Current Affairs Daily Digest – October 13 and 14′ 2017

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  1. M K Sanu Chosen for Mathrubhumi Literary Award

Eminent critic, biographer and orator M K Sanu has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for 2016 in recognition of his rich contribution to the Malayalam literature. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a citation and astatuette.

A jury headed by eminent poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri selected Sanu for the award, Mathrubhumi Managing Director M P Veerendra Kumar

  1. Audrey Azoulay elected as new Director-General of UNESCO

UNESCO’s executive board has chosen former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to be the UN cultural agency’s next leader over a Qatari candidate in an unusually heated race overshadowed by Mideast tensions.

The US announcement this week that it’s quitting UNESCO rocked the multi-day election and heightened concerns about the agency’s funding and future direction.

  1. Rukaiya Rangwala Appointed MobiKwik Payment Gateway Head

MobiKwik, mobile wallet major and a payment gateway provider has announced the appointment of Rukaiya Rangwala as the Business Head of ‘MobiKwik Payment Gateway’ to drive the growth of the entity.

The company had recently relaunched its Payment Gateway and aims to have over $5 billion worth of transactions processed on the platform by the end of 2017-18.

  1. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) has been started to provide a permanent solution from drought

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the government started PMKSY to provide a permanent solution from drought.

Three ministries are implementing this scheme in mission mode and the Ministry of Water Resources is leading the project.

PMKSY aims not only to create irrigation sources but also to create protected irrigation by harnessing rainwater at micro level through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’.

India Water Week-2017 organized at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme of the program at the concluding session was “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth”.

  1. Kerala to launch ‘health for all’ drive with focus on lifestyle

The Kerala government is taking the dictum ‘health is wealth’ seriously and making plans to become a 100 per cent healthy State by replicating its resounding success in literacy.

The State will kick off ‘Kayika Kshmata Mission’ (Physical Endurance Mission) on New Year Day. It will focus on the physical well-being of all, from nursery students to senior citizens. The total fitness scheme is aimed at preventing diseases and propagating a “physically healthy lifestyle” among its nearly 3.5 crore population.

  1. Odisha Government Department Signs MOU with SBI

The Odisha government’s Directorate of Treasuries and Inspection and the State Bank of IndiaBSE 0.34 % have signed an MOU for integration of SBI e-Pay with cyber treasury.

The MoU is a landmark initiative by the state government to facilitate revenue collection from citizens through digital banking platform.

  1. World’s Largest Combustion Research Centre Inaugurated at IIT Madras

The world’s largest combustion research centre which will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community was inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) was inaugurated by NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat in the presence of Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology.

  1. Govt to give ₹51k ‘Shaadi Shagun’ to Muslim women graduates

To encourage the pursuit of higher education among Muslim women, those who obtain graduate degrees will soon be given a wedding gift of Rs 51,000 by the Modi government.

The scheme has been christened Shaadi Shagun, to start with. A website is currently being put up by Maulana Azad Educational Foundation where all details of the scheme would be made available.

The Shaadi Shagun amount will be made available only to those graduate Muslim girls who have already received MAEF scholarships earlier.

  1. IndusInd Bank To Take Over Microfinance Player Bharat Financial

The Board of Directors of IndusInd Bank Ltd and Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd have approved the merger of two companies through a composite scheme of arrangement.

As per the merger terms, the shareholders of Bharat Financial will receive 639 shares of IndusInd for every 1,000 shares of Bharat Financial.

This implies a premium of 12.6 per cent to Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited over two-week volume weighted price (VWAP).

  1. Ozone layer recovery could be delayed by 30 years: Study

Increasing emissions of harmful chemicals are threatening the recovery of the ozone layer, undoing decades of progress.

The new threat comes from chemicals that are predominantly being emitted by China, as the country’s industry and economy continues to grow.

The substances are used for everything from paint stripping and agriculture, to the production of pharmaceuticals and PVC.

  1. US and Israel Withdraws from UNESCO

The US has announced it will withdraw from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accusing the body of “anti-Israel bias”.

Heather Nauert, US state department spokesperson, said  the US would establish an “observer mission” to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.

In a statement announcing its withdrawal, Israel called the US administration’s decision “courageous and moral”, and accused UNESCO of becoming a “theatre of the absurd”.

  1. Apple Co-founder launches online tech education platform

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, is launching a new online tech education platform he’s calling Woz U, which is designed to promote technology jobs and the skills required to enter the industry.

Over time, Wozniak hopes to expand the initiative to include as many as 30 physical locations around the world and courses on everything from software engineering and information technology to mobile app development and cybersecurity, among others.

  1. Vanuatu 1st nation to accept Bitcoins for citizenship

Vanuatu, a South Pacific archipelago of some 80 islands, will now let outsiders use the volatile cryptocurrency to apply for so-called investment citizenship.

Fork over the equivalent of about $280,000, and your family of up to four can receive passports from what the New Economics Foundation, a U.K.-based think tank, calls the fourth-happiest country in the world.

With bitcoin reaching a record price of $5,209, more than five times its value at the start of the year, passports for the whole clan cost about 53.8 bitcoin.

  1. Esther Staubli, First Female Referee to Officiate at U-17 World Cup

New Caledonia claimed their first point at a FIFA tournament after drawing 1-1 with Japan at the Under-17 World Cup, in a match also notable for the fact that it was refereed by a woman.

Switzerland’s Esther Staubli became the first female referee in the tournament’s history after overseeing the match in Kolkata. Staubli, 38, is part of a seven-strong contingent of female officials at the tournament, a move initiated by FIFA to help further develop women’s football.

  1. ‘Mountain man’ who carved passage through hill passes away

Baba Bajrang Das, popularly known as Rajasthan’s “mountain man” for carving out a passage through a hill in Bundi to connect two villages, passed away after a prolonged illness.

While the love of his wife had prompted Dashrath Manjhi of Bihar to carve out a passage over the Gahlour hills near Gaya, it was for the benefit of the villagers that inspired Das take up the initiative to cut open a road through the Mandpur hill in Bundi.


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