26 August 2017 Current Affairs

Australian Trade Minister to lead ‘Business Week’ in India

Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo will lead a major mission named to India – the second Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) -  to India. This mission scheduled to be held from 28 August to 1 September 2017 will aim at deepening the collaboration between the two nations in different fields. Fields that will be covered during the visit include agri-business and food, higher education and research and smart cities and infrastructure. Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.


Canada to allow gender-neutral passports to promote equality

The Canadian government announced that citizens, who do not identify with a particular gender, whether male or female, would soon be able to obtain gender neutral passports. the citizens would be able to mark “X” in space of gender on their passports and other identity documents. the decision would be effective starting 31 August 2017.


Kerala Govt has launched E-waste disposal in state schools

Kerala government has begun e-waste disposal in its state schools with about 12500 kg being disposed state wide on a single day under a programme aimed at clearing the accumulated junk. The programme is a joint initiative of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), formerly IT@School project and Clean Kerala Company. The initiative mainly aims to dispose e-waste such as desktop computers, CRT monitors, laptops, disk drives, printers, UPS, camera, speaker system, television, network components and generators from 10,000 odd schools and educational offices in the state. The accumulated junk is reported to be over 1 Cr kg.


Govt constitutes task force on artificial intelligence

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has constituted a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India’s Economic Transformation. The 18-member panel will be headed by Dr. V. Kamakoti of IIT Madras. It will comprise of experts, academics, researchers and industry leaders. The Task force will explore the possibilities to leverage AI for development across various fields. It will submit concrete and implementable recommendations for government, industry and research institutions.


Coast Guard Training Ship Varuna Decommissioned

The Indian Coast Guard Ship Varuna, which was part of the First Training Squadron of the Navy, was decommissioned with full armed forces honors at a ceremony. The ship had an illustrious service spanning about 30 years. ICGS Varuna was the fourth of in its class of offshore patrol vessels built by the Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock. The ship had numerous operational achievements to its credit, including a record number of apprehension of smugglers with gold worth crores of rupees during the late 1980s.


RBI issues Rs 200 and Rs 50 notes

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued new Rs 200 and Rs 50 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) series, bearing the signature of the RBI Governor Urjit Patel. The bright yellow colored Rs 200 notes have Motif of Sanchi Stupa on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The note will carry the signature of RBI Governor Urjit Patel, the year of printing on the left, and the Swachh Bharat logo with the slogan. The dimension of the bank note will be 66mm X 146mm. The new denomination of Rs 50 has the motif of ‘Hampi with Chariot’ on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage.


Govt restricts gold, silver imports from South Korea

The government has restricted imports of gold and silver items from South Korea in a bid to check spurt in inbound shipments of precious metals from that country. The importers will now have to obtain a license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for importing gold and silver from South Korea. These restrictions are being imposed against the backdrop of sudden surge in imports of precious metal from South Korea, with which India has a free trade agreement since January 2010.


Qualcomm President quits amid legal battle with Apple

Qualcomm President Derek Aberle, who was closely fighting a legal battle with Apple, has quit after a successful 17-year career. According to a Qualcomm statement, Aberle has decided to quit after he helped drive the company’s overall global strategy and vision as member of the company’s Executive Committee. Aberle will stay till December 31 for a smooth transition Over the past 30 years, Qualcomm has invented the core technologies that have enabled the mobile revolution and made all modern smartphones possible. Executive Vice President Alex Rogers would now report directly to Qualcomm CEO Mollenkopf.


IIT Researchers develop biosensor to detect kidney disorders

Researchers from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Bombay and Indore, have jointly developed a biosensor that makes it possible to detect kidney disorders in less than eight minutes. The biosensor can accurately measure both the pH and urea concentration with a single drop of urine. It will help make a point-of-care test to determine whether the kidneys are functioning normally.


Nungthaang Tampak- North East’s First 100% Computer Literate Village

Manipur’s Nungthaang Tampak village has emerged as the ’100 percent computer literate’ not only in the state but in the entire North East. The computer course, which is affiliated to All India Society for Electronics and Computer Technology (AISECT), was organized by Mangal Rural as a part of the Digital India program. Nungthang Tampak has become India’s second 100 percent computer literate village. Kerala’s Chamravattom village is the country’s first 100 percent computer literate village.


RBI appoints Committee to link Home Loan Rates to Repo Rate

Reserve Bank of India appointed committee on Household Finance has suggested that banks link their home loan rates to the RBI’s repo rate, the rate at which it lends to banks. In the past three years the central bank has reduced the policy rate by 200 basis points, but the weighted average lending rates have fallen by 145 basis points. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.


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