07 July 2017 Current Affairs

Pakistan successfully test fires ‘Nasr’, a short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully test-fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’. NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘NASR’ with an enhanced range of 60-70 kilometers and flight maneuverability.

Siemens opens its first digital factory in Thane

Siemens opened its first digital factory in Kalwa, Thane. The factory is the first of its kind to be opened in India. It is also the third globally after one each in Germany and China, as the industrial conglomerate pitches smart facilities to small and medium scale enterprises in the country. The digital factory is one of the nine divisions at Siemens. It aims to provide a comprehensive portfolio of hardware and software products which enable comprehensive integration of data from development, production and suppliers.

EPFO ties up with 5 banks for collection of PF dues

Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) has inked pacts with five banks for collections of provident dues and to make retirement payments. The agreement with Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will help EPFO save around Rs 125 crore a year and expedite its investments as well as payment of benefits to its members. Employers having bank account with these banks can now deposit PF dues directly in EPFO’s account using internet banking in real time basis instead of going through the aggregator mode. In the absence of this arrangement, the EPFO had to collect dues and make payments through the aggregator mode, with each transaction costing around ₹12.

Indus OS, Yes Bank to Launch OS-Integrated UPI Payment Platform

Domestic android-based mobile operating system Indus OS has partnered with YES Bank to launch OS-integrated UPI (Unified Payment Interface) payment platform in India. Users with Indus OS will be able to use this UPI payment platform on SMS, dialler interface, and on third party apps like WhatsApp. This means P2P transactions, as well as utility payments, can be made via SMS or messaging. The platform is expected to launch in the July-September quarter.

Manpreet, Laxmanan win gold at Asian athletics meet

Manpreet Kaur and Govindan Laxmanan won gold in their respective events as India registered an impressive start to their campaiugn at the Asian Athletics Championships at the Kalinga Stadium. Manpreet won gold in the women’s shotput while Laxmanan emerged triumphant in the men’s 5,000 metres. Manpreet dominated her event with a best throw of 18.28 metres to register the first gold for India in the event. Guan Quayin China took silver with 17.91. Laxmanan on the other hand, had to struggle hard for his gold medal. He was trailing the leading four runners towards the end of the second last lap but he produced a stunning sprint finish over the final 300 metres to win by a handsome margin.

India Rise to 96th in FIFA World ranking, Best in Two Decades

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World Ranking released recently. This is the country’s second-best ranking and its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996. India has moved 77 positions up from the 173rd rank on March 2015. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

Odisha, IAAF and AFI sign tripartite pact

The Odisha government signed an Expression of Intent (EOI) with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to establish a High-Performance Academy in Bhubaneswar. The EOI was signed by Sports Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev and AFI president Adille Sumariwala and IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The proposed academy namely “Odisha-AFI-IAAF High Performance Academy”, will have a professional environment and approach to Athletics/Track and Field events to provide excellent coaching and integrated support services, education and great experience for the athletes.

India declares itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)

India has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence. It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The surveillance was carried out throughout the country since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus. India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicenters in different states across the country between October 2016 and February 2017. Avian Influenza known avian flu or bird flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

European Parliament approves first ever EU-Cuba agreement

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal between the European Union and Cuba. MEPs in the eastern French city of Strasbourg approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016. With the deal, Cuba joins other Latin American countries with similar agreements with the EU, whose relations with the island had previously been conducted in the so-called Common Position that linked ties to improvements in human rights.

India ranked 23rd in second Global Cybersecurity Index

India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. The Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India has been listed in the “maturing category” of the index with a score of 0.683. Around 77 countries have been placed in the maturing category as they have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. Singapore has topped the index with a score of 0.925. Singapore is followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th.

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