Current Affairs

Important Current Affairs 28th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 28th August 2017

Current Affairs 28th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

First Synergy Conference on Defence Pension Organised by Defence Accounts Department

The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) organized its first Synergy Conference on Defence Pensions here, today. 
●    The conference was attended by all Defence Pensioners Associations and was open to all Defence Pensioners. 
●    Welcoming the panel and participants Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts (Addl. CGDA) Shri Prashant Sukul, emphasized the importance of stakeholder consultations by way of Synergy Conferences initiated by DAD. 
●    The objective of the conference was to obtain feedback from the pensioners that would help the department to serve them better with constantly improving systems and procedures. 
●    Digitization of pension data and implementation of a pension sipp were also discussed in detail. 
●    Joint CGDA (Pension) Shri Kanwaldeep Singh, gave a brief presentation on current status on important issues pertaining to pension. 
●    Many issues and suggestions were highlighted by the participants.

Government to hold Pan India Handloom and Handicraft Camps

The Ministry of Textiles proposes to organize Pan India camps in handlooms and handicrafts clusters, under the initiative “Hastkala Sahyog Shivir”. 
●    The camps will be organized during 7th October to 17th October, 2017. 
●    This initiative is dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay.
●    The following services will be provided to the weavers and artisans in these camps:
●    Issuance of credit facilities through MUDRA scheme
●    Assistance for technological upgradation under Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata
●    Distribution of modern tool kits and equipments
●    Issuance of Yarn Pass Book
●    It is proposed to organize the camps in more than 200 handloom Block Level Clusters & Weavers’ Service Centres and more than 200 handicraft clusters in collaboration with State Governments.

Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu Launches Sports Talent Search Portal 

Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports has launched Sports Talent Search Portal to spot the best talent from among the young population of the country. 
●    The portal was launched by the Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at a function at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. 
●    Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel, Secretary Sports Shri Injeti Srinivas, Khel Ratna and Arjuna awardees sports persons and thousands of school children were present on the occasion to witness the path breaking initiative in the field of sports.  
●    School children presented a series of cultural performances on the occasion.
●    Speaking on the occasion Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that this kind of initiative will not only help in identifying the best talent, but will also provide a level playing field to all the applicants and create a competitive environment.

NMCG Awards Contracts for Three STPs on Hybrid Annuity Mode 

In a big push to Namami Gange programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has awarded for the first time contracts for three STPs under hybrid annuity model. 
●    Two STPs of 68 MLD and 14 MLD will be set up at Haridwar and one STP of 15 MLD at Varanasi. 
●    This Hybrid Annuity model is first of its kind in the country’s waste water management sector. 
●    The Central Government will completely fund the STPs construction ensuring that there is no shortage of resources for the project. 
●    The unique financial model will ensure the transparency and accountability of the running of sewage treatment infrastructure. 
●    The contractors will not only establish the sewage treatment plant but they will also operate and maintain it for a period of 15 years. Thereafter it will be handed over to the local bodies. 
●    This will ensure that no wastewater is dumped in the holy river. 
●    The payment of the operations and management of the projects and the worth of the cost will be provided to the agency over a period of 15 years ensuring that the project runs smoothly.

MNRE & GIZ Signs Agreement to Improve Framework Conditions for Grid Integration of Renewable Energies 

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany signed an agreement on technical cooperation under the “Indo-German Energy Programme – Green Energy Corridors (IGEN-GEC)” here today . 
●    The main objective of this programme component is to improve the sector framework and conditions for grid integration of renewable energies.
●    In the distinguished presence of  Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Shri Piyush Goyal and the German Ambassador to India, H.E. Dr. Martin Ney, the agreement was signed by Dr. Wolfgang Hannig, Country Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India and Mr. A.N. Sharan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
●    Dr. Ney added “When in July 2012 Power Grid Corporation of India submitted a comprehensive and well elaborated “Transmission Plan for Envisaged Renewable Capacity” to MNRE it paved the way for India’s ambitious goals to transform its power system by significantly increasing the share of renewable energies in the energy mix. 
●    Also in Germany’s “Energiewende” the evacuation and grid integration of renewable energy plays a pivotal role with major technological and fiscal challenges. 
●    Both the countries have very constructive dialogue under the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF).

Current Affairs 28th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed Chief of Naval Staff Bangladesh Navy Visits India 

Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff of the Bangladesh Navy is on an official visit to India from 28 to 30 August 2017. 
●    The visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. 
●    The Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy will hold bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff and other senior officials of the Indian Navy on 28 August 2017. 
●    The Admiral is also scheduled to meet Chief of the Air Staff, and will also call on the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, NSA and Defence Secretary as part of his official meetings in New Delhi. 
●    In addition to New Delhi, the Admiral is also scheduled to proceed to Visakhapatnam where he will be visiting various naval establishments, including INS Kalinga, INS Karna and INS Satavahana. 

Current Affairs 28th August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Dara Khosrowshahi becomes Uber CEO 

Uber’s board has chosen Dara Khosrowshahi, the head of Expedia, to be its new chief executive in a move that could cost the crisis-plagued Silicon Valley company about $160m to replace his unvested stock options.
●    The unanimous vote on Sunday came after months of infighting, leaks and divisions on Uber’s eight-strong board, which has struggled to unite after former chief executive Travis Kalanick was ousted by investors in June.
●    Mr Khosrowshahi has not publicly confirmed whether he will accept the job. But Expedia chairman Barry Diller said in a memo on Monday that he was “likely” to do so. Shares in Expedia dropped 4 per cent on the news.
●    The Expedia chief was one of three finalists for the role, along with Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Jeff Immelt of General Electric.
●    The deep divisions at the top of Uber have complicated the chief executive selection process, and dealing with the board will be a major challenge for the incoming CEO.

Current Affairs 28th August 2017: SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton won the title of Belgian Grand Prix

This was a weekend to reaffirm Hamilton’s stature as perhaps the finest British sportsman of his generation. 
●    While Andy Murray might reasonably take issue with that claim, the Scot spends his Sundays hitting a tennis ball, not hurling a delicately-tuned machine around the forested majesty of Spa, where a ride through the steepling Rivage generates G-forces more familiar to fighter pilots. 
●    “There are only three sports,” Ernest Hemingway once argued. “Bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering. All the rest are merely games.”
●    As a personality, Hamilton continues to polarise, both by his esoteric fashion sense – he changed straight from his race overalls on Sunday into off-the-shoulder black dungarees bought on his latest trip to New York – and his mercurial mood swings. 
●    But in this chapter for Formula One, he is without peer. 
●    Just 24 hours after he had equalled Michael Schumacher’s 68 pole positions, he underlined his quicksilver racing instincts by thwarting Vettel despite carrying less pace and inferior tyres, as well as negotiating the controversial intervention of a safety car.

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Important Current Affairs 27th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 27th August 2017

Current Affairs 27th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Niti Aayog suggests waste to energy plants to clean up solid waste

The Aayog made the recommendations in its ‘Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20’, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently. 

●    The NITI Aayog has suggested setting up an authority which will take up installation of ‘waste to energy’ plants in public-private partnership (PPP) mode to clean up municipal solid waste, which, it said, has become a “serious threat” to public health. 
●    Noting that rapidly rising prosperity has resulted in generation of vast volumes of solid waste in the cities, the Aayog underlined that cities have been “slow to develop effective ways” to dispose municipal waste and called for accelerated action to combat the problem. 
●    “The mountains of waste, which can now be seen in nearly all cities, have become a serious public health threat,” it said.
●    The Aayog made the recommendations in its ‘Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20’, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently. 
●    “To speed up the process of cleaning up municipal solid waste, it may be worth exploring the possibility of an authority at the Centre to spread the use of ‘waste to energy’ plants,” it said.

Government Planning to Give 2% Relief on GST For Digital Payments

To give a major push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's digitisation initiative, the government is now planning to offer 2% incentive over the applicable GST tax rate in case of digital payments on bills up to Rs 2,000. 
●    This means an individual will have to shell out less if the payment is digitally done. As per reports by TOI, the proposal is being discussed between the finance ministry, RBI, cabinet secretariat and ministry of electronics and Information Technology.
●    The Prime Minister, while addressing the nation on the 71st Independence Day had asked people to use less cash and had encouraged individuals to shift to digital payments. 
●    The IT ministry has also launched a slew of initiatives to promote digitization across the nation and is leading the efforts to further popularise electronic payments.Small transactions and are mostly preferred through the cash mode. 
●    Relief is being mooted for smaller transactions because they are large in numbers. Meanwhile, if an incentive can be given for big transactions of up to Rs 2,000 which are very high in volumes, it will provide an impetus to digital payments.

Centre to invite global expertise to build houses for poor

The Centre will invite companies from across the world to showcase their construction techniques, and adopt the selected ones to build affordable houses for poor families in the country.
●    The move is in line with the government's push under the 'Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana' (PMAY) (Urban) project, which aims at providing 'pucca' houses to every poor family in the country by 2022.
●    "We will conduct a challenge for the construction sector. 
●    Global firms will come to India and demonstrate construction of houses at a minimum cost in minimum duration, keeping our requirements in mind," Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra said.
●    He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a round-table meeting here on the 'India Housing Construction Technology Challenge (IHCTC)', organised by the ministry of housing and urban affairs.
●    Mishra said the techniques of the selected demonstrators will be adopted in the upcoming housing projects of the government.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurates first ‘Videsh Bhavan’ in Mumbai

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday inaugurated the country’s first ‘Videsh Bhavan’ at Mumbai. 
●    The bhavan, which integrates all offices of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Maharashtra, is located in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), a business district in suburban Mumbai. Four offices of the ministry in Mumbai – Passport Office, Office of the Protector of Emigrants, Office of the Regional Director of ICCR (the Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and Branch Secretariat of MEA – will be functioning under one roof in the newly constructed building.
●    The facility will help in effective management of the MEA’s engagement with the Maharashtra government, the ministry said on its website.
●    The ‘Videsh Bhavan’ in the city is the first integrated office complex of the MEA established in any state of the country, it said.

Two cases of sedation filed against people of Dera head

A day after 32 people died and hundreds injured in violence following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Haryana government claimed today that peace had been restored throughout the state. 
●    Two cases of sedition have been registered against the Dera chief’s followers, Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi said and added that one child and three women were among the 28 persons who died in Panchkula yesterday.
●    “Peace is prevailing throughout the state and no incident has occurred anywhere after 6.30 pm yesterday,” Dhesi told a press conference here. 
●    Dhesi also said that proper security arrangements had been made for Monday, when the quantum of Singh’s sentence will be announced by the CBI court. 
●    Addressing a joint press conference with the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, and Director General of Police, B S Sandhu, Dhesi disclosed that two cases of sedition had been registered against Dera followers.
●    The police have recovered an AK-47 rifle and one Mauser from the vehicle of a Dera chief’s follower, and two rifles and five pistols from another vehicle, he said. 
●    As many as 524 persons have been arrested under eight different FIRs registered against the Dera followers, he said. 
●    “The law-and-order situation is being constantly monitored. 
●    As many as 101 companies of paramilitary have been deployed in the state. 

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Important Current Affairs 26th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 26th August 2017

Current Affairs 26th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Rural Games to take Place in Delhi 

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Minister shri Vijay Goel today announced that the first edition of Rural Games or Grameen Khel Mahotsav will kick-start from Delhi and will take place between 28th August to 3rd September, 2017. 
●    The Rural Games will aim at popularising the indigenous games like wrestling, athletics etc. and will also have fun games like Matka Race, Tug of War for senior citizens to add the fun element in the games. 
●    Interacting with the media shri Goel said, "A Grameen Marathon marked the beginning of the Rural Games fever with participation of 16000 youth from rural Delhi. 
●    In the first stage, the games will be held in Alipur, Mehrauli, Nangloi, Najafgarh and Shahadara where 10000-12000 youngsters will participate and the second stage will commence on 31st August till 01 September 2017 which will have inter-block games.

New Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process to reduce risk, enhance transparency and increase affordability of Solar Power 

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued  the Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process for Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Solar PV Power Projects. 
●    These Guidelines have been issued under the provisions of Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 for long term procurement of electricity by the ‘Procurers’ from grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects (‘Projects’), having size of 5 MW and above, through competitive bidding.
●    Generation Compensation for offtake constraints thereby reducing offtake risks: The “Must-run” status for solar projects has been stressed upon. Generation Compensation provided for following off-take constraints:
●    Back-down     -                      Min.  Compensation 50% of PPA Tariff
●    Grid unavailability -              Compensation by way of Procurement of  Excess Generation / Outright Compensation
●    To ensure lower tariffs, Minimum PPA tenure has been kept at 25 years. Unilateral termination or amendment of PPA is not allowed.
●    Project preparedness to expedite and facilitate setting up of projects: Issues related to land, connectivity, clearances etc. and the extension in case of delay, have been streamlined.
●    Event of Default and the consequences thereof clearly defined to ensure optimal risk sharing between Developer and Procurer. 
●    This has been done by clearly defining the generator and procurer events of default, and describing the consequences thereof.

Government finalises new cadre policy for IAS, IPS officers

A new policy for cadre allocation has been finalised by the Central government for IAS, IPS and other officers, aimed at ensuring “national integration” in the country’s top bureaucracy. 
●    Officers of all-India services — the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) — will have to choose cadres from a set of zones instead of states. 
●    The officers of the three services are currently allocated a cadre state or a set of states to work in. 
●    They may be posted on central deputation during the course of their service after fulfilling certain eligibility conditions.
●    The existing 26 cadres have been divided into five zones in the new policy proposed by the personnel ministry.
●    Zone-I has seven cadres — AGMUT (also known as Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories), Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Forex reserve may cross $400 bn mark 

If the present pace of dollar accretion to the forex kitty continues, which crossed past the USD 393 billion, the reserves may hit the USD 400-billion mark by the week to September 8, 2017, says a report.
●    Forex reserves have been rising with a total accretion of USD 4.389 billion to the kitty since July 14, 2017. 
●    It had touched a record high of USD 393.448 billion after it rose by USD 581.1 million in the week to August 4, 2017.
●    “If the pace of foreign exchange reserves is similar to that of the past four weeks, the reserves would hit USD 400 billion by the week to September 8. Indeed, adjusted for forward positions, forex reserves are already at USD 407 billion,” Morgan Stanley said in a note today.
●    The pace of forex accretion has been the strongest since 2015 and this has also been one of the strongest in Asia ex-Japan in the past 12 months, the report said.

Haryana tells schools to counsel students regarding blue whale game

All private and government schools have been issued an advisory by the Haryana Children Protection Commission (HCPC) to counsel students about the risk of 'Blue Whale Challenge' and other similar online games.
●    The HCPC has asked schools to also keep a close tab on those students who were showing "abnormal" behaviour.
●    The advisory directed the management of all schools to educate students from Class 5 to 12 and make them aware about the deadly, hazardous and negative impact of 'Blue Whale Challenge', which has reportedly claimed lives of several people worldwide.
●    'Blue Whale' is a controversial Internet game in which a series of tasks are given to players for a period of 50 days by the administrators with a final challenge requiring them to commit suicide. 
●    The player is asked to share photos after finishing the different levels of the game. 
●    The game is spread via links on social media platforms.

Current Affairs 26th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India-Nepal signed 8 agreements to boost the bilateral relations

India and Nepal on 24 August 2017 signed eight agreements in different areas of mutual benefit including demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and cooperation in the field of standardization and conformity assessment among others. 
●    The agreements were signed in New Delhi during Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visit to India.
●    Nepal PM Deuba is on a five-day long state visit to in India (23 August to 27 August 2017). 
●    The signed agreements will help the two nations to boost the bilateral relations.
●    List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India 
●    MoU on modalities for utilization of India’s housing grant component to support reconstruction of 50000 houses

Qatar restores its diplomatic relation with Iran despite demands by Arab nations

Defying demands of Arab nations to lessen its ties with Tehran, Qatar restored its diplomatic relations with Iran. 
●    Qatar's Foreign Ministry on 24 August 2017 announced that the country's ambassador would return to Tehran.
●    Qatar pulled out its ambassador in early 2016 after Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric sparked attacks on two Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran, a move to show solidarity with the kingdom.
●    A Foreign Ministry statement said the state of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields. 
●    However, the statement had no mention of the tensions that have created a problem in the Persian Gulf region since June 2017. 
●    The problem led to severing ties with four Arab nations, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, with Qatar.

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Important Current Affairs 25th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 25th August 2017

Current Affairs 25th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

RBI To Issue Rs 200 Notes

The central bank will soon issue 200-rupee note the Finance Ministry has confirmed today. 
●    The move will help fill the vast demand for cash after the notes ban, which wiped out over 85 per cent of the cash in circulation.
●    The Finance Ministry, in a notification, said that on the recommendations of the Central Board of Directors of the RBI, "the central government hereby specifies the denomination of banknotes of the value of two hundred rupees".
●    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposal to bring in 200 denominated bank notes for the first time in history was cleared by the Finance Ministry; the design has reportedly been approved by the Prime Minister's Office.
●    The central bank reportedly decided to bring in 200-rupee notes in March, after consulting with the Finance Ministry. 
●    The notes are going through multiple checks for security and quality, sources have said.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh held guilty in rape case

The CBI court held Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty of rape and criminal intimidation. 
●    “The Dera chief has been convicted, held guilty for rape. He was held guilty on charges of rape (Section 376 IPC) and criminal intimidation (Section 506 IPC),” CBI counsel HPS Verma confirmed to The Indian Express. 
●    The argument on his sentencing will begin on Monday. 
●    He is likely to face seven-year imprisonment. 
●    Just after the verdict Ram Rahim Singh was taken into custody by Haryana Police. 
He was later taken to Rohtak jail. The verdict came as a big set back to Gurmeet’s followers who have converged in large numbers in Panchkula for last few days.

Current Affairs 25th August 2017: WORLD NEWS

Samsung heir found guilty of corruption, sentenced to five years in prison

A court has sentenced Lee Jae-yong, the acting chairman of the Samsung company, to five years in prison after finding him guilty of offering bribes and other crimes.
●    Jae-yong, who is considered to be one of the richest men in South Korea and heir to the Samsung empire, had been accused of making "large donations" to foundations run by a close friend and confidante, the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, in return for political favours.
●    The court said Lee had provided bribes anticipating support from Park, who was still president at the time.
●    Lee, the successor of South Korea's richest family and its biggest company, had been accused of offering $38m (£30m) in bribes to four entities controlled by Choi, to whom Park often turned for advice and allegedly gave access to government documents even though she did not have security clearance.

NASA rockets to create glowing artificial clouds

A NASA rocket mission is set to form white artificial clouds that will glow in the night sky, to study disturbances in the upper atmosphere that interfere with communication and technology systems. 
●    The artificial clouds will be visible to residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands during two rocket flights to occur between August 29 and September 9, the US space agency said.
●    The Waves and Instabilities from a Neutral Dynamo (WINDY) mission will study a phenomenon that occurs in the ionosphere – a layer of charged particles in the upper atmosphere. Known as equatorial spread F (ESF) these disturbances occur after sunset at latitudes near the equator in part of the ionosphere known as the F region.
●    The disturbances interfere with radio communication, navigation and imaging systems and pose a hazard to technology and society that depends on it. 
●    The WINDY mission consists of two NASA suborbital sounding rockets that will be launched nearly simultaneously in a window between 8 and 11 pm local time from August 29 through September 9 from the island of Roi-Namur .

Scientists develop new way to track HIV infection

Scientists have developed a new way to track HIV infection that can identify how individual particles infect each cell, and lead to novel therapies for prevention and treatment of the disease.
●    It has become routine to visualise the movement and progression of individual virions - individual infectious particles - in cells, but the relevance of these observations was previously unclear, as many virions are defective or do not progress to make further copies of themselves.
●    "This approach - and the ability to say 'that virion infected that cell' - will help bring clarity to the field," said Thomas Hope, professor at Northwestern University in the US. 
●    "It allows us to understand what the virus really needs to do to infect a cell. It gives us new details, like where in the cell it happens and the timing of specific events. 
●    The more we know about the virus, the better our chances are to stop it," said Hope.
●    During the course of infection, HIV fuses onto a target immune cell and delivers its capsid - a cone that holds the genetic material of the virus - into the cell's cytoplasm. 
●    From there, the capsid disassembles through a process called "uncoating," which is crucial to the synthesis of viral DNA from its RNA genome and the hijacking of the cell's functions.

Current Affairs 25th August 2017: SPORTS

England to host 2018 International Table Tennis Federation Team World Cup

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on 24 August 2017 awarded hosting rights for the 2018 Team World Cup to England.
●    The Team World Cup is ITTF’s second most prestigious tournament after the World Championships.
●    The 2018 Team World Cup will be staged at the iconic Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 22 February to 25 February 2018.
●    The Team World Cup comprises 12 men's and 12 women's teams, which include the host team, Continental Champions and the other top finishers at the World Team Table Tennis Championships.
●    The Team World Cup was last held in Dubai in 2015.

Rani to lead Indian women's hockey team

Forward Rani will be leading an 18-member Indian women's hockey team for the tour of Europe, which begins against the Netherlands on September 5.
●    Goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy.
The team features a mix of youth and the experienced in their line-up with the defence formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur and Rashmita Minz.
●    The custodians are Savita and Rajani Etimarpu while the midfield will feature Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal.
●    The forwardline will see Rani, seasoned Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar and Lalremsiami.
●    In their previous outing at the Women's Hockey World League Semi Final, the team lost to England in the quarter final and eventually ended the competition in 8th place.

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Shalini Kalola
Where is pdf of ca of this date?
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Important Current Affairs 24th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 24th August 2017

Current Affairs 24th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Indian Navy Band to Participate in International Military Music Festival in Moscow (Russia) 

The International Military Music Festival "Spasskaya Tower" is the parade of the best military music bands of Russia and other countries that takes place every year at Red Square in Moscow. 
●    This Music Festival is a mega event, where military musicians represent the variety of national, artistic and military traditions of the world.
●    Every year about 1500 musicians, military men and other artists from around 40 countries perform at the "Spasskaya Tower". 
●    The Festival is duly considered one of the largest international events in Russia and attracts tremendous response of the general public.
●    "Spasskaya Tower" is scheduled this year from 24 Aug to 03 Sep 17. 
●    A Tri-Services band from the Indian Armed Forces has also been invited to participate and perform in the prestigious event. 
●    The participation of the Tri- Services Band would foster better ties between the Armed Forces of the two countries and is also a befitting acknowledgment of the professional skills of the Indian Armed Forces bands.

Bilateral Meeting - India and Uzbekistan 

The Commerce and Industries Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman and Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Trade held detailed discussions on deepening trade and economic ties between India and Uzbekistan in a bilateral meeting held on 23rd August 2017 in , New Delhi.
●    Commerce Minister expressed happiness on formation of an Uzbek India Trading House at Delhi as a Joint Venture Company.
●    Commerce Minister suggested setting up and activation of a private industry led Joint Business Council to develop and enhance business relations at all levels including investments, trade in goods and services such as education and health in Uzbekistan and India. 
●    She expressed the hope that if the draft agreement under negotiation between India-CIS Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Uzbek Chamber of Commerce is quickly finalized and the Joint Business Council commences work, then it would be a very positive development for enhancing bilateral economic and trade relations.
●    Both the Ministers underlined the high importance of transport & logistics infrastructure for strengthening bilateral trade ties. Commerce Minister requested Uzbek Minister to become member of multilateral INSTC Agreement which would facilitate increased international transit cargo traffic through Iran.

Current Affairs 24th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

EPFO organizes Tiranga Yatra – Commemoration of 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement in Mumbai 

There are moments in the journey of nations that fundamentally alter the course of history.  One such moment was the Quit India Movement that began on 9th August 1942 which finally culminated into freedom of India.  
●    Thereby the nation is observing the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement.  
●    The Tiranga Yatra is an opportunity to achieve ‘Sankalp’ to ‘Siddhi’ towards a ‘New India’.
●    Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, is participating in the celebrations of 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement by organizing Tiranga Yatra all the stakeholders i.e. workers from different industries, employers from different sectors and staff & officers of Ministry of Labour and Employment including EPFO participated in the Tiranga Yatra organized in Mumbai on 23rd August 2017.  
●    The Tiranga Yatra was flagged off by the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, near Indian Oil Office, Bandra(E), Mumbai and culminated at EPFO Regional Office at Bandra(E), Mumbai.          
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya has appealed to all workers, employers, staff & Officers of EPFO to identify themselves as Indians duly rising above from caste, creed and religion.
●    Shri Dattatreya raised slogan “corruption Quit India and make swacch India”.  
●    Shri Dattatreya has appreciated initiatives taken by EPFO for use of new technology and Aadhaar based service to subscribers.  
●    He has reiterated that Government is committed for providing housing to all by 2022 and EPFO has launched Housing Scheme where 90% of the EPF money can be withdrawn in addition to monthly payment of EMI out of the future accumulations in their provident fund.

National Museum takes a New initiative on “Small Temporary Exhibitions” from Its Reserve Collection 

The National Museum took a new initiative on “Small Temporary Exhibitions” from its reserve collection. 
●    The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract large number of visitors to view new artifacts every fortnight. 
●    Through such programme National Museum is trying to draw visitor’s attention and allows them to experience the collection on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remains out of focus.
●    The first temporary exhibition on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department was inaugurated by Smt. Rashmi Verma, Secretary Ministry of Culture & Tourism, on 24th July 2017 in National Museum, New Delhi. 
●    This exhibition arranged to showcase printed turban, embroidered dopalli and Maratha stitched cap and zardozi cap specially designed for occasional and ceremonial bases.
●    The second temporary exhibition in the series was inaugurated by Smt. Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture on 11th August, 2017 in National Museum, New Delhi. 
●    The exhibition will remain open to the public till 27th August, 2017.

New Indian tech reduces cancer risk in petrol

The Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) at Dehradun and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) have developed an indigenous technology to reduce cancer-causing benzene levels in petrol.
●    The World Health Organization has already identified the chemical as a risk for petrol pump workers and vehicle users. 
●    Therefore, the technology is likely to get global attention, sources said.
●    “We are getting a few inquiries on new technology,” senior IIP scientist MP Garg said.
●    IIP officials said the petrol supplied in India carries 1% benzene and the new technology can bring down its levels down to 0.2%. 
●    In fact, RIL has already begun using the technology at its Jamnagar refinery, which primarily exports petrol to the United States, where there are ‘tough’ guidelines on benzene levels.

Current Affairs 24th August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Nandan Nilekani appointed non-executive chairman of Infosys

Infosys co-founder and former chief executive Nandan Nilekani returned to the company board after being named non-executive, non-independent chairman.
●    "(The) Board of Directors has unanimously approved the appointment of Mr Nandan Nilekani as the Non Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately," the company said in a statement to stock exchanges.
●    The appointment came amid high-level exits from the tech giant, as former CEO Vishal Sikka and directors Jeffery S Lehman and John Etchemendy resigned from the Infosys board with immediate effect. 
●    Chairman of the board R Seshasayee and co-chair Ravi Venkatesan also stepped down from the board. 
●    The company has accepted their resignation

Rajiv Bansal to be Air India CMD for 3 months

Rajiv Bansal, additional secretary and financial advisor in the petroleum ministry, will be the new chairman of Air India Ltd.
●    “He will be holding additional charge for three months and the government will then take a call on who the regular person should be, whether it should be Rajiv Bansal or someone else,” civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said on Wednesday.
●    Earlier, the government named the current chairman of Air India Ashwani Lohani as the chairman of the Railway Board.
●    Bansal, a 1988 batch IAS officer, has done an earlier stint in the aviation ministry as a director. 
●    He has also served in the ministry of electronics and information technology, where he looked after digital payments, IT Act, Aadhaar, and internet governance.
●    During his career spanning close to 30 years, Bansal has also served as secretary, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC); and joint secretary, department of heavy industries.

Current Affairs 24th August 2017: SPORTS

Wayne Rooney announces retirement from international football

England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced on Wednesday he is retiring from international football with immediate effect after manager Gareth Southgate tried to recall him to the squad.
●    The 31-year-old -- scorer of 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country -- told Southgate of his decision during a phone conversation on Tuesday.
●    Southgate had phoned Rooney -- who had lost both the captaincy and eventually his place in the squad as he became a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season -- to congratulate him on his early season form for new club Everton.
●    Rooney has looked rejuvenated and happy -- scoring in both their Premier League matches so far -- since he re-signed for the club that nurtured his talent as a teenager before he left for United.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2017

Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2017

Current Affairs 23rd August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet gives in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM). 
●    The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks. 
●    The salient features of the approval Framework for Consolidation of Public Sector Banks are as follows:
●    The decision regarding creating strong and competitive banks would be solely based on commercial considerations.
●    The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.

Cabinet approves setting up of a Commission to examine the Sub-Categorization within OBCs 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a proposal for setting up of a Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
●    The Commission shall submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission. 
●    The Commission shall be known as the Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.
●    The proposed terms of references of the Commission are as follows:
●    To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes/ communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list.
●    To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs, and,
●    To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement for construction of a new Bridge over Mechi River at Indo-Nepal border 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement on Cost sharing, Schedules and Safeguard issues for starting construction of a new Bridge over Mechi River at Indo-Nepal border.
●    The estimated cost of construction of the bridge is Rs. 158.65 crore, which would be funded by Government of India through ADB loan. 
●    The new bridge is part of up-gradation of the Kakarvitta (Nepal) to Panitanki Bypass (India) on NH 327B covering a length of 1500 meters including a 6 lane approach road of 825 meters. 
●    Mechi Bridge is the ending point of Asian Highway 02 in India leading to Nepal and provides critical connectivity to Nepal.
●    The construction of the bridge will improve regional connectivity and has potential to strengthen cross border trade between both the countries and cementing ties by strengthening industrial, social and cultural exchanges.

Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme - "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana" 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) " for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. 
●    Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period . 
●    The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste. 
●    PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.

Cabinet approves Closure of loss making Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of Ministry of Railways to close the Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL) - a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Ministry of Railways. 
●    626 employees of BWEL will be benefitted from the voluntary retirement scheme to be offered at 2007 pay scale. 
●    The Government will have to provide one time grant off 151.18 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities of the company. 
●    This measure will stop flow of financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of sick/loss making BWEL resulting in savings for the Government. 
●    The implementation will be done as per the timelines prescribed in the guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on time bound closure of sick/loss making CPSEs.

National Sports Museum to be established in New Delhi 

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is going to establish National Sports Museum, first of its kind, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. 
●    The decision was taken three months back and after a series of meetings and his personal visits to several locations in the capital, the current venue for museum was finalized by the Sports Minister Shri Vijay Goel himself. 
●    Shri Vijay Goel said, the Museum will showcase the India’s achievements in sports and also focus on the traditional sports within the country. 
●    He said, the aim of the Museum is to popularise the sports as a way of life within the country. 
●    Accordingly, the proposed Museum would go beyond the classical approach of a collection of memorabilia to become an interactive venue of interest for all age groups. 
●    In addition, Shri Goel said, it will display achievements of the Indian greats in sports and also act as an educational hub and offer opportunity for the young to delve into some sporting activity.

Tata Power JV synchronises 186MW Georgia Hydro Project

Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, through Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL), its joint venture with Norway's Clean Energy Invest AS Norway (Clean Energy) and IFC InfraVentures (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, today, announced the synchronisation of its 186MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (HPP) in record time. 
●    Furthermore, Tata Power has commenced stabilisation procedures to ensure smooth operations. 
●    The construction of the plant started in the fall of 2013 and has been synchronised on August 1 and 2, 2017, in a record time of less than four years.
●    Shuakhevi HPP is the largest hydropower plant to be built in Georgia over the past 50 years, and its project investment cost exceeded USD420 million. 
●    The completion ceremony was presided by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and the Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze.
●    Around 730 Georgian citizens were employed in the plant construction. The project will significantly contribute to Georgia’s path toward energy independence. 
●    The power generated by the project will be exclusively sold within Georgia throughout the winter, which is a period of energy deficit.

Current Affairs 23rd August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Ashwani Lohani appointed new Chairman of Railway Board

Ashwani Lohani was on Wednesday appointed as the new Chairman of Railway Board after AK Mital tendered his resignation following recent train accidents. 
●    The announcement by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet came hours after Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu indicated that he had offered his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the recent train accidents. 
●    “Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways,” the committee said.
●    Lohani who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, currently is the Chairman & Managing Director of Air India. 
●    Lohani, an officer of the railway mechanical service, had served earlier as the Divisional Regional Manager of Delhi. 
●    He was also ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum in the capital.
●    Mital, a 1976-batch officer of the Indian Railway Stores, was reappointed to the same post two days before his retirement in 2016. 
●    With the two-year extension, Mital was to remain in office till July 2018.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd August 2017

Important Current Affairs 22nd August 2017

Current Affairs 22nd August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

NITI Aayog to launch “Mentor India” Campaign

NITI Aayog will launch the Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs, established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission. 
●    CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant will unveil the online nationwide initiative in the capital tomorrow on Wednesday, 23rd August.
●    Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs, possibly the biggest disruption in formal education globally. 
●    The idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs. 
●    These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.

Finance Minister Sh Arun Jaitley chairs the 17th meeting of FSDC 

The seventeenth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi today under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley. 
●    The meeting was attended by Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, RBI; Shri Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Shri Tapan Ray, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Shri Ajay Tyagi, Chairman, SEBI; Shri T.S. Vijayan, Chairman, IRDAI; Shri Hemant G Contractor, Chairman, PFRDA; and other senior officers of the Government of India and financial sector regulators.
●    Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) made a presentation on the state of economy. 
●    The Council noted that India has macroeconomic stability today on the back of improvements in its macro-economic fundamentals, structural reforms with the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), action being taken to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge, extraordinary financial market confidence, reflected in high and rising bond and especially stock valuations and long-term positive consequences of demonetization. 
●    The Council also discussed the issues and challenges facing the Indian economy and Members agreed on the need to keep constant vigil and be in a state of preparedness of managing any external and internal vulnerabilities.

O Panneerselvam Sworn In As Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam(OPS) was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai, under the merged All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government in the state, in presence of Governor CV Rao.
●    He is also given the additional charge of Finance and Housing Ministry.
●    Earlier, in what can be dubbed as a political turnaround in a state that was embroiled in a political drama till not so long ago, the two warring factions of the AIADMK - one led by Chief Minister E. Palanisamy (EPS) and the other by OPS - announced a merger, citing that "MGR always wanted to see us united, not split."
●    The striking part of the merger is that EPS has taken a backseat in the party, declaring OPS as the convenor; EPS will be the co-convenor.

McDonald’s terminates franchise agreement in North, East India

The long-standing legal tussle between American burger chain McDonald’s Corporation and its estranged Indian partner Vikram Bakshi has further intensified.
●    On Monday, McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL), the Indian subsidiary of the company, announced termination of its franchise agreements with Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (CPRL), which runs 169 restaurants in North and East India. 
●    It has also asked CPRL to cease from using any of the intellectual properties of McDonald’s at these restaurants within 15 days of the termination notice. 
●    CPRL is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s India and Bakshi. 
●    The partners have been mired in a legal tussle since 2013.
●    The move comes a month after the National Company Law Tribunal reinstated Bakshi as Managing Director of CPRL.

Current Affairs 22nd August 2017: SPORTS

Rafael becomes number 1

Rafael Nadal said his climb back to being world number one for the first time in three years was “unbelievable.” 
●    The latest ATP rankings were released on 21 August.
●    The Spaniard, who learned he was going to reclaim the top spot a week ago, was ranked number one last in July 2014.
●    Nadal, who won his 15th Grand Slam this year at the Roland Garros, deposes Britain's Andy Murray – who withdrew from tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati due to a hip injury – from the spot.
●    The 31-year-old, who was ranked number one for 141 weeks, has struggled with knee injuries since first clinching the spot in August 2008 after a Cincinnati semi-final run.

Shapath Bharadwaj wins bronze at Junior Shotgun World Cup

Teenager Shapath Bharadwaj on Sunday won a bronze medal in the double trap event while Lakshay Sheoran and Manisha Keer combined to win a bronze in the mixed team trap competition at the ISSF Junior Shotgun World Cup in Porpetto, Italy.
●    The 15-year old Bharadwaj, from Meerut, shot a 48 in the final to finish behind gold-medal winning Briton James Dedman and Finland's Miki Ylonen.
●    Dedman, in fact, smashed his own junior world record in the event, finishing with a final score of 70, while Miki had 66.
●    Shapath had qualified in second place for the final, shooting 131 out of 150. 
●    Ahvar Rizvi had also shot 124 but went down in the shoot-off to the eventual silver medalist Ylonen 2-1, for the sixth and final qualifying spot.

Current Affairs 22nd August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Dharmendra Kumar appointed Director General of RPF

CISF ADG Dharmendra Kumar has been appointed as director general of the Railway Protection Force.
●    Kumar, who is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, took charge today.
●    Before being appointed additional director general (ADG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Kumar was serving as special commissioner (Special Unit) in the Delhi Police.
●    After the retirement of S K Bhagat in June this year, the additional charge of DG, RPF, was being handled by National Security Guard (NSG) DG, Sudhir Pratap Singh.
●    Kumar will retire on September 30, 2018.

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Important Current Affairs 21st August 2017

Important Current Affairs 21st August 2017

Current Affairs 21st August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Union Home Minister launches the Digital Police Portal under CCTNS project

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said the Ministry of Home Affairs will undertake steps to integrate the various organs of the Criminal Justice System such as the Police, Courts, Prisons, Prosecution, Forensic Laboratories, Finger Prints and Juvenile Homes with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) database. 
●    Launching the Digital Police Portal under the CCTNS project here today, he said this Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) will be a useful resource for all stakeholders including the policy makers. 
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said at present out of the 15,398 Police Stations under the CCTNS project, 14,284 Police Stations are using CCTNS software. 
●    Out of these 14,284 Police Stations, 100% FIRs are being generated under this software in 13,775 Police Stations. 
●    The Union Home Minister said the pace of implementation of the CCTNS project is satisfactory in all States. 
●    He said that out of 15,398 Police Stations across the country, connectivity is enabled at 13,439 Police Stations. 
●    Out of 36 States/UTs, 35 States/UTs are sharing CCTNS database containing seven crore records that includes 2.5 crore FIRs, he added. 
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said the MHA has released Rs.1,450 crores, out of which Rs. 1,086 crores has been spent by States/UTs.

Piyush Goyal addresses the 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, addressed a distinguished gathering of delegates attending the 3-day 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress here today. 
●    The Minister also gave away Energy and Environment Foundation Global Excellence awards 2017 during the inaugural session of the conference.
●    The annual conference is visualized and planned in the backdrop of India's vision on achieving "Energy Independence and Power for all by 2022". 
●    It focusses on new Green Technologies to ensure clean, reliable and affordable Renewable Energy supplies. 
●    It provides an opportunity and open forum to exchange information, share experiences and best practices by bringing together experts, investors and other multi stake holders of i.e. Public and Private Sector, Advisory Groups, Governments, NGOs, Non-Profit organizations Environmentalists and Academia.

Festival of India being Organized in Cote D’ivoire, Liberia and Guinea from 15 August, 2017 – 28 January, 2018

A Festival of India is being organized in Cote d’Ivoire and concurrently accredited countries of Liberia and Guinea from 15 August, 2017 – 28 January, 2018. 
●    The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture, i.e. classical and folk dances. The events will be held in four cities of Cote d’Ivoire, namely, Abidjan, Yamassoukro and Grand Bassam and Daloa and capital cities of Monrovia of Liberia and Conakry of Guinea. 
●    Following events will be showcased:-
●    Bharatnatyam Dance Group led by D. Bhavani Shankar (15-16 August, 2017).
●    Mohiniattam Dance Group led by Aswathy Nair (22-25 September, 2017) – The group will also perform in Morovia, Liberia.
●    Folk Dance of Arunachal Pradesh Rinchin Droma (27-30 October, 2017) – The group will also perform in Conakry, Guinea.
●    Manipuri Dance Group led by B. Sanjita Devi (26-28 January, 2018).

Commissioning of Second Ship of Landing Craft Utility MK-IV 
‘IN LCU L52’(GRSE Yard 2093) at Port Blair

Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, commissioned IN LCU L52 into the Indian Navy today at Port Blair. 
●    IN LCU L52 is the second Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. 
●    The ship has been indigenously designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata.
●    The commissioning of L-52 is yet another manifestation of the potential of the country’s indigenous design and ship building capability.
●    LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with the primary role to transport and deploy Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. 
●    These ships would be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Command and can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.

National Workshop on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 

The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), a professional body under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, is organizing a three-day workshop on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) from 22nd – 24th August, 2017, in New Delhi.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of Home Affairs, will grace the occasion  as the Chief Guest in august prescence of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (I/C), Commerce & Industry, and Shri Kiren Rijijiu, Minister of State, Home Affairs at the inauguration of the workshop.
●    Enforcement agencies like police, Customs, as also the prosecution wing, have a major role to play in effective enforcement of IPRs in the country. 
●    Creating awareness about IPRs amongst officials of these agencies, while strengthening the enforcement regime, will also assist them in handling cases relating to IPRs in their day to day activities.

Delhi govt's proposal to take over 449 private unaided schools gets LG nod

The Delhi government's proposal to take over 449 private unaided schools, after they failed to refund excess fee charged from parents despite government orders, has been given the official nod by Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. 
●    According to officials in the Delhi government, the proposal, as approved by Baijal, allows the schools to first reply to a show cause notice in two weeks on why the school should not be taken over by the government. 
●    Baijal has also cautioned the government to ensure that studies in the current term remain unaffected. 
●    The 449 schools, that include several top notch schools running in the city, too have the option of going to the court to get a stay on the matter.

Important Current Affairs 21st August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Russia's Rosneft Oil Company acquires India’s Essar Oil 

Russia's Rosneft Oil Company and its partners on 15 October 2016 acquired India’s second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil in an all-cash deal valued at about 13 billion US dollars.
●    Rosneft Oil Company's partners include Rosneft Oil Company, Netherlands-based commodities trader Trafigura and private investment group United Capital Partners. 
●    The acquisition was announced during the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa. 
●    Rosneft will have a 49 percent stake in Essar Oil’s refinery, port and petrol pumps.
●    Trafigura Group Pte and United Capital Partners will split 49 percent equity equally. 
●    The remaining 2 percent is held by minority shareholders after delisting of Essar Oil.
●    The deal includes 10.9 billion US dollars for Essar Oil’s Vadinar refinery of Essar Group and 2 billion US dollars for a port terminal that helps feed refinery.

Important Current Affairs 21st August 2017: OBITUARY

Jerry Lewis, Comedy Legend, Dies at 91

Jerry Lewis, the brash slapstick comic who became a pop culture sensation in his partnership with Dean Martin and then transformed himself into an auteur filmmaker of such comedy classics as “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy,” has died in Las Vegas. He was 91.
●    Lewis died at his home in Las Vegas at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning, his agent confirmed.
●    For most of his career, Lewis was a complicated and sometimes polarizing figure. 
●    An undeniable comedic genius, he pursued a singular vision and commanded a rare amount of creative control over his work with Paramount Pictures and other studios. 
●    His legacy also includes more than $2.5 billion raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Associati

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Important Current Affairs 20th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 20th August 2017

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Union Home Minister inaugurates office and residential premises of NIA in Lucknow

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the office and residential premises of National Investigation Agency (NIA) at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP) today.
●    The Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath was also present on the occasion. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh said that NIA has been playing a vital role in curbing terrorism. 
●    He asserted that incidents pertaining to terrorism and naxalism have come down in last three years. 
●    He said that being an autonomous body, NIA performs its duties without any interference. 
●    The NIA has played a crucial role in checking the funding to terrorism, said Shri Rajnath Singh.
●    Addressing in the programme, Yogi Adityanath said that ATS of the State has been coordinating with NIA to curb terrorism related incidents.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi flags off 1st batch of 300 Haj pilgrims from Mumbai Airport

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that the Central Government had completed all the entire process related to Haj 2017 well in time to ensure best facilities to Haj pilgrims.
●    Shri Naqvi flagged off the first batch of 300 Haj pilgrims from Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here today.
●    Shri Naqvi congratulated to Haj pilgrims and extended best wishes to them for their pilgrimage. 
●    A total of 5600 Haj pilgrims are going to Haj this year from Mumbai.
●    Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2017 has been completely successful till date as the Central Government had completed preparations for Haj this year well before in time to ensure smooth pilgrimage.

CEOs Conference at New Delhi 

A two day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference of all States and Union Territories commenced in New Delhi today. 
●    It was inaugurated by Shri. A.K. Joti, Chief Election Commissioner of India and Shri. O.P. Rawat, Election Commissioner of India.
●    Addressing the Chief Electoral Officers of the States and Union Territories, Shri. A.K. Joti, Chief Election Commissioner stressed on the need of providing E-services to stakeholders and emphasised the requirement to develop E-Payment gateways for various election services of Election commission of India. 
●    He underlined the need for extensive training programmes on VVPAT as ECI has decided to conduct all future elections using VVPAT along with EVMs. 
●    CEC also stated that “SVEEP” be developed as core area of election management.
●    Shri. O.P.Rawat, Election Commissioner of India invoked all CEOs to avail the opportunity to share the experiences and good practices of each other and learn election management related issues from senior practitioners. 
●    He stated that all electoral practitioners must work together to reach the higher scale on electoral integrity with further strengthening Indian democracy.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2017 passed in the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced last month to replace the existing ordinance promulgated in May this year to empower the Reserve Bank of India to deal with stressed assets.
●    Replying to a debate on the bill on Thursday, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the process of resolution of bad loans will start shortly.
●    The finance minister said the Reserve Bank of India had already identified top 12 loan defaulters and more cases will be taken up for resolution.
●    The ordinance had provided for more powers to the RBI to deal with stressed assets. “No one can claim the right of equality in not paying banks back. 
●    RBI has taken up some difficult cases... I am sure they will take up more,” he added.

TRAI to impose penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on telcos

Telecom regulator TRAI today issued stringent guidelines to curb call drops along with a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on service providers if they fail to meet the benchmark for three consecutive quarters. 
●    “We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh. 
●    It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network,” TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told reporters here.
●    TRAI Secretary (Acting) SK Gupta said if an operator fails to meet call drop benchmark in consecutive quarter, the penalty amount will be increased 1.5 times and in the third consecutive month it will doubled. 
●    “However, there is cap of Rs 10 lakh on financial disincentive,” Gupta said. Under the previous Quality of Service Rule, penalty on call drop was Rs 50,000 per violation. 
●    After the revision, the regulator has made measurement of call drop rate more granular from circle level to mobile towers in a circle.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: OBITUARY

Former Union minister and BJP MP Sanwar Lal Jat passes away

Sanwar Lal Jat, former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer, passed away in New Delhi on 9 August 2017. He was 62.
●    The minister was being treated at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital. 
●    He had suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a meeting chaired by BJP party president Amit Shah at Jaipur in July, following which he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the city’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital.
●    However, he had to be airlifted to AIIMS from Jaipur after his condition turned critical. 
●    He slipped into coma shortly later.  
●    According to the doctors at AIIMS, the cardiac arrest had caused damage to Jat’s brain and he had to be put on a ventilator.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: SPORTS

Manju Kumari bags bronze at Junior World Wrestling Championship

Manju Kumari was the lone Indian woman to have won a medal in women’s wrestling after clinching a bronze in 59kg category at the Junior World Wrestling Championship in Tampere, Finland here.
●    Manju registered a 2-0 victory over Ilona Prokopiuk of Ukraine in her bronze medal play-off bout last night to finish on the podium.
●    En-route to her third-place finish, Manju defeated Aleksandrina Nikolaeva Kasinova of Bulgaria 5-1 in the 1/8 stage before she was outclassed 0-10 by Japan’s Yuzuru Kumano in the quarterfinals.
●    However, with the Japanese girl advancing to the final of 59kg, Manju got another life in the form of repechage and she did not waste the opportunity.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: DISCOVERY 

Scientists develop world’s first plant-based Zika vaccine

Zika triggered travel warnings, with pregnant women being urged to postpone non-essential trips to affected countries during a surge in cases which revealed the mosquito-borne virus could cause birth defects.
●    Governments, academic laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies invested heavily in stopping the virus.
●    The committed public health efforts paid off, with Brazil declaring an end to its Zika emergency in May after a drop in cases.
●    However the World Health Organisation has warned that tens of millions of people could still be infected in the Americas in the coming years.
●    There are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics available to combat Zika, although a $100m US government-led clinical trial is underway.

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Important Current Affairs 19th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 19th August 2017

Current Affairs 19th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves closure of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Forest and Plantation Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL), Port Blair

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the closure of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Forest and Plantation Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL), Port Blair, a Central Government Undertaking and discharging the liabilities of all the employees.
●    The closure will help to stop unproductive loans to ANIFPDCL from Gol and would enable a more productive utilization of assets.
●    This would be achieved by offering Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) / Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) package to willing employees and by retrenchment under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 of those not opting for VRS/VSS including settlement of other liabilities, if any.
●    At present, there are 836 employees on the rolls of the Corporation.

Second Bullet Train to be started in Punjab, Amritsar to Delhi

A Second Bullet train will be started in Punjab. 
●    An Indian Railways bullet train will take you from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh in the coming years. 
●    The speed of this bullet train is 300km/hour. 
●    The bullet train would complete the 458-km long train journey in 2 hours. Presently, the Delhi to Amritsar Shatabdi Express train takes around 6 hours. 
●    The train travel time from Delhi to the Golden Temple town would come down to one-third. second bullet train
●    The bullet train will also stop at Panipat, Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. 
●    The 258 kms distance between Delhi to Chandigarh will be covered in 1 hour and 12 minutes. 
●    The official said that a base fare of Rs 4.5 per kilometer has been recommended at the 2015 price level. 
●    This means that you will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 2061 for the Delhi-Amritsar trip. 
●    second bullet train Rajya Sabha MP Malik said that the Union Government and the Ministry of Railways have approved the project to start the bullet train. 
●    The project is likely to cost around Rs 1 lakh crore. 
●    This project will be completed in 2024. He also said that the fare of this bullet train will be equivalent to Shatabdi.

Cabinet approves raising Extra Budgetary Resources upto Rs. 9020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund during the year 2017-18 

●    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) of upto Rs. 9020 crore as per the requirement during 2017-18 by NABARD through issuance of Bonds for ensuring lending rate of 6% per annum (pa) in respect of borrowings for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works of 99 ongoing prioritized irrigation projects along with their command area development (CAD) works under PMKSY. 
●    A large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) were languishing mainly due to inadequate provision of funds. 
●    During 2016-17, 99 ongoing projects under PMKSY- AIBP were identified for completion in phases by December-2019.
●    To cater to the large fund requirement and ensure completion of these projects, the Union Finance Minister, during his Budget speech 2016-17, announced creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore for funding of Central and State share for the identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD).

Govt extends tax exemption for industry in North East, hilly states

As many as 4,284 industrial units in the North East and Himalayan States will get GST relief in the form of refund of Central share of CGST and iGST.
●    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday gave its nod for a new scheme to refund the Central share of Central GST (CGST) and integrated GST (iGST) to these units in lieu of the excise exemption lost due to the onset of goods and services tax (GST) and scrapping of excise laws from July 1 this year.
●    A budgetary support of ₹27,413 crore for this scheme has been approved for the period from July 1, 2017 till March 31, 2027, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting. 
●    He said the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) will notify the scheme, including detailed operational guidelines for implementation within six weeks.

RBI makes Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 16 August 2017 made Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers who wish to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18.
●    In its, notification RBI has said, “To ensure hassle-free benefits to farmers under Interest Subvention Scheme, the banks are advised to make Aadhar linkage mandatory for availing short-term crop loans in 2017-18.
●    RBI has clarified that farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at the subsidised interest rate of 7 per cent that could go down to 4 per cent on prompt repayment.
●    Highlights of RBI’s notification related to Interest Subvention Scheme for Short Term Crop Loans during the year 2017-18.
●    An interest subvention of 2 per cent per annum will be offered to lending institutions viz. Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Commercial Banks (in respect of loans given by their rural and semi-urban branches only) on the use of their own resources. 
●    This subvention will be provided on the short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh to farmers at an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum during the year 2017-18.

Current Affairs 19th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Putin appoints Nikolay Kudashev as Russia’s new envoy to India

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed career diplomat Nikolay Kudashev as Russia’s new ambassador to India, the country’s embassy here said on Saturday.
●    Kudashev, a specialist in South East Asia, is currently the Deputy Director General Secretariat of the ministry of foreign affairs of Russia.
●    “President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin by the executive order appointed Nikolay Kudashev as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India,” the Russian Embassy here said in a statement.
●    The appoint of Kudashev comes nearly seven months after the death of Russia’s previous ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.
●    Kadakin, a fluent Hindi-speaking career diplomat considered a great friend of India, passed away on January 26 at a hospital in New Delhi after a brief illness. He was 67.
●    Kudashev was the Russian Ambassador to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in 2014-2015.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).
●    The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.
●    The MoU will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides. 
●    The exchange of best practices between the two countries will lead to improved protection and awareness about India's range of Intellectual creations which are as diverse as its-people. 
●    It will be a landmark step forward in India's journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation and will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016.

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