02 August 2017 Current Affairs

Airtel Payments Bank, HPCL tie-up for digital payments

Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first payments bank has announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). There are around 14,000 HPCL fuel stations will act as banking points for Airtel Payments Bank. It also offers facilities such as the opening of the account, cash deposit and cash withdrawal to the payment bank’s customers. These cashless payments can be made by smart phones (MyAirtel App).

China officially opens its first overseas military base in Djibouti

China formally opened its first overseas military base with a flag raising ceremony in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the same day as the People’s Liberation Army marks its 90th birthday. Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. China began construction of a logistics base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to re-supply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

Jharkhand Cabinet approves Religious Freedom Bill 2017

Jharkhand Cabinet has approved Religious Freedom Bill 2017. The bill named as Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill, 2017 seeks to bring the stringent anti-conversion law in place under which forceful or allurement induced religious conversion will be a non-bailable criminal offence. According to an official release, Section three of the Bill prohibits forceful conversion. In the event of violation of section three, there will be up to three years imprisonment or Rs 50000 penalty or both. If the crime involves a minor, woman or person from SC or ST community then the prison term would be up to four years and penalty of one lakh rupees.

India & Somalia sign agreement on transfer of sentenced persons

India and Somalia signed a bilateral agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons. The move is step forward in deepening humanitarian cooperation between the two nations. Signing the agreement with Somalia will facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence. The step will also facilitate their social rehabiliation. The agreement was signed between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Yusuf Garaad Omar.

US Senate confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director

The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Christopher Wray as the Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Wray was elected to the post by winning 92-5 votes of the Senate. With this, Wray succeeds James Comey, who was unexpectedly fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017 in the midst of the investigation into Russian meddling in US Presidential Elections 2016. Since then, Andrew McCabe has been serving as acting FBI director. Wray, a former high-ranking official in President George W Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud, takes over the FBI at such a challenging tme when Trump expelled Comey, who was admired within FBI.

PM announces Rs 100cr corpus to find permanent solution to flood problem in North-East

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 100 crore corpus to study and find a permanent solution to the North-Eastern states of India. In addition to this corpus of Rs 100 crore, the Prime Minister also announced Rs 2350 crore as an immediate aid for the North East after holding a review meeting on the flood situation with several North Eastern states in Guwahati. The corpus was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Guwahati, Assam. He was in Assam to take stock of flood situation of Assam and few other North-Eastern States.

Union Govt launches e-RaKAM portal for selling Agricultural produce

The Union Government has launched a portal, e-RaKAM, to provide a platform to sell agricultural produce. The portal is a joint initiative by state-run-auctioneer MSTC and Central Warehousing Corporation arm CRWC. The platform is a digital initiative that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products.

World breastfeeding week (August 1 to 7, 2017)

World breastfeeding week 2017 is being celebrated from 1st to 7th August 2017 with the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”. It was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding World Breastfeeding WeekAction (WABA) and is now observed in over 120 countries by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.

Sanjaya Baru appointed as Secretary General of FICCI

Sanjaya Baru was on appointed as the Secretary General of the Freedom of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with effect from 1 September 2017. He succeeds A Didar Singh, who served as Secretary General for 5 years. However, Didar Singh will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to Pankaj Patel, President of the FICCI. Baru had earlier served as the media advisor to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from May 2004 until August 2008.

Maharashtra Govt planning to relocate tigers

Maharashtra Government is planning to relocate tigers from Vidarbh region to the state of the sanctuaries elsewhere where their population is smaller, including Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR). Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) is located in Sahyadri ranges in the western Maharashtra, which has only seven tigers at present. The information was given in the Legislative Assembly of the State by State’s forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The forest minister said that the government has set up a committee to examine this issue, and a decision will be taken based on its recommendations.

Renowned scientist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away

Pushpa Mitra (PM) Bhargava, a veteran molecular biologist and a ardent critic of Genetically Modified crops, passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 89. Bhargava was the Founder-Director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). He was one of the leading scientists who led to the discovery of 5-fluorouracil, an anticancer drug. He is a recipient of over 100 national and international honours and awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1986 and the Legion d’Honneur in 1998 of France.

Marian Diamond, known for studies of Einstein’s brain, passes away

Marian Diamond, one of the founders of modern neuroscience, passed away in July 2017. She was 90. Diamond is mostly known for her investigations of Albert Einstein’s brain. After receiving four preserved slices of the physicist’s brain in 1984, she discovered that it contained an uncommonly high number of gila, cells that were once believed to merely be supporting structures in the brain. She was the first woman science instructor at Cornell University where she taught human biology and comparative anatomy.

RBI cuts key policy rate by 25 basis points to 6%

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Urijit Patel, decided to reduce the Policy Repo Rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.25 per cent to 6.0 per cent with immediate effect. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 per cent.

Dhanraj Pillay conferred with Bharat Gaurav

Former Indian Hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay was honoured with the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ by East Bengal Football Club on its foundation day. Bharat Gaurav is the highest award of the club. On the other hand, the club presented lifetime achievement awards to Subhsh Bhowmick, a member of the 1970 Asian Games bronze medal-winning national football team and syed Naeemuddin, former national team coach. meanwhile, Gurwinder Singh bagged the Footballer of the Year award while Boddupalli Amit was adjudged as the Cricketer of the Year.

Samsung Pay now available for SBI debit cards

Smartphone-maker Samsung, which recently launched its digital wallet app Samsung Pay in India, has tied up with State Bank of India to store higher variants of SBI debit cards on the app. This collaboration turns the Samsung smartphones into electronic card-holders and users can pay at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals with just a tap on the cards stored in Samsung Pay. While this collaboration is yet another step for SBI to boost its digital payment services, it also gives Samsung an edge over its competitors to gain market share in the highly competitive smartphone segment. With this collaboration, over 130 million SBI debit cardholders will be able to tap and pay using a wide range of Samsung smartphones at merchant outlets having card acceptance machines. Samsung Pay works on 2.5 million PoS card machines across the country through its magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology.

Research says Chemical from turmeric helps treat cancer in children

A group of scientists in the U.S. discovered that curcumin, the bioactive component of turmeric, holds the power to treat cancer in children. Researchers at Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida (UCF) found that nanoparticles loaded with curcumin can target and destroy neuroblastoma tumour cells. In the study conducted by the researchers, curcumin was attached to cerium oxide nanoparticles and then tested the nano-curcumin formulation in cell lines of a high-risk form of neuroblastoma.

Leave a Reply

Free E-mail Job Alerts
Enter your email address:
Don't Forget To "Activate" Subscription Link Sent to Your Email