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Current Affairs Daily Digest – August 08 & 09′ 2017


  1. Indian philanthropist honoured by UAE govt

An Indian businessman in the UAE, who has spent over USD 4 million to help free prisoners languishing in jails due to non-payment of debts, has been honoured with the country’s prestigious Community Service Medal.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the UAE, Lt General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, honoured Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant with the Community Service Medal.

  1. Sardar Singh, Devendra Jhajharia to be awarded Khel Ratna awards

Former India Hockey captain Sardar Singh and Paralympian javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia have been selected to be awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards.

The awards selection committee has recommended both Jhajharia and Sardar to be considered for the award jointly.

The 36-year old Jhajharia becomes the first Paralympian to be recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour.

Sardar, who is probably the most known hockey player after the likes of Dhyan Chand and Dhanraj Pillay, is now one of the senior players leading the team.

  1. Mimaansa wins award for combating learning disabilities

A Mumbai based organisation that works on assisting children who suffer from learning disabilities (LD), was awarded in the Young Innovators Challenge 2017 event hosted by 3M India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for its work with students of municipal schools in Thane.

The aim of the challenge was to come up with unique ideas to tackle India’s social and economic problems.

Mimaansa, started in 2012 by Poojaa Joshi, a former French teacher and now psychotherapist, works on offering early intervention for children with learning disabilities, including a remedial programme focused on alternative teaching strategies by skilled special educators.

  1. Dev Patel To Be Honoured With Asia Society Game Changers Award

Indian-origin actor Dev Patel is to be honoured by a leading educational organisation for making a “transformative and positive” difference for the future of Asia and the world.

London-born Dev Patel, who became popular with his debut film Slumdog Millionaire, will be felicitated with the Asia Society 2017 Asia Game Changers Award at a ceremony to be held at the United Nations, New York, in November.

  1. Justice Dipak Misra to be next Chief Justice of India

The Centre on August 8, 2017 cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28, 2017.

Justice Misra, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the current CJI, Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, 2017, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.

  1. Madan Lal to head DDCA Cricket Affairs Committee

Former India Test cricketer and Delhi captain Madan Lal has been appointed chairman of the newly-formed Cricket Affairs Committee (CAC) of Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).

The other members of the panel are former national selector Saba Karim, member 1983 World Cup winning team Sunil Valson, and women’s India international Amita Sharma and senior sports journalist GS Vivek.

  1. Indian American appointed US county’s Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs

Indian American Dilip Chauhan has been appointed to a key position of Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs in New York’s Nassau county.

Chauhan has been active in numerous community and business organisations in the New York area and had joined the Comptroller’s office in 2015 as Director for Community Affairs, South and East Asia.

He served as senior advisor to the Comptroller since early 2017.

  1. Govt launches a new scheme to boost agri startups

Joining hands with the IIM Ahmedabad, India’s premier farm research institute – Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have launched a central scheme to promote agri startups in the country.

The programme known as AGRI UDAAN Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0  will help select innovative startups to scale up their operations in agri value chain for effective improvement in agriculture.

  1. UP Cabinet changes name of scheme launched by SP government

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved renaming of another Samajwadi Party (SP) government-run scheme, and the Samajwadi Sarvhit Kisan Bima Yojna will now on be known as the Mukhymantri Sarvhit Kisan Bima Yojna.

At the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, it was also decided to change several rules for recruitment of police constables.

One major rule that has already been done away with vis-a-vis police recruitment is addition of physical test marks in the final results; now on, the marks of physical test will not have any bearing on the final results.

  1. Kerala, Haryana top sanitation survey

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households, undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June this year.

Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets.

BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and NDA-ruled Bihar were among the worst performers in terms of rural sanitation.

The survey, covering 4626 villages across all States and Union territories, claimed that 62.45% of the households had access to a toilet.

The survey also pointed that 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it, indicating a change in sanitation behaviour.

  1. Coconut regains `tree status in Goa as Assembly passes bill

The Goa Legislative Assembly has passed a bill which reclassifies coconut as a `tree, ensuring legal protection for it.

Goa Forward Party, a partner in the Manohar Parrikar-led government, had promised to reclassify coconut.

The previous Laxmikant Parsekar-led government had changed classification of coconut tree to a `palm.

  1. NITI Aayog selects 3 States for transformative change in Health & Education sectors

NITI Aayog has announced partnership with three States each to radically transform their Health and Education sectors.

NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States.

In Education, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes.

The six States have been chosen after a rigorous competitive process based on comprehensive metrics to determine potential for impact and likelihood of success.

  1. Govt declares entire Assam as ‘disturbed’ area under AFSPA for another month

The Centre has declared entire Assam as a “disturbed” area under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others.

The Union home ministry also declared Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam, and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh as “disturbed” under the AFSPA for two more months with effect from August 3.

  1. Dawn of Cruise Tourism In India’ Inaugurated In Mumbai

A special event, ‘The dawn of cruise tourism in India’ was inaugurated in Mumbai. The preparedness of Mumbai Port and Ministry of shipping to host cruise vessels in the country is revealed to a worldwide audience at the event.

It also saw the launch of three reports, “Mumbai Port SoP’s for cruise operations”, “Road map for Sea cruise tourism” and “Cruise terminals in India”.

  1. ONGC Videsh to pump $150 million in Colombia, Kazakhstan & Bangladesh

ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp, plans to invest $150 million in exploration this fiscal year to drill more wells in Colombia, where it just made a commercial discovery, as well as in Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.

ONGC Videsh which operates the CPO-5 block of Colombia has made a commercial discovery in its exploration well Mariposa-1.

It includes a producing block whose current output is 35,000 barrels per day.

The company has also entered Namibia’s oil and gas sector with a purchase of 30% interest from Tullow Oil in the African country’s three oil blocks.

  1. FMCG Britannia To Set Up Largest Plant In Maharashtra

India’s leading FMCG Britannia Industries would set up its largest plant in Maharashtra in a food park at Ranjangaon.

There will be an investment of Rs 1000 crore at the Ranjangaon food park over a period of four to five years with an employment potential for 3000 people.

The largest plant is the Ranjangaon food park in Maharashtra. The chairman of Britannia Industries is Nusli Wadia.

  1. Flipkart to help employees achieve personal aspirations

Online marketplace Flipkart has launched “Budding Star Programme’, an exclusive programme aimed at Flipkart employees to help them achieve their dreams by providing them financial assistance and paid leave.

This initiative will allow Flipsters (Flipkart employees), to unleash their talent beyond work and participate in opportunities that will help them achieve success in their personal aspirations.

Flipkart will provide financial assistance to employees who wish to participate in any national or international competition pertaining to any field of interest.

  1. Amazon to offer training, aid to Telangana weavers

Amazon India has signed an agreement with the Telangana government to promote handlooms on the e-commerce platform.

As part of the agreement, the firm will educate, train and enable weavers and artisans to directly sell their products to its customers in India.

Amazon India and the Department of Handlooms and Textiles will conduct training programmes to help them get ready for sales on a different window. The training programme would also have sessions on computers and Internet.

  1. August 15 to be celebrated as ‘Sankalp Parva’: Govt

The 70th Independence Day on August 15 to be celebrated as the ‘Sankalp Parva’, the Ministry of Personnel said in an order.

The Centre has decided to observe this Independence Day as ‘Sankalp Parva’ and asked the people to dedicate themselves to social causes and share their ideas to make a new India.

Terming ‘Quit India Movement’ as an important milestone, the government has asked people to take a pledge to create a new India that is strong, prosperous and inclusive.

The Quit India Movement or ‘August Kranti’ began on August 9, 1942. “Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India, in every village, city, transcending all barriers came together with a common mission to uproot imperialism

  1. NCRB merged with bureau of police research

The government merged the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) – which, over the years, has been the principal source of reference by policy makers, police, criminologists, researchers and media – both in India and abroad, with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

The ministry of home affairs issued an order on Friday evening placing NCRB’s functions under the Director General of BPR&D, who will now oversee all the data collection related to Crime in India, Accidental Deaths and Suicides, Prison Statistics and Fingerprints.

  1. Mastercard, PayPal expand partnership into Asia Pacific

Mastercard and PayPal have extended their partnership into Asia Pacific to enhance the consumer experience and make Mastercard a clear payment option with PayPal.

The deal will expand PayPal’s presence at the point of sale and enable Masterpass for Braintree merchants in the region.

 Additionally, both companies will collaborate to create opportunities to leverage Mastercard’s new payment flow technologies, providing increased value to Mastercard cardholders, financial institutions, and PayPal customers.

  1. Kotak Bank launches debit card offer for zero balance accountz

Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank will offer debit card at a special price of Rs 99 for the first year for customers who will open account under its zero balance account scheme till September 15.

The usual annual fee for debit card procured by 811 account holders (zero balance) is Rs 299.

To mark the 70th anniversary of country’s independence, the special edition debit card will be available to customers who open an 811 account from August 8, 2017 to September 15, 2017

  1. Luxury cars, SUVs to cost more as GST Council approves cess hike

Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and luxury cars, which became cheaper after the 1 July rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), may cost more with the GST Council, federal indirect tax body, planning to raise cess on them from 15% now to up to 25%.

An official statement from the finance ministry said that after GST was introduced, the total tax incidence on motor vehicles comprising the GST rate and the cess came down compared to the total tax incidence in pre-GST regime.

  • Ankur Mittal wins gold in Asian Shotgun Championship

Indian shooter Ankur Mittal clinched the individual as well as the team gold medal in men’s double trap at the 7th Asian Shotgun Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan. Mittal shot 71 in the six-man final to finish at the top of the podium.

With scores of Sangram Dahiya (43) and Mohammad Asab (34) added to Mittal’s final total, India managed to bag the top prize in the team event too. Dahiya finished fourth, while Asab had to be contend with the fifth position.

  1. Ravindra Jadeja becomes top-ranked Test all rounder for first time

Ravindra Jadeja was already the top ranked Test bowler in the ICC Test rankings but now he is also World No 1 in all rounders after eclipsing Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh in the latest rankings announced following the conclusion of England’s series win over South Africa.

Meanwhile R Ashwin has been removed from his second spot in ICC Test rankings for bowlers with Jimmy Anderson’s seven wickets propelling him to World No 2.

  • Real Madrid beat Manchester United to win European Super Cup

Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 to lift the European Super Cup for the fourth time as they became the first team to retain the trophy since AC Milan in 1990.

The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

  1. Amit Kumar Saroha wins silver in World Para Athletics Championship

India’s Amit Kumar Saroha clinched silver in men’s club throw F51 competition in World Para Athletics Championships. 

Serbia’s Zeljko Dimitrijevic retained his title with a world record throw of 31.99m.

Another Indian, Dharambir finished 10th with his best throw of 22.34m.

The 32-year-old Saroha had also won a silver in this event in the last edition of the biennial championships in Doha in 2015. He also had won a gold medal in this event in the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games.

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Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For July 2017