31 July 2017 Current Affairs

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, has launched the Jiyo parsi Publicity hase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. While launching the Phase-2, Naqvi said that Parsi community has immense contribution in nation building and Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi Community has given so many great people who have been ‘architects of nation building”. The main aim of the Jiyo Parsi scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. The scheme also aims to stabilize their population and increse the population of Parsis in India.

Russia asks 755 US diplomats to leave country following American sanctions

Russian President Vladmir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country. The action was taken three days after the US Congress approved sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the US Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin in an interview to a Russian TV channel said, more than 1000 people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said 755 of them should stop their activities and return.

Punjab launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme

The Punjab government has recently announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes. Under the scheme, the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidized rates. Though Uber will be able to operate easily with in Punjab, but it may not have a smooth ride with in the Chandigarh Central Region. Since Haryana is charging a high entry tax on commercial passenger vehicles entering from Chandigarh and Punjab. Uber and Ola- both have taken up the matter with Monahar Lal led BJP government. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab. Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.

Four Arab States ready for dialogue with Qatar

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar have announced willngness to initiate a dialogue with the country, bringing the hope of some sort of resolution to the gulf crisis. The foriegn ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue with Doha if it agrees to some of their demands including showing genuine willingness to stop funding terrorism. The same was revealed by Bahrain’s foreign minister, after a two-meet with his counterparts from the other three nations.

India, Pakistan to hold talks on hydropower projects under Indus Waters Treaty

India and Pakistan will hold talks on two hydrpower projects, namely Kishenganga and Ratle, under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh is leading the Indian delegation during the talks. The delegation will include officials from ministries of external affairs and water resources. World Bank Vice President for South Asia resion Annette Dixon – in a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna – has welcomed the participation of both the countries in the dialogue. The meet at Washington is being held as part of efforts by the World Bank to resolve the issues raised by Pakistan over India’s hydroelectricity projects.

Canara Bank launches its first digital branch ‘CANDI’

Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ named ‘CANDI’ in Bengaluru. The branch will provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. The bank has introduced customer-friendly mobile apps which help customers get most of the information related to their accounts from the app without the need to visit the branch. The most attractive feature of the Digital Branch is a humanoid robot that addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services. This is a first-of-its kind initiative by a public sector bank in the country.

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theater group and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino. The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

Caeleb becomes first ever to win three gold medals in one night

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool recently, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours – and won every time. Dressel’s sprint heroics were compiled in just over 90 minutes, interspersed by Sarah Sjostrom’s world record in the women’s 50 metres freestyle on another stunning night’s racing at the Duna Arena.

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Paintings Exhibition begins in Nepal

The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event. These events provide platform to artists for exchanging ideas with fellow artists and helping in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Ravi Mittal appointed part-time member on IRDAI board

Ravi Mittal, who has joined as additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachi, is now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI, who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS officer. Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director.

Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar strike gold at Czech Boxing tourney

Indian boxers packed quite a heavy punch at the 48th Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem, clinching five gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the event in the Czech Republic. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg), Amit Phangal (52kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed gold medals after winning their respective summit clashes. Kavinder Bisht (52kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg), on the other hand, settled for silver medals.

SBI cuts savings bank rate on deposits up to Rs. 1 cr

The decline in rate of inflation and high real interest rates have prompted State Bank of India to cut the savings bank deposits rate from 4 per cent to 3.5 per cent on deposits below Rs. 1 crore. This cut in savings bank rate will prompt many banks to follow suit. The savings bank deposits above Rs. 1 crore will continue to earn 4 per cent interest. The cut in SB rate will enable it to maintain the marginal cost of funds based lending rate at the current level.

India clinch Division B crown in front of sellout home crowd

India defeated Kazakhstan, 75-73, to clinch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup’s Division B title. The thrilling final was held at the Kanteerava Inddor stadium in Bengaluru. To celebrate the win, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian team. On the other hand, Japan defeated Australia 74-73 in the Division A summit clash.

US tests missile-defence system after North Korea missile launch

The United States (US) has tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in Alaska by launching a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The missile-defence system test came after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was launched by US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean and the THAAD weapon system detected, tracked and intercepted the target. This was the 15th successful intercept out of the 15 tests carried out for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD interceptors are meant to help guard the US against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

Sebastian Vettel wins 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the Ferrari driver won the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod. The second and third place was taken by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland respectively. The 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2017 Formula One season and the 32nd running of the Hungarain Grand Prix.

China produces natural gas from flammable ice

China successfully produced natural gas from flammable ice, also known as methane hydrate, in an experimental project conducted in the South China Sea. As a part of the experiment, a drilling platform was deployed off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days. It produced around 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, which is a record extraction volume from gas hydrate. According to China’s Ministry of Land and resources, China has made a historic breakthrough. The ministry stated that the country has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations afer nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts.

Delhi Metro declared as world’s first green metro

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) was declared as the owrld’s first green metro after it added a green certification for all its major buildings and installations. Apart from depots and sub stations, DMRC was also awarded the platinum rating for its 10 residential colonies for adherence to green building norms by the IGBC. The declaration was made during National Conference on Green Metro Systems by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The conference was attended by delegates from all other Metro systems in the country.

Union Bank slapped with Rs. 1 crore penalty by RBI for KYC non-compliance

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on state-owned Union Bank of India for “non-compliance” with the directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers. The central bank said it had examined the documents regarding the complaint and notice was issued to the state-owned lender. The bank was asked to show cause “as to why penalty should not be imposed” for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI. The RBI said after considering the bank’s reply, oral submissions, additional information and documents, it concluded that the charge was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

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