Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 10 and 11 2017

  1. Sanjay Mitra appointed as Defence Secretary

The government has approved the appointment of West Bengal cadre and 1982 batch officer Sanjay Mitra as the next defence secretary of the country. He will get a fixed tenure of two years as the defence secretary. Mitra, who was holding the charge of secretary in the ministry of road transport and highways till now, has been appointed officer-on-special-duty in the defence ministry and will assume charge on May 24 when incumbent G Mohan Kumar retires.

  1. Leena Nair takes over as Secretary Tribal Affairs

Ms Leena Nair took over the charge of Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi. She is an IAS officer of 1982 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre. Before this appointment she was serving as Secretary for Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  1. Reliance Infra wins arbitration award against DMRC

Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited, said that it has been awarded compensation of Rs 2950 crore by a three-member Arbitral Tribunal nominated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Reliance Infrastructure participated in the PPP (public, private partnership) model in the metro sector but unfortunately, it had to terminate the agreement. We welcome the award and hope it will encourage the private sector to participate in the nation-building process.

  1. Mallikarjun Kharge replaces K V Thomas as PAC chairperson

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed new chairperson of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC. Kharge replaces his party’s K V Thomas whose term has ended. PAC, the oldest committee of parliament and reconstituted each year, examines accounts showing appropriation of sums granted by parliament for expenditure of the government.

  1. Twitter elevates Taranjeet Singh as Country Director for India

Microblogging platform Twitter has said that it has elevated Taranjeet Singh as its Country Director for India. Mr. Singh was earlier leading the charge for sales and marketing support for Twitter’s advertisers in India. In his new role, Mr.Singh will lead the team by driving an integrated business strategy and spearheading cross-functional collaboration. India is among the world’s fastest growing social media markets. It is already among the largest markets for companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google.

  1. May 10, 2017: World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is observed the second weekend of May every year. World Migratory Bird Day is a two-day event annually held on the second weekend of May to highlight the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats. The United Nations is one of the many organizations that support this global awareness campaign.

The 2017 theme is linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and highlights the interdependence of people and nature, and more specifically people and migratory birds, as they share the same planet and the same limited resources.

  1. May 11, 2017: National Technology Day

The country observes 19th National Technology Day  May 11, 2017 to commemorate the successful carrying out of the nuclear test at Pokhran in Rajasthan on this day. On the same day India performed successful test firing of the Trishul Missile and test flying the first indigenous aircraft ‘Hansa-3’.

Under the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the country started observing the day as National Technology Day every year since 1999. The man behind the successes of these milestones was APJ Abdul Kalam, who went on to become the 11th president of India on July 25, 2002.

  1. Supreme Court becomes paperless,digital court

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the integrated case management system of the Supreme Court in the presence of the Chief Justice of India. The system will help litigants’ access data and retrieve information online and will be a step towards a paperless Supreme Court.

CJI Jagdish Singh Khehar said he proposes to integrate the system with all the 24 high courts and the subordinate courts. It will help usher transparency, reduce manipulation and help the litigant know about the progress of the case on a real time basis

  1. Bengaluru tops list of most affordable tech cities worldwide

Bengaluru has been named the world’s most affordable tech city in the new Savills Tech Cities Index. The Indian technology hub is the most affordable out of 22 cities that were graded on different parameters. While the per-week rent is $236 (roughly Rs 15,000) in the city as compared to the global average of $368 (almost Rs 24,000), the city ranked 20th overall losing points on time taken for commutes.

The city which ranked first overall was Austin, Texas while New York ranked as the best in “business environment”.

  1. Oracle launches cloud computing service for India

Technology giant Oracle has launched its cloud computing service for India, which aims to support the government’s GST rollout in July and plans to open data centres in the country. Addressing a gathering of 12,000 attendees, which included technology partners, analysts and heads of state such as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, at Oracle OpenWorld, CEO, Safra Catz, said that India is at an “amazing moment” in terms of sociological factors such as a high concentration of youth as well as efforts taken by the government to use technology more.

  1. Jammu & Kashmir gets its first cricket academy

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has taken a decisive step towards grooming the young talents in the state as the “State Cricket Academy” began its operation at Srinagar’s Bakshi stadium. The first coaching camp being held at the stadium will be for children below the age of 16.Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council secretary Waheed ur Rehman Parra, who inaugurated the program felt that such a facility was long overdue.

  1. PM Modi’s new formula for India’s future: IT+IT= IT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has evolved a new formula – IT plus IT is equal to IT or Information technology plus Indian talent is equal to India tomorrow – for the country to adapt to new technologies and stay ahead of others.

Launching an Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS) at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi that will enable the Supreme Court of India to go paperless, the Prime Minister said there is a generation gap in adoption of technology that could be solved with a change in mindset.

ICMIS will enable digital filing of the cases called e-filing and allow litigants to easily access the information online.

  1. DIPAM launches online investor facilitation platform

Keen on creating more awareness about the forthcoming disinvestment issues, the Finance Ministry has set up an Investor Facilitation Platform that will provide information about stocks of public sector units. Set up by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the platform will be an interactive forum for all stakeholders, including investors, investment banks, law firms, public sector units and administrative ministries that are involved in stake sales.

  1. ties up with YES Bank to launch card-linked offers

Banking on the Government’s drive to promote cash-less economy, cashback portal has tied up with YES Bank to launch card-linked offers as part of its loyalty programme for both offline and online shoppers. The offer will be currently available on all YES BANK debit cards, and will be extended to all other payment products of YES Bank in the near future.

  1. SEBI allows investors to buy mutual funds via digital wallet

Markets regulator SEBI has allowed investors to buy mutual fund schemes for up to Rs 50,000 through digital wallets, making it easier for them — especially the young generation — to purchase these instruments. Besides, MF houses or asset management companies (AMCs) have been allowed to provide instant online access facility to resident individual investors in liquid schemes. The move is part of the efforts to promote digital payments in the MF industry and channelise household savings into the capital market.

  1. Navy ships Karwar, Kakinada decommissioned after over 30 yrs of service

Indian Naval Ships Karwar and Kakinada were decommissioned with Navy chief admiral Sunil Lanba being the chief guest for the ceremony. Lanba had served as the second commanding officer of INS Kakinada. These minesweepers, belonging to the Flotilla, were decommissioned at a ceremony in Mumbai.

INS Karwar (M67), was the first of the ‘Natya’ class minesweepers acquired from the erstwhile USSR.

INS Kakinada (M70), was the second of the same class and also commissioned at Riga on 23 December 1986.

  1. Natco launches blood cancer drug pomalidomide in India

Natco Pharma has said it has launched a generic version of pomalidomide capsules, used in treatment of a type of blood cancer, in India. Pomalidomide is a thalidomide analogue indicated, in combination with dexamethasone, for patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor and have demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy.

  1. Scientists develop bone tissues for safer marrow transplants

Scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher, have developed artificial bone tissues that could provide new bone marrow for patients needing transplants and make the procedure much safer. Researchers led by professor Shyni Varghese from the University of California, San Diego in the US developed bone tissues with functional bone marrow that can be filled with donor cells and implanted under the skin of mice.

  1. Scientists observe waves of lava on Jupiter’s moon ‘Io’

Astronomers have tracked two huge lava waves rolling around a volcanic crater the size of Wales on one of Jupiter’s many moons. Geological forces unleashed the waves on Io, the fourth largest Jovian moon, where the most powerful active volcano in the solar system has produced a 8,301 square mile dent in the surface.

Telescope observations show that the waves began from different points on the west of the vast Loki Patera basin and swept around in opposite directions until they met on the other side months later. The clockwise wave went around at one kilometre per day, with the other moving twice as fast.

  1. 29th edition of CORPAT between India-Indonesia begins in Port Blair

The 29th edition of  Co-ordinated Patrol (CORPAT) between India-Indonesia commenced in Port Blair. The Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sutedi Senoputra has arrived at Haddo Wharf, Port Blair to mark the commencement of the IND–INDO CORPAT.

During the stay at Port Blair from 09 – 12 May 2017, the visiting crew shall be engaged in interactions at various strata, including sports fixtures, ship visits, professional interactions and visits to places of historical and tourist interests. The closing ceremony of the CORPAT is scheduled at Belawan, Indonesia from 22 – 25 May 2017.

  1. Paytm signs non-exclusive deal to acquire FreeCharge

Alibaba Group-backed Paytm has signed a non-exclusive term sheet to acquire rival FreeCharge, the digital payments platform owned and operated by beleaguered online marketplace Snapdeal, in what is expected to be an all-cash deal. Paytm will begin financial and commercial due diligence of FreeCharge next week, according to four people aware of the developments. If successful, the deal, estimated at between $45 million and $90 million, could be finalised in a month.


Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For April 2017