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Current Affairs Daily Digest – September 08 & 09′ 2017

 


 

  1. Baijendra Kumar assumes charge as NMDC chief

N Baijendra Kumar, an IAS officer of 1985 batch of Chhattisgarh cadre, has assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC Ltd.

Prior to joining NMDC, he was holding the post of Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, as well as Commerce & Industries and Energy Departments in the Chhattisgarh government.

He has, during his service tenure of over 32 years, held important positions of Collector and District Magistrate, Principal Secretary.

  1. UIDAI chief A.B. Pandey appointed interim GSTN chairman

The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) chief executive officer (CEO) A.B. Pandey was appointed interim chairman of the goods and services tax network (GSTN)—the firm providing information technology (IT) backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime.

Pandey was given additional charge days after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term on 29 August.

  1. Viveck Goenka Elected PTI Chairman, N Ravi Deputy Chairman

Viveck Goenka, chairman and managing director of the Express Group, and N Ravi, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu, were unanimously elected chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of Press Trust of India (PTI).

He succeeds Riyad Mathew of Malayala Manorama group. PTI is largest news agency in India. It is non-profit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers and has more than 1,000 full-time employees.

4. Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2018

Two UK institutions lead the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of the best universities for the first time in its history, with Oxford holding on to the number one spot for the second year in a row, while Cambridge has risen to second place.

Meanwhile, India has some bad news with its premier institutes like IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore slipping in the rankings to lower bands.

According to the rankings, India’s representation has also declined, from 31 institutions to 30, while eight of its universities have slipped to a lower band.

The country’s flagship university, the Indian Institute of Science, has been demoted from the 201-250 cohort to the 251-300 band as its research income and citation impact have declined

5. Nagaland to implement DBT for MGNREGA

Nagaland starts implementing Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) beginning from the current financial year.

Presently, 46,894 active MGNREGA workers have opened their bank accounts linked with Aadhar and are ready for DBT.

A total of 1.79 lakh MGNREGA workers have been verified with Aadhar and being processed for an opening bank account. Currently, there is 4.25 lakh active job cards with 5.82 lakh active MGNREGA workers in the state.

6. Joint Committee on The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the Chairpersonship of Shri Bhupender Yadav. The Bill seeks to provide for the resolution of certain categories of financial service providers in distress

  • The deposit insurance to consumers of certain categories of financial services; designation of systemically important financial institutions;
  • Establishment of a Resolution Corporation for protection of consumers of specified service providers and of public funds for ensuring the stability and resilience of the financial system and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

7. 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 targetted 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.

8. Assam Government Signs MoU with Google to Increase Digital Literacy

In a bid to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the state, Assam government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google India.

The MoU signed with the Google would be the latest addition to various initiatives of the state government to make technology-driven development a reality.

The MoU would be used as a launch pad to materialise the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development and universal education.

9. Government Appoints Committee to Study Data Protection Framework for India

The Modi government has appointed an expert committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna, to “identify key data protection issues” in India and recommend methods to address any potential problems.

The ten-member committee – which includes representatives from the department of telecommunications (DoT), the IT ministry, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the academic community – will not only study the various issues around data protection in India but will also draft a data protection bill that will be taken up for consideration by the Centre.

10. Bharat Petroleum set to get Maharatna status

State-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company. The oil marketing company is at present a Navratna firm.

The decision to elevate BPCL to Maharatna status was taken by a panel headed by the Cabinet secretary and an announcement to this effect is likely soon, according to official sources.

Maharatna and Navaratna state-owned units operate in strategic fields such as coal, petroleum, steel, heavy engineering, power supply, telecommunications and transportation services.

11. Exide Life, PMC Bank tie up

Exide Life Insurance has announced a partnership with Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC Bank) to offer its protection and savings products to the latter’s customers.

PMC Bank is a multi-State scheduled urban cooperative bank with 127 branches spread across Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Exide Life Insurance works with around 50 banks.

12. SBI Life Insurance Gets SEBI Approval for Rs 8,400 crore IPO

SBI Life Insurance has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India for an IPO of up to Rs 8,400 crore ($1.3 billion), with launch targeted for the September 20-22 period.

It involves 120 million secondary shares or 12 per cent of the insurer’s equity capital. State Bank of India which currently owns 70.1 per cent of the insurer, will sell 80 million shares and BNP Paribas Cardif, holder of a 26 per cent stake, will sell 40 million.

13. HDFC Bank’s ‘Eva’ becomes India’s smartest chatbot

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based chatbot ‘Eva’ – built for HDFC Bank by Bengaluru-based Senseforth AI Research – has successfully addressed over 2.7 million customer queries in six months to become the country’s largest banking chatbot.

According to HDFC Bank, it collaborated with Senseforth and launched ‘EVA’ (Electronic Virtual Assistant) in March this year on its website.

Since then, ‘Eva’ has interacted with over 530,000 unique users, holding 1.2 million conversations and addressing 2.7 million queries with ease.

14. ‘Lakshadweep island Parali I has vanished’

One of the uninhabited islands that is a part of Lakshadweep has vanished due to coastal erosion and another four such territories in the sea are shrinking fast, claims a new study.

Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll, which had an area of 0.032 sq.km in 1968 has been completely eroded, resulting in its inundation.

The biodiversity of five uninhabited islands — Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali I, II and III, of which Parali I has been inundated.

15. Pakistan’s Habib Bank to close New York office

The Habib Bank Limited has announced its decision to wind up operations in New York following intimation from the state’s financial regulator that it seeks to impose a hefty penalty of nearly $630 million on the bank, it has been learnt.

The bank has decided to contest in US courts the notice sent by New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) about the imposition of a civil monetary penalty amounting to $629,625,000, read a letter filed by HBL to Pakistan Stock Exchange.

16. Vatican declares Mother Teresa a patron saint of Calcutta

Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata, are celebrating the Vatican’s announcement of the Mother as a patron saint of Calcutta On September 4, but are restricting the celebrations to prayers only. Moreover, the prayer sessions include representatives of all faiths to make them as inclusive as possible.

Vatican declared Mother Teresa (1910-1997) a patron saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta. She was beatified on October 19, 2003 and canonised on September 4, 2016.

17. International Literacy Day is observed on September 8th

The International Literacy Day (ILD) is being observed every year on 8 September to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society. The theme of UNESCO for the year 2017 is `Literacy in a digital world’.

This year it is 51st International Literacy Day. The main aim is to mobilize public opinion in favour of struggle against illiteracy.

The day was established in 1966 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

18. ICAR to Undertake Major Research Works on Agriculture with World Bank Fund

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research(ICAR) will be undertaking major research works on agriculture this year with the World Bank fund of 1100 crore rupees.

India ranks first in milk production in the world, the milk yield per animal is very lowas compared to international standards.

The research in making available enough fodder for cattle as it remains an area of concern now and also to address the climate change challenges.

19. India and U S to conduct joint military exercise ‘YUDH ABHYAS 2017’

India and the United States of America will conduct ”Yudh Abhyas” joint exercise between their armies in September.

The exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2017, will be held from September 14-27 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the US.

It is one of the largest joint running military training and defence corporation endeavors between India and USA. This is the 13th edition of the joint exercise hosted alternately between the two countries.

20. Sonam wins gold at World Cadet Wrestling Championship

India Wrestler Sonam has won a gold medal by defeating Japanese Wrestler Sena Nagamoto by 3-1 points on the fourth-day of Cadet World Wrestling Championship in Athens. The other female Wrestler Neelam also bagged Bronze Medal in 43 kilogram weight category.

Matches were held in five weight categories and all the five Wrestlers of Indian Female Wrestling Team entered in the final match for Gold and Bronze Medals.

Indian wrestler Sonam Malik won a gold medal in the 56kg category at the World Cadet Wrestling Championship in Athens, Greece. Among other Indians in the fray, Neelam settled for bronze in the 43kg category.

15-year-old Sonam defeated Japanese Sena Nagamoto 3-1 in the final. She took a 2-0 lead in the first round and then conceded a point in the second round before adding one more towards the end of the bout. Neelam defeated Roxana Alexandra of Romania 6-4 in the bronze medal bout.

21. Sjoerd Marijne named chief coach of Indian men’s hockey team

Women’s national hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne was named chief coach of the men’s side, replacing the sacked Roelant Oltmans.

Besides, World Cup-winning junior team coach Harendra Singh was appointed High Performance Specialist coach of the senior women’s team.

While Marijne will take charge on September 20 after returning from an ongoing tour of Europe with the women’s team.

 

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Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For August 2017