Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 8, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 8, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
India, Portugal sign six agreements
India and Portugal have signed six memorandum of understandings (MoUs) including in defence cooperation. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Portugal counterpart António Costa who is chief Guest of 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Read more
World Bank holds meet with India on Indus Water Treaty
India asked the World Bank not to rush in brokering a deal on its dispute with Pakistan over Ratle and Kishenganga projects coming up in Jammu and Kashmir. India conveyed its position during a meeting with World Bank representative in New Delhi. India asserted that the differences between India and Pakistan can be resolved bilaterally or through a neutral expert. Read more
India’s GDP growth expected to be slower at 7.1% in 2016-17: CSO
According to growth projection released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to grow at a slower pace at 7.1% in 2016-17 as compared to 7.6% in 2015-16. Read more
Delhi Government unveils Good Samaritan Policy
Delhi Government has approved ‘Good Samaritan Policy to encourage people to help road accident victims in emergency situation. It was approved by the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi. This policy will give bystanders incentive to help accident victims and more importantly provide them with legal protection. Read more
Budget Session of Parliament to begin from 31 January 2017
The Budget session of Parliament will start from 31 January 2017 and is likely to conclude on the 12 April 2017. President Pranab Mukherjee will address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the first day of the session. Both houses will have a month long recess from 10 February to 8 March, 2017 to enable the Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries and Departments and prepare their Reports. The colonial practice of separate railway budget has been scrapped from this year. The estimates of railway will be part of the Union Budget.
Science and Technology Current Affairs
Ebola virus found hiding in lungs
Scientists for the first time found potential evidence of the Ebola virus replication in the lungs of a person recovering from infection. Scientists believe that the lungs simply provided a protective environment that allowed virus RNA (ribonucleic acid) to linger longer than it did in the blood. The findings could aid research into new treatments and help better understand transmission of the virus. Earlier there were theories that the lung may be cocoon for the virus ad evidence for it has been elusive. From 2013 to 2016, West African countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had experienced an unprecedented outbreak of haemorrhagic Ebola.
China to set up world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet
China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave observatory in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. The telescope will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. The construction work of the first telescope code-named Ngari No.1 as part of first phase has started. It is expected to be operational by 2021. It is located at located 5,250 meters above sea level, 30kms south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture at China’s border with India. In the second phase series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No. 2 will be set up about 6,000 meters above sea level. The high altitude of Ngari observatory provides clear sky to detect tiny twists in cosmic light and has minimal human activity. This observatory will be among the world’s top primordial gravitational wave observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and the facility in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
MIT researchers develop super strong, lightweight 3D Graphene
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed 3D version of graphene by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. Graphene is one of the strongest materials known to man, but so far because of its extreme thinness it was not able for practical use. The 3D version of Graphene was produced using a combination of heat and pressure. It produced stable structures called diatom. This version is lightweight, only 5% as dense as steel but is 10 times stronger. This development could lead production of more lighter, stronger materials.
Astronomers discover powerful cosmic double whammy
Astronomers have discovered two of the most powerful phenomena in the universe, a supermassive black hole and the collision of giant galaxy clusters about 2 billion light years from Earth. It was discovered combining data from India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. Read more
Persons in News
Gen. Raheel Sharif to head Islamic Military Alliance
Pakistan’s former Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif (retired) was appointed head of Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of 39 nations. The appointment was confirmed by Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif as both the government and the Army allowed Gen. Sharif take charge of the alliance. Read more
Former West Bengal Minister Saral Deb passes away
Veteran All India Forward Bloc leader and former West Bengal minister Saral Deb passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82. He was a six-time state legislator, winning from Barasat constituency of North 24 Parganas district. He was the state Library Minister from 1977 to 1982 and also had held the Cooperative portfolio from 1982 to 1987. He was the front runner to organise cooperative movement in the state. Bornin Khulna district (now in Bangladesh) of undivided India.
Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national intelligence director
US president-elect Donald Trump has named retired senator Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. He is former senator from the state Indiana who had served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Coats will need the Senate confirmation for his appointment and shall replace James Clapper. His appointment comes at the after release of declassified US intelligence report mention Russia’s influence in the 2016 Presidential Election. The office of US National Intelligence Director was created after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to improve coordination among US spy and law enforcement agencies.
Nana Akufo-Addo sworn in as President of Ghana
Former human rights lawyer Nana Akufo-Addo (72) was sworn in as new president of Ghana. He had won the December 2016 elections by defeating incumbent President John Dramani Mahama in the first round by winning 53.83% of the votes. Mr Akufo-Addo’s inauguration represents the latest peaceful handover of power in Ghana. Previously he had served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007. Ghana, the western African country is major cocoa and gold exporter. At present it is facing economic crisis and is half-way through a three-year aid programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fix an economy dogged by high public debt and inflation.
Events and Observances Current Affairs
44th New Delhi World Book Fair begins
The 44th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair began at Pragati Maidan in national capital. The theme for this edition of the event is ‘Manushi– Books Written on and by Women’. Based on the theme, the fair will exhibit the rich tradition of women writings from ancient times till the present. Read more
14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins in Bengaluru
he 14th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) began in the country’s IT hub Bengaluru, Karnataka. The theme of this edition is “Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora”. On the first day of three day event, ‘Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ was inaugurated as part of the PBD 2017 with an aim to connect with the youth, the new generation of Pravasis growing up all over the world. Read more
9th Jaipur International Film Festival begins
The ninth edition of Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) began in Jaipur, capital city of Rajasthan in the presence of renowned film makers. This edition of the festival will witness participation by 250 filmmakers and artistes. This year’s Life Time Achievement Award was presented to internationally acclaimed cine-visionary Ramesh Prasad who is hailed as creator of specialised post production facilities. JIFF is touted to be world’s fastest growing film festival. The five-day film festival aims to promote work of emerging directors, as well as encourage exchange of knowledge, ideas, information and culture between India and the participating nations.
Sports Current Affairs
Sania Mirza, Bethanie Mattek-Sands wins 2017 Brisbane women’s doubles title
Sania Mirza, Bethanie Mattek-Sands wins 2017 Brisbane women’s doubles title Brisbane International women’s doubles title. In the final match, top-seeded Indo-American duo defeated second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina by 6-2, 6-3 score. This was Sania’s first title of the season but ended her 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. This top rank position was taken over by her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Novak Djokovic wins 2017 Qatar Open tennis title
Novak Djokovic from Serbia won the 2017 Qatar Open tennis title in the men’s single category. In the final match held in the capital city Doha he defeated Andy Murray from Britain by 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 score. This was Djokovic’s second Qatar Open title after first won in 2016. It was the 36th contest between the two tennis players, and Murray lost for the 25th time against his old rival Djokovic. In the doubles category Spanish pair, Feliciano López and Marc López defeated Philipp Petzschner (Germany) and Alexander Peya (Austria) pair by 6-4, 6-3 score to win the title.