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Important Current Affairs 18th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 18th August 2017

Current Affairs 18th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen won the Bulgaria Open title

Lakshya Sen on Thursday clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
●    The Uttarakhand shuttler, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Wednesday, defeated second seed Zvonimir 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 in a 57-minute match. 
●    He had beaten Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratna 21-19, 21-14 in the semi-finals yesterday.
●    World Junior No 1 was recently sent to train under former All England champion Peter Gade, who is currently the head coach of French national team.
●    Lakshya had earlier reached the finals of Senior National championship in February.


India signs Grant Agreement with the World Bank

A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” was signed here today by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo Kahin, Acting Country Director for India on behalf of the World Bank. 
●    The Project Agreements were signed by Dr Neelu Gera, DDG (Research) on behalf of the Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Shri Amitabh Agnihotri, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests on behalf of Madhya Pradesh Government and Shri R.B.P. Sinha, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests on behalf of Chhattisgarh Government with the Acting Country Director for India, World Bank.
●    The size of Project is USD 24.64 million which entirely will be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is 05 years.


Five Indian-origin persons in Fortune's '40 Under 40' list


Five Indian-origin persons, including Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, have featured in Fortune's annual list of 40 young and influential people in the field of business inspiring others with their work.
●    Fortune's 2017 '40 Under 40' list is an annual ranking of the most influential young people who are under 40 in business, whom the magazine termed as "disruptors, innovators, rebels and artists" inspiring others.
●    The list has been topped by 39-year-old French President Emmanuel Macron "France's youngest leader since Napoleon" who swept the presidential elections in May "obliterating the two-party system that had governed the country for generations."
●    The Indian-origin persons on the list are 26-year-old Divya Nag, who oversees Apple's ambitious ResearchKit and CareKit programmes that encourage developers to build health-related apps, Rishi Shah, 31, and Shradha Agarwal, 32, who helm more than 10-year-old health-tech firm Outcome Health and CEO and founder of non-profit Samasource 31-year-old Leila Janah.


Veteran photographer S Paul died

S Paul, the veteran photographer who was described as 'The Henry Cartier-Bresson of India' by B&W Magazine of US, died in New Delhi on 16 August 2017. 
●    He was 88.
●    He died at a private hospital after undergoing a surgery a few days ago.
●    A self-taught photographer, Paul discovered his passion for the art as a teenager. 
●    He joined The Indian Express in the 1960s and retired from the newspaper in 1989.
●    Paul received recognition and fame as a professional photographer when his pictures were selected for publication in three renowned British publications -- Amateur Photographer, Miniature Camera and Miniature Camera World.

BSNL launches mobile wallet 

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has launched its mobile wallet in partnership with MobiKwik, reported a national news agency. 
●    The mobile wallet will enable one-tap bill payment for BSNL's over 100 million subscribers. Besides, the subscribers will also be able to use the digital wallet at over 1.5 million merchants across India. 
●    According to the company's statement, the digital wallet, developed by MobiKwik for BSNL, is in line with the telecom corporation's intent to take the reach of digital payments to semi-urban and rural India. 
●    The app will allow users to pay for online recharges, make bill payments, shop and book bus and train tickets. 

Current Affairs 18th August 2017: DEFENSE

Defense Ministry clears proposal to procure 6 Apache attack helicopters for Army


Defence Ministry on 17 August 2017 cleared a proposal to procure 6 Apache attack helicopters for Army. 
●    The acquisition of the helicopters, equipment and training will cost around four thousand 168 crore rupees.
●    The approved proposal is different from India’s purchase of 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015 for Rs 13 952 crores for the Air Force.
●    As per reports, the decision on procuring 6 Apache attack helicopters was taken in Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi
●    The helicopters are being bought under an option clause of 50 percent repeat order in the previous deal under which 22 Apache attack choppers were bought for the IAF. 
●    The deadline for using the option clause is to end on 28 September 2017.

Current Affairs 18th August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Vishal Sikka resigns as Infosys CEO

Vishal Sikka on 18 August 2017 resigned as Managing Director and CEO of Infosys. 
●    The board has accepted his resignation with immediate effect.
●    Infosys in a notice to stock exchanges said Sikka will remain with Infosys as executive vice-chairman. 
●    The position is a newly created position at Infosys.
●    Infosys, second largest software exporter of India, has appointed chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao as interim managing director and CEO.
●    In June 2014, Indian-American Vishal Sikka took over as the first non-founder Chief Executive of Infosys.

Current Affairs 18th August 2017: ENVIRONMENT

Union Environment Ministry launches Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali Campaign


Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan on 17 August 2017 launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign.
●    The Ministry also administered a Pledge for a Green and Healthy Diwali to the gathering of students.  
●    The Pledge will be widely circulated to the schools, colleges and other educational institutions. 
●    The ministry launched the campaign while addressing a gathering of about 800 children from schools of Delhi and NCR.
●    The campaign is aimed at enlightening the children about harmful firecrackers.

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Important Current Affairs 17th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 17th August 2017

Current Affairs 17th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

PM addresses Young Entrepreneurs at the "Champions of Change" initiative organised by NITI Aayog


The Prime Minister today interacted with Young Entrepreneurs at the "Champions of Change" initiative organised by NITI Aayog at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra.
●    Six groups of Young Entrepreneurs made presentations before the PM on themes such as - Soft Power: Incredible India 2.0; Education and Skill Development; Health and Nutrition; Energizing a sustainable tomorrow; and Digital India; New India by 2022.
●    Appreciating the new ideas and innovations envisaged in the presentations made by the entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister said, that in times past, social initiatives had catered to the requirements of people at large, and these movements were spearheaded by eminent people in society.
●    The Prime Minister described the "Champions of Change" initiative as one effort to bring together diverse strengths for the benefit of the nation and society.


Upgraded Passenger Terminal Building of Jammu Airport Inaugurated 


The upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport was inaugurated by Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir today. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Raju, said, “We believe in augmenting infrastructure of our airports to enhance connectivity. 
●    With the upgraded Jammu Airport, we would be better prepared to give improved services to air travelers visiting this city of temples.” 
●    Appreciating the upgraded terminal building of Jammu Airport, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, said, “We have been witnessing promising growth in number of air travelers to and from Jammu. 
●    The upgraded terminal of Jammu Airport is in line to enhance capacity and will contribute to the economic growth of Jammu – the gateway to the State.” 
●    Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS, PMO and Shri Jayant Sinha, MoS Civil Aviation, Members of Parliament and senior officials were also present on the occasion.


Environment Minister Launches “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” Campaign; urges children to celebrate Pollution-Free Diwali this Year


Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.  Harsh Vardhan, launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign, here today. 
●    Addressing a gathering of about 800 children from schools of Delhi and NCR, the Minister impressed upon the children the importance of their contribution towards reducing pollution by not bursting harmful fire crackers during Diwali.  
●    Congratulating the teachers and students, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that it is heartening to see that children have taken on the leadership role in combating air and noise pollution caused by burning of fire crackers during Diwali celebrations.  
●    The Minister added that whenever children take up any task, they do not spare any effort in ensuring its success.  
●    He urged the children to also learn about the chemicals present in the fire crackers and the impact of these chemicals on various parts of the human body.    

NHAI takes steps to facilitate availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection


In order to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection, NHAI has taken two revolutionary steps in consultation with RBI and NPCI . 
●    These include Online sale of FASTags and offline sale through  Common Services Centre (CSC) near toll plazas.
●    FASTag can also be purchased online from Issuer Banks websites / NHAI website / IHMCL website and will be delivered by courier at the door step of the purchaser. 
●    It is expected that this move will increase the sale of FASTags by improving availability and access.
●    Apart from the online sale,  from tomorrow, 18th August, 2017, FASTags can also be bought from sale points of  Common Services Centre (CSC) to be set up near toll plazas. 


Union Cabinet approves new Metro Rail Policy


The Union Cabinet on 16 August 2017 approved new Metro Rail Policy focussed on compact urban development, cost reduction and multi-modal integration.
●    This new Metro Rail Policy seeks to enable realization of growing metro rail targets of a large number of cities.
●    The policy enables private investments across a range of metro operations making Public-Private Partnership (PPP) component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects. 
●    Private participation either for complete provision of metro rail or for some unbundled components will form an essential requirement for all metro rail projects seeking central financial assistance.


Supreme Court panel to examine why 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases closed


A “supervisory body” of two retired Supreme Court judges will scrutinise the closure by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of 241 cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. 
●    The SIT had been constituted by the Union Home Ministry in February 2015 to reinvestigate “serious cases” during the riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. 
●    A three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, Wednesday said the committee will examine whether the decision of the SIT to close the cases was correct or not. 
●    It will submit its report in three months and the court will take up the matter again on November 28.
●    The court did not name the judges of the committee and said it will be added to the order.
●    On March 24 this year, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to produce files of anti-Sikh riots cases that the SIT set up by the Home Ministry had decided to close.

Central Government imposes $ 264 million fine on Reliance Industries


The government has imposed a new penalty of $ 264 million (about Rs 1,700 crore) on Reliance Industries Ltd and its partners for producing less than the targeted natural gas from eastern offshore KG-D6 fields in 2015-16.
●    The total penalty now, which is in the form of disallowing recovery of cost incurred for missing the target during six years beginning April 1, 2010, stands at $ 3.02 billion, an oil ministry official said.
●    The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) allows RIL and its partners BP PLC of the UK and Canada’s Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government.
●    Disallowing costs will result in government’s profit share rising.
●    The government has claimed an additional $ 175 million as its profit share after the cost disallowance, the official said.

Current Affairs 17th August 2017: PERSON

Bill Gates becomes the biggest donor of the year 2017


Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, has donated $4.6bn (£3.6bn) in the Microsoft founder’s biggest gift to charity since he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
●    Gates donated 64m Microsoft shares according to a US Securities & Exchange Commission filing. 
●    The recipient of the gift was not specified but it is expected that the money will be directed to the foundation he and his wife set up in 2000 with $5bn funding to improve global healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. 
●    The foundation did not respond to requests for comment.
●    The shares donated represent about 5% of his current $90bn fortune. 
●    The gift reduces Gates’s stake in Microsoft, which the 61-year-old co-founded in 1975, to just 1.3% from 24% in 1996.
●    Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $35bn since 1994. They donated $16bn worth of Microsoft shares in 1999 and followed it up with another $5.1bn a year later. 

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Important Current Affairs 16th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 16th August 2017

Current Affairs 16th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

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.


Cabinet approves completion of balance works of North Koel Reservoir Project


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar at an estimated expenditure of Rs.1622.27 crore to be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project. 
●    The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.
●    The project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone river finally joining the river Ganga.  
●    The North Koel Reservoir is located in the most backward tribal areas in Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand State. 
●    The construction was originally started in the year 1972 and continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar. Since then, the work on dam is at a standstill. 


Cabinet approves procedure and mechanism for Strategic Disinvestment 


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of Department of Investment and public Asset Management (DIPAM) for the strategic disinvestment of the following:
●    For setting up an Alternative Mechanism (AM) consisting of the Finance Minister, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Minister of Administrative Department, to decide on the matters relating to terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of Express of Interests (Eols) till inviting of financial bid; and
●    For empowering the Core Group of Secretaries (CGD) to take policy decisions with regard to procedural issues and to consider deviations as necessary from time to time for effective implementation of decisions of CCEA.
●    The approval will help in speedy completion of strategic disinvestment transactions.

EESL and IOCL, BPCL & HPCL sign MOUs for distribution of Energy Efficient appliances


Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and appliances for All (UJALA) scheme. 
●    According to the agreement, Oil Marketing Companies- IOCL, BPCL and HPCL will take up distribution of LED Bulbs, LED Tubelights and energy efficient Fans from select retail outlets across the country. 
●    The distribution of these energy efficient appliances will be conducted in a phased manner across these select outlets. 
●    In the first phase, distribution will commence from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
●    The MoUs were signed with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in the august presence of Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC)  for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (IC) for Petroleum and Natural Gas here.

Current Affairs 16th August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Dr. (Ms.) Mamta Suri takes charge as Executive Director, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).


Dr. (Ms.) Mamta Suri took charge as Executive Director, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) in New Delhi today.
●    Before joining IBBI, Dr. Suri was serving as Chief General Manager, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India.
●    Dr. Suri has obtained her Ph.D. in Finance from University of Delhi and M. Sc.in Insurance Risk and Management from City University, London. 
●    Dr. Suri is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, and she has completed her graduation in law. 
●    She has also received Honorary membership for High Scholastic Achievement from USA.
 

Current Affairs 16th August 2017: WORLD NEWS

Italy to host fall G-7 interior ministers summit on security
Italy will host a summit of Group of Seven interior ministers centered on security issues in the fall.
●    Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti says the meeting is being organized at the request of Italy's G-7 partners: Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States.
●    Italy currently holds the rotating helm of the G-7 industrialized nations.
●    Minniti said at a news conference Tuesday that while the terror alert level remains high in Italy, there is "no trace of an imminent threat" or attack.


Largest volcanic region on Earth discovered under Antarctica
Scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth - consisting of almost 100 volcanoes - two kilometres below the surface of the vast Antarctic ice sheet.
●    Researchers at Edinburgh University in the UK revealed a staggering 91 volcanoes, adding to the 47 others that had been discovered previously, with the highest as tall as the Eiger, which stands at almost 4,000 metres in Switzerland.
●    The newly discovered volcanoes range in height from 100 to 3,850 metres. All of them are covered in thick layers of ice.
●    These active peaks are concentrated in a region known as the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500 km from Antarctica's Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula, researchers said.
●    "We had not expected to find anything like that number. We have almost trebled the number of volcanoes known to exist in west Antarctica," Robert Bingham, from University of Edinburgh, told 'the Guardian'.

Current Affairs 16th August 2017: OBITUARY

Shobha Sen, Actress And Theatre Veteran, Dies At 93


Actress and veteran theatre personality Shobha Sen, wife of late actor Utpal Dutt, died in Kolkata on Sunday. 
●    Ms Sen died at her residence in South Kolkata. She was 93. 
●    The actress died because of heart failure on Sunday morning. 
●    Ms Sen was suffering from age-related health conditions, family members of the late actress. 
●    Apart from her plays, Shobha Sen co-starred with Utpal Dutt in films such as 1961's Bengali drama Megh, also directed by Mr Dutt, Mrinal Sen's 1972 movie Ek Adhuri Kahani and 1983's Pasand Apni Apni. 
●    Shobha Sen and Utpal Dutt married in 1960. 
●    Shobha Sen is survived by her daughter Bishnupriya Dutt.

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Important Current Affairs 15th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 15th August 2017

Current Affairs 15th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Justice Dipak Misra set to become 45th Chief Justice of India

The Centre on August 8, 2017 cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28, 2017.
●    Justice Misra, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the current CJI, Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, 2017, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
●    Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011. 
●    He enrolled as an advocate on February 14, 1977 and appointed an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996. 
●    After a stint in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he became a Permanent Judge in December 1997 before assuming charge as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court in 2009 and, later on, served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.
●    As the current Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), Justice Misra embarked on a programme to turn State Legal Services Authorities' offices into hubs providing facilities that enable litigants under legal aid to access court documents, case status and connect to their advocates online and through dedicated phone numbers. 
●    The facility called 'Legal Assistance Establishments' or Nyaya Sanyog will cater to poor litigants and the families of undertrials languishing in jails to get quick access to justice.

Gaj Yatra campaign to protect elephants launched


Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, recently launched the 'Gaj Yatra' campaign.
●    On the occasion, the Environment Minister also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants along with the Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh and a document titled 'Right of Passage' on elephant corridors in India.
●    The Gaj Yatra is a nationwide campaign to protect elephants and is scheduled to cover 12 elephant range states.
●    Over the next 15 months, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow, covering 12 states that have wild elephants, using local art and craft
●    Specially fabricated vehicles will be deployed to display these on predetermined routes with campaigners.
●    The 'Gaju' mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm the campaign


Question paper should be uniform in each language in the proper examination: Supreme Court


The Supreme Court on Thursday reiterated its earlier order not to set aside the 2017 Neet examination and to stay the ongoing counseling for medical admissions across the country. 
●    The court asked the CBSE to have uniform question papers in English, Hindi and regional languages from 2018 as this year it did not want to disturb the process. 
●    A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitav Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar told senior counsel Indira Jaising, and other counsel appearing for a batch of students that it would be difficult to disturb the admission process particularly when over six lakh students had passed the Neet, out of 11.74 lakh students who appeared for it. 
●    The bench, however, pulled up the CBSE for having different question papers for English, Hindi and regional languages and wondered how evaluation of standards of students is possible. “We want a commonality in exam and identical papers for English Hindi and regional languages next year. 
●    We want you to consult experts and file an affidavit as to how you are going to implement uniformity in standards.”
●    Additional solicitor Maninder Singh submitted that the difficulty level in English, Hindi and other languages was same as experts in those languages evaluated it.


Shia Waqf board files affidavit in Supreme Court


Seeking that the mosque be built in a Muslim-dominated area maintaining a reasonable distance from Lord Ram's birth place, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) on Tuesday filed an affidavit in Supreme Court in the ongoing Ayodhya case even as Shias and Sunnis have been divided over the issue.
●    The Board also told the apex court in an affidavit that the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.
●    The 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case.
●    The Waqf Board has sought time from the top court for setting up of a committee for exploring an amicable resolution of the vexatious issue.

Govt forms Anomalies Panel to look at CPSE pay revision issues


The government has constituted an Anomalies Committee to look into the issues and problems that may arise in the course of implementation of its decision on revision of pay scales of executives working in central PSUs.
●    The Anomalies Committee will have a tenure of two years with effect from August 1, 2017. 
●    It comprises secretaries from the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Expenditure and the Department of Personnel and Training, according to a memorandum issued by the Department of Public Enterprises.
●    The Cabinet, last month, cleared a 15% hike in salaries of board-level and below board-level executives and non-unionised supervisors working in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).
●    It had approved implementation of the recommendations of the 3rd Pay Revision Committee constituted for the purpose.
●    The commission had recommended a 15% increase in emoluments, the lowest so far. Higher wages are effective from January 1, 2017.


Jharkhand passes anti-conversion Bill


The Jharkhand Assembly on Saturday passed the anti-conversion Bill brought by the BJP-led government amid demand by opposition parties to send the Bill to a select committee, a demand the government turned down. 
●    The Religious Freedom Bill-2017 will now be sent to the Governor, following whose approval it would go to the President for assent. 
●    While ruling NDA MLAs hailed it as a legislation that should have been implemented right when Jharkhand became a state, Opposition members pointed out that penal provisions already exist in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
●    The Bill has provision for imprisonment of three years and fine of Rs 50,000 or both, and four year- imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh fine, or both, if the person converted is a minor, woman or a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. 
●    It also says that a person converting willingly will have to inform the Deputy Commissioner about details such as time, place and the person who administers the conversion proceedings.
●    Starting the discussion, Stephen Marandi, senior MLA of Opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), requested that the Bill be referred to the select committee. 
●    “The Constitution gives freedom to practice and profess one’s religion. 
●    There are already penal provisions in IPC for those indulging in coercive conversion or using allurement. So what is the need for a separate Bill,” he asked.

Current Affairs 15th August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Earthquake of magnitude 7 on Richter scale struck China


A high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale struck China on 8 August 2017. 
●    The quake that struck a remote, mountainous part of Sichuan province has claimed lives of at least 19 people, including six tourists, and injured about 250 people.
●    According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake's epicentre was located in the popular tourist destination of Jiuzhaigou at an estimated depth of 20 kilometres.
●    Jiuzhaigou or Jiuzhai Valley is a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations. 
●    It is located on the edge of the Plateau in northern Sichuan province, which is a home to many Tibetan and other ethnic minority villages.
●    The state-run Xinhua news agency said as many as 31500 tourists had been evacuated from the quake zone. 
●    Officials said that a total of 108 aftershocks were recorded, all below 4.0 magnitude. Police and firefighters are rescuing people trapped in the rubble.


Extreme weather could kill 150,000 people each year in Europe by the end of the century


More than 150,000 people could die as a result of climate change each year in Europe by the end of the century, shocking new research has found.
●    The number of deaths caused by extreme weather events will increase 50-fold and two in three people on the continent will be affected by disasters, the study – that serves as a stark warning of the deadly impact of global warming – found.
●    The research by European Commission scientists lays out a future where hundreds of thousands of people die from heatstroke, heart and breathing problems, and flash flooding. 
●    It describes a world where droughts bring food shortages, people are at an increased risk of being killed by disease and infection, and the countryside is ravaged by wildfires.

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Important Current Affairs 14th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 14th August 2017

Current Affairs 14th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Website for Gallantry Awardees since Independence Launched 


An online portal dedicated to the gallantry award winners, bestowed since Independence, has been launched today. 
●    The domain name of the portal is http://gallantryawards.gov.in.
●    The website gives details of the Chakra Series awardees i.e., Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. 
●    The portal contains information such as name, unit, year, citations and photographs of awardees till date. 
●    The Ministry of Defence would welcome any feedback or suggestion for further improvement.


85 lakh milk producing animals identified and their data uploaded on INAPH data base. 

Pashu Sanjivni component under National Mission on Bovine Productivity scheme was initiated by the Government in November 2016. 
●    88 million milk producing animals out of 300 million cattle and buffaloes are being identified using polyurethane tags with 12 digit unique identification (UID) number. 
●    Data of the identified animals is being uploaded on Information Network on Animal Health and Productivity (INAPH) data base. 
●    As on date 85 lakh milk producing animals have been identified and their data has been uploaded on INAPH data base.
●    The Pashu Sanjivni is crucial for control and spread of animal diseases, scientific management of animals, enhanced production and productivity, improvement in quality of livestock & livestock products, increase in trade of livestock and livestock products by meeting our sanitary and phytosanitary issues.


Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launches live twitter wall on ‘Bharat Ke Veer’


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the live twitter wall for promoting Bharat Ke Veer portal here today on the eve of Independence Day 2017. 
●    On this occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Affairs Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Shri Kiren Rijiju contributed their one month salary for Bharat Ke Veer.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said that the Security Forces have made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty and the people need to stand by their families to support them. 
●    This social media awareness campaign will display all tweets with hashtag Bharat Ke Veer (#BharatKeVeer), at Connaught Place, CGO complex and Khan Market in New Delhi where huge LED display screens have been installed. 
●    Emoji has also been created for this hashtag.
●    Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, OSD Shri Rajiv Gauba and Senior Officers of MHA were present on this occasion.

Gurdeep Singh Sappal Resigns As Rajya Sabha TV CEO

Gurdeep Singh Sappal has resigned as Rajya Sabha TV CEO and Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has been given the additional charge of the post.
●    "Consequent upon acceptance of resignation of Gurdeep Singh Sappal, CEO, RS TV, with effect from August 12, 2017, he is directed to hand over the charge of CEO, RSTV to Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati," an order of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said.
●    Rajya Sabha TV is owned and operated by the upper house of Parliament and the vice president is its chairman.
●    M Venkaiah Naidu was yesterday sworn in as the 15th vice president. His predecessor Hamid Ansari had two successive terms.
In 2008, Rajya Sabha decided to start its own 24x7 TV channel and three years later, the decision was taken to hand over the reins of the proposed channel to Mr Sappal, who was appointed as its CEO

Current Affairs 14th August 2017: SPORTS

Maheshwari Chauhan bags bronze for India at Asian Shotgun Championship

Shooter Maheshwari Chauhan secured a bronze at the Asian Shotgun Championship to earn India’s first women’s skeet individual medal at a top international competition here.
●    It was made sweeter when she led her country to the team silver alongside compatriots Rashmmi Rathore and Saniya Sheikh.
●    The trio shot a total of 190, finishing behind Gold medallists China, who shot 195. Hosts Kazakhstan won the bronze shooting 185.
●    India’s day was all about Maheshwari though, when she shot 68 out of 75 earlier in the day to finish on top of the qualification pile of 22-shooters.
●    She led a group of six shooters into the final round. Among them was teammate Rashmi Rathore who qualified sixth with a score of 64.
●    It was a quality top six in the final rounds having the likes of Olympic finalists and World Cup Gold medallists Meng Wei of China and Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit of Thailand among others.
 

Current Affairs 14th August 2017: OBITUARY

Padma Shri Dr Bhakti Yadav passes away in Indore


Dr Bhakti Yadav, Madhya Pradesh's first woman doctor and recipient of Padma Shri, passed away following age-related ailments at her residence in Pardeshipura area on Monday morning. She was 92.
●    In April, 2017, Dr Yadav was conferred Padma Shri award for her exemplary services in the field of medicine.
●    Dr Yadav was examining patients till November last year, when she fell down and suffered fractures. 
●    She was bedridden since then.
●    Dr Yadav had offered free treatment for the last 68 years and was known for her close association with her patients.
●    Born on April 3, 1926, in Mahidpur town of Ujjain district, Dr Yadav completed her primary education in Garoth town. 
●    She completed her schooling from Ahilya Ashram School in Indore, while staying with her uncle.
 

Current Affairs 14th August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

UN declares Somalia free of polio


The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday it had not recorded any case of polio disease in Somalia in the last three years, declaring the country polio free.
●    The WHO said the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country but has since then remained free of the paralyzing disease.
●    The UN health agency, however, warned Somalia remained vulnerable, calling for continued vaccination campaign, Xinhua reported.
●    The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean, which covers Somalia, Mohamed Fiqi said that massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country.

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Important Current Affairs 13th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 13th August 2017

Current Affairs 13th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Thaawarchand Gehlot Inaugurates ‘Inclusive Independence Day Celebrations of National Trust’ 


Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the ‘Inclusive Independence Day celebrations’ organised by the National Trust here today. Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Krishna Pal Gurjar also graced the occasion. 
●    Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, New Delhi and Shri K K Sharma, Director General, Border Security Force were the Guests of Honour.
●    Addressing on the occasion, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that his ministry is fully committed to the welfare of Divyangjans and several new schemes and programmes have been initiated during past three years. 
●    He said that the categories of Divyangjans have been increased from Seven to Twenty One to cover more Divyangjans. 
●    He praised the National Trust for organizing such an Inclusive Independence Day celebrations, as a part of its ‘Inclusive India Initiative’, an awareness campaign with the participation of around 2500 people from all walks of life along with 500 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
●    The Inclusive Independence Day celebrations is a pan-India effort and similar activities were also conducted at Bangalore, Guntur, Jorhat, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kanyakumari, Trivendrum, Varanasi, Patna, Raigarh, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Dhanbad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar and Hoshiarpur, he added.


Environment Minister launches ‘Gaj Yatra’ to mark World Elephant Day 2017


Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched ‘Gaj Yatra’ here today, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day. 
●    The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states.
●    Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Dr. Vardhan urged the people to prepare a strategy for a more even distribution of the elephant population in all the states of the country. 
●    The Minister emphasised that an attempt must be made to bring to an end the chapter of man-animal conflict. 
●    He added that a war must be waged against poachers and hunters who harm elephants and other wildlife. 
●    Calling for proactive, innovative and out-of-the-box ideas, Dr. Vardhan said that efforts for elephant conservation must bring about a qualitative improvement by the next World Elephant Day.

No renewal of insurance for vehicles without pollution certificate, says Supreme Court


In a bid to curb pollution, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued a directive that insurance of a vehicle will not be renewed unless the owner provides pollution under control (PUC) certificate.
●    Among the other slew of directions, the bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur also asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to ensure that all fuel refilling centres in the National Capital Region (NCR) have PUC centres.
●    The apex court granted four weeks time to the Centre to ensure that there are functional PUC centres in NCR to ensure that vehicles plying have PUC certificate.
●    The court considered the suggestions given by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
●    The bench was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta way back in 1985 dealing with various aspects of pollution.


Kerala has the highest lifespan of 74.9 years


Post-60 life expectancy is highest in a state you would least expect -J&K. People of this state who are 60 years old will live for another 21.1 years on an average. 
●    At the other extreme is Chhattisgarh, where such life span is 15.6 years.On an average, in India, a man will live for another 17 years and a woman for 19 years after turning 60.
●    These facets of life and death across all states, and over the years, emerge from recently released ' Life Tables ' which showcase yearly mortality data collected from a sample of about 7.4 million people across the country. 
●    This work is done by the Sample Registration System (SRS) under the Census office. The most recent data is from 2010-2014. 
●    Life expectancy can be calculated at birth or at various points in life. `At birth' calculations average out death rates at all subsequent ages.
●    This is usually said to be life expectancy of people in any country or a state within a country ," demographer P M Kulkarni, formerly of JNU, said.

Government to develop green airports in Andhra Pradesh


As a part of Government of India’s initiative to develop green airports, two airports in Andhra Pradesh- Tirupati and Vijayawada are going to go completely green!
●    The work on the same has already begun with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) commencing the process of installing 1 Mega Watt solar power plant at both the airports.
●    The AAI has set up Solar Power Plants at various locations/airports for its captive power consumption based on the capacity permissible under Net-Metering policy of States.
●    It has also completed installation of solar power plants at 29 airports/locations with a total capacity of 12.84 MWp.
●    The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in Kerala is the first airport in the world to be completely powered by solar energy.


 

Current Affairs 13th August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Israel launches first environmental research satellite 'Venus'


Israel has successfully launched its first spatial environmental research vehicle designed for orbital monitoring of Earth's vegetation, the Israel Space Agency (ISA) said on Wednesday. 
●    The Venus satellite (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring New Micro-Satellite) is an earth-observation micro-satellite designed jointly by Israel's agency and France's National Centre for Space Studies ( CNES), Efe news reported. 
●    Venus has a dual mission: one scientific and the other technological. The scientific mission will monitor Earth's vegetation using a camera capable of recording 12 narrow spectral bands. 
●    The technological mission will test the operation of an innovative electric propulsion system based on the Israeli-designed Hall Effect Thrusters. 
●    A Hall-effect thruster (HET) is a relatively low power device used to propel a spacecraft after entering orbit or farther out into space. 
●    Venus' launch took place on board an Arianespace Vega launcher from Kourou, French Guyana, in a joint project between ISA and France's space agency CNES. 
●    It will be inserted into a near polar sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 720 km with a two-day flyover revisiting time.
 

Current Affairs 13th August 2017: APPOINTMENTS

Milkha Singh appointed WHO’s ambassador for physical activity


Sprint legend Milkha Singh has been appointed as the World Health Organisation’s goodwill ambassador for physical activity in South-East Asia Region (SEAR), the global health body said on Friday.
●    As WHO goodwill ambassador, Singh, also known as ‘the Flying Sikh’, will promote WHO SEAR’s non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control action plan which seeks to reduce the level of insufficient physical activity by 10 per cent and NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia said.
●    “Promoting physical activity for health is an important intervention, which is expected to get a significant boost in the region with the support of octogenarian Milkha Singh, a champion for the cause,” she said. 
●    According to her, an estimated 8.5 million people die due to non-communicable diseases every year in WHO South-East Asia Region and many of these deaths are premature and nearly all are lifestyle related.


Prasoon Joshi appointed Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification


The Union Government on 11 August 2017 appointed lyricist Prasoon Joshi as Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for a period of three years. 
●    With this appointment, Joshi has replaced former Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani.
●    In addition to this, the government has also reconstituted the existing CBFC with immediate effect for a period of three years or until further orders.
●    Government has appointed Prasoon Joshi as the chairman of the CBFC by exercising its powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983.
●    Information and Broadcasting Ministry in a release said, there are 12 members of the new board, which include Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra Lal, Vivek Agnihotri and Vidya Balan.


 

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Important Current Affairs 12th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 12th August 2017

Current Affairs 12th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey launches Indian National Anthem video in sign language.


Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the Indian National Anthem video in sign language at Films Division Auditorium, New Delhi today.
●    The video features Mr Amitabh Bachchan along with children with disability singing the National Anthem in sign language at the backdrop of the Majestic Red Fort. 
●    The film is conceptualised by Satish Kapoor, Founder Director, We Care Film Festival. We Care Film Festival produced the Film under the aegis of Brotherhood, an NGO. 
●    It is directed by Govind Nihalani and the music is scored by late Aadesh Shrivastava.
●    Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has a vision that India's development will be complete when our divyangjan become an integral part of it and come forward in the nation building. 
●    Shri Modi had suggested that the term 'divyang' (divine body) instead of 'viklang' be used for persons with disability. 
●    He further said that we must create an environment for the disabled people by which they can be able to earn a livelihood and live an independent life like any other citizen. 
●    It is our responsibility to mainstream them into all walks of life, and to make things accessible to them so that they can be fully integrated into national life.


India ranks 43rd in 2017 Global Retirement Index


India in the first week of August 2017 was ranked at the last position of 43rd in the 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI).
●    The Index is published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
●    The Global Retirement Index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors, which are the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being), access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances), access to quality health services (Health), and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life).
●    The 43 countries included in the index are the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC (Britain, Russia, India and China) countries.
●    The 2017 Global Retirement Index was topped by Norway, followed by Switzerland and Iceland.
 

Current Affairs 10th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


The United Nations on 7 July 2017 adopted the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 
●    This is the first legally-binding international agreement to comprehensively eliminate nuclear weapons.
●    For those nations that are party to it, the treaty prohibits an array of activities - development, testing, production, etc. Besides, the treaty prohibits the assistance and encouragement to the above mentioned prohibited activities. 
●    It is against this backdrop, it is pertinent to understand the significance and the response of different nations, including India, to the treaty.
●    The adoption of the historic pact by the United Nations is of much significance to the global community due to the following reasons.
●    It is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament. The countries, which signed and ratified the treaty, should abide by the provisions of the treaty. 
●    In case of violation, the erring countries will attract sanctions by the United Nations.


Jacob Zuma survives opposition’s no-confidence motion

Jacob Zuma South African President Zuma survives no confidence vote!
●    Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, survived yet another no confidence vote in the parliament. 
●    The country’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) voted against opposition’s motion demanding for Zuma’s removal.
●    Zuma’s career in politics has been rigged with controversies and allegations. 
●    Corruption charges followed him into his presidency and have continued to haunt him hence. 
●    An anti-corruption probe last week raised fresh allegations of misconduct against him.
●    This is the third no- confidence vote that Zuma has survived in less than a year and fifth since 2012.
●    Opposition leader Mmusi Maiman (Democratic Alliance) appealed to the members of the ANC party to vote against their leader.
 

Current Affairs 10th August 2017: OBITUARY

Former Union minister and BJP MP Sanwar Lal Jat passes away

BJP MP from Ajmer 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.
 

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Important Current Affairs 11th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 11th August 2017

Current Affairs 11th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Ministerial meeting of BIMSTEC sets off in Kathmandu


The 15th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ministerial meeting was held at Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu, Nepal on 10 August 2017.
●    The two-day meet was inaugurated by Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara. 
●    The meeting was preceded by the 18th BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), which was chaired by Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi.
●    The main agenda of the meeting was to finalise a free trade agreement among the BIMSTEC members including negotiations on market access for professionals and reducing the duty on trading goods.
●    It also meant to finalise the date of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit that will be hosted by the Nepal, the current chair of the sub-regional forum.


Venkaiah Naidu sworn in as 13th Vice President of the country

Former Union Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu has sworn in as the 13th Vice President of India on 11 August 2017. 
●    He has been administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
●    After the ceremony, Naidu took charge as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha at Parliament House and presided over the proceedings in the Upper House.
●    Before proceeding to the Parliament House this morning, Naidu paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat, Deen Dayal Upadhyay at DDU Park and Sardar Patel at Patel Chowk.
●    Naidu was elected as the Vice President on 5 August 2017 by defeating opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Lok Sabha passes bill to ensure wage payments through e-transfer, cheques


Employers will soon be able to pay wages solely via cheque or bank transfer, with the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passing a bill to remove a provision in the law that requires workers’ consent for non-cash wage payments.
●    The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s ongoing drive to create a less-cash economy.
●    Under the Payment of Wages Act 1936, employers can use cheque or bank transfers to pay wages only with written authorization from the employee. 
●    Tuesday’s amendment bill, once it becomes an Act, will replace the old legislation and allow employers to pay in cash, cheque or credit the amount directly to a bank account, even without a worker’s approval.
●    “The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill got Lok Sabha approval today and the ministry shall try to pass this in the Rajya Sabha in the next two days,” said a media officer in the office of labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya. 
●    The first leg of the budget session ends on 9 February.

Punjab Police to set up SPG to combat terrorism, infiltration


Punjab Police would soon get a 270-member special protection group (SPG), specially trained in Israel and equipped with best weapons to combat terrorism and neutralize armed aggressors, counter infiltration, hijacking, hostage-taking and other such threats.
●    The state police's proposal was given an in-principle approval in a meeting chaired by chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday.
●    Formal proposal for setting up of the SPG would be placed in the next cabinet meeting. 
●    The chief minister suggested that SPG's small core team could be sent to Israel for the state of art counterinsurgency training.
●    As per the plan, the SPG would be headed by an ADGP rank official with IG and a DIG rank officers to assist him. 
●    The team would be divided into three squads, each headed by a SP rank officer of less than 35 years of age. 
●    The DSP rank officers in the team would be younger than 30 years and other ranks would be in the age group of 18-25 years.
 

Current Affairs 11th August 2017: SPORTS

India drop place to 97th in FIFA rankings


India dropped a place in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday to stand at number 97. 
●    In July, India had reached their best FIFA ranking in the last 21 years as they stood at 96, the second highest ranking for the country ever.
●    The Blue Tigers did not play a single International match in the last one month, which resulted in a dip in the ranking. 
●    Stephen Constantine’s side, however, remained in the top 100 rankings. They last played against Nepal in a friendly on June 2 and defeated them 2-0 at home.
●    India currently stand at 341 points on the 97th position, four points behind 96th placed Zambia. 
●    The team has progressed brilliantly under the English manager Constantine, who started coaching the team when it was ranked 171st in the world. 
●    This is his second stint with India after taking charge. 
●    India have been on a seven-game winning streak.


Shuttler HS Prannoy jumps to 15th spot in BWF rankings


Indian shuttler H.S Prannoy jumped a couple of places to be at 15th spot in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released on Thursday.
●    Prannoy’s former World No. 12 compatriot Sourabh Verma, who was the star performer at the New Zealand Open, also vaulted five places to sit at the 32nd spot while Parupalli Kashyap jumped one place to be at 46th.
●    Guntur player Kidambi Srikanth, who is in prime form in the current season, remained at the eighth spot.
●    In women’s singles, Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu and London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal continued to be at fifth and 16th spot respectively.
●    In women’s doubles category, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy were placed at the 25th spot.

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Important Current Affairs 10th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 10th August 2017

Current Affairs 10th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Ten Namami Gange projects of Rs. 2,000 crore Approved


National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved ten projects in Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of about Rs 2,033 crore. 
●    Eight of the ten projects pertain to sewage infrastructure and treatment, one to river front development and one to Ganga Knowledge Centre. 
●    These projects were approved in the 5th meeting of the Executive Committee of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
●    In Bihar, three major sewage infrastructure projects with total estimated cost of Rs 1461 crore in Barh, Kankarbagh and Digha have been approved. 
●    These projects will create additional sewage treatment capacity of 161 MLD (100 MLD in Digha, 50 MLD in Kankarbagh and 11 MLD in Barh). 
●    In Kankarbagh and Digha sewerage zones of Patna, presently there is no STP. 

1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras to be opened in Uttar Pradesh


Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Lal Mandviya, presided over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the Union Government and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for opening 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras in the State. 
●    The ceremony took place in the presence of Minister of Health of Uttar Pradesh Shri Siddharth Nath Singh and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mahendra Singh, in Lucknow today. 
●    The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, signed the MoU on behalf of Government of India with State Agency for Comprehensive Health and Integrated Services (SACHIS) representing Government of Uttar Pradesh.
●    Addressing the media during the event, Shri Mandaviya said that according to the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Government’s priority under the PMBJP scheme is to provide quality medicines at affordable rates to the poor and marginalized sections of society. 
●    The Minister further said that the drugs available under this scheme meet the highest quality benchmarks and are made available by the Government at costs much less than their expensive branded counterparts. 


India ratifies second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

India on 8 August 2017 ratified the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs).
●    In a brief statement, India's Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) stated that India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Convention on Climate Change.
●    With the ratification, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
●    The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
●    It was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997.
●    It entered into force on 16 February 2005.
●    At present, there are 192 parties to the Protocol. However, Canada withdrew from the protocol in December 2012.


Supreme Court issues notice to five states in case of High Security Number plate


The Supreme Court on 8 August 2017 sought response from five states on a plea alleging non- compliance of order related to ensuring High Security Registration Plates for all vehicles.
●    A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices Adarsh Goel and D Y Chandrachud issued notice to Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh and sought their replies in four weeks.
●    The installation of HSRP is statutory command which is not only in the interest of the security of the State, but also serves a much larger public interest.
●    In 2012, the Supreme Court asked several states and Union Territories to ensure High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) for all vehicles or face contempt of court proceedings.
●    It directed that all states, to fully implement the scheme of HSRP positively by 30 April 2012 for new vehicles and by 15 June 2015 for old vehicles.

Three Indian firms among Forbes' most innovative companies


Three Indian firms -- Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, and Bharti Airtel -- are among Forbes' list of the world's 100 most innovative companies, where Salesforce.com has replaced Tesla Motors on the top position. 
●    While HUL and Asian Paints have moved up in their ranks to seventh and eighth respectively (from 31st and 18th last year), Bharti Airtel has entered the ranking at 78th position. 
●    Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Sun Pharma and Larsen & Toubro were also on the 2016 list but they failed to make the cut this year, bringing down the total number of Indian firms from five to three. 
●    The annual 'World's Most Innovative Companies' are the ones that investors expect to be innovative now and in the future. 
●    Besides, to be included in the list, firms need seven years of public financial data and $10 billion in market cap. 

Current Affairs 10th August 2017: AWARDS

Actor Dev Patel honoured with Asian Game Changer Award 2017

Actor Dev Patel honoured with Asian Game Changer Award 2017 Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel was honoured with the Asian Game Changer Award 2017 by the Asia Society for making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.
●    As per the Asia Society, Dev Patel's roles in 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Lion' challenge the audiences to view India's poor as individuals instilled with hopes, dreams and opportunities, not as teeming and desperate masses.
●    Patel has also established lasting ties with India with his #lionheart campaign that has raised over USD 250000 to support homeless children in India.
●    The other Asian Game Changer awardees of 2017 are Tadashi Yanai, the founder of clothing retailing chain UNIQLO; Mongolian Eagle huntress Aisholpan Nurgaiv and Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh.
 

Current Affairs 10th August 2017: OBITUARY

Actor Sitaram Panchal of ‘Peepli Live' fame passes away


Acclaimed Bollywood actor Sitaram Panchal passed away early morning on 10 August 2017 after battling kidney and lung cancer. He was 54.
●    The actor, best known for his unconventional roles in films like Peepli Live, Slumdog Millionaire, Paan Singh Tomar and Jolly LLB, passed away at his residence in Mumbai after celebrating his 26th wedding anniversary with his wife Uma Panchal and son Rishabh Panchal.
●    In his last days, the actor faced severe financial issues. He had even put up a post on social media seeking financial help for his cancer treatment last month. 
●    The Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) had come forward to help the actor. Panchal was discharged from the hospital last month.
●    The actor made his Bollywood debut in 1994 with ‘Bandit Queen’.
●    He was a graduate of National School of Drama.
●    He featured in several critically acclaimed films including Anusha Rizvi’s Peepli Live, Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Paan Singh Tomar, Rajkumar Santoshi’s The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire.
●    Even after the diagnosis, he filmed Shyam Benegal’s TV series, Samvidhan, while undergoing treatment in a Mumbai suburb, Mumbra.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 9th August 2017

Current Affairs 9th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India hosts ‘At Home’ for freedom fighters on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement 


The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind hosted an ‘At Home’ reception for freedom fighters on the occasion of the 75th   anniversary of the Quit India Movement today (August 9, 2017) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
●    On the occasion, the President honoured and felicitated 93 freedom fighters from across the country in the presence of the Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari; Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi; Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries.
●    Each of the freedom fighters was gifted an electric kettle with a personal message from the President.  
●    In his message, the President said “I extend warm greetings to you on the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement.  
●    The nation is proud of our freedom fighters and salutes them.  
●    This small token is our people’s appreciation of your successful struggle against colonialism.  
●    I wish you happiness, good health and a long life.”


NCERT launches its Web Portal for supply of NCERT Textbooks 


Shri Upendra Kushwaha, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India has launched a NCERT’s Web portal for supply of textbooks to schools and individuals in New Delhi today. 
●    The portal will ensure better distribution of textbooks across the country and will also address the apprehensions, on the part of schools and parents, regarding unavailability of NCERT textbooks.  
●    The schools will be able to log on to the portal, by entering their respective Boards’ affiliation numbers and other details, till 8th September 2017 for placing their orders for the session 2018-19. 
●    The Web Portal can be accessed at www.ncertbooks.ncert.gov.in.
●    At the time of placing the orders, the schools are not required to make the payment; the payment can be made just before the supply. 
●    The schools will also have the option of directly procuring textbooks either from their nearest NCERT vendors or from the Regional Production-cum-Distribution Centres (RPDCs) of the NCERT’s located at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Bengaluru.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma Inaugurates Exhibition ‘Quit India’ and ‘Azad Hind Fauj – 75th Anniversary (1942-2017)


On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement and the Azad Hind Fauj, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism inaugurated an exhibition “Quit India and Azad Hind Fauj – 75th Anniversary (1942-2017)” in the National Archives of India, Janpath, New Delhi today. 
●    Addressing on the occasion, Dr Sharma said that the ‘Quit India Movement’ was an important milestone in the Indian Freedom Movement which made the entire nation determined to attain freedom from the British rule. Millions of Indians responded to Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call and the mantra of ‘Do or Die’. 
●    Gandhi Ji and prominent freedom struggle leaders were all arrested on 9th August, 1942. Dr Sharma said that the Prime Minister, in his ‘Man ki Baat’ of 30 July 2017, said: ‘Our young generation must know what had happened on the 9th of August 1942.’ 
●    The forthcoming exhibition is just such endeavour.
●    The exhibition will continue till 1st September 2017. 
●    The exhibition is based on public records, private papers, photographs, newspaper reports and proscribed literature banned by the British Government which came out during the last phase of freedom movement.  Some of original papers are on display in this exhibition.


Construction of Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor 


The 2nd meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP) was held in New Delhi on 05.01.2017. Commerce & Industry Ministers of eight States who are Members of the Council, representatives of other 16 States and Heads of Trade Bodies like FIEO/ FICCI/ CII participated in the meeting.
●    During the course of the meeting, a reference about Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor came up for discussion from Government of Tamil Nadu. 
●    Government of Tamil Nadu requested for expediting detailed planning as well as the environmental impact assessment studies in respect of Ponneri Industrial Node for speedy implementation and also to keep the State Government closely associated at all stages of the project. 
●    The State Government also requested for adequate flexibility in the institutional structure for the governance of Industrial Nodes.
●    Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC), the nodal agency for Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor has already initiated the process for Master Planning of three identified Nodes, namely, Ponneri (Tamil Nadu), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) & Tumkur (Karnataka).

Approval of Industrial Parks in Andhra Pradesh 


Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved two projects under ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’ for development of industrial clusters at Hindupur and  Bobbili in the respective districts of Anantapur and Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh.
●    The objective of  the above projects is to provide quality and reliable infrastructure to industrial units located in these clusters; specifically these projects aim to provide  road network, drainage, power and water supply networks and some other common services like  health centres, canteens, crèches, dormitories, parking areas, etc. 
●    These projects are likely to be functional by 31st March, 2018.
●    These projects  have employment potential of about 5500 persons (direct) and 8500 persons (indirect).
●    This information was given by the Commerce and Industry Minister  Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Health Ministry set for 2nd round of National Deworming initiative to tackle Worm Infections in children 


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is all geared up for its 2nd  round of National Deworming Day (NDD) 2017 on 10th August in 33 States/Uts followed by mop-up activities on 17th August targeting 31 crore children. 
●    A total of 7.8 crore children are targeted in private schools and 3.5 crore out of school children will be covered in this program through Anganwadi workers and ASHAs.
●    This is one of the largest public health programs reaching large number of children during a short period. 
●    The first NDD round of 2017 implemented in February covered 26 crore children with a coverage of 89%.
●    The NDD program has been launched in 2015 as WHO estimates that 220 million children below 14 years of age are at risk of STH infections in India. 
●    National Deworming Day is organised twice in a year covering all the children from 1-19 years of age except the States of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where deworming is carried out once in a year. 
●    The Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) prevalence in these two States is less than 20%. 
●    All the children are provided deworming tablet in schools and anganwadis. The deworming has the potential to improve nutritional status of children. 
●    The deworming tablet called ‘Albendazole’ is a safe and efficacious drug for controlling worm infestation.

Ahmed Patel, Amit Shah & Smriti Irani win RS seats

In a dramatic turn of events Tuesday in the high stakes Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, the Election Commission of India (ECI) invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to revoke the decision of its Returning Officer (RO) in the state and declare invalid the votes cast by two Congress MLAs.
●    Until early Wednesday, the EC announcement of the results was awaited. But there was word that BJP’s Amit Shah and Smriti Irani had won. 
●    The poll panel’s intervention was prompted by a Congress complaint that two of its MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohel and Raghavji Bhai Patel, had turned rebel and violated Rule 39A and Rule 39AA under the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 by disclosing their choice to an unauthorised person, other than the party’s election agent.
●    The EC studied the video footage of the two legislators casting their votes and found merit in the Congress complaint. 
●    Revoking the RO’s decision, the Election Commission at 11.25 pm ordered that the votes cast by the two MLAs be rejected by segregating the ballot papers concerned at the time of counting.
 

Current Affairs 9th August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Citizens of 80 countries including India can now enter Qatar without visa

The Qatari government on 9 August 2017 announced that citizens belonging to 80 countries including India, Canada, US and UK can now enter Qatar without the need of applying for a visa.
●    The Qatari officials stated in a release that Citizens of 80 countries including India, UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa.
●    The release further stated that the visitors from the select countries would be issued a multi-entry waiver, completely free-of-charge, at the point of entry upon presentation of a valid passport having a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
●    The waiver will either be valid for 180 days or for 30 days, depending upon the nationality of the visitor, entitling the person to spend only those many days in the country.
●    The visitor would however, be given a window for applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.
 

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