Short Updates Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs Short Updates: April 8, 2017

Daily Current Affairs Short Updates for April 8, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs and newspaper summary.

National Current Affairs

PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of multimodal terminal in Jharkhand

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a multi-modal terminal and a four-lane bridge on the Ganga river in Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district. The multi-modal terminal is an important component of the development of the National Waterway-1 (NW-1) from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal, a distance of 1,390 km. The four-lane bridge on the Ganga river will be connecting Sahibganj to Manihari in Bihar’s Katihar district.

Ban on cash transactions of over Rs 2 lakh not applicable for bank, post office withdrawals

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified that the ban on cash transaction in excess of Rs. 2 lakh will not be applicable to withdrawals from banks and post office savings accounts. Central Government has banned cash transactions of over 2 lakh through the Finance Act 2017. Under it, cash transactions of over 2 lakhs will a penalty of an equal amount would be levied on the receiver.

International Current Affairs

US, China agree to pursue 100-day plan for reducing trade deficit

United States and China have agreed to pursue a ‘100-day plan’ aimed at reducing the US trade deficit with China. Decision in this regard was taken by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in their first summit held in Florida, US. They also agreed to adopt the US-China Comprehensive Dialogue. It will replace the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. It is designed to cover 4 fields that include law enforcement, cyber security and economy.

States Current Affairs

Sex ratio in Haryana touches 950 mark for first time

The sex ratio in Haryana for the first time in the history has touched the 950 mark in March, 2017.  It was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The state has improved its skewed sex ratio after the launch of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Haryana. It also had launched a massive campaign in the state by strictly implementing Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The State is also running sensitisation-cum-awareness campaigns promoting girl child.

Madhya Pradesh Government launches 1 year diploma course on Hindu priesthood

Madhya Pradesh government-run Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan will launch one-year diploma course on Hindu priesthood ‘Purohityam’ from July 2017. This course will be open for all irrespective of religion, caste, or gender. The basic qualification needed for enrolling this course is class X. The enrolled candidates will be taught basics of priesthood, rituals, mantras in accordance with the Hindu tradition.

Science and Technology Current Affairs

Scientists discovers protein that increases effectiveness of vaccines against cancer

Scientists from Boston University School of Medicine, US have discovered a protein that could help make vaccinations more effective and provide protection from diseases such as cancer. They had purified a protein found on the exterior of bacteria – neisseria meningitis and used it as an accessory to provide a better vaccination response. Typically, vaccines can either increase the amount of antibody production or they can stimulate cells called cytotoxic T cells to directly kill the offending agent. In this case, the protein called PorB is unique as it can do both.

Persons in News

Malala Yousafzai to become youngest United Nations Messenger of Peace

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has selected Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai (19) as Messenger of Peace. With this, she becomes UN’s youngest-ever Messenger of Peace, the highest honour bestowed by the UN on a global citizen. Pakistani education activist Malala became a global symbol of the fight for girls education after being shot in the head in October 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education. She had survived the deadly attack and became an advocate for millions of girls denied formal education around the world.

Donald Trump nominates Indian-American Neomi Rao as his regulatory czar

US President Donald Trump has nominated prominent Indian-American law expert Neomi Rao as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) (regulatory czar). She will oversee the US President’s plan to eliminate 75% of federal regulations. OIRA is a statutory part of the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. It reviews regulations from federal agencies and has the power to reject rules that do not fall in line with the President’s goals. Currently, Rao is a professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Earlier, she had served as Associate Counsel to President George W Bush; counsel for nominations and constitutional law to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Donald Trump nominates Indian-American Vishal Amin as his IP czar

US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American Vishal Amin as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President (IP czar). He will coordinate US law-enforcement strategy around copyright, patents and trademarks. His appointment needs confirmation of US Senate and will succeed Daniel Marti. Currently, Amin is a Senior Counsel on House Judiciary Committee. He also had served in the administration of President George W Bush as Associate Director for Domestic Policy and at the US Department of Commerce, as Special Assistant and Associate Director for Policy in the Office of the Secretary.

Sports Current Affairs

NBA Launches India’s first Basketball School in Mumbai

US based National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched its first basketball school in India in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra. The school was opened as part of a multi-year agreement with India On Track (IOT). The school’s syllabus has been framed by the NBA’s Elite Basketball Development team with current and former NBA coaches, player development experts and former NBA players. The school was opened as part of a network of tuition-based basketball development programmes to train the male and female basketball players ages 6-18. NBA is planning to open more schools in India and around the world this year.

Boxer Shyam Kumar wins gold medal at Thailand International

Indian boxer K Shyam Kumar has won gold medal at the Thailand International Tournament in the 49- kilogram category held in Bangkok. In the final match, he was declared winner after Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan pulled out of the bout owing to an injury. It was Kumar’s second gold medal at the event after he had first gold medal in the 2015 edition.

IOA grants affiliation to Boxing Federation of India

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has granted affiliation to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). With this, the BFI now becomes the fully recognised body for Indian boxing. It already has been granted affiliation by AIBA and the Union Sports Ministry. The affiliation also ends a logjam that goes back to September 2016 when BFI took charge of the sport after fair elections were conducted in the presence of AIBA and Sports Ministry observers. Prior to it, IOA had refused to grant recognition to BFI stating that it still considered the now-defunct Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) as the official national body for the sport.

Days and Events

April 6: International Day of Sports for Development and Peace

The International Day of Sports for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is observed every year on April 6 to recognize the power of sport in promoting peace and its ability to inspire. To celebrate this day, United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) has launched digital campaign #WePlayTogether. The campaign seeks to encourage organizations and individuals who support or carry out sport for development and peace activities to partake in the commemoration of the IDSDP.

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Daily Current Affairs Short Updates: April 7, 2017

Daily Current Affairs Short Updates for April 7, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

International Current Affairs

Iceland set to become world’s first country to neutralise gender pay gap

Iceland is set to become the first country in the world to neutralise gender pay gap. In this regard, a bill was introduced in Iceland’s parliament that makes mandatory for public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees. The bill entails companies and institutions of a certain size (25 or more employees), to undertake a certification of their equal-pay programmes. According to World Economic Forum (WEF)’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), Iceland was ranked first and was followed by fellow Nordic nations Norway, Finland and Sweden.

US launches multiple missile strikes in Syria after chemical weapons attack

The United States has carried out a missile attack against targets in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province. US warships launched between 50 to 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airfiled from where the Syrian warplanes had carried out the chemical attacks. The purpose of strikes was intended to deter the Syrian regime led by Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again. The suspected chemical attack had killed 86 people including women and children in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in northwestern Syria.

States Current Affairs

Union Government declares Kerala drought-hit

The Union has declared Kerala drought-hit, along with seven other States. The declaration was based on a memorandum submitted to the Union Ministry of Agriculture by Kerala Government seeking assistance for drought relief activities. Other seven states are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Centre has allowed 50 additional working days in these eight states under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Scheme and shall receive assistance of Rs. 24,000 crore.

Assam Government conducts Gunotsav programme

Assam government had conducted four-day long Gunotsav programme to improve quality of school education in the state. The quality improvement programme covered over 9 lakh students of 12320 primary schools in Chirang, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Hailakandi, Kamrup (Metro), Morigaon and West Karbi Anglong districts of the state. In it, external evaluators were deputed to the schools for conducting external evaluation of students to gauge and assess the quality of learning and teachers and students. It should be noted that, Gunotsav originally was Gujarat government’s initiative which has been adopted by Assam government.

Environment, Science and Technology Current Affairs

Google unveils ‘YouTube Go’

Google has rolled out the beta version of its new ‘YouTube Go’ application in India. The application promises to give a better experience of watching videos on a slower network. It has been designed to be offline first and to improve the experience of watching videos on a slower network. Users can also keep a tab on data used for streaming or saving videos. It can be downloaded on the Google Play Store in India.

Twitter unveils ‘Lite’ version

Micro blogging site Twitter had rolled out Twitter Lite, a “data friendly” version of the platform in India. Twitter Lite will use up to 70% less data than the standard version and load 30% faster on slow or unreliable networks and take up less space on devices. It will provide the key features of Twitter such as your timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more.

North India to get first wildlife DNA bank in Bareilly

North India will soon get its first DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) bank for wildlife at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. In this regard, scientists at IVRI in Bareilly are in the process of collecting the DNA samples of all kinds of wildlife to set up the bank.  It is expected to help in wildlife research and also bring down poaching.

Defence Current Affairs

Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra

President Pranab Mukherjee has posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award on Lance Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles. The late Lance Havildar had eliminated four terrorists during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2016. President also presented 13 Shaurya Chakras, of which four were posthumous and 45 Distinguished Service medals that included 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 28 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals.

Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat conferred with honorary rank of general of Nepal Army

General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was conferred with honorary rank of general of Nepal Army. The title was conferred by Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari during a special function at the President’s Office. India and Nepal have a long tradition of conferring such honorary titles on the chiefs of their armies since 1950 to signify the close military-to-military ties.

Persons in News

Raman Roy appointed as new chairman NASSCOM

Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Quatrro Raman Roy was appointed as the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) for the year 2017-18. He succeeded CP Gurnani, MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra. Roy is considered one of the poster boys of the Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. He has been a member of NASSCOM’s executive council and was the vice-chairman in 2016-17. Apart from him, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and member of the Board in Wipro Ltd Rishad Premji was appointed as the Vice Chairman of NASSCOM for 2017-18. NASSCOM is country’s premier software lobby. It facilitates business and trade in software and services and encourages the advancement of research in software technology.

Malvika Sinha appointed as new Executive Director of RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Malvika Sinha as new Executive Director (ED) following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor. In her new role, she will look after foreign exchange department, internal debt management wing and department of government and bank accounts. Prior to her elevation, she was Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Cooperative Banking Supervision in the RBI. She had had joined RBI in 1982 and as a career central banker she had served in the areas of regulation and supervision, foreign exchange and government and bank accounts.

Roland founder and digital music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi passes away

Japanese engineer, Roland founder and pioneer of digital music Ikutaro Kakehashi passed away in Japan. He was 87. He was best known for founding Roland Corporation in 1972 as well as his roles in the development of Roland drum machines and MIDI standard (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). He also had invented a series of drum machines and synthesisers such as the TR-808, TR-909 and TB-303 that were used by some of music’s biggest legends such as Prince, Kanye West, New Order, Dr Dre etc. since the mid-1970s. MIDI is a technical standard that describes a protocol, digital interface and connectors. It allows a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers and other related devices to connect and communicate with one another.

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

TRAI orders Reliance Jio to withdraw Summer Surprise offer

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ordered Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm to withdraw its complimentary ‘Jio Summer Surprise’ that offered 3 months of free services to a user who paid an initial fee. TRAI’s order comes amid increasing pressure on it from incumbent telcos and the telecom department over the Jio’s two promotions Welcome Offer and Happy New Year. These offers were cleared earlier by the TRAI but had led to a rate war, which had badly affected telecom industry’s finances, leading to a sharp fall in government revenue.

RBI cuts clearance time for NEFT transfers to make them faster

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to slash clearance time for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) in an attempt to enhance efficiency of the electronic payment system and add to customer convenience. It was announcement was made in line with the Vision-2018 for Payment and Settlement Systems. Now, the NEFT settlement cycle will be reduced from hourly batches to half hourly batches. Besides, 11 additional settlement batches will be introduced at 8.30 am onwards, taking the total number of half hourly settlement batches during the day to 23. This move will enhance the efficiency of the NEFT system and add to customer convenience.

Sports Current Affiars

Sports Ministry approves appointment of Foreign Coaches in Athletics

Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel has approved appointment of two foreign coaches and two support staff for athletics. They are Dave Smith, Galina P. Bukharina, Dmitry Kislev and Elmira Kisleva who have been made upto 2020 Olympics and they will be subject to performance review annually. These appointments were recommended by the Foreign Coach Selection committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Sports.

PV Sindhu reaches career-best World No.2 ranking

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu (21) jumped three places to achieve a career-best world number two ranking in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings by earning 75759 points. With this, she became only the second Indian woman after Saina Nehwal to break into the top-five of the world rankings. Sindhu recently had won the India Open title after defeating Carolina Marin of Spain. Saina Nehwal was placed at ninth position in the ranking table with 64279 points. None of the male Indian shuttler figured in the top-10 list.

Days and Events

National Children’s Film Festival held in Vishakhapatnam

The National Children’s Film Festival was held in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It was the largest film festival for children in the country that gave the audience quality and wholesome entertainment. The aim of the 3-day film festival was to expose children to quality cinema and to introduce novel elements beyond films. The event was held at VUDA Children’s Theatre and was jointly organized by Children’s Film Society of India and Andhra Pradesh government.

April 5: National Maritime Day

The National Maritime Day (NMD) is observed every year on 5th April to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian owned ship “SS Loyalty” sailed from Bombay to London on 5th April 1919. It was a crucial step for India shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British. This year is it is 54th edition of NMD and theme is “Connecting India through Shipping”. The NMD was first celebrated on 5th April, 1964. It should be noted that the World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed on September 29 to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment.

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