help guard the US against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

China produces natural gas from flammable ice

China successfully produced natural gas from flammable ice, also known as methane hydrate, in an experimental project conducted in the South China Sea. As a part of the experiment, a drilling platform was deployed off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days. It produced around 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, which is a record extraction volume from gas hydrate. According to China’s Ministry of Land and resources, China has made a historic breakthrough. The ministry stated that the country has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations after nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos overtakes Gates to become world’s richest

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man in Forbes magazine’s tracking of wealth, as stock in his e-commerce company hit an all-time high. Mr Bezos, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth almost $91bn (£70bn) after Amazon’s share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in New York. That put his fortune ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’. The latter has a net worth of around $90.7bn and has been at the top of Bloomberg’s rich list since 2013. But Mr Bezos slipped back into second place later in the day.

BRICS nations sign memorandum to facilitate taxation cooperation

Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries have signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation. The BRICS Taxation Cooperation Memorandum, signed at the fifth meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities, is the bloc’s first document that elevates taxation cooperation to the institutional level. The authorities also agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency, boost taxation capacities and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies and tax collection. The meeting comes ahead of the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Fujian province’s Xiamen city from September 3 to 5.

Bolivian President declares ‘Total Independence’ from World Bank & IMF

Bolivia’s President Eva Morales has declared that his nation has achieved “total independence” form the IMF and the World Bank. President Morales declared the news on his official twitter account. The socialist leader published his comments following a meeting with his peers at a gathering in Argentina of the Mercosur, a sub-regional economic bloc.

Trump administration urges NSG members to support India’s application

Donald Trump’s administration has urged other members of the Nuclear Suppiers Group to support India’s membership bid to the elite grouping. The NSG controls international nuclear trade. The US Department of Defence and Department of State said in a report that the United States welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for membership. It also added that the US has called upon other NSG members to support India’s application.

BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing

The 2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened in Beijing, China to discuss the development of the youth in the countries of the grouping. The theme of three-day forum is ‘Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development’. It gathered 50 youth representatives working as civil servants, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and journalists from the BRICS countries. The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa.

World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

The world’s first floating windfarm has taken to the seas in a sign that a technology once confined to research and development drawing boards is finally ready to unlock expanses of ocean for generating renewable power in Scotland. The £200m Hywind project is unusual not just because of the pioneering technology involved, which uses a 78-metre-tall underwater ballast and three mooring lines that will be attached to the seabed to keep the turbines upright. It will bring power to 20,000 homes.

World’s largest supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford commissioned in USA

US Navy commissioned world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford into the fleet. The commissioning ceremony was held at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia in presence of US President Donald Trump. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in this new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford and has been built by Newport News Ship Building Company. The massive 1,106-foot-long carrier displaces a staggering 100,000 tons fully loaded and is powered by two new generation nuclear reactors.

UAE Minister tops most powerful Arab women: Forbes

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance has topped a poll of the most powerful Arab women in government for 2017, according to Forbes Middle East. Ms. Qasimi was followed by two women from Egypt – Sahar Nasr, the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation and Ghada Wali, the minister of social solidarity. Forbes has also released a list of the top 100 most powerful Arab business women for 2017, and the UAE represents the highest number of women, with 18, followed by Egypt, with 16. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the businesswoman list. The rankings were compiled by taking into account scope of the role or ministry, years of experience and company revenues, or GDP in the case of government.

Indonesia bans Islamic organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Indonesia has banned Islamic organization Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia under a contraversial presidential decree. The step has been taken to safeguard the existence of the Island nation’s pluralist state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. The legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which compaigns for the country to adopt Islamic law and become a caliphate, was revoked to protect Indonesia’s unity. On the other hand, the Islamic organization condemned the ban and said it “will not remain silent”, vowing to challenge the decision in court.

Google introduces recruiting app ‘Hire’ for business

Google launched ‘Hire, a recruiting app for small and medium sized businesses that integrates seamlessly with G Suite. The launch of Hire app is seen an apparent move to compete with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. Hire makes it easy to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end. It integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calender that are being used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts.

Indonesia Renames its portion of the South China Sea

Indonesia has named waters in its exclusive economic zone that overlap with China’s expansive claim to the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea. The part of the renamed area falls in China’s “nine-dash line” waters extending hundreds of miles to the south and east of China’s island province Hainan. Several South-East Asian states dispute China’s territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea’s abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources.

Japan’s men only island gets UNESCO Heritage tag

Japan’s Okinoshima island, an ancient religious site where women are banned, has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN’s cultural body Unesco. Okinoshima is home to the Okitsu shrine, built in the 17th century to pray for the safety of sailors. Before setting foot on the island, men must take off their clothes and undergo a cleansing ritual. When they leave they are not allowed to take away any souvenirs, or disclose details of their visit. Okinoshima, which is a part of the city of Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan, is located in south-west Japan between the main island of kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. Referred as the men only island, the island is permanently manned by a Shinto priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up for centuries.

Govt to organise global food fair in Nov to boost food sector

The government of India will organize a global food fair in November 2017 to provide a platform to Indian farmers and manufacturers to showcase their products and explore partnerships with foreign companies. The three-day international level fair ‘World Food India 2017′ is being organized on November 3-5 by the Food Processing Ministry, where industry body CII will be an event partner. The World Food India is a step aimed at creating India a ‘Global Food Factory’ and ‘Global Food Retail Market’. The food processing sector received USD 5.76 billion in FDI equity inflows from 2010-11 to 2015-16. In 2016-17 (April-December), the food processing sector in the country has received USD 663.23 million worth of FDI.

Brazil’s Archaeological Site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List. The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent. It is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting. Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously. The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

European Parliament approves first ever EU-Cuba agreement

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal between the European Union and Cuba. MEPs in the eastern French city of Strasbourg approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016. With the deal, Cuba joins other Latin American countries with similar agreements with the EU, whose relations with the island had previously been conducted in the so-called Common Position that linked ties to improvements in human rights.

INDIA & WORLD

India, Pakistan to hold talks on hydropower projects under Indus Waters Treaty

India and Pakistan will hold talks on two hydrpower projects, namely Kishenganga and Ratle, under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh is leading the Indian delegation during the talks. The delegation will include officials from ministries of external affairs and water resources. World Bank Vice President for South Asia resion Annette Dixon – in a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna – has welcomed the participation of both the countries in the dialogue. The meet at Washington is being held as part of efforts by the World Bank to resolve the issues raised by Pakistan over India’s hydroelectricity projects.

Delhi Metro declared as world’s first green metro

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) was declared as the owrld’s first green metro after it added a green certification for all its major buildings and installations. Apart from depots and sub stations, DMRC was also awarded the platinum rating for its 10 residential colonies for adherence to green building norms by the IGBC. The declaration was made during National Conference on Green Metro Systems by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The conference was attended by delegates from all other Metro systems in the country.

India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways

India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh. Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Brahmaputra in Assam. He said, the services are expected to start by the end of this year.

India ranks 132 in commitment to narrow income inequality

India has ranked 132nd out of 152 countries on the inaugural “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” released by international NGO Oxfam in association with Developmental Finance International. Sweden topped the index while Nigeria took the bottom most spot. Sweden is followed by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany. Among India’s neighboring countries, China’s rank is 87; Pakistan fared worse than India at 146 while Bangladesh ranked at 148.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force recently. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes in this regard. The agreement was signed on 11th November 2016 in Tokyo during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between the two sides and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.

Australia joins International Solar Alliance led by India & France

Australia became the 35th country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015 in Paris. It is co-led by India and France. The aim of ISA is to support developing countries to boost their solar production capacity. India on its part through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is contributing $1 million to the ISA fund. The larger aim of ISA is to mobilize over $ 1000 billion by 2030 towards promoting solar power on all fronts generation and storage. The solar alliance, whose head office is in India, has grown stronger in the past two years with more countries joining the group and signing the agreement.

India & Sri Lanka sign MoU to develop village in Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU to develop a village in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka at a cost of 30 crores Sri Lankan rupees. The village in the name of a famous Buddhist monk Sobitha Thero, envisages construction of 153 new houses, a multi-purpose community building, internal water supply system and renovation of monk’s quarters & library. The project is in line with Government of Sri Lanka’s policy of rehabilitation of rural villages for economic development. It will benefit 153 families residing in the village.

India launches solar project to electrify the remote village of Agaween in Egypt

India has launched a solar project with state-of-the-art technology to electrify a remote village in Egypt. The Solar Electrification Project is an off-grid system that is ideal fr remote locations. The project has been launched at Agaween village in the Western Desert in Matrough Governorate, close to the Libyan border. The project was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharya and Major General Alla Fathi Abou Zeid, Governor of Matrough. To successfully launch the Solar Electrification Project, India provided all the solar panels and sub-systems, machinery, equipment and technical support, as well as training for technicians. The Egyptian Government provided the location for implementation of the project.

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on 2017 SDG index

India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDG Index and Dashboards Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that world leaders need to strengthen their joint efforts to realise the 17 global goals. India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122. Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively.

US House of Representatives passes Bill on defence co-operation with India

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India. India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law. The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India. The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence. Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.

India Rise to 96th in FIFA World ranking, Best in Two Decades

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World Ranking released recently. This is the country’s second-best ranking and its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996. India has moved 77 positions up from the 173rd rank on March 2015. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

India ranked 23rd in second Global Cybersecurity Index

India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. The Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India has been listed in the “maturing category” of the index with a score of 0.683. Around 77 countries have been placed in the maturing category as they have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. Singapore has topped the index with a score of 0.925. Singapore is followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th.

India and Israel sign 7 Agreements

India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
MoUs between India & Israel are:
MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
MoU for conservation of water in India.
MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India India-Israel Development Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020).
Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.
MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.

India’s TERI ranked second among world’s climate think tanks

New Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) was ranked second among world’s best climate think tank by the International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG). TERI was ranked number two under the category ‘2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World-Absolute Global Rankings’ during ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens, Greece. ICCG is an internationally-renowned body whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and related governance issues. It rankings helps to highlight the scale and magnitude of work done by the think tanks working in the field of climate change.

Indo-Thai joint military exercise Maitree 2017 begins in HP

A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand started in Himachal Pradesh. The joint exercise of the Indian Army with the Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district. The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies. ‘Exercise Maitree 2017′ is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016. The Maitree series of bilateral exercises has been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand.

Two Indian-Americans to be honoured with Great Immigrants award

Two Indian-Americans, Adobe Chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy. Narayen and Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence day. Murthy, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country. Narayen, a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

India contributes Rs. 3 Crores to UN Peacebuilding Fund

India has contributed $500,000 (Rs. 3 Crores) to the UN Peacebuilding Fund, expressing hope that more funding by nations will boost efforts by the world body to build and sustain peace. India has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in December 2005 and has so far contributed $5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. The fund was launched to support activities, actions, programmes and organisations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.

NATIONAL

Union Govt launches Sagar Vani to alert coastal community

Union Minister of Science & technology Harshavardhan has launched Sagar Vani application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences. The portal was launched with an aim to alert the coastal communities. This Integrated Information Dissemination System (IDS) was developed by ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). It is aimed at disseminating the advisories effectively and timely, directly from the lab to the end user.

Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has approved 6 transport proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. It includes high-tech mass rapid transportation technologies such as metrino, hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses and freight rail road. The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially. Following the go-ahead from NITI Aayog, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and their best global practices.

No immediate arrest under dowry harassment law:SC

The Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest the accused without conducting a preliminary inquiry under dowry harassment cases. With this, the court puts an end to immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases, under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ruling was made by a bench of Justices A K Goeal and UU Lalit.

National Centre for Seismology launches app ‘India Quake’

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change has launched an app Inida Quake for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination. The minister launched the application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) for real time data communication.

Union Govt plans to open over 100 new post offices by 2018

The Union government is planning to open 81 sub-post offices and 100 branch post offices during the 2017-18 fiscal year under the “Rural Business & Access to Postal Network” scheme. The same was notified to the Parliament. The Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that under the scheme, the Department of Posts plans to open 66 new branch post offices during the current fiscal year by creation of new post offices in 32 worst affected Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit districts in the country.

Delhi Govt constitutes State Names Authority

The Delhi government constituted the state Names Authority, a seperate body mandated to name government roads and institutions under the state purview. The State Names Authority (SNA) will be headed by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. While, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain will be the Vice-Chairman of the Authority. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has gave his approval for the formation of the authority. The authority will have a total of 34 members including the Union home secretary, the Union HRD secretary, the DDA vice-chairman, the Delhi PWD secretary and the Delhi Principal secretary (Home). Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers Rajesh Gupta, Nitin Tyagi, Vishesh Ravi, Sanjeev Jha, Rakhi Birla, Bhavna Gaur and Adarsh Shastri will also be the members of the Authority.

Union Home Minister chairs first meeting of IDA

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA). The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation. After detailed consultations with key stakeholders, 10 islands namely Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep have been identified for holistic development in the first phase. With this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of Islands of India received a major boost.

Right to Education is Right to Quality Education says SC

The Supreme Court quashed the regularisation of 1.78 lakh Shiksha Mitras as teachers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) or not holding adequate qualification as fixed under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit ruled that their jobs could not be regularised at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers. It ruled that Right to Education means to right to quality education. The court held that appointment of Shiksha Mitras was not as per qualification prescribed for a teacher and they could not be regularized as teachers.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which was promulgated in May 2017.
Provisions of the Bill:
1. It authorises the RBI to direct the banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed asstes.
2. It also allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.
3. It empowers RBI to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.
4. The recovery proceedings will be carried out under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 that provides for a time-bound process to resolve defaults.

Union Govt launches SHe-box portal

The union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched an online patform ‘SHe-box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box) to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the work place. The Ministry also instructed officials to make the ‘SHe-box’ portal as interactive as possible. The e-platform will be hosted on the WCD ministry’s website and the complaints will then be taken up with the respective ministries or departments. Once a complaint is registered, it will be forwarded to the concerned ministry or department where the woman works. Initially, only the central government women employees can file complaints through the portal, but later its ambit will include the private sector as well.

Supreme Court asks Centre & States not to protect any kind of vigilantism

The Supreme court of India asked the Union Government and the states not to protect any kind of vigilantism. It alsom sought their response on violent incidents of cow vigilantism. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice M M Shantanagoudar was informed by the Centre that law and order is a state subject but it does not support any kind of vigilantism in the country. The bench also sought the assistance of the Centre and states for removing violent content related to cow vigilantism uploaded on social media. The centre’s response was on a petition filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala, who in his plea seeks a direction to states and centre to take action against so-called Gau Rakhasks, who profess to protect cows.

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan. The WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was a major milestone for the global trading system. This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA. According to a Finance Ministry statement, all actions covered under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short, mid and long term.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formally launched the Pradhan mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the Union Government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The scheme is available from 4 May 2017 to 3 May 2018. The scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme. The scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent per annum and is payable monthly for 10 years. The pension is payablle at the end of each period during th policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-early/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner. This scheme is exempted form Service Tax or GST.

UIDAI launches mAadhaar app with biometric check

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched new app for Android called mAadhaar. The mobile Aadhaar app lets users carry their Aadhaar information such as name, date of birth, gender, address as well as the photos linking to their Aadhaar card on their smartphones, making it easily accessible when needed. The app is currently only available for Android devices and is available via the Play Store. There is no information on an iOS Aadhaar app so far. For added security, the mAadhaar app also comes with biometric locking/unlocking that should keep users’ personal information safe. There is only a Time-based One-Time Password system (TOTP) that can be used to create a temporary password, which can be used in place of a traditional SMS-based OTP. Users will also see their updated profile after they have successfully filed an update request. They can also share QR codes and password protected eKYC data to retrieve information. UIDAI has noted that the app is currently in beta, and some of the features will be made available in the future via updates.

Cabinet Approvals on 19th July 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields.
The Cabinet has approved:
MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology.
IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).
Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines.
Cadre Review of Indian Defence Accounts Service, IDAS.

Smriti Irani gets I&B ministry, Narendra Singh Tomar Urban Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Information and Broadcasting portfolio to Smriti Irani, a day after M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was handling the Ministry, was picked to be the NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate. The Urban Development Ministry, which was also being handled by Naidu, has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar. Naidu had resigned from his ministerial responsibilities.

PM Modi to inaugurate APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating a memorial for former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam at his birthplace, Peikarumbu near Rameswaram on 27 July 2017. The same was announced by Union Minister of State for Road Transport Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan in Madurai. The minister stated that the Prime Minster will come to Tamil Nadu next week to open the memorial.

Matunga becomes India’s first railway station with All-Women Staff

Central Railway has taken a step towards women empowerment by appointing an all-female work staff at the suburban Matunga station. Matunga station has now become the first such ladies special station. According to the official, women have been manning this station, which falls on the Central Railway, since the past two weeks. A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks. This is not the first time the Central Railway is taking the lead in empowering women. In 1992, its staffer Mamta Kulkarni became the Mumbai’s first woman station master. Kulkarni was posted in Kurla. Currently, the all-women staff at Matunga Railway Station has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock. Matunga railway station, which is located in central Mumbai, gets a huge number of student population as a lot of colleges are located in the area.

Railways launches mobile app ‘Rail SAARTHI’

Indian Railways launched an integrated mobile application to cater to various passenger requirements including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform. The app is called Rail SAARTHI and was launched by Railway Minister. The Rail SAARTHI (synergised advanced application rail travel help and information) such as safety for women, complaint facility and suggestion for improvement. One can also book air ticket through the app and give feedback. Railway Minister also announced a quota facility for differently- abled people in 3AC coach and extending the advance booking period for foreigners to 365 days from present 120 days. Now a lower berth in a 3AC coach will be reserved for physically-challenged people and the middle for the individual accompanying them. However, there will be only one such berth in the 3AC coach of a train.

Indian Railways launches RailCloud, NIVARAN & CTSE Scheme

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has launched RailCloud project, NIVARAN-Grievance Portal (First IT Application on Rail Cloud), Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) Scheme and Handing over of 1st CTSE Card.
1. RailCloud: Indian Railway has started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations. To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first, establishment of RailCloud is one such project.
2. NIVARAN-Grievance Portal First IT application on RailCloud: ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees. The existing application was hosted on a conventional server; it has been made cloud-ready and being migrated as the first cloud application of Indian Railways. It will save significant revenue and at the same time user experience will also improve.
3. Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE): Railway provides Comprehensive Health Care Facilities to its beneficiaries through in-house health Institutions, supplementing with referrals to recognized hospitals whenever necessary. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their dependent family members. Large no. of retired beneficiaries lives in the newly developed suburbs of various cities. These parts of the city are often far away from the established Railway Health Institutions. In this scenario the RELHS beneficiaries coming to Railway Health Institutions in routine is acceptable, however in emergency situations, precious time (Golden Hour) is lost in travel.

National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22 launched by Nadda

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years. This plan focuses on the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.

Govt empowers Army to procure weaponry for short intense wars

Tne Union Government empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain cmbat readiness for short duration intense wars. This decision will help the Army to complete the procurement process for such ammunition and equipment in a faster way. The Army vice-chief Sarath Chand has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. The decision was made after an internal review found that the optimum holding state was not maintaine in a proper way. As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.

Mithali Raj Creates Women’s Cricket History

Mithali Raj has been India’s premier player ever since she made her debut in 1999. Her exploits in the international stage in both Tests and ODIs have made her India’s premier player. She created a world record by smashing seven consecutive fifty-plus scores, making her the first woman player to achieve the feat. In the crucial game against Australia, Mithali became the woman cricketer who has scored most runs in ODIs. Mithali Raj became the first women’s player to reach 6000 ODI runs. England’s Charlotte Edwards was the previous leading run-getter in ODIs with 5992 runs. 164 – Number of innings that has taken Mithali to achieve this feat. She has 48 not-outs to her name, which is the most in women’s cricket.

Union Govt launches new tax payer service module Aaykar Setu

The Union Finance Ministry has launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax payer service module. The new e-initiative literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in android phones. It compiles various tax tools, dynamic updates, live chat facility and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department (ITD) in a single module. Aaykar Setu has been launched in mobile responsive android application and also in desktop version to enhance mobile access as well as desktop access. This e-initiative aims provide better taxpayer services and also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

Prez launches 3 digital initiatives over e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee has launched digital initiatives – Swayam, Swayam Prabha and National Academic Depository – in New Delhi to push e-education in the country. The aim of the initiatives is to raise the Gross Enrollment Ratio in the higher education from 24.5 to 30 by 2020.
Swayam will host courses taught in classrooms from Class 9th to post-graduation, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It will target those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
Swayam Prabha is the platform of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting high-quality educational programmes 24X7 using GSAT-15 satellite.
National Academic Depository will facilitate online verification of certificates. All the courses are interactive and available free of cost. Students from various recognised institutes in India will be able to earn credits on clearing these online courses.
He also launched the National Digital Library which containing 6.5 million books.

GST Rates Finder’ App launched by Govt to allow consumers verify accurate tax rate

Ministry of Finance has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the app in New Delhi. Through this app, user can determine GST rate by entering the name of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the Goods and Services containing the name which was typed in the search box. A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. This mobile app can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The application has been launched on Android platform, and is expected to be unveiled for iOS users shortly.

STATES

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, has launched the Jiyo parsi Publicity hase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. While launching the Phase-2, Naqvi said that Parsi community has immense contribution in nation building and Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi Community has given so many great people who have been ‘architects of nation building”. The main aim of the Jiyo Parsi scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. The scheme also aims to stabilize their population and increse the population of Parsis in India.

Punjab launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme

The Punjab government has recently announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes. Under the scheme, the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidized rates. Though Uber will be able to operate easily with in Punjab, but it may not have a smooth ride with in the Chandigarh Central Region. Since Haryana is charging a high entry tax on commercial passenger vehicles entering from Chandigarh and Punjab. Uber and Ola- both have taken up the matter with Monahar Lal led BJP government. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab. Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.

Mumbai Metro launches ‘OnGo’, India’s first mobile ticketing system

Mumbai Metro announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’ which will help commuters pass the AFC gates using their mobile phones. The system is in the final advanced stage of testing and will be implemented by mid-August. Through the Mumbai Metro App, commuters will be able to buy their token or pass and generate a QR Code which will be used to gain access through the automated fare collection (AFC) gates. Commuters will be able to generate a QR Code through ‘OnGo’ service for current or future journeys upto a week in advance by clicking the mobile app wherein they would pay for their journey.

PM Modi inaugurates Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former President. Mr Modi unveils a statue of Dr. Kalam and hoisted the National flag at the memorial. Mr. Modi will flag off Kalam Sandesh Vahini, an exhibition bus which will travel across the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th of October, which marks the birth anniversary of the former President. The majestic memorial for the missile man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organization.

Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India

The count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017. the news was announced by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. In addition, 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, in the state. While announcing the statistics, the Chief Minister congratulated the forest department for the great work being done for the conservation of tigers and added that in terms of area and tiger population ratio. Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.

Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, private & govt offices

The Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu atleast once in a week and in government and private offices atleast once in a month. while issuing order, Justice MV Muralidharan stated that to instil a sense of patroitism in each and every citizen of Tamil Nadu, the National song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all educational institutions atleast once a week, preferably on Monday and Friday.

Rajya Sabha passes Maritime Admiralty Bill, 2017

The Rajya Sabha passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017. The Bill was presented by the Minister of State or Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861 and the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890. The bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017.

AAI, Uttarakhand Govt ink MoU on Aviation Development

Airports Authority of India (AAI), has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA). The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development), AAI. The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing the commercial potential of various airports of the State, and identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the State.

UP Govt to launch all-women ‘Pink’ AC busses with CCTV cameras

The Uttar Prasedh (UP) Government announced to launch ‘Pink’ air-conditioned buses installed with CCTV cameras exclusively for women. The staff including the conductor in these buses, will be women only. The ‘Pink’ buses will have panic buttons installed for emergencies. The presentation in this regard was made before the Union Ministry of Women Child Development by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) authorities. Following this, the Union Ministry sanctioned funds for the 50 buses from its ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for the ‘Pink’ buses in UP. The ministry permitted the state government to buy the buses and install CCTV cameras in the other 12500 busesn owned by the UPSRTC.

Literary Festival themed ‘Tolerance’ to be held in Kerala

At a time when the country witnesses raging debate over intolerance, Kerala is getting ready to host a literary festival with tolerance as the core theme. Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at the fifth edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE), to be held at Chengannur, a sleepy town in coastal Alappuza district, from July 24. Organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art-cum-cultural outfit, the three-day annual literary gathering is aimed at bringing about an enriching interaction between writers from different languages and regions.

Castor plant can reduce soil pollution: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad, Castor bean plants can prove useful in fighting soil pollution. It was found that these plants can absorb toxic heavy metals from soil from these polluted areas due to industrial pollution. The roots, leaves and stem of these plants from the polluted areas contain heavy metals such as lead. It was also observed that these plants accelerate the remediation of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators which enhances the capability of the plant to accumulate heavy metals. Castor seed plants are generally known to be one of the sturdiest plants that can grow in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out. Traditionally, Castor oil (also known as ‘Arandi ka tel’ in Hindi) has been an age old home remedy for a variety of ailments in India.

Kamal Haasan is the brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of team Tamil Thalaivas in the fifth season of Pro Kabbadi League. Tamil Thalaivas is owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The tournament starts from 28 July in Hyderabad.

Prez inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion of Odisha

The President of India Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture. The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East Inida Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company’s forces. The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

Odisha CM dedicates longest bridge to nation, names it after Netaji

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the nation the state’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 2.88 km bridge connects Barang on the outskirts of capital city Bhubaneswar with Judicial Academy Chhak in Cuttack. It reduces the distance between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by almost 12 kms. Although the construction work of the bridge started after Mr. Patnaik laid the foundation in February 2011, the completion missed the deadline by over three years.

Telangana launches ‘Janahitha’ for speedy redressal of public grievances

The Telangana government launched a special portal called “Janahitha” to receive complaints from the public. The programme was inaugurated in Suryapet district on a pilot basis by Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy. The portal, which has been developed by Telangana’s IT department is a single window for all grievances and their redressal management. It is aimed at facilitating the public to submit their complaints online and get speedy redressal.

Maha govt revamps scheme for girl child welfare

The Maharashtra government has approved a revised policy of the ‘Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree’ scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited. The scheme was launched by the state government on April 1, 2016 in place of ‘Sukanya’ scheme. It is aimed at improving the skewed girl child ratio, prevent sex determination and female foeticide, and support female education.

In a first, Telangana to have eco-friendly bridges for movement of tigers

In a first of its kind, the Indian state of Telangana will soom have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers. The state will have the bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the dforstsrs in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. the inttcention requioires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.

J-K govt launches weekly festival ‘Culture on Cruise’ at Dal Lake

The spectacular Dal Lake here hosted first ever ‘Cultrue of Cruise’, a weeekly cultural programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir government aimed to bring artists from various fields on one stage. The innovative programme series brings writers, performance artistes, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates. The inaugural programme of the series saw artistes such as Mohammed Yaseen Gundpuri, Mohammed Subhan Shah, and Bashir Kotur perform before a select gathering of audience comprising singers, artists, writers, and poets.

Karnataka Govt appoints panel to design its own state flag

The Congress-led Sidsaramaiah government in Karnataka has constituted a nine-member committee to study the possibility of designing its own ‘state flag’. The panel headed by Principal Secretary, department of Kannada and Culture is expected to prepare a design for a seperate state flag and soon submit a report looking into the legal sancity of the same to the state government. If the move does get legal sanction then it would make Karnataka the only second state in the country to officially have its own flag after Jammu & Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Raipur, the most customer-friendly airport

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 53 non-metro airports in the country. Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI (Customer Service Index) survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017, followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively. Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of AAI which is evaluated through Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness, etc

Maharashtra passes law against social boycott

Maharashtra has become the first state to make social boycott a crime after President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the legislation. The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act prescribes a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of Rs1 lakh. It aims to prevent atrocities carried out by extra-judicial courts and caste panchayats. The Act also provides for compensation to victims. The fines imposed on violators will be used to compensate them. The Act also has a provision to withdraw cases with the consent of victims and permission from a court. In case of a withdrawal, the accused will have to perform community service.

Delhi Police to get ‘super cop belt’

National capital police will be the first state police in India who will get ‘super cop belt’, a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch. According to the Delhi Police, currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability.

Maharashtra launches free injectable contraceptive for women

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to provide women an injectable contraceptive for free. The state’s public health department launched a program called Antara to offer women an injection of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a birth-control hormone. According to state health officials, the injection, a safe means of birth control, is effective for three months. The injection will be given intramuscularly to women in the age bracket of 18-45 years. Currently, the injections are available for free at public health facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Beed.

Rajasthan fixes min education qualification for cooperative body poll

Rajasthan has laid down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. With this, Rajasthan became India’s first state to fix minimum educational qualification for cooperative body poll. In this regard, the Rajasthan Gvernment amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The new rules would benefit about 10000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as their management will go to expert hands.

Delhi becomes second state to accept online RTI applications

Filing an RTI application with the Delhi government is now just a click away. Delhi became the second state to launch e-RTI portal that will enable citizens to file online Right to Information (RTI). Maharashtra is the first state to launch the online RTI platform. The portal launched recently will enable citizens to file RTI and seek information related to 172 departments of the Delhi government including the office of the CM and his ministers. The e-RTI portal, which has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), includes filling of application, payment of fees and getting replies online. An applicant will also be able to track the status of RTI application. The e-RTI application fee will have to be paid through net banking. Citizens can file the e-RTIs by logging at www.rtionline.delhi.gov.in. You can also call at 011-23392726 and 011-23392421 for any queries related to the process of filing the RTI.

Kerala Govt proposes Stray Dog Zoos

The Kerala government is planning “stray dog zoos” to keep them off the streets in the State. The State government informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that it had asked all district panchayats to keep aside two to three acres and notify them as ‘stray dog zoos’. The State government, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population, which has increased aggressively over the years and become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and activists refused to be convinced by the solution Kerala has arrived at concerning stray dogs.

J&K Assembly passes resolution to implement GST in the state

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly adopted a resolution to implement the goods and services tax (GST), bringing the state’s indirect taxation into the new unified tax regime that the rest of the country adopted on 1 July at a landmark ceremony in Parliament. The resolution moved by state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state. With this Jammu and Kashmir has become the last state to pass the GST bill in the state.

CONFERENCES

India to host 2017 Global Conference on Cyber Space

India will host Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017, the world’s largest conference on cyber space and related issues in New Delhi in November 2017. This is for the first time GCCS is taking place outside Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. It will be the fifth edition the conference. The theme for the GCCS 2017 is ‘Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace‘. The cyber security will be one of the major focus areas in GCCS 2017. It will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas with global think thanks and promote closer co-operation among the international community. The GCCS is a prestigious international conference that aims at encouraging dialogue among stakeholders of cyberspace. It was incepted in 2011 in London.

22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) held in Istanbul

The 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference was held recently in Istanbul, Turkey. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul to represent India at the Conference. The theme for 22nd World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. WPC was first organized in year 1993. Currently, it is being held at the interval of three years. “This time – Istanbul!” was the motto for the Turkish delegation as they faced the USA with Houston, Kazakhstan with Astana and Denmark with Copenhagen in the election to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in 2017. In a tightly run competition, Istanbul won the right to host the prestigious Congress with 55% of the votes in the third round against its strongest rival Houston with 45%.

Model UN Regional Conference begins in Kathmandu

A Model United Nations (MUN) Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker’s Society. Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5-day conference. The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelize energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world. The conference simulate four UN committees-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Danfoss India conferred with Golden Peacock Award

Climate and energy efficiency solutions company Danfoss India has been conferred with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ for Environment Management. The award was presented in Hyderabad during the 19th World Congress on Environment Management’ in the presence of Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph. Acknowledging its commitment towards the environment, the company has been recognized for its LEED Platinum rated constructed the manufacturing facility in Chennai. Danfoss’s commitment towards sustainable development via its energy-efficient products, green initiatives at the Oragadam campus and its ongoing pan India CSR Programmes driving Sustainability are some the key contributing factors for the award.

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is hosting the twelfth G20 Summit on 7th and 8th of July, 2017. The G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg. The theme of the German presidency of the G20 is ‘Shaping an interconnected world’. Leaders of the G20 countries agreed to swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and its financing. In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders also decided that the private sector will also be involved in the global efforts to counter terror financing.

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers held in Beijing, China

Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held in Beijing, China. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar. The delegation of all the five BRICS countries participated in the two-day deliberations. Javadekar highlighted some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education. He specifically spoke about the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), SWAYAM platform which has already hosted over 480 courses online, research initiative IMPRINT and Smart India Hackathon. He also appreciated the creation of institutional mechanism in the form of BRICS Network University and BRICS Think Tank Council. Under BRICS Network University proposal, 12 universities from each of the 5 countries will engage with each other in education research and innovation. The 5 areas of cooperation which have been prioritised are–Communication and IT, Economics, Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution, and BRICS study.

10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee held in New Delhi

The 10th India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, (India) and Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply (Jordan). The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between India and Jordan, aiming at boosting and diversifying bilateral trade relations, in addition to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation based on the principle of equity, non-discrimination. On the sidelines of the TEJC, business federations from both sides also met and discussed the roadmap for the promotion of trade and investment through a B2B mechanism.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theater group and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino. The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

Jhulan Goswami and Subrata Bhattacharya felicitated by Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan was conferred former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya with prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award at the club’s annual day programme in kolkata. The city football gaint also felicitated India Women’s cricket team veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami with a special award. On the other hand, former club striker Balwant Singh was awarded the Best Football Player of the Year prize. Debabrata Das was honoured with the Best Cricket Player of the Year award. Former Bengal batsman Shyam Sundar Mitra was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organized by the Lokmat Media Group to honor distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. The awardess were selected by a jury headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil. The criteria for choosing the awardees included whether the parliamentarians followed the rules of procedures of the house. The jury also considered if these parliamentarians spoke only about their constituencies, their states or the nation as a whole. They also considered if parliamentarians took into account the situation developing across the world in terms of economic situation, international relations, cultural relations, war and peace and science & technology.

IIFA Awards 2017: Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film

The 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards was held in New York. Sonam Kapoor’s film Neerja won the best film award. Actor Shahid Kapoor earned the Best Actor award for his role in Udta Punjab, while Alia Bhatt won the Best Actor (Female) award for the same film.
Here is the list of winners of the IIFA Awards 2017:
Best Actor: Shahid Kapoor (Udta Punjab)
Best Actress: Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab)
Best Film: Neerja
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Varun Dhawan (Dishoom)
Best Actor in a Negative Role: Jim Sarbh (Neerja)
Style Icon of The Year: Alia Bhatt
Best Debutante: Disha Patani (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Debutant: Diljit Dosanjh (Udta Punjab)
Woman of The Year: Taapsee Pannu
Special Contribution to Indian Cinema: AR Rahman
Best Supporting Actress: Shabana Azmi (Neerja)
Best Supporting Actor: Anupam Kher (M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (Pink)
Best Story – Shakun Batra and Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon (Kapoor & Sons)
Best Music Director: Pritam (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Male: Amit Mishra (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Female- Tulsi Kumar (Airlift) and Kanika Kapoor (Udta Punjab).

NABARD celebrates 36th Foundation Day

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the 36th National Bank For Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) Foundation Day and Silver Jubilee of SHG Bank Linkage Programme, in New Delhi. Self Help Group Bank Linkage Programme (SHG BLP) is a pioneering initiative of Financial Inclusion by NABARD. The pilot stage of this programme was started in year 1992.

Sindhu bags ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu was bestowed with the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award during the ‘Maruti Suzuki Sportsperson of the Year’ Charity Gala Awards. Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand received the Coach of the Year award while the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh was given the Living Legend of the Year award. Young India cricketer K L Rahul, who made a mark in the last Test series against Australia, was awarded Gamechanger of the Year award. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist and the country’s sole gold medal winner in individual events at Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Para athletes Devendra Jhajaria, Mariappan Thangavelu, Varun Bharti and Deepa Malik also received awards.

Kambala’ Buffalo Race Gets President’s Assent

The President gave his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’. In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017′ by the Governor of Karnataka. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February with all parties backing the move. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended in its application to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu. Kambala, held from November to March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person.

SPORTS & GAMES

Caeleb becomes first ever to win three gold medals in one night

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool recently, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours – and won every time. Dressel’s sprint heroics were compiled in just over 90 minutes, interspersed by Sarah Sjostrom’s world record in the women’s 50 metres freestyle on another stunning night’s racing at the Duna Arena.

Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar strike gold at Czech Boxing tourney

Indian boxers packed quite a heavy punch at the 48th Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem, clinching five gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the event in the Czech Republic. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg), Amit Phangal (52kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed gold medals after winning their respective summit clashes. Kavinder Bisht (52kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg), on the other hand, settled for silver medals.

India clinch Division B crown in front of sellout home crowd

India defeated Kazakhstan, 75-73, to clinch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup’s Division B title. The thrilling final was held at the Kanteerava Inddor stadium in Bengaluru. To celebrate the win, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian team. On the other hand, Japan defeated Australia 74-73 in the Division A summit clash.

Sebastian Vettel wins 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the Ferrari driver won the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod. The second and third place was taken by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland respectively. The 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2017 Formula One season and the 32nd running of the Hungarain Grand Prix.

Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship in 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018. The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 4 of 2018. The committee felt that Indonesia was regarded as the most favourable among the bidders.

India finishes 7th in Youth Commonwealth Games with 11 medals

The Indian contingent finished an impressive seventh in the recently-concluded 6th Youth Commonwealth Games at the Bahamas with a total tally of 11 medals including for four gold, one silver and six bronze medals. England topped the medal list with atotal of 51 medals including 23 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze followed by Australia at the second position with atally of 39 medals that includes 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. The other countries to finish ahead of India include New Zealand, Scotland, Soth Africa and Singapore.

Sachin Siwach strikes gold at Commonwealth Youth Games

World Youth Champion Sachin Siwach clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Bahamas after defeating Welsh boxer James Nathan Prober 4-1 in the final. Siwach, who won gold last year, was the only one of the 103 boxers to have clinched a gold so far in the tournament, taking place in Bahamas. He had stormed into the finals after defeating SA Kuse 5-0. The World Youth Champion was also the flag bearer of India for the tournament.

India lose Women’s World Cup 2017 final to England by 9 runs

Indian eves lost to England by a narrow margin of nine runs in the ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s in London. Chasing a target of 229, Indian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards, being bowled out for 219 in 48.4 overs. India put up a tough fight but England lift the World Cup. It is the fourth time England has won, following successes in 1973, 1993 and 2009. Opener Poonam Raut was top scored with 86, while Harmanpreet Kaur contributed 51. Earlier, Natalie Sciver’s 51 and Sarah Taylor’s 45 laid the foundation for England’s decent total of 228 for 7. For England, it was their fourth Women’s World Cup.

CM Mukul Sangma launches ‘Mission Football’ in Shillong

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma launched ‘Mission Football’ at a grand ceremony at JN Sports Complex, Shillong recently. During the occasion, Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that through this mission the future of Meghalaya can be foreseen when the State will be connected with the rest of the world because of the love and passion for the game. Mission Football is an initiative to help develop skills of football enthusiasts and develop young footballers for the country. It is a dedicated program for talent identification and nurturing of talents to develop national and international players. A total of eight grounds will be developed and the development of football stadiums in seven districts with an investment of Rs 5 crores per stadium.

Prannoy Clinches 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton title

Rising shuttler H S Prannoy defeated Parupalli Kashyap to clinch the $120000 US Open Grand Prix Gold in Anaheim, Calfornia. Prannoy defeated Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the summit clash, which lasted an hour and five minutes. In the women’s singles category of the tournament, Aya Ohori of Japan won the final by defeating Michelle Li of Canada. The 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold was the eleventh Grand Prix’s badminton tournament of the 2017 BWF Grand Prix and overall eight Grand Prix Gold title of 2017 BWF Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

Karamjyoti Dalal bags Bronze at World Para Athletics

India’s Karamjyoti Dalal has won bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 in the discus-throw. In the women’s F55 category of discus-throw, she managed a throw of 19.02 m. Earlier, Sundar Singh Gurjar had opened India’s account at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships by winning gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event. Later, Amit Saroha won silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category. Dalal is currently ranked World No. 8 and had finished fourth at the 2015 IPC Para-athletics championships.

FIFA lifts suspension of Sudan Football Association

World football’s governing body FIFA lifted the ban on the Sudan Football Association (SFA) imposed on it for the failure to abide by agreements mentioned in articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA statute. The SFA and its member officials are now eligible to benefit from the FIFA development program, course or training. It does mean that Sudan will be able to continue their campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers. They have already been knocked out of the 2018 World Cup preliminaries.

Roger Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon Title

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title and became the tournament’s oldest champion with a straight-sets victory over injury-hit Marin Cilic who dramatically broke down in tears midway through the final. Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title beating Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. The 36-year old Federer is also Wimbledon’s oldest men’s winner of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976. This was his 11th Wimbledon final and 29th title at the majors. With this victory, Federer also became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

Lewis Hamilton wins record fifth British Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the fifth time – matching the record of Jim Clark and Alain Prost to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just a single point. They allowed Valtteri Bottas to grab second from Kimi Raikkonen to secure a Mercedes one-two, as Vettel trailed home seventh. Hamilton was 1.6 seconds clear after the first lap before the race was neutralised by a safety car following a collision between the Toro Rosso drivers.

Muguruza defeated Venus to clinch Maiden Wimbledon

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her maiden Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over five-time champion Venus Williams. It was 23-year-old, the 14th seed Muruguza’s first Wimbledon title. Also Muruguza’s 2nd Grand Slam title – the first was in French Open 2016 defeated Sarena Williams. Muruguza, playing her 4th Wimbledon Tournament, reached the final two years ago as nearly unknown player and was stricken in straight sets by Venus’ sister Serena. She saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5, 6-0 victory under the Centre court roof.

Sundar Singh Strikes Gold at 2017 World Para Athletics Championships

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar claimed gold medal in men’s javelin throw event at the World Para Athletic Championships taking place in London on the opening night of the tournament itself. He attempted his personal best, an effort of 60.36m in the men’s javelin throw F46, which was enough for him to take the top spot and open India’s medal tally. Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath came second with 57.93 meters while defending champion Guo Chunliang of China was third with a season’s best 56.14 meters.

In a First, India to Host 8th Theatre Olympics in 2018

Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018 simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held. In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world. The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.

India tops medal tally at Asian Athletics

India has topped the medal tally for the first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships. In a stunning show of dominance on the fourth and final day of competitions in Bhubaneshwar, India clinched five gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. With that, the hosts ended the championships on top with a haul of 29 medals which included 12 gold, 5 silver, and 12 bronze. India’s earlier best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze). India pushed China to the second spot (20 Medals). China ended this edition with a tally of 8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze. Kazakhstan finished third (8 Medals) with 4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze while Iran ended on fourth with 4 gold and 1 bronze.

Harinder wins South Australian Open title

India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Rhys Dowling of Australia in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title. Sandhu was down 1-7 after winning the first game comfortably as the Australian fought back strongly. He mounted a comeback to win it on extra points. The third game was a no-contest as the Indian, a former national champion, shut out Dowling’s challenge 11-4 to wrap up the victory. It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas roared to the second victory of his career when he won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. The Finn, in his first season with Mercedes after replacing 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, came home 0.658 seconds clear of Vettel who increased his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship to 20 points. Bottas finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second and third respectively. Three-time Formula One champion, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the race.

Pankaj Advani-led Indian beat Pakistan to win Asian Snooker Championship

India’s leading cueist Pankaj Advani teamed up with Laxman Rawat to demolish Pakistan in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Advani drew first blood by putting on a sterling performance against Mohammad Bilal. After the Pakistani scored the first solitary point and benefited from a foul from Advani, the Indian bounced back to piece together a brilliant break of 83 to seal the first tie of the best-of-five final. To complete a whitewash, the Indian pair maintained their superlative performance in the doubles tie. Advani remained the only player not to lose a single individual match in the team event. This title brings up Advani’s second Asian title this season and 8th overall while it was a first major first international title for Rawat.

Germany Defeats Chile to Win Maiden Confederations Cup Title

Germany was crowned 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup champions after a hard-fought 1-0 final victory over Chile in Saint Petersburg. In the final played, the four-time World Cup winners defeated Chile by a solitary goal. Lars Stindl put Germany ahead in the first half against the run of play, and Germany then held on to the lead. Earlier, in the third-place play-off match in Moscow, Portugal defeated Mexico 2-1. The match was held at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

ECONOMY

Canara Bank launches its first digital branch ‘CANDI’

Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ named ‘CANDI’ in Bengaluru. The branch will provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. The bank has introduced customer-friendly mobile apps which help customers get most of the information related to their accounts from the app without the need to visit the branch. The most attractive feature of the Digital Branch is a humanoid robot that addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services. This is a first-of-its kind initiative by a public sector bank in the country.

SBI cuts savings bank rate on deposits up to Rs. 1 cr

The decline in rate of inflation and high real interest rates have prompted State Bank of India to cut the savings bank deposits rate from 4 per cent to 3.5 per cent on deposits below Rs. 1 crore. This cut in savings bank rate will prompt many banks to follow suit. The savings bank deposits above Rs. 1 crore will continue to earn 4 per cent interest. The cut in SB rate will enable it to maintain the marginal cost of funds based lending rate at the current level.

Union Bank slapped with Rs. 1 crore penalty by RBI for KYC non-compliance

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on state-owned Union Bank of India for “non-compliance” with the directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers. The central bank said it had examined the documents regarding the complaint and notice was issued to the state-owned lender. The bank was asked to show cause “as to why penalty should not be imposed” for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI. The RBI said after considering the bank’s reply, oral submissions, additional information and documents, it concluded that the charge was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

NPCI gets RBI nod to operate Bharat Bill Payment System

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems has received a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and operate the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). The final clearance from RBI comes almost a year after NPCI launched the BBPS pilot project to make payment of utility bills easier. The pilot started on 31 August 2016 with eight BBPS operating units that had received in-principle approval from RBI.

Six Scheduled Commercial Banks got Supervisory Colleges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up Supervisory Colleges for six Scheduled Commercial Banks which have sizeable international presence. The six Scheduled Commercial Banks are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd., Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank Ltd. and Punjab National Bank. The objectives of the colleges are to enhance information exchange and cooperation among supervisors, to improve understanding of the risk profile of the banking group and thereby facilitate more effective supervision of internationally active banks.

IOB goes live with Bharat Bill Payment system

Public sector Indian Overseas Bank has offered Bharat Bill Payment System, introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India, for its customers. BBPS is an integrated bill payment system that offers inter-operable online bill payments to customers. The services include online payments of electricity, telecommunication, DTH, water and gas bills, the Chennai headquartered bank said in a statement. Indian Overseas Bank is one of the three public sector banks (apart from Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India) to get the approval from RBI for providing the service.

PNB ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution

Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products through the branches. Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer personal lines of insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine and engineering insurance, etc to the bank’s customers.

BSE inks pact with Egyptian Exchange

Leading bourse BSE joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas. Through this MoU a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.

Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme revised

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.
Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
1. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
2. Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification.

CAC adopts universal standards for pepper, cumin and thyme

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. The decision was taken during the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s 40th session in Geneva. The step is seen as a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade.

Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs. 385 crore

Axis Bank announced the acquisition of Snapdeal-owned mobile payments provider Freecharge in an all-cash deal worth Rs. 385 crore. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the indicative time-frame to complete the acquisition is two months, the private sector lender said in an exchange filing. With this buyout, Axis Bank will get over 50 million customers of Freecharge along with its niche and patented technology and human resources. Founded in 2010 by Mumbai based entrepreneur Kunal Shah, FreeCharge started as a recharge deal coupons platform before turning into a full-scale mobile wallet. Amazon had in fact placed a higher bid for FreeCharge, however the Snapdeal-owned payments platform opted for the Axis Bank offer.

Yatra acquires Air Travel Bureau

Yatra Online Inc, India’s second-largest online travel operator, has acquired corporate travel service provider Air Travel Bureau (ATB). ATB is India’s ‘largest corporate travel services provider’ with gross bookings of Rs 1,500 crore and a client base of 400 companies in the country. Yatra has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ATB and assume its debt. The debt amount has not been disclosed. ATB specialises in corporate travel management, MICE operations and leisure tourism. Its web site says it has been in this business for 54 years with a pan-India presence through a team of over 700 travel experts.

Sidbi starts merchant banking operations for MSMEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.

BoB signs MoU with DGS&D for services to govt’s e-marketplace

Bank of Baroda has entered into an agreement with Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) for extending various banking services to Government e-Marketplace (GeM). DGS&D has been mandated to set up GeM, an initiative intended to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurements. The relationship of the bank with GeM will immensely benefit all stakeholders and ensure a support system including a dedicated team for seamless functioning of the portal.

Karnataka Bank, PNB MetLife launch Met Loan and Life Suraksha

Karnataka Bank, in association with its PNB MetLife, has launched Met Loan and Life Suraksha (MLLS), a single premium plan covering the loan liability of a customer. In the year of celebrating 15 years of its partnership with M/s PNB MetLife, the bank also introduced ‘KBL MLLS’ app exclusively for KBL employees to instantly calculate insurance cover and premium based on loan liability of their borrowers.

ADB projects 7.4% growth for India in 2017

According, to Asian Development Bank supplement report India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2017 and further up to 7.6 per cent next year on strong consumption demand, with South Asia leading the growth chart in Asia and the Pacific. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7 per cent in 2017 and 7.2 per cent in 2018.

SBI to cut NEFT, RTGS charges by up to 75%

To encourage more customers to transact digitally, State Bank of India will slash charges for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by up to 75 per cent with effect from July 15. The reduced charges will be applicable on the transactions done through the internet banking (INB) and mobile banking (MB). Additionally, the bank has also waived off charges for fund transfer of up to Rs. 1,000 done through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) effective July 1, 2017.

SBI waives off IMPS charges for fund transfer up to Rs 1000

Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions. State Bank of India had been charging Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs

Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. Halli Labs was founded in 2017 by Pankaj Gupta with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Halli Labs becomes the latest AI start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple among others. Over 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year. Google has been the most aggressive buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

Finance Ministry launches next gold bond tranche

The next tranche of sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme was launched by the Government. This time, provided a 2.5 percent annual interest to investors. The bonds will be available in banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges namely National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Finance Ministry has announced the sixth tranche of gold bonds applications for which will be accepted from July 10 to July 14, 2017. The bonds will be issued to eligible applicants on July 28. The investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of the investment. The minimum investment will be 1 gram of gold. The maximum limit can be subscribed up to 500 grams per person per fiscal year. A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained. Payment options available are cash payment (up to a maximum of Rs 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.

ICICI Bank ends joint venture pact with Fairfax Financial

In pursuance of the proposed sale of a part of its shareholding in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) via an initial public offering, ICICI Bank said its joint venture agreement with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings has been terminated. In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18 per cent in ICICI General to a clutch of investors, including Warburg Pincus, Tamarind Capital Pte and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, for ₹2,473 crore. In 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings had increased its stake in the Indian insurance firm to 35 percent by picking up an additional 9 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard for about Rs. 1,600 crore. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.

FINO becomes payments bank

FINO Payments Bank has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017 according to the Reserve Bank of India. FINO PayTech Ltd, Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Paytm Payments Bank.

India’s economic growth rate at 7.3% in 2017-18 – RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Service Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added – GVA in the current fiscal year (2017-18). The Financial Stability Report 2017 released, going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. According to the RBI report, GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3 per cent in 2017-18. On inflation, it paints a rosy picture and projects CPI inflation to be in the range of 2-3.5% in the first half of the year and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops India’s first indigenous unmanned tank

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India’s first unmanned remotely operated tank, which has three variants – surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab. The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear radiation or bio weapon risk.

Scientists journey to the world’s hidden 8th continent

A group of scientists set sail in a new expedition aimed at unlocking the secrets of the lost continent ‘Zealandia’. The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, is said to have sunk after breaking away from Australia 60-85 million years ago. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today in February 2016, scietists argued that the Earth has a hidden eighth continent, which should be reflected on the maps. The researchers said that the submerged continent met all the criteria applied to Earth’s other continents including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.

Iran successfully launches rocket designed to carry satellites

Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket called ‘Simorgh’ into space. The launch took place at the Imam Khomeini National Space Station in Semnan, some 220 kilometers (138 miles) east of Tehran. The development marks a significant step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program. It also raises alarm among the nation’s adversaries who fear that the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles. the U.S. State Department has termed the launch as “provocative”. The rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds).

In a first in USA, scientists edit DNA of human embryos

A group of scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University edited the DNA of viable human embryos efficiently and apparently with few mistakes. However, the experiment was just an exercise in science and the embryos were not allowed to develop for mor than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.

Researchers generate human antibodies in the lab

A team of scientists developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The revolutionary technique could speed the production of antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases and facilitate the development of new vacancies. Antibodies are produced by the body’s B cells to fight off infections by bacteria, viruses, and other invasive pathogens. When an individual B cell recognizes a specific pathogen-derived “antigen” molecule, it can proliferate and develop into plasma cells that secrete large amounts of antibody capable of binding to the antigen and fending off the infection.

US Navy tests world’s first drone-killing laser weapon

The U.S. Navy recently tested the world’s first-ever active laser weapons system, which is now deployed and ready for war. The system has special materials that release photons and at the speed of light, it silently hits an object, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees. Each strike travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In the test, the system was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets in the Persian Gulf. With its addition, USS Ponce becomes the first ship in the world to be deployed with such an advanced weapons system.

Scientists discover galaxy 1000 times brighter than Milky Way

A group of researchers discovered a very distant galaxy, which is about a thousand times brighter than the Milky Way. As per the researchers, it is the brightest of the submillimetre galaxies, a class of ultraluminous infrared galaxies. To measure this galaxy, the researchers used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garfia, La Palma) in Spain.

Indian scientists discover ‘Saraswati’, a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists have discovered Saraswati, a large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation Pisces, and at a distance of 4,000 million (400 crore) light years away from Earth. A team of astronomers from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and members of two other Indian universities, have discovered this supercluster of galaxies. Supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies, consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies. This newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster, extends over a scale of 600 million light years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

Pakistan successfully test fires ‘Nasr’, a short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully test-fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’. NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘NASR’ with an enhanced range of 60-70 kilometers and flight maneuverability.

India Successfully Test-Fires Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) added another feather to its cap by successfully test-firing the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from ITR Chandipur, off the Odisha Coast. The technologies and subsystems incorporated in the missile met all the mission requirements. All the radars, Electro Optical Systems, Telemetry Systems and other stations have tracked the Missile and monitored all the Parameters. The missile has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km. Designed to be a quick reaction missile, it involves an all- weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing. The missile was test-fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Ravi Mittal appointed part-time member on IRDAI board

Ravi Mittal, who has joined as additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachi, is now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI, who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS officer. Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director.

Shehbaz Sharif to succeed Nawaz Sharif as PM of Pakistan

Shehbaz Sharif, The Chief Minister of Punjab and the brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Nawaz as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The name of Shehbaz was announced during a high-level PML-N meeting. The decision came following Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as Prime Minister of the country on 28 July 2017. He resigned following a decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office on corruption charges. Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the Senate.

Shikha Sharma re-appointed MD & CEO of Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma has been re-appointed as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018. Her current term was to end in June 2018. Axis Bank informed Bombay Stock Exchange that board of directors has approved the re-appointment. Sharma began her career with the erstwhile infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business. She joined Axis from ICICI Prudential Life where she was the managing director and chief executive and replaced the first chairman and chief executive of the bank P J Nayak.

PV Sindhu appointed Group-I officer by Andhra Pradesh Govt

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu has been appointed a Group-I officer in Andhra Pradesh. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu handed over the government order to the Rio Olympics silver winning shuttler. Chandrababu Naidu had promised a Group-I post to Sindhu when she won the silver medal in Olympics. Accordingly, she was appointed the deputy collector. The 21-year-old shuttler has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office. Although Sindhu had missed out on gold in Rio de Janeiro, she scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete ever to win silver at the Olympics.

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM, Sushil Modi as his Deputy

Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar iting circumstances prevailing in Bihar, was sworn-in as the Cheif Minister of the state on 27 July 2017. He took oath as Bihar Chief Minister with Bharatiya Janata Party as a partner of his Janata Dal-United. With this, the JD(U) President Nitish Kumar has sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the sixth time. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi adminstered the oath of office to Nitish Kumar at the Raj Bhavan in Patna. In addition to this, BJP’s Sushil Kumar was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Subhash Garg appointed on ADB Board of Governors

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has been appointed as Indias Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Finance Ministry announced recently. Garg has been appointed in place of former DEA Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The appointment came into effect from July 12.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet Board of Directors

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has led the company for the past two years, is joining the board of directors of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The move represents a vote of confidence in Pichai, who has led Google through a period of sustained growth. Alphabet shares have risen by more than 50% since Pichai, following a lighting fast ascent through Google’s managerial ranks, became CEO of Google in August of 2015. Google accounts for the vast majority of Alphabet’s revenue and virtually all of its profits. Alphabet is the second most valuable U.S. company behind Apple. Pichai is best known for doubling down on Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence, which has led to a long list of improvements for Google’s consumer and enterprise services. Pichai becomes the fifth insider to join the Alphabet board, which now has 13 members.

Janalakshmi Financial Services appoints TPG’s Ajay Kanwal as CEO

Gearing up for the launch of their small finance bank, Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), the largest microfinance company, has announced the appointment of its new CEO Ajay Kanwal. Kanwal, a veteran banker having 27 years of experience in both consumer and commercial banking sector, will take charge of office from August 1. V. S. Radhakrishnan, the current CEO, will take over as Vice-Chairman and R. Srinivasan, the current Vice-Chairman, having reached the age of superannuation, will retire but will continue his association with Janalakshmi.

Mithali Raj named Captain of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team

India Skipper Mithali Raj was named as the Captain of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team by the International cricket Council (ICC). Besides Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma were the other two Indians included in the ICC’s team. This is the second time that Mithali has been named in the team of the tournament at a World Cup. She was first included in the team in 2009.

Ramnath Kovind takes oath as 14th President of India

Ramnath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Parliament. After swearing-in ceremony of kovind, he was given 21-gun salute. With this, Kovind has become the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan. The ceremony was attended by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of the Cabinet. Kovind was elected as the President on 20 July 2017 after he defeated the Opposition parties nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin.

Brenda Hale to be First Woman President of UK SC

The UK government has appointed 72-year-old Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female president of the Supreme Court, the head of the highest court in the country. Hale will take charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current President, Lord Neuberger. She has served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013. Three new justices have also been appointed to the Supreme Court – Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Brigg – who will take up the role when Lady Hale is sworn in officially as President on 2nd October.

Gopal Baglay appointed Joint Secretary in PMO

Senior diplomat and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Baglay, a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Baglay’s appointment to the post for three years. He has been appointed in place of Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who has been already named as India’s Ambassador to Paris.

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secy to new Prez Ram Nath Kovind

Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB.

Lord Mervyn Davies appointed as Chair of UK India Business Council

Lord Mervyn Davies was apponted as the Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) with effect from 1 September 2017. He will succeed Patricia Hewitt, who is stepping down after 8 years. Davies will serve a three- year term. UK India Business Council is the leading market entry advisory and advocacy consultancy fcused on the United Kingdom and India trade opportunity. It supports the UK Government in its volume services as well as providing a business voice in Government to Government discussions.

Bharat Arun appointed Team India bowling coach until 2019 World Cup

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Bharat Arun as the Indian Cricket team’s bowling coach. BCCI’s acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary announced that the cricket body has also decided to retain Sanjay Bangar as an assistant coach and R Sridhar as fielding coach till the 2019 ODI World Cup. The confirmation of their appointment came after newly appointed Indian coach Ravi Shastri met the four-member committee comprising of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji in Mumbai.

T R Zeliang appointed new CM of Nagaland by Governor

TR Zeliang has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya. This will be the second term for Zeliang, his earlier term was from 2014 to 2017. Zeliang’s appointment came after Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and nine ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators failed to appear for the floor test. Zeliang was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before 22 July 2017. Zeliang claims the support of 43 MLAs including seven independents.

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj elected as President of Ramakrishna Math

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj was elected as the 16th President of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission. The office of the President fell vacant following the death of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 18 June 2017. Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are twin organizations which form the core of a worldwide spiritual movement Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement.

Parajuli to be Nepal’ new SC Chief Justice of Nepal

Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli will be the new Chief Justice of Nepal. The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) unanimously endorsed Justice Parajuli’s name for the post of Chief Justice of Supreme Court. After endorsement by PHSC the President will now appoint him as the Chief Justice. He will head the judiciary till April 28, 2018. Parajuli, the senior-most Justice at the Supreme Court, has taken up the responsibility of acting Chief Justice since June 7, this year after the retirement of then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 6.

Lilly Singh appointed UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador

UNICEF appointed Indian- origin Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador at a special event in New Delhi. Lilly was in the capital to support UNICEF’s Youth4Change initiative, a programme for youth that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on issues such as health, hygiene, child labour and gender equality. As the UNICEF ambassador Lilly, who has 11.9 around million subscribers on the video sharing website, will use her channel to showcase the organisation’s work and urge millions of her followers to work for children’s rights.

Mukesh Kumar Jain appointed MD & CEO of Oriental Bank

The Centre has appointed Mukesh Kumar Jain as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce, a public sector bank. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, Jain was an Executive Director at Punjab & Sind Bank. At OBC, Jain comes in the place of Animesh Chauhan, who has superannuated.

Aarthi Subramanian appointed as Chief Digital Officer of Tata Sons

Tata Sons, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has appointed Aarthi Subramanian as the group’s Chief Digital Officer. Subramanian, currently the Executive Director at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will join Tata Sons in august. She will, however, continue with TCS in a non-executive capacity. Subramanian is the second TCSer whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay.

Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed as Chairperson New BCCC

Justice Vikramajit Sen was appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting foundation (IBF). Justice Sen succeeds Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end. Justice Vikramajit Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier’s School (Delhi) and St Stephen’s College (Delhi). He earned his degree in Law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After a long tenure as a Judge of the Delhi High court, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012, an office he served till December 2015.

Ravi Shastri named new India coach

Former skipper Ravi Shastri has been named as the new coach of the Indian cricket team. The appointment was confirmed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Shastri will take charge from India’s upcoming three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting July 26. Shastri, was chosen by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that included former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and veteran batting star VVS Laxman. Shastri, who has represented India in 80 Tests and 150 One-Day Internationals between 1981 and 1992, he had initially not applied for the post but when the BCCI extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9, the former skipper jumped into the fray and suddenly became the hot favourite.

GST intelligence agency gets new chief John Joseph

A key intelligence agency tasked with checking evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has got its new chief. Senior bureaucrat John Joseph has been appointed Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DG GSTI). Joseph, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has worked in the Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The DG GSTI is the new name given to the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion. The post of chief of central excise intelligence (now GST intelligence) was lying vacant for over a month after R K Mahajan took charge as Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Saima Wazed made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism

Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder has been appointed as the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for autism in the world body’s Southeast Asia region. Her appointment is for a period of two years. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu Declaration which emphasizes on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are life- long disabilities that affect brain functioning, and when left without proper support can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Achal Kumar Joti Appointed Next Chief Election Commissioner

Achal Kumar Joti has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry informed. Mr. Zaidi will demit office on July 5. Mr. Joti, a 1975-batch IAS officer joined the three-member Commission as an Election Commissioner on May 8, 2015, will be in office till January 17, 2018. He was retired as the Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013. A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Mr. Joti, who will be the 21st CEC, has also served as the Gujarat Vigilance Commissioner and worked in various capacities in the State, including as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL).

New chiefs of Union Bank of India & Syndicate Bank take charge

Rajkiran Rai G & Melwyn Rego has been assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank respectively. Prior to joining Union Bank of India, Rai was Executive Director of Oriental Bank of Commerce & Rego was MD & CEO of Bank of India. Rajkiran Rai started his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Finance Officer in Central Bank of India. Rai has been appointed by the government to head Union Bank of India for a period of three years from the date of his taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to a finance ministry notification. Melwyn Rego started his career with IDBI Bank Ltd in 1984 and rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director. Rego will be at the helm of the bank till the remainder of the term up to August 13, 2018, according to a finance ministry notification.

Trump appoints Indian-American as US Ambassador to Peru

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Krishna R. Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru. The appointment of Urs, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, would have to be approved by the Senate. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned. Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. During his three decades of State Department service, Mr. Urs has specialised in economic issues and developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.

B). RESIGNS

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passes away

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passed away recently. He was 44. Inder Kumar suffered a heart attack at his residence in Andheri’s Four Bungalows. He has worked in more than 20 films. He also shared the screen space with Salman Khan in Wanted and Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge among others. He was currently shooting for his next film Phati Paid Hai Yaar. The cremation will be held today evening at Yaari Road Shamshaan Bhoomi.

Nawaz Sharif resigns as Pakistan PM in Panama Papers case

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s children to offshore companies. Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are the new contenders for the post of Pakistan Prime Minister. Pakistan’s stock market fell by 3.4 percent after Supreme Court ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has resigned from his office. He resigned on 26 uly 2017 after citing differences with ally RJD in the issue of corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. After submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Nitish said under the circumstances prevailing in Bihar, it bacame difficult to run the grand alliance government. He said, I tried to work it out and didn’t ask for anybody’s resignation but asked Tejashwi Yadav to explain the charges of corruption.

Renowned Indian Scientist Yash Pal passes away

Renowned Indian Scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Professor Yash Pal passed away at his residence in Noida in the National Capital Region of India. He was 90. Though the cause of death is not yet known, he had reportedly recovered from cancer a few years ago. Known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder, he was awarded India’s thrid highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. In his later years, he became one of the leading science communicators of the country.

Sean Spicer resigns as Press Secretary of US White House

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, resigned from his position following the appointment of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as Communications director by President Donald Trump. After the appointment of Scaramucci, Spicer was asked to stay on as the Press Secretary and was asked to report to Scaramucci. However, Spicer rejected the offer and resigned. Following his resignation, Spicre’s top deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders was appointed as Press Secretary. Sacramucci is a Fox News contributor and is known for his on-air defence of President Trump.

C). DEATHS

Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away

  1. Dharam Singh, former Chief Minister of Karnataka, passed away following a heart attack. He was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of the state. He headed the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from May 2004 to February 2006. Dharam Singh represented the Karnataka Legislative Assembly seven times without a defeat and was a member of the Lok Sabha from Bidar constituency once (2009).

Former ISRO Chief U R Rao passes away at 85

Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away due to age related ailments. He was 85. He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram. Professor Rao, who served as ISRO Chairman for 10 years during 1984-1994, was inducted into International Aeronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame last year during the closing ceremony of IAF Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Under the 2017 Padma Vibhushan award winning scientist, India carried out at least 20 satellites project including the country’s first, Aryabhatta.

Sr Congress Leader & Freedom Fighter Shivajirao Patil passes away

Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, Senior Congress Leader, freedom fighter and former Maharashtra Minister passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai. He was 92. The father of late national Award winning actress Smita Patil, he began his social activism at an early age when he took part in the Indian Independence movement. Patil like his daughter had always displayed a staunch commitment to social causes across sectors with unwavering resolve and contribution in the fields of education and agriculture through the cooperative sector. He was married to Vidyatai Patil, a social worker, who passed away in March 2015 after 77 years of marriage. He served as an active politician since a very young age and had been associated with several political parties including CPI, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away

Nar Bahadur Bhandari, the former Chief Minister of Sikkim who served the state from 1979 to 1994, died at a Delhi hospital. He was 77. Born on 5 October 1940 at Malbasey in Sikkim, Bhandari was serving a givernment school as a teacher before joining the active politics. He became the Chief Minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Sikkim Janata Parishad ticket, a party founded by him in 1977. In 1984, he dissolved the Sikkim Janata Parishad and formed a new party known as Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP). In 1985 and 1989, he became Chief Minister of the state. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. Bhandari was the first Gorkha to ever hold the office of the Chief Minister in the history of Indian polity. He remained the President of SSP until his death.

China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at 61

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo has died at the age of 61 while still in custody following a battle with cancer, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad. Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Chinese intellectual and activist is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

Syrian Observatory says ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has died. Observatory sources in Syria’s eastern town of Deir al-Zor had been told by IS sources that Baghdadi had died but they did not specify when. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s original name is Ibrahim Awad al-Samarrai born in Tobchi in a poor area near Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad. Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni Salafi-Jihadist militant, a jihadist organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

D). VISITORS

Navy chief begins visit to Mozambique, Tanzania

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had begun an eight-day-long two-nation tour of Mozambique and Tanzania with an aim of exploring new avenues of bilateral defence cooperation. Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will visit first Mozambique. Later on his tour, Admiral Lanba will begin his five-day-long visit to Tanzania on July 26. He is scheduled to meet President of Tanzania John Magufuli, Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi and other higher delegations. Indian Armed Forces cooperate with the armed forces of Mozambique and Tanzanian on many fronts, which include training and hydrography, besides participating in each other’s defence events. India and Mozambique have a Joint Defence Working Group (JDWG) for defence and security cooperation.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app

Technology giant Microsoft has officially launched ‘Kaizala’, a productivity app that has been designed to enhance the collaboration and communication experience for Indian enterprises. The ‘Made for India’ app is designed for large group communications and work management and works even on 2G networks. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with people within the organization as well as outside like partners and vendors in a seamless manner.

Scientists discover glow-in-the-dark shark in Pacific Ocean

A group of scientists identified a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean off the coast f the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The shark has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo measures less than a foot. TThe new species is a member of the lantershark family. The species has been named Etmopterus Lailae.

World’s oldest emoji discovered on 3700-year-old pot in Turkey

A group of archaelogists working on a site in Southern Turkey discovered a 3700-year-old smiley face, which is drawn on the side of a jug. A team of Turkish and Italian archaeologists have been exploring a site on the Turkish-Syrian border, but they have never encountered such an object before. The site depicts the era of the Hittities, an ancient civilisation and empire that is beleived to have existed in the north-central Anatolian region. the ancient smiley jug will be displayed at the nearby Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.

Neil Armstrong Moon Bag sold for USD 1.8 million in New York

Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million in New york. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone. The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samaples from the Moon during the 48th anniversary of that mission. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm ffrom five different locations at th Sea of Tranquility.

Study indicates Mars soil may be toxic to alien life

As per a research conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, surface of Mars has chemical compunds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms. The discovery has major implications for hunt for alien life on the red planet as it means any evidence is likely to be buried deep underground.

Hubble telescope spots two dozen groups of newborn stars

Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found a new dsk-shaped galaxy surrounded by clusters of newborn stars. They compared the sighting as if the universe launched fireworks. Apparently, the cosmic event took 11 billion years before reaching the Hubble’s lenses, which is just 2.7 billion year after the Big Bang. The data comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which features the sightings made during the Hubble Telescope’s four-year mission. The sum of all image data from the survey adds up to one-fourth of the observable sky.

Britain’s first pregnant man gives birth to girl

Britain’s first pregnant man has given birth to a girl. Hyden Cross, 21, made headlines around the world earlier in 2017 when he announced that he was pregnant by a spem donor. Three years ago, Cross had legally become male through gender assignment. Reports suggest that his daughter, Trinity-Leigh, was born on 16 June 2017 by caesarian at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. With her birth, Cross became the first transgender man to give birth in the United Kingdom.

India declares itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)

India has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence. It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The surveillance was carried out throughout the country since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus. India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicenters in different states across the country between October 2016 and February 2017. Avian Influenza known avian flu or bird flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

BOOKS IN NEWS

Amartya Sen releases ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen released a book titled “Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives” at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee, who received the first copy of the book. The book is the academic and research work of scholars, educationists and practitioners from India and abroad. It aims to provide international and comparative perspectives on higher education and highlights issues being faced by Inidan Universities. The book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ has been complied by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU University and is published by Oxford University Press.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 observed

The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 was observed across the world on 30 July 2017. This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC) selected ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’ as the focus of the Day. The theme emphasizes one of the most pressing issues of the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts focus on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. In addition, it addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

29 July: International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is observed annually on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation. This year’s International Tiger Day would be celebrated with the slogan ‘Fresh Ecology For Tigers’ Protection’. The goal of observance of the day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation. Many international organisations are involved in the celebration of this day, including the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) etc. The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022. The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face. It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared, with only around 3,000 left alive.

28 July: World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The Theme for World Hepatitis Day 2017 is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year – that’s as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.

26 July: Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas

The country is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ today. On the occasion, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services will lay floral tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July, commemorates India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and honors the war heroes. On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.

18th July: Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all. Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically Elected President of a free South Africa.

15 July: World Youth Skills Day

The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is observed golbally on 15 July every year to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development. This year, the United Nations along with WorldSkills.orgorganised campaigns #SkillsForAll and #WYSD to raise awareness about the importance of youth developing skills. #SkillsForAll campaign was aimed at creating awareness that everyone should have the oppurtunity to discover and develop their talents. Through skills individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future. The theme of this year is “Skills for the Future of Work”. The World Youth Skills Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 11 November 2014. The Assembly designated 15 July as the World Youth Skills Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

11 July: World Population Day

World Population Day is being observed globally on 11th July. The objective of the day is to increase the awareness of the people towards the worldwide population issues. The theme of this year is ‘Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations’. This year’s celebrations coincide with the Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020. The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries.

Bank unions to observe July 19 as ‘Save public sector banks’ day

The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day. All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/ demonstrations at all centres across the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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