Current Affairs Daily Digest – October 04′ 2017

  1. 2017 Chemistry Nobel awarded for work on cryo-electron microscopy
  2. Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing cryo-electron microscopy, which simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules.

    Researchers can now freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualise processes they have never previously seen, which is decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals.

    1. 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to LIGO Black Hole Researchers

    Rainer Weiss, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, both of the California Institute of Technology, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago but had never been directly seen.

    1. Indian doctor Soumya Swaminathan appointed WHO Deputy DG

    Dr Soumya Swaminathan, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), will be the deputy director-general, World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva. This is the second-highest position at the UN’s health agency.

    Currently, she also holds the post of secretary of the department of health research in India. Dr Swaminathan will replace Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah from Ghana, who joined WHO as a senior policy adviser to the director-general and had served as the assistant director-general of the communicable disease programme and the HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programme.

    1. Param Shah Appointed as FICCI UK Director

    The apex industry body, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) announced appointment of Param Shah as the new Director for the United Kingdom (UK) operations. Shah will succeed Pratik Dattani whose tenure with FICCI ended recently.

    Shah has more than 15 years of experience, which includes working for Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) as Deputy Secretary General.

    1. Rajnish Kumar replaces Arundhati Bhattacharya as SBI Chairman

    The Centre has appointed Rajnish Kumar to head State Bank of India, the country’s biggest bank. Kumar will replace Arundhati Bhattacharya whose term comes to an end this week.

    Kumar gets a 3-year term as chairman and managing director (CMD).

    Kumar, currently a managing director with the bank, joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1980 and has worked in various departments.

    1. Turtle Sanctuary to be set up in Allahabad

    In order to protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures, development of a Turtle sanctuary in Allahabad along with a River Biodiversity Park at Sangam have been approved under Namami Gange programme.

    The project at an estimated cost of Rs 1.34 crore would include development of River Biodiversity Park at Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati), establishment of a Turtle Rearing Centre (Permanent nursery at Triveni Pushp and makeshift annual hatcheries) and awareness about the importance of river Ganga and imperativeness of its conservation has been approved.

    1. Cabinet approves the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania

    The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the signing and ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania.

    The Treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to Lithuania.

    1. Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Switzerland on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector

    The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of Swiss Confederation on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.  The MoU was signed on on 31st August, 2017.

    1. Cabinet approves MoU on Upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar

    The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar on upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar. The MoU was signed on 6th September, 2017.

    The MoU covers upgradation of the Yamethin Women’s Police Training Centre to further augment the capabilities of the Myanmar Government to build capacities of its police force with technical and financial assistance from Government of India.

    1. Cabinet approves renaming of Kandla Port as Deendayal Port

    The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the renaming of Kandla Port as Deendayal Port.

    By renaming Kandla Port as “Deendayal Port, Kandla”, a grateful nation would be remembering the invaluable contributions made by one of the greatest sons of India, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. This will inspire the People of Gujarat, particularly the Youth, who may not be fully aware of the contributions made by the great leader.

    1. India to top global remittances chart with $65 billion in 2017: World Bank

    India is expected to retain it position as the top remittances receiving country, with its diaspora set to pump in a whopping USD 65 billion in the year 2017, the World Bank said.

    Ahead of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, a report issued by the global lender said that remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 3.9 per cent to USD 596 billion.

    After India the other top five remittances receiving countries are China (USD 61 billion), the Philippines (USD 33 billion), Mexico (USD 31 billion), and Nigeria (USD 22 billion).

    1. RBI monetary policy: Repo rate kept unchanged at 6%

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept interest rates unchanged because it anticipates upside risks to retail inflation. It also slashed its growth projections for the current fiscal and raised its inflation projections.

    The Reserve Bank of India has reduced the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), the portion of deposits held by banks in government securities, by 0.5 per cent to 19.5 per cent, freeing over Rs 57,000 crore to bank funds for lending.

    RBI Monetary policy rates at present

    Policy Repo Rate6.00%
    Reverse Repo Rate5.75%
    Marginal Standing Facility Rate6.25%
    Bank Rate6.25%
    1. RBI raises inflation projection to 4.2-4.6% for H2 2017-18

    The Reserve Bank has raised its inflation projection to 4.2-4.6 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal due to firming global oil prices and uncertainty on kharif farm output.

    RBI in its previous monetary policy in August had projected the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail to be in the range of 4-4.5 per cent during second half of 2017-18. The inflation path for the rest of 2017-18 is expected to be shaped by several factors.

    1. Bangladesh signs $4.5 bn loan deal with India

    Bangladesh has signed USD 4.5 billion third line of credit (LoC) agreement with India for its infrastructure and social sector development.

    The agreement was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his Bangladeshi counterpart A M A Muhith after the two leaders.

    The new Indian line of credit, worth a staggering USD 4.5 billion, will be used to fund 17 major projects in Bangladesh, which include electricity, railroads, roads, shipping and ports.

    1. World’s largest nuclear plant gets approval to restart

    The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been given initial approval to restart reactors at another atomic facility, marking the first step towards the firm’s return to nuclear power generation more than six years after the March 2011 triple meltdown.

    Japan’s nuclear regulator has approved an application from Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) to restart two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa – the world’s biggest nuclear power plant – even as the utility struggles to decommission Fukushima Daiichi.

    1. French Parliament passes new anti-terror law

    The French parliament has approved a new anti-terrorist bill. The new bill, which seeks to increase law enforcement powers in the fight against terrorism, was supported by 415 lawmakers, with 127 voting against it.

    The parliament’s lower house, the National Assembly, passed the new legislation in the first reading.

    1. German law to police social media for hate speech comes into effect

    A new German law designed to combat hate speech on social media platforms has come into force.

    The law named ‘Enforcement on Social Networks‘ abbreviated as NetzDG will require social media platforms to police and remove hate speech as well as offensive content within 24 hours of notification from the government.

    If the content is difficult to evaluate, the time for taking it down could be stretched up to seven days. Germany’s Ministry of Justice could impose fines going up to a whopping €50m (£44m, $59m) on companies that fail to comply

    1. Iraq’s first non-Arab President Jalal Talabani passes away

    Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish former president of Iraq and its first non-Arab head of state, has died. He was 83.

    Talabani, a law school graduate, was a key figure in the transitional governing council that drafted the new Iraqi constitution after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.


Read Current Affairs Daily Digest For September 2017

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