Latest Current Affairs – August 16 & 17 2018
1. Imran Khan elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan
Former cricketer and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was elected the Prime Minister of Pakistan after a vote in the country’s lower house of parliament. Khan’s party had emerged as the single-largest in recently-concluded elections but failed to win an absolute majority. He is
2. Monsoon flooding has killed 868 people in 7 states in India
As many as 868 people have lost their lives, amid rains, floods and landslides in seven states during the monsoon season so far, the Home Ministry said. Kerala is the worst-affected, with over 247 people losing their lives. At least 191 people have died in Uttar Pradesh, 183 people in West Bengal, 139 in Maharashtra, besides Gujarat, Assam and Nagaland.
3. Indian health insurance companies to now cover mental illness
Insurance regulator IRDAI on Thursday notified insurance companies asking them to cover medical treatment for mental illnesses on the same basis as it is available for treatment of physical illnesses. The order is applicable to all insurance companies in India with immediate effect. The order comes three months after the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 came into force on May 29.
4. Andaman athlete misses India’s 1st cycling WC gold by 0.017s
Esow Alban, an athlete from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, missed out on winning India’s first-ever gold medal at the Junior Track Cycling World Championships by a margin of 0.017 seconds. Alban, competing in the Men’s Keirin event, won his silver medal after a photo-finish. This is India’s first-ever medal at any cycling World Championship event.
5. Singer Aretha Franklin passes away aged 76 due to cancer
Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning Queen of Soul, died at the age of 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer. The singer, known for songs like ‘Think’ and ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, was reportedly under hospice care. Franklin won 18 Grammy awards and in 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
6. Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away aged 93 in Delhi
Former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna awardee Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away aged 93 at AIIMS Delhi, where he was being treated since nine weeks. Vajpayee, who had been put on life support, was being treated for kidney tract infection, chest congestion and urinary tract infection. He suffered a stroke in 2009 and later reportedly developed dementia.
7. ‘Zombie’ gene behind why elephants rarely get cancer: Study
A University of Chicago study has identified a ‘zombie’ gene that makes elephants nearly immune to cancer. In response to DNA damage, a tumour-suppressing protein wakes up the non-functioning gene called LIF6 to kill cancer-prone cells. Researchers were able to mimic this effect by turning on LIF6 in mice and hope to develop new cancer treatments for humans in future.
8. 14-yr-old Kerala boy becomes India’s 53rd Chess Grandmaster
Kerala-born Nihal Sarin has become India’s 53rd Grandmaster after attaining his third and final GM-Norm by drawing in the eighth round of Abu Dhabi Masters against Uzbekistan’s Temur Kuybokarov. The 14-year-old, who was the 2014 World Under-10 Champion, is the 12th youngest grandmaster in chess history. “Congrats and welcome to @NihalSarin. The boys are on a roll!” wrote Viswanathan Anand.
9. Former India Test captain Ajit Wadekar passes away aged 77
Former India Test captain Ajit Wadekar passed away in Mumbai today aged 77 following a prolonged illness. He played 37 Tests for India, making his debut in 1966 against the West Indies, and was named the national team captain in 1971. He was also part of the Indian team that played its first-ever ODI in 1974.
10. New Zealand bans sale of homes to foreigners
New Zealand’s parliament passed a bill banning the sale of existing homes to foreign buyers, saying that citizens were being “tenants in our own land”. The government said the ban would lower the cost of homes, and supply would increase. The ban applies to all nationalities, except foreigners with residency status and buyers from Singapore and Australia.
11. Modi announced manned space mission taking Indian astronauts to space on board ‘Gaganyaan’ by 2022
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will have two unmanned missions and spacecraft will be launched using GSLV Mark-III. GSLV Mark III launch vehicle will be fully equipped with crew module and life support system for a manned mission in the next two years. If successful, India would be fourth nation to achieve that feat.
12. Assam rejected Centres move in reducing area under AFSPA
The government of Assam has declined the Centre’s move in reducing the ‘disturbed areas’ under the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).
On July 19, the parliamentary committee headed by P.Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader, reported that by improving the security situation in most northeast States the government should gradually reduce the area under AFSPA, especially in the States of Assam and Meghalaya. But the Assam government did not concur as it said that was not the right time to reduce the area under AFSPA.
13. Godrej’s Smita Crishna tops list of India’s wealthiest women
Smitha V. Crishna, a third-generation heir of the Godrej family, ranks first in the Kotak Wealth Hurun-Leading Wealthy Women 2018 list with an estimated wealth of ₹ 37,570 crore. Roshni Nadar, CEO and executive director at HCL, ranks second in the list with an estimated wealth of ₹30,200 crore. Indu Jain, the chairperson of the Times Group, ranks third in the list with an estimated wealth of ₹26,240 crore.
14. Rifleman Aurangzeb, Major Aditya Kumar conferred to Shaurya Chakra
President Ram Nath Kovind approved these names on the eve of Independence Day along with three Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 93 Sena Medals (Gallantry) and, 11 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry). He also conferred Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Group Captain Abhishek Sharma, Squadron Leader Vernon Desmond Keane and Sergeant Shashidhar P Prasad.
15. Film Actor Akshay Kumar becomes Brand Ambassador for Road Safety Campaigns
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari launched three short films for generating public awareness towards road safety. Akshay Kumar featured in these films, which are directed by Shri R.Balki.
16. NITI Aayog Launches Pitch To MOVE
It is a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury. The main aim is to identify and incentivise the startups, which will help the Government realize its vision of Shared, Connected, Intermodal and Environment-Friendly Mobility for India.
17. Asad Qaiser has been elected as the Speaker of Pakistan parliament
Asad Qaiser of Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party has been elected as the Speaker of Pakistan’s parliament. He secured 176 votes and defeat Khursheed Shah. He was sworn in as the Speaker of the National Assembly, Parliament’s lower house on 15th August.
PTI leader Imran Khan is set to become the prime minister after the National Assembly voting by the 342 members on August 17. The swearing-in ceremony has been scheduled for August 18.
18. FSSAI launches RUCO initiative to collect, convert used cooking oil into biofuel
Around 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil. According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI ), India has the potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel by 2022 through co-ordinated action.
19. NPCI launched UPI 2.0 with overdraft facility
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched an upgraded version of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), UPI 2.0. Customers can now link overdraft account to UPI in addition to current and savings account, and the transaction limit has been doubled to ₹2 lakh.
UPI 2.0 also allows customers to check invoice before making a payment to the merchant. NPCI is an umbrella organization for all retail payments in India. UPI version 1 was launched in April 2016.
20. Twenty fourth World Congress of Philosophy held in Beijing, China
The event was organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and Peking University. The theme of the event “Learning To Be Human”. More than 6,000 philosophers and academics from 121 countries and regions attended the event.
21. PhonePe partners with IRCTC app Rail connect to facilitate convenient payments
This will enable PhonePe’s 100 million-plus users to now pay directly from their bank accounts using UPI, credit and debit cards and also the PhonePe wallet. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) app will have a trusted digital payment platform for the transactions.
22. Indo-Israel missile defence system Barak 8 to be procured by Israeli Navy
The multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel, will be procured by the Israeli Navy to protect its economic zones and strategic facilities from diversified threats and the sales for it have exceeded USD 5 billion.
Barak-8 is an operational air and missile defense system used by the Israeli Navy as well as by the Indian Navy and air forces.
Barak 8 has been jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India’s DRDO, Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and some other Indian defence companies.
23. Mario Abdo Benitez sworn in as the 50th President of Paraguay
Benitez clinched the top spot after defeating his closest rival, Efrain Alegre from the liberal opposition alliance, by four percentage points in the nation’s elections. 46-year-old Benitez replaces Horacio Cartes. Both are from the conservative Colorado Party.
About Mario Abdo Benítez:
♦ Got involved in politics in 2004.
♦ Founded a political faction with the grandson of Paraguay’s former dictator Alfredo Stroessner.
♦ Opposes same-sex marriage and the legalisation of abortion.
24. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita reelected as Mali president
Keita won with 67 percent of the vote in a runoff against opposition candidate Soumaila Cisse.
Keita, who is 73, will take office on September 4. His immediate challenges include strengthening a 2015 peace accord between the government, its allies, and former Tuareg rebels.
♦ Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa.
♦ Population – 18 million
♦ Capital – Bamako
♦ Official language – French
♦ Currency – West African CFA franc
25. Ashok Leyland unveiled Innoline, its new technology
Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja Group’s flagship company, introduced Innoline technology. Innoline is a BS IV engine driven by an in-line fuel pump. This technology is a combination of the indigenous mechanical pump for BS III engines with iEGR (Intelligent Exhaust Gas Recirculation) technology.
iGER is a renowned technology with the in-line pump or SADA pump. This in-line pump is well-known in the Indian commercial vehicle industry and is preferred by drivers and service mechanics alike, Ashok Leyland said in a statement.