Current Affairs Daily Digest – August 30′ 2017

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  1. NRDC wins two awards

NRDC, the technology transfer and commercialisation arm of the Ministry of Science & Technology, has won two accolades.

It has won the Assocham Services Excellence Award 2017 and its Chairman and Managing Director, H Purushotham, an international recognition.

The International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Sweden honoured Purushotham with the IAAM Medal 2017 for his outstanding R&D contributions in the Advanced Materials Science & Technology during its award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.

  1. Mohammad Mustafa takes charge as SIDBI chairman

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) said Mohammad Mustafa has assumed office as the chairman and managing director.

Prior to this, Mustafa was working as joint secretary in the department of financial services at the Centre.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment for a period of three years, according to a Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order.

  1. BSE board approves another 5-year term for Ashish Chauhan as CEO

Top stock exchange BSE’s board has approved another five-year term for its chief Ashish Chauhan, who has steered a strong turnaround and a highly- successful initial public offering (IPO) of the bourse with strong business expansion.

Chauhan, who joined BSE as deputy chief executive officer (CEO) in 2009, was made MD and CEO for a period of five years with effect from November 2, 2012.

The board approved re-appointment of Ashishkumar Chauhan as BSE’s Managing Director and CEO for a further period of five years from November 2, 2017, to November 1, 2022.

  1. Dara khosrowshahi has been appointed as the new CEO Uber

Transport Company Uber has finally selected anew CEO of the company- Dara Khosrowshahi. He is from Iran. Khosrowshahi is the CEO of online travelbooking company Expedia Inc.

He has replaced Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi received nearly $95 million in pay in 2015, making him one of the most highly paid leaders in corporate America.

  1. Kerala CM launches U-17 world cup logo for kochi venue

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has launched the logo for Kochi, one of the venues of FIFA U-17 World Cup. The logo represents and reflects Kochi’s identity and will be a valuable tool in linking the local community in a global World Cup.

The tournament will be hosted in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium of the city. It is the first Indian city to be officially declared as one of the venues for hosting the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

  1. Karnataka to merge health schemes, launch ‘Arogya Bhagya

In a move to ensure medical benefits to entire population of Karnataka, the State government has decided to  merge various health schemes and launch unified ‘Arogya Bhagya’ to  cover all the 1.4 crore households.

The Universal Health Coverage scheme would help the card holder get treatment in all the empanelled private hospitals besides government hospitals to get treatment without paying any cash. The main theme of the ‘Arogya Bhagya’ scheme is “Treatment First and Payment Next”.

  1. Government to hold pan-India handloom, handicraft camps

The textiles ministry would organise camps across the country from October in handlooms and handicrafts clusters to provide different services including issuance of credit facilities to weavers and artisans.

These camps, to be organised from October 7 to 17, will be organised under the initiative ‘Hastkala Sahyog Shivir’. It is proposed to organise the camps in more than 200 handloom block level clusters and weavers’ service centres and more than 200 handicraft clusters in collaboration with states.

  1. Gobindobhog rice gets geographical indication status

Gobindobhog rice,a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status. The state government had applied for GI status for Gobindobhog rice on August 24, 2015.

The region of Burdwan (now divided into the districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal.

 As a result of getting the GI tag, as the certification is also called, rice from other regions or rice of other varieties cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog’.

  1. Narendra Modi inaugurates ‘hanging bridge’ in Kota

Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw open to traffic Rajasthan’s first six-lane cable stayed (CS) bridge in Kota via video conferencing from Udaipur

The bridge, over Chambal River, has the longest main span of 350 metre in the country and will also act as a bypass to Kota City.

Meanwhile, large LED screens had been put at the bridge to broadcast the PM’s speech from Udaipur and a large number of people arrived at the bridge to witness the ceremony.

  1. EPFO to cut investments in AAA bonds: minister Bandaru Dattatreya

Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided to invest about Rs3,000 crore in high-rated corporate bonds this financial year.

The employees provident fund manager at a recent meeting decided to cut the current investment of Rs.15,000 crore in AAA-rated bonds by Rs.3,000 crore and invest that amount in AA+bonds.

  1. Cabinet approves MoU with the Election Management Bodies of other countries/International Agencies

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Election Commission of India to enter into MoU on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration with the Election Management Bodies of other countries/International Agencies. These are as follows:

  1. The National Electoral Council of Ecuador;
  2. The Central Election Commission of Albania;
  3.  The Election Commission of Bhutan;
  4. The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan;
  5. The National Independent Electoral Commission of Guinea;
  6. The Union Election Commission of Myanmar; and
  7. The India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).
  1. Cabinet approves MoU with Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar for the conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan, Myanmar.

The MoU will be signed during the visit of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Myanmar during 6-7 September 2017.

  1. Cabinet approves promulgation of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of the Finance Ministry to promulgate an ordinance to suitably amend the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017.

The approval would allow to increase the maximum rate at which the Compensation Cess can be levied from 15% to 25% on: a) motor vehicles for transport of not more than thirteen persons, including the driver [falling under sub-headings 870210, 8702 20, 8702 30 or 8702 90]; and b) motor vehicles falling under headings 8703.

  1. Cabinet approves MoU on “India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund”

The Union Cabinet hasi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on “India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)”. The MoU was concluded in July, 2017.

India and Israel will make a contribution of four million US Dollars each for the Fund, both equivalent amount, annually for five years. The Innovation Fund will be governed by a joint Board which will consist of four members from each country.

  1. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

The Union Cabinet was apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. The MoU was signed in October, 2016.

The MoU will strengthen the existing friendly relations between India and Brazil and promote development of Genomics and Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Cattle through joint activities to be implemented through mutually agreed procedures.

  1. Cabinet apprised of jointly issue of postage stamps between India and Canada

The Union was informe that India and Canada have mutually agreed to jointly issue a set of two Commemorative Postage Stamps on India-Canada: Joint Issue on the theme “Diwali”. The joint stamps will be released on 21st September, 2017.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed signed between Department of Posts and Canada Post for this joint issue. India and Canada have a longstanding close relationship, based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, equality for all and rule of law.

  1. Cabinet approves equivalence of posts in Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the norms for establishing equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. for claiming benefit of OBC reservations.

This addresses an issue pending for nearly 24 years.  This will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservations, on par with children of people serving in lower categories in Government.

This will also prevent children of those in senior positions in such institutions, who, owing to absence of equivalence of posts, may have been treated as non Creamy Layer by virtue of wrong interpretation of income standards from cornering government posts reserved for OBCs and denying the genuine non creamy layer candidates a level playing field.

  1. C-DOT celebrates its 34th Foundation Day

The Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha has called upon C-DOT, Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) to innovate and develop Telecom products at reasonable costs for exporting to SAARC countries and other developing regions of the world.

C-DOT has to play an important role in developing state of the art telecom infrastructure at affordable rate for the common man. on the occasion for 34th Foundation Day celebrations of C-DOT  latest innovation “WiDHWAN” is launched.

  1. Government imposes Anti-Dumping Duty on Sodium Nitrite imports from China

The Finance Ministry has imposed a five-year anti-dumping duty on Sodium Nitrite imports from China.

Deepak Nitrite Ltd had filed the petition, which was also supported by Punjab Chemicals & Crop Protection Ltd, seeking sunset review investigations on Sodium Nitrite imports from China.

There are two more producers of Sodium Nitrite in the country – National Fertilisers Ltd and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited.

  1. Two-day Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo from Aug 31

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference to be held from August 31 in which Sri Lankan prime minister and president are among key speakers.

Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, will host the IOC 2017 in collaboration with RSIS, Singapore, and NIFS, Colombo–both research and study centres–and the theme of the conference is peace, progress and prosperity.

This will be second IOC conference. The first was held in Singapore last year in partnership with think tanks from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

  1. UN nuclear watchdog opens uranium bank in Kazakhstan

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. global nuclear watchdog, opened a uranium bank in Kazakhstan, a $150-million facility designed to discourage new nations from enriching the nuclear fuel.

The Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in the city of Oskemen, in eastern Kazakhstan, will store up to 90 tonnes of the fuel, enough to power a large city for three years, and sell it to IAEA members if they are unable to procure it elsewhere.

  1. Bidhuri seals India’s 1st medal at World Boxing C’ships 2017

Indian boxer Gaurav Bidhuri assured India its first medal at the World Boxing Championships 2017 after defeating Tunisia’s Bilel Mhamdi to enter the semifinals of the 56kg event.

Bidhuri, a wildcard entrant, became only the fourth Indian boxer to secure himself a medal in the World Boxing Championships.  The boxer was given entry after Bhutan declined the wildcard offer.

  1. 14-yr-old beats 36-yr-old to become youngest TT champion

Japanese table tennis player Tomokazu Harimoto, aged 14 years and 61 days, defeated 36-year-old German Timo Boll in the Czech Open final to become the youngest winner of an ITTF men’s singles tournament.

Harimoto broke the record of China’s Yu Ziyang, who was aged 16 years and 30 days when he won the Japan Open in 2014.


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