13 July 2017 Current Affairs

In a First, India to Host 8th Theatre Olympics in 2018

Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018 simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held. In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world. The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.

Govt empowers Army to procure weaponry for short intense wars

Tne Union Government empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain cmbat readiness for short duration intense wars. This decision will help the Army to complete the procurement process for such ammunition and equipment in a faster way. The Army vice-chief Sarath Chand has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. The decision was made after an internal review found that the optimum holding state was not maintaine in a proper way. As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.

Model UN Regional Conference begins in Kathmandu

A Model United Nations (MUN) Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker’s Society. Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5-day conference. The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelize energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world. The conference simulate four UN committees-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Chinese troops depart for first overseas military base in Djibouti

Ships carrying personnel for China’s first overseas military base, in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, have set sail to begin setting up the facility, as China’s rapidly modernizing military extends its global reach. Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” of 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 resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular. It will be China’s first overseas naval base, though Beijing officially describes it as a logistics facility.

Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma launches LIFE program

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has launched an ambitious flagship program titled “Livelihood Intervention and Facilitation of Entrepreneurship” (LIFE) at Songsak in East Garo Hills. The program for the year 2017 – 18 aims to launch the particular program at 2144 villages. The program will be implemented in the line with National Rural Livelihoods Mission. LIFE will focus on capacity building, Under the program, every 10 SHGs (Self-Help Groups) will be motivated to act like a bank and help each other. LIFE aims to bring all the poor and vulnerable women into the SHGs movement.

SBI waives off IMPS charges for fund transfer up to Rs 1000

Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions. State Bank of India had been charging Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed as Chairperson New BCCC

Justice Vikramajit Sen was appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting foundation (IBF). Justice Sen succeeds Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end. Justice Vikramajit Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier’s School (Delhi) and St Stephen’s College (Delhi). He earned his degree in Law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After a long tenure as a Judge of the Delhi High court, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012, an office he served till December 2015.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs

Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. Halli Labs was founded in 2017 by Pankaj Gupta with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Halli Labs becomes the latest AI start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple among others. Over 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year. Google has been the most aggressive buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

India contributes Rs 3.2 crore to Philippines to take on ISIS

India has granted USD 500000 to the Philippines for the rehabilitation and relief efforts in war-torn Marawi City. India announced the “immediate assistace” on the Facebook account of its embassy in Manila. It is the first time that India is sending financial aid to another country affected by terrorism. As per the embassy, Sushma Swaraj offered the assistance to the Philippines during her conversation with Foriegn Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. India’s assistance is a part of the Union Government’s Act East policy and comes at a time when the Philippines is getting ready to host India-Asean foreign ministers meeting in Manila in August 2017.

YES BANK Launches ‘YES GST’ Program for MSMEs

YES Bank, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, along with YES Global Institute has launched ‘YES GST’ program for MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) under its MSME CSR initiative, ‘Say YES to Sustainable MSMEs in India’. Through the program, the bank will help MSMEs to understand the impact of the changes in tax system and prepare them to know the new GST tax system. The programme has been divided into 3 categories – Knowledge creation, Knowledge Dissemination and YES GST Product Solutions. Under product solutions, Missed Call Helpline (8080945075) facility, GST-ready Working Capital Management, GST-ready Invoicing and Cash Management solution, and GST-ready Business Credit Cards will be provided. YES Bank has also launched GST-Ready products for MSMEs.

Saudi Arabia approves physical education for girls in state schools

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education (MoE) has finally approved a physical education program at girl’s schools starting in the coming academic year. Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa issued a decree. The program will be complaint with Islamic rules and will be implemented in the 2017-2018 school year. The decision comes after three months of intensive studies by a specialized team commissioned by the minister to review all directives and recommendations in this regard. the move is a step forward in boosting sporting activities among all members of Saudi society, one of the targets of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

Training centre for high-speed rail to come up in Gujarat

The country is set to get its first high-speed rail training center at Gandhinagar. The center will provide for advanced training modules on cutting edge technologies. The construction will begin shortly after the foundation-laying ceremony is held in September. Being constructed over railway land measuring 4,400 metres at an estimated cost of Rs 600 crore, the training centre will have a sample track fitted with the overhead electrical systems to enable testing of bullet trains that will run on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. While India’s first bullet train is proposed to hit the track in 2023, the training center is supposed to start operating by 2020.

Delhi Police to get ‘super cop belt’

National capital police will be the first state police in India who will get ‘super cop belt’, a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch. According to the Delhi Police, currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability.

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