Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 11, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 11, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
Health Ministry to roll out measles-rubella vaccine
The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare will roll out measles-rubella (MR) vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in February 2017. In addition, Pneumococcal conjugate (pneumococcal pneumonia) vaccine will also become a part of the UIP basket in three other states from March 2017. Read more
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first international exchange at GIFT city
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first international exchange India INX at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT (Gujarat International Financial Tech) City Gandhinagar, Gujarat. India INX is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). It will enable Indian firms to compete on equal footing with offshore firms. Read more
Indian Railways launches IRCTC Rail Connect app
The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched new passenger mobile application named ‘IRCTC Rail Connect app’ to promote ease of ticketing through digital transactions. The new mobile-based application will replace the old existing IRCTC connect app. It has been developed for reserved booking and to increase the ease to users. Read more
Gujarat Government launches India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy
Gujarat government launched India’s first student startup and innovation policy with an aims to provide Rs 200 crore in the form of grants to ideas developed by students/ The policy aims to support over 1,000 innovation per year in the state and create pre-incubation support in all universities of the state. Read more
2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) upon 30 prominent non-resident Indians (NRI’s)/ organisations on the concluding day of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. They were presented with award for their contribution in various fields. The PBSA is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions organized annually since 2003. It is awarded to Non-Resident Indians (NRIS), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or an organization or institution established and run by the NRIs or PIOs in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad. The award carries a bilingual Sanad (certificate), a citation, a gold medallion and a miniature of the medallion in the form of a lapel pin.
Environment, Science and Technology Current Affairs
US Researchers discover the function of human appendix
Researchers from Midwestern University have identified the function of the human appendix, often viewed as a vestigial organ with little-known use. They discovered that the human appendix has evolved at least 30 times and even possibly up to a maximum of 41 times throughout the mammalian evolution. Read more
New fault in Indian Ocean may trigger earthquakes in future: study
According to scientists, a new plate boundary may be forming on the floor of the Indian Ocean in Wharton Basin as a result of the 2012 earthquake that shook the Andaman-Sumatra region. The discovery was based on the study of seismic data recorded before, during and after the 2012 quakes and sea floor depth analysis by venturing into the ocean aboard a research vessel. Read more
Banking Business & Economy
India sixth largest manufacturing country in the world: PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address at 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit announced that India is now sixth largest manufacturing country in the world up from earlier 9th position. He also called that democracy is India’s biggest strength and country’s strength lies in 3Ds — demography, democracy and demand. The 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is being attended by global leaders, Nobel Prize winners and top industrialists from India and from other countries. Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is a biennial business meet launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2003 when he chief minister of the state to attract investment in Gujarat. The last edition of the summit held in 2015, had drawn investment proposals of $366 billion or Rs.25 lakh crores.
Axis Bank becomes third lender to offer block chain service
Private sector Axis Bank became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain solutions for its operations. For this purpose, Axis Bank has tied up with fintech firm Ripple. The bank will use this upcoming technology for its cross-border remittances. India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was the first to announce block chain solutions in for international trade finance and remittances in October 2016. It was followed up by Yes Bank (launched in January 2017) for its will be using the technology for vendor financing.
Blockchain technology: It is a decentralised digital ledger that records transactions on thousands of computers globally in such a way that the registered transactions cannot be altered retrospectively. It is a secured way of conducting online transactions and its use removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. In case of cross border remittances, its use enables instant transfer of money as against the current system that takes about a week for the same.
World Bank drops India’s growth rate to 7 %
The World Bank in its recently released flagship ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report has decelerated India’s growth for 2016-17 fiscal to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.6%. The one of the reason given for decline in growth figures is to unexpected demonetisation of high-value currency notes. However, report mentions that India is still retain its position as the world’s fastest growing major economy ahead of China, which is forecast to grow 6.7% in 2016. It also held that demonetisation could also pose a risk to other reforms such as the goods and services tax and labour and land reforms. But over the medium term, demonetisation may lead to liquidity expansion in the banking system, helping lower lending rates and lift economic activity.
WNS acquires US based Denali for $40 million
Business process management company WNS has acquired US-based Denali Sourcing Services for $40 million to improve its capabilities in the sourcing and procurement capabilities. The acquired company will play a complementary role in WNS’s offerings in the finance and accounting space. WNS had been working with Denali as a strategic partner for last two-and-a-half years for rendering various services to clients. With this acquisition, all 200 staffers of Denali including the founders will be absorbed into WNS.
Housing.com, PropTiger.com merges to form largest online realty firm
Real estate portals PropTiger.com and Housing.com announced their merger. Both companies have merged with it in an all-stock deal to form India’s largest online real estate services company. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is the largest shareholder in PropTiger.com and Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank is the biggest investor in Housing.com. Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder of PropTiger will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the joint entity. By 2030, India is expected to be the third largest real estate market in the world with the sector contributing to over 15% of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
International Conference & Exhibition on Re-enforced Plastics held in Mumbai
The 8th International Conference and Exhibition on Re-enforced Plastics (ICERP) organized by FRP Institute was inaugurated by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Bombay Exhibition centre in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra. The three-day ICERP 2017 event comprised of exhibition, conference programmes emphassing on mechanism, process and automation, business meetings concentrating on technological tie-ups. It is the second largest event in Asia. The emphasis of the ICERP 2017 was on upgradation of composites technology in India to reach global level in terms of product quality, finishing and also to address the challenges that have to be met to achieve global standards.
Persons in News
4 Indian American scientists selected for presidential awards
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has selected four Indian-American scientists among 102 researchers for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). They are Pankaj Lal from Montclair State University, Kaushik Chowdhury from Northeastern University, Manish Arora from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Aradhna Tripati from University of California, Los Angeles. Read more
Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth passes away
Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth passed away in Hong Kong aged 105. She was the first war correspondent to report the outbreak of World War II and described it as “the scoop of the century”. In her career, Hollingworth had covered major historic events including conflicts in Vietnam, Middle East, India, Pakistan, Chinese culturalrevolution and Algerian civil war. Before becoming a reporter, Hollingworth helped rescue thousands of people from Hitler’s forces by arranging British visas. She was also credited with the first and last interviews with the Shah of Iran who was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
US Embassy gives award to Amitabh Bachchan for fighting TB
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was given an award by the US Embassy (New Delhi) in appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the US-India partnership on tuberculosis (TB). The award was presented to the legendary actor by the US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is also a tuberculosis survivor and brand ambassador for the initiative. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). It generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze.
Sports Current Affairs
Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva announces retirement
13-time gymnastics world champion Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva has announced retirement from the sport at aged 19. She had won 13 world championships from 2013 to 2015. She was also the youngest rhythmic gymnast to win the World Championships, winning the all-around category in 2013 aged 15 years. Her retirement announcement comes after she had suffered a fracture while preparing for Rio Olympics and won a silver in all-around gymnastics at 2016 Rio Olympics.
Virat Kohli appointed as brand ambassador Gionee
Chinese mobile handset brand Gionee has roped in Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador. The poster boy for Indian cricket will joining Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt as the brand ambassador of Gionee. The Chinese company which had entered India in 2012 clocked $1.4 billion (`9,500 crore) of revenue in India in 2016 by selling 1.2 crore handsets. It now closes to India’s largest phone manufacturer and the country’s third-largest smartphone maker Micromax Informatics. It also competes with Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi and Lenovo, besides market leader Samsung.
Britain becomes first country to recognise parkour as a sport
Britain became the first country in the world to officially recognise Parkour as a sport. Parkour, also known as freerunning sport, is similar to military obstacle training. It involves participants running, climbing and jumping acrobatically around buildings and over terrain using only his natural body strength. It was founded in France in the 1980s as Art du Deplacement and later took its name from the French word ‘parcours’ (course or route). The sport has been considered controversial since it uses minimal protection gear.
Rajasthan Cricket Association first to adopt Lodha Committee reforms
Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) became the first state cricket governing body in the country to accept all the reforms recommended by Lodha Committee on structural reforms in BCCI. The recommendations were accepted by association’s Emergent General Meeting (EGM). The Lodha committee was constituted by Supreme Court in January 2016 and had accepted its major recommendations in July 2016. The apex court had given six months deadline to BCCI to implement the recommendations. But in January 2017, SC cracked the whip on BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke by removing them from their respective posts for their failure to bring transparency and accountability to the Indian cricket board and their non-compliance of court’s July 2016 order.