22 June 2017 Current Affairs

UN Appoints Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of UN Counter-Terrorism Centre

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia. The office is established under the General Assembly resolution 71/291 on 15 June 2017. The Under-Secretary-General will provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations. He had served as Russia’s ambassador to Vienna and has been serving as an ambassador to UN organisations since 2011.

Mumbai The Most Expensive City In India For Expatriates

Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India and is ranked higher than major global cities such as Paris, Canberra, Seattle and Vienna. According to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is placed 57th on the list while New Delhi was placed at 99. Chennai (135), Bangalore (166) and Kolkata (184) were the other Indian cities on the list. Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively. The improvement of ranking of Indian cities was not just on account of internal factors, but also because some global cities fell in ranking following currency volatility, especially in Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Indian Agri microbiologist given environment award in Japan

Indian agricultural microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi has been conferred the Ministry of Environment Award for 2017 in Japan for developing cutting edge technologies to address burning environmental problems. Chandraghatgi, who is President and CEO of EcoCycle Corporation, is the first foreigner to be given the Ministry of Environment Award, the highest award in the environmental sector in Japan. The Ministry of Environment Award is the highest honour given in the environmental sector every year jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan and The Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun (a media group).

Jeevandas Narayan appointed as MD of Manappuram Home Finance

Manappuram Finance has announced the appointment of Jeevandas Narayan as the Managing Director and Subhash Samant as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance. Prior to this Narayan, who has more than 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, was Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore. The company also announced the appointment of Subhash Samant as CEO of Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd.

Axis Bank & Kochi Metro launches Open Loop Metro Card

Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank in association with Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) has launched KMRL Axis Bank ‘Kochi1’ Card, India’s first open loop EMV contactless metro card that would make travel a convenient and hassle free experience for commuters in Kochi. Axis Bank has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in developing this transit EMV contactless specification on interoperable open standards. The prepaid card has integrated benefits and offers a plethora of services to commuters such as shopping experience at merchant outlets, Instant issuance of Personalized Cards, Convenience of recharge.

Indore gets India’s first traffic control robot

The number one clean city of India – Indore has got another milestone to its name. This commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh has reportedly become the first city in India where the robot is being used on an experimental basis to control its ever growing and unruly traffic. The traffic police in association with a private engineering college of the city for the first time has installed a metallic robot at a busy MR 9 intersection on an experimental basis to control the chaotic traffic in the locality. This traffic controller robot has been designed by 2 professors of an engineering college of the city Prof Rahul Tiwari and Aniruddh Sharma.

Qatar Airways named best airline in the world by Skytrax

Qatar Airways has been named Best Airline in the World for 2017 by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at World Airline Awards at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways was voted Best Airline by travelers across the world in the annual passenger survey. The Doha-based carrier has now won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time. Qatar Airways also won the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best First Class Lounge and the Best Airline in the Middle East awards. On the other hand, Malaysia-based Air Asia won awards for being the Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia for a month year in the row, and also as World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin 2017.

China unveils World’s first track-less train that runs on virtual rails

China has unveiled the world’s first train that operates on a virtual track using sensor technology instead of metal rails. China has unveiled world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails. The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered. The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes. The train which is only about 32 metres long can carry up to 307 passengers. The new trains are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. So it can run without the presence of tracks. The new trains will make use of rubber wheels on a plastic core and can be automatically guided without rails. This new technology has been copyrighted by the Chinese rail corporation. The train will be rolled out for public use in 2018.

SEBI eases norms for acquisition of distressed assets of listed companies

Capital markets regulator, SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) has relaxed takeover norms for the acquisition of stressed assets of listed companies to help the government and the RBI in their efforts to tackle bad loans. SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi took the decision after a board meeting in Mumbai. SEBI’s board also approved a proposal to tighten rules for participatory notes through the imposition of a regulatory fee on issuers of such instruments. SEBI will also issue a discussion paper for easier registration of foreign investors. Another discussion paper would be floated for ways to help develop equity derivatives markets.

India, Russia identify areas to boost cooperation in S&T sector

India and Russia have identified key areas to bolster cooperation in the science and technology sector, including space and marine technologies, IT and deep ocean engineering. The areas were chosen at the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitryi Rogozin. The India-Russia high-level committee on Science & Technology is a newly established committee and it was established to discuss cooperation in high technologies. Inspired by India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Moscow has launched a “Do It In Russia” initiative to promote local manufacturing and technology development.

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