Current Affairs Today August 16 2018

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Current Affairs Today August 17 2018

 INDIAN AFFAIRS

“Digital Screens” launched by Ministry of Railways to spread awareness about Indian Railways Heritage
On August 16, 2018, Ministry of Railways launches “Digital Screens” to spread awareness about Indian Railways Heritage.
i. From the Independence Day on (August 15, 2018), “digital screens” has been made operational at 22 railway stations.
ii. Addirionally, QR code based posters on Railway Heritage are also being displayed at these stations.
iii. These would allow passengers to scan and view a streaming video on their mobile on Railway heritages.
iv. Dedicated heritage video walls are being installed in New Delhi and Howrah.
About ‘Digital Screens’:
i. This screens will how one to two minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas.
ii. The short films will showcase heritage buildings, locomotives and spread awareness about heritage of Indian Railways.
iii. Few of the railway station where these have been launched are:
New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Howrah, Sealdah, Jaipur, Agra  Cantonment, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Varanasi.

Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme: West Bengal Government removed family income ceiling.
On August 16, 2018, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee lifted family income ceiling for the beneficiaries of  women welfare scheme ‘Kanyashree’.

Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme: West Bengal Government removed family income ceiling.i. Earlier the ceiling was : Rs 120,000 or less.
ii. This would cost the state government an additional Rs 200 crore.
iii. The state had already incurred an annual expenditure of Rs 1200 crore under the scheme in 2017.
Other Announcements:
i. A university for the girls under this scheme to pursue higher education would be built.
ii.The state education ministry would hold special training camps for the girls to provide skill trainings for jobs.
About ‘Kanyashree’:
Kanyashree was launched in 2013 to prevent early marriage of girl children of socio-economically disadvantaged families whose annual income is Rs 120,000 or less.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launches Dial 100 Police Mobile App
On 15th August 2018, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched Dial 100 Mobile app, to help the needy at the time of emergency.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launches Dial 100 Police Mobile AppDial 100 Mobile App:
i. Once Madhya Pradesh Police receive a call through Dial 100 mobile app, they will reach the location as soon as possible, to help the people in distress.
ii. Shivraj Singh Chouhan also announced that more CCTV cameras will be fixed outside schools, public and private areas.
Some National Parks in Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Van Vihar National Park
♦ Ghughua Fossil Park
♦ Satpura National Park

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India releases additional funds for Nepal’s Postal Highway
On 14th August 2018, Indian Government released additional NPR 470 million for the Postal Highway being constructed in Southern Plains of Nepal.

India releases additional funds for Nepal's Postal HighwayIndia releases funds to Nepal:
i. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over NPR 470 million to the Secretary of Nepal’s Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Madhusudan Adhikari.
ii. This amount has been released for the ongoing construction of 14 road packages under Postal Highway Project.
iii. With this payment, a total of NPR 2.35 billion has been released to Nepal out of the total grant assistance of NPR 8 billion committed by Indian Government for implementing 14 road packages.
iv. Also, on 15th August 2018, on the occasion of India’s Independence Day, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over 30 ambulances and 6 buses to hospitals, non-profit charitable organizations and educational institutions of Nepal.
v. Indian Mission in Nepal also gifted books to 68 libraries and educational institutions in Nepal worth NPR 17 Lakhs.
vi. Manjeev Singh Puri also felicitated one Veer Nari, seven Widows, three next of kins of the deceased soldiers and one disabled ex-serviceman of Indian Armed Forces by handing over their dues worth NPR 5.35 Crore and a blanket to each.
About Nepal:
♦ Capital – Kathmandu
♦ Currency – Nepalese rupee (NPR)
♦ President – Bidhya Devi Bhandari
♦ Prime Minister – K.P. Sharma Oli

24th World Congress of Philosophy held in Beijing, China for the first time
On August 13, 2018, the 24th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) was held in Beijing, China for the first time.

24th World Congress of Philosophy held in Beijing, China for the first timeThis event will continue till Aug. 20, 2018.
i. The theme for this event is: “Learning To Be Human”.
ii. This event has been organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, and Peking University.
iii. It consists of more than 1,000 activities, such as plenary sessions, symposia, lectures and roundtables.
iv. More than 6,000 philosophers and academics from 121 countries and regions has participated in this event.
Background:
♦ The World Congress of Philosophy is organized every 5 years by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) in collaboration with one of its member societies.
♦ The first WCP was held in Paris in 1900.
♦ International Federation of Philosophical Societies ( FISP): established in 1948.

BANKING & FINANCE

Bharti AXA & Airtel Payments Bank partnered to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
On August 16, 2018, Bharti AXA, Airtel Payments Bank team up to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.

Bharti AXA & Airtel Payments Bank partnered to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojanai. This aims to increase penetration of life insurance products among the underinsured masses and boost financial inclusion.
ii. IT is aimed to reach the 190 million under-insured Indians under Airtel Payments Bank.
iii. This would help to strengthen Bharti AXA Life Insurance’s presence in India.
About the team up and the product:
i. Under this, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’ (PMJJBY) would be provided by Bharti AXA Life Insurance.
ii. It will give Rs 2 lakh life insurance cover for an annual premium of Rs 330.
iii. This will be available to all existing or new Airtel Payments Bank savings bank account holders between ages 18-50.
iv. Initially PMJJBY will be available at 1 lakh Airtel Payments Bank banking points across India.
v. This would be increased to over 5 lakh banking points to have financial inclusion.
‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’ (PMJJBY)
Launch Year: 2015

Andhra Bank raised MCLR by 0.15% for various tenors
On August 16, 2018, Andhra Bank raises MCLR by 0.15% for various tenors.
i. This is the second time that Andhra Bank has raised the MCLR.
ii. Earlier in June it has raised its MCLR by 0.05 % to up to 8.55 percent for various tenors.
iii. The following table shows the new rates w.r.t. various tenors:

TenorsNew Rates (in %)
Overnight8.15
One Month8.20
Three months8.40
Six months8.55
One year8.70
iv. This will make consumer loans such as auto, car and home loans costlier for buyers.
v. These changes will be effective from August 16, 2018.
Background:
RBI increased repo rate, at which it lends to other banks, by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent twice within 2 months.
Andhra Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Hyderabad.
♦ Tagline: Much more to do with you in focus.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India Ratings decreases growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.4% for FY19
On August 16, 2018, according to India Ratings, growth forecast of India has been cut to 7.2% from 7.4% for FY19.
i. Reasons behind this are:
Increasing crude prices and the goverment’s decision to fix tfix the minimum support prices of all kharif crops at 1.5 times of the production cost.high level of bad loans
ii. The private final consumption expenditure to grow 7.6% in FY19 compared to 6.6% in FY18.
iii. The annual value of exports to touch USD345 billion in FY19.
iv. Average retail and wholesale inflation in FY19 to come in at 4.6% and 4.1%, respectively as against 4.3% and 3.4% forecasted earlier .
Other announcements in the report:
i. The fiscal deficit target of 3.3% would be met.
ii. Loss of revenue due to recent reduction in the Goods and Service tax rate in respect of 88 items.
iii. Government failed to meet disinvestment targets.
iv. Also orderly depreciation would be good for the Indian economy in the long-term.
India Ratings:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.

PhonePe partners with IRCTC app Rail connect to facilitate convenient payments
On August 16, 2018, PhonePe announced partnership with IRCTC app ‘IRCTC Rail Connect’, to facilitate convenient, fast and secure payments.
i. This will enable PhonePe’s 100 million plus users to now pay directly from their bank accounts using UPI, credit and debit cards and also the PhonePe wallet.
ii. IRCTC app will have a trusted digital payment platform for the transactions.
About PhonePe:
♦ The company was also awarded as an outstanding merchant UPI player at the NPCI excellence awards 2018.
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ CEO:  Sameer Nigam.
♦ Founded: 2015.
♦ Parent organization: Flipkart.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Godrej’s Smitha Crishna India’s wealthiest woman: Kotak Wealth-Hurun report
Smitha Crishna has topped the India’s wealthiest women list for 2018, prepared by Kotak Wealth-Hurun Report.
Godrej's Smitha Crishna India's wealthiest woman: Kotak Wealth-Hurun reportGodrej’s Smitha Crishna India’s wealthiest woman:
i. Top 10 richest women in the Kotak Wealth Hurun – Leading Wealthy Women 2018 list:

RankNameWealth (Rs crore)Company
1Smitha Crishna37,570Godrej
2Roshni Nadar30,200HCL
3Indu Jain26,240Bennett Coleman & Co Group
4Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw24,790Biocon
5Kiran Nadar20,120HCL
6Leena Gandhi Tewari10,730USV
7Sangita Jindal10,450JSW Steel
8Jayshree Ullal9,490Arista Networks
9Anu Aga8,550Thermax
10Shradha Agarwal8,200Outcome Health
ii. Smitha Crishna is a third-generation heir of the Godrej Group. She has over 20% stake in the Godrej Group. She has an estimated net worth of Rs 37,570 crores.
iii. The Kotak Wealth Hurun – Leading Wealthy Women 2018 list includes 100 Indian women with net worth above Rs 1,000 crore.
iv. This is a first of a kind report released by Kotak Wealth Management along with London-based Hurun Report.
v. Average wealth of the women in the list is nearly Rs 4,000 crore. Total wealth of the top three women in the list is nearly Rs 96,000 crore, which is more than the GDP of 68 countries in the world.
vi. The list has 8 Padma awardees. Most of the women in the list are from pharmaceutical sector followed by the software and services sector.
vii. More than 50 wealthiest women are based in either New Delhi or Mumbai. The Hurun Global Rich List 2018 has 404 women. Out of this 14 women are from India.
About Kotak Mahindra Group:
♦ Established – 1985
♦ One of India’s leading financial services conglomerates

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita re-elected Mali president
On 16th August 2018, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was re-elected as president of Mali.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita – President of Mali:
i. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won 67 percent of the vote and defeated his opponent Soumaila Cisse in the presidential election.
ii. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita will serve his second five-year term as President of Mali. He is 73 years old. He will assume office on 4th September 2018.
About Mali:
♦ Capital – Bamako
♦ Currency – West African CFA franc
♦ Prime Minister – Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga
♦ Official language – French

Mario Abdo Benítez sworn in as new President of Paraguay
On August 16, 2018, 46-year-old Mario Abdo Benítez has been sworn in as the new President of Paraguay.

Mario Abdo Benítez sworn in as new President of Paraguayi. He replaced Horacio Cartes.
ii. He belongs to the conservative Colorado Party.
Paraguay:
♦ Capital: Asuncion.
♦ Currency: Paraguayan guarani.

Egon Zehnder International appointed ‘Knowledge Partner’ to Banks Board Bureau (BBB)
Indian Banks’ Association has appointed Egon Zehnder International as a ‘Knowledge Partner’ to the Banks Board Bureau (BBB).
Egon Zehnder International – ‘Knowledge Partner’ to BBB:
i. As a Knowledge Partner, Egon Zehnder International will help to design, implement and institutionalise a flagship leadership development strategy for public sector banks in India.
ii. Also, Hay Consultants Private Limited, a part of Korn Ferry Group, will help BBB to assess leadership competencies and potential capabilities of candidates appearing for appointment as wholetime directors of public sector banks.
About Banks Board Bureau (BBB):
♦ Chairman – Bhanu Pratap Sharma
♦ Location – Mumbai

N Raghuram Elected Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative (INI)
N Raghuram has been elected the Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative.
N Raghuram – Chair of INI:
i. N Raghuram is an Indian scientist and academician. He is a professor at the GGS Indraprastha University, New Delhi.
ii. He has been the President of the Indian Nitrogen Group and a Steering Committee member of the UNEP Global Partnership on Nutrient Management.
iii. He is the first Indian and Asian to be elected as Chair of INI. He will succeed Mark Sutton as chair of INI.
iv. David Kanter of the New York University has been elected as Vice-Chair of INI.
v. N Raghuram and David Kanter will take charge on 1st January 2019. They will be responsible for the network of 6 regional centres: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America.

3 new independent directors appointed to the board of Nitstone Finserv
On August 16, 2018, Nitstone Finserv, a digital lending platform got approval to start operations of NBFC Business in India.
3 new independent Directors to the Board of Directors has been appointed.
i.They are:

  • Thomas T. Riley,
  • Alok Kumar Misra and
  • Vishwanath Prasad Singh.

ii.Thomas T. Riley is a former United States Ambassador, for 5 years worked with George W Bush Government.
iii.Alok Kumar Misra is a Former Chairman and Managing Director at Bank of India.
iv.Vishwanath Prasad Singh is a Former Chairman & CEO of IFCI Ltd. and a non-executive Chairman of Tourism Finance Corporation of India and IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd.
About itstone Finserv:
♦ It gives Small Business Loans, Vehicle Loans and Refinancing Education Loans.
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.

K S Srinivas appointed as Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority.
On August 14, 2018, IAS officer K S Srinivas has been appointed as the Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA)under Union Commerce Ministry.
i. He assumed his charge on August 13, 2018.
ii. He had served as Joint Secretary in the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA):
♦ Headquarters: Kochi, Kerela.
♦ Established : 1972.
♦ It acts as coordinating agency with different Central and State Government establishments engaged in fishery production and allied activities.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Barak 8: India-Israel missile defence system to be procured by Israeli Navy
The multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel, will be procured by the Israeli Navy.
Barak 8:
i. Barak 8 has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India’s DRDO, Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and few other Indian defence companies.
ii. It is referred to as Barak-8 by Israel and LR-SAM (long-range surface-to-air missile) by India. It has variants with maximum ranges of 70km and 150km.
iii. It is an operational air and missile defense system used by the Israeli Navy and the Indian Navy and air forces. It has already entered Indian Navy service on board the Kolkata class of destroyers.
iv. Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar-6 corvettes will use Barak-8 to protect Israel’s exclusive economic zone and strategic facilities that face various threats in the marine arena. The sales for Barak-8 have exceeded USD 5 billion.
v. It will provide wide range of aerial and point defence against various threats to the marine arena from the air, sea or land.
vi. It can defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats, like fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles.
vii. It has an advanced phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system. It enables users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all weather conditions.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
♦ Chairman – Sanjay Mitra
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

OBITUARY

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, passes away at 93
On 16th August 2018, former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passed away following a long term illness, at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, passes away at 93Death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
i. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was 93 years old. He was born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
ii. He entered politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He was one of the founding members of Jan Sangh, the parent organization of BJP, in 1951.
iii. He became the president of Jan Sangh in 1968 following the death of Deendayal Upadhyaya.
iv. He was the first BJP leader to become the prime minister of India. He was a three-time Prime Minister of India.
v. He was also the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete the five year term as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2004.
vi. He was elected 10 times to the Lok Sabha from 4 different States. He was the Member of the Rajya Sabha twice.
vii. He was the first external affairs minister to deliver a speech in the UN Assembly in Hindi. He received Bharat Ratna in 2015. His birthday (December 25) is observed as the Good Governance Day……………………………..Click here to Read more

Former India Test captain Ajit Wadekar passes away
On 15th August 2018, former Indian cricket captain Ajit Wadekar, died following a long term illness, at the Jaslok Hospital in South Mumbai.
Death of Ajit Wadekar:
i. Ajit Wadekar was 77 years old. He was born in Mumbai. He made his international cricket debut in 1966.
ii. He was India’s first ODI (One Day Internatioanl) captain. He had scored 2,113 runs in his Test career.
iii. He retired from the international cricket in 1974. After retirement, he served as India’s coach/manager in 1990s when Mohammad Azharuddin was the captain.
iv. He also became the chairman of selectors. He is the only cricketer apart from Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde to have served as captain, manager, and selector in Indian cricket.
v. He received the Arjuna Award in 1967 and Padmashri in 1972.