Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 23 & 24′ 2017

  1. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the new WHO Chief

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian health minister, has been chosen to head the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is the first African to do so since the creation of the United Nations agency in 1948.

Tedros defeated British candidate and former Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola David Nabarro and Pakistani former health minister Sania Nishtar at the Palais des Nations in Geneva where nations have gathered to deliberate on global health issues as well as choose the next director-general (DG) for the ongoing 70th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

  1. Tata appoint new legal chief

Tata Sons has appointed a new legal head. The group has appointed Shuva Mandal as the Group General Counsel after incumbent Bharat Vasani quit the role. Mandal was earlier with law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and will join in July. Vasani will continue with the group as Legal Adviser to the Chairman’s office. A graduate of the National Law School, Bengaluru, Mandal has over 17 years of experience.

  1. Ministry of Culture launches Swachh Bharat App in National Museum

Swachh Bharat App” has been launched in National Museum under Ministry of Culture by the Minister of State (I/C) for Culture & Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The main focus of this Swachh Bharat App” is to basically involve people actively to become part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement). The App will be monitored by the Ministry of Culture and will play an important role in cultivating the significance of cleanliness to the citizens.

  1. Assam CM launches pilot project for traffic police

Launching a pilot project of the Guwahati Traffic Police (GTP), Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said a smart police force is of paramount importance to cope with modern day law and order challenges. These police personnel will be engaged in various traffic management related activities and the number of traffic constables working as friends of pedestrians will also be increased as part of this initiative.

  1. Shri Piyush Goyal launches ‘SEVA’ App

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application (SEVA), developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers. SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect as well as the Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch.

The SEVA Dashboard provides summary of quantity of coal dispatched along with grades for the given day, month, and the latest yearly updates as well. It also provides information on rake movement including latest status of indents of rake, allotment and loading.

  1. BSNL launches satellite phone service using Inmarsat

State-owned BSNL has started satellite phone service through INMARSAT which will be initially offered to government agencies and later opened for others citizen in phased manner. The service will cover areas where no networks are present and be provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites. Agencies handling disasters, state police, railways, Border Security Force and other government agencies will be given the phones in the first phase, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said at the service launch.

  1. Cabinet approves MoU between Spain and India on cooperation in the field of Organ Transplant Services

The Union Cabinet chaired has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Transplant Organization, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, Spain and the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The MoU would facilitate bilateral cooperation in the field of organ and tissue procurement and transplantation and better understanding between the two countries.

  1. Cabinet approves setting up of new AIIMS in Kamrup, Assam

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for establishment of new AIIMS at Kamrup (North Guwahati Revenue circle). The cost of the project is Rs.1123 crore and it will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). The new AIIMS will be completed in a period of 48 months from the zero date (that is the date of the approval of Government of India), broadly comprising a pre-construction phase of 15 months, a construction phase of 30 months and stabilization / commissioning phase of three months.

  1. Cabinet approves phasing out Foreign Investment Promotion Board

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the phasing out of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The proposal entails abolishing the FIPB and allowing administrative Ministries/Departments to process applications for FDI requiring government approval.

The proposal for abolition of FIPB was approved by the Cabinet in its meeting on 24-05-2017. Presently, applications are considered by FIPB in Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance comprising of various Secretaries of Government of India for making recommendation on FDI applications. After the Cabinet decision, it would be handled independently by Administrative Ministries as per Sector.

  1. SBI launches national hackathon ‘Code For Banks’

State Bank of India (SBI) has said it has launched a national hackathon for developers, start-ups and students to come up with innovative ideas and solutions for the banking sector. The hackathon, named ‘Code For Bank’, will focus on the business value driven by technologies like predictive analytics, fin-tech/blockchain, digital payments, IOT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, BOTS and robotic process automation.

  1. HDFC Life launches AI-based insurance email bot ‘SPOK’

HDFC Life has announced the launch of an artificial intelligence-based application that can automatically read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails sent to the private insurer. ‘SPOK’, an insurance email bot, can read customer queries within milliseconds and respond to them. This automation initiative will enable the company to respond to user queries faster, more efficiently and consistently.

The deployment of SPOK will improve customer experience, while providing the support staff with the bandwidth to focus on customer satisfaction

  1. Israel aerospace industries signs $630 million deal with India

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had closed another major deal worth $630 million with India to supply advanced long range air and missile defence systems for four ships of the Indian Navy. The deal, a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign, will be jointly executed with the Indian government’s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), and comes close on the heels of Israel’s largest defence contract ever worth $2 billion to supply the Indian Army and Navy with missile defence systems.

  1. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ resigned as Nepal Prime Minister

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has resigned after a brief stint of nine months, honouring a power sharing understanding reached between his party and the ruling partner Nepali Congress. Mr Prachanda, 62, announced his resignation while addressing the nation in a live telecast. It was his second stint as the Prime Minister. He was elected as the 39th prime minister of Nepal after forging alliance with the Nepali Congress on August 3, 2016

  1. Kiren Rijiju unveils world’s first philosophical novel on God

A young Indian IAS officer, Haulianlal Guite, who hails from country’s most remote areas of Manipur state has recently published a book titled “Confessions of a dying mind: the blind faith of atheism” in New Delhi. The book was unveiled by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in presence of David Syiemlieth, Chairman, UPSC in august gathering at Civil Services Officers’ Institute.

  1. India’s Vaishali wins gold in Asian Blitz Chess Championship

India’s R Vaishali won the women’s title with eight points from nine rounds in the Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship in Chengdu, China. Vaishali drew her final round game against Uurtsaikh Uuriintuya of Mongolia to finish half-a-point ahead of Iran’s Sarasdat Khademalsharieh and clinch the gold medal.

  1. Mathunny Mathews, the Real-life Hero of ‘Airlift’ passes away

Indian businessman Mathunny Mathews aka Toyota Sunny died aged in Kuwait. He was 81.  He was known as one of the heroes who made possible the largest civilian evacuation in known history. And the main inspiration behind the 2016 Bollywood historical drama Airlift.

  1. Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond 007 Times passes away

ritish actor Roger Moore, best known for his role as James Bond in films such as “Live and Let Die” and “The Spy Who Loved Me”, passed away in Switzerland. He was 89. Moore was the only actor who portrayed the popular fictional spy in seven movies between 1973 and 1985.

  1. Controversial godman Chandraswami passes away

Self-styled godman Chandraswami, who counted among his friends and disciples prime ministers, kings and Hollywood celebrities, died in near anonymity of multiple organ failure at a Delhi hospital. He was 66. Chandraswami, an astrologer and tantric, was considered close to prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and was probed for his alleged role in plotting and financing the killing of Rajiv Gandhi.


Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For April 2017