Current Affairs Daily Digest – June 15 and 16′ 2017


  1. Israeli author David Grossman wins Man Booker International prize 2017

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar. Mr. Grossman beat out five other finalists, including fellow Israeli author Amos Oz for the counterpart to Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize. Mr. 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 Mr. Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen.

  1. Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi conferred Bhupen Hazarika Award

The Fifth Bhupen Hazarika National Award, 2017 has been conferred to an eminent writer from Arunachal Pradesh Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi. 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.

  1. TCS executive Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Mission under NITI Aayog

The government has appointed a senior executive of Tata Consultancy Services to head Atal Innovation Mission, its initiative to promote entrepreneurship in the country, in perhaps the first initiative to bring in best of private minds to drive innovation in governance.

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.

  1. Neeru Chadha elected as first Indian woman Member of ITLOS

In a significant victory for India at the UN, international law expert Neeru Chadha has won a crucial election to a top UN judicial body that deals with disputes related to the law of the sea, becoming the first Indian woman to be appointed as a judge at the tribunal.

Ms. Chadha, an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the chief legal adviser in the ministry of external affairs, won the election to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for a nine-year term from 2017 to 2026.

  1. Centre launches IDCF to reduce child deaths due to diarrhea

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.

  1. India ranks 75th Environmental impact survey report

Mozambique, the southern African country rated as one of the poorest, has topped a survey of nations with the lowest global environmental impact while India has ranked a dismal 75th in the report.  Mozambique topped the list because almost all its energy use comes from green sources.

India, on the other hand, was placed 75th, with renewable energy making up only 15.2 per cent of all energy used; only 2.2 per cent of waste water being recycled, and municipal waste of 0.3.

  1. India tops global remittance-receiving list

India is the largest recipient of remittances in the world, receiving $69 billion in 2012, the World Bank has said. India topped the list of countries receiving remittances, followed by China ($60 billion), the Philippines ($24 billion), Mexico ($23 billion) and Nigeria and Egypt ($21 billion each). Other large recipients include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Lebanon.

  1. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank 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, the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects . The Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) who met in Jeju in South Korea has approved USD 150 million equity investment to the India Infrastructure Fund, said a statement from the bank.

  1. AIIB approves membership of Argentina, Madagascar, Tonga

The board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved the applications of Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga to be members, the China-backed multilateral development bank said.

The three prospective members will officially join once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.

  1. Govt makes Aadhaar card mandatory for opening bank account

The government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for opening bank accounts and for financial transactions of Rs 50,000 and above.  All existing account holders are asked to submit Aadhaar to banks by Dec 31, 2017, failing which accounts will become invalid. This was probably done to pre-empt the possibility of it becoming compulsory in future.

One of the reasons the government could have made this mandatory is to promote digital transactions by promoting Aadhaar-enabled transactions without the use of debit and credit card.

  1. Yes Bank partners with TerraPay for faster international remittance

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.

  1. June 16: International Day of Family remittances

The International Day of Family Remittances on June 16 recognizes the critical contributions of migrants to supporting their families. Family remittances are money transfers made by people living abroad to family members in their home country.

It is also aimed at encouraging the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, to do more and collaborate to maximize the impact of these funds in the developing world.

Theme: “Families, education and well-being”

  1. UN General Assembly Approves Creation of New UN Office of Counter Terrorism

The UN General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new office to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts, a move welcomed by India as a “much awaited first step” that will align the world body with needs of the global community in the fight against the menace.

The 193-member General Assembly adopted a consensus resolution creating the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism that will be headed by an Under-Secretary-General.

  1. India-South Korea sign Agreements to Push Infrastructure Development and Bilateral Trade

India and Korea have decided to stimulate investments to push infrastructure development and bilateral trade as they sought to ward off threats of rising protectionism. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley co-chaired the fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul with South Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and reviewed the international economic situation, and economic ties. The two countries also signed agreements to establish $9 billion in concessional credit and $1 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA)  funding for infrastructure development projects in India.

  1. China launches 1st X-ray space telescope to study black holes

China successfully launched has its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts. A Long March-4B rocket carried the 2.5-tonne telescope into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert at 11:00 am (3:00 GMT), according to the official Xinhua news agency. 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.

  1. Indian wrestlers bag five medals in Asian Jr Championships

India has bagged five medals, including a gold in the 2017 Asian Junior Wrestling Championships in Taiwan.

According to information received here, India’s female wrestlers pocketed three medals while two came in the male Greco-Roman division.

India’s gold came in the women’s 51kg freestyle category through Puja.

Besides Puja, Sonu clinched a silver medal in the 44kg category while Manu claimed a bronze in the 59kg division.

Satish won a silver in the 120kg Greco-Roman style while Manish claimed a bronze in the 50kg category.

  1. N. Bhagwati Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) passes away

Former chief justice of India, Justice P.N. Bhagwati, passed away. He was 95. Bhagwati, who was India’s chief justice from July 1985 to December 1986 is widely credited with introducing public interest litigation (PIL) along with his brother justice V.R. Krishna Iyer.

After his retirement, Bhagwati held several key offices on judicial reforms and legal aid in Gujarat. He ran the Pilot Project of free Legal Aid and Advice in the state as chairman of the State Legal Aid Committee.

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Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For May 2017

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