Current Affairs Daily Digest: February 3, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for February 3, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

India Pakistan border to soon have smart fencing: Government

The Union Government had announced that work on installing smart fence along 3,323-km-long the India-Pakistan border will begin soon. Testing for this smart fence is in final stages. The new fence will have a multi-tier security ring comprising an alarm to security force personnel in case of any infiltration bid or attempts to cut the fence. India’s border with Pakistan runs through four states, Jammu and Kashmir (1,225 km which includes 740 km of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 km), Punjab (553 km) and Gujarat (508 km).

UIDAI shuts down 24 unauthorised websites, mobile apps

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public. This action comes in line with a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services. UIDAI has a zero tolerance to such unauthorised websites and mobile applications, and will continue to keep vigil on them. UIDAI is nodal statutory organization behind the Aadhaar, a 12 digit unique number. It was granted statutory status by Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

Centre of Integrative Oncology inaugurated in New Delhi

The Union Government has inaugurated Centre of Integrative Oncology, an institute dedicated to building collaboration in the areas of cancer prevention, research and care in New Delhi. The Centre will pave the way to carry forward the ongoing bilateral dialogue and facilitate collaboration with stakeholders, both national and international. It will also be the clearing house for information for AYUSH projects on cancer research and management. Besides, a fellowship programme was also launched as part of which 5 post-doctoral and 5 senior research fellowships given out each year to facilitate quality research on cancer.

Government appoints 3 whole-time members in IBBI

The Union Government has appointed former Deputy CAG Suman Saxena, Mukulita Vijaywargiya and Navrang Saini as whole-time member in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). They have been appointed for five years or till completion of 65 years of age. The IBBI is mandated to regulate the functioning of insolvency agencies, insolvency professionals and information utilities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The code is meant for insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

NITI Aayog launches India Innovation Index

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly launched India Innovation Index. Besides country’s first innovation index portal was also launched. The index has been jointly developed by NITI Aayog, DIPP and CII in consultation with World Economic Forum (WEF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University, UNIDO, ILO, OECD, UNESCO, ITU etc. Read more

Government introduces alternative funding mechanism of electoral bonds: Budget

The Union Government has announced two measures in the Budget 2017-18 to bring in greater transparency in funding of political parties. These include capping cash funding by a single anonymous donor to Rs. 2000 (one tenth of the current limit of Rs 20,000) and introduction of the electoral bonds. It will take effect from 1 April, 2018. Read more

Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set-up at village level: Budget

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget Speech 2017-18 announced corpus of Rs 500 crore for setting up Mahila Shakti Kendras in the 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres at village level. These kendras will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, health, nutrition and digital literacy. Read more

Government notifies new rules for medical devices

The Union Health Ministry has notified new rules for medical devices to remove regulatory bottlenecks and ensure availability of medical devices for patients. Under the new rules, manufactures will not be required to renew licenses periodically and submission of applications and grant of licenses will be done online. Read more

India signs $201.50 million Financing Agreement with World Bank for TEQIP III

The Union Government has singed Financing Agreement for IDA credit of $201.50 million with World Bank for the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’ (TEQIP III). The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India. Read more

India, Sri Lanka signs MoU to construct new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school

India and Sri Lanka have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school in Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by of India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi.  Read more

International Current Affairs

Right to Information Act comes into force in Sri Lanka

The historic Right to Information (RTI) Act has come into force in Sri Lank years to ensure transparency in governance and easy availability of information. The Sri Lankan Government has gazetted almost all categories of public authorities that fall within the purview of RTI. Earlier the island nations Parliament had unanimously passed the Right to Information Act in June 2016. As per the act, public authorities are liable to share information within the specified timelines, subject to a maximum of 28 days. The Government also had intoduced 19th Amendment to the Constitution that recognises the Right to Information as a fundamental right.

UK Parliament gives nod to begin Brexit process

UK Parliament has given its not to begin the process of Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) after winning a crucial vote in the House of Commons. In this regard, British MPs voted in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. 498 MPs voted in favour of Brexit Bill, while 114 voted against it. The bill now progresses to the next more detailed legislative stage before it can become law.

China successfully tests DF-5C missile with 10 nuclear warheads

China has successfully tested a new version of a DF-5C missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads in January 2017. The flight test of the missile was carried using 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, (MIRVs), from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province and to an impact range in the western Taklamakan desert. Read more

Banking, Business and Economy

Government appoints Sanjeev Sanyal as Principal Economic Adviser

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed noted economist Sanjeev Sanyal as the principal economic adviser in the department of economic affairs in the Union Finance Ministry. He is likely to serve as the second in command in the economic division of the ministry currently led by the chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.  He has been appointed on contract for a three-year period from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders. Sanyal is former managing director and global strategist at Deutsche Bank. He rich working experience of two decades in international financial markets and was named Young Global Leader 2010 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban issues and was also honoured by the Singapore government at the World Cities Summit, 2014.

Tata Motors unveils TAMO to develop futuristic vehicles

Tata Motors has introduced TAMO, a sub-brand that will act as an incubator to develop new range of technology–heavy mobility solutions for the Indian and global markets. It will act as an incubating centre of innovation for developing new technologies, business models and partnerships to define future mobility solutions, according to top officials of Tata Motors. It will act as an open platform to network with global start-ups and leading technology companies to get access to trends, innovations and solutions for the design of exciting future products and services.

Centre to divest Rs. 11,000 crore stake in PSU insurers

The Union Government has decided to divest Rs. 11,000 crore worth of stake in PSU general insurance companies to meet the steep disinvestment target of Rs. 72,500 crore next fiscal (2017-18). Of the total target, Rs. 46,500 crore will be mobilised through minority stake sale and Rs. 15,000 crore from strategic disinvestment. The goal of Rs. 72,500 crore is higher than Rs. 45,500 crore the government has estimated to raise in the current fiscal (2016-17). A sum of Rs. 11,000 crore is budgeted from the listing exercise.

Gujarat Technological University sets up centre of excellence in automation technologies

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has set up centre of excellence in automation technologies at its Ahmedabad campus to foster research & knowledge among the Engineering students. The centre had been set up in cooperation with German company Bosch Rexroth India Limited (BRIN. The main goal of this centre is to improve the technical competence, entrepreneurship and employability of Under Graduate & Post Graduate students and encourage them to pursue PG and doctoral programs. GTU also has planned to set up a few centers of excellence at frontiers of today’s technology in Automation, Automobile, Mobile Hydraulic and Mobile Electronics Technologies with the help of BRIN.

Persons in News

Neeti Mohan collaborates with UN for women empowerment

Noted singer Neeti Mohan has become the first Indian female singer to collaborate with United Nations for women empowerment. She will collaborate to UN Voluntary Trust Fund project titled “Music To Inspire – Artists United Against Human Trafficking”. She has composed Udne De as a tribute to all the women and in support of equality for all as a part of this project. Over 60 renowned artists and dignitaries from around the world have collaborated with Rukus Avenue to participate in the project of triple album that benefits UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, managed by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).This is a collective fight by the music community to make a social statement and end human trafficking.

Sports Current Affairs

Footballer Frank Lampard retires

Former England and Chelsea midfield star Frank Lampard has announced his retirement at the age of 38 after turning down “a number of exciting offers” in Britain and abroad. Most recently Lampard had left New York City FC in the autumn and also played for West Ham United and Manchester City in the Premier League.  He had scored 211 times for Chelsea and won every major club honour, netting the goals which in 2005 secured the club’s first championship title in 50 years.

Lakshya Sen becomes World No.1 Junior Badminton player

India’s Lakshya Sen (15) has become the World No 1 Junior Badminton player in the latest rankings of the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Lakshya has moved ahead of Chia Hao Lee of the Chinese Taipei, to attain the top spot. He had earned 16,903 points in eight tournaments in the season. Chia Hao, who is at the second spot, has 16,091 points. With this he became, first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the number one spot at the international level.  In 2016, he had won the Senior India International Series Badminton Tournament, All India Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament. He is youngest ever player and the first ever from Uttarakhand to win the title at senior level.

Days & Observances

February 2: World Wetlands Day

The World Wetland Day (WWD) is observed every year on 2 February to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands also called as Ramsar Convention on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. 2017 Theme: “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”. Read more

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